Oct. 21 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Senate Dem 50   GOP 49   Ties 1
House Dem 205   GOP 207   Ties 23

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strong Dem Strong Dem (47)
weak Dem Weak Dem (1)
barely Dem Barely Dem (2)
tied Exactly tied (1)
barely GOP Barely GOP (4)
weak GOP Weak GOP (5)
strong GOP Strong GOP (40)
strong Ind Strong Ind (0)
weak Ind Weak Ind (0)
barely Ind Barely Ind (0)
Map algorithm explained
Senate polls today: AK AR CA FL IL KY MD MO NY OH WV iPhone RSS
Dem pickups: (None) GOP pickups: AR CO IL IN NV ND PA WV WI PDA

PW logo Headline of the Day Should NPR Have Fired Juan Williams?
Republicans Expand Lead in Generic Ballot Bonus Quote of the Day
Boozman Widens Lead in Arkansas Blumenthal Takes Huge Lead in Connecticut

News from the Votemaster            

New Icon Available     Permalink

If you have a blog or Website and would like an icon to place on it with the map and scores, a new (flatter) one is available. Use the Icons for bloggers link on the menu below the map. All you have to do is cut and paste three lines of HTML one time and you're done.

Sestak and Toomey Debate in Pennsylvania     Permalink

Senatorial candidates Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R) debated last night in Philadelphia. Each one called the other an extremist. Toomey used to trade currency swaps in New York and Sestak is a retired Navy rear admiral, both as establishment as you can get, yet they disagreed on everything. Sestak attacked Toomey for wanting to phase out social security; Toomey said retirees would be better off with private accounts. Toomey went after Sestak for supporting the bank and car industry bailouts; Sestak replied these were necessary to save the economy from the disaster the Republicans created. Toomey said that trying people suspected of terrorism in civilian courts (which Sestak approves of) would endanger American security; Sestak asked how come Toomey never complained when the Bush administration tried scores of suspects this way.

Toomey has led the race ever since Sestak beat Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), who switched parties last year to avoid losing to Toomey in the Republican primary. However, the two most recent polls put Sestak ahead. On the other hand, of the 127,000 Pennsylvanians who have requested absentee ballots so far this election, 50% have been Republicans and 42% have been Democrats. From all indications though, the race is definitely tightening and is probably a tossup at this point.

Democrats Fighting for Safe Districts     Permalink

The wave of Republican money coming from the Chamber of Commerce and various 527s funded by Republican millionaires is hurting even safe Democrats. For example, Barney Frank, a well-established representative from a safe (D+14) district just loaned his campaign $200,000 to defend himself against Sean Bielat, a newcomer to politics who has raised over $600,000. Frank will probably win this one, but the fact that Frank has to spend money to get reelected means he can't donate money to other Democrats who need it. Just about the only Democrat up for reelection who is (1) rolling in money and (2) doesn't need it is Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who just gave $2 million to help fellow Democrats, but such acts are few and far between. And Schumer has an ulterior motive: if majority leader Harry Reid loses his reelection bid, Schumer is going to run for his job and he will then no doubt remind the recipients of his campaign funds that when they needed his help, he was there for them.

Also of note is that retiring senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) has $10 million in campaign funds in the bank that he could legally give to the DSCC or other Democratic candidates but is refusing to do so. This hoard has led to some speculation that Bayh, who is only 54, is plannning a future run for some public office.

Bill Schneider: Obama too Cerebral     Permalink

CNN's chief election analyst, Bill Schneider, has written an interesting piece in which he compares Barack Obama to Michael Dukakis, saying both act like law professors and are out of touch with how many Americans feel. Populism has a long history in American politics, going back to William Jennings Bryan and even further back to Andrew Jackson, but right now the only people who seem to be connecting with the anger in the country are the tea party candidates. Schneider points out that although Clinton is a very smart man (he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University), he never talked about that. His great strength was his ability to make people feel he understood their problems. According to Schneider the problem the Democrats have now is their complete inability to convince people that they are angry at the ways things are going in the country. Of course, that is hard to do when you are partly at fault. For example, people are furious at the banks for wrecking the economy and no bankers have even been fired, let alone put in jail.

Republicans Lead in New House Polls     Permalink

Unfortunately, polls in House races are still rare, but Penn Schoen Berland released another 10 yesterday. Republicans lead in six of them, Democrats lead in two and two are tied. But we still have 21 key districts that have not been polled yet, making it very hard to make a decent projection of who will win the House. Nationally, the Republicans have an edge, but winning the national vote doesn't mean you win, as Al Gore learned in 2000. There are 435 separate House races and each one has its own peculiarities.

Today's Polls: AK AR CA FL IL KY MD MO NY OH WV + 11 House polls     Permalink

New Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Alaska Scott McAdams 23% Joe Miller 37% Lisa Murkowski 37% Oct 15 Oct 19 Opinion Research
Arkansas Blanche Lincoln* 41% John Boozman 55%     Oct 15 Oct 19 Opinion Research
California Barbara Boxer* 43% Carly Fiorina 38%     Oct 10 Oct 17 Public Policy Inst. of
Florida Kendrick Meek 20% Marco Rubio 46% Charlie Crist 32% Oct 15 Oct 19 Opinion Research
Illinois Alexi Giannoulias 40% Mark Kirk 42%     Oct 14 Oct 16 PPP
Illinois Alexi Giannoulias 40% Mark Kirk 44%     Oct 18 Oct 18 Rasmussen
Kentucky Jack Conway 43% Rand Paul 48%     Oct 18 Oct 19 Mason Dixon
Maryland Barbara Mikulski* 55% Eric Wargotz 38%     Oct 11 Oct 16 Gonzales Research
Missouri Robin Carnahan 43% Roy Blunt 52%     Oct 19 Oct 19 Rasmussen
New York Kirsten Gillibrand* 60% Joseph DioGuardi 31%     Oct 14 Oct 18 Siena Coll.
Ohio Lee Fisher 34% Rob Portman 55%     Oct 12 Oct 17 Quinnipiac U.
Ohio Lee Fisher 40% Rob Portman 55%     Oct 15 Oct 19 Opinion Research
West Virginia Joe Manchin 43% John Raese 50%     Oct 19 Oct 19 Rasmussen

New House Polls

CD Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
AZ-05 Harry Mitchell* 42% David Schweikert 45%     Oct 12 Oct 14 Penn Schoen Berland
IL-14 Bill Foster* 42% Randy Hultgren 43%     Oct 09 Oct 12 Penn Schoen Berland
IL-17 Phil Hare* 38% Bobby Schilling 45%     Oct 12 Oct 14 Penn Schoen Berland
MS-01 Travis Childers* 39% Alan Nunnelee 44%     Oct 09 Oct 17 Penn Schoen Berland
NH-01 Carol Shea-Porter* 42% Frank Guinta 47%     Oct 09 Oct 12 Penn Schoen Berland
NY-19 John Hall* 43% Nan Hayworth 43%     Oct 12 Oct 14 Penn Schoen Berland
NY-24 Mike Arcuri* 47% Richard Hanna 37%     Oct 12 Oct 14 Penn Schoen Berland
OR-05 Kurt Schrader* 41% Scott Bruun 51%     Oct 17 Oct 19 SurveyUSA
PA-08 Patrick Murphy* 46% Mike Fitzpatrick 43%     Oct 09 Oct 12 Penn Schoen Berland
PA-10 Chris Carney* 41% Thomas Marino 41%     Oct 12 Oct 14 Penn Schoen Berland
WI-08 Steve Kagen* 44% Reid Ribble 45%     Oct 12 Oct 14 Penn Schoen Berland

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