Aug. 28 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 278   McCain 247   Ties 13
Senate Dem 56   GOP 43   Ties 1
House Dem 242   GOP 193  

Senate map and races
Downloadable polling data
Previous report
Next report
This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (134)
weak Dem Weak Dem (126)
barely Dem Barely Dem (18)
tied Exactly tied (13)
barely GOP Barely GOP (71)
weak GOP Weak GOP (89)
strong GOP Strong GOP (87)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
Map algorithm explained
Presidential polls today: CO FL NM NV OH PA RI RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO IA NV NM GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo Obama Campaign Calls McCain Camp's VP Bluff Bonus Quote of the Day
McCain Still Trying to Find Spectators Connecticut Delegates Want Lieberman Punished
The Latest McCain Veep Buzz Mason-Dixon: Florida Remains a Toss Up

News from the Votemaster

Democrats Nominate Barack Obama for President

The Democratic Party made history last night by officially nominating Barack Obama for President. This is the first time either major party has nominated a (half) black candidate for President. There have been several black senators and governors (two right now, in New York and Massachusetts) but never before have the Democrats or Republicans nominated a black person for President. Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the highest ranking black person in Congress said: "I never thought I would live to see it." This feeling was repeated by many other senior black members of Congress, nearly all veterans of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Women also made history this year as Hillary Clinton got 18 million votes in her run for President, something no woman has ever come close to doing before. Her name was placed in nomination and voting began. But early on, it became clear that most of the Clinton delegates had switched to Obama. Arkansas, Bill Clinton's home state, cast most of its 47 votes for Obama. New Hampshire, which rejuvenated Clinton's campaign, cast all its votes for Obama. So did New Jersey, a state she also won handily. When the roll call got to New York, Hillary Clinton moved to suspend the voting and declare Obama to be the nominee by acclamation. This motion led to a thunderous round of cheers and applause and was accepted.

Bill Clinton and Joe Biden Addressed the Convention

Two major speechs were made last night. Bill Clinton, unlike his wife the day before, praised Obama's curiosity, intelligence, and leadership as well as his judgement in choosing a seasoned hand like Joe Biden as his running mate. He then socked it to the Republicans, citing failure after failure both domestically and foreign. He got the longest of his many ovations when he said: "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than the example of our power."

The other top speaker was Joe Biden who first emphasized his working-class background as the son of a car dealer from Scranton, PA. He talked about how he has taken the train from his home near Wilmington, DE, to his job in D.C. every day for 35 years to maximize time with his family. Then he really lit into John McCain. He said Bush's war, fully supported by John McCain was costing the taxpayers $12 billion a month and has driven the economy into a ditch. At one point he referred to McCain as "George." Maybe this was a Freudian slip. Maybe not. Expect to hear a lot about John McBush this Fall. The Democrats are going to plaster St. Paul next week with posters showing the famous photo of McCain hugging Bush. A major theme of Biden's speech (and the forthcoming campaign) is that a McCain Presidency would be Bush III. Biden showed that he fully understands his role is that of the attack dog thus allowing Obama to take the high road and appear above the fray and willing to work with the Republicans to solve the country's problems. Biden has made some gaffes in the past but has also had some memorable one liners. In a debate during the primary season he said that all of then-candidate Rudy Giuliani's sentences had three parts: a noun, a verb, and 9/11.

Obama's Acceptance Speech Tonight

Tonight Barack Obama makes the most important speech of his life. Millions of people still don't know who he is and tonight a lot of them will get their first good look. It has surely not escaped his attention that today is the 45th anniversary to the day of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. Obama might look upwards and deliver a short progress report to Dr. King. He is also no doubt aware that John McCain will be 72 tomorrow. He might wish him a happy birthday and congratulate him on over half a century of service to his country and wish him many more years serving the country--in the United States Senate. Set-piece speeches to adoring crowds of 75,000 are Obama's speciality. He will no doubt drive the crowd to a frenzy, but what really matters is how people watching at home and seeing him for the first time react. No effort will be spared in comparing this acceptance speech to that of President Kennedy in the Los Angeles Memorial Colliseum in 1960.

Alaska House Race Undecided

The Republican primary for Alaska's at-large House seat is still undecided. With all but one precinct (the village of Hughes) counted, Rep. Don Young (R-AK) is leading Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (R) by 152 votes. The sled dogs are working hard to bring the box with the 63 remaining ballots from Hughes to the borough (county) office. In addition, thousands of absentee ballots and provisional ballots must be counted. With such a close margin, a recount is likely. This is bad luck for the Republicans since both Young and Parnell are in limbo until there is a winner, whereas the Democratic nominee, former state house minority leader Ethan Berkowitz, is busy crisscrossing this vast state campaigning.

No Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Yet

John McCain has not yet announced who is running mate is. Most observers expect him to do so tomorrow, which is also his 72nd birthday. The most likely contenders are Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Joe Lieberman. If it were truly up to McCain, he would probably pick his good friend Lieberman, but this choice would cause an uproar at the convention and a possible walkout of many delegates. Karl Rove has already tried to veto the idea. It would be a very risky choice.

Today's Polls

We have several new polls sponsored by CNN/Time Magazine and conducted by Opinion Research today covering several swing states. In Nevada, Barack Obama has pulled into a small lead 49% to 44%. Nevada has a large Latino population, which generally favors Democrats. Also, Obama is against dumping all the nation's radioactive wastes at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, sometime McCain supports but the locals are not too keen on. Obama hasn't said where they should go, but as far as Nevadans are concerned, the key word is NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). Colorado is tied, with McCain leading by 1 point, 47% to 46%. Like Nevada, this will be a key swing state this year.

State Obama McCain Start End Pollster
Colorado 46% 47% Aug 24 Aug 26 Opinion Research
Florida 45% 44% Aug 25 Aug 26 Mason-Dixon
New Mexico 53% 40% Aug 24 Aug 26 Opinion Research
Nevada 49% 44% Aug 24 Aug 26 Opinion Research
Ohio 40% 40% Jul 17 Aug 17 U. of Akron
Pennsylvania 48% 43% Aug 24 Aug 26 Opinion Research
Rhode Island 51% 30% Aug 18 Aug 20 Brown U.

In New Mexico, Obama appears to be pulling away. He is now leading 53% to 40%. Like Nevada and Colorado, the state has a large Latino population favorably disposed to Obama. If Obama can win the Kerry states plus Iowa (which looks increasingly like it is in the bag for him) plus New Mexico, he has 264 electoral votes. That means he needs to win only one state out of the set: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, Colorado, and Nevada. McCain has to hold all six of these key swing states. (If Obama wins just Nevada, it becomes 269-269 and goes to the House. There will be a long posting about that scenario after the news of the conventions dies down.)

Florida is apparently tightening also and is now tied, with Obama holding an insignificant 1-point lead there. (The map show barely Republican because the value being used is the average of three polls taken this week. See the Map algorithm explained page for an exact explanation of how the map colors are computed.) If McCain surprises everyone and picks Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) as his running mate, that will end the competition for Florida right there, but there has been little buzz about Crist lately, even with his fifth engagement.

In the House, a poll in PA-10, freshman Rep. Chris Carney (D-PA) seems to be hanging on despite his district having a PVI or R+8. Carney is a commander in the naval reserve and a professor of political science. The Democrats won dozens of seats in Republican districts like this one in 2006 and the Republicans naturally want them all back. But if people like Carney are doing OK, probably most of them are in good shape and will be very hard to dislodge. Once someone has been in Congress for two terms, they generally stay there until they are either indicted or caught in a sex scandal. Well over 90% of all incumbents who tried to get reelected succeed.

Cong. Distr. Democrat D-pct Republican R-pct Start End Pollster
PA-10 Chris Carney* 49% Christopher Hackett 45% Aug 23 Aug 25 SurveyUSA

If you like this Website, tell your friends. You can also share by clicking this button  

-- The Votemaster