• Strongly Dem (44)
  • Likely Dem (1)
  • Barely Dem (3)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (4)
  • Likely GOP (3)
  • Strongly GOP (45)
  • No Senate race
Map algorithm and special elections
An Orman (I) lead in Kansas is a "tie"
New polls: IA IL KY MT
Dem pickups : GA

News from the Votemaster

Pollster Who Worked for Romney Reflects on What He Learned in 2012

Neil Newhouse, Mitt Romney's Pollster in 2012, was not only disappointed that Romney did not win, but was even more disappointed that his polling results were so far off. He has now learned three important lessons from that election. First, old models of turnout don't work like they used to due to the efficiency of the Democrats' get-out-the-vote operation. If a demographic group, like blacks, represent say, 15% of the voting-age population, he had better assume they will also be 15% of the electorate.

Second, the old model using using "intensity" to predict who will vote and who will not vote doesn't work any more. Romney voters were much more enthusiastic about voting than Obama voters were in 2012, but the Obama supporters voted anyway and an unenthusiastic vote counts for as much as an enthusiastic vote.

Third, the old random-digit-dialing method of sampling may be giving way to the newer method of sampling from lists of registered voters. At the very least, it is more efficient, since almost all the people called are, in fact, registered voters, and not unregistered voters, fax machines, small businesses, or pay phones.

Bill Clinton Is Trying to Save Pryor

In Arkansas, it is said you can't swing a dead cat without hitting one of Bill Clinton's friends because he has more friends than a dog has ticks. In a state where Obama is poison, Clinton may be the antidote. The man from Hope may be the only chance Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) has of beating Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR). Clinton, of course, is also thinking of the Clintons. If he can work his old magic and save Pryor, he may be thinking that Arkansas could be in play when Hillary runs in 2016. She is not as popular in the state as he is, in part because she didn't take his last name when they got married. Still, if Pryor wins, Clinton will get much of the credit and Hillary will probably contest Arkansas in 2016.

Republicans Attack New Ebola Czar

After attacking President Obama for not hiring an Ebola "czar," when he finally hired one, they began to attack the person he appointed, Ron Klain, as unqualified for the job. The title "czar" is a strange one at best. The U.S. has never been especially friendly with Russia and is certainly not now, what with disputes in the Ukraine and Baltic states unsettled. The Russian czar was an absolute dictator answerable to no one, whereas Klain has no real authority and is more of a coordinator Multiple agencies are involved in fighting Ebola and while Klain is not a doctor, he does have experience dealing with interagency turf wars and can herd the cats by saying: "The President wants ..." and have it be respected. But a czar he is not. "Ebola Pharaoh" is too hard to spell, even if the U.S. has better relations with Egypt than with Russia.

The Republicans are complaining that Klain is a political operative rather than a doctor, but that is probably what is needed. The Centers for Disease Control has plenty of doctors Klain can consult. The problem is not that nobody knows how to treat Ebola patients but rather different government agencies often work at cross purposes and someone needs to oversee the entire process and make sure they are all pulling in the same direction. This is a job Klain can do that an expert virologist without any political experience could not. To some extent, this issue is analogous to the discussion about the travel ban on flights to West Africa. The experts are against a ban so Obama hasn't issued one but that makes him an easy target for 30 second ads. If this appointment had come up after the midterm elections, nobody would have given a hoot who he named. It's all politics.

Wife of Gov. Christie Earned Half a Million on Wall Street

Mary Pat Christie, the wife of New Jersey governor and 2016 presidential hopeful Chris Christie (R-NJ) earned $476,000 for her part-time job at the Wall Street firm Angelo, Gordon, & Co and an additional $35,000 from Cantor Fitzgerald. If Christie tries to run for President as a "man of the people" it may be difficult to explain how he can take the side of the common man when his wife made over half a million dollars for her work at Wall Street firms. Together the couple earned almost $700,000 last year. They paid $194,00 in combined federal and state taxes on it, for an average rate of about 28%.

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Iowa Bruce Braley 48% Joni Ernst 47%     Oct 15 Oct 16 PPP
Illinois Dick Durbin* 47% Jim Oberweis 37%     Sep 23 Oct 15 Southern Illinois U.
Kentucky Alison Lundergan-Grimes 44% Mitch McConnell* 52%     Oct 15 Oct 16 Rasmussen
Montana Amanda Curtis 31% Steve Daines 47%     Oct 06 Oct 11 Montana State U.

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster
Oct17 Only 25% of Registered Voters Have Been Contacted
Oct17 Democrats Trying to Paint David Perdue as a Mini-Mitt
Oct17 Ebola Has Been Hugely Politicized
Oct17 Braley and Ernst Battle about Ebola in Debate
Oct17 Races for Secretary of State Become Fiery
Oct17 "Fangate" Heats Up Florida Gubernatorial Race
Oct16 Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down Voter ID Law
Oct16 Roberts and Orman Fight about Abortion in Debate
Oct16 Udall and Gardner Deal with Aggressive Moderator at Final Debate
Oct16 Pryor and Cotton Tangle in Their Final Debate
Oct16 All Models Predict a Likely Republican Takeover of the Senate
Oct16 Various Endgame Scenarios Are Possible for the Senate
Oct16 NRSC To Put Another $6 Million into North Carolina
Oct16 Rand Paul Won't Be Getting Help from John McCain in 2016
Oct15 Democrats Give Up on Beating McConnell
Oct15 Alaska Veterans Are Up for Grabs
Oct15 Accidental Experiment Compares Polling Techniques
Oct15 Landrieu Tries to Move Away from Obama
Oct15 Trackers Are Everywhere This Year
Oct15 Republican Leader Attacks National Science Foundation
Oct15 Ann Romney Rules Out a 2016 Romney Presidential Bid
Oct14 McConnell and Grimes Attack Each Other in Debate
Oct14 Voter ID Laws Are Getting More Analysis
Oct14 Voters Prefer Republican Positions on Key Issues
Oct14 New Ads Attack Republicans for Cutting Ebola Vaccine Funding
Oct14 Democrats Don't Trust the Polls
Oct14 Eleven Questions that Will Decide the Senate
Oct14 Christie in Trouble with Religious Conservatives
Oct13 Pressler Says He Is Really an Independent
Oct13 Billionaires Are Lining Up for Orman
Oct13 Ernst and Braley Clash over the Environment
Oct13 The Internet Is Full
Oct13 Candidates Skip Their Day Jobs at Their Peril
Oct13 As Many as 40,000 Voter Registrations Not Yet Processed in Georgia
Oct13 The Battle for the Early Voters Is Ramping Up
Oct13 Judge in Alaska Throws Out Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
Oct12 NRSC Moves Its Money to Six Senate Races
Oct12 Secret Money Dominates Campaigns
Oct12 Not All Large Donors Are Secret
Oct12 Candidates Call in the Big Guns in Iowa
Oct11 Washington Post Model Gives Republicans 95% Chance of Capturing the Senate
Oct11 Denver Post Endorses Cory Gardner
Oct11 Blank-Slate Candidates Are on the Rise
Oct11 Federal Election Commission Has Stopped Functioning
Oct11 Hillary's Potential Opponents Won't Attack Her
Oct10 Supreme Court Shoots Down Wisconsin Voter ID Law
Oct10 Federal Judge Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law
Oct10 Study: Voter ID Laws Reduce Turnout
Oct10 Roberts and Orman Debate in Kansas
Oct10 Landrieu Fires Her Campaign Manager