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House Dem 200   GOP 217   Ties 18

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Senate polls today: AZ CO CT FL IA IL KY MO NH NV NY OH UT WA iPhone RSS
Dem pickups: (None) GOP pickups: AR CO IL IN NV ND PA WI PDA

PW logo Quote of the Day Blumenthal Stays in Front in Connecticut
Late Voters May Be Key to Angle Victory Ohio Governor a Toss Up Until the End
Toomey Leads Heading Into Election Day Buck Has Thin Lead in Colorado

News from the Votemaster            

Pundits: Dems Keep Senate, GOP Takes House     Permalink

The Washington Post asked eight pundits and one high school class for their predictions about Tuesday's election. The eight pundits all agreed the Democrats will hold the Senate. The average value of their predictions for the number of Democratic senators after the election (including Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders) is 51.6. The high school class said the Democratic caucus will have 48 members. All nine expect the Republicans to take control of the House. The mean number of seats predicted by the eight pundits is 229 for the Republicans to 206 for the Democrats. Our current score (see above) is 217 for the Republicans, 200 for the Democrats and 18 ties. If the ties break 50-50 (about which more tomorrow), then the score becomes 226 for the GOP and 209 for the Dems, not far off from the pundits' mean.

The contest also asked about two Senate races and two gubernatorial races. For the Nevada Senate race, six pundits are betting on Sharron Angle (R) and two are betting on Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). Colorado is a bit closer, with the Democrat, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), getting thumbs up from three pundits and thumbs down from five. The two governor's races queried were unanimous: all eight pundits (and the high school kids) predict Jerry Brown (D) will be elected governor of California and Martin O'Malley (D) will get to stay in the governor's mansion in Maryland.

As a tiebreaker, the Post asked everyone to guess the percentage of the vote Christine O'Donnell (R) would get in Delaware. The eight pundits' guesses averaged to 40.8%. The high school kids put it at only 31%.

Finally, everyone was allowed one wildcard prediction. Here they are:

  • Sean Bielat (R) will beat Barney Frank (D-MA) in MA-04 (Tucker Carlson)
  • Charles Djou (R-HI) will be elected to a full term in HI-01 (David Chalian)
  • Dave Loebsack (D-IA) will lose IA-02 in a squeaker (Chris Cillizza)
  • Ike Skelton (D-MO) will be edged out in MO-04 (Candy Crowley)
  • Chip Cravaack (R) will upset Jim Oberstar in MN-08 (John Harris + Jim Vande Hei)
  • Ted Strickland will be reelected governor of Ohio (Ariana Huffington)
  • Ike Skelton, John Spratt, and Joe Manchin all win (Ken Rudin)
  • Eliot Cutler (I) is elected governor of Maine (Amy Walter)
  • Lisa Murkowski wins as a write-in candidate in Alaska (Oakton High School)

Obama Campaigning in Four States     Permalink

This weekend, President Obama is campaigning in four states, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in an effort to hang onto a slim majority in the Senate and help other Democratic candidates. In the Connecticut Senate race, it looks like Linda McMahon (R) has thrown away $50 million of her own money and will go down to defeat to Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D), but the governor's race between Dan Malloy (D) and Tom Foley (R) is a tossup. In Illinois, Obama's own Senate seat is up for grabs, with a virtual tie between Alex Giannoulias (D) and Mark Kirk (R). In Ohio the Senate race appears lost for the Democrats, but the governor's race in this swing state is a tossup between Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH) and former representative John Kasich (R). Ohio also has many competitive House races. Finally, the Republicans are almost sure to capture the governor's mansion in Pennsylvania, but the Senate race between Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) and former congressman Pat Tommey (R) is very close, as are several House races.

What's also interesting is where Obama is not going. There will be no last-minute visits to Nevada, Colorado, or Washington, where the Senate races are close and he is still moderately popular and also none to West Virginia, where the Senate race is close but his presence would probably tip the balance to the Republican, John Raese. Possibly the reason is as much geographical as political. He is visiting four states east of the Mississippi River; going out West would take a lot more time and mean fewer visits.

Meek Reconsidered     Permalink

A reader had an idea about why Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) twice told Bill Clinton he would drop out of the Senate race and throw his support to Gov. Charlie Crist (D-FL) and twice got cold feet and said he wouldn't do it. State Financial Officer Alex Sink, who is running for governor, may have pleaded with him to stay in to increase black turnout and thus help her. In other words, it is possible that the national Democrats, focused on holding the Senate, want Meek out to help Crist, but state Democrats, focused on winning the governor's mansion, want him in, to win the governorship. In this scenario, there is a tug of war going on between the national Democrats and the state Democrats, with Meek playing the part of the rope.

His hesitation may be due to the fact that both sides have a case. The national Democrats fear what kinds of bills the Republicans could pass if they controlled both chambers of Congress, so their priority to hold the Senate. The state Democrats are afraid of how the Republican-controlled Florida legislature will gerrymander the new congressional districts unless Sink is governor to veto their plans. Both of them have a strong argument and poor Meek is caught in the middle. If this story is true (and of course, nobody in Washington or Tallahassee will talk about it), then Meek isn't being stubborn or egocentric by staying in. He is simply choosing sides for Sink and the Florida Democrats. He will be unemployed starting in January, and if Sink is elected governor, she will have many appointments to make and out of gratitude she might just appoint him to a top job in her administration.

Close Vote Expected on Legalizing Marijuana in California     Permalink

In addition to choosing candidates for public office Tuesday, Californians will vote on Prop. 19, which would legalize the cultivation and possession of marijuana for anyone over 21. The most recent poll shows it losing 49% to 44% but even a near miss is likely to reverberate well into 2012. Democratic strategists are thinking about getting similar propositions on the ballot in other states in 2012 to increase the turnout among young voters, much as the Republicans put gay marriage proposals on the ballot to get conservative voters to the polls. Politics has become incredibly cynical, with strategists deciding to put items on the ballot to get their sheep to go vote and, sure enough, the sheep do as instructed.

Today's Polls: AZ CO CT FL IA IL KY MO NH NV NY OH UT WA UT-02     Permalink

New Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Arizona Rodney Glassman 32% John McCain* 52%     Oct 28 Oct 28 Rasmussen
Colorado Michael Bennet* 49% Ken Buck 48%     Oct 25 Oct 28 YouGov
Connecticut Richard Blumenthal 53% Linda McMahon 43%     Oct 25 Oct 28 YouGov
Connecticut Richard Blumenthal 54% Linda McMahon 43%     Oct 27 Oct 29 PPP
Florida Kendrick Meek 16% Marco Rubio 46% Charlie Crist 29% Oct 23 Oct 27 Florida Poll
Iowa Roxanne Conlin 30% Chuck Grassley* 61%     Oct 26 Oct 29 Selzer
Illinois Alexi Giannoulias 47% Mark Kirk 44%     Oct 25 Oct 30 YouGov
Kentucky Jack Conway 44% Rand Paul 52%     Oct 25 Oct 28 YouGov
Missouri Robin Carnahan 43% Roy Blunt 54%     Oct 25 Oct 28 YouGov
New Hampshire Paul Hodes 41% Kelly Ayotte 56%     Oct 27 Oct 27 Rasmussen
Nevada Harry Reid* 47% Sharron Angle 49%     Oct 25 Oct 30 YouGov
New York Kirsten Gillibrand* 55% Joseph DioGuardi 40%     Oct 26 Oct 28 Marist Coll.
Ohio Lee Fisher 33% Rob Portman 57%     Oct 26 Oct 26 Rasmussen
Ohio Lee Fisher 39% Rob Portman 57%     Oct 28 Oct 30 PPP
Ohio Lee Fisher 40% Rob Portman 56%     Oct 20 Oct 29 Columbus Dispatch
Utah Sam Granato 30% Mike Lee 57%     Oct 25 Oct 28 Dan Jones
Washington Patty Murray* 50% Dino Rossi 47%     Oct 25 Oct 30 YouGov

New House Polls

CD Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
UT-02 Jim Matheson* 48% Morgan Philpot 35%     Oct 25 Oct 27 Mason Dixon
UT-02 Jim Matheson* 51% Morgan Philpot 39%     Oct 25 Oct 28 Dan Jones

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