Dec. 25 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
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 Minnesota Court Denies Coleman Request Obama's Rules of Scandal Management
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News from the Votemaster

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Even to Norm Coleman (who is Jewish) but it is not likely to be a merry Christmas or even a happy Chanukah for him. Yesterday, the Minnesota state supreme court unanimously denied his motion to force the canvassing board to consider his claim that some votes in Franken strongholds were counted twice. Instead, he could go to court if he wants to--but only after a winner has been certified. Of course he can sue but (1) he is going to have to come up with some hard evidence that votes were actually double counted, something he hasn't done yet, and (2) the case will end up back in the Minnesota state supreme court, which has denied every motion he has brought before it so far. The court clearly does not want to decide the election. It wants the canvassing board to do so, as Minnesota law requires. With all the challenges now processed, all that is left is dealing with the 1600 absentee ballots that may have been improperly rejected. But absentee ballots in this election tend to favor Franken, who is currently leading by 46 votes according to the Star Tribune. If Franken picks up more votes from the absentee ballots, he will be certified the winner and Coleman will have the difficult task of convincing the state supreme court to reverse the election. Courts really, really, hate to do that absent some fairly gross malfeasance somewhere down the food chain. Here is the AP's story on the court ruling. The AP puts Franken's lead at 47. Both this count and the Star Tribune's are unofficial though.

While Coleman's chances at this point are not zero, they are not great either. Here is what the bettors at have thought of Coleman's chances to win over the past 60 days. If you think Coleman will win, here is your chance to make some big money fast. You can buy 1000 shares in Coleman-to-win for about $600. If he is elected, you get $10,000.

Intrade Coleman

Rundown of the 2010 Senate Races

Campaign Diaries has a rundown of the 2010 Senate races, ranking them from shakiest (Jim Bunning) to most solid (Bob Bennett). Our rundown is here. Early next year we'll change the map to reflect the 2010 Senate races.

Bush Grants Then Revokes a Pardon

On Dec. 23 President Bush pardoned Isaac Toussie, who had defrauded low-income home buyers, then on Dec. 24 he revoked the pardon. It is a bit early to tell how this will play out, but suppose Toussie goes to federal court to claimed "once a pardonee, always a pardonee" and loses. In other words, suppose the courts rule that if Presidents have the power to pardon, they also have the power to revoke a pardon. That could have implications if President Bush pardons members of his administration on his last day in office and then incoming President Barack Obama revokes the pardons. This is definitely uncharted territory.

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-- The Votemaster