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Senate polls today: AK CA DE NV NY OH PA WI WV RSS
Dem pickups: (None) GOP pickups: AR CO IL IN ND PA WI PDA

PW logo Reactions to the "Pledge to America" Dead Heat in California
Gillibrand Holds Slim Lead Over Unknown Rival Boxer Retakes Lead Over Fiorina
Axelrod to Leave White House Another Poll Shows Cuomo Lead Shrinking

News from the Votemaster            

Republicans Play Hardball with Murkowski     Permalink

Not content with removing her from her leadership position in the Senate (she was in the #5 slot and the highest-ranking Republican woman in the Senate), the Republican Senate caucus has also decided to remove her as the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, an important slot for her considering that Alaska is an oil-rich state. The move was a twofer (maybe a threefer?) for the Republicans. First, it was done to spite her for deciding to run for senator as a write-in candidate. The Republicans are hopping mad at her for this. Second, it undercuts her campaign by making it impossible for her to claim that she would have far more influence than freshman Joe Miller. In effect, if she won, she would be a freshman, too--although if push came to shove and she won and threatened to caucus with the Democrats, she'd get her seniority back in a nanosecond. Third, the interim ranking member will be Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), although he is already the ranking member on the Veterans Affairs Committee and members are not allowed to hold two top slots. This new post may help Burr in his reelection campaign. On the other hand, the Senate will adjourn within a couple of weeks and no bills will emerge from the committee in this period, so the moves are entirely symbolic. The Republicans want to teach Murkowski a lesson and hurt her every way they can.

For comparison's sake, when Sen. Joe Lieberman showed equal disrespect for his constituents in 2006 by running as an independent after losing the Democratic primary, the Senate Democrats did not strip him of his seniority on the spot as the Republicans will do today to Murkowski. In fact, when Lieberman won, he was welcomed back into the caucus with no punishment at all. This difference is very characteristic of how the two parties operate. The Republicans are very focused and run top-down, with strong party discipline and clear rules. If you violate them, you are punished swiftly. The Democrats are far less coherent. Will Rogers' old joke is still applicable. When someone asked him if he was a member of an organized political party he said: "I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat."

This strong party organization helps the Republicans and hurts the Democrats in many ways. For nearly two years, the Republicans with fewer than 180 seats in the House and 40-41 in the Senate have been amazingly successful at watering down or blocking most of Obama's legislation. During the Bush administration, when the Democrats had a much stronger minority position, they weren't able to block anything. Even now, when polls show that a clear majority of Americans want the Bush tax cuts for the rich to expire, the Democrats are not lining up behind the bill to do that. The inability to get all the members of the majority party behind a popular bill that puts your opponents in a real bind just before a crucial election is hardly a sign of strength.

In a certain sense, this difference is not surprising. In a new poll, About 62% of Republican voters, prefer their politicians to take a strong position and then refuse to back down from it whereas 54% of Democratic voters want their politicians to compromise with the other side.

National Committee Fundraising Totals for August Are in     Permalink

All six national fundraising totals are now in. Here are the figures (in millions of dollars) for the August fundraising totals, cash on hand, and debt. On the whole, the parties are roughly in balance although the Democrats have a bit more as we head into the homestretch.

Some Republicans are worried that their financial conditions may hinder the state parties in their get-out-the-vote efforts. Often when a state party doesn't have the resources to mobilize a big GOTV campaign, the national party jumps in to help. This year that will be harder.

Committee August Cash on Hand Debt
DNC $11 M $13 M $8 M
RNC $8 M $5 M $1 M
DSCC $7 M $23 M $0
NRSC $6 M $25 M $0
DCCC $8 M $39 M $0
NRCC $7 M $26 M $0

Raese Leads Manchin in West Virginia     Permalink

A new PPP poll in West Virginia puts John Raese (R) slightly ahead of Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV) by 3%. This race was expected to be a slam dunk for the popular Manchin against wealthy businessman and perpetual candidate Raese, but this poll suggests that it may be closer than expected.

Today's Polls: AK CA DE NV NY OH PA WI WV     Permalink

New Senate Polls

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Ind. I-pct Start End Pollster
Alaska Scott McAdams 25% Joe Miller 42% Lisa Murkowski 27% Sep 19 Sep 19 Rasmussen
California Barbara Boxer* 47% Carly Fiorina 43%     Sep 20 Sep 20 Rasmussen
California Barbara Boxer* 47% Carly Fiorina 46%     Sep 18 Sep 18 Pulse Opinion Research
Delaware Chris Coons 54% Christine O-Donnell 39%     Sep 18 Sep 18 Pulse Opinion Research
Nevada Harry Reid* 45% Sharron Angle 46%     Sep 18 Sep 18 Pulse Opinion Research
New York Kirsten Gillibrand* 49% Joseph DioGuardi 39%     Sep 16 Sep 16 Rasmussen
Ohio Lee Fisher 36% Rob Portman 49%     Sep 18 Sep 18 Pulse Opinion Research
Pennsylvania Joe Sestak 40% Pat Toomey 48%     Sep 18 Sep 18 Pulse Opinion Research
Wisconsin Russ Feingold* 41% Ron Johnson 52%     Sep 18 Sep 19 PPP
West Virginia Joe Manchin 43% John Raese 46%     Sep 18 Sep 19 PPP

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Recent Headlines (clickable)

Sep21 Democrats and Republicans Nearly Tied on Generic Ballot
Sep21 Tea Parties Transitioning into Get Out the Vote Operations
Sep21 Polling the Alaska Senate Race Will Be Tough
Sep21 Rundown of the Competitive Gubernatorial Races in the West
Sep21 Today's Polls: AR CA IN LA MO PA UT WV MI-15 NY-24 PA-15 WA-09
Sep20 Today's Polls: GA MD NH PA   DE-AL KS-04 ME-01 ME-02 MN-06 NY-20 VT-AL
Sep20 Welcome to New Visitors
Sep20 Rasmussen Polls are Now Excludable
Sep20 Murphy Leading in NY-20*
Sep20 Republicans Doing Well in Ohio
Sep20 How Would Boehner Keep House?
Sep20 Look at the Eastern Governors' Races
Sep20 Today's Polls: GA MD NH PA DE-AL KS-04 ME-01 ME-02 MN-06 NY-20 VT-AL
Sep19 Abercrombie Wins Hawaii Gubernatorial Primary
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Sep19 Pence Wins the Values Voters Straw Poll
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Sep18 Murkowski to Run for the Senate as a Write-in Candidate
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