Projected New Senate: 49 Democrats 51 Republicans
News from the Votemaster
In AZ-08 , the races may be over but the rancor has not stopped. Departing incumbent Rep. Jim Kolbe (R) has refused to endorse the winner of the Republican primary, Randy Graf, citing "profound differences." He didn't explain what those differences were, but given that that Kolbe, an 11-term veteran of of the House and an openly gay Republican is quite moderate and Graf is a real right-wing firebrand, one can guess. The GOP spend $122,000 in this district trying to help Graf's primary opponent, Steve Huffman, fearing that Graf is too conservative to carry the district. Now Graf will face Democratic primary winner Gabrielle Giffords in November. This district is analogous to the Rhode Island senatorial primary, where the Republican party put a huge amount of effort into defeating a candidate they really agree with on the issues, but were afraid would lose in November. With Republicans, power trumps ideology. With the Democrats, its often the other way around (see Connecticut).
AZ-03 , is a real cliffhanger, with Democrat Don Chilton leading his opponent Herb Paine by only 24 votes, with the absentee ballots yet to be counted. The winner will be the loser in November, since incumbent John Shadegg (R) got 80% of the vote last time.
NH-01 , had a surprising upset, where an antiwar activist with no money and no organization, Carol Shea-Porter (D), solidly defeated the Democratic establishment candidates, state House leader, Jim Craig, 54% to 34%, with the rest of the votes going to six minor candidates (one of whom got only four votes). Shea-Porter will face two-term incumbent Republican Jeb Bradley in November.
In MD-04 , another antiwar activist, Donna Edwards was narrowly defeated by her old boss, incumbent Rep. Albert Wynn, 50% to 46%. The message here is that it is probably harder to defeat a sitting Congressman than a mere challenger.
Sen. George Allen (R-VA) is starting to recover slightly from stepping in the macaca last month. Two new polls show him ahead of challenger Jim Webb again. Rasmussen has him ahead 50% to 43% and SurveyUSA has him ahead 48% to 45%. That one word has turned what should have been a warmup to the 2008 presidential race into a fight for his political life. In a way, this whole business is unfortunate because it shows that one off-hand remark can practically destroy a candidacy. The effect will not be lost on other candidates (and consultants), who will no doubt realize they are best off speaking only to closed audiences of their own supporters with nobody from the press or opposition allowed in and the candidate merely reading a standard speech every time. Scaring the daylights out of the candidates doesn't really promote an open democracy. On the other hand, if a candidate is a closet racist, that deserves some publicity.
On the House side, we have four polls today and two of them show the problems the Republicans are facing. Indiana is such a red state that the Democrats aren't even bothering to field a candidate against Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). Yet in two House districts, Democratic challengers are leading Republican incumbents. In IN-08 ,, Brad Ellsworth is leading John Hoststettler by 44% to 40% and in IN-09 , Baron Hill is leading Mike Sodrel by 46% to 40%. For our top 40 Hot House races, click here .
In NV-02 , Jill Derby is within shooting distance of Dean Heller, with Heller ahead 45% to 37% in a district the Republicans won by more than 30 percentage points last time. Finally, in CA-50 , Brian Bilbray (R), who won a special election against Francine Busby (D) in June, looks like he will beat her again in November. He leads 54% to 40%.
The site has a cumulative list of both Senate polls and House polls, but only nonpartisan polls are included in both lists. For the Senate, this doesn't matter much because there are an abundance of neutral polls from Rasmussen, SurveyUSA, and others, but neutral House polls are scarce (because they cost the same as a Senate or national poll and many fewer people are interested in the results).
A lot has been written about electronic voting equipment and how easily it can be tampered with, but rarely have we had a situation in which one of the world's leading authorities on the security of electronic voting was also a election judge in an actual election and took careful notes about everything that happened on election day. In Tuesday's primary in Maryland, Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins university and specialist in the security of electronic voting was an election judge and has now published a detailed report on what he saw. Definitely worth reading.
See the details of the Senate and House races with photos, maps, links, polls, etc.
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-- The Votemaster