Jun. 30 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 317   McCain 194   Ties 27
Senate Dem 55   GOP 45  
House Dem 238   GOP 197  

Senate map and races
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strong Dem Strong Dem (187)
weak Dem Weak Dem (42)
barely Dem Barely Dem (88)
tied Exactly tied (27)
barely GOP Barely GOP (23)
weak GOP Weak GOP (85)
strong GOP Strong GOP (86)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: AZ GA VA RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IN IA NM OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo Obama Talks to Bill Clinton Rasmussen: McCain Holds Wide Lead in Georgia
McCain's Truth Squad Romney Tops McCain's Veep Short List
Obama Snubs the DLC Quote of the Day

News from the Votemaster

Oil hit $143 barrel this morning in early trading, an all-time record. If it stays there, gas at $6 a gallon is a real possibility and will focus the voters' attention firmly on the economy. Of course, there is nothing Barack Obama or John McCain can do to change the short-term price of oil, but they probably won't mention that. Still, if gas prices go through the roof, the economy will dominate the election and poll after poll shows the voters prefer the Democrats to be in charge of the economy.

High oil prices don't just affect consumers. State and local governments are also feeling the pinch. In Colorado, in some large counties, the sheriff is no longer sending deputies out on patrol. In Ohio, police are driving golf carts because they get better mileage. Oil is also a raw material in many manufacturing processes, and higher oil prices means more expensive products. More expensive products means more inflation. More inflation means the Fed will hike interest rates. Higher interest rates means the stock market goes down. There are huge implications to $143 a barrel oil as we may soon find out to our dismay.

CQ Politics has a story on the North Carolina Senate race between Sen. Liddy Dole (R-NC) and state senator Kay Hagan (D). Some polls have shown it to be a close race. With Republicans almost sure to lose Senate seats in Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, and New Mexico, and huge battles expected in Alaska, Oregon, Minnesota, Mississippi-B, and Maine, another competitive race is the last thing Senate Republicans need. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said yesterday that he does not expect to win back the Senate. This is an extraordinary statement for the leader of either party to make. It means McConnell is expecting a massive loss in the Senate. Our estimate at the moment is 6-8 seats. It is unlikely the Democrats make it to 60, but if seats like North Carolina are in play, there is a small chance it could happen.

We have three new presidential polls today. In Arizona, John McCain has a comfortable lead, although perhaps a bit smaller than one might have expected given that it is McCain's home state. Still, unless Gov. Janet Napolitano is Obama's Veep, McCain should win Arizona easily. McCain is also comfortably ahead in Georgia for the moment, but this is a state to watch. Fully 6% of the respondents said they would consider voting for Bob Barr (L). Also, Obama will attempt a massive voter registration effort among black voters here. Finally, Virginia is a statistical tie, with Obama a hair ahead. This confirms what most political analysts have been saying for a while: the red-blue map is changing, with states like Virginia and Colorado becoming very competitive. These two states alone have 22 electoral votes. If Obama wins all the Kerry states and these two, he gets 274 and becomes President. The battles in these two states will be fierce, In addition Nevada and Montana are also potentially in play.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Arizona 40% 49% Jun 25 Jun 25 Rasmussen
Georgia 43% 53% Jun 26 Jun 26 Rasmussen
Virginia 49% 47% Jun 20 Jun 22 SurveyUSA

ARG ran a poll in New Hampshire asking whether people approve/disapprove of George Bush. It was 16% approve, 75% disapprove, 9% don't know. The 75% is large, but sort of expected now. But how can 9% of the people not know? Either you like Bush or you don't. How can anyone not know after 7 years? The significance of the New Hampshire poll is that New Hampshire is probably the only Kerry state McCain might realistically win. And with such a bad approve/disapprove ratio for Bush there, McCain will have to distance himself from Bush substantially. His attraction in NH is that he is sometimes seen as a maverick. But saying "I approve of the Bush policies, I will just execute them better" is not going to be a winning slogan in New Hampshire.

Here is an (unsurprising) Senate poll.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Kansas Jim Slattery 34% Pat Roberts* 51% Jun 22 Jun 23 SurveyUSA

-- The Votemaster

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