Ethan: You ready to put a dollar on the line and predict a few outcomes for the coming election?

Phil: Being a passionate liberal, I would have thought you would spend more than a buck, but indeed I’m in.

Ethan: Just so our readers know the score, as it stands today, I am 3-0 in our head-to-head prediction contests. Those three signed dollar bills sit proudly on my desk.

Phil: And they will sit proudly on mine when they are returned.

Ethan: OK, let’s start with Susan Collins versus Shenna Bellows for U.S. Senate.

Phil: You’re joking, right?

Ethan: While I am sure we both agree that Sen. Collins will win re-election, how about we predict the over/under on whether Bellows breaks 30 percent? As a reminder, Chellie Pingree and Tom Allen got 41 percent and 39 percent against her, respectively.

Phil: Yes, we do agree that Sen. Collins will win. Although Bellows has run a very spirited campaign, I am taking the under. With Sen. Collins being so popular, only your hardest core Democrats and a few libertarian independents will stick with her.

Ethan: While I agree with you that Sen. Collins is very popular, Bellows has beaten expectations every step of the way. She’s raised more money. She’s walked more miles. And she’s handled herself better in the debates than anyone thought she would. She’ll beat 30 percent.

Phil: Whichever of us is correct, Sen. Collins will be in rare air winning her fourth term and joining the ranks of Margaret Chase Smith and Edmund Muskie.

Ethan: She’ll only need to win two more to match our longest-ever-serving senator, Republican William Frye of Lewiston. He won six elections from 1881 to 1911. Didn’t you serve with him?!

Phil: Very funny. You make a poor imitation of David Letterman. Shall we turn our attention to the CD1 race between Democrat Chellie Pingree, Republican Isaak Misiuk and Independent Richard Murphy?

Ethan: The only question here is whether Misiuk can stay out of third, where the statewide student Mock Election placed him this week.

Phil: You must be thinking of Democrats Libby Mitchell and Cynthia Dill when you speak of third-place finishes.

Ethan: A streak that will end this year in the governor’s race. But we’ll predict that race later. I say the CD1 race lands with Pingree at 58 percent, Misiuk at 27 percent and Murphy at 15 percent.

Phil: I expect you are correct that Misiuk will stay out of the cellar. If voters tuned into the debate with Pat Callaghan on WCSH6, Misiuk far outshined Murphy. In the end, I’ll say Pingree 56, Misiuk 31 and Murphy 13.

Ethan: OK, how about the Legislature? Are you predicting a repeat of 2010 in which the whole shebang flips to the dark side? Or do the forces of light prevail with Democrats retaining control?

Phil: Republicans will gain seats, but not enough to regain control. They will need to win back my old Senate seat covering Yarmouth and a few others without losing any incumbents. I’m thinking Republicans will pick up a net one from the Dems but come up just short of the prize: 18-17 Democrats. I’ll leave predicting the state House to others.

Ethan: I agree that Democrats hold the Senate, although I believe they maintain their current margin of 19-16. They have one slam dunk pick-up in Windham with former Sen. Bill Diamond and your old Senate seat isn’t going R. That means they could lose three incumbents and still be solidly in control, and that’s without any surprise pickups elsewhere (Ellsworth? Waldo County?).

Phil: Since we both know that the U.S. House will stay in the hands of the party of freedom and prosperity, let’s discuss the U.S. Senate. You going against the tide and predicting that Darth “Harry Reid” Vader finds a way to maintain control of the Death Star?

Ethan: Those are some pretty good pop culture references for an old geezer like yourself, but maybe you could find some that are less than four decades old.

Phil: OK, Jimmy Fallon. How about, “Will Voldemort retain control of Hogwarts?”

Ethan: Dick Cheney is Voldemort.

Phil: Stop stalling and make your prediction.

Ethan: Fine, but this one is killing me. While everything leans Republicans’ way, the odds of them taking control is between 60 percent and 65 percent. Statistically, that is certainly not a slam dunk. Plus, with two or three races possibly going into overtime – we’ll probably need run-offs in Louisiana and Georgia – we may not actually know who controls until January.

Phil: And our dear readers will never know your prediction if you don’t stop filibustering. Here, let me help you. The Republicans will take control. Not only will they take control, I predict they take it 53-47, unless Angus switches sides, in which case it’ll go 54-48.

Ethan: God save us, but I fear you may be right. OK, I think I have to go with my head here and not my heart.

Phil: You mean act like a Republican instead of a Democrat?

Ethan: Do Republicans even have hearts?

Phil: Touche. Your prediction, please?

Ethan: Using my head and deducing through simple logic, I say Republicans will remain in the minority. The final count will be 50-50, and Joe Biden will become the deciding vote.

Phil: As you say, God help us.

Ethan: So, what about the governor’s race, 2nd Congressional District and the bear-baiting referendum?

Phil: Patience, young Jay Leno. Those will come next week.