Jul. 17 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 320   McCain 204   Ties 14
Senate Dem 56   GOP 44  
House Dem 239   GOP 196  

Senate map and races
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strong Dem Strong Dem (211)
weak Dem Weak Dem (35)
barely Dem Barely Dem (74)
tied Exactly tied (14)
barely GOP Barely GOP (11)
weak GOP Weak GOP (116)
strong GOP Strong GOP (77)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: CA KS OR WA RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IN IA MT NM OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo Having Technical Problems... Will Resume Posting Soon PPP Poll: McCain Holds Small Lead in South Carolina
Clinton Asks to Keep Campaign Donations Quote of the Day
More Americans Positive About Iraq Rangel in Trouble?

News from the Votemaster

After Barack Obama's narrow win over Hillary Clinton in the primary, some Clinton supporters were very disappointed and said they would vote for John McCain over their former nemesis, Obama. They resisted calls for party unity under the banner of being PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) voters. However, upon futher inspection of the what the alternatives were (a candidate who opposes almost everything Clinton stands for or not voting), most of them have grudgingly reconsidered. A California Field Poll shows that 80% of the former Clinton supporters in California are now on board for Obama and 8% are for McCain. California women support Obama 2 to 1.

NY-13 is the congressional district that keeps on giving. Between a drunken congressman with two families, a GOP candidate whose son wanted to run against him so he wouldn't be elected, and the Republicans filing a dead man as their candidate, what else could happen in this Staten Island-based district? Well, the Republicans, or more accurately, some of them, have found a candidate in former assemblyman Robert Straniere. Except the district's most prominent Republican politician, former representative Guy Molinari, called him a liar and said: "I'm going to do everything in my power to stop him." Such words are not likely to be helpful. It is hard to imagine this district staying Republican when one of the most respected Republicans in New York State is violently opposed to the candidate.

Swing State Project has compiled the fundraising reports for House candidates who have filed their second quarter reports already. Here are the data as a .csv file.

JibJab has another great video. Check it out.

The whole West Coast shows up today in the polling data. As usual, Obama is way ahead in all three states. Also as expected, McCain is going to coast to a huge victory in Kansas, where Obama's mother is from.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
California 54% 30% Jul 08 Jul 14 Field Poll
Kansas 32% 52% Jul 14 Jul 14 Rasmussen
Oregon 46% 37% Jul 16 Jul 16 Rasmussen
Washington 55% 39% Jul 13 Jul 15 SurveyUSA

The Senate is a bit more interesting. The Oregon race between Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) and state House speaker Jeff Merkley is expected to be close and it is. It is a statistical tie, with Merkley 2 points ahead. This is the first time Merkley is ahead. With Obama expected to win a huge victory in Oregon, a typical blue state, he might have enough coattails to pull in Merkley.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Kansas Jim Slattery 30% Pat Roberts* 57% Jul 14 Jul 14 Rasmussen
Oregon Jeff Merkley 43% Gordon Smith* 41% Jul 15 Jul 15 Rasmussen
South Dakota Tim Johnson* 60% Joel Dykstra 35% Jul 09 Jul 09 Rasmussen

One other Senate poll is worth commenting on: South Dakota. The Republicans should file this one under the heading: "Lost opportunities." South Dakota is one of the reddest states and Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) barely squeaked in under the wire in 2002. Then he had a cerebral hemorrhage in Dec. 2006 and can't campaign much. NRSC chairman Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) was unable to convince Gov. Mike Rounds (R-SD) to run for the Senate and was also unable to find any other top-tier candidate. This is where the difference between DSCC chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Ensign shows up. One way or another, in every competitive race in 2006 and 2008 Schumer managed to cajole, browbeat, or otherwise get a strong candidate into the race. That is how he won six seats in 2006 and is almost sure to win New Hampshire, Virginia, Colorado, and New Mexico this time and will put up good fights in Alaska, Oregon, Minnesota, North Carolina, Maine, and Mississippi (Wicker) as well. The difference between the two is that Schumer is a Brooklyn street fighter who clearly relishes the job whereas Ensign is a former veterinarian who took the NRSC job as a favor to his Republican colleagues, none of whom wanted it.

-- The Votemaster

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