In July and September, I predicted the Democrats would flip the Senate in 2021. Based on October polls, I’m even more positive.

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INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHO DONALD TRUMP WILL CALL “LOSERS” IN NOVEMBER INCLUDE (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): MAINE’S SUSAN COLLINS, MONTANA’S STEVE DAINES, COLORADO’S CORY GARDNER, ARIZONA’S MARTHA McSALLY, AND NORTH CAROLINA’S THOM TILLIS.

In early July, I presented the original version of this thesis on how and why the Democratic Party would flip the U.S. Senate this November. I updated that prediction in late September in this Medium essay. Now that we are just four days until Election Day, I felt it was time to make a final assessment based on all the recent news developments, polling data, and my own political instincts.

Having outlined in previous essays the many reasons why this year’s Senate elections are the most important in decades, in this piece I’ll just stick to the updated race assessments. Again, there are 23 Republican Senate seats up for re-election in 2020. Back in July, I felt that 11 of them would definitely stay Red as “Solid Republican” seats. In September, I dropped that number to nine, leaving 14 races that ranged from “Likely Republican” to “Likely Democratic” with some “Leaning” one way or the other or considered “Toss-Ups.” Most pundits agree that of the two Democratic Senators up for re-election (Gary Peters in Michigan and Doug Jones in Alabama), the Alabama seat is considered “flip-able” for Republicans. For the Democrats to take over the Senate, at minimum they need to hold one incumbent seat and flip four more for the 50–50 legislative ties that can be broken by a Democratic Vice-President. So, holding that one seat and flipping five will give the Democrats a clear Senate majority. …


The Inside Story of How a New York Mets Fan’s Magazine Launch in 1983 Led to the Acquisition of the Franchise-Changing Player

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Note: This piece was first published on the website MetsMerized Online in 2009.

It all began in the fall of 1982, just after my 27th birthday. Since my early teenage years, I had dreamed of starting my own magazine about professional sports in New York. I remembered a short-lived magazine called “JOCK NEW YORK,” which published for one year in 1969, long enough to celebrate the Miracle Mets on its cover. It boasted writers like Dick Schaap and Jimmy Breslin. Even the legendary sports broadcaster Howard Cosell penned pieces for JOCK.

At 14, I was already a magazine fanatic and when JOCK folded, I remember saying to myself, “I’m going to publish a magazine like this one day — only better.” After starting my career at the late, great SPORT Magazine (1978–80), and then spending a year editing a magazine for the National Hockey League, I felt it was time to make the leap and start NEW YORK SPORTS Magazine. …


In July, I predicted the Democrats could control the Senate in 2021. Based on recent developments and polls, now I’m positive they will.

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INCUMBENT REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHO DONALD TRUMP WILL CALL “LOSERS” IN NOVEMBER INCLUDE (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): MAINE’S SUSAN COLLINS, MONTANA’S STEVE DAINES, COLORADO’S CORY GARDNER, ARIZONA’S MARTHA McSALLY, AND NORTH CAROLINA’S THOM TILLIS.

In early July, I presented the original version of this thesis on how and why the Democratic Party would flip the U.S. Senate this November. Now that we’ve hit the beginning of fall and now with a tad more than 40 days left until Election Day, and with major political developments in the mix, I felt it was time to update my earlier prediction.

Donald Trump’s hateful comments in The Atlantic about military service, his coming clean on tape to Bob Woodward about how he “played down” the coronavirus pandemic, and the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has significantly affected the Senate Races equation and hasn’t done any favors for Republicans running for re-election. …


The Iconic New York Mets Hurler Known As “Tom Terrific” Died on August 31 at 75, but His Legacy As One of the Greatest Pitchers In Baseball History Will Live Forever

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Until the breaking news alert flashed on my cell phone in the early evening of Wednesday, September 2, 2020, I hadn’t cried over Tom Seaver for 43 years. That time was also on a Wednesday — June 15, 1977 to be exact — when the New York Mets inexplicably and unconscionably traded my ultimate idol and the best pitcher in baseball to the Cincinnati Reds. It was aptly called the “Midnight Massacre,” and it was a dagger through my 21-year-old heart. Perhaps at that age, I should have handled the news in a more mature fashion, but I wasn’t ashamed over being distraught and almost inconsolable for days. …


The Hall of Fame pitcher and iconic New York Mets Baseball hero — who died last week at age 75 — won more than 300 games in his storied career. To a devoted Seaver fan who was there, this game Tom Terrific pitched 50 years ago is the most legendary.

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PHOTO COURTESY METSMERIZED ONLINE

[Author’s Note: This is an update of a piece originally written in April 2010 for the website Metsmerized Online.]

When on Wednesday evening September 2, I learned that my ultimate sports idol Tom Seaver had died two days before at the age of 75 (from a combination of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19), I was not only stunned and profoundly saddened by the news, but at a loss to figure out how I could express my thoughts in eulogy-like prose. So, I decided not to try. After shedding a few tears during the glowing tributes on the TV sports shows, I began making a mental list of all the iconic games I was fortunate enough to see Tom Seaver pitch in person. …


Donald Trump has been the vehicle and the vessel through which Right Wing White Supremacists can accomplish their fascistic policy goals.

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HISTORY WILL NOT DEAL KINDLY WITH DONALD TRUMP’S SYCOPHANTS AND ENABLERS

When I read the Twitter post last December, I knew it was finally time to respond. It wasn’t a pull-your-hair-out comment from a sycophantic right-wing Congressman or a Fox-brainwashed Trump supporter. It was a tweet from someone on the side of the good guys, the esteemed prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Vance, who posted during the Judiciary Committee’s Donald Trump Impeachment Hearings. As one “Republican” after another was maniacally denying obvious evidence of Donald Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors in the Ukraine scandal, Vance was compelled to comment:

“What is it that Republicans are willing to burn this country down for? Destroy the rule of law over? Is it for Trump? Is that the kind of future they want for our country?”


The USA could once boast of its greatness, but Donald Trump’s corrupt, incompetent Presidency not only hasn’t made America “great again,” he and his deplorable followers have depressingly decimated the notion that our country ever was exceptional.

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It has been just more than 50 years since Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced the “Five Stages of Grief” theory in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. Through the decades those stages — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance — have suggested how most people come to terms with the passing of a loved one. In fact, Kübler-Ross actually developed the concept to describe how terminally ill patients struggle to cope with their own impending mortality. …


With her Georgia-based organizations like Fair Fight 2020, Stacey Abrams — on Joe Biden’s VP shortlist — has become one of America’s leading voting rights activists.

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Stacey Abrams has become a national force of nature as she leads the fight against voter suppression in Georgia and around the country. Photo courtesy Debbie Elliott/NPR

When Stacey Abrams was the featured guest of a “virtual” conversation in the popular 92Y Talks series on Thursday June 11 (viewed on the 92Y website and on Facebook), nobody would have blamed her if she was still experiencing a range of emotions from frustration to outrage to downright anger. Just two days before, the Atlanta-based voting rights activist, potential Joe Biden Vice-Presidential running mate, and a victim of voter suppression in her 2018 race for Georgia Governor, had spent her entire day and evening watching the primary election process in her beloved state of Georgia totally implode. …


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IF FOUR REPUBLICAN SENATORS SUCH AS MAINE’S SUSAN COLLINS LOSE THEIR REELECTION BIDS THIS NOVEMBER, EVEN IF KENTUCKY REPUBLICAN MITCH McCONNELL WINS AGAIN HE’LL LOSE HIS SENATE MAJORITY LEADERSHIP POSITION TO NEW YORK DEMOCRATIC SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER.

During a year that isn’t punctuated by a pandemic, September wouldn’t be the midpoint of the Major League Baseball schedule. Buy even during this truncated season, Labor Day weekend is still the start of the pennant race. While not totally analogous, the same might be said for political races. When an election is in early November, the last two months of campaign is like the race for the pennant. If a candidate has a significant polling deficit in early September they might want to echo the legendary baseball philosopher Yogi Berra and optimistically claim “It ain’t over till it’s over,” but late season electoral comebacks are few and far between (that’s assuming there’s no Russia interference or massive Republican voter suppression). …


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Well, so much for the fancy, schmancy Political Science Degree (with Honors, BTW) from a City University in the Bronx.

A little more than two months ago, after Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren had officially endorsed Joe Biden as the 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee, it was time to play “Pick the Veep.” I wanted to be ahead of the prediction curve before it became the drinking game it’s been since May. …

About

Stephen Hanks

Award-Winning Magazine Editor/Writer who is a Patriotic and Passionate Progressive Pontificating on Politics, Media, Sports, Music, and Social Issues.

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