Obama 323
image description
Ties 9
Romney 206
image description
Dem 50
image description
Ties 2
GOP 48
image description
  • Strongly Dem (172)
  • Likely Dem (105)
  • Barely Dem (46)
  • Exactly tied (9)
  • Barely GOP (15)
  • Likely GOP (52)
  • Strongly GOP (139)
270 Electoral votes needed to win Map algorithm explained
New polls: CO VA WI
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN NC
PW logo Son of Boss Extra Bonus Quote of the Day
Obama Holds Solid Lead Nationally Did Romney Hint He Might Pick Ryan?
Bonus Quote of the Day DNC to Stalk Romney

News from the Votemaster

Thompson Leads in Wisconsin Republican Primary

A new Marquette Law School poll shows former Wisconsin governor, Tommy Thompson, leading the Wisconsin Republican Senate primary field with 28%, followed by businessman Eric Hovde at 20%. Trailing are former representative Mark Neumann at 18% and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald at 13%. Earlier polls have shown Hovde leading, so it appears to be a two-man race between Thompson and Hovde.

Sometimes it is hard to figure out what makes politicians tick. Thompson is 70 years old. It takes 20 years to get enough seniority in the Senate to get a chairmanship and thus real power (and then only if your party holds the majority). If Thompson wins he will basically be wasting his time there. Why bother to run then? Neumann is 58 and a congressman. For him, an open seat gives him a reasonable shot at a promotion. Hovde is a tea party type and is in it more for the ideology than anything else. Fitzgerald is only 45 and apparently ambitious, but the usual step up for a state legislator is to run for the House not the Senate. But now that poll after poll has shown he is in last place, why doesn't he throw in the towel and support the candidate he most agrees with rather than risk splitting that candidate's votes? Everyone can hope for a miracle, but in this case it seems unlikely. The primary is next Tuesday.

The winner of the primary will face Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in November. Polls show Thompson leading her, Neumann tied with her, and the others losing badly to her.

Americans Have Almost No Faith in the Political Media

A poll of Americans on various topics shows that a whopping 78% have an unfavorable view of the political media and only 10% have a favorable view. Among conservatives the tilt is even bigger, with 87% having an unfavorable view. For conservatives, "political media" is basically a code phrase for the New York Times, which probably few of them ever look at. If asked what they think of the far larger Fox News or the Wall Street Journal or Rush Limbaugh, it is hard to believe 87% would have an unfavorable view.

Among liberals, 66% have an unfavorable view. For them, the political media probably means Fox News. It would have been nice if the poll had had more follow-up questions to figure out what people didn't like exactly. The demographic group where the media scored best is "did not complete high school," where 25% have a favorable impression and "only" 71% have an unfavorable impression. Most likely many of these people don't read any newspaper or watch any political shows on television. All in all, this is a testimony to how polarized our politics are. If anyone reads or sees or hears any news he or she doesn't like, the media get blamed for being unfair.

In Politics, Demography is Destiny

The issues don't matter, the gaffes don't matter, and the news cycle doesn't matter. You show me a young single woman with a graduate degree and I will show you a Democrat. Or if you turn up with a white male gun owner who didn't go to college (and maybe didn't even finish high school), you can make him happy by giving him an elephant button to wear. With one anomaly, an analysis of recent polls shows a tremendous amount of consistency, with demography trumping geography and just about everything else. This year the candidates are going to spend north of a billion dollars to influence a tiny sliver of the electorate that is potentially open to being swayed. For everyone else, the dice have already been rolled and nothing is going to change the outcome.

Among other things, the study exhibits class inversion (highly educated, well off voters are strongly Democratic), a large gender gap (women are Democrats, men are Republicans), racial polarization (minorities are strongly Democratic), and so on. This breakdown has been true for several years and is only becoming more locked in as time goes on. Needless to say, this constellation was not always the case. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's coalition was based on white men without college degrees. FDR is probably rolling over in his grave.

The only exception to the above is a Quinnipiac poll showing Romney to be +5 points on Obama in Colorado, a state with the right Demographics for the Democrats. Most likely this poll is simply an outlier and the next one will be like all the earlier ones showing Obama ahead in the Centennial state.

Romney Waffles on Nuclear Waste

In 1987, Congress was looking for a place to store the nation's nuclear waste, some of which will remain deadly for thousands of years. The requirements were that the state that was going to receive the waste had to (1) have a lot of open space with few people and (2) very little political clout in Washington to oppose it. Nevada won, so to speak. Unfortunately, when Nevadans heard this, they were not too keen on the idea and the storage facility at Yucca Mountain has been a political football ever since. Yesterday Mitt Romney waded into the matter and basically said despite 25 years of people studying the plan, he didn't really have a position on the matter (English translation: I don't actually care where this stuff goes but I really do want Nevada's 6 electoral votes). What he proposed is a free market solution: states could bid for the waste, saying how much someone would have to pay them to take it. The cheapest repository would win. The trouble is suppose that no state would take it for any amount of money. Then what? It has to go somewhere.

In contrast, Obama is unambiguously on record as opposing the site at Yucca Mountain and looking for another one, in no small part because the selection process was so flawed in the first place. It was essentially based on politics, not geology.

Young Republicans Are Not Like Old Republicans

College Republicans and young Republicans generally are not on the same page as their elders on a variety of points, especially hot-button social issues. Many young Republicans do not see anything wrong with abortion or same-sex marriage. What they are concerned about is the economy and whether they can find jobs when they graduate from college. While every vote is welcomed in 2012, when the economy recovers in a few years and the economy recedes as an issue, one has to wonder whether these young people will retain their party loyalty.

In particular, if President Obama is reelected, many on the right will blame Mitt Romney's refusal to focus on the social issues and will demand a fire-breathing conservative like Rick Santorum or Sarah Palin in 2016--someone who makes the social issues central to his or her campaign. What will happen to the young Republicans then? It is a nontrivial question and could affect the long-term prospects for the Republican Party.

Wikipedia Locks Down Pages for Potential Veep Picks

After comedian Steven Colbert urged his viewers to go edit the pages of people who are probably on Mitt Romney's short list of possible running mates, so many of them did that Wikipedia locked the pages to prevent further edits. Of course it can't keep the pages locked down indefinitely. Probably after the choice is announced, the page of the winner will be locked down for a little while and then monitored very closely. What is also likely is allowing edits only from people who have been registered Wikipedia users for 4 days or more. It turns out that this is a substantial barrier to people who suddenly get the idea to remove the entire content of the page and replace it with


Probably with upper being the preferred case. Wikipedia prefers a bit more content and a mix of cases where possible. People who would write such things rarely have the patience to register, then come back 5 days later to deface the page (which would last maybe 30 seconds as other people would restore the original). Wikipedia is one of those ideas that in theory can't work but in practice actually does (in part due to the hard work of the editors, who know when to interfere with user edits).

Today's Presidential Polls

As mentioned above, the Colorado poll showing Mitt Romney way ahead in Colorado looks suspicious. It is probably just a statistical outlier.

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Colorado 45% 50%   Jul 31 Aug 06 Quinnipiac U.
Virginia 48% 46%   Aug 07 Aug 07 Rasmussen
Virginia 49% 45%   Jul 31 Aug 06 Quinnipiac U.
Wisconsin 50% 45%   Aug 02 Aug 05 Marquette Law School
Wisconsin 51% 45%   Jul 31 Aug 06 Quinnipiac U.

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Missouri Claire McCaskill* 44% Todd Akin 45%     Jul 24 Jul 27 PPP
Missouri Claire McCaskill* 44% Todd Akin 47%     Jul 30 Jul 30 Rasmussen
Missouri Claire McCaskill* 44% Todd Akin 49%     Jul 23 Jul 25 Mason Dixon
Virginia Tim Kaine 48% George Allen 46%     Jul 31 Aug 06 Quinnipiac U.

* Denotes incumbent

Email a link to a friend or share:

---The Votemaster

Previous Headlines

Aug08 Akin Wins Missouri Senate Primary
Aug08 Election Law Specialist Argues Against Changing Election Rules before November
Aug08 The Case of the Senator Who Did Not Bark
Aug08 Big Donors Swamp Small Donors
Aug08 New President of France Wants to Raise Top Tax Rate to 75%
Aug07 Missouri Republican Senate Primary Today
Aug07 Could the Electoral Vote Be a Tie?
Aug06 Obama Close to Breaking Even on Jobs
Aug06 Pollsters Wrestle with Cell Phones
Aug06 Fight Over Early Voting in Ohio Goes to Court
Aug06 When Is a Tax Not a Tax?
Aug05 Media Outlets Disagree on Which States Swing
Aug05 Deferred Deportation Forms to Go Online Aug. 15
Aug04 Obama Launches Massive Ad Buy in Swing States
Aug04 The Economy Is Now Part of the Culture Wars
Aug04 Today Marks a Transition for Obama
Aug04 Obama Launches Massive Ad Buy in Swing States
Aug04 The Economy Is Now Part of the Culture Wars
Aug04 Today Marks a Transition for Obama
Aug03 Pew Poll: Obama Up over Romney 51% to 41% Nationally
Aug03 DSCC Retracts Prostitution Claim Against Adelson
Aug03 Obama and the South
Aug03 Romney's Horse Becomes Political
Aug02 House Unlikely to Flip
Aug02 August Could Determine Control of the Senate
Aug02 Tax Policy Center: Romney Tax Plan Will Help the Rich and Hurt the Middle Class
Aug02 Could the Constitution Party Decide the Election?
Aug02 Former Republican Charlie Crist Backs Democrat Bill Nelson in Florida Senate Race
Aug02 Is Romney Hurting Himself By Hiding Himself?
Aug01 Tea Party Candidate Cruz Defeats Dewhurst in Texas Senate Race
Aug01 Harry Reid Says Romney Paid No Taxes for 10 Years
Aug01 Marriage Equality Plank in Platform Indicates Democratic Strategy
Aug01 Could Assad Be Obama's Ace in the Hole?
Jul31 Democratic Platform Calls for Marriage Equality
Jul31 Lies the Parties Tell Themselves
Jul31 Texas Senate Runoff Today
Jul31 Portman Is a George H.W. Bush-type Conservative
Jul31 Majority of Americans Do Not Know How Many Justices Sit on the Supreme Court
Jul30 Israelis Worry about Romney's Visit
Jul30 Government Releases New State-by-State College Attainment Data
Jul30 Does the Vice-Presidential Candidate Help the Ticket?
Jul30 Texas Senate Runoff Tomorrow
Jul29 100 Days to Go
Jul29 Voters Like Obama More than They Like Romney
Jul29 Romney's Advisor Would Back Israeli Military Strike against Iran
Jul29 Beth Myers Releases Names of Many People Who Have No Chance at Being Veep
Jul28 GDP Is Increasing but Slower Than It Was
Jul28 No News Is Bad News for Romney
Jul28 Parties Face Dilemmas While Writing Platforms
Jul28 Not Your Grandpa's Election Day