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House Dem 220   GOP 183   Ties 32

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Senate polls today: ID RSS
Dem pickups: (None) GOP pickups: AR CO DE IL IN ND PA WA WI PDA

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News from the Votemaster            

New House Table Available     Permalink

A new table listing all 435 House races, with the candidates and predictions is now available. Click on "House races" to the right of the map. For those races where polling data are available, it lists the most recent poll (or average of multiple recent polls). Where no poll is available, it uses a model, explained on the page, to predict the race based on the PVI, 2008 election, and other factors, as explained on the page. There is also a link there to a page with the data in .csv format for use with Excel or Open Office.

In case you missed it, the Saturday posting compared the model used here to that used by Nate Silver at the NY Times. Some of Silver's numbers are hard to swallow.

O'Donnell Leads Castle in Delaware     Permalink

In an upset that might make the recent win in Alaska by lawyer Joe Miller (R) over Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) look like small potatoes, perpetual candidate and tea party favorite Christine O'Donnell (R) now leads Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) in tomorrow's senatorial primary by a margin of 47% to 44%, according to a new PPP poll. An O'Donnell win would really shake up the Republican establishment and be far more significant that Miller's win. In Miller's case, he can probably beat Sitka mayor Scott McAdams (D) in the general election, so one Republican senator (Murkowski) would be replaced by another (Miller). Miller is much more conservative than Murkowski, but that wouldn't be a real problem. In Delaware, an O'Donnell victory would almost certainly mean that New Castle County Executive, Chris Coons (D), would suddenly become the odds on general-election favorite in this very blue state. If it is Castle vs. Coons, Castle will likely win because he is personally quite popular.

If its own internal polling gives the same results as PPP, the NRSC will pull out all stops and buy every minute of TV time it can get today in a frantic effort to stop O'Donnell. In addition, every member of the Republican leadership is going to be dumping on her today. The Republicans absolutely do not want O'Donnell to win this nomination because it would pretty much end any dream of recapturing the Senate. If she does win the primary, count on all the bad things the Republicans are going to say about her today resurfacing in Coons' ads fairly quickly.

A subplot in Delaware is that O'Donnell has been endorsed by Sarah Palin. If O'Donnell wins this (or even if she comes close), everyone will conclude that Palin's endorsement is worth gold. While there aren't a lot of primaries left, in the general election, her endorsements could bring massive attention to specific candidates. Also, if she chooses not to run for President in 2012, but endorses some other candidate in the Republican primary, that could be a huge boost to whomever she endorses. If Sarah's magic wand can turn losers into winners just like that, she will have immense power come 2012, either as a candidate or kingmaker.

As an aside, the New Hampshire Republican senatorial primary tomorrow is comparable to the Delaware one in the sense that a tea party candidate, Ovide Lamontagne (R) is taking on an establishment candidate, Kelly Ayotte (R), the state's Attorney General. A key difference, however, is that Palin has endorsed the moderate Ayotte rather than her ideological clone, Lamontagne. She undoubtedly did this because polls show that Ayotte can beat Rep Paul Hodes (D-NH), the Democratic candidate, and Lamontagne cannot. In states that will play a big role in the 2012 nomination process, Palin has consistently gone with the winner, ideology be damned. Ayotte is expected to win in New Hampshire although there hasn't been any recent polling of the state.

Boehner Would Support Middle-Class Tax Cut     Permalink

In a statement yesterday, the House minority leader, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), said he would support a tax cut for the middle class only if it were the only option. Boehner is probably the most political animal in Congress and everything he says and does is aimed at only one thing: becoming Speaker of the House in January. Like everyone in Washington, he knows that in the upcoming fight over extending the expiring Bush tax cuts, the Democrats are going to push for extending the cuts only for couples making less than $250,000, letting the tax cuts for the rich expire. If he were to say: "It's tax cuts for everyone or for no one" he would be given the Democrats the ability to paint the Republicans as willing to sacrifice the middle class in order to help the rich. While this is probably true giving past actions, having it become the focus of the campaign doesn't improve his chances of becoming Speaker, which is now paramount. So he is willing to abandon his friends and principles for a shot at power. Hardly unusual in Washington and not limited to Republicans, but not pretty, either. And politicians sometimes wonder why people have little respect for Congress.

Today's Polls: ID     Permalink

New Senate Polls

State Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Ind. I-pct Start End Pollster
Idaho Tom Sullivan 16% Mike Crapo* 74%     Sep 01 Sep 09 Idaho Media

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