Sep. 12 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 268   McCain 270  
Senate Dem 56   GOP 44  
House Dem 243   GOP 192  

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This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (140)
weak Dem Weak Dem (70)
barely Dem Barely Dem (58)
tied Exactly tied (0)
barely GOP Barely GOP (57)
weak GOP Weak GOP (87)
strong GOP Strong GOP (126)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: AL CO FL GA ID ME MI MS NC NV OH PA West VA WY RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo Palin's Next Interview Biden to Release Tax Returns to Pressure Palin
McCain Adviser Says Next President Must Raise Taxes Obama Camp Says "Enough is Enough"
Dueling Quotes Palin Links Iraq War with 9/11

News from the Votemaster

McCain-Palin Bounce Primarily in the South

As everyone probably knows by now, McCain got a solid bounce from his convention. Sarah Palin's speech and to some extent his own speech were very well received by Republicans and some independents. What hasn't been reported until now is the geographic distribution of the bounce. Here are the numbers by region for the relevant weeks (click here for the story.

Region Aug. 18-24 Aug. 25-31 Sept. 1-7
East Obama +15 Obama +17 Obama +11
South McCain +12 McCain +4 McCain +15
Midwest McCain +1 Obama +10 Obama +6
West Obama +5 Obama +7 Obama +7

The Democratic convention was Aug. 25-28 and the Republican convention was Sept. 1-4, so the second column is the pre-convention baseline and the fourth one was taken during and after the Republican convention. If we compare the third and fourth columns to see the effect of the Republican convention, the biggest effect was in the South, where McCain is likely to win most states anyway, and a bit in the East, where Obama is likely to win everything. The effect in the crucial Midwest and West was smaller.

Electoral College Calendar

Several people had questions about the mechanics of the electoral college. Here is the timeline.

      Nov. 4 - The people vote for electors in 50 states plus D.C.
      Dec. 15 - The chosen electors meet in their respective states to cast their electoral votes
      Dec. 24 - The electoral vote totals must have arrived at the Senate and the Archivist
      Jan. 5 - The 111th Congress is sworn in
      Jan. 6 - The electoral votes are counted in a joint session of Congress

Democrats Choose Nominee to Replace Tubbs Jones

The Ohio Democratic Party has chosen suburban mayor Marcia Fudge as its nominee to replace the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) in OH-11. This is a majority black district with a PVI of D+33 so there is no doubt that Fudge will win. The governor has called a special primary election for Oct. 14 and a special general election for Nov. 18. While this may seem stupid given that Fudge is certain to be elected to Congress in the general election on Nov. 4, if she also wins the special election on Nov. 18 she will be seated immediately and thus have seniority over the incoming freshman class seated in January. It is expected this will be a large class and even 6 weeks of seniority would raise her rank quite a bit.

Speculation over Lieberman's Successor

John McCain hasn't been elected President yet and he certainly hasn't appointed Sen. Joe Lieberman to his cabinet yet, but Washington is rife with speculation about who Gov. Jodi Rell (R-CT) would appoint to fill Lieberman's seat if it becomes vacant. Potential candidates include Republicans Rep. Chris Shays, former representatives Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson, and associate U.S. attorney general Kevin O'Connor.

Dirty Tricks Starting Already in Ohio

The Cincinnati Enquirer has a story about dirty tricks in Ohio intended to influence the election there. The McCain campaign printed a form on which a voter can request an absentee ballot and sent out about 1 million of them. The form included an unnecessary box asking if the voter was eligible to vote. If the voter didn't notice the box and didn't check it, he or she is in fact admitting that he or she is not eligible and the application has to be rejected by law. Secretary of state Jennifer Brunner is hopping mad about this stunt but she is required by law to reject invalid applications.

Today' Polls

We have 17 presidential polls today. As you can see below, there is more red than blue today, but much of that is due to the states that happened to be polled. One noteworthy results in a swing state is two polls in Florida that give McCain a 7-8 point lead there. Key states like Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania continue to be close.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Alabama 35% 55% Sep 03 Sep 09 Capital Research
Colorado 49% 46% Sep 09 Sep 10 Insider Advantage
Florida 42% 50% Sep 09 Sep 10 Insider Advantage
Florida 43% 50% Sep 05 Sep 09 Quinnipiac U.
Georgia 38% 56% Sep 10 Sep 10 Insider Advantage
Idaho 29% 68% Sep 09 Sep 09 Rasmussen
Maine 52% 38% Sep 08 Sep 10 Research 2000
Michigan 44% 45% Sep 09 Sep 10 Insider Advantage
Michigan 51% 46% Sep 10 Sep 10 Rasmussen
Mississippi 39% 52% Sep 08 Sep 10 Research 2000
North Carolina 38% 55% Sep 08 Sep 10 Research 2000
Nevada 45% 46% Sep 09 Sep 10 Insider Advantage
Ohio 47% 48% Sep 09 Sep 10 Insider Advantage
Ohio 49% 44% Sep 05 Sep 09 Quinnipiac U.
Pennsylvania 48% 45% Sep 05 Sep 09 Quinnipiac U.
West Virginia 39% 44% Sep 05 Sep 08 Mark Blankenship
Wyoming 39% 58% Sep 10 Sep 10 Rasmussen

For the first time this year John McCain has taken the lead in the electoral college, albeit by 2 EVs. Today's configuration shows McCain ahead in all the swing states except Colorado. This means he can't afford to lose any of Nevada, New Mexico, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, all of which could go either way. Today might later be remembered as the beginning of the end for Obama, or just a blip. Obama now has 268 EVs. In 2004, John Kerry had 273 on this date. However, there is still a long way to go. The debates will be even more important than usual this year.

We have multiple polls in Florida, Michigan, and Ohio today. No doubt that multiple polls in the same week will become common from here on. To see the algorithm used to produce the map, click on "Map algorithm explained" on the map legend. Basically, the most recent poll always counts and any other polls taken within a week of it count, too, and all are weighted equally. Of course it would be possible to weight polls two weeks old by 0.5 (or 0.25 or 0.75 and still older polls by other factors), but then the weighting model becomes crucial to understanding the result. Average the last week's worth of polls is close enough for government work.

We also have four Senate polls.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Idaho Larry LaRocco 30% Jim Risch 58% Sep 09 Sep 09 Rasmussen
Maine Tom Allen 38% Susan Collins* 57% Sep 08 Sep 10 Research 2000
Mississippi Ronnie Musgrove 43% Roger Wicker 48% Sep 08 Sep 10 Research 2000
North Carolina Kay Hagan 42% Elizabeth Dole* 48% Sep 08 Sep 10 Research 2000

We also have 1 House poll.

Cong. Distr. Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
IN-09 Baron Hill* 50% Mike Sodrel 39% Sep 08 Sep 10 SurveyUSA

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