• Strongly Dem (43)
  • Likely Dem (2)
  • Barely Dem (4)
  • Exactly tied (1)
  • Barely GOP (4)
  • Likely GOP (1)
  • Strongly GOP (45)
  • No Senate race
Map algorithm and special elections
An Orman (I) lead in Kansas is a "tie"
New polls: IA KS
Dem pickups : GA
GOP pickups : AK AR LA MT NC SD WV

News from the Votemaster

Icons for Websites and bloggers Now Available

As in previous years, we now have icons with the Senate score and map available for your Website or blog. All you have to do is go to the Icons for bloggers page (also on the menu to the left of the map above) and copy three lines of HTML and paste it onto your site. From then on, your visitors will always see the current score and map without you doing anything except the one-time copy and paste. The map and score will automatically update every day without you doing anything.

The Battle for Kansas Has Started

The real reason Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach (R) refused to remove Chad Taylor's name from the ballot even though the Democrat has abandoned his race is now apparent: Kansas has quite a few what are euphemistically called "low-information voters." A new SurveyUSA poll taken after Taylor gave up shows 10% of the voters still supporting him even though he is not running any more. These are undoubtedly people who don't like Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) but don't realize that the way to get rid of him is to vote for Greg Orman (I).

Normally debates in a Senate election in Kansas don't get a lot of attention, but with the withdrawal of the Democratic candidate and the real possibility that independent Greg Orman could win, suddenly Kansas is in the spotlight. In the first debate, Roberts was running more against majority leader Harry Reid than against his actual opponent. Orman--who won't say which party he will caucus with--tried to maintain his independence by attacking both parties. One thing he didn't do was go after Roberts for living in Virginia rather than Kansas, as his primary opponent did.

This puts the Democrats in a tricky situation. They can't openly endorse Orman since that would destroy his independence. What they can and probably will do is run attack ads against Roberts and one issue to attack is where he lives. He has visited Kansas only seven times this year, which is pretty low. Most senators try to get home two or three times a month if possible. To make things worse for Roberts, on the form he has filled out 27 times for campaign reimbursements, every time he listed Alexandria, VA, as his home. His problem, of course, is that he doesn't have a mailing address in Kansas. In retrospect, he probably should have rented a small apartment in Kansas, just to have a place to receive mail, but he didn't. While he is not wealthy as senators go, with a net worth of $750,000 he could have afforded to rent a small apartment somewhere in Kansas, just to have a mailing address. It might even have been financially neutral since he sometimes stays in hotels when he does visit the state.

Ten 2014 Races That Will Matter in 2016

Some 2014 races have major implications for 2016. The National Journal has made a list of the top 10 of these. These are briefly summarized below.

  1. Wisconsin governor - if Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) wins he will probably run for President
  2. Colorado Senate - if Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) is reelected, people will see Colorado as a blue state
  3. Iowa Senate - if Joni Ernst (R) wins, her endorsement in the Iowa caucuses will be gold
  4. New Hampshire Senate - if Scott Brown (R) wins, his endorsement in New Hampshire will be helpful
  5. North Carolina Senate - if Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) wins without Obama on the ticket, NC is officially purple
  6. Arkansas Senate - if Bill and Hillary Clinton can save Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), it burnishes their credentials
  7. Ohio governor - a big margin here makes Gov. John Kasich into presidential material
  8. Florida governor - if Charlie Crist (D) wins, he can rebuild the Florida Democratic Party
  9. Nevada lieutenant governor - if Brian Sandoval's #2 wins, Sandoval might challenge Harry Reid in 2016
  10. Kentucky legislature - a Republican takeover means Rand Paul can run for President and senator in 2016

Constitutional Amendment to Regulate Campaign Finances Advances in the Senate

With vast amounts of dark money pouring into campaigns since the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, Democrats in the Senate are trying to amend the Constitution to allow Congress to regulate campaign spending. A bill proposing such an amendment passed a test yesterday and will be debated on the Senate floor. Both parties want to debate it. The Democrats want to show that billionaires are buying elections. The Republicans want to show that Democrats are against free speech. The bill needs a 2/3 vote in both chambers of Congress and then ratification by 3/4 of the states before it can take effect. The chances of that happening are nil.

Michelle Obama Hits Campaign Trail

Even though the fate of his last two years as President depends on who controls the Senate in January, President Obama is handcuffed because he is quite unpopular in the states where the key elections are so he has to stay away. However, he has found an alternative way to help Democrats out: send his wife. Michelle Obama, who is quite popular, hit the campaign trail yesterday for the first time, going to Georgia to campaign for Michelle Nunn (D) who is running against David Perdue (R) for the open seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). Michelle Obama's goal is to energize women and get them to turn out and vote for Nunn.

Obama Asks for Five Billion Dollars to Go after ISIS

Most voters trust the Republicans more than the Democrats on national defense, so President Obama is trying to neutralize that advantage by asking Congress for $5 billion to attack ISIS. This gives endangered Democrats the chance to act hawkish just before an election and puts the Republicans in the position of having to spend money, something they prefer not to do. By forcing Congress to vote on the measure, Obama is also protecting himself from later accusations that he acted without Congressional consent, even though he isn't actually asking for consent, just money.

Today's Senate Polls

A new poll from SurveyUSA has shown that the withdrawal of Democrat Chad Taylor has had an enormous impact on the Kansas Senate race. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and independent Greg Orman are now statistically tied. In the poll before this one, in late August, Orman was at 20%; now he is at 37%. Clearly he picked up most of Taylor's support but there are still some Democrats out there who haven't got the word that Taylor is out.

The map shows the Democrats at 49, Republicans at 50 and 1 tie, meaning Orman because he won't say which party he will caucus with. If this scenario comes true, Orman will be the deciding vote in the new Senate. He could demand and get practically anything.

Actually, it is even worse than that because while we have "allocated" Louisiana to the Republicans, that won't be known until the runoff on Dec. 6. Between Nov. 4 and Dec. 6 there could be a lot of uncertainty, even without Franken-Coleman type reCounts, which is also a possibility.

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Iowa Bruce Braley 45% Joni Ernst 41%     Sep 02 Sep 05 Loras College
Kansas Chad Taylor 10% Pat Roberts* 36% Greg Orman 37% Sep 04 Sep 07 SurveyUSA

* Denotes incumbent

Email a link to a friend or share:

---The Votemaster
Sep08 Why Democrats Can't Win the House
Sep08 Final Primaries Tomorrow
Sep08 Economic Realignment May Help the Democrats
Sep08 Dark Horses Are Emerging for 2016 Already
Sep08 Why Democrats Can't Win the House?
Sep08 Final Primaries Tomorrow
Sep08 Economic Realignment May Help the Democrats
Sep08 Dark Horses Are Emerging for 2016 Already
Sep07 Obama To Delay Action on Immigration
Sep07 Wendy Davis Talks about Her Abortion
Sep07 Politico Publishes List of the Top 50 Political Thinkers
Sep06 Landrieu Survives Residency Challenge--for the Time Being
Sep06 McDonnell Conviction Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences
Sep06 Christie Loses Bet in Atlantic City
Sep06 Voting Restrictions Are in Place in Eight States
Sep05 Taylor's Withdrawal from Kansas Senate Race Getting More Complicated
Sep05 Political Stupidity is Bipartisan
Sep05 Court Orders Early Voting To Be Reinstated in Ohio
Sep05 Early Voting Is Starting Today
Sep05 Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis Each Attack the Other's Party
Sep05 The Top Eight Senate Campaign Gaffes
Sep04 Chad Taylor Drops Out of Kansas Senate Race
Sep04 Martin O'Malley Says He Will Run for President in 2016
Sep04 Campaigns Used to Begin after Labor Day
Sep03 Roll Call's List of Vulnerable Senators
Sep03 Democrats and Dynasties
Sep03 Some Republicans Calling for Over-the-Counter Birth Control
Sep03 Secret News Is Released Friday Evening
Sep03 Kentuckians Do Not Want to Change the Law for Rand Paul
Sep02 Obama Spends Labor Day Talking to Labor Unions
Sep02 Hagan Popular with Banks
Sep02 Buying Access to Senators and Governors is Surprisingly Inexpensive
Sep02 Public Doesn't Believe the Economy is Improving
Sep02 Republicans Expect Small Gain in the House
Sep02 Another Take on Romney 2016
Sep02 Lankford Crushing Johnson in Oklahoma Special Election
Sep01 Study Says that Citizens United Decision Helped Republicans
Sep01 Candidates Make Their Pitch to the Koch Brothers
Sep01 Steyer May Target Some Democrats in California
Sep01 Campaigns Spend a Billion Dollars before the Campaigns Even Start
Aug31 Democrats Try to Energize Black Voters
Aug31 What Did Hillary Learn This Summer?
Aug31 Seventeen People May Have Voted Twice in 2012
Aug30 McConnell's Campaign Manager Resigns
Aug30 McDaniel's Challenge in Mississippi is Thrown Out by a Judge
Aug30 Obama Will Avoid States Where He is Unpopular
Aug30 Court Rules that Domestic Abuse Is Grounds for Asylum in the U.S.
Aug30 Another Rundown of the Senate Elections
Aug30 Rick Perry is Actively Running for President
Aug30 McConnell's Campaign Manager Resigns