Obama 332
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Romney 206
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Dem 47
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Ties 4
GOP 49
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  • Strongly Dem (177)
  • Likely Dem (48)
  • Barely Dem (107)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (15)
  • Likely GOP (49)
  • Strongly GOP (142)
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Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN NC
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News from the Votemaster

Romney Accepts the Republican Nomination for President

After close to 10 years of trying, Mitt Romney is now officially the Republican nominee for President. In his acceptance speech, he talked a little about himself and his family, but he was focused like a laser on jobs, jobs, and jobs. The Washington Post made this graphic showing how often he used various words and compared the results to the acceptance speeches of John McCain and George W. Bush.

What Romney didn't do is explain how he will create the jobs needed other than to push his idea of tax cuts for "job creators." He didn't mention that Bill Clinton raised taxes almost immediately upon taking office and saw 23 million jobs created during his two terms while George W. Bush cut taxes upon taking office and saw only 5 million new jobs in his 8 years. Nevertheless, it is pillar of the Republican platform that tax cuts create jobs and tax increases kill them, even though there is scant evidence to support this.

Schoolchildren will not be studying Romney's speech 100 years from now, like Lincoln's Gettysburg Addtess. Still, he came over as a plausible President. Given that he has been behind all year, he really needed something a little better than that, but he is simply not a great orator. He will no doubt get a small bump from the convention, but the problem for him is that the Democrats begin their convention in Charlotte next Tuesday and their expected bump will probably cancel out his and we will be back to where we are now.

Romney has seen all the polls showing that people don't like him personally and felt he had to do something to become more likable, so he did something he has avoided at all costs so far: talk about his religion. Romney was a lay pastor of the Mormon Church in the Boston area. Yesterday he had his assistant, Grant Bennett, describe Romney's efforts to serve members of his congregation. He shoveled snow and raked leaves for the elderly. After Bennett, came two families who spoke of the attention Romney had given their seriously ill children. In one case he brought a dying 14-year-old boy fireworks and helped him write a will so his friends would get his most prized possessions. To some extent, his activity as a lay pastor--away from the cameras--humanizes Romney. However, picking as an illustration of his humanity his helping a 14-year old write a will may strike some people as macabre.

So much for the speech Romney actually gave. How about the one that he would have given had he been allowed to by the base of his party. Here it is, courtesy of Matt Miller. Republicans would have booed but the country would have roared.

Besides Romney and his congregants, other people spoke last night as well. One of them was 82-year-old actor and director Clint Eastwood, who veered way off script and gave a rambling endorsement of Romney while imagining that he was refuting a speech from an imaginary Obama. He would have been better off talking about whether he preferred Medicare or Ryancare to be paying for his medications.

Republicans Speak to Latinos but Ignore Immigration

Republicans know that if they can get the 45% of the Latino vote that George W. Bush did in 2004, Romney will win. They did their best to appeal to this demographic group yesterday. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), gave a passionate speech, clearly indicating that he is a rising star in the Republican Party. Mitt Romney's son, Craig Romney, spoke in Spanish. Wednesday, Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM), a Latina, gave a powerful speech. Everything was focused on revving up Latinos except the Republicans studiously avoided bumping into the 800-pound invisible gorilla on stage--immigration reform.

The sticking point is the DREAM Act, which the Democrats support and the Republicans oppose. It would allow illegal aliens who were brought to the U.S. as children and who have graduated from high school or served in the Armed Forces to get a green card and become permanent residents. Obama implemented part of it through the back door earlier this year by simply instructing the INS to give the deportation of these young people a low priority. Romney's immigration plan is to make life so unpleasant for the 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. (by punishing employers for hiring them) that they will self deport. This approach enrages the Latino community because many of them are afraid employers will simply avoid hiring anyone who is not lily white or who has any kind of foreign accent.

Winners and Losers from the Convention

Every big event like the Republican National Convention has winners and losers. Some people soar and others sink. Here is a list of winners and losers from The Hill.


Paul Ryan. The delegates loved him. He's next in line and if Romney loses, he'll be back in 2016.
Ann Romney. She did the impossible: she humanized Mitt Romney.
Reince Priebus. The convention came off without a flaw. Hats off to the RNC chairman.
Condoleezza Rice. She probably doesn't want to run for office in the future, but she's clearly a star.
Rand Paul. If he can inherit his father's supporters without terminally irritating party brass, he could have a big future.


Chris Christie. He gave a speech about himself instead of Romney. If Romney loses, people won't forget this.
Clint Eastwood. Reports said Romney advisors were wincing backstage. A professional actor who can't perform on stage?.


Mitt Romney. He hit a double but he needed to hit a home run. On to the debates.

Media Invent Euphemisms for Ryan's Speech without Saying He Lied

A number of the statements that Paul Ryan made in his acceptance speech Wednesday are demonstrably not true and Ryan certainly knew that as that has been pointed out to him in the past repeatedly. But the media hates to call anyone a liar, so new words and expressions were coined for the occasion. Here is a list from 15 different news outlets.

factual shortcuts misleading elements Ryan misleads
misleading speech factually shaky filled with prevarications
the newest new Nixon doublespeak willing to twist the truth
false claims inconsistencies and contradictions outright distortion
stretched some truths fact checkers will have opportunities issues with some of the facts

While none of these hit the nail on the head, gradually convincing the media that there is a difference between being a reporter and being a stenographer is a good sign. An article in the New York Times raises the point that while people rarely remember the details, when there are too many stories about a politician fudging the truth, it becomes part of his persona and becomes hard to shake.

What Obama Must Do in Charlotte

Now that the Republican convention is over, all eyes will be on the Democratic National Convention starting Tuesday in Charlotte, NC. The Democrats chose North Carolina (against the wishes of the unions because it is the least unionized state in the country) because they eked out a tiny victory there in 2008 and would dearly love to repeat that in 2012. The Democrats have a slight advantage this year because they are going second and can rebut what the Republicans said. Given that the average voter has the memory of a flea and the media have an attention span of a 2-year-old, going second could help a bit. But it is also true that nothing seems to move the needle this year. Through all the ups and downs of the campaign for months, Obama still has a tiny lead in the popular vote of about 1-2%, although his lead in the electoral college is larger.

Nevertheless, Obama's best shot to get his lead beyond the margin of error is a good performance in Charlotte. USA Today has a good list of things he must accomplish.

  • Put his achievements front and center (e.g., Bin Laden's dead and GM is alive)
  • Try to blame the economy on House Republicans blocking his plans
  • Point out that George W. Bush wrecked the economy and it takes time to fix it
  • Emphasize that he wants to help the middle class
  • Solidify the base without turning off white working-class men

It is a tall order by any means, and even though Obama is a good speaker, his acceptance speech will be the toughest speech of his life.

Democrats Can't Find Their Voters

Many observers think that the election won't be determined by the 5% of voters in 8-10 swing states who haven't made up their minds yet, but by which party does a better job of getting its base to the polls. If would be nice if the voters could be trusted to simply go vote because it is election day (or in many states, pre-election week), but such is not the case. So both parties have lists of people to go badger on election day to see if they have voted or in some cases, help them vote by driving them to the polls, babysitting for them, or providing other assistance. Names can get on these lists because campaign workers have talked to them in the past and they seem to be leaning in the "correct" direction but are not highly motivated to vote. Sometimes campaigns buy lists of people who subscribe to a gun magazine, live in a certain zipcode, or have some other characteristic that gives a hint how they would vote.

A new study in Milwaukee shows that 41% of the addresses supposedly of Black voters are wrong. That is, campaign workers went to the listed address and the people been sought no longer live there. City wide, that means 160,000 Black voters can't be found, probably because most have moved since 2008. There is no reason to think that Milwaukee is an exception, so the problem of mobile voters is going to haunt the Democrats' get-out-the-vote operation in November. As a general rule, Republicans are older and less mobile and are probably easier to find.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Michigan 49% 46%   Aug 28 Aug 28 EPIC MRA
Missouri 41% 53%   Aug 28 Aug 29 PPP

Today's Senate Polls

Maybe Todd Akin was right and everyone else in the Republican Party was wrong. Rather than sinking like a stone after his controversial remarks about "legitimate rape," he is hanging in there. Republicans thought he blew it completely, but the second PPP poll in the past 10 days shows it is actually quite close.

Politico has a good rundown of the top 10 Senate races.

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Missouri Claire McCaskill* 45% Todd Akin 44%     Aug 28 Aug 29 PPP

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster

Previous Headlines

Aug30 Ryan Accepts Nomination, Attacks Obama on Medicare
Aug30 Ryan Speech Prompts Media Debate on How to Deal with Lying in Campaigns
Aug30 Republicans Give Women Starring Roles at Convention
Aug30 Race is Crucial in Election Calculations
Aug30 Boehner Has Never Read Republican Platform
Aug30 Turnout Among College Students Could be Crucial
Aug29 Republicans Nominate Romney
Aug29 Romney is Least Popular Nominee in Decades
Aug29 Republican Platform Moves Sharply to the Right
Aug29 Candidates Average 5-Point Bounce After Convention
Aug29 Republican Insiders Split on Top Task for Convention
Aug28 First Day of Republican National Convention Lasts 2 Minutes
Aug28 Seven Factors that Will Determine the Convention's Success or Failure
Aug28 Ann Romney's Speech Tonight May Be the Most Important One
Aug28 Americans More Interested in GOP Platform than Romney's Speech
Aug28 Is 2012 just 2004 All Over Again?
Aug28 Why Do Republicans Say Obama is Divisive?
Aug28 First Day of Republican National Convention Lasts 2 Minutes
Aug28 Seven Factors that Will Determine the Convention's Success or Failure
Aug28 Ann Romney's Speech Tonight May Be the Most Important One
Aug28 Americans More Interested in GOP Platform than Romney's Speech
Aug28 Is 2008 just 2004 All Over Again?
Aug28 Why Do Republicans Say Obama is Divisive?
Aug27 Why Did the Republicans Pick Hurricane-Prone Tampa?
Aug27 What Does Romney Have to Do at the Convention?
Aug27 Up-and-Coming Republicans Will Speak at the Convention
Aug27 Yet Another Guide to the Republican Party
Aug27 Charlie Christ Endorses Obama
Aug27 Ron Paul Exits Gracefully
Aug27 No Bananas at the Republican Convention
Aug26 Republicans Cancel First Day of Convention
Aug26 Are Convention Bounces Real?
Aug26 Why Do Cities Host Political Conventions?
Aug26 Planned Parenthood Plans Battle
Aug25 Republican Convention Schedule Changed
Aug25 Republican Platform Has Changes from Previous Years
Aug25 Democratic Congressman: GOP Anti-Immigrant Platform Will Backfire
Aug25 AARP Flags Key Issues for Seniors
Aug25 Akin Again Affirms He Will Stay in Senate Race
Aug24 Poll Shows Women See Romney as Out of Step on Their Health Issues
Aug24 Could North Dakota Senate Race Be Competitive?
Aug24 Hundreds of Pages of Bain Capital Internal Documents Published Online
Aug24 Hurricane Isaac Could Affect Security at Republican National Convention
Aug24 Nevada Voters Have to Pick Somebody for President
Aug23 How Can the Republican Party Pressure Akin to Leave the Race?
Aug23 Republican Platform Committee Adopts Plank Banning All Abortions
Aug23 Hurricane Might Hit Tampa During Republican National Convention
Aug23 Both Parties Announce Convention Speakers
Aug23 Obama To Campaign in Swing States During Republican Convention
Aug22 Romney Calls on Akin to Drop Out of Missouri Senate Race