Obama 303
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Romney 235
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Dem 48
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Ties 3
GOP 49
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  • Strongly Dem (177)
  • Likely Dem (66)
  • Barely Dem (60)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (44)
  • Likely GOP (47)
  • Strongly GOP (144)
270 Electoral votes needed to win Map algorithm explained
New polls: OH VA WA
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: FL IN NC
PW logo There Is No Such Thing as "Politicizing" a Tragedy Bush Will Not Attend GOP Convention
North Carolina Remains Close Follow the Money
Worse than Watergate Bloomberg Bashes Obama and Romney on Guns

News from the Votemaster

Republican Voters Want Rice as Veep

A Fox News poll of Republicans asked them who they would like to see as the Vice Presidential nominee. Here are the results.

Candidate Pct Notes
Condoleezza Rice 30% She is pro choice. The Republican base would never accept her
Marco Rubio 19% Too much of a wild card and Mexican-Americans don't identify with Cuban-Americans
Chris Christie 8% Much too outspoken and would overshadow Romney
Paul Ryan 8% Would allow Obama to run on a "Save Medicare" platform
Bobby Jindal 5% Flubbed SOTU reply and not vetted at all nationally
Bob McDonnell 3% Romney really does not want to campaign on transvaginal probes
Susana Martinez 3% Actually a good choice but would be compared to Sarah Palin
Rob Portman 3% Ran the budget office for Bush 43 but otherwise is bland enough
Tim Pawlenty 2% Boring and submissive: a good choice but has to learn to campaign better

They are going to be disappointed. It is very unlikely that any of the top seven choices are going to be picked, for the reasons given. Insiders are expecting it to be either former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty or Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).

Strategy Memo Dissects the White Working Class

Strategists from both parties realize that the white working class--generally defined as whites without a college degree--are going to be a crucial voting block in November. During the New Deal, they were the base of the Democratic Party. But ever since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, they have been moving towards the Republicans. This movement was accelerated starting in 2000 when Karl Rove began making abortion and later gay rights major campaign issues, diverting attention from bread-and-butter issues where these voters align much more with the Democrats. A new report by social scientist Andrew Levison analyzes these voters in detail. Although the report was written for the Democrats, it itself is neutral, mostly based on survey data and is as relevant for Republicans as for Democrats. If Romney can win 2/3 of this vote, he will most likely become the next President. Obama doesn't have to win a majority of it, but probably needs 40-45% depending on the turnout among minorities, women, and college graduates.

The core idea in the report is that the white working class can be segmented into three largely distinct groups:

  1. Progressives, including union members, who adhere to the ideas of the New Deal
  2. True believers, who are deeply religious and live in the Fox News/Rush Limbaugh world
  3. Moderates, who are open to new ideas and views

In Levison's view, the first two subgroups have largely made up their minds and short of either candidate being caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy, no new information or facts will change them. Television ads are wasted on them. The third subgroup is highly inconsistent in its views. For example, members of it will agree with both of these statements:

  • "Government regulation of business does more harm than good"
  • "Government regulations are necessary to keep business in check and protect workers and consumers"

While this might seem irrational to some people, these voters are really conflicted and the battle is for their hearts and minds. The report is long (30 pages), but well worth reading if you want a good analysis of these voters.

The Three Campaigns

Chris Cillizza has an interesting column about the existence of two parallel campaigns. One of them is going on inside the Beltway and among insiders and political junkies around the country. Obama is winning this by hitting Romney over and over on his taxes and his time at Bain Capital. The other one is going on in the rest of the country and nothing moves the needle. Obama has had a 1-2% lead for months and this does not change no matter what the news is because all the voters care about is the economy.

We challenge this view and point out that there is a third campaign underway and it is the only one that matters. It is for the votes of the 5% of the voters who haven't made up their minds yet and who also happen to live in one of about 10 swing states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia). The combined populations of these states is about 68 million, so it is the 3.4 million undecided voters in these states who will decide the presidential election. No one else really matters much (for the presidential race), barring some very unexpected development.

Romney Hopes European Trip Will Show Him to Be a Statesman

In an effort to bolster his foreign-policy credentials, Mitt Romney will travel to England, Poland, and Israel next week and meet foreign leaders. One immediate problem though is that protocol dictates that he cannot be treated as a foreign leader. For example, he will not be invited to Queen Elizabeth's pre-Olympic reception nor will he hold a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Nevertheless, he will get publicity and make speeches.

Candidates often make trips like this but it is doubtful that making a speech in Israel or being photographed with Lech Walesa makes much of a difference. When Obama gave a speech in 2008 to 200,000 wildly cheering Germans, it made a nice YouTube video, but was soon forgotten and probably didn't have any lasting effect. Romney's trip probably won't either, especially when it is competing with the Olympics for air time.

Romney will also use the trip to hold fundraisers. While noncitizens may not donate to political campaigns, there are an estimated 7 million American citizens who live abroad (about the populations of Indiana, Massachusetts, or Washington) and they can donate under the same rules as resident citizens. One downside of the fundraising, however, is that the hosts of several of his fundraising events in London are bank executives tied the the Libor interest rate-fixing scandal now developing. Being photographed with people who may soon be on trial is never a good thing for any candidate.

DSCC Chairwoman Talks to Maine Democrat Cynthia Dill

Talk about damning with faint praise. the official Democratic candidate for the open Senate seat in Maine, Cynthia Dill, talked to DSCC chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) asking for her endorsement and help and all she was told was that the DSCC would continue to monitor the race. Of course it will. It monitors every race. Even Utah. It is just not going to lift a finger for Dill, who has just $29,000 in the bank now. Murray is clearly counting on (1) a landslide victory for independent Angus King and (2) that after much boasting about how independent he his, King will join the Democratic caucus, like fellow New England independent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). It must be embarrassing for poor Dill to have her party practically telling the voters not to vote for her (to avoid splitting the Democratic vote).

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Ohio 47% 45%   Jul 18 Jul 18 Rasmussen
Virginia 44% 44%   Jul 10 Jul 16 Quinnipiac U.
Washington 46% 37%   Jul 18 Jul 18 SurveyUSA

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Virginia Tim Kaine 44% George Allen 46%     Jul 10 Jul 16 Quinnipiac U.
Virginia Tim Kaine 46% George Allen 45%     Jul 16 Jul 17 Rasmussen

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---The Votemaster

Previous Headlines

Jul19 Romney Camp Divided on Releasing Tax Returns
Jul19 Wealthy Republican Senate Candidates Picking Up Steam
Jul19 Could Foreign Policy Become a Campaign Issue?
Jul18 New Study Finds Voter ID Laws Burdensome
Jul18 Congress May Raise Taxes by Cutting Them
Jul18 Congress May Raise Taxes to Cut Them
Jul18 Ohio Sued for Restricting Early Voting
Jul18 Romney Accuses Obama of Cronyism
Jul17 Obama's Attacks on Bain Appear to be Working
Jul17 Republicans Filibuster DISCLOSE Act
Jul17 R.I.P. Independent Journalism
Jul17 Americans Woefully Ignorant about Government
Jul17 Can Your Mom Run Your SuperPAC?
Jul16 Ron Paul Loses in Nebraska
Jul16 Conservatives Now Calling for Romney to Release Tax Returns
Jul16 Obama Campaigns in Virginia; Romney Sends Surrogates
Jul16 Are Americans Overtaxed?
Jul16 Who's Side Are You On?
Jul16 Ron Paul Loses in Nebraska
Jul16 Conservatives Now Calling for Romney to Release Tax Returns
Jul16 Obama Campaigns in Virginia; Romney Sends Surrogates
Jul16 Are Americans Overtaxed?
Jul16 Who's Side Are You On?
Jul15 Republican Governor May or May Not Have Called for Romney to Release Tax Returns
Jul15 A Look at How Polling Works
Jul15 Green Party Nominates Massachusetts Doctor for President
Jul14 Romney Again Refuses to Release More Tax Returns
Jul14 Boomlet for Condoleezza Rice as Veep Continues
Jul14 Senators McCain and Kyl Endorse Flake in Arizona Primary
Jul13 Cruz Leading Dewhurst in Texas Republican Primary
Jul13 Romney Calls Obama a Liar
Jul13 Republicans Worry That Romney Is Being Swiftboated
Jul13 A New Gap: Marriage
Jul13 Over 5 Million Felons Are Disenfranchised
Jul12 Flake Having a Tougher than Expected Primary in Arizona
Jul12 Scott Brown Raises $5 million in Second Quarter
Jul12 House Republicans Vote to Repeal Obamacare--Again
Jul12 Voters Would Accept Black, Female, Catholic,or Hispanic President
Jul12 iPhone App Now Available
Jul11 Hovde Narrowly Edges Thompson in Wisconsin Senatorial Primary
Jul11 Missouri Republican Primary Gets Nasty
Jul11 Obama Has More Cash in the Bank than Romney
Jul11 Karl Rove's Groups Expect to Spend $70 Million on Senate Races
Jul11 Florida and Iowa Blocking Former Felons from Voting
Jul10 Polling Drought Continues Unabated
Jul10 Obama Wants to Keep Bush Tax Cuts Only for Incomes below $250,000
Jul10 Romney Raises $106 million in June
Jul10 Ron Paul's Last Hurrah
Jul10 House Ethics Panel Votes to Investigate Shelley Berkley
Jul10 Tension Reported at the Supreme Court