Dec. 07 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 365   McCain 173  
Senate Dem 58   GOP 41   Ties 1
House Dem 255   GOP 178   Ties 2

Senate map and races
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strong Dem Strong Dem (258)
weak Dem Weak Dem (33)
barely Dem Barely Dem (74)
tied Exactly tied (0)
barely GOP Barely GOP (14)
weak GOP Weak GOP (39)
strong GOP Strong GOP (120)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: (None) RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO FL IN IA NV NM NC OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Matthews Set to Sign New Contract Seblius Drops Out of Contention
Jefferson Defeated in Lousiana Kennedy Backing Niece's Bid for Clinton Seat
Obama Picks Shineski to Head Veterans Affairs Quote of the Day

News from the Votemaster

Cao Upsets Jefferson in LA-02

Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao defeated corrupt nine-term Democrat William Jefferson in a House runoff in LA-02 yesterday. Jefferson, you may remember, was discovered to have $90,000 in cold cash in his freezer. Even though the district is D+28 and heavily black, the voters had enough of Jefferson (who is black) and went for the Republican 50% to 47%. Cao is the first Vietnamese-American in Congress. This upset comes as a huge surprise to nearly all observers. Most Democrats are relieved to be rid of Jefferson even if it costs them a House seat. Cao will have his hands full trying to hold this seat in 2010, especially if the Democrats can field a popular local black politician.

Fleming Defeats Carmouche in LA-04

Physician John Fleming (R) beat district attorney Paul Carmouche (D) by 356 votes in the LA-04 runoff. This is a fairly narrow win considering that the district is R+7, John McCain took it by 19 points last month, and the NRCC poured $900,000 into the runoff. Thus the Republicans picked up a net of two House seats yesterday. The remaining open House districts are VA-05 and OH-15.

Obama Unveils Massive Public Works Project

President-elect Barack Obama released a first glimpse of his plan to create 2.5 million new jobs in what would be the largest public works project since President Dwight Eisenhower built the interstate highway system in the 1950s. The plan will make public buildings energy efficient, repair aging roads, renovate schools, and bring broadband Internet access to rural areas, much as President Franklin Roosevelt brought electricity to rural areas.

Menendez Open to Matthews

Incoming DSCC chairman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who is succeeding outgoing DSCC chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said he is open to having Hardball host Chris Matthews run for the Democratic nomination against Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) in 2010 (English translation: Go Chris go). In recent years, the DSCC has endorsed strong candidates in the primaries. Matthews has good name recognition and a first poll shows that Specter is ahead of Matthews 46% to 43%. When a five-term senator leads someone who has never held public office and is not even an announced candidate by only 3 points, that senator has a problem. With Menendez apparently now edging towards backing Matthews, the odds that Matthews enters the race increases greatly. Also, it is inconceivable that Menendez would have said a word about this race before speaking with Gov Ed Rendell (D-PA). Menendez' comment suggests that Rendell is not interested in becoming a senator. However, it is entirely possible that other Democrats enter the race and there will be a primary.

On the other hand, Political Wire is reporting that Matthews is going to sign a new contract with MSNBC, which would preclude a Senate run, so who knows?

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-- The Votemaster