Aug. 19 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 275   McCain 250   Ties 13
Senate Dem 56   GOP 44  
House Dem 242   GOP 193  

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This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (134)
weak Dem Weak Dem (116)
barely Dem Barely Dem (25)
tied Exactly tied (13)
barely GOP Barely GOP (85)
weak GOP Weak GOP (34)
strong GOP Strong GOP (131)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
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Presidential polls today: GA IL MN NY RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): IN IA NM GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo A Note of Caution McCain Plans VP Birthday Bash
Obama VP Pick Coming Soon Someone's Not Telling the Truth
McCain Outspending Obama in Battlegrounds Obama Builds His Party

News from the Votemaster

Veep Speculation Continues

Veep speculation has become a frenzy. But remember, the people who know aren't talking and the people who are talking don't know. Everything else is at best an educated guess. Actually, Vice Presidential candidates since 1960 have always been announced within a week of the convention (or even at the convention), with the one exception of Edwards in 2004. That VP pick was leaked to Rupert Murdoch, owner of the New York Post, who put his money where his mouth was and printed the leak as a gigantic headline. Here is a list of announcement dates.

A story in the NY Times says Obama will announce this week and it is either Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), or Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA). But they don't know. When Obama has reached a decision, he is not going to send an e-mail to the NY Times to tip it off. Supporters will get e-mails early in the morning as a reward for contributing, then a formal joint appearance will take place for the media. The two candidates will probably spend the day campaigning in several states.

Politico has a story saying that John McCain is planning to hold a rally in Ohio on his 72nd birthday, Aug. 29. Speculation is that he will name his Veep then to blunt the media coverage of Obama's speech to 75,000 cheering fans the day before. Why Ohio? Could he have chosen former Ohio representative and director of the OMB Rob Portman? Or is it Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) or former governor Mitt Romney? Or a dark horse? Only McCain and a few intimates know. It would seem logical to announce the VP in the VP's home state, but politics has its own logic sometimes. McCain has an advantage here because Obama has to go first. By waiting until the Republican convention, McCain can make the convention more exciting since it will have some real news, not just show. The downside of not making the announcement on his birthday is that all the news on Aug. 29 will be about (1) Obama's acceptance speech on the 28th and (2) that fact that he is 72 years old.

CQ Politics Ratings Map

CQ Politics has produced several presidential election maps. One of the them shows their rating state-by-state. They give Obama 255 electoral votes, McCain 213 electoral votes and 70 tossups. There is also a historical map showing the outcome of previous elections.

Conegate Won't Go Away

Everybody seems starved for real news so issues like whether John McCain was or was not in a "cone of silence" during Barack Obama's interview with Rick Warren last Saturday rate being on the front page of the Washington Post. By next week there should be enough real news that this nanoscandal, which has been dubbed "conegate," will be banished forever.

Today's Polls

We have presidential polls in four states today. In Minnesota, it is surprisingly close, with Barack Obama ahead of John McCain by only 2 points, 47% to 45%. Previous polls have shown Obama with a much bigger lead. Also of note is Georgia, where McCain's lead is only 7 points. Rasmussen also asked about Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate, and Barr is running at 1%, not much of a threat to anyone. Obama has big leads in Illinois and New York.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Georgia 43% 50% Aug 14 Aug 14 Rasmussen
Illinois 53% 38% Aug 12 Aug 12 Rasmussen
Minnesota 47% 45% Aug 13 Aug 14 SurveyUSA
New York 47% 39% Aug 11 Aug 14 Siena Coll.

Two Senate polls today are of note. In Minnesota, Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) continues to lead challenger Al Franken (D), but by a smaller amount than in the past. For the moment, Coleman is safe. In Georgia, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) has a smaller-than-expected lead over challenger Jim Martin (D). Given how conservative Georgia is, Chambliss is expected to keep his job.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Georgia Jim Martin 43% Saxby Chambliss* 48% Aug 14 Aug 14 Rasmussen
Minnesota Al Franken 39% Norm Coleman* 46% Aug 13 Aug 14 SurveyUSA

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-- The Votemaster