Oct. 08 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Senate Dem 49   GOP 50   Ties 1
House Dem 201   GOP 199   Ties 35

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strong Dem Strong Dem (48)
weak Dem Weak Dem (0)
barely Dem Barely Dem (1)
tied Exactly tied (1)
barely GOP Barely GOP (4)
weak GOP Weak GOP (5)
strong GOP Strong GOP (41)
strong Ind Strong Ind (0)
weak Ind Weak Ind (0)
barely Ind Barely Ind (0)
Map algorithm explained
Senate polls today: CO CT FL MO NH NV NY OH PA WI RSS
Dem pickups: (None) GOP pickups: AR CO IL IN NV ND PA WV WI PDA

PW logo Jones Stepping Down as National Security Adviser Democrats Recruited Fake Tea Party Candidate
Palin Visit Cost Campaign $100K I'm You
Internet Photos Embarrass Another Candidate Unemployment Rate Remains 9.6%

News from the Votemaster            

Icons for Bloggers and Websites Available     Permalink

If you have a blog or Website and would like an icon showing the current predictions for the Senate and House to put on it, two different ones are available now. They look like this:


To get them, all you have to do is click on the Icons for bloggers link below the map, and copy three lines of HTML from that page, then paste them into your blog or Website. That's all. From then until election day, visitors to your site will see the up-to-date projections (and map) without any additional work on your part.

Connecticut Voters Want to Get Rid of Lieberman     Permalink

It is rare when Democrats, Republicans, and Independents agree on anything, but in Connecticut 72% of Democrats, 61% of Republicans, and 63% of independents agree that Sen Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has to go when he is up for reelection in 2012. With these kinds of numbers, it is virtually certain that he will get strong competition. PPP asked people about a three-way race between Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT), tea partier Peter Schiff (R), and Lieberman, and the results were Murphy 39%, Schiff 25%, and Lieberman 19%. PPP didn't ask what would happen if he ran as a Democrat or Republican, but it is certain that if he tried either one, he would be primaried.

Poaching Season Opens Nov. 3     Permalink

If the House and/or Senate are closely divided after the Nov. 2 elections, each side will immediately begin trying to get members of the opposing party to jump ship and join them. In a closely divided chamber, getting one or two members to switch sides could mean the losing party suddenly gets a majority. This situation occurred in 2001 when moderate Jim Jeffords, elected to the Senate as a Republican, announced that he was leaving the Republican Party and becoming an independent and would caucus with the Democrats. At the time of Jeffords switch, the Senate was split 50-50, with then Vice President Dick Cheney (R) holding the deciding vote. After Jeffords declaration of independence, the Democrats took control of the Senate. Jeffords was rewarded for being a patriot or traitor, depending on your point of view, with the chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee, a plum job rich with porcine opportunities, even though Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) was the ranking member and "entitled" to the position.

However, senators and representatives with visions of sugar plum chairmanships dancing in front of them, are likely to think not only of Jeffords, but also of soon-to-be-former senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) and soon-to-be-fomer representative Parker Griffith (R-PA). Both switched parties and both were defeated in primaries. It seems that Pennsylvania Democrats preferred a real Democrat and Alabama Republicans preferred a real Republican.

In the Senate, two potential switchers are Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Sen Joe Lieberman (I-CT). Nelson is from a hugely Republican state so he might fair better as a Republican in 2012. The main deterrent for him is that the Republican bench in Nebraska is deep and the Democratic bench is very thin. Becoming a Republican would guarantee a primary against one or more well-established Republicans. As a Democrat, he is unlikely to face a top-notch primary opponent because their aren't any. He is much better off fighting his battle in the general election, where Democrats and independents get to vote, than in a Republican primary, where they do not.

Lieberman is in a different situation. He has been carrying a chip on his shoulder even since he lost the 2006 Democratic primary and then ran as an independent without any prominent Democrats helping him. While he would truly enjoy sticking his thumb in the eye of the Democratic establishment, becoming a Republican in a very blue state would be suicidal. Also, while Nelson would be among the more liberal Republicans, he could still have lunch with Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and the two women from Maine. After the euphoria of the first week wore of, nobody in the Republican Party would want to be seen eating with Lieberman because they would regard him as (1) a traitor and (2) a flaming liberal.

It is conceivable that if the Democrats end up with 49 seats in the Senate, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) might flip to avoid having a tea partier primary her in 2012. She would be better off facing a tea partier in the general election, where Democrats can vote, than in a Republican primary, where they can't. Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) might make the same calculation, but no other Republican is likely to switch.

In the House, Republicans are eyeing representatives Dan Boren (D-OK), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Heath Schuler (D-NC), Walt Minnick (D-ID). and Gene Taylor (D-MS) as potential poachees. But the memory of Parker Griffith is probably too fresh in their minds to be easy to convince. Realistically, the only Republicans who might become Democrats, Charles Djou (R-HI) and Joseph Cao (R-LA), aren't likely to survive the election.

In the past, switching parties was more common. In Jan. 1995, after the Republican sweep, four Democrats, Billy Tauzin, Nathan Deal, Greg Laughlin, and Jimmy Hayes all became Republicans. Sen. Richard Shelby, elected as a Democrat, also became a Republican. But nobody expects wholesale switcheroos next year.

Biden Campaigning Nearly Full Time     Permalink

Normally, all the Vice President has to do is call the White House every day at 9 A.M. to see if the President is still alive, and if so, take the rest of the day off. However, Joe Biden has found something to fill his days: he's on the road nearly full time campaigning and raising money for Democrats. Unlike President Obama, who is widely detested by some Republicans and independents, Biden doesn't get nearly as strong a response. Furthermore, since he never promised to be "bipartisan," he can be much more up front about attacking the Republicans (and thus raising money for Democratic candidates).

Today's Polls: CO CT FL MO NH NV NY OH PA WI PA-07 SD-AL     Permalink

New Senate Polls

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct I I-pct Start End Pollster
Colorado Michael Bennet* 42% Ken Buck 50%     Oct 04 Oct 04 Marist Coll.
Connecticut Richard Blumenthal 54% Linda McMahon 41%     Oct 01 Oct 05 Opinion Research
Florida Kendrick Meek 21% Marco Rubio 42% Charlie Crist 27% Oct 06 Oct 06 Mason Dixon
Missouri Robin Carnahan 40% Roy Blunt 53%     Oct 01 Oct 05 Opinion Research
Missouri Robin Carnahan 43% Roy Blunt 51%     Oct 05 Oct 05 Rasmussen
New Hampshire Paul Hodes 42% Kelly Ayotte 47%     Oct 03 Oct 05 ARG
Nevada Harry Reid* 40% Sharron Angle 42%     Oct 01 Oct 05 Opinion Research
Nevada Harry Reid* 46% Sharron Angle 50%     Oct 05 Oct 05 Rasmussen
New York Kirsten Gillibrand* 55% Joseph DioGuardi 41%     Oct 01 Oct 05 Opinion Research
Ohio Lee Fisher 37% Rob Portman 47%     Oct 04 Oct 06 Suffolk U.
Pennsylvania Joe Sestak 42% Pat Toomey 51%     Oct 04 Oct 04 Marist Coll.
Wisconsin Russ Feingold* 45% Ron Johnson 52%     Oct 04 Oct 04 Marist Coll.

New House Polls

Cong. Distr. Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct I I-pct Start End Pollster
PA-07 Bryan Lentz 45% Patrick Meehan 49%     Oct 04 Oct 06 Monmouth U.
SD-AL Stephanie Herseth Sandlin* 44% Kristi Noem 47%     Oct 04 Oct 04 Rasmussen

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