OK, the election is finally upon us.
I always forget how much I hate these campaigns -- so often, they're not about real issues, but about personalities and petty attacks. The "nuts" on either side spinning up all their conspiracy theories are particularly onerous and contribute nothing to the process but hate and division. I hope they're proud of themselves.
The "horse race" part of election is a little fun, though. In that spirit, here are my predictions on how the races will turn out.
While things are changing, it's just tough for Republicans to get elected to county-wide offices in Cleveland County. Claudia Glenn has campaigned hard, but I don't think it will be enough.
Mitzi McGraw-Johnson (D) 56 percent
Claudia Glenn (R) 44 percent
This one has gotten nasty. Colin McWhirter is banking on a big win in Lincoln County and then a push in Cleveland. Rick Shaffer is hoping for the inverse. Both have worked hard in this race.
Rick Shaffer (D) 52 percent
Colin McWhirter (R) 48 percent
While it's easy to say this race has been ugly as well, the truth is, my expectations were so low, they have not been "met." That is, it could have been worse. I think Don Allen has effectively attacked the Hamrick administration and will pull the upset.
Don Allen (R) 51 percent
Raymond Hamrick (D) 49 percent
N.C. House Dist. 110 and 112
Debbie Clary (R) and Bob England (D), respectively, cruise to easy wins.
N.C. House Dist. 111
Nice late surge by Betsy Fonvielle, but it won't quite be enough to overcome the incumbent. Look for closer margin than expected, though.
Tim Moore (R) 53 percent
Betsy Fonvielle (D) 47 percent
N.C. Senate Dist. 46
My gut tells me this could be the closest race on election night. The tie goes to the incumbant.
Walter Dalton (D) 51
Wes Westmoreland 49 (R)
I'll be honest, this is a total guess. One refrain I've heard alot this year: It's so nice to have four qualified candidates. By the way, the percentages are too confusing on these multi-seat races, so I'm just picking the winners:
Jo Boggs (D)
Bill Chambless (R)
Control of U.S. House and Senate
Late surge by GOP (Kerry gaffe) will allow it to hold Senate at 51-49 while losing 18 house seats and, hence, control of that body.
Control of N.C. House and Senate
Democrats hold on to both easily.