• Strongly Dem (43)
  • Likely Dem (4)
  • Barely Dem (2)
  • Exactly tied (1)
  • Barely GOP (3)
  • Likely GOP (2)
  • Strongly GOP (45)
  • No Senate race
Map algorithm and special elections
An Orman (I) lead in Kansas is a "tie"
New polls: GA IA
Dem pickups : (None)
GOP pickups : AK AR LA MT SD WV

News from the Votemaster

Wisconsin May Enforce Voter ID Law in November

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin legislature passed a law requiring voters to show ID before being allowed to vote. It was signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), who is running for reelection. The Democrats sued the state, claiming it unfairly burdened poor voters. A district judge agreed and said Wisconsin could not enforce the law. The state appealed. Yesterday a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals stayed the district court's order. As a consequence, the state is allowed to enforce the voter ID law this November. The court did not decide the case on its merits. It will yet do that, but it did not give a timetable of when it will do it. All three judges on the circuit court panel that made the ruling were appointed by Republican Presidents, one by Ronald Reagan and two by George W. Bush.

Ohio May Not Enforce Early Voting Law in November

Ohio, like Wisconsin, passed a law restricting voting, but rather than requiring voter IDs, it reduced the period early voting would be allowed. District judge Peter Economus told the state not to enforce the law in November. Ohio appealed and yesterday a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals told Ohio they had to obey Economus' order. So early voting will happen in Ohio. In contrast to the 7th Circuit panel, all the judges who made the ruling in the Ohio case were appointed by Democratic Presidents.

While it is not clear if one can apply probability theory to judicial decisions, the chance of three unbiased people all voting along party lines is 1 in 8. The probability of all six judges voting the way they did if they were unbiased is a bit over 1% (1/64). At the very least, the spectacle of Republican appointees doing what the Republicans want and Democratic appointees doing what the Democrats want does not give the impression that judges are impartial.

Landrieu Campaigned 136 Times on Official Trips over 18 Years

An internal investigation by a law firm hired by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) to investigate her travel during the 18 years she has been in the Senate found that she did 136 campaign events on 43 trips paid for by the Senate account. It is illegal to use public money for campaign events. The amount of money involved is small, only $33,727, but her opponents in her reelection bid are sure to use this against her.

Actually, the situation is more complicated than it looks but that is often hard to explain to voters. Members of Congress often take trips that include both official business and attending fundraisers. This is legal but requires prorating the expenses and allocating part of them to campaigning and part to official business. This prorating can be tricky and this is where Landrieu's problem is.

Voters Who Dislike Obama May Not Necessarily Vote for Republicans

Many pundits have observed that President Obama is fairly unpopular in some of the states with competitive Senate races and thus assume this will help the Republican candidate. But a new WaPo/ABC poll shows a more complicated picture of the 54% of the voters who disapprove of Obama. Only 72% said they are voting Republican. This means that 28% will vote for the Democrats, vote for a third party, or not vote at all. In other words a voter who disapproves of Obama isn't necessarily in the bag for the Republicans. In contrast, 85% of the voters who approve of Obama say they will vote for Democrats.

In many key states, the Democratic candidate for the Senate is more popular than Obama. In Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) is 9 points more popular than Obama. In Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes is 8 points ahead of Obama. In Colorado, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) leads Obama by 9 points,

In 2010, the situation was different. Then 84% of the people who disapproved of Obama voted Republican and 85% of those who approved him voted Democratic. Thus Obama's popularity was a good index of how people would vote. This year that is not true.

Democrats Have a Path to Hold the Senate

Nate Cohn wrote a column explaining how the Democrats could (barely) hold onto their Senate majority. It agrees closely with what we see on the map above. If the Demcrats hold Michigan, Colorado, and Iowa, as they appear to be doing at the moment, they have 48 seats. This means they need two more seats in the remaining competitive races: North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, and Alaska. To stop them, the Republicans need to win six of the seven. At the moment, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) has a lead of almost 5%. If she wins, the Republicans have to win all six of the remaining states. It's not impossible and they lead in all of them at the moment except Kansas, where independent Greg Orman is 1% ahead of Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). But remember, all these races are close and anything could still happen.

Hillary Clinton to visit Iowa Tomorrow

Hillary Clinton hasn't visited Iowa since her loss there in the 2008 Iowa caucuses but she is returning tomorrow for Tom Harkin's 37th annual steak fry. Harkin doesn't actually fry steaks there and never has, but that's what he called it the first time and the name stuck. It is actually a fundraiser for the Iowa Democratic party and is open to anyone who wants to buy a $30 ticket. One person who has already signed up is Hillary Clinton. She is also bringing her husband.

While her visit may simply be a nice way to say goodbye to retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), surely she is aware that hanging out with thousands of Iowa Democratic activists won't hurt her should she decide to enter the Iowa caucuses, which are only 17 months away. Her visit doesn't mean she is a candidate yet, but it is precisely the way a noncandidate should campaign. As a side benefit, the money raised will help Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), who is in a tight race with Joni Ernst (R) to succeed Harkin and Clinton probably hopes that if Braley wins with her help, he might be grateful when it comes time to endorse candidates in the Iowa caucuses in 2016. Clinton has also hired a personal trainer to whip her into shape for a grueling campaign. All these signs point toward a run in 2016.

Measure to Split Up California Fails to Make the Ballot

A quixotic proposal to divide California into six states has failed to make the November ballot for lack of signatures, The idea was the brainchild of Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, who wanted Silicon Valley to become a state. To get on the ballot, the measured required 807,000 signatures. Although 1 million were turned in, more than 200,000 were invalid. Draper spent $5 million on his pet project while his opponents spent $10,000.

Today's Senate Polls

Two new polls of Georgia show that David Perdue (R) has a clear lead over Michelle Nunn (D) at this point. Although Nunn's father served four terms in the Senate as a Democrat, the state has become much redder since he retired and it now looks like all other things being equal anyone with an (R) beats anyone with a (D).

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Georgia Michelle Nunn 40% David Perdue 50%     Sep 10 Sep 11 Insider Advantage
Georgia Michelle Nunn 41% David Perdue 45%     Sep 08 Sep 11 Abt SRBI
Iowa Bruce Braley 49% Joni Ernst 48%     Sep 08 Sep 10 ORC International

* Denotes incumbent

Email a link to a friend or share:

---The Votemaster
Sep12 Page with All Senate Races is Now Complete
Sep12 Control of the Senate May Come Down to North Carolina
Sep12 Is Winning the Senate a Good Thing for Republicans
Sep12 Is Winning the Senate a Good Thing for Republicans?
Sep12 How the Republican Leadership Won its House Primaries
Sep12 Election Prediction: Polls vs. Fundamentals
Sep11 Cotton Takes the Lead in Arkansas
Sep11 Pelosi is Top Democratic Fundraiser
Sep11 Intramural Battles Loom in 2016
Sep10 New feature: Graph of Senate Scores for the Whole Year
Sep10 Democrat Chad Taylor Asks Kansas Supreme Court to Remove Him from Ballot
Sep10 Primary Season is Over
Sep10 Republican Establishment Triumphs in the End
Sep10 Items Democrats and Republicans Agree On about the Election
Sep09 Icons for Websites and bloggers Now Available
Sep09 The Battle for Kansas Has Started
Sep09 Ten 2014 Races That Will Matter in 2016
Sep09 Constitutional Amendment to Regulate Campaign Finances Advances in the Senate
Sep09 Michelle Obama Hits Campaign Trail
Sep09 Obama Asks for Five Billion Dollars to Go after ISIS
Sep09 Icons for Websites and loggers Now Available
Sep09 The Battle for Kansas Has Started
Sep09 Ten 2014 Races That Will Matter in 2016
Sep09 Constitutional Amendment to Regular Campaign Finances Advances in the Senate
Sep09 Constitutional Amendment to Regulate Campaign Finances Advances in the Senate
Sep09 Michelle Obama Hits Campaign Trail
Sep09 Obama Asks for Five Billion Dollars to Go after ISIS
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