Projected New Senate: 49 Democrats 50 Republicans 1 tie
News from the Votemaster
We have only one new poll today, but it is an important one. George Allen's lead over challendger Jim Webb has been cut from 16% to 5%. If this holds up, Virginia is in play.
In case you haven't been following what is going on there, here is a brief rundown. Most candidates have volunteers go videotape all their opponents' speeches as it is not uncommon for a candidate to make contradictory promises to different groups. The video tapes can embarrass the candidate when it is clear he is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Jim Webb assigned a volunteer of Indian descent to follow and tape George Allen. Allen knew this and didn't like it much. At one rally he called the Webb volunteer a "macaca" which is a kind of monkey but widely interpreted in the South as a racial slur. Allen's PR guy denied it was a racial slur and said Allen simply made up a new word combining "Mohawk" (which could have referred to the volunteer's hair style, except he wasn't wearing a Mohawk) and "caca," which is Spanish slag for "shit." In otherwords, Allen was simply calling the young man a shithead--no slur at all.
Allen has a well-known love of the Confederate flag so nobody was buying the "shithead" story and Allen' dropped 11 points overnight. The big significance of this change is that if the Democrats pick up Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, which they are poised to do, they still fall one seat short of a majority in the Senate. If all of a sudden Virginia is in play, that could be the sixth seat. Whether the damage to Allen is permanent or not remains to be seen though.
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-- The Votemaster