Jun. 20 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 317   McCain 194   Ties 27
Senate Dem 56   GOP 44  
House Dem 238   GOP 197  

Senate map and races
Downloadable polling data
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strong Dem Strong Dem (193)
weak Dem Weak Dem (42)
barely Dem Barely Dem (82)
tied Exactly tied (27)
barely GOP Barely GOP (38)
weak GOP Weak GOP (51)
strong GOP Strong GOP (105)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: CO FL GA RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IA MO NM OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

News from the Votemaster

Barack Obama stated yesterday that he won't take public funding for his campaign, thereby breaking an agreement he had with John McCain to do so if both were nominated. He'll take some flak about that for a week, but when the dust has settled he will probably have $300 million to spend from private donations and McCain will get $85 million from the government. Obama says that McCain-Feingold is obsolete. He probably has to watch his tongue and not say McCain is obsolete. His argument is that although McCain-Feingold regulates the candidates spending, 527 groups like Moveon.org (D) and Freedom's Watch (R) can raise and spend whatever they want to, making the campaign limits a sham.

Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the DCCC, is so flush with cash (over $40 million) and his Republican counterpart at the NRCC is so impoverished (about $6 million), that Van Hollen has picked another 14 Republican-held seats he wants to attack (English translation: is prepared to spend serious money on). The Democrats who get the loot and their opponents are listed below. Asterisks mark incumbents.

CD PVI Republican Democrat
NM-01 D+2 Darren White Martin Heinrich
NY-13 D+1 (primary) Mike McMahon
NV-03 D+1 Jon Porter* Dina Titus
VA-11 R+1 Keith Fimian Gerry Connolly
AZ-01 R+2 (primary) Ann Kirkpatrick
FL-25 R+4 Mario Diaz-Balart* Joe Garcia
NM-02 R+6 Edward Tinsley* Harry Teague
AZ-03 R+6 John Shaddeg* Bob Lord
FL-21 R+6 Lincoln Diaz-Balart* Raul Martinez
VA-02 R+6 Thelma Drake* Glenn Nye
LA-04 R+7 Jim McCrery* Paul Carmouche
CO-04 R+9 Marilyn Musgrave* Betsy Markey
MD-01 R+10 Andy Harris Frank Kratovil
AK-AL R+14 Young*/Parnell Ethan Berkowitz

These are in addition to 23 seats Van Hollen already targeted. More can be found here. Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) over at the NRCC has no program targeting Democratic seats. He has his hands full defending the Republican-held seats where the 2006 winner is not running in 2008.

Over the past two weeks we have gone over all the sitting Democratic senators and governors as potential Veeps. Of course, Obama could choose someone not in those categories (or someone no longer in them). Needless the say, the list of Americans who are not a senator or governor and who are 35 or over is pretty long. Here are a few of the possibilities but there are no doubt many more.

  • Mike Bloomberg's name is often listed when the discussion turns to the Vice Presidency, so we will list him for completeness. Mayor Mike could have spent $1 billion of his $10-20 billion fortune and run for President, but he didn't. He ran New York City well, arguably the second hardest job in the world. But guys like Bloomberg generally don't want to play second fiddle and he'll be 74 if Obama wins two terms. Not likely to happen. He might run for governor of New York though.
  • Wesley Clark could greatly weaken McCain's expected attack on Obama's lack of national security credentials. With Clark Obama would say: "I've got a guy on my team who's a four-star general who fought and won a war (in Bosnia). If we have to go to war, with my team, we'll win." Clark was a former Clinton supporter, which may help unify the party. He ran for President himself in 2004 and proved a rather lackluster campaigner, however.
  • Tom Daschle is the former minority leader of the Senate. He is from the Midwest (South Dakota) and would be assigned the job of campaigning in Iowa and Missouri and perhaps Ohio. He's not a real exciting guy though.
  • John Edwards knows all about running for Vice President. He is a populist and a powerful speaker. Together with Obama, they would have a very inspiring team. On the downside, in 2004 he was unable to bring in the state he represented in the Senate, North Carolina, and probably couldn't do it now either.
  • Chuck Hagel would be a bold pick and would reinforce Obama's claim to post partisanship. For Obama to choose a Republican who opposes him on virtually everything except Iraq would certainly get a lot of attention. Hagel looks very presidential. Only he's a real right winger. Would never work.
  • Sam Nunn's name is often spoken in hushed tones, kind of with the reverence normally reserved for minor deities. He served in the Senate for 24 years and chaired the Armed Services Committee. Few people in country understand national defense as Nunn does. Choosing him would convince a lot of people that they will be in safe hands with a President who chooses associates of this excellence and quality. Nunn also has disadvantages. At 69 he is almost as old as McCain and he probably couldn't even win his own state (Georgia).

There are no doubt many others including over 200 Democratic members of the House. But again, this is an election with only one voter and he's not talking, so when some pundit announces that he's in on the secret, don't bet the farm on it.

Some interesting polls today. In Florida, Rasmussen has John McCain comfortable ahead of Barack Obama--in contrast to yesterday's polls putting Obama ahead. Chalk this up to statistical variation. It is probably pretty close there and the truth is likely to be somewhere in between yesterday's polls and today's. Another dead heat in Florida. Could be exciting. Dead heats in Florida are always exciting. Also noteworthy is the statistical tie in Georgia although a couple more polls are needed before Democrats should start salivating and Republicans should dust off their worry beads. The Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr is running around 6-8% in Georgia. He could be a factor. Also the large black population and unusually large number of young voters in Atlanta, a booming city, could help Obama. But take this with a spoon of salt for the moment. Colorado is definitely in play, but we knew that,

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Colorado 43% 41% Jun 17 Jun 17 Rasmussen
Florida 39% 47% Jun 18 Jun 18 Rasmussen
Georgia 43% 44% Jun 18 Jun 18 Insider Advantage

In the Senate, Mark Udall (D) is heading for a blowout against Bob Schaffer (R). This is one of four Republican-held Senate seats where the Democrat is likely to win in a landslide. The others are New Hampshire, Virginia, and New Mexico. Tight battles are expected in Alaska, Oregon, Minnesota, Maine, and Missippi-B (Wicker).

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Colorado Mark Udall 49% Bob Schaffer 40% Jun 17 Jun 17 Rasmussen
Colorado Mark Udall 49% Bob Schaffer 40% May 19 May 19 Rasmussen

We even have a couple of House polls today, one of which is a key battleground. In WA-08, incumbent Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) is ahead of challenger Darcy Burner (D) 51% to 45%. This is a top-tier race and both parties will go all out pouring money and energy into this race in the eastern Seattle suburbs. In 2006, Reichert beat back a challenge by Burner, a former Microsoft executive, by the skin of his teeth but she's back again for round 2.

-- The Votemaster

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