Oct. 13 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 346   McCain 181   Ties 11
Senate Dem 59   GOP 41  
House Dem 247   GOP 186   Ties 2

Senate map and races
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This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (235)
weak Dem Weak Dem (47)
barely Dem Barely Dem (64)
tied Exactly tied (11)
barely GOP Barely GOP (26)
weak GOP Weak GOP (24)
strong GOP Strong GOP (131)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: CA ND NV RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO FL IA NV NM ND OH VA WV GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Fox News Poll: Obama Ahead in Key Red States SurveyUSA: McCain Up By Eight in Georgia
Democracy Corps: Crisis Hits Republicans Hardest A Sign McCain is Losing Florida?
SurveyUSA: Obama Takes Lead in Missouri Mahoney Follows Foley Into Scandal

News from the Votemaster

Note: If you didn't check the site Saturday or Sunday and have the time, you might want to. There was a fair amount of news over the weekend.

Researchers Find Reverse Bradley Effect in Primaries

The Bradley effect--a black politician doing well in the polls but badly in the actual election--has been much discussed but there is little data on how it would work this year. Now a team of researchers from the University of Washington has analyzed the data from the 32 Democratic primaries this year and come to a surprising conclusion. The effect existed in California, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, but a reverse effect existed in 12 other states, largely in the Southeast. Obama did better in the elections there than in the polls leading up to them. Researchers speculate that some people may tend to give pollsters the "socially correct" answer and in the Southeast, supporting the white person is socially correct. But this is just one study. Don't take it too seriously.

McCain in Trouble with Latinos

McCain's relationship with the Latino community has been poisoned by the anti-immigrant Tancredo wing of the Republican party, but also by McCain himself. When he coauthored the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill, which would have provided a path to citizenship for 12 million illegal immigrants, many of them Latinos, he was cheered by the Latino community. For a while it looked like he could have gotten more than the 40% of the Latino vote that Bush got in 2004. But when he rejected his own bill and said he would veto it if Congress passed it, the Latinos bailed on him. Four key swing states--Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico--have large Latino populations and he has developed a profound weakness there that is probably too late to repair. Earlier this year when McCain was forced to make a choice--between the Tancredos and the Latinos--he chose the Tancredos and he has now discovered that you reap what you sow.

Politifact Debunks Obama-Ayers Connection

The McCain campaign and the RNC are still using ads (e.g., like this one that link Obama and 1960s radical William Ayers. Now Polifact has examined the ads closely and concluded that the claim that Obama and Ayers ran a radical education foundation together is a "pants-on-fire" lie. While it is true that Obama was the nominal head of the foundation in question, Ayers never had a paid position on the foundation's staff, never was on the board, and never had a vote on anything. His connection to Obama was attending some board meetings that were open to the public, and this 20 years after his radical days, by which time he had reformed enough to get a Ph.D. in education from Columbia University and was able to win Chicago's "Citizen of the Year" award in 1997 for his work for nonprofit organizations. In short, while Ayers was a despicable person in his youth, the McCain campaign's relentless harping on the close relationship between Obama and Ayers is very misleading. They weren't close at all.

The Man Behind the "Obama Is a Muslim" Campaign Is Exposed"

E-mails have been circulating this year saying that Obama is a Muslim or is not a U.S. citizen, and similar things that are not true. Polls show that 10-15% of the population believe them. Ever wonder how these things get started? They are not seeded by spores from meteorites that landed on the earth 50 million years ago. They are very intentional, carefully crafted campaigns and one of the people responsible, Andy Martin, appeared on Fox News last week. The NY Times has a story on Martin. He has run for public office numerous times (once so he could "exterminate Jew power") and lost them all and has filed so many frivolous lawsuits that a federal judge once forbade him from filing any more without advance permission.

Opening Shot in the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party

If John McCain wins the presidency, he will probably have enough power to force recalcitrant Republicans to grudgingly follow him on most issues. However, House Republicans are already beginning to at least consider how they would regroup under an Obama presidency. About 110 of the 199 are members of the Republican Study Committee, which thinks the party should get back to its conservative roots. Although many of them held their noses and voted for the Patriot Act and No Child Left Behind, in principle they oppose these laws, both of which vastly expanded the role of the federal government. Most of them voted against the Wall St. bailout act until so much pork was thrown in that they smelled the bacon and couldn't resist. The bailout bill might later prove to be the opening shot in the war for the soul of the Republican Party.

Chaos Expected on Election Day

Many observers expect chaos on election day, ranging from electronic voting machines that don't work to poorly trained poll workers to insufficient paper ballots. About nine million people will vote with equipment that the poll workers have never seen before. It could be a multistate disaster. Lou Dobbs has a video report.

Obama Leads on Intrade 353 to 185

This morning's state-by-state Intrade.com map shows Obama with 353 electoral votes to McCain's 185. This is not far off from our score of 346 to 181 with Missouri tied. Bettors think Obama will sweep all the Kerry states plus Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. The only swing state colored red is Missouri. Here is the Intrade map.

Intrade map

Obama Continues to Lead in the National Polls

Here is today's batch of national polls. Obama has an average lead nationally of 8%.

      - Diageo tracking (Obama +8)
      - Gallup Tracking (Obama +7)
      - Rasmussen tracking (Obama +6)
      - Research 2000 tracking (Obama +13)
      - Washington Post/ABC (Obama +10)
      - Zogby (Obama +4)

Today's Polls

We have three presidential polls today. One of them is either astounding or wrong. Minnesota State University Moorhead ran a poll in North Dakota and found Barack Obama ahead of John McCain 45% to 43%. Now that is just a statistical tie, but a statistical tie in a state Bush won by 27 points in 2004 and 28 points in 2000 is not good news for McCain. He really doesn't have the time, energy, and resources to fight for states like North Dakota. Maybe this is just a fluke though. Nevada is also a near tie, but that is expected.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
California 56% 40% Oct 09 Oct 09 Rasmussen
North Dakota 45% 43% Oct 06 Oct 08 Minnesota State U. Moorhead
Nevada 47% 45% Oct 08 Oct 09 Mason-Dixon

We also have two House polls, both in hotly contested races in Nevada and both showing the incumbent Republican with a big lead.

Cong. Distr. Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
NV-02 Jill Derby 38% Dean Heller* 51% Oct 08 Oct 09 Mason-Dixon
NV-03 Dina Titus 37% Jon Porter* 46% Oct 08 Oct 09 Mason-Dixon

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