Aug. 27 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 273   McCain 252   Ties 13
Senate Dem 56   GOP 43   Ties 1
House Dem 242   GOP 193  

Senate map and races
Downloadable polling data
Previous report
Next report
This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (134)
weak Dem Weak Dem (121)
barely Dem Barely Dem (18)
tied Exactly tied (13)
barely GOP Barely GOP (76)
weak GOP Weak GOP (89)
strong GOP Strong GOP (87)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: FL OH PA RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IA NM GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo "The Hug" Featured in New Democratic Ads Giuliani Not Helping McCain
Democratic Convention Getting Good Ratings McCain Having Final Veep Meeting
Bonus Quote of the Day Time/CNN Poll: Obama Leads in Key Battlegrounds

News from the Votemaster

Hillary Clinton Endorses Obama, Attacks McCain

Hillary Clinton gave a strong endorsement of Barack Obama last night at the Democratic National Convention, saying that he and she are fighting for the same goals, She also lit into John McCain, saying at one point: "It makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together in the Twin Cities because they're awfully hard to tell apart." She told her supporters that they had fought a good fight but now the battle is over, Obama won, and the party must unite to elect Obama.

Craig Crawford, a generally astute observer, has an interesting take on Clinton's speech. He says that it was wholly devoid of any references to his strong character and ability to lead. Her pitch was essentially: "Vote for him because he believes in the things I believe in." What he needed was a personal endorsement, not a restatement of the well-known fact that most Democrats are in agreement on the issues. She said all the right words, but with one eye on 2008 and one eye on 2012. With this in mind, Bill Clinton's speech tonight will be even more important. Will he go all out for Obama or damn with faint praise?

To Attack or Not to Attack, That Is the Question

The traditional media seem to have picked up on two themes for the convention so far. First, for some of Clinton's diehards supporters, the primary is not over yet and they say they won't support Obama. It is more than a bit ironic that some of the most ardent feminists say they will support John McCain (who they oppose on virtually every issue--especially abortion) rather than Barack Obama (with whom they agree on virtually every issue). The other theme is that the Democrats are letting McCain off easy. Long-time Clinton insider James Carville has been all over TV saying that the Democrats have let slip a golden opportunity to pummel McCain. Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) compared Obama to Adlai Stevenson, another cerebral Illinoisian, saying that both of them liked to give long thoughtful answers to complex questions, when soundbites would be more effective. Sen. Chuck Schumer(D-NY) said the Democrats should throw more rabbit punches. Indeed, the keynote speaker, Mark Warner, emphasized bipartisanship and working with the Republicans to solve the country's problems. Of course, Warner is running for the Senate in a fairly red state, so he has his own reasons for making nice to the Republicans, but it is still odd for a keynote speaker not to throw any red meat to the party's activists.

In contrast, the McCain campaign was in full-bore attack mode. Not a word about bipartisanship. It was running ads attacking Obama as too young to lead and bellowing that he is too weak to be commander in chief. To a considerable extent, this looks like a rerun of 2004, with polite Democrats and fighting Republicans. When asked, the voters say over and over that they can't stomach these negative ads, but as Lee Atwater discovered a long time ago, they are immensely effective. Some of the convention speakers last night mocked the fact that McCain couldn't remember how many houses he had, but the suggestion was that he had too many houses. If the shoe had been on the other foot with an elderly Democrat vs. a young Republican, the Republicans would have harped on the memory loss aspect (if he can't even remember how many houses he has, how can he remember what happened in the last cabinet meeting?). Democrats don't like that kind of personal attack. It is just not in their blood.

McCain's Veep Choices

Politico has a story on how the selection of Joe Biden as Obama's running mate complicates McCain's choices. Many business leaders favor former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, but together the Republican ticket would own about a dozen houses worth an estimated $35 million, clearly fodder for the Democrats to paint the Republicans as plutocrats out of touch with normal Americans. Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), who has never been on the national stage would be turned into mincemeat in the Vice Presidential debate by Biden, someone with 35 years experience debating in the Senate. Former Pennsylvania governor and Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security Tom Ridge could hold his own against Biden on national security but is pro choice, which would alienate much of the Base, which is already suspicious of McCain on abortion. Finally, there is Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), but prominent conservative Phyllis Schlafly said: "I think there would be a walkout on Lieberman at the convention. He's not a Republican." A name rarely mentioned but who would electrify the conventiion is Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX). She is a deeply conservative Republican, a good speaker, and would give the Democratic PUMA voters a cover story for voting for the Republican ticket, even though they violently oppose everything the Republicans are promising to do. It would be the ultimate in identity politics.

Alaska Results

Yesterday was the primary election in Alaska, with several key races there. Indicted Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) was easily renominated, winning 67% of the vote in a field of six largely unknown challengers. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) was officially nominated as the Democratic Senate candidate. If Stevens stays in the race past Sept. 17, Begich is likely to defeat him in the general election. However, if Stevens withdraws, the Alaska Republican party can look for an untainted candidate to replace him. In the House race, former Alaska House minority leader Ethan Berkowitz beat Diane Benson and will face whoever wins the Republican primary. With 98%% of the vote counted, the race is still too close to call. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (R) was trailing incumbent Don Young (R) by about 150 votes at last count. A ballot initiative that would have prohibited hunting bears and wolves from airplanes went down to defeat.

Today's Polls

Quinnipiac University has released polls for three key states. Ohio and Florida are statistical ties, with Obama having an insignificant lead in Ohio (44% to 43%) and McCain having an only slightly larger lead in Florida (47% to 43%). In Pennsylvania, Obama has a substantial lead, 49% to 42%. It doesn't look like Pennsylvania is really going to be in play. The Democrats have won Pennsylvania in the last four elections and this year does not look like it is going to overturn that winning streak.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Florida 43% 47% Aug 17 Aug 24 Quinnipiac U.
Ohio 44% 43% Aug 17 Aug 24 Quinnipiac U.
Pennsylvania 49% 42% Aug 17 Aug 24 Quinnipiac U.

We have several new House polls today (two of which should have been noted earlier--sorry). The most surprising one is in CO-04, where conservative firebrand Marilyn Musgrave is losing to former congressional aide Betsey Markey. Musgrave is constantly in the news and has been rated as the most conservative member of Congress. This seat, which covers most of the eastern half of the state, has been in Republican hands for decades and the incumbent has universal name recognition in the district. A loss here could foreshadow a catastrophic defeat for House Republicans in November. In another closely watched race, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes (D) are locked in a tight race in MO-06. Yet another major battle is in the open seat being vacated by Bud Cramer (D-AL) in AL-05 Parker the Democrat is leading Parker the Republican there. Name recognition is going to be a big problem there [it's Parker Griffith (D) against Wayne Parker (R)].

Cong. Distr. Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
AL-03 Joshua Segall 33% Mike Rogers* 54% Aug 13 Aug 18 Capital Survey
AL-05 Parker Griffith* 45% Wayne Parker 40% Aug 19 Aug 21 Capital Survey
CO-04 Betsey Markey 50% Marilyn Musgrave* 43% Aug 22 Aug 24 SurveyUSA
MO-06 Kay Barnes 44% Sam Graves* 48% Jul 30 Jul 31 SurveyUSA
NH-02 Paul Hodes* 44% ? 25% Jul 11 Jul 20 U. of New Hampshire
NV-02 Jill Derby 42% Dean Heller* 47% Aug 18 Aug 20 Research 2000

If you like this Website, tell your friends. You can also share by clicking this button  

-- The Votemaster