Nov. 25 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 365   McCain 173  
Senate Dem 58   GOP 40   Ties 2
House Dem 255   GOP 175   Ties 5

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strong Dem Strong Dem (258)
weak Dem Weak Dem (33)
barely Dem Barely Dem (74)
tied Exactly tied (0)
barely GOP Barely GOP (14)
weak GOP Weak GOP (39)
strong GOP Strong GOP (120)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
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Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO FL IN IA NV NM NC OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Obama Outlines Budget Plan, Names Orszag The Return of Depression Economics
The Big Story Palin Heads Back to Campaign Trail
Menendez to Head DSCC Bloomberg Approval Drops From Super High to Very High

News from the Votemaster

Minnesota Madness

The Great Minnesota Recount continued yesterday with a fight over 7 missing ballots in Ward 5 of St. Paul. The initial count on Nov. 4 was seven higher than the number of ballots in the box. The ward went for Franken, so he protested over the missing ballots. The elections manager said maybe they ran seven ballots through twice on election day. The election is close enough that it is worth making a federal case out of the seven missing ballots.

But the real fight is over 300 disputed ballots and thousands of rejected absentee ballots. They were rejected for all kinds of reasons. The Franken camp wants them to be examined one at a time to see if there is a valid reason for rejecting them. It is possible that some were rejected in error or because a state data base contains an error. The canvassing board will meet Wednesday to consider the issue. Technically, Coleman is now 210 votes ahead but with 3000+ challenges, this number means nothing because many of the challenges are totally bogus and just intended to reduce the other guy's number in the daily press release.

Biden Aide to Keep His Seat Warm

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (D-DE) has selected Joe Biden's long-time senior aide, Ted Kaufman, to replace Biden in the Senate. Kaufman said he has no interest in running for election in 2010, clearing the path for Biden's son, Beau Biden, to run in 2010. Beau Biden was elected attorney general but is currently preparing to be deployed to Iraq for a year.

Tom Perriello (D) Has Been Certified as the Winner in VA-05

Democrat Tom Perriello has defeated Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) in VA-05 by 745 votes. Goode is asking for a recount, but a change of 745 is a lot for a recount. Odds are that Perriello wins this one.

Obama Announced His Economic Team and the Dow Surged

President-elect Barack Obama named his economic team yesterday. They are:

  • Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, as secretary of the treasury
  • Larry Summers, a former treasury secretary, as head of the White House economic council
  • Christina Romer, a professor of economics at Berkeley as head of the council of economic advisors
  • Melody Barnes, an aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy, as director of the White House domestic policy council

It is far from clear what everybody's responsibilities are, other than giving the President advice. On Friday, when Geithner's name was leaked, the Dow shot up 494 points. Today it rallied another 397 points. Clearly Wall St. is very happy with Obama's choices. This is the biggest two day jump in 20 years.

None of the top five government economists are dumb bunnies. These four plus Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke all have graduate degrees. M.I.T. is the big winner with three of the five being alumni. Harvard comes in second with two alumni. All in all, Cambridge, MA hasn't scored so well since the Kennedy administration. Here is where the top five went to school.

Person Bachelors degree Graduate degree
Melody Barnes University of North Carolina J.D. University of Michigan
Ben Bernanke Harvard Ph.D. M.I.T.
Timothy Geithner Dartmouth M.A. Johns Hopkins
Christina Romer College of William and Mary Ph.D. M.I.T.
Larry Summers M.I.T. Ph.D. Harvard

Schumer Resigns as DSCC Chairman

After winning six Senate seats in 2006 and at least seven in 2008, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has decided he has had enough running the DSCC and will not run it in 2010. Schumer's resignation was expected. An oft-mentioned successor is Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), one of the three Latinos in the Senate (along with Ken Salazar of Colorado and Mel Martinez of Florida).

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-- The Votemaster