Jun. 11 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 287   McCain 227   Ties 24
Senate: Dem 58   GOP 42  
House: Dem 238   GOP 197  

Senate map and races
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strong Dem Strong Dem (175)
weak Dem Weak Dem (59)
barely Dem Barely Dem (53)
tied Exactly tied (24)
barely GOP Barely GOP (17)
weak GOP Weak GOP (57)
strong GOP Strong GOP (153)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: GA NY WA RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IA MO NM OH GOP pickups (vs. 2004): MI  

News from the Votemaster

Fairfax county supervisor Gerald Connolly won the Democratic primary in VA-11 yesterday. He will challenge rich businessman Keith Fimian for the seat being vacated by retiring congressman Tom Davis (R). This is a swing district in northern Virginia's rapid growing Democratic suburbs and will be an all-out fight.

Let's continue yesterday's discussion of former Veep nominees. Here is the table again.

Year Democrat (P) Democrat (VP) Republican (P) Republican (VP)
2004 John Kerry John Edwards George Bush Dick Cheney
2000 Al Gore Joe Lieberman George Bush Dick Cheney
1996 Bill Clinton Al Gore Bob Dole Jack Kemp
1992 Bill Clinton Al Gore George Bush Dan Quayle
1988 Michael Dukakis Lloyd Bentsen George Bush Dan Quayle
1984 Walter Mondale Geraldine Ferraro Ronald Reagan George Bush
1980 Jimmy Carter Walter Mondale Ronald Reagan George Bush
1976 Jimmy Carter Walter Mondale Gerald Ford Bob Dole
1972 George McGovern Sargent Shriver Richard Nixon Spiro Agnew
1968 Hubert Humphrey Edmund Muskie Richard Nixon Spiro Agnew
1964 Lyndon Johnson Hubert Humphrey Barry Goldwater William Miller
1960 John Kennedy Lyndon Johnson Richard Nixon Henry Lodge
1956 Adlai Stevenson Estes Kefauver Dwight Eisenhower Richard Nixon
1952 Adlai Stevenson John Sparkman Dwight Eisenhower Richard Nixon
1948 Harry Truman Alben Barkley Thomas Dewey Earl Warren

In 1976, Jimmy Carter, a moderate southern governor wanted to balance his ticket so he picked a progresive senator from the North, Walter Mondale (D-MN). This was the classic way to do it and they won. The incumbent President, Jerry Ford, who got his job the hard way--having both the incumbent President (Richard Nixon) and Vice President (Spiro Agnew) resign, picked an experienced senator, Bob Dole (R-KS).

In 1972, Sen. George McGovern, who ran on an antiwar platform, picked Sen. Thomas Eagleton (D-MO) as his running. Missouri was then, as now, a key swing state. During the campaign it came out that Eagleton had undergone electroshock therapy for depression. The country went bananas and McGovern was forced to dump Eagleton. He had trouble finding someone else and eventually came up with Sargent Shriver, ambassador to France. It wasn't an inspired pick but he was under pressure to pick someone fast. Richard Nixon chose his incumbent Veep and attack dog, Spiro Agnew.

In 1968, the Democrats has a free-for-all during the primaries, with antiwar Sen. Gene McCarthy challenging Pres. Lyndon Johnson and almost beating him in New Hampshire. This event prompted Johnson to announce he was not seeking reelection and Bobby Kennedy to enter the race. Kennedy was assassinated in June and the establishment candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey won the nomination. He picked a strong environmentalist, Sen. Ed Muskie (D-ME) as his running mate. The Republican candidate, Richard Nixon, who had come back from the political dead, made a strange an fateful choice. He picked the governor of Maryland, Spiro Agnew, who was totally unknown outside Maryland. As a moderate from a Democratic state, Nixon was hoping to appeal to Democrats and independents. Little did Nixon know that Agnew was a small-bore crook and would later be forced to resign the vice presidency for taking bribes.

In 1964, Lyndon Johnson a Texan, felt he needed to balance the ticket both geographically and ideologically, and chose a northern senator known as a strong progressive, Sen. Hubert Humphrey (D-MN), who gave a wildly popular convention speech attacking the Republican nominee, Barry Goldwater. Goldwater had just won in a tumultous and bitter primary season, defeating the moderate Nelson Rockefeller. While a pick of Rockefeller would have united the party, he passed over Rockefeller an, picked an obscure New York congressman, William Miller. Goldwater stated that he picked Miller because he drove Lyndon Johnson nuts. It was a terrible choice. He should have picked Rockefeller who had national stature and a large following.

In 1960, John Kennedy picked Lyndon Johnson, a person he dislike and regarded as a boorish oaf. The reason he picked Johnson was Kennedy's hope that with Johnson on the ticket, they could carry Texas, which they did. Richard Nixon, Eisenhower's Vice President, picked Henry Cabot Lodge, then ambassador to the United Nations, probably for his foreign policy experience, something Nixon lacked.

In 1956, Adlai Stevenson surprised the Democratic convention by allowing it to choose his running mate. The leading nominees were Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN), whom Stevenson had just beaten for the nomination, and a young unknown senator from Massachusetts, John Kennedy. During the balloting, Kennedy came within 15 votes of winning (which gave him huge publicity) but Kefauver ultimately won. Ike chose his incumbent Veep, Richard Nixon.

In 1952, on Adlai Stevenson's first run, he chose to balance the ticket. Stevenson was a liberal governor from Illinois so he picked a segregationist senator from Alabama, John Sparkman. War hero Eisenhower, picked anticommunist attack dog Sen. Richard Nixon (R-CA) as his running mate so Ike could remain above the fray and let Nixon attack Stevenson and the Democrats as soft on Communism.

In 1948, Harry Truman, who had become President upon Roosevelt's death, was nominated at a tumultous convention in which many of the die-hard segregationist southern delegates bolted and formed their own party, usually known as the Dixiecrats. Truman tried to hang onto southern states by choosing a border state senator, Alben Barkley as his Veep. The Republican nominee, popular New York governor Thomas Dewey, picked another popular governor, Earl Warren of California as his running mate. Ideologically, both were moderates but with an easterner and a westerner, they thought they had good balance. The press decided early on that Dewey was going to be the winner and were very surprised when Truman won.

So what are the results, of the 30 Veep nominees in the past 60 years, the score is as follows, where the most recent office the candidate held is what counts.

      - 14 Senators
      -   7 Vice presidents
      -   4 Representatives
      -   2 Governors
      -   2 Ambassadors
      -   1 CIA director

So it is most commonly a senator. However, this year, unlike all but one of the previous 60 years (1960) we have senators as the nominees. Will a senator be willing to pick another senator? Anything is possible. In 1960, both Kennedy and Johnson were senators and they won, so there is some precedent.

The Libertarian party declined to nominate Francis Powers, Jr. to run in NY-13. They picked Susan Overeem instead, so we won't get Powers, Sr. vs. Powers, Jr. in this Staten Island based district but it will still be an interesting race.

Here are today's polls.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Georgia 41% 51% Jun 04 Jun 04 Rasmussen
New York 50% 36% Jun 03 Jun 08 Quinnipiac U.
Washington 56% 39% Jun 07 Jun 09 SurveyUSA

-- The Votemaster
WWW www.electoral-vote.com