Aug. 24 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 269   McCain 256   Ties 13
Senate Dem 56   GOP 43   Ties 1
House Dem 242   GOP 193  

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Presidential polls today: MS RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): IA NV NM GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

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News from the Votemaster

Early Reactions to Joe Biden

Political Wire has collected a number of initial reactions to the choice of Joe Biden as Barack Obama's running mate. Summarized as one liners they are:

  • NY Times: A strategic choice to reassure voters about gaps in his resume
  • Politico: On foreign policy, Democrats have few more seasoned practitioners than Biden
  • First Read: The candidate many Republicans wanted least was Biden
  • Mark Halperin: Over the next few days, some of Biden's ungreatest hits of gab will be recycled
  • Craig Crawford: Obama-Biden works on several fronts
  • David Brody: On paper it makes a lot of sense
  • Marc Ambinder: Obama-Biden will be a formiddable ticket, and a risky ticket

Biden Brings in Experience and Demographic Appeal

Others have pointed out that Biden is a twofer: he brings decades of foreign policy and national security experience to the ticket, but as a 65-year-old Catholic from blue-collar family in Pennsylvania who went to a public university and lives in a modest house in Delaware (his only one) and commutes an hour and a half to it every day by train, he appeals to Catholics, blue-collar workers, and older voters, groups Obama has had trouble with. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, he has been a strong supporter of Israel, which may also help with Jewish voters, another group Obama has yet to get on board. Vice Presidential candidates don't add that much to the ticket under most circumstances, but the message of this choice is to assure voters that Obama will pick serious, qualified people for top jobs.

Five Things the Biden Pick Shows about Obama

Politico has a list of five things the choice of Joe Biden for Veep shows about Obama

  1. He is fixing for a fight and Biden knows how to attack
  2. He is fairly conventional: two middle-aged male senators is not revolutionary
  3. He's worried about national security as an issue and needs help
  4. He knows he has a problem with blue collar voters
  5. He doesn't bear grudges (Biden attacked him in the primaries, but so what?

Biden's Comebacks

Joe Biden has made remarkable comebacks a number of times in his life. When his wife and baby daughter were killed in a car accident just after he was elected to the Senate he was devastated, but came back. He ran for President in 1988 but dropped out after he was caught plagiarizing some lines from a British politician, but he came back to be a highly respected senator. He had a brain aneurysm he could have died from but be recoved fully. This year he ran for President again, got fewer than 1% of the delegates in Iowa, and dropped out again. Now he is about to become the Vice Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.

Today's polls

The only presidential poll today is in Mississippi, where John McCain has a very solid lead, 54% to 41%. Barack Obama's only chance here is a massive registration drive to get black voters, young voters, and upscale voters (e.g., in university towns) registered. If every black voter in the state votes, Obama still needs 25% of the white vote to win.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Mississippi 41% 54% Aug 21 Aug 21 Rasmussen

Rasmussen also polled the Mississippi-B Senate race. Appointed senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) is leading former governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) 47% to 42%. This is expected to be a close race.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Mississippi Ronnie Musgrove 42% Roger Wicker 47% Aug 21 Aug 21 Rasmussen

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