Sep. 18 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 243   McCain 274   Ties 21
Senate Dem 56   GOP 44  
House Dem 242   GOP 193  

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This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (143)
weak Dem Weak Dem (45)
barely Dem Barely Dem (55)
tied Exactly tied (21)
barely GOP Barely GOP (90)
weak GOP Weak GOP (23)
strong GOP Strong GOP (161)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): IA NM GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Indianapolis Star Poll: Obama Grabs Lead in Indiana Obama Uses Google to Combat Smears
SurveyUSA: Obama Holds Solid Lead in New Mexico NYT/CBS Poll: McCain Still Seen as Tied to Bush
Palin's Email Account Hacked CNN/Time: Battleground States Remain Close

News from the Votemaster

Dow Jones Index Plunges Another 449 Points

The $85 billion bailout of the nation's largest insurance company, A.I.G. didn't calm investors. They drove the DJIA down another 449 points, closing at 10,610. In October 2007 it was 14,164, a drop of 3554 points or 25% from the high. Here is a chart of the DJIA for the past 12 months. It's not pretty.


The political consequences are becoming increasingly clear: the economy is going to drown out every other topic and both parties are struggling to find good responses. This is going to be easier for Democrats than Republicans, in part because the answer most voters want aligns well with the Democrats' traditional response: the government needs to regulate big business. The traditional Republican response is to let the market do its work and reward winners and punish losers. Eventually it will settle down. But for millions of people worried about their jobs, their houses, their investments, their pensions, and their futures, just waiting it out may not be so popular.

The Fed has pumped so much money into bailing out the financial industry that it has run out of cash and has asked the Treasury Dept. to give it $40 billion. To raise the money, the Treasury Dept. will have to auction off T-Bills. Everyone will be watching to see how much interest the government has to pay to sell them all.

Young Wins GOP Primary in Alaska

The final count is in and Rep. Don Young has won the Alaska Republican congressional primary, defeating Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell. Young, who is being investigated on ethics charges, will face Democrat Ethan Berkowitz. Young's win is good news for Democrats, bad news for Republicans. Polls have shown than Berkowitz can beat Young but would lose to Parnell. For Parnell, it is not all bad news, however. If Sarah Palin is elected Vice President, he gets to be governor of Alaska, not a bad consolation prize.

Alaska Attorney General Won't Honor Subpoenas

The Alaska attorney general has said that aides to Gov. Sarah Palin will not comply with subpoenas issued by the Alaska state legislature investigating an allegation that she abused her power as governor to settle a score with her estranged brother in law. The reason the attorney general gave is that the governor "has declined to participate" in the probe. It is not unusual for people under investigation to decline to participate but it is unprecedented for a state attorney general to openly say he will break the law and not honor lawful subpoenas. It is fairly clear from an audio tape already released that the allegation has merit and Palin wants to make sure that retired prosecutor Steve Branchflower won't be able to issue his report before the election. This approach is in contrast to that of indicted Alaska senator Ted Stevens who wants to get his trial over before the election so he can be found innocent and clear his name.

Livni Wins Kadima Primary

Whut? This is a test of your knowledge of world affairs. There was a primary election in Israel for the leadership of the Kadima Party yesterday and it was narrowly won by the Israeli foreign minister, a 50-year-old woman named Tzipi Livni (photo on the right). She now gets 6 weeks to form a coalition government. If she succeeds, which is thought to be likely, she will replace Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who is expected to resign this week due to a corruption scandal. If she fails to form a government, there will be a general election, something she does not want since the opposition is leading in the polls. Livni would be the second woman to lead Israel. Golda Meir was Prime Minister from 1969 to 1974. While Livni's election doesn't directly affect U.S. politics, it will certainly shake up the Middle East, which clearly affects the whole world. Women in the countries like Saudi Arabia who normally despise Israel are surely going to be noting that Israel has chosen a woman to lead the country for a second time while they have hardly any rights at all. Here is an article in Time written by her U.S. counterpart, Condi Rice. In any event, Livni is certain to become a worldwide symbol of a new generation of women taking power. Tzipi Livni

Election Day Problems Expected

With a huge number of new voters registered this year and new equipment and procedures in use in many states, the potential for chaos on election day is great. Nine million voters will use equipment that has changed since March. Statewide voter data bases in many states are in place to weed out voter fraud, but these data bases are known to contain many errors, which will lead to fights on election day about who is allowed to vote. Premier Election Systems (formerly called Diebold) has admitted that the software used in their machines in 34 states could cause votes to be dropped. The company has no solution. Both candidates are assembling teams of lawyers to deal with challenges. The last thing the country needs in the middle of an economic crisis with two wars going on is another disputed election with legal battles over faulty voting machines in multiple states. Here is a story in the Washington Post.

Bob Barr Not Getting Much Traction

Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, who potentially could be a spoiler isn't getting anywhere. His fundraising and polling are pathetic. This may be in part because he doesn't believe in Libertarian principles (such as keeping the government out of people's private lives). He is unlikely to do as well as the 2004 nominee, Michael Badnarik, who got 0.34% of the national vote, just behind Ralph Nader at 0.38%.

Today's Polls

We have 38 presidential polls today due to a large number of new ARG polls. The results are given below. The upshot is that John McCain has taken the lead in the electoral college 274 to 243. However, there are three large caveats. First, 13 states worth, 166 electoral votes, are statistical ties. If we look only at the states where one of the candidate's has a lead of 5% or more, Obama has 188 EVs to McCain's 184. In other words, it is very close (again this year). Second, McCain has not taken a single Kerry state from Obama while Obama has taken two states from those Bush won in 2004 (Iowa and New Mexico). Pennsylvania is currently a tie. Third, all these polls were taken before the meltdown on Wall St. Polls taken a week from now could look quite different.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Alaska 39% 55% Sep 09 Sep 11 ARG
Alabama 36% 58% Sep 13 Sep 16 ARG
Arizona 39% 56% Sep 11 Sep 14 ARG
California 52% 36% Sep 05 Sep 14 Field Poll
Colorado 44% 46% Sep 10 Sep 13 ARG
D.C. 82% 13% Sep 11 Sep 13 ARG
Delaware 51% 40% Sep 13 Sep 15 ARG
Florida 48% 48% Sep 14 Sep 16 Opinion Research
Hawaii 63% 32% Sep 07 Sep 12 ARG
Idaho 25% 68% Sep 08 Sep 10 ARG
Illinois 51% 45% Sep 13 Sep 16 ARG
Indiana 45% 51% Sep 14 Sep 16 Opinion Research
Indiana 47% 44% Sep 14 Sep 16 Selzer
Kansas 31% 63% Sep 07 Sep 10 ARG
Kentucky 37% 57% Sep 08 Sep 12 ARG
Louisiana 43% 50% Sep 09 Sep 12 ARG
Maine 51% 41% Sep 08 Sep 10 ARG
Missouri 45% 50% Sep 11 Sep 15 ARG
Mississippi 39% 55% Sep 13 Sep 16 ARG
Montana 47% 49% Sep 07 Sep 09 ARG
North Carolina 41% 52% Sep 13 Sep 16 ARG
North Carolina 47% 48% Sep 14 Sep 16 Opinion Research
New Mexico 51% 44% Sep 14 Sep 16 ARG
New Mexico 52% 44% Sep 14 Sep 16 SurveyUSA
Nevada 46% 49% Sep 12 Sep 14 ARG
New York 55% 38% Sep 14 Sep 16 ARG
Ohio 44% 50% Sep 10 Sep 13 ARG
Ohio 49% 47% Sep 14 Sep 16 Opinion Research
Oregon 51% 47% Sep 15 Sep 15 Rasmussen
Rhode Island 58% 39% Sep 13 Sep 13 Rasmussen
Rhode Island 59% 33% Sep 11 Sep 13 ARG
Texas 36% 57% Sep 13 Sep 16 ARG
Utah 29% 65% Sep 10 Sep 13 ARG
Virginia 39% 48% Sep 10 Sep 14 Christopher Newport U.
Wisconsin 48% 46% Sep 15 Sep 15 Rasmussen
Wisconsin 50% 47% Sep 14 Sep 16 Opinion Research
West Virginia 45% 49% Sep 14 Sep 16 ARG
Wyoming 28% 66% Sep 09 Sep 11 ARG

We also have four Senate polls. It looks like the Democrats will pick up seats in New Mexico and Virginia while Oregon is too close to call.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
New Jersey Frank Lautenberg* 48% Richard Zimmer 39% Sep 10 Sep 14 Quinnipiac U.
New Mexico Tom Udall 56% Steve Pearce 41% Sep 14 Sep 16 SurveyUSA
Oregon Jeff Merkley 45% Gordon Smith* 46% Sep 15 Sep 15 Rasmussen
Virginia Mark Warner 54% Jim Gilmore 30% Sep 10 Sep 14 Christopher Newport University

We also have a House poll in PA-11, where challenger Lou Barletta is leading incumbent Paul Kanjorski. This may be the only House race in the country where an incumbent Democrat loses.

Cong. Distr. Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
PA-11 Paul Kanjorski* 35% Louis Barletta 44% Sep 09 Sep 14 Franklin+Marshall Coll.

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