The Final Stretch

I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend.  I did; my wife and I travelled to Mississippi State and our beloved Bulldogs defeated the Memphis Tigers 49-7!  It was made better because we got to visit with friends we had not seen for a few months and our in-state rivals, the Ole Miss ______s were beaten by the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks (FCS Division 1) by a score of 49-48 in the 2nd OT (I’m sorry Ole Miss fans, but I couldn’t help it!).  The weekend was capped by a visit to my grandmother’s house.

But I digress.  In American politics, Labor Day has traditionally been the start of the fall campaign season; it’s the final stretch—gloves off, game on!  There are still a few primaries and run-offs to be decided, but by and large, the general election is in full swing.  In a previous post, I predicted that the Republican Party would make significant gains, but fall short of Congressional control.  Since then, the situation has deteriorated for Democrats, with the Republicans taking a 10 percentage point advantage in the latest Gallup poll (Aug. 29).  It now seems likely that the GOP will win control of the House, and it’s plausible they may win the Senate as well.

While the national mood will play a strong part, individual candidates and local issues will play the main role in individual races.  Also, a lot can happen in two months, (it has been said that a week is like a lifetime in politics).  Outside events could change the narrative in a short period—think BP oil spill, the Arizona immigration law and the reactions to it, a natural disaster, good or bad economic news (at home or abroad), or a major foreign policy event.  So we’ll wait, watch and when the time comes, vote.  The week before Election Day, I will make my final prediction based on the events of the final stretch.  Happy election watching!

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