Dec. 30 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 365   McCain 173  
Senate Dem 58   GOP 41   Ties 1
House Dem 257   GOP 178  

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News from the Votemaster

Dueling Press Conferences in Minnesota

As a result of a monumentally stupid decision by the Minnesota supreme court telling Senate candidates Al Franken (D) and Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) to agree on which improperly rejected absentee ballots should be counted, nothing happened yesterday--except each side gave a press conference to flog its views. What the court should have done is told the canvassing board to make sure every legal vote was counted and told the candidates to shut up and wait for the results. Coleman now wants to count an additional 700 ballots that were previously not identified as disputed. Franken said Coleman is trying to cherry pick ballots from precincts that he won.

An analysis by the Star Tribune shows that counting just the previously identified disputed ballots would probably help Franken, just based on where they come from. Currently, Franken leads by 46 votes. This small edge prompted Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to suggest that whoever is ahead when the canvassing board stops counting should be seated in the Senate. It used to be that campaigns stopped after the voting was finished. Now they just keep going. The goal is drive public opinion so that if your side wins, your supporters will feel they have won a moral victory as well as a political victory and if your side loses, your supporters will feel robbed, rather than that your candidate simply got fewer votes than the other one.

Obama's Honeymoon Continues

Many people go to Hawaii to have a honeymoon. Barack Obama went there with his family on vacation and got the honeymoon as an extra added attraction. Despite a flap about his inviting gay marriage opponent Rick Warren to bless his inauguration, Obama's approval rating is soaring according to a new Opinion Research poll commissioned by CNN. Fully 82% of Americans approve of how Obama is handling his transition; 15% disapprove. For comparison purposes, George W. Bush's transition approval rating was 65% in 2000 and Bill Clinton's was 67% in 1992. Historically, Presidents lose popularity once they assume office and actually start making decisions that some people don't like.

Bristol Palin Gives Birth to a Son

Bristol Palin, the daughter of Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), gave birth to a healthy son Sunday making her mother, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), a grandmother and her 7-month-old baby, Trig, an uncle. The baby is called Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston. Bristol, 18, is not married, making her an unwed teenage mother. The father of the baby, Levi Johnston, and Bristol say they plan to get married but no date has been set. In an unrelated event, Bristol's mother-in-law-to-be, Sherry Johnston, was arrested on drug charges last week. These two news items will be repeated endlessly in 2012 if Gov. Palin decides to run for President on a platform of family values. People like former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, will say they not only believe in family values, they live by them, thus inviting a comparison with the Palin extended family. Neither Bristol's baby nor the drug arrest are going to help Palin's career much.

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-- The Votemaster