I love political predictions. Here are a few through calendar year 2010.
- Additional scandals break out tarnishing not only local Republicans but also Democrats. I suspect before the end of the year the Prosecutor's Office, IMPD and the Sheriff's Office will all implicated in various scandals. Expect more on the Securatex and Durham fronts. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if you see a "pay for play" scandal featuring Mayor Ballard's administration. Lord knows the administration is doing a lot right now with a wink and a nod. That's not far from a quid pro quo.
- Expect the water deal to grow in unpopularity. The Ballard administration will push it nonetheless. Whether it is a good deal or not, it clearly is not a good political issue. People are skeptical of privatization and when you do something like sell a public asset it is even less popular.
- Expect Bart McAtee to win fairly handily over slated Dennis Fishburn in the Republican primary for Marion County Sheiff. My guess is 62% to 38%. Marion County GOP Chairman Tom John will refuse to support McAtee in the general election.
- Terry Curry pulls out a win for prosecutor in the Democratic primary but Marion County Assessor Greg Bowes runs a surprisingly close race. I'm predicting 56-44 in Curry's favor.
- Even though it will be an excellent year nationally for the GOP, Marion County Republicans will lose every county-wide race. Both McAtee (for Sheriff) and Massa (for Prosecutor) will be make valiant runs but come up short. Massa won't be able to overcome the Democrats' efforts to tie him to scandal-prone Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi. McAtee, having sustained damage from the bitter Republican primary, will come up a little short in an otherwise good Republican year.
- Look for Republicans to win back Rep. John Barnes seat on the east side. Democrat Mary Ann Sullivan on the southside will squeak through. All other Indianapolis area legislative incumbents will be re-elected.
- Look for Council Democrats to begin working on their campaign message against a second Ballard term. Watch for them to crank up the criticism of Ballard on the following fronts: 1) lack of leadership; 2) junkets; 3) tax/fee increases. You might also see the D's use the water company deal against Ballard. Contrary to the claim of Ballard's overpaid political advisors, this is not going to be a good political issue for him. At best it's neutral.
- Expect the Republicans on the City-County Council to start showing some more independence as they start reading the tea leaves and come to realize the unpopular Ballard is destined for a crushing election loss in 2011.
- Expect Carlos May to defeat Butler Professor Marvin Scott in a very close primary. I'm predicting 52-48. Tony Samuels can tell May how difficult it is for even a slated Republican to to beat Scott, with his instant name ID, in the 7th District primary. It's even worse now because the organization is even weaker than when Samuels ran several years ago. Nonetheless, I will make May a slight favorite. Nobody in the GOP has more energy right now and is more deserving of a victory.
- In the 4th, expect at least one, maybe two, make a run at Secretary of State Todd Rokita. Last poll showed Rokita at 40% with the next closest challenger being State Senator Mike Young at 10%. I thought Rokita's 40% (which is strictly a name ID number) was surprisingly low and certainly represents the high water mark for his campaign. Expect Rokita to squeak out a close victory, aided immensely by the split field.
- Dan Coats will win a close primary but Republicans will deeply regret his victory as he goes on to the general election with so much lobbyist baggage he will be ripped to shreds by Ellsworth in the Fall.
Some long shots I am not predicting but could very well happen.
- Ballard takes a nice cushy job inthe private sector and opts to not run for re-election. 25% chance.
- Tom John resigns after the 2010 elections. 30%
- Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi is facing federal charges while still in office. 35%
- Ryan Vaughn chooses to not run for another term and moves out of county. 20%
Enough for now.