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House Dem 202   GOP 204   Ties 29

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strong Dem Strong Dem (47)
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barely Dem Barely Dem (2)
tied Exactly tied (1)
barely GOP Barely GOP (3)
weak GOP Weak GOP (4)
strong GOP Strong GOP (41)
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Senate polls today: CA CT DE NH NY OH UT VT WA WV iPhone RSS
Dem pickups: (None) GOP pickups: AR CO IN NV ND PA WI PDA

PW logo Large Number of House Seats in Play Tight Race in Oregon
Reid Raised Just $2 Million Last Quarter Raese's Wife Won't Be Voting for Him
Sestak Compares Republicans to His Dog Boxer in a Tight Race with Fiorina

News from the Votemaster            

IPhone App Icon Now Placed Below the Map     Permalink

Clicking on the new little iPhone icon below and to the right of the map takes you to a page where you can get an iPhone app for this site. The two icons to the right of it are for a text-oriented version of this page suitable for iPhones, other smart phones, and PDAs with small screens (the PDA icon). The XML icon is for information about the site's RSS feed.

Poll Graphs Now Zoomed in on September and October     Permalink

Another change to the site today is a slightly different format for the poll graphs you get by clicking on a state. From here on out there will be two graphs, one covering the whole year and one covering just September and October. Click on Illinois or West Virginia to see why this feature might be useful.

Democrats Trying to Knock off Half a Dozen Republican Representatives     Permalink

The Republicans need to win a net of 39 seats to take back the House. If they can win 39 seats and lose none, they are done. However, there are roughly half a dozen Republican incumbents in the House who are highly vulnerable. If the Democrats can knock off five or six of these, it means the Republicans have to win 44 or 45 seats instead of 39.

On top of the list are DE-AL and LA-02. The former is the seat Mike Castle has been keeping warm for 18 years. When the party urged him to run for the Senate, they knew they would lose his House seat and they will. Lt. Gov John Carney (D-DE) is running against tea party favorite Glen Urquhart (R), leading by double digits and is basically a shoo-in at this point, so much so that the DCCC has stopped advertising in the state.

LA-02 is a special case. With a PVI of D+25, a Republican can win this largely black district in New Orleans only when the incumbent is in federal prison. Well, that is what happened when the FBI found $90,000 in cold cash in Dollar Bill Jefferson's freezer. Consequently, Cedric Richmond (D) is about as much of a sure thing as there is in politics.

Another district the Democrats will probably win is HI-01, and it, too, is a special case. When Democratic incumbent Neil Abercrombie resigned from Congress in February to run for governor, an office he will probably win, a special election was held. Hawaii has a jungle primary with no runoff and two Democrats entered the race, each backed by powerful interests in the state. Neither was willing to drop out and they split the vote, allowing the Republican, Charles Djou, to win with a small plurality. Now there is only one Democrat running, Colleen Hanabusa, and she is the favorite in this D+11 district. The only footnote here is that Hawaii has never booted an incumbent from office.

The next two targets are very different: one is cool and leafy green and the other is hot and swampy. Demographically, they are also about as different as districts can be. IL-10, in the suburbs north of Chicago bordering Lake Michigan, is the district Mark Kirk (R) vacated to run for the Senate (this is the leafy green one). It is 80% white and D+6. Dan Seals (who is black) is running here for the third consecutive time. He lost to Kirk by about 5% on each of his previous runs. But without an incumbent this time, he might make it. His opponent is businessman Robert Dold, who is conservative, but not a tea party type. A poll released this week has Seals ahead 49% to 37%.

The swampy district is FL-25, covering all of southern Florida between Miami and Naples. It is ethnically as mixed as a district outside of Brooklyn can be. The incumbent, Mario Diaz-Ballart, a Cuban-American, decided to run in FL-21 this year, an open seat being vacated by his brother, Lincoln Diaz-Ballart. While FL-21 is a bit safer for him, the residents of FL-25 are not happy with him and might just vote for Joe Garcia (D), chairman of the Democratic Party for Miami-Dade County rather than state legislator David Rivera out of spite. There has been no public polling on the race, but an internal Democratic poll put Garcia up by 5%.

Another district the Democrats are gunning for seat is CA-03, in suburban Sacramento. Incumbent Dan Lungren (R-CA) is facing an Indian-American physician, Ami Bera, who has more cash than he does. The only poll this year puts Lungren ahead by 8%, but Lungren's approval rating is in the mid 40s, never a good sign for an incumbent because historically the undecideds end up breaking 2 to 1 for the challenger.

There are also a few other districts around the country that the Democrat's have a shot at, mostly for local reasons. These include PA-15, where Bethlehem mayor John Callahan (D) is running a strong race, and WA-08 where incumbent Dave Reichert (R-WA) banged his head against a tree while gardening. Normally banging your head against a tree doesn't cost you a few points in a congressional race, but Reichert needed emergency brain surgery and some voters are wondering if he will recover well enough to be an effective congressman.

DSCC Outraises NRSC in Third Quarter     Permalink

The quarterly reports from the fundraising committees and candidates were due yesterday. The DSCC raised $16 million and has $26 million in the bank. The NRSC raised $8 million and has $19 million cash on hand. With only a bit over two weeks to go, that total of $45 million is going to buy a lot of television ads--and it is going to be concentrated is a small number of states. The closest contests currently are in Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, West Virginia. All these could go either way. There are also a few other states that are leaning one way or another, but with a big enough injection of money could flip. These include California, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Raese's Wife Won't Vote for Him     Permalink

The wife of West Virginia Senate candidate John Raese (R) won't be allowed to vote for him in November because state officials have purged her from the voting rolls because she is also registered to vote in Florida, where the couple actually lives and where their children attend a Christian school. Elections rarely turn on a single vote, but this is significant because it focuses attention on the fact that the Raeses do not live in West Virginia. The Democratic candidate, Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV), is already on the air with ads basically saying how can Raese represent West Virginians when he doesn't even live here? Raese does own radio stations and coal mines in the state, however.

Today's Polls: CA CT DE NH NY OH UT VT WA WV VT-AL     Permalink

New Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
California Barbara Boxer* 46% Carly Fiorina 45%     Oct 12 Oct 14 IPSOS
Connecticut Richard Blumenthal 51% Linda McMahon 46%     Oct 14 Oct 14 Rasmussen
Delaware Chris Coons 51% Christine O-Donnell 40%     Oct 14 Oct 14 Rasmussen
New Hampshire Paul Hodes 35% Kelly Ayotte 50%     Oct 07 Oct 12 U. of New Hampshire
New York Kirsten Gillibrand* 54% Joseph DioGuardi 36%     Oct 11 Oct 13 SurveyUSA
Ohio Lee Fisher 36% Rob Portman 58%     Oct 08 Oct 13 U. of Cincinnati
Utah Sam Granato 28% Mike Lee 61%     Oct 13 Oct 13 Rasmussen
Vermont Pat Leahy* 61% Len Britton 27%     Oct 11 Oct 13 Mason Dixon
Washington Patty Murray* 50% Dino Rossi 42%     Oct 05 Oct 14 U. of Washington
Washington Patty Murray* 50% Dino Rossi 47%     Oct 11 Oct 14 SurveyUSA
West Virginia Joe Manchin 48% John Raese 38%     Oct 11 Oct 12 Marshall University

New House Polls

CD Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
VT-AL Peter Welch* 61% Paul Beaudry 25%     Oct 11 Oct 13 Mason Dixon

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