Obama 294
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Ties 24
Romney 220
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Dem 51
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Ties 4
GOP 45
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  • Strongly Dem (179)
  • Likely Dem (38)
  • Barely Dem (77)
  • Exactly tied (24)
  • Barely GOP (29)
  • Likely GOP (52)
  • Strongly GOP (139)
270 Electoral votes needed to win Map algorithm explained
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: FL IN
PW logo It's Election Day! Obama is Heavy Favorite to Win Re-Election
Feeling Over Polls Independents and Centrists Split
Romney's Last Path to 270 Electoral Votes Christie Rebuffs Romney Request

News from the Votemaster

Please Take This Short Poll

This is a Website about polls, so here is a poll for you. After selecting the answer for each question, click on the corresponding "Vote" button. This records your vote and shows you the current score. You need to click on 11 "Vote" buttons in all. It shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes. Tomorrow, you can come back and view the final results. Thanks.

U.S. Citizens only: Who will/did you vote for?
Barack Obama Mitt Romney Jill Stein Gary Johnson Other             

Noncitizens only: Who would you like to win?
Barack Obama Mitt Romney Jill Stein Gary Johnson Other             

Everyone: Who do you expect to win?
Barack Obama Mitt Romney Jill Stein Gary Johnson Other             

How many seats will the Democrats have in the Senate?
< 47 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 > 54             

How many seats will the Democrats have in the House?
< 200 200-205 206-210 211-217 218-225 226-230 > 230             

Now a few questions about the readership of this site. Again click on "Vote" separately for each question.

This election aside, which party do you identify with?
Democratic Republican Green Libertarian None (independent) Other             

Which ideology best describes you?
Liberal Moderate Conservative Other             

Which issue is most important to you?
Federal debt
Health care
Foreign policy
Dumping Obama
Blocking the GOP

Where do you live?
South (incl. TX)
Mountain West
West Coast
Latin America

What is your gender?
Male Female             

What is your age?
< 18 18-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 >= 70             

What is your highest degree?
No HS degree High school 2-yr college Bachelors Masters Ph.D./M.D./J.D./etc.             

Thank you!

Obama Continues to Surge in the National Polls

Eight national polls were published yesterday. In five of them, Obama is leading. In the other three he is tied. However, he was trailing in two of the tied polls from the same pollsters earlier, so he is gaining. In politics, a week is a long time, but a day isn't so long and Romney has only a day to stop Obama's momentum. Here are the data.

Pollster Obama Romney Leading
Pew 50% 47% Obama +3%
YouGov 49% 47% Obama +2%
Marist 48% 47% Obama +1%
Ipsos 48% 47% Obama +1%
WaPo/ABC 49% 48% Obama +1%
Tarrance+Lake 48% 48% Tie
Opinion Research 49% 49% Tie
Rasmussen 49% 49% Tie

Dutch Newspaper Reports Romney Avoided $100 Million in Taxes

This morning, investigative reporters at a quality Dutch newspaper, De Volkskrant, published a story that Mitt Romney avoided $100 million in dividend taxes using a complex route that ran through The Netherlands. The mechanism used an arcane clause in the tax treaties that determine which country can tax which type of income when a construction, in this case a private equity fund, runs through multiple countries. Some of the data came from legal documents filed with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. The reporters repeatedly asked Romney to comment on the story but he refused. Here is a translation of the article.

Analysis of Key Races in All 50 States

The Washington Post has a great analysis of the top races in all states. The state of the presidential race is well known at this point. Obama is slightly ahead in New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada. Romney leads in North Carolina. The only states where nobody is really ahead are Florida, Virginia, and Colorado. The top Senate races are also well known, as shown here. What the WaPo analysis gives is a look at close House races. Embattled incumbents include Rep. Allen West (R-FL), Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH), Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH), and quite a few others.

Florida Election in the Courts Already

Florida elections and lawsuits seem to be an enduring couple. Vast numbers of early voters in Florida yesterday overwhelmed the polling stations. Some voters waited in line for 7 hours. Others couldn't vote at all. Some voters in Miami-Dade County were told to cast absentee ballots but when they tried to get them, the office issuing them closed down. In short, it was chaos in South Florida yesterday.

The Democratic Party sued the state in an effort to make adequate voting facilities available. Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) just brushed off the problems and said everything was running smoothly. Last year the Republican-controlled legislature reduced early voting days from 14 to 8 in a more-or-less naked attempt to discourage voting in South Florida, which is strongly Democratic. Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties are where 32% of Florida's Democrats live. The judge doesn't have a lot of time to study the case and render a decision since tomorrow is election day.

Voting Equipment Still Not Verifiable

Another election problem is that some electronic voting machines do not have a paper trail. They are still in use and could be pre-programmed to silently flip some votes or report an incorrect total and no one would have any way of auditing them. The Verified Voting Foundation has been fighting for voting systems with an audit trail for years, with mixed success. For the most part, each of the over 3,000 counties in the U.S. can buy whatever voting equipment it wants to. Few of the counties have any expertise in voting system security and just believe whatever their supplier tells them. The Verified Voting Foundation Website has a great deal of information about voting equipment and procedures, including a map showing the dominant equipment in each state. Florida and Virginia, for example, have a mixture of paper ballots and unverifiable electronic voting machines. Colorado has a mix of paper ballots and electronic voting machines, some with a paper trail and some without. Nevada and Utah are the only states with electronic voting machines all of which have paper trails. The paper trails are essential for an honest election since in the event of a close election, the paper ballots can be manually counted.

Could Unreadable Signatures Be the Hanging Chads of 2012?

Voting machines aren't the only potential source of controversy in this election. Absentee ballots that are mailed in could lead to battles this time. Over 20% of the voters in Ohio and Florida mailed in absentee ballots in 2010 and this year the number is expected to be greater. The ballots are sent back in official envelopes that the voter must sign. If the signature does not match the one on file--in the opinion of whoever is doing the checking--the ballot will be rejected. Nationwide, over 2 million absentee ballots were rejected for bad signatures in 2008. In a close election, fights over signatures could erupt, with handwriting experts replacing lawyers as the key professionals in the fights.

Positive Campaign Ads Have Essentially Vanished

In earlier elections, candidates spent a lot of money explaining to the voters why they were qualified to be President and what they would do if elected. For example, 56% of John Kerry's Ads in 2004 were positive and 42% contrasted him with Bush. This year, 59% of Obama's ads were negative and 27% contrasted him with Romney. Only 14% were positive ads, talking about why he should be reelected. Romney's ads were a tad less negative, but not much. Few people expect the situation to improve in future elections.

Russia Lambasts the U.S. for Undemocratic Elections

With individual donors giving millions of dollars to campaigns, state legislatures doing their best to minimize the number of people who vote, voters being made to wait 7 hours to vote, international observers being sent packing in Texas and Iowa, and voting machines that can't be checked, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said the U.S. election system is the worst in the world. That is certainly not true, but a case could be made that it is the worst among mature democracies, none of which experience the kinds of problems the U.S. has, from outsized influence of a few wealthy individuals to governmental attempts to suppress the vote to chaos at the polling stations. While the U.S. system is far better than the Russian one, that is setting the bar pretty low.

Neither Presidential Candidate Seems to Have Senatorial Coattails

There are hard fought Senate races in many states, including Massachusetts, Virginia, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Montana, Nevada, and Arizona, but the presidential race doesn't seem to be having much impact on them. The Senate races have gotten so much publicity on their own and the candidates are so much larger than life that most voters are going to be making conscious choices in the Senate races, and not just voting a straight party line. In Massachusetts, Obama will win in a landslide, but the Senate race between Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Elizabeth Warren is close. Romney will sweep Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Montana, and Arizona, but that is cold comfort to the Republican Senate candidates in those states who are in very competitive races. So the bottom line is that we are likely to see quite a few split tickets this year.

New Jersey to Allow Ballots to be Sent in By Email

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R-NJ), who is the state's top elections official, has decreed that voters who can't vote due to Hurricane Sandy's aftermath may send absentee ballots in by email. Even under the best of circumstances, with careful planning, the possibility of fraud with email ballots is gigantic and in an emergency situation with no security controls in place, it is even worse. Fortunately, there are no competitive races in the state for any federal office, but there could be for state offices.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Arizona 46% 53%   Nov 02 Nov 03 PPP
Colorado 48% 48%   Nov 02 Nov 04 IPSOS
Florida 46% 46%   Nov 02 Nov 04 IPSOS
Florida 47% 49%   Nov 01 Nov 03 Zogby
Florida 48% 50%   Oct 29 Oct 29 Pulse Opinion Research
Iowa 50% 48%   Nov 03 Nov 04 PPP
Massachusetts 57% 37%   Oct 31 Nov 03 U. of Mass.
Massachusetts 58% 40%   Oct 26 Nov 01 Western New England U.
Minnesota 52% 41%   Nov 01 Nov 03 SurveyUSA
Missouri 45% 53%   Nov 02 Nov 03 PPP
Montana 43% 53%   Oct 29 Oct 29 Rasmussen
Montana 43% 53%   Oct 29 Oct 31 Mason Dixon
Montana 45% 52%   Nov 02 Nov 03 PPP
North Carolina 49% 49%   Nov 03 Nov 04 PPP
New Hampshire 50% 48%   Nov 03 Nov 04 PPP
Ohio 48% 44%   Nov 02 Nov 04 IPSOS
Ohio 48% 46%   Oct 29 Oct 29 Pulse Opinion Research
Ohio 50% 42%   Nov 01 Nov 03 Zogby
Ohio 52% 47%   Nov 03 Nov 04 PPP
Pennsylvania 49% 46%   Nov 01 Nov 03 Muhlenberg Coll.
Pennsylvania 49% 46%   Oct 30 Oct 30 Pulse Opinion Research
Virginia 47% 46%   Nov 02 Nov 04 IPSOS
Virginia 49% 48%   Oct 30 Oct 30 Pulse Opinion Research
Virginia 50% 44%   Nov 01 Nov 03 Zogby
Virginia 51% 47%   Nov 03 Nov 04 PPP
Wisconsin 49% 48%   Oct 30 Oct 30 Pulse Opinion Research

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Arizona Richard Carmona 46% Jeff Flake 51%     Nov 02 Nov 03 PPP
Florida Bill Nelson* 50% Connie McGillicuddy 46%     Oct 29 Oct 29 Pulse Opinion Research
Florida Bill Nelson* 52% Connie McGillicuddy 38%     Nov 01 Nov 03 Zogby
Florida Bill Nelson* 54% Connie McGillicuddy 39%     Nov 02 Nov 04 IPSOS
Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren 48% Scott Brown* 49%     Oct 31 Nov 03 U. of Mass.
Minnesota Amy Klobuchar* 60% Kurt Bills 30%     Nov 01 Nov 03 SurveyUSA
Missouri Claire McCaskill* 48% Todd Akin 44%     Nov 02 Nov 03 PPP
Montana Jon Tester* 45% Denny Rehberg 49%     Oct 29 Oct 31 Mason Dixon
Montana Jon Tester* 48% Denny Rehberg 46%     Nov 02 Nov 03 PPP
Ohio Sherrod Brown* 43% Josh Mandel 36%     Nov 01 Nov 03 Zogby
Ohio Sherrod Brown* 50% Josh Mandel 42%     Nov 02 Nov 04 IPSOS
Ohio Sherrod Brown* 50% Josh Mandel 43%     Oct 29 Oct 29 Pulse Opinion Research
Ohio Sherrod Brown* 54% Josh Mandel 44%     Nov 03 Nov 04 PPP
Pennsylvania Bob Casey* 46% Tom Smith 45%     Oct 30 Oct 30 Pulse Opinion Research
Pennsylvania Bob Casey* 48% Tom Smith 42%     Nov 01 Nov 03 Muhlenberg Coll.
Virginia Tim Kaine 48% George Allen 46%     Nov 02 Nov 04 IPSOS
Virginia Tim Kaine 48% George Allen 48%     Oct 30 Oct 30 Pulse Opinion Research
Virginia Tim Kaine 49% George Allen 41%     Nov 01 Nov 03 Zogby
Virginia Tim Kaine 52% George Allen 46%     Nov 03 Nov 04 PPP
Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin 47% Tommy Thompson 48%     Oct 30 Oct 30 Pulse Opinion Research

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster

Previous Headlines

Nov04 Obama Appears to Have Momentum
Nov04 Thanks to the Supreme Court, Early Voting Is Still Taking Place in Ohio
Nov04 Will the Aftermath of the Storm Affect the Election?
Nov04 Obama's Gamble on Demographics
Nov04 Maybe Pot Smokers Will Determine the Next President
Nov04 What Do People Want from the Next President?
Nov04 Conservatives Are Seeing the Beginning of the End for Romney
Nov04 Close Elections Are Nothing New
Nov03 Employment Up But Unemployment Also Up
Nov03 Ethnic Mix of the Electorate May Determine the Winner
Nov03 Early Results from Ohio on Election Day May Be Misleading
Nov03 Republicans Are Praying for Rain on Election Day
Nov03 Outside Groups Spent Half a Billion Dollars in October
Nov03 Probe into Voter Registration Fraud in Virginia Widens
Nov03 Betting Site Has Romney as the Favorite--in 2016
Nov03 Are Pollsters Asking the Wrong Question?
Nov02 Both Candidates Back on the Campaign Trail
Nov02 October Unemployment Numbers Will Be Out at 8:30 A.M. EDT Today
Nov02 Forget the Middle Class, It's Elite vs. Elite
Nov02 Romney Ad in Florida Ties Obama to Latin American Dictators
Nov02 Bipartisanship Flourishes--with a Couple of Footnotes
Nov02 Tuesday Will Be National Lawyer Day
Nov02 It's Dirty Tricks Time
Nov02 Get-Out-the-Vote Effort Backfires
Nov01 New Batch of Polls Welcome News for Obama
Nov01 Poll: Obama Doing a Good Job Dealing with the Storm
Nov01 Can Romney Expand the Map?
Nov01 Jobs Report Will be Issued Friday at 8:30 A.M.
Nov01 Will the Loser Blame It on Sandy?
Nov01 Native Americans Sue Montana over Voting Rights
Nov01 Same-Sex Marriage Initiative Tied in Maryland
Nov01 Dick Morris Predicts a Romney Landslide and Republican Senate
Oct31 Now Comes the Hard Part for the Campaigns
Oct31 Effects of the Storm on Voting
Oct31 Voter-Fraud Vigilantes Could Affect Voting
Oct31 Hurricane Damage Will Affect Polling All Week
Oct31 Could the Popular and Electoral Vote Be Different?
Oct31 Chrysler CEO Rebuts Romney on Jeeps
Oct31 More Republicans Than Democrats Have Voted in Colorado
Oct31 Charlie Crist Campaigning with Bill Clinton in Florida
Oct30 One Week to Go
Oct30 Obama Cancel Events to Stay in Washington
Oct30 Obama Cancels Events to Stay in Washington
Oct30 Five Hidden Factors That Could Affect the Election
Oct30 Hurricane May Delay Final Jobs Report Scheduled for Friday
Oct30 Who Gets the Blame for the Loss?
Oct29 National Polls Are Divided
Oct29 Where Do We Stand Now?
Oct29 Sandy, Barack and Mitt