Projected New Senate: 50 Democrats 49 Republicans 1 tie
News from the Votemaster
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No new Senate polls today. However, the New York Times has an interesting story about the Senate races. Effectively, the NRSC has abandoned Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island as lost causes and are putting all their money into Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia (and maybe New Jersey). If New Jersey comes home to the Democrats (which hasn't elected a Republican senator in 30 years) best case for the GOP is a Republican Senate 51-49. Worst case for the GOP is Democratic control 52-48 (barring a category 5 political hurricane). I basically agree with their analysis. Virginia, Tennesse, and Missouri are the key states now.
We have one new poll in the House, in IN-08. Sheriff Brad Ellsworth (D) is leading incumbent Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) by an incredible 55% to 32%. Rep. Tom Reynolds, must be sweating bullets over at the NRCC. When an incumbent in a state as red as Indiana is more than 20% behind an unknown County Sheriff, the Republicans have a problem.
As a result of the large batch of House polls on Friday and other developments such as the Foley sex scandal, it looks like even more House races are competitive. Consequently, I have increased the list of Hot House races from 40 to 50. For all the races, including the new ones, the Hot House races page under the map includes the candidates' pictures, home pages, Wikipedia entries, and descriptions of the races. The new districts are: AZ-01, FL-16, IA-02, MN-01, NY-03, NY-26, NC-08, OH-01, OH-02, and WI-08.
I have examined all the ratings and updated them where necessary. The ratings are based on the polls but also on a certain amount of horse sense. One poll that shows the Democrat ahead in a district that has gone Republican for 40 years doesn't mean the race suddenly leans Democratic. Also, some other factors get weighed in, such as recent local scandals. Unlike Charlie Cook, who never rates any incumbent as less than Tossup, I will make an incumbent an underdog if there have been multiple polls by different pollsters showing him or her losing. The term "lean" in the ratings means a probability of somewhat more than 50%. The term "probably" means it would require a major event of some kind to change the result. The term "safe" means barring an unforeseen catastrophe, the candidate wins.
What is especially noteworthy is the relatively large number of women running in these competitive races--23 of the 100 candidates. It is a certainty that at least four women will be elected since in four races both candidates are women. Here are the 23 women. Incumbents are marked with asterisks.
Oh, and I fogot to mention it yesterday, but there is a new cartoon of the week.
Projected New House*: 226 Democrats 205 Republicans 4 Ties* Where no independent polls exist, the 2004 election results have been used. See complete House polls.
Dem pickups: AZ-01 AZ-08 CT-04 FL-13 FL-16 IA-02 IN-02 IN-08 IN-09 MN-06 NC-08 NC-11 NM-01 NY-24 NY-26 OH-02 OH-15 OH-18 PA-06 PA-07 PA-10 TX-22 WI-08
See the details of the Senate and House races with photos, maps, links, polls, etc.
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-- The Votemaster