Electoral Vote Predictor 2004:   Kerry 284   Bush 247

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electoral college strong kerry Strong Kerry (103)
electoral college weak kerry Weak Kerry (125)
electoral college barely kerry Barely Kerry (56)
electoral college tied Exactly tied (7)
electoral college barely bush Barely Bush (64)
electoral college weak bush Weak Bush (45)
electoral college strong bush Strong Bush (138)
Needed to win: 270
Oct. 19 New polls: AR CO FL NH NJ OH OK PA TN WA RSS

News from the Votemaster

Kerry keeps moving up in the electoral college. A new Survey USA poll shows he has now inched ahead of Bush in Florida, although his 1% lead means the state is still a statistical tie. Nevertheless, we now show Kerry with more than the critical 270 votes in the electoral college to win. Perhaps more signficant, though, is the fact that in states where Kerry's lead is at least 5%, he has 228 electoral votes. In states where Bush's lead is at least 5%, he has 183 electoral votes. Clearly the race is still wide open.

If you love horror stories, Slate has a good one for you by Richard L. Hasen. In it, he describes five ways the presidential election could end up in the Supreme Court. Briefly summarized, they are:

- Voting glitches involving electronic or other voting machines
- Litigation over which provisional ballots are valid
- A fight over the Colorado amendment to split the electoral vote
- A tie in the electoral college or a faithless elector
- A terrorist attack that disrupts voting in a swing state

Are the voters stupid? It is not considered politically correct to point out that an awful lot of voters don't have a clue what they are talking about. A recent poll from Middle Tennessee State University sheds some light on the subject. For example, when asked which candidate wants to roll back the tax cuts for people making over $200,000 a year, a quarter thought it was Bush and a quarter didn't know. And it goes down hill from there. When asked which candidate supports specific positions on various issues, the results were no better than chance. While this poll was in Tennessee, I strongly suspect a similar poll in other states would get similar results. I find it dismaying that many people will vote for Bush because they want to tax the rich (which he opposes) or vote for Kerry because they want school vouchers for religious schools (which he opposes).

Senate News: A new Garin Hart Yang (D) poll in Kentucky shows the race between incumbent Sen. Jim Bunning and challenger Dr. Daniel Mongiardo to be an exact tie. Bunning should have won reelection in a walk, but his increasingly bizarre behavior is catching up with him. He showed a picture of an expensive house to the press and claimed it was Mongiardo's (it wasn't), then he said Mongiardo looked like one of Saddam's sons, and finally he cheated during the debate by hiding in the Republican National Committee Headquarters and using a TelePrompTer, leading to speculation that he has serious mental problems. For these reasons, I have moved Kentucky to the list of competitive seats on the Senate page.

In South Carolina, Republican senatorial candidate Jim DeMint has apologized for saying that gays and unwed mothers should be forbidden from teaching in the public schools. But he didn't retract the statement. His race there against Inez Tenenbaum, the state's school superintendent, is also surprisingly close. In Oklahoma, Tom Coburn has repeatedly tried to unsay things (such as his supporting the death penalty for abortionists--and this coming from an obstetrician who has personally performed abortions). Finally, In the Illinois Senate race, Marylander Alan Keyes has opposed gay couples raising children saying: "If we do not know who the mother is, who the father is, without knowing all the brothers and sisters, incest becomes inevitable." Republicans are a lot livelier this year than usual. And the liveliness seems to be working. My current projection shows the new Senate with 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats (including independent Jeffords) and 2 tossups, but 8 or 9 races there are very close and change from day to day.

Projected Senate: 45 Democrats, 52 Republicans, 1 independent, 2 tossups
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