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Projected New Senate:     48 Democrats     51 Republicans     1 tie

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strong Dem Strong Dem (41)
weak Dem Weak Dem (6)
barely Dem Barely Dem (1)
tied Exactly tied (1)
barely GOP Barely GOP (1)
weak GOP Weak GOP (3)
strong GOP Strong GOP (47)
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Sep. 29 New polls: AZ CT MD MI MN MO NJ OH PA TN VA WA RSS
  Pickups: Montana Ohio Pennsylvania Rhode Island

News from the Votemaster

In Minnesota, a SurveyUSA poll has Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (D) ahead of Rep. Mark Kennedy by 51% to 43%. The gender gap, in which women favor the Demcrats and men favor the Republicans is an astounding 38% in this race.

In New Jersey, a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll puts incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez ahead for the first time in weeks, 45% to 44%, although this is in fact a statistical tie. For Menendez, a tie is good news as Kean had been leading for weeks.

Zogby has just released a whole new batch of polls for the Senate. Here they are. Incumbents are marked by asterisks and pickups by colors:

State Dem Dem % GOP GOP % Ind Ind %
PA Bob Casey 46 Rick Santorum* 40    
MN Amy Klobuchar 49 Mark Kennedy 40    
VA Jim Webb 44 George Allen* 49    
NJ Bob Menendez* 47 Tom Kean, Jr. 41    
MO Claire McCaskill 45 Jim Talent* 47    
OH Sherrod Brown 45 Mike DeWine* 41    
WA Maria Cantwell* 50 Mike McGavick 43    
CT Ned Lamont 44 Alan Schlesinger 05 Joe Lieberman* 46
TN Harold Ford, Jr. 42 Bob Corker 48    
MI Debbie Stabenow* 49 Mike Bouchard 42    
MD Ben Cardin 52 Michael Steele 39    
AZ Jim Pederson 44 Jon Kyl* 51    

The most noteworthy results are Tennessee, where Corker is now ahead again, Virginia, where Allen has taken the lead, New Jersey, where Menendez is playing catchup, and Missouri, where Talent has taken a small lead.

Over on the House side we have a surprising poll in NY-26. This was supposed to be an easy win for Republican incumbent Tom Reynolds. Instead, he is leading Democrat Jack Davis by only 45% to 43%, with the Green party candidate polling 8%. However, a court has just ruled that the Green party did not submit enough valid signatures, so their candidate will be stricken from the ballot. Undoubtedly some of those voters will go for Davis although some may stay home. This poll is from SurveyUSA.

In PA-06, which was expected to be tight, it is. In the last poll, a month ago, Democrat Lois Murphy had a slight lead. Now incumbent Rep. Jim Gerlach has pulled ahead, 44% to 41%.

The Republicans have chosen to hold their 2008 nominating convention in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. This is entirely in keeping with Karl Rove's strategy of hit the enemy where they are strongest. The Democrats are strong in the upper Midwest, so he wants the do battle there. The Democrats main contenders are Denver and New York.

The Washington Post has an interested story today about that perennial favorite--how the voters think that Congress is populated by corrupt, arrogant, incompetent, greedy, buffoons--except for the fine, upstanding, honorable person who represents them. The Democrats have to convince the voters that however distinguished their representativ is, it is time for a change in Washington. The Republicans have to convince the voters that if their own representative is doing an excellent job, he or she shouldn't be fired. In other countries this conflict rarely appears. People vote for a party and the actual individuals in the parliament don't matter much since everyone votes the party line all the time. In Congress everyone votes the party line most of the time too, but U.S. voters are often willing to vote for a person they like personally, even though he or she opposes them on the issues that matter to them. See this list of red states with Democratic senators and blue states with Republican senators (and governors). In theory, this cross-voting pattern could lead to bipartisanship, but we have seen precious little of that in the past six years.

Political Wire points out that President Bush's recent comment that history will judge the Iraq war as "just a comma" is an example of dog-whistle politics. The Republican party's right-wing Christian base fully understands he is talking about the Christian proverb "Never put a period where God has put a comma" but everyone else just ignores the remark. In 2004, he often referred to the Dred Scott case, something most people only vaguely recall, but the Base is keenly aware of this case as one the Supreme Court simply got wrong (ruling that runaway slaves were property and had to be returned to their lawful owners). By inference, Roe vs. Wade is another case they simply got wrong and will later be nullified. Remarks like these have Karl Rove's fingerprints all over them. The Democrats aren't very good at dog-whistle politics.

Projected New House*:     215 Democrats     220 Republicans
* Where no independent polls exist, the 2004 election results have been used. See complete House polls.
Senate election, House election, election 2006 Senate election, House election, election 2006 Senate election, House election, election 2006 Senate election, House election, election 2006 See the details of the Senate and House races with photos, maps, links, polls, etc.
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