Showing posts with label 2016 Congressional elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2016 Congressional elections. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Well, That Sucks For Her....

....not really, given who it was in question....
Rep. George Holding won the Republican primary for a newly redrawn district in North Carolina, beating Rep. Renee Ellmers, who became the first GOP incumbent to lose in a primary this year.
Holding, who was first elected in 2012, had 52 percent of the vote with nearly two-thirds of precincts reporting when The Associated Press called the race. Ellmers, a three-term incumbent who was drawn into a new district this year and a rare incumbent-on-incumbent primary with Holding, trailed with 24 percent of the vote. Greg Brannon, a two-time Senate primary candidate, also got 24 percent.
Donald Trump backed Ellmers and recorded a last-minute robocall that her campaign released over the weekend. It was the first time the presumptive Republican presidential nominee had intervened in a congressional race this year. But it failed to make a difference for Ellmers, who faced over $1 million in outside spending from groups including Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth, which were unhappy with her House voting record.
"Tonight sends a clear message to lawmakers that we're going to hold them accountable for overspending and corporate welfare," AFP president Tim Phillips said in a statement to POLITICO. "Voters saw through Rep. Ellmers' support for the Ex-Im Bank and other subsidies and decided they were better off with Rep. Holding. We agree." (Politico)
Now, what was Ellmers' grand sin, you might ask? Put simply, it was that she dared not go along 100% with the batshit crazies that have taken over the Grand Old Party and everyone took their long knives out on her....but don't feel sorry for her, though:

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Seven Broken Guardrails Of Democracy

There's an interesting article over at The Atlantic about how Donald Trump got to be the Republican candidate for President in 2016, and it is a very revealing article on just how broken representative democracy in America has become; the crux of it is is that there are certain norms within American politics that one expects candidates of all stripes to adhere to, Trump's basically blown through them like a .50 caliber bullet through stacks of toilet the 7 broken guardrails Atlantic writer David Frum is referring to (and how Trump got through them):

  1. Americans expect a presidential candidate to act in a certain way; namely, that of personal restraint, the idea that candidates for office should, to a broad extent, be humble in their pursuit. Now, this doesn't mean they have to be Mary Sues in their actions, but it does mean they should acknowledge that their fight is not just for them alone, but for America on the whole. Donald Trump, by his very nature, chucked this one out the window right at the start; as Mitt Romney infamously said about him, ("he) exemplifies what millions of parents would fear in their sons: “the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics.”
  2. Americans expect some degree of truthfulness in their elected officials and candidates. Case in point: in 1940, FDR campaigned on a platform of - in part - "not getting American boys involved in foreign wars". However, since World War II was already underway in Europe and odds were America would eventually get involved at some point, it didn't mean FDR wasn't trying to get America ready to fight at some point, as illustrated by the Carolina & Louisiana Maneuvers (in other words, he said what he needed to say, but didn't outright lie). By contrast, Donald Trump's lies are so numerous, they're like the zombie hordes in World War Z - one on top of another, on top of another, on top of another, etc.,etc.,etc....indeed, his lies are so numerous that no one even bothers counting them anymore for fear of missing one; worse, he lies so much its' made Americans cynical towards him and its' fed into the Trump (and Clinton, to a lesser extent) narrative that "everyone lies" and "everybody does it".
  3. Americans expect elected officials to have at least a surface knowledge of public policy. Donald Trump doesn't even have the most basic of knowledge on anything; case in point: when asked by conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt about America's nuclear arsenal, Trump couldn't identify the specific parts right. (For the record, the U.S. nuclear triad consists of a bomber force, a sub-based missile force and a land-based missile force.) Now, to be fair, its' generally expected that Republicans will have somewhat less of a surface knowledge of public policy than their Democratic counterparts, but as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush proved, you can mroe than make up for that by having some executive experience prior to running for President (Reagan was a 2-term governor of California, Bush was a 2-term governor of Texas). Unfortunately, thanks to the rise of dingelberries such as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert, its' no wonder that Americans recoil from Republicans on public policy matters...and Donald Trump doesn't do any better; in fact, in some ways, Trump makes the Quitta' from Wasilla seem smart in some respects.
  4. Regardless of political party, Americans expect some adherence to ideology. While both parties have become more Europeanized (i.e. partisan) in their ideological hewings, Republicans have, through nominating Donald Trump, picked someone who's basically taken conservative orthodoxy and chucked it right into the wastebin (just look at his flip-flops on abortion, the Mexican border wall, his proposed ban on Muslim immigration, etc.). Worse, even if Republicans were to begin complaining, it wouldn't do any good: this is the same political party that thinks than long-time conservatives such as John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Jeb Bush are squishy "RINOs", but have - instead of rejecting Donald Trump outright - embraced Donald Trump because he reflects the exact opposite of the groups opposing him.
  5. Similarly to #3, Americans expect their political leaders and candidates to have at least some bit of working knowledge on national security matters. Unfortunately, Donald Trump - who still, I suspect, doesn't have a clue what the nuclear triad is - has taken this guardrail and crashed through it in a tragic, Francois Cevert-kind of manner (with the GOP losing its' proverbial head in the process). After all, this is the same guy who said NATO was obsolete, who thinks Japan & South Korea should develop nuclear weapons and who thinks Saudi Arabia should develop nuclear weapons, so draw your own conclusions as to what a Trump Presidency would entail.
  6. Americans expect their elected officials to have a respect for both tolerance and diversity in their dealings with the American people. Case in point: while politicians like George Wallace were marginalized within the broader American body politic for espousing racist/proto-racist viewpoints, Donald Trump, by contrast, has been accomodated to such a degree that its' become a sad spectacle in and of itself; worse, as America becomes a more diverse society, this kind of dog-whistle style politics only feeds into the Left's narrative that the GOP is a party of racists and bigots, which doesn't help Republicans down the road.
  7. Finally, Americans, despite adhering to ideology in #4, generally are willing to vote for one party for President, the opposite for Congressional control. Don't believe me? Just look at election results between 1954 and 1992; in that 38-year period, Democrats held control of both houses of Congress (the 6-yr. GOP interregnum, 81-86, notwithstanding) for nearly the entire period despite only winning the Presidency in 1960, 1964, 1976 and 1992. This was due to ticket-splitting whereby Americans would vote for a candidate of one party for President, then turn around and vote for the opposing party in the Congressional election...unfortunately, because of the more partisan nature of American politics these days, ticket-splitting is a far lesser seen phenomenon. Worse, more Americans than ever before now see politics in negative terms, which explains why most Republicans, while horrified at the prospect of a Trump Presidency, are even more horrified at the thought of a Hillary Presidency (even conservative stalwarts such as the Wall Street Journal and National Review have gone this route), effectively saying that while Donald Trump may be an evil threat to America, he's less of a threat than that of Hillary Clinton (which makes no sense given the things Trump has said in regards to numbers' 3 & 5).
So what should we do? That, I don't know....I do know this, fellow conservatives: I myself will never vote for Donald Trump, period. Put that in y'all's pipe and smoke it, okay?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Glimpse Of The Dems' 2016 Senate Campaign?, this is but one ad (from Democrat Connor Eldridge, who is running against Arkansas Sen. John Boozman (R) for Boozman's seat) but if this ad were to play nationally against multiple candidates should Donald Trump be the GOP nominee, this could help tip the scales for whoever the Democratic candidate is...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Black Democrat Rips Other Black Lawmakers Over Refusal To Endorse Her

I'm of two minds here...on the one hand, given how long I've followed American politics, its' shocking to see outgoing Rep. Donna Edwards, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, ripping into fellow House CBC members over their collective decision not to endorse her in this year's Maryland Senate race (specifically, the Democratic Primary) - which, unless anything untoward happens, will likely see the Democratic Primary winner pretty much be one-step-removed from being the next U.S. Senator from Maryland). On the other hand, I don't see where the beef is here: from what I've read & heard, the House CBC declined to endorse anyone this go-round in Maryland, which makes sense given the face that the likely winner here is going to either be outgoing Rep. Edwards or outgoing Rep. Chris Van Hollen, so to stay neutral here does make sense.

That said, the fact that you've got two prominent House Democrats (an outspoken progressive in Edwards who turfed out a fellow House CBC member back in 2006 for his support of the Iraq War vs. a member of the House Democratic Leadership in Van Hollen) leaving one chamber for a shot at the Senate kinda' tells you how low the chances of a Democrat majority in 2017 are, so either way its' fun to watch the internecine warfare here...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

KS Congressman Hints At Primary Run Against KS Senator Over SCOTUS Nomination

#NoHearingsNoVotes, Sen. Moran...
HH: All right, Congressman, we will keep checking up on that with you. I want to switch over to politics for a moment. Last time you were on, we talked about the Supreme Court nomination. Leader McConnell yesterday said there are very few cracks in the wall, and that the SCOTUS nomination of Merrick Garland is not moving forward. Your Senator, Jerry Moran’s, one of the few kind of paint chips, it’s not a crack, that fell off of the wall. Have you, has he backtracked, yet? Has he reeled himself back in and joined the rest of the party?
MP: His team put out a statement at the end of last week indicated he has moved back to a place that’s much closer to where Leader McConnell is, and I applaud him for that, and I applaud all the Senators who have kind of wandered down the path which was going to open up the first, the first little seam. And Hugh, you’ve been vigorously defending the right position, no hearings and no votes. Senator Moran has moved back much closer to that position. I’m excited we, you know the pressures that would be on the moment there’s that hearing, and a difficult position it would put some members of my party. We can’t permit that. We should allow the next president to choose the next Supreme Court justice. This may be the most important issue facing the United States Senate for the remainder of its time before the next president is elected. This could affect the law and jurisprudence for generations. And the Senate needs to do the right thing, and its Constitutional duty, and deny consent to the Obama nominees.
HH: Now Congressman, Seung Min Kim, who is the Congressional correspondent for Politico, tweeted a question knowing that you’re on with me. Can you please ask him, she tweets, if he’s planning on primarying Moran? Have you ruled out a primary against Jerry Moran?
MP: You know, Hugh, you’ve known me long enough to know I’m going to always try and find the right place to serve Kansas and America. We’re trying to figure out exactly where that is. And in the next days or maybe a week or so, we’ll figure that out. You’ll be right among the first to know.
HH: So that’s still an open possibility?
MP: Hugh, it’s a great day in Kansas (laughing).
HH: (laughing) I guess, I was unaware of this, but that will be, count me in, Congressman. Count me in if that goes.
MP: Yeah.
HH: We’ll have to get a Wichita outpost, but count me in. (The Hugh Hewitt Show)
Long story short: when President Obama announced the nomination of D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the strum und drang which arose from the Republican-led Senate was basically that there would be no hearings and no votes until the American people had been given the opportunity to decide themselves this November. By and large, Senate Republicans have stuck by that pledge...except for a few wayward souls, including Sen. Moran, who hinted recently that they should just go ahead and have hearings, never mind what the base thinks of it.

Well, here's the thing, Sen. Moran: with Garland's nomination, the Court could lurch well to the left (it'll move that way regardless simply due to the conservative heft of Justice Scalia's absence) and, as Democrat senators over the years have pointed out, no President in the last year of his presidency should be able to stack the High Court as Obama wants to do.

Now, why would Moran's primary targeting be vital in keeping Republican ranks steady? Because, unlike a few others who should be primaried - Mark Kirk & Susan Collins come to mind but they are from relatively bluish/purple states, Jerry Moran represents a dark-red conservative state and if he should happen to go down in a primary fight, this could send a signal to other Republicans: "Cross the base at your own peril, folks."


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dead At 79

One of America's leading conservative voices is now one with the Ages...
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died, the San Antonio Express-News reported on Saturday afternoon. He was 79. Scalia passed away in his sleep while on a hunting trip in Marfa, Texas. Foul play is not suspected. (Townhall)
Here's a good bit of background on Scalia's legacy in terms of the numerous court cases that he heard over the course of his time on the High Court, but it would be very safe to assume that the already contentious 2016 presidential campaign has just taken a major turn with Justice Scalia's passing.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Democrats Split Over Iran Vote

Given the hard-left turn the Democrat Party has taken in recent years, this ain't surprising...
Two more Democratic defections over the Iran nuclear deal have exposed deep divisions at the top echelons of the party just as lawmakers entered the August congressional recess, putting added pressure on President Obama to lock down support ahead of a vital vote next month. 
In the middle of the Republican presidential debates Thursday night, senior Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer issued a lengthy and detailed statement announcing his opposition to the deal. 
"To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great," Schumer, D-N.Y., said. "Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement." The news came as Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, took the same stance. 
The announcements came just hours after two other Senate Democrats -- New York's Kirsten Gillibrand and New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen -- announced their support for the international accord. Schumer and Engel also are at odds with the Democrats' likely presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, who has cautiously embraced the deal. The Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, supports the accord and has been working hard to persuade lawmakers to do the same. So does top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi. (Fox News)
....bring the popcorn!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

SCOTUS Rules In Favor Of ACA Subsidies

This morning, the High Court released a pair of decisions, one of which had to do with the eligibility of the tax subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled upheld the legality of the tax subsidies contained w/in the law, essentially giving the ACA a second victory in the 5+ years since the law's controversial passage:
To understand what’s going on in this case and why today’s decision matters, it may be useful to start with a little bit of background about the Affordable Care Act more generally.  There are three key features to the law.  The first is what’s known as the “non-discrimination rule”:  health insurance companies must sell insurance to everyone, even people who are currently sick or have a history of chronic illnesses, at a reasonable price.
The second is the individual mandate, which requires everyone to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.  This provision ensures that there are enough healthy people in the insurance pool to balance out the sick people:  if healthy people aren’t required to buy health insurance, the thinking goes, but they know (because of the non-discrimination rule) that they can do so at any time, they will wait and only buy insurance if they get sick.
The subsidies are the third pillar of the system created by the ACA.  Many people get health insurance through their employers, but the people who don’t – because they are self-employed or unemployed, for example – need some way to buy it.  So the ACA provides for the creation of an online marketplace, known as an “exchange,” in each state.
 The drafters of the ACA had originally expected each state to set up its own exchange, but after many states declined to do so, the federal government (as authorized by another provision of the ACA) stepped in to create them instead.  And to ensure that everyone can afford the health insurance that they are now required to buy, the ACA also provides for subsidies for people who buy their health insurance through an exchange. Here is the heart of the dispute: one provision of the ACA indicates that subsidies are only available to people who purchase their health insurance on an exchange “established by the State.”  The plaintiffs in the case argued that this means that subsidies are not available to the millions of people who purchased their health insurance on an exchange that was created by the federal government, because the federal government is not a “State.”
Today, by a vote of six to three, the Court agreed with the Obama administration that the subsidies are available for everyone who bought health insurance through an exchange, no matter whether that exchange was created by a state or the federal government. (SCOTUSBlog)
Translation: the language of the statute gives the federal government the authority to allow tax subsidies for those purchasing health insurance through both state exchanges and through the federal exchange.

Now, how big of a bullet did the ACA dodge today? Well, as the quotes above point out, the tax subsidies are a major pillar of the act; knock out that provision and several million Americans would've found themselves w/out health insurance simply because they couldn't afford the insurance. (Whether they can afford it, given the high deductibles in most of the policies, is another story.)

On a political note, this makes the ACA a central pivot point come don't be surprised if both opponents of the law and supporters of the law use it during election season.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

John McCain To Run For 6th Senate Term In 2016

....oh, just what we need: another six years of Juan McShamnesty....
PHOENIX (AP) — Sen. John McCain announced Tuesday that he will run for re-election in 2016, making official a move that has been widely expected for the Republican as he looks to extend his nearly three-decade career in the Senate.
McCain described his plans to run before an Arizona Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Phoenix. He has signaled on several occasions in recent months that he was planning to seek a sixth term, but is now formally entering the race.
His appearance before a pro-business crowd comes ahead of a race in which he will likely face a challenge from the right amid tea party dissatisfaction over his record in the Senate. The Republican Party is currently divided between pro-business and conservative factions, and McCain's announcement location put him in friendly territory as he begins the race.
McCain will be 80 by Election Day, but says he is in great shape and has much work to do in the Senate. "I work 16-hour days. Look at what I've done for Arizona and America," he told The Associated Press. "Make your own judgment."(Huffington Post)
Instead of going for another six years in the world's greatest deliberative body, please just go away, sir...if we're going to elect Republicans such as Crash McCain, why even bother having a majority?

Friday, February 20, 2015

MO Sec.of State To Challenge Sen. Blunt In 2016

Given Missouri's reddish tint at present, I don't see Jason Kander winning agst. Roy Blunt:
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander launched a Democratic challenge Thursday to U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, criticizing the Republican's long political career and asserting, "it's time for a new generation of leaders" in Washington.
Kander, a former Army captain who served in Afghanistan, highlighted his military experience while announcing his candidacy in an online video and said in an interview with The Associated Press that Blunt is often "on the extreme edge of a lot of issues."
Kander, 33, is Blunt's first prominent opponent for the 2016 election. If Kander is elected, he would be one of the youngest U.S. senators -- an attribute he said should be a positive during a campaign. (SE Missourian)
...of course, given what happened back in the 2012 Missouri Senate race, I wouldn't be too confident at the moment if I were Roy Blunt...but I'd definitely watch Kander; he's one of a rising generation of Democratic candidates who've served in either Iraq or Afghanistan and could, if elected, have the potential to eat away at the GOP's current advantages in the areas of national security and defense policy.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Will He Or Won't He Run In 2016?

...for what its' worth, I think Searchlight Harry is going to retire in 2016 rather than run and risk bowing out via an election defeat for a couple of reasons. First, according to most reports out of the Silver State, his presumptive Republican opponent, Gov. Brian Sandoval, is leading in most polls. Second, unlike past years, when Reid's used various political shenanigans to defeat his opponents, there's really nothing stopping Sandoval from running in 2016 (the predicate reference here is that Reid pushed forward then-state Sen. Lucy Flores as a lieutenant governor's candidate in Nevada; had she won and Sandoval ran for governor, Nevada law would've made the Lt.Gov. the acting NV governor, which would've flipped the seat from red-to-blue had Flores won in 2014). Finally, as much as people like to slag on Reid for being a cold, heartless SOB when it came to running the Senate, he may look at the coming political environment in 2016 and decide to simply bow out rather than gamble on keeping his seat.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

California Senator Announces Retirement From Senate In 2016

...all I can say is, "don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, ma'am..."
California Sen. Barbara Boxer ’s decision to retire in 2016 is obviously welcome news for Republicans. But we suspect that a younger generation of fellow Democrats back home is also smiling.
The 74-year-old Boxer, elected to the House in 1982 and the Senate a decade later, carved out a niche as a hyper-partisan obstructionist. As a congresswoman, she helped lead the liberal inquisition of Clarence Thomas after President George H.W. Bush nominated him for the Supreme Court in 1991. She would go on to alienate Senate colleagues during the ethics hearings of Republican Sen. Robert Packwood of Oregon in 1995.
More recently, Ms. Boxer has mucked up bipartisan legislation on cap-and-trade (2010), chemical safety (2013) and California’s water shortage (2014). Her modus operandi has been to squawk to the press about Democrats secretly negotiating with Republicans and industry groups. (Wall Street Journal)
 ...and just who might replace the aforementioned Senator Boxer?

  • California Attorney General Kamala Harris
  • former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
  • Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer
One prominent name not on that list is current Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and the reason there is that, by all accounts, his eye isn't on Boxer's senate seat but on the statehouse in Sacramento for 2018. Regardless of what happens, don't expect this seat to be a competitive one between Democrats & Republicans; given the dearth of top-level GOP candidates, the various problems bedeviling the California GOP and the recent set of statewide electoral drubbings they've suffered and odds' are, whoever wins the Democratic Primary in 2016 is all-but-certain to win come November 2016. However, Republicans can - and it wouldn't surprise me if they did this - attempt to throw spanners into the electoral works via' the state's top-two primary system in that, rather than vote for a Republican who would have almost zero chance of winning in the general, they might decide to rat-fuck the election by pushing a moderate Democrat in the primary, hoping to either crowd out progressives (read: defeating AG Harris) or push candidates the Left might not care for (read: Silicon Valley's Meyer).

If that happens, bring the popcorn, folks.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Incoming Senate Leader Ready To Do Battle, Strategy Uncertain

Cuba. Coal. Immigration. The Keystone XL pipeline. And that's just for openers. Republican Mitch McConnell becomes the Senate's majority leader in two weeks, a role he's been eager to fill for years. He's also eager to challenge President Barack Obama.
That much was clear during a wide-ranging interview with McClatchy this week where he focused on those four topics as places he and the president are likely to clash. Precisely what he will do to counter the president was less clear.
McConnell, like many Republicans, remains miffed that since the Nov. 4 election Obama has taken executive action to halt deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants and announced steps to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba. (MSN News)
Each of those issues has its' own pitfalls...on Cuba, for instance, even if the Senate blocks the installation of a full ambassador to the island nation, they can't legally block the White House from spending the monies designated for the U.S. Interests Section without a specific legislative rider blocking it, which would then have to pass a potential presidential veto. Ditto for attempts to block EPA regulations, which would have to brave the same presidential veto juggernaut; as for Keystone, market forces may block construction of the pipeline as oil prices per barrel continue to steadily fall.

Then there's the home state dilemma he'll face involving Senate colleague Rand Paul, who may have to decide whether to run for President or for a second Senate term as current Kentucky law prohibits him from doing so...something which ironically both McConnell and McConnell's former Senate challenger, Sec.of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, may have a hand in deciding - which should help add to what appears to be an interesting 2015 for the incoming Senate leader.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Potential Retirement In The Works?

Even though California is as hostile to Republicans as Texas is to Democrats' at present, this is still a bit of a shocker, if it pans out:
A parade of ambitious California public figures, who’ve spent years itching for a shot at the state’s top political offices, are anticipating a shake-up of the state’s political hierarchy that could begin in a matter of weeks with the possible retirement of Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. And some big names — including the mayor of Los Angeles — are already sizing up possible bids to succeed her.
Sources close to Boxer, 74, say the outspoken liberal senator will decide over the holidays whether to seek reelection in 2016 and will announce her plans shortly after the new year. Few of her friends believe she will run for a fifth term. Boxer has stopped raising money and is not taking steps to assemble a campaign. With Republicans taking over the Senate, she is about to relinquish her chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.(Politico)
..and who might some of her potential replacements be, off-hand?

  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • California AG Kamala Harris
  • California Lt.Gov. Gavin Newsom
  • Environmentalist Tom Steyer
  • Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
  • Former Rep. Jackie Speyer
  • Outgoing state Comptroller John Chaing
  • Incoming Sec.of State Alex Padilla
Now, odds are, whoever wins would be the prohibitive frontrunner come November 2016; even with the near-perfect campaign that she ran in 2010, Boxer's challenger back then, former HP exec Carly Fiorina, lost by about 10 points. Throw in the fact that, just as there's no bench of sorts for Democrats in Texas, there's practically no bench of potential GOP candidates in the Golden State, and its' a good bet that whoever the GOP nominates will likely be a candidate for Election Night's resident sacrificial lamb...still, anything's possible; did anyone anticipate what happened back on Election Night this year?