Thanks to my day job, the closer it gets to The Big Day the less informed I get. All I really know about is early voting. Percentage-wise the partisan margin is closer than 2008. That's because the Republicans, after a decade of dismissing early voting, decided to start playing again in 2010. But I think that cannibalizes part of their election day edge, and the no-party early voters are disproportionately people IDd by the Obama field operation.
One last spot for early voting in Johnson County today: the admin building, 8 AM till 6 PM. If you're in line at 6 you can vote. If you are already registered in the county, ID is NOT required in most cases if you're changing address. On Election Day ID IS required for in-county address changes. New registrations today or tomorrow require ID and proof of address.
If you are in town and have a mailed ballot in hand, my recommendation is to NOT mail it but rather to deliver it in person. Ballots have to be postmarked by today or delivered tomorrow to count; local mail often does NOT get postmarked.
I hate to crib most of a post from another writer's idea but Bleeding Heartland is having the biennial prediction contest and I decided to both enter and to pad my out post with my answers.
1. How many Iowans will cast ballots in the 2012 general election? For
reference, 1,528,715 Iowans voted in the 2008 general election, and
1,497,741 Iowans voted in the 2004 general election. 1,555,555, just because I like all those 5's.
2. How many electoral votes will Barack Obama and Mitt Romney win? (538 total)
303 Obama, 235* Romney, which makes me more optimistic than Joe Biden. Romney takes Florida, barely, and North Carolina; Obama sweeps remaining swing states. * = earned electoral votes. I'm betting two Republican electors vote Ron Paul.
3. What percentage of the national popular vote will Barack Obama and Mitt Romney receive?
4. What percentage of the vote will Obama and Romney win in Iowa?
5. What percentage of the vote will Bruce Braley and Ben Lange receive in Iowa's first Congressional district?
6. What percentage of the vote will Dave Loebsack and John Archer receive in IA-02?
7. What percentage of the vote will Leonard Boswell and Tom Latham receive in IA-03?
54-45 Latham; another Democrat would have been a better choice. The primary 2014 battle will start immediately.
8. What percentage of the vote will Steve King and Christie Vilsack receive in IA-04?
This is the one that'll start a flame war: 50.3-49.7 Vilsack. I'm betting a lot of Rs who are embarrassed by King will quietly vote for Christie. It's also impossible to overstate how big a deal the Iowa-Mississippi No Girls Allowed thing is to the D base.
9. How many seats will the Democrats and Republicans win in the
Iowa House next Tuesday? Currently there are 60 Republicans and 40
55-45 R. If I had a different life and a different day job I'd have written District Of The Day IV and could provide a better answer. My bets for upsets: Kelsey Clark over Jake Highfill in HD39 and Sara Sedlacek over Tom Sands in HD88.
10. How many seats will the Democrats and Republicans win in the
Iowa Senate next Tuesday? Currently there are 26 Democrats and 24
Republicans, but your answer should add up to 49, because Senate
district 22 will not be decided until a December 11 special election.
26-23 D. Upset pick: Chris Brase over Shawn Hamerlinck in SD45.
11. Which Congressional race in Iowa will be the closest (in terms of percentage of vote difference between winner and loser)?
12. Which Iowa House or Senate race will be the closest (in terms of percentage of vote difference between winner and loser)?
Senate 48 Willems-Zumbach
13. What percentage of yes and no retention votes will Iowa
Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins receive? For reference, in 2010 the
"no" share of the vote was 55 percent for Chief Justice Marsha Ternus,
54.4 percent for Justice Michael Streit, and 54.2 percent for Justice
51-49 Yes. Greater awareness, an actual Yes campaign, two years of increased marriage equality support, and frankly two years more worth of old voters dying off (there's a huge dropoff in support for equality right at the demographic transitional point between Silent Generation and Baby Boomers) will boost Wiggins six points.
14. Nationally, which U.S. Senate race will be decided by the
narrowest margin (in terms of percentage of the vote difference, not raw
Nebraska. Bob Kerrey falls just short, but diversion of resources will cost the GOP somewhere else.
15. In the presidential race, which state will be decided by the narrowest margin (again, in terms of percentage of the vote)?
Florida, half a point
16. How many Democrats and Republicans will be in the U.S. House starting January 2013? (435 total) Currently there are 240 Republicans, 190 Democrats, and five vacancies.
230 R 205 D; skillful gerrymandering probably gains the GOP 10 seats.
17. How many Democrats and Republicans will be in the U.S. Senate
starting January 2013? (100 total) For this question, I am counting
independents who caucus with Democrats as Democrats. Currently there are
53 Democrats and 47 Republicans.
53-47 D, counting Maine independent Angus King as a D. Republican primary voters: thanks for the gifts in Indiana and Missouri.
18. Tie-breaker question: How many of Iowa's 99 counties will
Obama and Romney carry? In 2008, McCain carried 46 counties, Obama 53 (view map here). The latest voter registration totals for all 99 counties are here.
Obama 44 Romney 55; Obama margin will come out of the urban counties