Obama 332
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Romney 206
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Dem 50
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Ties 2
GOP 48
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  • Strongly Dem (160)
  • Likely Dem (107)
  • Barely Dem (65)
  • Exactly tied (0)
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  • Likely GOP (62)
  • Strongly GOP (144)
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News from the Votemaster

Obama Launches Massive Ad Buy in Swing States

The Obama campaign has just reserved $77 million worth of television time for ads in swing states. Below is a list of where the money is going, how many people voted in that state in 2008, and how many electoral votes it has.

State EVs 2008 Votes Ad buy $/EV $/vote
New Hampshire 4 710,970 $4,939,620 $1,234,905 $6.95
Nevada 6 967,848 $4,939,620 $823,270 $5.10
Iowa 6 1,537,123 $7,315,224 $1,219,204 $4.76
Ohio 18 5,708,350 $19,533,433 $1,085,191 $3.42
Virginia 13 3,723,260 $11,582,494 $890,961 $3.11
Colorado 9 2,401,462 $7,025,120 $780,569 $2.93
North Carolina 15 4,310,789 $7,647,844 $509,856 $1.77
Florida 27 8,390,744 $13,355,226 $494,638 $1.59

From these numbers we can compute how much is being spent to get to each voter and how much is being spent per EV that might be obtained. This might give an idea of Obama's priorities. A number of things stand out here. First, his absolute expenditure in Ohio is at the top of the list even though (or maybe on account of) the fact that it is a tough state for him. It is full of white working-class men who are hostile to him. On the other hand, Florida, the other big swing state, is full of old people, who tend to vote Republican. The large push in Ohio is probably due to a single op-ed Mitt Romney wrote in the New York Times on Nov. 18, 2008 entitled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." Ohio has thousands of small companies that supply parts to the auto industry. Bankruptcies in Detroit would have reverberated all over Ohio. In addition, Romney's role at Bain Capital, taking over troubled companies, outsourcing jobs, and firing workers is a sore point in the state. If Obama can make Romney toxic, some working-class men in Ohio may hold their noses and vote for him and others may stay home on election day rather than vote for Romney.

Nevada, Iowa, and Virginia are also getting a lot of financial attention. All of them lean a little bit in Obama's direction and with a big push, he might be able to seal the deal. He has visited Virginia 39 times in his presidency, in part because it is conveniently located but also in part because permanently peeling it off from the old Confederacy would strike a body blow to the Republican Party for years to come. New Hampshire is a bit of a special case here. Most New Hampshire voters watch Boston television stations, so to reach them, he has to advertise in the expensive Boston television market.

As Sherlock Holmes once noted, sometimes the dog that does not bark actually says something. Noteworthy is where Obama is not advertising. He has not bought time in Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin. Mostly likely he sees Missouri as a lost cause and New Mexico safe enough that he doesn't have to put much effort into it. In Pennsylvania and Wisconsin he has big leads among registered voters and likely voters. What is not known is how well he does with possible voters, that is, voters who have the photo ID required by new laws in those states. If large numbers of Democrats who turn out to vote are not allowed to vote because they lack a photo ID, those states could go for Romney, but apparently Obama does not think the states are worth advertising in.

The Economy Is Now Part of the Culture Wars

It used to be that your position on the economy (taxes, federal spending, etc.) had nothing to do with whether you believed a zygote was a full-fledged human being. There were plenty of politicians who were culturally conservative but progressive on taxes. Most Southern Democrats were like that. Many Northern Republicans were the opposite: socially progressive but in favor of lower taxes. All of that is gone now. Voters--and more to the point--politicians must now accept either package A (abortion is evil and government is evil) or package B (abortion is not a problem and government is good). Intermediate positions are no longer tolerated. Any politician who is great on social issues but bad on taxes or vice versa is likely to get primaried. This has made our politics completely inflexible and made it impossible for a politician who wants to ban abortion and one who wants to keep it legal to come to a deal on taxes, something that used to be possible. Andrew Leonard at Salon has a nice piece on the subject.

Today Marks a Transition for Obama

To start with, yesterday he was 50 and today he is 51. But there is another transition as well. Unlike Bill Clinton, who loves schmoozing, Obama doesn't like it at all. He's always been as private as his job will allow. Up until now, only close personal friends have been allowed in his home in Chicago. But for his birthday party today, he ran a raffle with an invitation to his birthday party at his home as the prize. This strategy is intended to increase small donations. A similar event at the home of George Clooney raised $15 million for Obama. Unfortunately for the campaign, Michelle Obama's birthday is in January.

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Indiana Joe Donnelly 40% Richard Mourdock 42%     Jul 31 Aug 01 Rasmussen

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster

Previous Headlines

Aug03 Pew Poll: Obama Up over Romney 51% to 41% Nationally
Aug03 DSCC Retracts Prostitution Claim Against Adelson
Aug03 Obama and the South
Aug03 Romney's Horse Becomes Political
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