Sep. 16 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 247   McCain 257   Ties 34
Senate Dem 56   GOP 44  
House Dem 243   GOP 192  

Senate map and races
Downloadable polling data
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This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (133)
weak Dem Weak Dem (67)
barely Dem Barely Dem (47)
tied Exactly tied (34)
barely GOP Barely GOP (41)
weak GOP Weak GOP (87)
strong GOP Strong GOP (129)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: CO FL NY OH PA UT VA RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Fiorina: Palin Couldn't Run Big Company Quote of the Day
Palin to Meet Foreign Leaders Outrage as a Campaign Tactic
GWU Poll: McCain Leads Nationally McCain Spokesman Blasted on Cable News Networks

News from the Votemaster

Hello Economy, Goodbye Cosmetics on Animals

Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch no longer exist, A.I.G. is being radcially restructured, and the Dow dropped 500 points yesterday. Guess what? The economy is back. The Washington Post's Dan Balz has a good piece on the political fallout. People are going to be asking the candidates: "How are you going to fix this mess and prevent a repetition?" The election will probably hang on the answers. The moderator of the first debate (Jim Lehrer), on Sept. 26 at the University of Mississippi, is probably going to bring up the subject as well.

Voting Machines Still Don't Work

Current voting machines can still be hacked easily. Computer scientists at the University of California at Santa Barbara commissioned by the California secretary of state, Debra Bowen, have shown how easy it is. Read the story or better yet, watch the video. Bowen is an opponent of electronic voting machines and campaigned for office on a platform of election reform and making sure every vote is counted correctly. She defeated a sitting secretary of state who maintained that everything was fine with the voting systems.

527 Groups Rev Up

The 527s are starting to rev up. A group called Brave New PAC made an ad featuring Philip Butler, who was at Annapolis with John McCain and also a POW with him in Vietnam and who knows him well. In the ad Butler says McCain can blow up and go off like a Roman candle. He added that McCain is "not somebody I would like to see with his finger near the red button." This ad was clearly inspired by the Swift Boaters of 2004 who attacked Kerry on his war record. An ad from the American Issues Project, a Republican group, made an ad linking Obama to Bill Ayers, a 1960s radical turned professor of education.

Over 30 Congressmen Are Unopposed

While many House races are highly competitive (see our list of Hot House races) there are also races that so are uncompetitive that one party or the other didn't even bother to run a candidate. Here is the list.

District PVI Democrat Republican
AL-06 R+25   Spencer Bachus
AL-07 D+17 Artur Davis  
AR-01 D+1 Marion Berry*  
AR-02 R+0 Vic Snyder*  
AR-03 R+11   John Boozman*
AR-04 D+0 Mike Ross*  
CA-19 R+10   George Radonovich*
FL-03 D+16 Corrine Brown*  
FL-17 D+35 Kendrick Meek*  
FL-20 D+18 Debbie Wasserman-Schultz*  
GA-04 D+22 Hank Johnson*  
GA-05 D+23 John Lewis*  
IL-02 D+35 Jesse Jackson, Jr.*  
IL-04 D+13 Luis Gutierrez*  
IL-07 D+35 Danny Davis*  
IL-17 D+5 Philip Hare*  
MI-14 D+33 John Conyers*  
MN-08 D+4 James Oberstar*  
MO-01 D+26 William Clay, Jr.*  
NY-06 D+38 Gregory Meeks*  
NY-09 D+14 Anthony Weiner*  
OR-04 D+0 Peter DeFazio*  
PA-14 D+22 Michael Doyle*  
TN-06 R+4 Bart Gordon*  
TN-08 D+0 John Tanner*  
TN-09 D+18 Steve Cohen* (no Republican)
TX-01 R+17   Louie Gohmert*
TX-02 R+12   Ted Poe*
TX-05 R+16   Jeb Hensarling*
TX-11 R+25   Mike Conaway*
TX-21 R+13   Lamar Smith*
VA-03 D+18 Robert Scott*  
VA-09 R+7 Rick Boucher*  
VT-AL D+8 Peter Welch*  
WI-04 D+20 Gwen Moore*  
WI-05 R+12   Jim Sensenbrenner*
WV-01 R+6 Alan Mollohan*  

The reasons why a congressman is unopposed can vary. Sometimes there district so heavily tilted one way or the other that one of the parties can't find anybody willing to put in the effort. Inner cities with large black majorities tend not to be prime hunting grounds for Republicans and rural areas where everybody hunts are not always Democrat friendly. In some cases the district has been gerrymandered to achieve its balance, but not always. here are some examples of the districts listed above that exhbit major gerrymandering. Some others were shown in on this site Sep. 18, 2006.

In still other cases, the incumbent is just so popular despite belonging to the wrong party that a run is futile. And in a few cases there are other reasons, such as the chosen candidate failing to file on time.

Today's Polls

We have 10 presidential polls today. On the whole, the McCain post-convention bounce is still visible, but that could change fairly quickly as the financial crisis moves front and center.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Colorado 46% 48% Sep 14 Sep 14 Rasmussen
Florida 44% 49% Sep 14 Sep 14 Rasmussen
New York 46% 41% Sep 08 Sep 10 Siena Coll.
Ohio 42% 46% Sep 10 Sep 13 Suffolk U.
Ohio 45% 48% Sep 14 Sep 14 Rasmussen
Ohio 45% 49% Sep 12 Sep 14 SurveyUSA
Pennsylvania 47% 47% Sep 14 Sep 14 Rasmussen
Utah 32% 64% Sep 10 Sep 10 Rasmussen
Virginia 48% 48% Sep 14 Sep 14 Rasmussen
Virginia 50% 46% Sep 12 Sep 14 SurveyUSA

We also have 3 Senate polls. Nothing surprising here.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Iowa Tom Harkin* 53% Christopher Reed 34% Sep 08 Sep 10 Selzer
Minnesota Al Franken 37% Norm Coleman* 41% Sep 10 Sep 12 Princeton Survey
Virginia Mark Warner 57% Jim Gilmore 34% Sep 12 Sep 14 SurveyUSA

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-- The Votemaster