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Electoral Vote Predictor 2004:   Kerry 238   Bush 296

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electoral college strong kerry Strong Kerry (112)
electoral college weak kerry Weak Kerry (63)
electoral college barely kerry Barely Kerry (63)
electoral college tied Exactly tied (4)
electoral college barely bush Barely Bush (46)
electoral college weak bush Weak Bush (123)
electoral college strong bush Strong Bush (127)
Needed to win: 270
Oct. 3 New polls: CO FL NJ OH OK RSS

News from the Votemaster

Not much news on the presidential front today, but a lot of news on another, much less talked about front: the Senate. Five Democratic senators from the South are retiring at and end of this session of Congress: John Breaux (D-LA), John Edwards (D-NC), Bob Graham (D-FL), Fritz Hollings (D-SC), and Zell Miller (D-GA). Only three Republicans are retiring: Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO), Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL), and Don Nickles (R-OK). In addition to these eight open seats, one other seat is semi-open: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is fighting to actually be elected to the Senate seat her dad the governor appointed her to.

Early in the year, the Republicans couldn't control their glee at the possibility of picking up as many as five Senate seats in the South, which has become increasingly Republican over the years. But a funny thing happened on the way to the election. The voters had different ideas. Not only are the Democrats holding four of the five seats in the South, but they are leading in all three formerly Republican seats. They are also leading in the only two really contested seats in which an incumbent might lose: Alaska and South Dakota.

If the Senate election were held today, the Democrats would take control of the Senate, 52-48 (counting independent Sen. Jeffords as a Democrat, since he caucuses with the Democrats). And this realignment does not take into account the possibility that Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) might pull a Jeffords and jump ship. He is from a hugely Democratic state and, like Zell Miller, would be much more appreciated in the other party. The only reason Chafee hasn't switched is out of a sense of duty to his late father, John Chafee, who was a respected Republican senator from RI. Here is the current polls. For more details about the individual races, see the Senate page.

State Democrat (pct) Republican (pct)
Alaska Tony Knowles (47%) Lisa Murkowski (41%)
Colorado Ken Salazar (50%) Pete Coors (46%)
Florida Betty Castor (49%) Mel Martinez (43%)
Georgia Denise Majette (37%) Johnny Isakson (53%)
Illinois Barack Obama (68%) Alan Keyes (17%)
Louisiana "John" (47%) David Vitter (44%)
North Carolina Erskine Bowles (45%) Richard Burr (44%)
Oklahoma Brad Carson (44%) Tom Coburn (37%)
South Carolina Inez Tenenbaum (46%) Jim DeMint (43%)
South Dakota Tom Daschle (48%) John Thune (46%)

Louisina is a special case since the Senate election is nonpartisan and three Democrats and one Republican are competing against one another. The two Democrats who have a chance are Chris John and John Kennedy, collectively referred to here as "John." If no candidate gets a majority on Nov. 2, there will be runoff in early Dec.

The political cartoonists went wild over the debate. There were so many good ones that I bought three cartoons this week. I buy them from politicalcartoons.com. If you don't like any of them, please read the Welcome page.

Projected Senate: 51 Democrats, 48 Republicans, 1 independent
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-- The votemaster

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Statistics Collector (via University of Kentucky)