Sep. 24 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 282   McCain 256  
Senate Dem 57   GOP 43  
House Dem 242   GOP 193  

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PW logo McCain Wants Debate Postponed Fox News Poll: Obama Surges Nationally
Excluding Cell Phones May Skew Poll Results Most Think Palin Unqualified
Palin Approval Slips in Alaska Marist Poll: Obama Leads in Five Key Battlegrounds

News from the Votemaster

Individual Sections on This Site Now Linkable

If you have a Website or blog and sometimes link to this site, read on. Otherwise skip this section. Several people have asked for permalinks to specific sections on the main page. Starting now they are available. Each headline is now preceeded by an <a name="n"> </a> tag so you can link directly to a particular section. For example, the next section (on the Republican platform) is The tags are simply the section numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.). If this is not completely clear, view the page source and look at the lines just before the <h4> tags. Also of note to bloggers are the various icons on the Icons for bloggers page. By embedding a couple of lines of HTML on your blog or Website, all your visitors will see an icon giving the latest EV, Senate, and House scores. It will take a minute to include the HTML and from now until the election your visitors have some valuable additional content.

2008 Republican Party Platform Opposes Bailouts

The Republican Party platform adopted 3 weeks ago explicitly opposes government bailouts of private companies. Here is the exact quote (from the section "Rebuilding Homeownership"):

We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself. We believe in the free market as the best tool to sustained prosperity and opportunity for all.

This plank in the GOP platform is not controversial within the party. Republicans have always believed that when companies make bad business decisions the market will punish them and this is the deterrence for future companies to think through their decisions carefully. The problem now is the utter hypocrisy of throwing overboard a principle Republicans have held dear for a century. If (big) companies lose the fear of bankruptcy because they expect the government to bail them out, they will take unconscionable risks in the future. Maybe somebody should send Henry Paulson a copy of the Republican platform.

Some (conservative) Republicans apparently have read their party's platform and are balking. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), for example, said: "I must tell you, there are those in the public debate who have said that we must act now. The last time I heard that, I was on a used-car lot." Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) said "Just because God created the world in seven days doesn't mean we have to pass this bill in seven days." More on the bipartisan outrage at MSNBC.

Rasmussen ran another poll on this yesterday. Now 44% oppose the bailout and 25% support it (was 37% - 28% a day earlier). What's interesting is that support/opposition is pretty much independent of age, party, and ideology. One notable predictor, though, is education. People who didn't graduate from high school are against it 43% to 22%, but people with graduate degrees are exactly evenly split. McCain supporters are against it 44% to 26% and Obama supporters are against it 46% to 26%. In short, opposition crosses every possible age, race, gender, ideological, and demographic line, with the exception of education. Congress had better watch out spending $700 billion of the taxpayers money and getting nothing in return when it is clear people really aren't buying into the idea.

Economic Fears Help Obama

It usually takes a week before major news is reflected in the polls and that is starting to kick in now. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll Only 9% of the people think the economy is good or excellent and 80% are worried about it. Obama has a double-digit lead in who can handle the economy better. As a consequence, in this poll he leads McCain overall 52% to 43%.

Obama Abandons 50-State Strategy

The Obama campaign has pulled paid workers out of Alaska and North Dakota and is pretty soon going to be concentrating on a dozen states. Goodbye Utah, hello Colorado. The battlegrounds will be a couple of Kerry states, most probably Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, as well as Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and maybe Georgia in the South, Ohio in the rust belt, and Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada in the West, plus maybe a couple of others. There was never any way all 50 states were in play. Which is not to say Democrats can't win in strange places--the governors of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and North Carolina are all Democrats--but Obama is not a home-grown Southern or Western Democrat.

McCain's Top Staffers Were Paid by Freddie Mac until Last Month

An article in Newsweek has now revealed that McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, was receiving monthly $15,000 checks until last month from Freddie Mac, the mortgage agency that the government recently took over. In addition, the head of McCain's transition team, William Timmons, Sr., was a registered lobbyist for Freddie Mac until this month according to an article on Bloomberg News. His firm received $260,000 this year for unspecified work. Although McCain likes to rail against lobbyists and how he will put them in their place, having his campaign being run by people who lobbied for Freddie Mac cuts to the heart of his pitch as a reformer. This story is soon going to be all over the place (see for example, Newsday, the NY Times, and Roll Call).

Palin Continues to Hide from the Press

McCain, Obama, and Biden all were extensively in the news yesterday talking about the meltdown on Wall St. In contrast, Sarah Palin was at the U.N. for a couple of photo ops but she refused to talk to reporters about foreign policy or anything else. She has not had a single press conference since being picked for the VP slot and keeps the press at a great distance, except for photos while she makes an ice cream run for her family. She has to be careful because the story about her is rapidly changing from the hockey mom who shoots moose to one about a person not ready for prime time and unable to answer tough questions on her own. She hasn't become a laughingstock like Dan Quayle yet, but if she continues to duck the media, her press will get worse and worse.

More Shenanigans in NY-13

Just when you thought the race in NY-13 couldn't get any wackier, it did. Here is a brief recap for people who weren't visiting the last time this story came up. The Republican congressman from NY-13 (Staten Island), Vito Fosella, was caught by a cop going through a red light, drunk. Turns out he was going to visit his Virginia family, one his New York family didn't know about (family values). Other Republicans pressured him to not seek reelection. Republicans settled on a rich businessman named Frank Powers as candidate. Powers' son hates him so much that he ran for the Libertarian nomination solely for the purpose of defeating Dad (more family values) but lost. Powers, Sr. died of a heart attack in June. Republicans then picked Robert Straniere to run. The most powerful Republican politician on Staten Island, Guy Molinari, vowed to do everything he can to defeat Straniere (party unity). Now the Republicans are trying to get Straniere appointed to the state supreme court (which is not the highest court in NY) to get him off the ticket so they can run Mr. Family Values (Fossella) again. You couldn't make this stuff up. The bottom line is that New York City council member Mike McMahon (D) will be the new congressman from Staten Island.

Bob Barr Fails to Get Obama and McCain off the Texas Ballot

Bob Barr's campaign filed suit to get Obama and McCain off the Texas ballot because they filed too late. The Texas Supreme ruled yesterday that they are going to be on the ballot. Without them, Barr might have actually had a shot of Texas' 34 electoral votes. With them, he's got a steeper hill to climb.

Today's Polls

We have 18 presidential polls today. In the new key swing state, Colorado, Quinnipiac U. has Obama ahead 49% to 45%. In Michigan and Pennsylvania, two Kerry states that Obama must win, he is ahead by 4 points in each one. Ohio is an exact tie at 46% apiece.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Arkansas 41% 53% Sep 20 Sep 22 ARG
California 56% 39% Sep 22 Sep 22 Rasmussen
Colorado 49% 45% Sep 14 Sep 21 Quinnipiac U.
Florida 47% 45% Sep 16 Sep 18 Mason-Dixon
Kansas 38% 58% Sep 18 Sep 18 Rasmussen
Kansas 41% 53% Sep 21 Sep 22 SurveyUSA
Kentucky 38% 57% Sep 21 Sep 22 SurveyUSA
Massachusetts 55% 39% Sep 20 Sep 22 ARG
Michigan 48% 44% Sep 14 Sep 21 Quinnipiac U.
Minnesota 47% 45% Sep 14 Sep 21 Quinnipiac U.
Ohio 46% 46% Sep 22 Sep 22 Insider Advantage
Oregon 52% 41% Sep 19 Sep 22 ARG
Pennsylvania 50% 46% Sep 20 Sep 22 ARG
South Carolina 39% 58% Sep 21 Sep 22 SurveyUSA
Virginia 49% 46% Sep 18 Sep 21 ABC News
Vermont 56% 38% Sep 18 Sep 22 ARG
Washington 54% 43% Sep 21 Sep 22 SurveyUSA
Wisconsin 49% 42% Sep 14 Sep 21 Quinnipiac U.

We also have eight Senate polls. In Minnesota, Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) is ahead 49% to 42% according to Quinnipiac University. Yesterday Rasmussen had Coleman ahead by 1-point there. The situation there is clearly subject to change.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Colorado Mark Udall 48% Bob Schaffer 40% Sep 14 Sep 21 Quinnipiac U.
Illinois Dick Durbin* 56% Steve Sauerberg 35% Sep 15 Sep 18 Research 2000
Kansas Jim Slattery 35% Pat Roberts* 55% Sep 21 Sep 22 SurveyUSA
Kansas Jim Slattery 38% Pat Roberts* 58% Sep 18 Sep 18 Rasmussen
Kentucky Bruce Lunsford 46% Mitch McConnell* 49% Sep 21 Sep 22 SurveyUSA
Minnesota Al Franken 42% Norm Coleman* 49% Sep 14 Sep 21 Quinnipiac U.
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen 48% John Sununu* 44% Sep 14 Sep 21 U. of New Hampshire
South Carolina Bob Conley 40% Lindsey Graham* 54% Sep 21 Sep 22 SurveyUSA

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