Obama 323
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Ties 9
Romney 206
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Dem 50
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Ties 2
GOP 48
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  • Strongly Dem (172)
  • Likely Dem (105)
  • Barely Dem (46)
  • Exactly tied (9)
  • Barely GOP (15)
  • Likely GOP (52)
  • Strongly GOP (139)
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Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN NC
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News from the Votemaster

Romney Spokeswoman Defends Romneycare, Gets Blasted by Conservatives

Mitt Romney's spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, defended the health-insurance plan Romney signed when he was governor of Massachusetts and harvested criticism from Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives for it. Saul was trying to respond to a question about an Obama ad that discussed someone dying for lack of health insurance and said that if the dead woman had lived in Massachusetts (i.e., with Romneycare) she would have been insured and probably be alive now. This statement gives the impression that Romneycare--and its clone, Obamacare--is a good thing at a time when the Republican line is that it is a terrible thing and needs to be repealed.

No doubt Democrats are going to pounce on this and make ads saying that even Romney's own staff realizes what a great achievement it was for Romney to sign the bill. Fortunately it is still August, nobody is paying attention (except conservative activists who never really liked Romney), and the whole matter is too subtle for most voters anyway.

Competing Bus Tours Set for Swing States

Mitt Romney is about to undertake a bus tour of four key swing states: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Ohio. The tour is expected to generate a lot of local press coverage in states Romney badly needs to win. If Obama wins in the West (Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico) as seems likely, Romney basically has to win all four states he is visiting. A possible problem for him is that he is probably going to have to talk to local reporters in unscripted settings, something that is definitely not his strength.

To make his life much more complicated, the Democrats are going to following him with a bus as well, with its theme being that Romney is going to throw the middle class under the bus. On its side is a statement Romney made earlier saying that corporations are people. No doubt the competing buses are going to put Romney in a position of having to defend his earlier statement, thus drawing attention away from his core message that Obama is a nice guy but in way over his head and can't fix the economy.

Republican Voters Wants Rubio as Veep

A new CNN poll shows that 28% of Republican voters want to see Se. Marco Rubio (R-FL) as Romney's running mate. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) came in tied for second place at 16% each. The voters are likely to be disappointed. Romney is not going to gamble on Rubio, who is largely unvetted on the national stage. Also, during his campaign for the Senate, he said his parents fled Castro to come to America and freedom. Only it turns out they came several years before Castro came to power in Cuba. The Democrats will have a field day with this if Rubio is the nominee.

Christie, like Romney, is from a state he can't carry and would largely overshadow Romney all the time with his belligerent style. Romney doesn't need that. Ryan is the author of a plan to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher program. If he is the Veep nominee, the Democrats will print a million bumper stickers saying "Romney wants to end Medicare" and pass them out in Florida. One of the forces pushing for Ryan is the Wall Street Journal. On the other hand, David Frum, a long-time Republican pundit, argues that picking Ryan would be (almost) the worst thing Romney could do. He says what the Journal and others want is to control his candidacy and later his presidency, which would be a disaster for him. If Ryan gets the nod, Obama will scare the dickens out of every geezer in Florida and come Jan. 20, a geezerless Romney will be an unemployed Romney.

The most likely running mates, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty got 6% and 4% in the poll, respectively. But once one of them is chosen, the voters will get used to them quickly.

The Democrats are hoping for Rubio or Ryan because they are so target rich. Portman can be attacked for running the Budget Office for George W. Bush but there is hardly anything to attack about Pawlenty. Romney knows this.

For some good jokes about the pointlessness of the vice presidency, click here.

Trouble in the Wind for Romney

Romney has made it clear he doesn't like the government picking winners and losers by offering subsidies or tax credits for particular industries. Conservatives generally agree with him--except when it is their tax credit that is threatened. In Iowa, which is a windy place, many farmers have invested in wind turbines and are selling electricity as well as corn. This makes economic sense on account of a federal tax credit that Romney wants to eliminate. Quite a few of them are unhappy about his plan and realize that Romney's election will result in an immediate loss of income for them. Iowa is a key swing state, so Romney is in a bind and has to weigh selling out his principles for six electoral votes.

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Virginia Tim Kaine 46% George Allen 46%     Aug 07 Aug 07 Rasmussen

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster

Previous Headlines

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