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House Dem 240   GOP 194   Ties 1

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PW logo SurveyUSA: Obama Gains in Indiana SurveyUSA: Race Tightens in Georgia
Palin's Joke About Biden Backfires PPP Poll: Obama Takes Lead in Florida
SurveyUSA: McCain Holds Tiny Lead in Ohio Debate Highs and Lows

News from the Votemaster

Bailout Bill Fails in the House

In an unusual show of bipartisanship, the left and the right joined together to defeat the Wall St. bailout bill for the time being. The left sees it as a giveaway of $700 billion from ordinary taxpayers to Wall St. firms that made extremely bad business decisions. The right sees it as the camel's nose under the tent: if the government can socialize losses, it can also later socialize profits.

David Corn summarizes the left's case against the bailout in this article. His main points are:

  • The taxpayers will not only bail out U.S. companies, but also foreign ones
  • Million-dollar-a-month CEO salaries will continue
  • The five-member oversight board will include three Bush appointees
  • Few home owners will be saved from foreclosure
  • There are no guarantees that the treasury will get warrants commensurate with its investment
  • There is no regulatory reform in the bill

He argues that there is no need to panic. A good bill in a week's time is a lot better than a bad bill right now.

Conservative Republican Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) also made a clear case against the bailout. His main points:

  • Economic freedom means the freedom to succeed but also the freedom to fail
  • This bill gives the government the right to interrupt free markets
  • The bill forever changes the relationship between the government and the markets
  • The American people will have to foot the bill for Wall St.'s mismanagement

For a lot of ordinary Americans, this crisis reminds them of the story "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." As the Washington Post put it: "The leaders of the country said: Trust Us. The people said: Not this time." Too many people still remember about how the administration said we had to invade Iraq right now with no time for debate because, as Condi Rice put it, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud". Maybe there is a wolf this time, but the administration has no credibility any more. The House is operating exactly the way the founding fathers wanted it to operate: to reflect the will and passions of the people.

John McCain blamed the failure of the House bill on the Democrats, even though 60% of the Democrats voted for the bill and only 33% of the Republican did so. The old Maverick McCain would have said: "Government interference in the markets is a bad thing, something Republicans understand and Democrats don't, so we defeated this evil bill." But Candidate McCain knew that would not sell so well, so he didn't say it. McCain clearly realizes that his suspending his campaign and zipping off to Washington to provide leadership doesn't look so great now that the bill went down to defeat not because the Democrats opposed it, but because 2/3 of the House Republicans opposed it. Who is the real leader now that Nancy Pelosi got a majority of her people behind the bill but McCain was unable to rally more than 1/3 of his troops and all eight members of the Arizona congressional delegation--four Republicans and four Democrats--voted against it?

Who Voted Against the Bailout?

There is a good breakdown of who was for and who was against the bailout at Among the 38 incumbent congressmen rated as tossup or lean by Swing State Project, 8 were for the bailout and 30 were against it. Among the 395 congressmen who have easy races, it was split 50-50. In other words, the nervous congressmen were paying attention to their constituents, who are largely against the bailout, and voted no. The congressmen who have nothing to worry about followed the leadership much more.

Democrats Hold Small Lead in Battleground Congressional Districts

A new Democracy Corps poll shows that Democrats hold a 4-point lead in the congressional districts where the 40 most vulnerable Republicans are running. According to the poll, people are very angry and will take that out on their congressmen. On the other hand, Democracy Corps was co-founded by James Carville, the very definition of intense Democratic partisanship (except where it comes to choosing a wife), so take this with a grain of salt.

Vice-Presidential Debate on Thursday

Sarah Palin is staying at John McCain's ranch in Arizona this week to study hard for her debate with Joe Biden on Thursday at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. After her disastrous interview with Katie Couric, she has to make sure she is not Quayled--made a laughingstock and just not taken seriously any more. Biden makes mistakes, too, sometimes, but nobody thinks he is a lightweight.

Today's Polls

We have 10 presidential polls today. One poll we don't have is the Muhlenberg College tracking poll of Pennsylvania. To avoid overweighting this one source, it will only be included when the data are independent of the previous report. The main results today are that Colorado, Florida, and Ohio are still really close and that Obama is hanging onto a small lead in Virginia.*

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Colorado 49% 48% Sep 28 Sep 28 Rasmussen
Connecticut 49% 35% Sep 19 Sep 23 Pulsar Research
Florida 47% 47% Sep 28 Sep 28 Rasmussen
Florida 47% 48% Sep 27 Sep 28 SurveyUSA
New Jersey 52% 42% Sep 27 Sep 28 SurveyUSA
Ohio 47% 48% Sep 28 Sep 28 Rasmussen
Pennsylvania 50% 42% Sep 28 Sep 28 Rasmussen
Tennessee 35% 55% Sep 15 Sep 27 Middle Tenn. State U.
Tennessee 36% 48% Sep 15 Sep 27 Middle Tenn. State U.
Virginia 50% 47% Sep 28 Sep 28 Rasmussen

We also have three Senate polls, none of them terribly noteworthy.

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
Iowa Tom Harkin* 54% Christopher Reed 40% Sep 25 Sep 25 Rasmussen
New Jersey Frank Lautenberg* 51% Richard Zimmer 38% Sep 27 Sep 28 SurveyUSA
Tennessee Robert Tuke 22% Lamar Alexander* 44% Sep 15 Sep 27 Middle Tenn. State U.

We also have 1 House poll. Mario Diaz-Balart has a small lead in FL-25.

Cong. Distr. Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
FL-25 Joe Garcia 41% Mario Diaz-Balart* 45% Sep 23 Sep 25 Research 2000

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