Obama 332
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Romney 206
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Dem 50
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Ties 3
GOP 47
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  • Strongly Dem (160)
  • Likely Dem (107)
  • Barely Dem (65)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (0)
  • Likely GOP (62)
  • Strongly GOP (144)
270 Electoral votes needed to win Map algorithm explained
New polls: NC NJ
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN NC
PW logo Don't Let the Republicans Drive the Bus Clinton to Help Obama Super PAC
Half Billion and Counting Congress Heads Out for Recess
GOP Lawmaker Warns Romney on Tax Returns Little Media Consensus on the Battleground States

News from the Votemaster

Pew Poll: Obama Up over Romney 51% to 41% Nationally

Don't you believe it. A Pew poll taken just before Mitt Romney's Europe trip shows President Obama a full 10 points ahead of Romney. That's absurd. No other poll taken by anyone has shown Obama with a lead anywhere near that. Pew is a neutral organization and the actual polling was done by Princeton Survey Associates, which is nonpartisan, so what is going on here?

At the end of the story they let the cat out of the bag. They surveyed 1505 people on landlines and 1003 on cell phones. That is a lot of cell phones and it is well known that cell phones skew Democratic--well, their owners skew Democratic. Sure enough, the internals show there were 813 Democrats surveyed, 459 Republicans, and 599 independents (the others were either not registered voters or something else invalidated them). In the sample, 43% were Democrats and 24% were Republicans. No conceivable electorate looks like this, with a 19-point Democratic advantage. The sample was corrected for gender, age, race, Hispanic origin and nativity, education and region, but there is no mention of correction for political party. You should take this poll with a grain (or better, a kilogram) of salt. But the lesson here is that polling with samples of 2500 people is a tricky business. Pew ought to know that.

DSCC Retracts Prostitution Claim Against Adelson

The DSCC has retracted a claim it made earlier suggesting that Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson had made money off prostitution in the Chinese special administrative region of Macau, where Adelson has a casino. This is how politics works. You make a wild claim, not backed up by any evidence. Nobody notices. The other side howls and threatens to sue. The howl gets lots of publicity. The public thinks: "Where there is smoke, there is fire." The net result of this (and many similar) incidents is that people are now aware that a lot of the money Adelson is pumping into Republican campaigns came from China and maybe there was some sleazy stuff going on at his casino, who knows.

Politics by innuendo is not new. The late Lee Atwater was a master of it. Atwater died in 1991, but his pupil, Karl Rove, picked up the torch. Rove's most famous stunt was a whispering campaign and series of push polls against John McCain in his 2000 primary against George Bush in which it was suggested that McCain had a black child. Factually that is true--he and Mrs. McCain adopted a black child from Mother Teresa's orphanage in India--but Atwater made it sound like McCain had an affair with a black woman without actually saying it.

Both sides can play this game although generally the Republicans are far more aggressive and better at it than the Democrats. In a way, it is going on right now about Romney's taxes. Majority Leader Harry Reid has said and now reiterated that Romney paid no federal income tax for 10 years. Romney vigorously denies this and told Reid to put up or shut up. Reid said that the only way to settle this is for Romney to release the tax returns. For Reid, this is a win-win proposition. If Romney continues to fail to live up to the Romney standard (his father releasing 12 years of tax returns when he ran for President in 1968), Reid will continue to attack him and people will start to believe it is true. If Romney does release his tax returns and they show he paid some tax, Reid will apologize but the Democrats will then start going over them with a microscope.

Obama and the South

When Obama ran in 2008, he promised he would be postpartisan and try to bring the parties closer together. He has clearly failed at that--in no small part due to Sen. Mitch McConnell's statement that his biggest legislative goal was to make sure Obama was a one-term President. While some parts of the country are less polarized than they were, one region where polarization has increased is the South. We are almost to a point where whites are Republicans and blacks are Democrats, despite the fact that for the first half of the 20th Century the South was solidly Democratic. The change began when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which led to Richard Nixon's "southern strategy."

That said, the South is a complicated place. States like Virginia and North Carolina are trending blue and Florida is really two states: the real Florida in the north and the sixth borough of New York City in the south. Politico has a long background piece on politics in the South these days.

Romney's Horse Becomes Political

While we normally focus on the horse race here, sometimes the horse itself becomes an issue. In this case, Ann Romney's horse, Rafalca, which is currently in 13th place in dressage in the Olympics, has become newsworthy, not for its performance, which is not all that good, but because Romney took a $77,000 tax deduction for it and has been criticized by conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer for entering the horse in the Olympics in the first place. He thinks it reinforces an image of Romney as a detached rich guy. Actually, the Romneys got the horse to treat Ann's MS, but if they had played that angle and had stayed out of the Olympics, it might have worked for Romney instead of against him.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
North Carolina 44% 49%   Aug 01 Aug 01 Rasmussen
New Jersey 49% 36%   Jul 23 Jul 29 Fairleigh Dickinson U.

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
New Jersey Bob Menendez* 45% Joseph Kyrillos 33%     Jul 23 Jul 29 Fairleigh Dickinson U.

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster

Previous Headlines

Aug02 House Unlikely to Flip
Aug02 August Could Determine Control of the Senate
Aug02 Tax Policy Center: Romney Tax Plan Will Help the Rich and Hurt the Middle Class
Aug02 Could the Constitution Party Decide the Election?
Aug02 Former Republican Charlie Crist Backs Democrat Bill Nelson in Florida Senate Race
Aug02 Is Romney Hurting Himself By Hiding Himself?
Aug01 Tea Party Candidate Cruz Defeats Dewhurst in Texas Senate Race
Aug01 Harry Reid Says Romney Paid No Taxes for 10 Years
Aug01 Marriage Equality Plank in Platform Indicates Democratic Strategy
Aug01 Could Assad Be Obama's Ace in the Hole?
Jul31 Democratic Platform Calls for Marriage Equality
Jul31 Lies the Parties Tell Themselves
Jul31 Texas Senate Runoff Today
Jul31 Portman Is a George H.W. Bush-type Conservative
Jul31 Majority of Americans Do Not Know How Many Justices Sit on the Supreme Court
Jul30 Israelis Worry about Romney's Visit
Jul30 Government Releases New State-by-State College Attainment Data
Jul30 Does the Vice-Presidential Candidate Help the Ticket?
Jul30 Texas Senate Runoff Tomorrow
Jul29 100 Days to Go
Jul29 Voters Like Obama More than They Like Romney
Jul29 Romney's Advisor Would Back Israeli Military Strike against Iran
Jul29 Beth Myers Releases Names of Many People Who Have No Chance at Being Veep
Jul28 GDP Is Increasing but Slower Than It Was
Jul28 No News Is Bad News for Romney
Jul28 Parties Face Dilemmas While Writing Platforms
Jul28 Not Your Grandpa's Election Day
Jul27 Romney Begins Foreign Trip with a Series of Gaffes
Jul27 Tampa Strip Clubs Getting Ready for the Republican Convention
Jul27 Obama to Sign Israel Security Bill Just as Romney Arrives in Israel
Jul27 Obama Falls Short on Education Goal
Jul27 Bloomberg Endorses Scott Brown
Jul26 Senate Passes Middle-Class Tax Cut Bill
Jul26 Presidential Debate Schedule Announced
Jul26 Romney's Foreign Trip Carefully Crafted for Maximum Electoral Impact
Jul26 Romney Leading among Business Owners
Jul25 Ads Succeed in Making Voters Dislike Both Candidates
Jul25 Romney SuperPACs Have Spent $144 Million so Far
Jul25 Effect of Photo ID Laws on Polling is Unknown
Jul25 Sarah Palin Endorses Jeff Flake in Arizona Senate Race
Jul25 Portman Could be Hit with Steel
Jul24 Can Pawlenty or Portman Bring in His State?
Jul24 Americans Frustrated with Campaign Already
Jul24 Obama Goes after Romney with White Working-Class Voters
Jul24 Record Number of Openly Gay Candidates Running for Congress
Jul24 Hillary Clinton Leading in Iowa--in 2016
Jul23 New Feature Starting Today: A Second Map Page without Rasmussen
Jul23 Economy Improving Somewhat in the Swing States
Jul23 Obama Visits Colorado to Comfort Victim's Families
Jul23 Kerrey Struggling in Nebraska