Dec. 24 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 365   McCain 173  
Senate Dem 58   GOP 41   Ties 1
House Dem 257   GOP 178  

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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
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Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO FL IN IA NV NM NC OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Minnesota Court Denies Coleman Request Obama's Rules of Scandal Management
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News from the Votemaster

Minnesota Keeps At It

The Minnesota recount process kept moving, albeit slowly, yesterday. Al Franken now leads by 46 votes. However, some challenged ballots remain to be processed. If you want to view some of the challenged ballots, the Star Tribune has some online. Coleman asked for a do-over on 16 previously challenged ballots but the canvassing board said no. It increasingly appears that Coleman is grasping at straws. The board seems to feel it is capable of doing its work without the candidates' help. Coleman keeps raising issues that the board doesn't feel are valid. Franken is just biding his time waiting for the results.

In addition, there are about 1600 absentee ballots that may have been improperly rejected. They were supposed to be counted by Dec. 31, but the canvassing board has asked for an extension until January 2. The candidates have agreed to this date but also have agreed to a plan in which absentee votes are only submitted to the canvassing board if both campaigns agree. While neither campaign knows what the unopened vote is, they both know where it came from. It is likely that Coleman will reject all votes from Franken-friendly counties and Franken will reject all votes from Coleman-friendly counties so possibly no votes will be counted. The court decision enabling this was truly stupid. It should have ordered all 1600 contested ballots to go to the canvassing board to let them decide what to do and kept the campaigns out of the loop. As a result of this decision, some legitimate votes will be discarded and there will be lawsuits over them unless the court changes its mind.

Poll Shows NY Voters Prefer Kennedy Dynasty to Cuomo Dynasty

A Quinnipiac University poll shows that 33% of the New York voters want Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) to appoint Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President Kennedy to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. However, a nearly equal number, 29%, want him to appoint state attorney general Andrew Cuomo, son of the former governor, Mario Cuomo. At 4%, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), is the leading nondynastic candidate. However, Gov. Paterson is surely not against dynasties; he, himself, is the son of a state senator.

Resistance to Kennedy from Democratic officials is growing. Advisors to the governor apparently have had enough of the "Kennedy is inevitable, get used to it" line coming from pro-Kennedy circles. It sounds eerily like the "Hillary is inevitable, get used to it" line we were hearing about a year ago. And this time around it is a lot less inevitable because there is only one voter, and he has his own interests to think about. In particular, he doesn't owe anything to the Kennedys but would prefer to get Cuomo a good job so Cuomo won't challenge him in a gubernatorial primary in 2010, something Kennedy would never do (having no experience isn't so terrible for a legislative position but is an issue for an executive position). Paterson has given no indication of who he plans to choose and all this public jockeying probably has zero effect on him.

Being appointed to the Senate is no sinecure and the governors of New York, Illinois, Colorado, and Delaware are surely aware of that. The governor of Delaware took the safest course and appointed a placeholder (Ted Kaufman) who said he will not run in 2010. In that way, the Democrat, most likely another dynastic candidate--Joe Biden's son, Beau--will not be burdened by votes taken in the 111th Congress. So far, there is little hard evidence about what Paterson will do and in Illinois we don't even know who will do the appointing, if anyone. Colorado depends a lot of who Gov. Ritter picks.

Obama Releases Report on Blagojevich Contacts

President-elect Barack Obama released a report yesterday stating that the only member of his staff who talked to Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL), who has been charged in a criminal complaint, was chief-of-staff designate Rahm Emanuel. They talked about Emanuel's seat in the House. The governor has no authority to appoint a successor as state law requires a special election, although in many cases (but not his) a governor's endorsement could be a plus for a candidate. Clearly, the Obama team smelled a rotting fish in Springfield and pretty much avoided the place on purpose.

Third World People Visit the U.S. for Bargains

Middle and Upper class Mexicans are now doing their Christmas shopping in the U.S. because it is cheaper than in Mexico. If you go back 10, 20, 30 years, Americans traveled around the world to poor countries looking for bargains. Now the economy is in such bad straights that it looks attractive to people from a genuine third world country. Clearly things are moving in the wrong direction.

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-- The Votemaster