Oct. 19 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 364   McCain 171   Ties 3
Senate Dem 59   GOP 41  
House Dem 249   GOP 185   Ties 1

Senate map and races
Downloadable polling data
Previous report
Next report
This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (264)
weak Dem Weak Dem (22)
barely Dem Barely Dem (78)
tied Exactly tied (3)
barely GOP Barely GOP (16)
weak GOP Weak GOP (18)
strong GOP Strong GOP (137)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: ME MN NC WI RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO FL IA MO NV NM NC OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Minnesota Poll: Obama Holds Wide Lead Mason-Dixon: McCain Up By One Point in Ohio
PPP Poll: McCain Leads in West Virginia Powell Backs Obama
Obama Raised $150 Million Last Month Research 2000: Obama Holds Small Lead in North Carolina

News from the Votemaster

Cindy McCain Releases Summary of Her Tax Returns

Under pressure, Cindy McCain has released the summary pages of her 2006 and 2007 tax returns. Her adjusted gross income in 2006 was $6.2 million; in 2007 it was $4.2 million. The average is $5.2 million, of which about $300,000 was salary and the rest was from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S-corporations, trusts, and the like. From this data we can make a guess at her net worth. If we assume she got an average of 4% on her assets, she must have about $123 million in assets. If she was able to get 5%, she must be worth $98 million. Unless she managed to get an appreciably better return than 5%, she must be worth something like $100 million. It is perhaps worth noting that she didn't earn this money herself. She inherited it from her father, who built up one of the largest beer distributorships in the country.

It's Hard to Make Predictions--Especially about the Future

One of the reasons John McCain picked Sarah Palin (other than Steve Schmidt forbidding him from picking his friend, Joe Lieberman) is her supposed appeal to women, especially disgruntled Hillary voters. It hasn't worked that way at all. Instead of getting a conservative evangelical whose distinguishing characteristic was her strenuous opposition to abortion, the public perception has become a hot chick who hunts moose from airplanes. Her rallies are dominated by men (see photo), maybe 2/3 men. Her favorable/unfavorables are now 32/41, a far cry from what they were a month ago. In its endorsement of Obama for President, the Kansas City Star wrote: "Despite his age and previous health problems, McCain chose a vice presidential candidate who is so clearly unqualified for high office that the thought of her stepping into the presidency is frightening." Hardly a ringing endorsement of Palin.

Also on the subject of unexpected consequences, the bailout has had many unpleasant side effects. For example, when the government guaranteed money market funds, there was an initial run on banks as people moved their money from insured bank accounts to equally insured money market funds that paid more interest. Another effect of the bailout was that mortgage interest rates have gone up rather than down as planned. When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the best places in town to invest in a federally guaranteed way, they attracted loads of money and mortgage rates indeed went down. Now that the number of places with federal insurance has increased drastically, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have to pay more to borrow the money they need to buy mortgages, so rates have gone up. This stuff really is rocket science and the next President had better have a good grip on economics or at least be a very quick study. Historians are likely to record that during the biggest crisis of his second term (the Wall St. meltdown), President Bush outsourced his job to treasury secretary Henry Paulson. When the 3 A.M. (or 3 P.M.) phone call comes in, it is the President who is supposed to answer, not the hired help.

The Press is Tempted to Call the Race Already

The current conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama has already won the presidency and John McCain should go back to one of his numerous houses to contemplate his many mistakes. Of course, a year ago, which seems more like a century now, the pundits were convinced that Rudy Giuliani would decisively defeat Hillary Clinton for the White House because he could say "9/11" more times per minute than she could. McCain was written off as road kill. The only problem was that the voters hadn't had their say yet. While voting has in fact started in some states, it won't be over until Nov. 4 at the earliest. This situation creates a problem for the press: how do you act like there is still a race going on when in your superior wisdom you know it is over. Still, no reporter has forgotten the Dewey Defeats Truman photo, even reporters who hadn't been born in 1948.

On a closely related topic, on election evening 2004, the battle went on for hours. In 2000, it went on for 36 days. That makes for great television. What happens if it is all over at 7 P.M. Eastern Time on election night? That is when the polls close in Virginia. If the Virginia exit polls, which are likely to be announced at 7:01 P.M., show a blowout for Obama, all the pundits will realize that the show is over, as there is no plausible way for McCain to get to 270 electoral votes without Virginia. Ditto North Carolina, where the polls close at 7:30 P.M. Are the anchors and experts all supposed to pretend they don't know what is going on? But if they call the election at 4:01 P.M. Pacific Time, millions of people won't bother to vote. Clearly they have a problem. If millions of people in the Midwest and West don't vote--especially people who were planning to vote for the loser, it could affect large numbers of downticket races.

Plurality Expects Colin Powell to Endorse Obama Today

Scott Rasmussen has too much time on his hands. Robopolling makes it very easy to run absurd polls. All you need to do is get an announcer to read a few questions onto tape (well, a hard disk) and the computer does the rest. He ran a poll asking whether people expect Colin Powell to endorse Obama or McCain during his appearance on Meet the Press today. Forty-two percent expect him to endorse Obama vs. 35% expect him to endorse McCain.

Democratic Senate Candidate Ronnie Musgrove Fighting an Uphill Battle in Mississippi

It is somewhat ironic that former Mississippi governor Ronnie Musgrove, who is white, is wildly popular among blacks and not at all popular among whites, despite his conservative views on abortion and guns. Mississippi has the largest percentage of blacks of any state in the country (about 37%) but Musgrove still needs about a quarter of the white vote to win. The NY Times has an in-depth story on Musgrove today. Although Musgrove is universally known in the state, he did a few things as governor that were widely unpopular, especially trying to remove the Confederate emblem from the state flag. He also got divorced while in office. Nevertheless, if blacks turn out in record numbers and young, college-educated, and female voters do too, this might make up for the nearly universal vote working class white men will give to his opponent, appointed senator Roger Wicker (R).

National Race Getting Tighter

Here are the national polls today. Obama's lead down slightly, to 5.7%

      - Diageo (Obama +7)
      - Gallup expanded (Obama +4)
      - IBD (Obama +7)
      - Rasmussen (Obama +5)
      - Research 2000 (Obama +7)
      - Zogby (Obama +4)

Today's Polls

We have four presidential polls today. In North Carolina, a must-win state for John McCain and one George Bush won by 12 points in 2004, Barack Obama is marginally ahead 46% to 44%. In Maine, Obama is way ahead, but significantly, we also have the polls broken down by congressional district. In ME-01, Obama leads by 23 points and in the northern district, ME-02, he leads by 15 points. Thus McCain has no chance of picking up either electoral vote. Nebraska also splits its EVs by congressional district, but it seems very unlikely Obama can pick off any of them unless it is a national landslide for him, in which case it won't matter.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Maine 53% 38% Oct 14 Oct 15 Research 2000
Minnesota 52% 41% Oct 16 Oct 17 Princeton Survey
North Carolina 46% 44% Oct 14 Oct 15 Research 2000
Wisconsin 51% 36% Oct 08 Oct 15 U. of Wisconsin

We also have four Senate polls. In Mississippi, it is almost tied. Ronnie Musgrove will get the entire black vote there, but he needs about a quarter of the white vote as well. Everything will hinge on the turnout. In North Carolina, Kay Hagan (D) is maintaining a consistent lead over Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) and combined with Obama's coattails, may well be able to pick up the seat for the Democrats.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Maine Tom Allen 40% Susan Collins* 53% Oct 14 Oct 15 Research 2000
Mississippi Ronnie Musgrove 46% Roger Wicker 47% Oct 14 Oct 15 Research 2000
North Carolina Kay Hagan 49% Elizabeth Dole* 45% Oct 14 Oct 15 Research 2000
Texas Rick Noriega 44% John Cornyn* 50% Oct 14 Oct 15 Research 2000

If you like this Website, tell your friends. You can also share by clicking this button  

-- The Votemaster

WWW www.electoral-vote.com