Obama 332
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Romney 206
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Dem 47
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Ties 4
GOP 49
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  • Strongly Dem (177)
  • Likely Dem (48)
  • Barely Dem (107)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (15)
  • Likely GOP (49)
  • Strongly GOP (142)
270 Electoral votes needed to win Map algorithm explained
New polls: (None)
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN NC
PW logo No Bounce for Romney in Florida Convention Mash Up
Obama Goes It Alone How President Obama and Bill Clinton Became Friends
Obama's Spine The Party of Entitlements

News from the Votemaster

Why Didn't Obama Change Washington?

In addition to campaigning on specific policy issues, such as ending the war in Iraq (done) and passing a more-or-less universal health-care bill (done), in 2008, Barack Obama promised to end the partisan bickering in Washington. At that he failed. Both sides agree on that but their explanations are completely different. Democrats say that on Jan. 20, 2009 at noon (or maybe before that), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made his now-famous decision that his top legislative priority was to make sure Obama would be a one-term President. As a consequence, Senate Republicans did everything they could to block Obama at every turn.

Republicans have a different explanation. They say Obama just went ahead and tried to carry out his program without taking their wishes into consideration and this caused the emnity. However, it is hard to see how this is true. The health-care plan, for example, is a virtual copy of the plan the very conservative Heritage Foundation put forward starting in 1989 and which the Republicans have been pushing for over 20 years. This is the plan Mitt Romney passed in Massachusetts. Many in Obama's party were angry with him for adopting the Republican plan instead of a system more like the Canadian single-payer system. The truth is, it is unlikely anything Obama could have done would have reduced the amount of partisanship in Washington.

The core problem is modern technology. Through polling, microtargeting, and other campaign techniques, the Democrats try to position themselves just far enough to the right that they can get 50.1% of the vote and the Republicans position themselves just far enough to the left to get 50.1%. It doesn't always work, but campaign gurus like Democrat David Axelrod and Republican Karl Rove aim for this, despite what some of their party members may be yelling. The net result is that the country is pretty evenly divided, each party thnking that God is on its side, and politics has become war. It wasn't always this way. During the Eisenhower administration the parties got along just fine but that era is long gone.

If Mitt Romney is elected President, he will certainly make a plea that we need to overcome partisanship and all work together. But with memories of Republican obstruction so fresh in the minds of the Democrats, it remains to be seen whether they would cooperate if the situation arises.

Romney Campaigns in Ohio

Ground zero for Mitt Romney is Ohio, so after the convention he headed to the state to campaign there. For him, it is hard to imagine losing either Ohio or Florida and still being elected President. Obama could lose both and still be elected if he can win in the West (Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico) plus Virginia or North Carolina. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who was on Romney's short list for running mate, said that it is not enough for the Republicans to turn out their base in Ohio. They have to win over some people who voted for Obama in 2008. Romney seems to understand that and is campaigning using the theme that Obama is a nice guy and an honorable person but just doesn't know enough about the economy to fix it.

One aspect of the contest in Ohio is the role of General Motors. The company is trying in the worst way to avoid politics so as not to irritate any customers, but next week in Charlotte, the Democrats are surely going to repeating Joe Biden's slogan "Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive" constantly. The company has forbidden Romney and Obama from making campaign stops in its factories or using images from them in their advertising. Nevertheless, with thousands of jobs in Ohio dependent on General Motors (because many suppliers are in Ohio), its bailout by the Obama administration is going to be front and center shortly, whether GM wants it or not.

Valerie Jarrett is Obama's Spine

It is often said that tactician Karl Rove was Bush's brain. If Obama has outsourced a body part, it would be to Valerie Jarrett as Obama's spine. She has been a close friend of his for decades and interacts with him more often than any other staff or cabinet member. She often attends meetings where Obama is having a "private" discussion with someone. More than anyone else in the White House, she tries to keep him on the path his base wants him on. The New York Times has a good background piece on her today. For someone so powerful, she is not well known.

Voting Starts this Month

While we haven't gotten to 24/7 year-round voting yet, we are moving in that direction. In Iowa, people can vote starting on Sept. 27, before any of the debates and nearly 6 weeks before election day. President Obama campaigned in Iowa yesterday, urging voters to register and to vote early. It was his seventh trip to this small, but nevertheless important, swing state. If Obama wins the states the Democrats have won the last five elections plus the swing states in the West (Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico), where he has been leading all year, he would have 262 electoral votes, 8 short of 270. Those 8 could be Iowa (6) and New Hampshire (4), allowing him to lose Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and Missouri and still be reelected.

New York Attorney General Subpoenas Bain Documents

In a move that could embarrass Mitt Romney, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has issued a subpoena for documents from Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Mitt Romney, and other companies to see if they illegally converted management fees into other forms of income that are taxed at a lower rate. An illegal conversion might have deprived New York State of tax revenue, in which case Schneiderman has a legal basis for pursuing the case. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine that the politically ambitious Schneiderman is unaware of the broader political implications of targeting Bain Capital two months before the election. He is also no doubt aware that the Attorney General's job was Eliot Spitzer's springboard to the governor's mansion. That building is currently occupied by a Democrat, Andrew Cuomo, but could become vacant on Jan. 20, 2017 if Cuomo is elected President next time. It is like playing three-dimensional chess.

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
West Virginia Joe Manchin* 66% John Raese 27%     Aug 22 Aug 25 R.L. Repass

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster

Previous Headlines

Sep01 Judge Allows Ohioans to Vote the Weekend before Election Day
Sep01 Fact Checkers Under Fire
Sep01 Al Gore Calls for an End to the Electoral College
Sep01 What Happens if the Republicans Win?
Aug31 Romney Accepts the Republican Nomination for President
Aug31 Republicans Speak to Latinos but Ignore Immigration
Aug31 Winners and Losers from the Convention
Aug31 Media Invent Euphemisms for Ryan's Speech without Saying He Lied
Aug31 What Obama Must Do in Charlotte
Aug31 Democrats Can't Find Their Voters
Aug30 Ryan Accepts Nomination, Attacks Obama on Medicare
Aug30 Ryan Speech Prompts Media Debate on How to Deal with Lying in Campaigns
Aug30 Republicans Give Women Starring Roles at Convention
Aug30 Race is Crucial in Election Calculations
Aug30 Boehner Has Never Read Republican Platform
Aug30 Turnout Among College Students Could be Crucial
Aug29 Republicans Nominate Romney
Aug29 Romney is Least Popular Nominee in Decades
Aug29 Republican Platform Moves Sharply to the Right
Aug29 Candidates Average 5-Point Bounce After Convention
Aug29 Republican Insiders Split on Top Task for Convention
Aug28 First Day of Republican National Convention Lasts 2 Minutes
Aug28 Seven Factors that Will Determine the Convention's Success or Failure
Aug28 Ann Romney's Speech Tonight May Be the Most Important One
Aug28 Americans More Interested in GOP Platform than Romney's Speech
Aug28 Is 2012 just 2004 All Over Again?
Aug28 Why Do Republicans Say Obama is Divisive?
Aug28 First Day of Republican National Convention Lasts 2 Minutes
Aug28 Seven Factors that Will Determine the Convention's Success or Failure
Aug28 Ann Romney's Speech Tonight May Be the Most Important One
Aug28 Americans More Interested in GOP Platform than Romney's Speech
Aug28 Is 2008 just 2004 All Over Again?
Aug28 Why Do Republicans Say Obama is Divisive?
Aug27 Why Did the Republicans Pick Hurricane-Prone Tampa?
Aug27 What Does Romney Have to Do at the Convention?
Aug27 Up-and-Coming Republicans Will Speak at the Convention
Aug27 Yet Another Guide to the Republican Party
Aug27 Charlie Christ Endorses Obama
Aug27 Ron Paul Exits Gracefully
Aug27 No Bananas at the Republican Convention
Aug26 Republicans Cancel First Day of Convention
Aug26 Are Convention Bounces Real?
Aug26 Why Do Cities Host Political Conventions?
Aug26 Planned Parenthood Plans Battle
Aug25 Republican Convention Schedule Changed
Aug25 Republican Platform Has Changes from Previous Years
Aug25 Democratic Congressman: GOP Anti-Immigrant Platform Will Backfire
Aug25 AARP Flags Key Issues for Seniors
Aug25 Akin Again Affirms He Will Stay in Senate Race
Aug24 Poll Shows Women See Romney as Out of Step on Their Health Issues