Aug. 10 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 289   McCain 236   Ties 13
Senate Dem 56   GOP 44  
House Dem 241   GOP 194  

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strong Dem Strong Dem (172)
weak Dem Weak Dem (81)
barely Dem Barely Dem (36)
tied Exactly tied (13)
barely GOP Barely GOP (44)
weak GOP Weak GOP (95)
strong GOP Strong GOP (97)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: (None) RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IN IA NV NM GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo Crisis in Georgia Enron Politics
Hot, Flat and Crowded McCain Considers Lieberman for Veep
Edwards Challenged to Take Paternity Test National Security May Still Be Top Issue

News from the Votemaster

John Edwards' former temporary girlfriend, Rielle Hunter, does not want him to take a paternity test. Her attorney said that she was a private person and she was convinced that Andrew Young is the father, something Young admits. Edwards says he broke off with Hunter more than 9 months prior to the birth of Hunter's daughter. How come everybody's got an attorney these days to speak for them? Is she worried about being indicted for adultery? In most states only the married person is legally guilty of adultery and it is not a crime everywhere. However, in Michigan the sentence is life imprisonment whereas in Maryland the punishment is a fine of $10. This story is getting a lot of attention because there is no other news now except the Olympics. (Actually, there is a brand new war in Georgia, but if the newspapers printed that, most Americans would think General Sherman was back.)

Everything is political these days, even vacations. Barack Obama is on vacation in Hawaii this week. But as Politico points out, vacations are dangerous for politicians. John Kerry once went snowboarding in Idaho and went windsurfing in Nantucket Sound another time. The Republicans used these destinations to show how elistist he was. Bill Clinton was a lot smarter and had his pollsters check out how possible vacation destinations would play with the public before making a choice. It is no accident that George Bush and Ronald Reagan loved being photographed clearing brush on their respective ranches. While the Republicans will no doubt try to label Obama as elitist for going to Hawaii, he can make the case that he is just visiting his home state, where he has family. But the essence of modern campaigning is to pick a theme and just hammer on it 24 hours a day. The Republicans have picked elitism to hit Obama with and everything he does is seen in that light. McCain is too cautious to take real vacations. He just goes to his "ranch" in Sedona, Arizona (which like Bush's and Reagan's are not ranches at all, just houses with a lot of property). If the Democrats were to pick "too old" as their theme, they could hit McCain for not being up to the rigors of a real vacation or not daring to go to the beach because he has had skin cancer so often. Is this really the best way to pick a President?

Key evangelical leaders are worried sick. Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, and The Call leader Lou Engle are holding events Saturday to counter a joint appearance by John McCain and Barack Obama at pastor Rick Warren's megachurch in Orange County the same day. They are very concerned because Warren is a hugely influential religious leader and best-selling author who is more concerned with what Christians should do rather than what they shouldn't do. He feels they have an obligation to fight poverty, disease, and ignorance rather than working full time to ban abortion and bash gays. It is understandable that people who have devoted their lives to using religion as a cover for their political views would find someone like Warren extremely threatening. If McCain continues to be less than enthusiastic about their issues and they oppose all Democrats on principle, they have no horse in this race and that's rather disconcerting, hence the attempt to drum up attention and try to force McCain to the right. But it is unlikely he will give them anything more than lip service since he needs the votes from independents to win.

No state polls today. Gallup's national daily tracking poll puts Obama ahead by 5 points. Rasmussen's daily poll puts McCain up by 1 point.

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-- The Votemaster