Democrats will win in state, have mixed national results

Joshua Horton

Joshua Horton

One of my favorite shows is Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

Every so often he does a skit called “In the Year 2000,” in which he and a celebrity guest wear large lighted-bead necklaces and give out predictions on just about everything in the coming years.

All of the predictions are just silly and make little sense, but, hey, it’s still incredibly entertaining.

So for your enjoyment and or pleasure here are my political predictions for 2004.

This next fall South Dakotan’s will have some very tough choices. Our lone U.S. House of Representatives seat will be highly contested as Stephanie Herseth runs as a Democrat.

I predict that John Thune will make another run at the seat despite his pre-office commitment of only serving for three terms in the House.

It will be a long and hard campaign, but the up-and-coming Herseth will win by a large margin.

Senator Daschle will once again run for re-election against an unknown Republican. He will win by a decent margin.

In the national scene, the United States House of Representatives will move to Democratic control.

The Senate will see the Democrats loose more seats than they gain, but they will still hold control over 40 seats, which will give them enough votes to block any extreme legislation that the Republicans might want to press forward in 2004.

Issues that will be key will include the war on terror and Iraq.

I expect that Afghanistan will once again take the spotlight as the situation continues to decline in that country.

The war on terror will be key to the Republican’s strategy. Democrats will mount the argument that more multilateral action must be taken, but for that to be done, Bush must be willing to give up the majority of the authority in Iraq to the United Nations.

The economy will remain a highlight of the Democrats strategy as they argue that losing 2.9 million jobs under Bush’s watch is unacceptable.

They will be divided on how to fix the situation as some support repealing the tax cuts and others do not.

Medicare will come up again as seniors will feel limited effects of the recently passed Medicare legislation.

This issue will backfire on Republicans because the bill does not take effect until 2006, so seniors will be unhappy by election time next fall.

The question of gay marriage will also be an issue.

How it will be used?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Democrats will argue in certain regions that more rights should be given to gay couples.

Republicans will fight back and try to pass legislation that gives some rights to gay couples. Things such as shared insurance and visitation rights will be offered in an effort to limit the Democrat arguments.

Labor rights will be a huge issue.

I expect to see labor unions do more than they ever have to remove Bush from office because of his severe anti-labor stands. The issue of overtime pay will be a strong motivator for middle class families to vote against him.

Finally, who will be our next President?

Well I think that we will see a Dean/Bush race.

Dean will ask Arizona Senator John McCain, a former Republican presidential contender, to join him as his running mate.

McCain will accept the offer, and he will switch to the Democratic Party.

It will be a brutal race, but the Democrats will win the day. Election year 2004 will be the most competitive year we have seen in this nation in a very long time.

Reach Joshua Horton at [email protected].