Friday, October 06, 2006

NFL Week 5

1. Bills (2-2) at Bears (4-0)
2. Browns (1-3) at Panthers (2-2)
3. Rams (3-1) at Packers (1-3)
4. Titans (0-4) at Colts (4-0)
5. Lions (0-4) at Vikings (2-2)
6. Dolphins (1-3) at Patriots (3-1)
7. Buccaneers (0-3) at Saints (3-1)
8. Redskins (2-2) at Giants (1-2)
9. Chiefs (1-2) at Cardinals (1-3)
10. Jets (2-2) at Jaguars (2-2)
11. Raiders (0-3) at 49'ers (1-3)
12. Cowboys (2-1) at Eagles (3-1)
13. Steelers (1-2) at Chargers (2-1)
14. Ravens (4-0) at Broncos (2-1)

Score thus far: 34-26 (57%)

Utah U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

October 6, 2006
32 Days Until Election Day

Utah U.S. Senate

Status: Republican Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Red State (West)

Outlook: Safe Republican

In what is probably the most conservative and Republican friendly of any state, Senator Orrin Hatch appeared assured of cruising to a sixth term. The one recent poll on his race shows him leading his Democrat opponent, internet executive Pete Ashdown, by upwards of 40 points. Once back in Washington, Hatch might decide to focus some more on his burgeoning musical career.

Back in either late 2005 or early 2006, there was some internet buzz among liberals about a poll that indicated that many in Utah thought it was time for somebody other than Hatch to go to Washington and serve in the Senate. They took that to believe that there was widespread discontent with the veteran Republican and that he could be ripe to be upset. What might not have been taken into account though is how many of the people who responded that they wanted someone new elected are actually folks who consider themselves vastly to the right of the Senator. While the staunchly Pro-Life Hatch is widely viewed as a conservative, there are a good deal of people within his state who have been somewhat suspicious of him ever since he started a personal friendship with Senate colleague Ted Kennedy and based on some of his votes in recent years, such as his support for stem cell research.

While many people feel that Hatch has become too much of the establishment of Washington the longer he stays, they were very unlikely to be inclined to actually vote against him, especially when running against a young first time candidate like Ashdown, who is pretty liberal. Most Democrats came to realize that running against Hatch in Utah is a bit of a fool’s errand, although some speculated that the Green Party candidacy of Julian Hatch, a distant cousin of the Senator, could confuse some voters and cost the incumbent votes. Such a scenario is highly doubtful.

Yesterday, I mentioned that it might take a Foleyesque scandal for Kay Bailey Hutchison to taste defeat in Texas. Today, I want to say that it might take something like Orrin Hatch divorcing his wife of 49 years and entering into a polygamous marriage with Marie Osmond, former Utah Jazz great Karl “The Mailman” Malone, and the mascot of Hatch’s quixotic 2000 Presidential campaign, the “Skinny Cat”, for Hatch to have to worry about losing this race.

Hatch campaign link:

2006 Senate races predicted thus far: 15 D, 12 R
Post-election Senate balance of power predicted thus far: 42 D, 52 R