Jul. 02 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 317   McCain 221  
Senate Dem 55   GOP 45  
House Dem 239   GOP 196  

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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 (103)
strong GOP Strong GOP (95)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
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Presidential polls today: LA NY RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IN IA NM OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo McCain Switches Campaign Managers (Again) RNC Readies Ad Blitz
Quote of the Day Hispanic Voters Back Obama
Clinton Advisers Join Team Obama Quinnipiac: Connecticut Solidly for Obama

News from the Votemaster

CQ Politics ran an elimination tournament to allow readers to choose the person they wanted as Barack Obama's Veep. The winner is Gen. Wesley Clark. On Sunday Clark questioned McCain's credentials as commander-in-chief when he said: "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." When the Republicans attacked him, he said it again. He was trailing Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) before he made his comment and this may have helped. Vice Presidents traditionally attack the other side and as a four-star general with 34 years of military experience he is in a very strong position to attack McCain. Clark was probably auditioning for the job, showing Obama that if he is selected, he intends to go right for the jugular. This is the proper way to run for Veep: you show the presidential nominee how you will attack the other side. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) has been doing this, too.

Interviews with 16 Republican insiders and state chairmen give the clear impression that they don't think John McCain is running a very good campaign. He had a 4-month head start over Barack Obama, yet he is lacking a clear message, has weak fundraising, and is lacking an organization in many states.

Be careful what you wish for. You might get it. In 2004, the Republicans kept hootin' and hollerin' for John Kerry's millionaire wife, Theresa Heinz Kerry, to release all of her tax records and other financial data saying "What's she hiding?" Guess what? This time it is the Republicans who have the rich wife. Cindy McCain inherited something like $100 million from her beer distributor father and has spent freely, even racking up $500,000 in credit card charges one month. Of course, given the precedent set in 2004, now it is the Democrats who are hootin' and hollerin' for Cindy to release all of her records. She doesn't want to, no doubt in part because she had some joint business ventures with convicted felon Charles Keating in the 1980s and would prefer to keep these out of the spotlight.

Polls in Louisiana and New York confirm what we all knew: Democrats do well in the North and Republicans do well in the South.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Louisiana 36% 52% Jun 26 Jun 28 Opinion Res.
New York 57% 37% Jun 25 Jun 27 SurveyUSA

A more interesting poll is for the Louisiana Senate seat. The only Democratic seat the Republicans might be able to pick off is that of Mary Landrieu (D-LA), but she is now leading her challenger, John Kennedy, now a Republican but until recently a Democrat, by 6%.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Louisiana Mary Landrieu* 46% John Kennedy 40% Jun 26 Jun 28 Opinion Res.
Massachusetts John Kerry* 63% Jeff Beatty 25% Jun 30 Jun 30 Rasmussen

In an open House seat being vacated by Ron Lewis (R) in KY-02, Democrat David Boswell is leading Republican Brett Guthrie 47% to 44% according to SurveyUSA. This is an ominous development for the Republicans as the district is R+13, even more Republican than MS-01, an R+10 district in which Travis Childers (D) recently won by 8% to fill Roger Wicker's House seat. If heavily Republican districts are essentially tossups, what is going to happen in the evenly split districts?

Speaking of evenly split House districts, here is another update on the The Great Saga of NY-13. Remember, that's the one where the incumbent ran a red light while drunk and was discovered to have two families and then the Republicans picked a rich businessman to replace him and his son tried to run against him and then the rich businessman died of a heart attack. The filing date is July 10 and the GOP still doesn't have a candidate. The Kings County (Brooklyn) Republican chairman has a suggestion, retired investment banker Paul Atanasio. However, Atanasio has a couple of minor problems. First, he is not a registered Republican. Second, he lives in Brooklyn while the vast majority of the district is in Staten Island. Third, he needs to collect 1250 signatures before the filing date and Staen Islanders are notorious for preferring an Islander as their congressman. Fourth, the other Republican leaders in the area don't want Atanasio. Fifth, DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen has announced he is going to put $2 million into this race for NYC councilman Mike McMahon (D), mostly to scare off any potential Republicans. What a mess. McMahon has a primary challenger, but with Van Hollen beind him, McMahon is in good shape. More here.

-- The Votemaster

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