Jul. 01 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 317   McCain 221  
Senate Dem 55   GOP 45  
House Dem 238   GOP 197  

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strong Dem Strong Dem (187)
weak Dem Weak Dem (42)
barely Dem Barely Dem (88)
tied Exactly tied (0)
barely GOP Barely GOP (23)
weak GOP Weak GOP (112)
strong GOP Strong GOP (86)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
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Presidential polls today: AL FL MA RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IN IA NM OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo CNN Poll: McCain, Obama in Tight Race Obama, McCain Met With Powell
Know Your Power Most See McCain as Too Much Like Bush
Quote of the Day Martinez Will Face Tough Re-Election Battle in 2010

News from the Votemaster

CQ Politics race of the day focuses today on the Maine Senate race between Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), a moderate, and Rep. Tom Allen (D) who already represents the southern half of the state in the House. Currently Collins is ahead as she has better name recognition in the northern part of the state, but this is a hotly contested race and Collins could suffer the same fate as Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island in 2006. Chafee was well known and personally popular, but Republicans are virtually extinct in New England. Allen is emphasizing the fact that Collins votes with Bush most of the time whereas Collins is talking about her seniority and all she has done for Maine during her two terms in the Senate.

Do Vice Presidents matter? SurveyUSA has run polls pairing various Obama and McCain with various Veeps in California, Massachusetts, Washington, Missouri, Oregon, Virginia, Ohio, and New Mexico. There are too many combinations to list, but very briefly, in California, Massachusetts, and Oregon, Obama wins no matter who the Veeps are. In Missouri, McCain wins with all combinations, even with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) as Obama's running mate.

In the other states it matters who the Veep is. In Oregon, McCain can win if he (1) picks Mike Bloomberg and (2) gets Bloomberg to agree (very unlikely). Otherwise, Oregon probably stays blue. In Virginia, Obama can win this key state and its 13 electoral votes by picking either Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) or Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA). With either of these Virginians on the ticket if Obama can win all the Kerry states, too he has 265 electoral votes. Then all he needs is just one of Iowa, New Mexico, or Colorado, all of which he currently is leading in. In Ohio, it looks like all Veeps weigh Obama down except Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH) who has forcefully said he is not a candidate. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was not polled however. In New Mexico, Obama/Richardson wins big; otherwise it is a mixed bag. In short, the choice of Veep does matter a little bit, but it is not the overriding factor. The biggest impact is probably about what it says about the candidate. Will McCain pick a conservative to please the Base or will he pick a moderate to go after independents? Will Obama pick a young Veep to emphasize "change" or will he pick an old hand to add the experience he is lacking?

We have three polls today. By far the most important is in Florida, where Rasmussen has McCain ahead 48% to 41%. This is a must-win state for McCain and he is comfortably ahead now. Obama can lose Florida (and even Ohio) and still cobble together 270 electoral votes in other ways.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Alabama 36% 51% Jun 26 Jun 26 Rasmussen
Florida 41% 48% Jun 26 Jun 26 Rasmussen
Massachusetts 53% 40% Jun 25 Jun 27 SurveyUSA

We have one not-very-surprising Senate poll today. In Alabama, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is on his way to a landslide reelection over the hapless Vivian Figures.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Alabama Vivian Figures 34% Jeff Sessions* 58% Jun 26 Jun 26 Rasmussen

-- The Votemaster

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