There have obviously been tricks played in the past several weeks as both candidates use their respective campaign machines to claw out a victory in a race that could indeed determine the course the state will take over the next four years.
The treats involved in the race are evident. A victory by Republican Scott would create a conservative trifecta in the Capital City. With conservatives fellow Republicans Dean Cannon and Mike Haridopolos in line to take over leadership in the House and Senate respectively, a Scott administration would definitely bode well.
Both leaders have promised a return to the right for a political party that for the past four years as been tethered to the middle by a non-ideological, Republican governor-turned-independent U.S. Senate candidate whose moderate platform and aspirations for higher office have frustrated GOP legislative leaders on such issues as abortion, insurance, public school teacher tenure and more.
A Sink administration, meanwhile, would undoubtedly hold the Legislature closer to the center on that same slate of issues. For Democrats, a Sink win would go a long way to hold back the tide of mid-term elections in which Republicans have benefited politically by a sputtering poor economy and a president whose popularity and organizational network have both been diminished.
Taking a note from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1932 campaign, Democrats are hoping that happy days will return again in two years if the economy as expected improves and President Barack Obama replaces the coattails he seems to have lost at least temporarily after backing controversial issues including major health care reform.
A major caveat is whether the already Republican-dominated Legislature can become more so by posting sufficient gains Tuesday to produce “veto-proof’ majorities in both chambers. Republicans in the 120-member House need to pick up only four seats to reach the magic number of 80, the necessary two-thirds needed to override a gubernatorial veto and pretty much dictate the rules for the next two years at least.
In the Senate, incoming President Haridopolis needs to gain only two seats to solidify his majority in the 40-member chamber. Leaders in both chambers are already speaking quietly about veto overrides that may take place after the Nov. 2 elections.
So the next two days will determine who gets the bag of candy and who becomes the proverbial Charlie Brown, looking into his bag at the end of a night of trick-or-treating to find his efforts have netted him a bag of rocks. Happy Halloween!
E-mail Michael Peltier at firstname.lastname@example.org.