Oct. 12 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 343   McCain 184   Ties 11
Senate Dem 59   GOP 41  
House Dem 247   GOP 186   Ties 2

Senate map and races
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This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (235)
weak Dem Weak Dem (47)
barely Dem Barely Dem (61)
tied Exactly tied (11)
barely GOP Barely GOP (26)
weak GOP Weak GOP (24)
strong GOP Strong GOP (134)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: DE NC OH RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO FL IA NV NM OH VA WV GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Exchange of the Day Mason-Dixon: Obama Grabs Small Lead in Nevada
Obama Closing Deal in Pennsylvania Palin Booed at Hockey Game
GOP Leaders See Defeat for McCain PPP Poll: Obama Way Ahead in Colorado

News from the Votemaster

Obama Has Bought 30 Minutes of TV Time on Oct. 29

Barack has made a huge TV time buy--30 minutes on CBS and NBC in prime time on Oct. 29 and is negotiating for ABC and Fox. This slot would compete with game 6 of the World Series--if there is a game 6. He hasn't announced what he will say then, but given Obama's history, it is likely to be a serious, sober assessment of the country's problems and how he plans to solve them.

McCain's Military Record Questioned

An article in Rolling Stone looks at McCain's military record in some detail. Everyone knows he was a P.O.W., but there is more to it than that. He finished 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy and crashed two or three jet fighters during his career as a pilot. His involvement in the 1967 fire on the aircraft carrier Forrestal which destroyed the ship and caused the deaths of 133 sailors is not clear. CQ Politics has the story However, factcheck.org has a different version. It is hard to know which to believe, but McCain apparently did lose several planes.

For Palin, Some Pork is Kosher

OK, it is not my headline, it is from Politico. The story is about how Palin rails against pork, but as governor has supported it when it was in her interest. During last year's budget process she indeed killed many legislators' pet projects--but asked the legislature for $25,000 for a youth center for her own church and got it. In other words' a payment to some organization in a far-away part of the state is pork, but when it is for her own people, it is good government. It is precisely this state of affairs that she and McCain rant about--politicians inserting items into the budget to help their districts and friends.

Time Magazine also has a piece on the Branchflower report. It concludes that the Palin administration in Alaska was extremely ham handed and amateurish in applying pressure on multiple state police officials long after being warned repeatedly that such behavior was illegal and could lead to lawsuits. According to Time, the only person who comes off as an adult in this affair is Walt Monegan.

William F. Buckley's Son Endorses Obama

William F. Buckley was the unchallenged intellectual leader of the conservative movement for half a century. He paved the way for Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. He was brilliant, witty, and charming. He founded the National Review and made it the mouthpiece of the right. He wrote over 50 books defining what conservatism means. He hosted over 1000 television programs. He was also immensely proud of his only child, Christopher. Buckley Sr. died in February. Maybe it is just as well because he would not have enjoyed seeing his son, who never voted for a Democrat in his entire life, endorse. Barack Obama, as he just did. The younger Buckley has known McCain personally for over 25 years and until this campaign, admired him greatly as being authentic. However, the campaign changed McCain. He is no longer authentic. He basically sold his soul to become President. Intellectuals like the Buckleys think that if you are going to sell your soul, you better get something a lot better than the presidency for it.

The Clintons Hit the Campaign Trail for Obama

The Clintons have been conspicuously quiet for the past few months, but they are now emerging from their seclusion, apparently having digested their loss in the primaries. Bill and Hillary will hold a rally for Obama in Scranton, PA today along with Joe Biden. Hillary Clinton's father grew up in Scranton and Biden was born there. It is a hardscrabble working-class town and has become a symbol for the Democrats trying to attract blue-collar voters.

Rasmussen weights for Next Week: 39.3% Democrats, 33.0% Republicans.

Every week Rasmussen resets the partisan weightings for the national polls. For the coming week it will be 39.3% Democrats, 33.0% Republicans, and 27.7% independents. These numbers affect the poll results since any sample not containing these exact numbers is adjusted to force the data to this model. Most pollsters do this, only Rasmussen is more explicit about it and publishes the weightings every Sunday. They are based on the results of his surveys for the past 6 weeks. People who identify with one of the parties vote overwhelmingly (> 80%) for that party, so it is important that the sample contain the correct number of Democrats and Republicans.

Rasmussen Poll: 55% Expect Obama Victory, 15% Expect McCain Victory

In a poll conducted Oct. 10, 55% of the voters now expect Obama to win the election and 15% expect McCain to win it. In mid-September, these numbers were 35% and 34%, respectively. What a difference an economic crisis makes. Clearly the voters have judged Obama better than McCain on the economy. In retrospect, having McCain suspend his campaign and parachute into Washington to take over the bailout bill and then have the House Republicans vote against the bill by 2 to 1 didn't make him look like a leader. Only after he got out of the way so Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Reo. Barney Frank (D-MA) could craft a new bill did it pass. For years to come, people will debate what would have happened if McCain had stayed put and said: "I trust Sec. Paulson's judgement and don't want to inject presidential politics into this matter." Or alternatively if he had gotten the House Republians to vote for the bill based on his leadership.

At the www.intrade.com betting site this morning you could buy 10 contracts on an Obama victory for $77.50 and 10 contracts on a McCain victory for $23.10. If you think McCain will win, you can recoup your stock market losses by selling all your stock today or tomorrow and putting all your money in McCain contracts. If he wins, you quadruple your money in just over 3 weeks. Here are the stock prices since Aug. 1, 2008. Note that the scales are different.

Intrade Oct 12

Today's Polls

We have three presidential polls today. In Ohio, a University of Cincinnati poll puts John McCain ahead of Barack Obama 48% to 46%. Most other recent polls show Obama ahead. In North Carolina, McCain leads by an identical score.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Delaware 56% 38% Oct 06 Oct 08 West Chester U.
North Carolina 46% 48% Oct 06 Oct 07 Marshall Marketing
Ohio 46% 48% Oct 04 Oct 08 U. of Cincinnati

We also have two Senate polls. The most interesting one is in North Carolina, which has become a real horse race. This one has state senator Kay Hagan (D) a single point ahead of Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Alabama Vivian Figures 33% Jeff Sessions* 64% Oct 08 Oct 09 SurveyUSA
North Carolina Kay Hagan 44% Elizabeth Dole* 43% Oct 06 Oct 07 Marshall Marketing

We also have three House polls. In AZ-03, VA-02, and WV-02, the Republicans all have comfortable leads.

Cong. Distr. Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
AZ-03 Bob Lord 39% John Shadegg* 48% Oct 06 Oct 08 Research 2000
VA-02 Glenn Nye 37% Thelma Drake* 51% Oct 07 Oct 08 Research 2000
WV-02 Anne Barth 39% Shelley Moore-Capito* 53% Oct 07 Oct 08 Research 2000

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