While it’s natural to become caught up in the main event of the horse race that is the presidential contest, in many ways, it’s those down-ballot races that have the most impact in the long run. And 2012 is no exception, with party control of the Senate in the balance and the margin of the GOP House majority a critical factor in the next administration, whoever heads it.
A remarkable number of crucial races are being contested between politicos with asteroid referents for their names, and taking a look at how these factor into the Election Day sky may give us a preview of what to expect when the balloon drops have been cleared and the make-up of the new 113th Congress becomes apparent.
Among the most hotly contested, terrestrially and celestially, is the Massachusetts Senate race between GOP incumbent Scott Brown and Dem challenger Elizabeth Warren. Brown won a special election in January 2010 to fill the remainder of deceased incumbent Ted Kennedy’s final term, a result which broke the 60-vote filibuster-proof majority Democrats had held in the Senate for the first year of the Obama administration. Ironically, Warren’s candidacy is a direct result of that disruption, as she had been headed for the top post at the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until an entrenched GOP minority frustrated her nomination, thus freeing her for a political career.
Polling in the race has teetered back and forth between the contenders for months, with results rarely falling outside the margin of error. If the GOP hopes to regain control of the US Senate, it is crucial that Brown holds his seat. The importance of this race to the future political make-up in the nation’s capitol is prefigured by the exact conjunction of asteroids Massachusetts (#4547) and Washingtonia (#886) at 3 Aquarius on Election Day, exactly squared Saturn (government) at 3 Scorpio.
There are asteroids for both first and last names of both contenders, and on November 6, 2012, these are placed so as to suggest an edge for one candidate. Asteroid Elisabetha (#412, for Elizabeth) at 19 Sagittarius is conjunct Mars at 22 Sagittarius, signifying a fighter and perhaps the victor. Both points also oppose Jupiter, the “Greater Benefic”, ruling politics and luck, at 14 Gemini.
Asteroid Scott (#876) at 6 Ariesis closely conjoined Uranus at 5 Aries, perhaps signaling disruption or an upset. Scott also exactly opposes asteroid Achilles, representing the weak spot or point of undoing, at 6 Virgo, which is itself conjoined asteroid Warren (#5597) at 11 Virgo, aptly depicting the struggle between the candidates and perhaps identifying Warren as Scott’s Achilles heel.
Asteroid Warren is also sextile the 14 Scorpio Sun and squared to both Elisabetha and Jupiter, forming a T-Square. Asteroid Brown (#1643) at 27 Libra is still within orb of Saturn, now moved on to 3 Scorpio, which could signal a loss or limitation for Brown, though Saturn can also be an indicator of success or authority. Asteroid Brown is also exactly opposed to asteroid Kassandra at 27 Aries, suggesting that Senator Brown may find it difficult to enlist others’ support or that they do not find him believable or credible in some sense.
In Brown’s birth chart (born 12 September 1959), the 19 Virgo Sun is encumbered by asteroids Warren at 23 Virgo in conjunction and Elisabetha at 19 Gemini in exact square, with transit Elisabetha exactly opposing her natal degree on Election Day and thus forming an exact T-Square with Brown’s natal Sun. Brown’s natal Washingtonia at 5 Libra is exactly opposed by transit Uranus, another possible indicator of disruption in his political career.
Warren’s (born 22 June 1949) nativity also shows some repressive, limiting energies directed toward her opponent, with asteroid Brown at 29 Leo conjoined by Saturn at 1 Virgo, and asteroid Scott at 15 Pisces tag-teamed by a tight inconjunct from Pluto at 14 Leo and a broad square from Mars at 8 Gemini. Transit Saturn at 3 Scorpio is creeping up on her natal Washingtonia at 5 Scorpio, a possible indicator that her new career venue will be the nation’s capitol.
Taken together, this seems to favor a Warren victory.
Another close race which could decide the Senate’s balance is in Wisconsin, where popular former Republican governor Tommy Thompson is squaring off against Democratic congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. The seat is currently held by retiring Democrat Herb Kohl, and was looked at as a likely GOP pick-up to increase their Senate margin, with Thompson polling well ahead of Baldwin by double digits for much of the spring and summer. But after the DNC, Baldwin rose in the polls, and has maintained a slim lead within the margin or error ever since.
When I describe these contenders as “squaring off,” that was no idle choice of words. As with Massachusetts, both candidates have asteroids representing both their first and last names, and on Election Day we find asteroid Tammy (#3403) at 27 Cancer in an exact square with asteroid Thomas (#2555, for “Tommy”) at 27 Libra, well depicting their struggle. That the winner of this race could determine the balance of power in Washington is shown by the exact T-Square created by the addition of the nation’s Pluto, ruling power, at 27 Capricorn, into the mix. Thomas conjoins Saturn, always difficult to call when the issue is career or government, in that it can bring success and advancement, or restrict and limit. Tammy is semisquare Jupiter at 14 Gemini, which is thus also sesquiquadrate to Thomas, so both candidates are receiving that Jovian boost to their campaigns.
Additionally, asteroid Thomsen (#2064, homophone for “Thompson”) at 21 Scorpio is within orb of the Election Day Sun at 14 Scorpio, highlighting his prospects. This also places Thomas in a tight semisextile to victorious Mars at 22 Sagittarius; a minor aspect, but perhaps enough to shift the balance of the race in his favor.
But again there is conflicting data, for asteroid Baldwin (#4831) falls at 19 Leo, in a close trine to Mars, a much more supportive aspect. Baldwin is also squared the Sun, repeating the solar emphasis provided to Thomsen, but bringing more energy, and slightly tighter in orb.
These two sets of asteroids are remarkably evenly matched, so we can turn to natal charts to see how the candidates interact more directly. Perhaps the most stunning synastric combination is an exact match of Thompson’s asteroid Thomas with Baldwin’s natal Sun at 22 Aquarius, implying not just a unity of focus at some point in their lives (even if their goals are opposed), but also that Thompson has the ability to “sit on” Baldwin’s essential self, perhaps dampening her ambitions.
The candidates are naturally in conflict, with both having Sun opposed Uranus which square each other’s, thus creating a Grand Cross between them (for Thompson, Sun 26 Scorpio opposed Uranus 28 Taurus; squared Baldwin’s 22 Aquarius Sun opposed Uranus 28 Leo). None of these points is strongly activated on Election Day, but transit asteroid Thomsen at 21 Scorpio is applying to Thompson’s natal Sun, which could give him a boost.
Thompson’s natal Thomsen lies at 3 Aquarius, which is conjunct Baldwin’s repressive Saturn at 4 Aquarius, but it’s also the exact degree of Election Day’s asteroid Washingtonia, which could signal Thompson’s move to the capitol.
Another potential indicator of Thompson’s hegemony could be his natal Washingtonia at 13 Virgo, conjoined on Election Day by transit Karma at 14 Virgo, suggesting some fated development regarding DC. Thompson is also embroiled in a Jupiter return currently, a period which inaugurates a “reset” of luck, reward and reputation, and Jupiter at 14 Gemini will be exactly squared Karma on Election Day.
However, natal Tammy at 10 Leo for Thompson conjoins natal Pluto at 5 Leo, so she could be an agent affecting his power, presumably adversely. Thompson’s natal asteroid Baldwin at 25 Cancer is trine his Sun, and will have been transited by asteroid Tammy at 27 Cancer just days before the election, bringing together both his opponent’s names in an aspect not noted for its inimical nature.
Baldwin also sports some interesting patterns vis-a-vis these asteroids. With natal Thomsen and Baldwin conjoined from 29 Pisces and 3 Aries, we again see these two opponents fated to be joined in some sort of mutual effort or endeavor, and with transit Uranus close by Baldwin at 5 Aries on Election Day, the disruption and upset may be hers.
Uranus can also represent insurgency or revolution, but since neither candidate is an incumbent and the Dems already hold the seat, a Baldwin insurgency doesn’t fit the circumstances. More disruptive would be a Republican pick-up, and this may be reiterated by the day’s Sun at 14 Scorpio very closely aligned with Baldwin’s natal Neptune at 13 Scorpio, which could spell disappointment for her.
But she does have natal Tammy at 18 Sagittarius conjunct the Election Day Mars, the victorious warrior, at 22 Sagittarius, which can have positive results. Baldwin is also undergoing a major shift in planetary relationships, in the form of transit Saturn at 3 Scorpio square natal Saturn at 4 Aquarius. This can be a formative period, but the waning square here is more likely to express as a crisis of consciousness than any dramatic alteration in career, which is more in keeping with energy of the waxing square. Baldwin’s natal asteroid Thomas ties to this from 2 Taurus, creating a T-Square, and could indicate Thompson as the source of Saturn’s limiting, restrictive energy.
Again, taking all into consideration, this seems a probable Republican win to me, though likely by a very narrow margin, and potentially complicated by vote fraud in key districts.
Another close Senate race is in Connecticut, where pro wrestling mogul Linda McMahon is making a second run at a Senate seat after losing to Democrat Richard Blumenthal in 2010. This year her opponent is Representative Chris Murphy, and again, the polling has been largely within the margin of error since August.
McMahon has an exact celestial referent in asteroid Linda (#7169), which appears at 1 Sagittarius on Election Day, closely conjoined Mercury at 4 Sagittarius, which rules the voting process. Murphy is represented by asteroid Christophe (#1698, for “Chris”), which at 18 Virgo is squared to Mars, but Mercury’s rulership of tabulation and its populist connections, as well as McMahon’s prior experience in mounting a Senate campaign, may swing the day her way.
The North Dakota Senate race came out of nowhere to be one of the most hotly contested in the nation. When Kent Conrad announced his retirement this year, Democrats seemed certain to lose the seat, but former ND Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp trailing freshman GOP congressman Rick Berg by double digits as recently as August, has suddenly caught him in an exact tie, with both candidates garnering 47% of the vote.
On Election Day asteroid Heidi (#2521) falls at 6 Sagittarius, close to Mercury (the vote) at 4 Sagittarius and in an even closer trine to insurgent Uranus at 5 Aries, while opposing Jupiter (luck, politics) at 14 Gemini.
Asteroid Berg (#4528) at 29 Aries is in an out-of-Sign opposition to Saturn at 3 Scorpio, which, with no incumbent running, could indicate success. But asteroid Berg is also conjoined asteroid Kassandra at 27 Aries, putting candidate Berg’s credibility into doubt.
Kassandra can also be about relatability, how well an individual connects with others, and Heitkamp has created her blitz in the polls with several very clever ads highlighting her common touch. In one she relates her personal experience of breast cancer, and then cudgels Berg for his support of changes to Medicare. In another, she appears at a batting cage, knocking out ball after ball, while describing the negative ads out-of-state interests have been pitching at her campaign. Her favorability numbers shot up along with her polling, and this race is now as close as they come.
All things considered, I give a slight edge to Heitkamp for this one.
Two House races of interest involve outspoken GOP wingnuts Michele Bachmann (Minnesota’s 6th district) and Joe Walsh (Illinois’ 8th district), both of whom are facing stiff challenges from Democratic rivals.
Bachmann made a splash last yearwith her presidential run, winning the Ames straw poll in August 2011, only to come in fourth at the Iowa caucus and drop out of the race last January. Noted for her controversial stances and fact-challenged utterances, Bachmann is receiving considerable heat from opponent Jim Graves, a Minnesota hotel magnate with no prior political experience.
Bachmann, the founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, has been noted for her controversial statements, gaffes, and fact-challenged rhetoric, and is currently serving her third term in Congress. Her political style has made her a national figure, beloved of some constituents and loathed by others. The race with Graves has been in a statistical tie since August, though redistricting in the wake of the 2010 census has redrawn the Sixth District along lines even more favorable for the Republican incumbent.
On Election Day, asteroid James (#2335, for “Jim”) appears at 4 Scorpio, conjunct Saturn at 3 Scorpio and squared asteroid Washingtonia at 3 Aquarius. Asteroid Graves (#18824) at 24 Leo is closely trined Mars at 22 Sagittarius.
As always, Saturn is difficult to call, but is more likely to manifest as a career change or success if the native is not already entrenched in that career, an outsider trying to break in. The square from James to Washingtonia could indicate a move to the nation’s capitol, and the supportive trine from Graves to victorious Mars is a highly favorable aspect.
Bachmann is represented by asteroid Michelle (#1376), which at 25 Cancer is largely unaspected, but does square asteroid Kassandra at 27 Aries, possibly bringing up issues of the congresswoman’s credibility. Transit Michelle is also about to encounter natal Uranus at 28 Cancer, something which could provoke disruption or upset of the status quo.
Born 6 April 1956, incredibly, Bachmann’s 17 Aries Sun is conjoined by both asteroid referents for her opponent, Graves at 14 Aries and James at 24 Aries, implying, as with the Baldwin/Thompson race above, an ability by the Democratic challenger to “sit on” Bachmann’s ambitions.
But her natural affinity with the job she currently holds is strong, as evinced by a natal T-Square involving Venus and Michelle at 2 and 10 Gemini opposed Saturn at 2 Sagittarius and squared Washingtonia at 5 Pisces, identifying her personally (asteroid Michelle) as a female (Venus) legislator (Saturn) on the national level (Washingtonia). However, that natal Washingtonia is hit exactly by transit Chiron at 5 Pisces on Election Day, squared Mercury (the vote) at 4 Sagittarius, which together looks very much like a wound and a probable loss.
Perhaps as outspoken and extreme as they come, Illinois congressman Joe Walsh is having difficulty keeping his political head above water as well. A YouTube sensation during the 2010 campaign for his volatile views on healthcare reform, Walsh rivals Bachmann for wild, unsupported statements and expressed extremist Tea Party views far from the mainstream of science and rational thought.
Walsh is finishing his first term in Washington, and won his seat in a surprising upset against a three-term incumbent in 2010, with the slim victory margin of 291 votes. Also threatened by redistricting, Walsh’s Democratic opponent is Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and helicopter pilot who lost both legs in combat, the first US female double amputee from the war. Despite the pathos of these credentials, Duckworth lost an earlier bid for this seat in 2006.
Although polling showed Duckworth as much as 14 points ahead in late September, Walsh has been gaining and the race has tightened, with the much-touted “Romney surge” post-debate accounting for much of his progress.
Asteroid Tammy (#3403) represents Duckworth, and at 27 Cancer is in an out-of-sign square with Saturn at 3 Scorpio, something which could either support or limit a challenger.
As the incumbent, Walsh’s Saturn contacts are potentially more significant, and more likely to result in loss, with asteroid Walsh (#7398) at 9 Taurus opposed both Saturn and the Sun at 3 and 14 Scorpio.
But the solar opposition does grant potentially positive attention and illumination, and asteroid Josefa (#649, for “Joe”) at 9 Sagittarius conjunct Mercury at 4 Sagittarius argues for a good showing at the polls, by fair means or foul.
Other indicators of possible discomfiture for Walsh (born 27 December 1961) include the transit Sun on Election Day, which at 14 Scorpio has just conjoined his natal Neptune, spelling disappointment, at 12 Scorpio. Additionally, Duckworth’s (born 12 March 1968) natal Neptune at 26 Scorpio falls exactly on Walsh’s natal Tammy, possibly identifying her as the source of his disappointment. Her natal Josefa at 24 Capricorn conjoins Walsh’s limiting, restrictive Saturn at 29 Capricorn, also opposed by Duckworth’s natal Walsh at 23 Cancer and exactly squared by her natal Washingtonia at 29 Aries, forming a T-Square. Duckworth’s 22 Pisces Sun is exactly squared by victorious Mars at 22 Sagittarius on Election Day. As the race looks now, Duckworth should win, but I’m not counting Walsh out just yet, with that Josefa/Mercury conjunction.
The jury is still out for me on how determinative asteroid placements are. As descriptors, they certainly depict the energies and conflicts of the day, but do they foretell outcomes? Election 2012 will give us a good chance to see how they fall out in practice.