Dec. 16 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 365   McCain 173  
Senate Dem 58   GOP 41   Ties 1
House Dem 256   GOP 178   Ties 1

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strong Dem Strong Dem (258)
weak Dem Weak Dem (33)
barely Dem Barely Dem (74)
tied Exactly tied (0)
barely GOP Barely GOP (14)
weak GOP Weak GOP (39)
strong GOP Strong GOP (120)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
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Presidential polls today: (None) RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO FL IN IA NV NM NC OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Reid Pushing Kennedy for Senate Seat Another Day, Another Press Conference
Jackson Has Been Working With Prosecutors Blagojevich Aide to Plead Guilty
Gingrich Rips RNC $900 Billion and Counting

News from the Votemaster

AP: Franken Could Pick Up 200 Votes on Challenged Ballots

The Associated Press examined the 5000 challenged ballots still in play during the weekend and estimated that Democrat Al Franken might pick up about 200 votes as a result. Currently, Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) is estimated to lead by about 192 votes. If Franken indeed gets 200 more votes, then he will lead by 8 votes out of 2.9 million cast. The official review of the challenged ballots will begin today. In addition, thousands of absentee ballots are yet to be reexamined.

Caroline Kennedy Wants Hillary Clinton's Senate Seat

Caroline Kennedy, President Kennedy's only living child, is interested in Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. This seat has been occupied before by people with no previous history of election to public office. Caroline's uncle, Bobby Kennedy, won the seat in 1964 and Hillary Clinton won it in 2000. However, one big difference with the current situation is that both of them got the seat by winning an election; Caroline might get it by being appointed to it. However, Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) has given no indication who he intends to appoint. Women's groups want Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Paterson himself would no doubt like to be rid of state attorney general Andrew Cuomo, who is likely to challenge him in a primary in 2010.

Blagojevich Impreachment Process Has Started

The Illinois state legislature has formed a committee consisting of 12 Democrats and 9 Republicans to determine whether Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) should be impeached. In addition, the state attorney general has appealed to the state supreme court trying to get the governor declared unfit for office.

Obama Names Two More Cabinet Secretaries

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to name the head of the Chicago school system, Arne Duncan, as secretary of education. Duncan has run the Chicago school system, for 7 years. With 400,000 students, it is the nation's third largest. Obama is also expected to name Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) as secretary of the interior. If Salazar joins the cabinet, Gov. Bill Ritter (D-CO) will appoint his successor.

Foreign Auto Companies Have Received $3.6 Billion in Subsidies

While Congress debates the $14 billion loan package for the big three, it is worth noting that foreign car companies received subsidies worth about $3.6 billion, mostly from southern states. Furthermore, these were outright gifts in the form of tax exemptions and the like, not loans. Republican senators from southern states who are adamantly against the bailout rarely mention that the plants in their states are not exactly based on pure capitalism as they have received massive subsidies to lure them there in the first place.

Two Republican Congressmen Plan to Retire in 2010

The retirements are already starting. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) have both indicated that they will not run for reelection to the House in 2010. Both are thought to be interested in higher office. King may run for senator or governor. Hoekstra is a possible gubernatorial candidate. Open seats are always a problem for the incumbent party since they are far more likely to flip than seats where an incumbent is running.

Reid Announces Committee Chairs

The Senate majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), has announced who will be chairing which committee in the new Senate. Here is the lineup:

Committee Chair
Aging Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Agriculture Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Appropriations Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Armed Services Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Budget Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Commerce, Science, and Transportation Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV)
Energy and Natural Resources Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Environment and Public Works Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Finance Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Foreign Relations Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
Homeland Security Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
Indian Affairs Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Intelligence Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Judiciary Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Rules and Administration Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Veterans Affairs Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI)

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