Aug. 05 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Senate Dem 60   GOP 40  
House Dem 257   GOP 178  

Map of the 2010 Senate Races
Downloadable polling data
Previous report
Next report

strong Dem Strong Dem
weak Dem Weak Dem
barely Dem Barely Dem
tied Exactly tied
barely GOP Barely GOP
weak GOP Weak GOP
strong GOP Strong GOP
Map algorithm explained
Senate polls today: (None) RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): PA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo Romney Signs Book Deal Woman Who Tried to Kill Ford to be Released
Jefferson Guilty Obama to Meet with "Gang of Six"
RNC Routes Angry Phone Calls to DNC Rockefeller Blasts "Gang of Six"

News from the Votemaster

Joe Sestak Officially Announces for Senate     Permalink

Rep. Joe Joe Sestak (D-PA) has finally announced that he will challenge Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania for the Senate. Joe Sestak has been hinting that he would run for months, but is now actually in the race. His main theme in the primary will be that Pennsylvania Democrats should choose a real Democrat as their candidate. In the general election he will probably emphasize his military credentials--as a vice-admiral in the Navy, he is the highest ranking military officer ever to be elected to Congress.

The Republican nominee is certain to be Pat Toomey, an extremely conservative former three-term representative who ran for the Senate nomination in 2004 and lost. Without a primary opponent, Toomey is moving to the left to have at least a small chance of winning the general election in this very blue state. For example, Toomey has now endorsed Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.

New York Democrats Delay Choice of NY-23 Nominee Until August 10     Permalink

With the unexpected withdrawal of state senator Darrel Aubertine, the Democrats have no obvious candidate to run for the NY-23 seat being vacated by Rep. John McHugh (R-NY), who has been nominated to become Secretary of the Army. The party has asked for volunteers and 11 people responded, none of them big stars. On the other hand, in a similar race in NY-20 earlier this year, an unknown wealthy businessman, Scott Murphy, managed to narrowly defeat long-time Assemblyman Jim Tedisco so anything could happen in this evenly matched, sprawling, upstate district. On August 10, all the candidates will appear before the chairmen of the Democratic committees of the 11 counties in the district at Syracuse University and make their pitch. The chairmen will make their choice the same night.

The Republicans have nominated Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava. She is a rare breed of Republican: a pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, union-friendly Republican. She was chosen by the Republican county chairmen, who clearly would prefer winning with someone who is ideologically distatefully to the base rather than losing with a true-blue conservative.

NRCC Releases a List of Targeted Democrats     Permalink

The National Republican Congressional Committee has released a list of incumbent Democrats to be targeted in 2010. Most of these are either in Republican districts, like Bobby Bright's R+16 district in Alabama or won by the narrowist of margins, like Mary-Jo Kilroy in OH-15 or both, like Walt Minnick's 1% win in ID-01, an R+18 district. Here is the list from Swing State Project. While all the incumbents are Democrats, the lines in blue are districts whose PVI is more Democratic than the country as a whole; the red lines are districts that are more Republican than the national average. The list is sorted by the winner's margin in 2008, closest races first.

District Incumbent PVI 2008 Margin
VA-05 Tom Perriello (D) R+5 <1%
ID-01 Walt Minnick (D) R+18 1%
MD-01 Frank Kratovil (D) R+13 1%
OH-15 Mary-Jo Kilroy (D) D+1 1%
PA-03 Kathleen Dahlkemper (D) R+3 2%
MI-07 Mark Schauer (D) R+2 2%
NY-29 Eric Massa (D) R+5 2%
PA-11 Paul Kanjorski (D) D+4 3%
CT-04 Jim Himes (D) D+5 4%
FL-08 Alan Grayson (D) R+2 4%
NJ-03 John Adler (D) R+1 4%
NY-24 Mike Arcuri (D) R+2 4%
AL-05 Parker Griffith (D) R+12 4%
NV-03 Dina Titus (D) D+2 5%
VA-02 Glenn Nye (D) R+5 5%
OH-01 Steve Driehaus (D) D+1 5%
NH-01 Carol Shea-Porter (D) R+0 6%
TX-17 Chet Edwards (D) R+20 7%
WI-08 Steve Kagen (D) R+2 8%
AZ-05 Harry Mitchell (D) R+5 9%
MI-09 Gary Peters (D) D+2 9%
NC-08 Larry Kissell (D) R+2 10%
OH-16 John Boccieri (D) R+4 10%
CA-11 Jerry McNerney (D) R+1 10%
FL-22 Ron Klein (D) D+1 10%
MS-01 Travis Childers (D) R+14 10%
PA-04 Jason Altmire (D) R+6 12%
PA-10 Chris Carney (D) R+8 12%
CO-04 Betsy Markey (D) R+6 12%
NM-01 Martin Heinrich (D) D+5 12%
NM-02 Harry Teague (D) R+6 12%
VA-11 Gerald Connolly (D) D+2 12%
NY-25 Dan Maffei (D) D+3 13%
IA-03 Leonard Boswell (D) D+1 14%
NH-02 (Open) (D) D+3 15%
IL-14 Bill Foster (D) R+1 15%
KS-03 Dennis Moore (D) R+3 16%
NY-01 Tim Bishop (D) R+0 16%
OR-05 Kurt Schrader (D) D+1 16%
PA-12 John Murtha (D) R+1 16%
FL-24 Suzanne Kosmas (D) R+4 16%
AZ-01 Ann Kirkpatrick (D) R+6 17%
NY-19 John Hall (D) R+3 18%
IN-09 Baron Hill (D) R+6 20%
OH-18 Zack Space (D) R+7 20%
PA-07 (Open) (D) D+3 20%
WI-07 Dave Obey (D) D+3 22%
ND-AL Earl Pomeroy (D) R+10 24%
NY-20 Scott Murphy (D) R+2 24%
IL-11 Debbie Halvorson (D) R+1 24%
NY-13 Mike McMahon (D) R+4 28%
UT-02 Jim Matheson (D) R+15 28%
WI-03 Ron Kind (D) D+4 29%
IN-08 Brad Ellsworth (D) R+8 30%
KY-06 Ben Chandler (D) R+9 30%
MO-04 Ike Skelton (D) R+14 32%
GA-12 John Barrow (D) D+1 32%
SD-AL Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D) R+9 35%
OK-02 Dan Boren (D) R+14 41%
CA-47 Loretta Sanchez (D) D+4 44%
AR-02 Vic Snyder (D) R+5 53%
OR-01 David Wu (D) D+8 54%
HI-01 (Open) (D) D+11 58%
OR-04 Peter DeFazio (D) D+2 69%
AR-04 Mike Ross (D) R+7 72%
AR-01 Marion Berry (D) R+8 100%
VA-09 Rick Boucher (D) R+11 100%
WV-01 Alan Mollohan (D) R+9 100%
LA-03 Charlie Melancon (D) R+12 100%

Clearly the representatives near the top of the list, especially those in heavily Republican districts are vulnerable. On the other hand, the NRCC is kidding itself if it thinks it can knock off someone like 11-term congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), who comes from a slightly Democratic district (D+2) in a very blue state (Oregon). Still, the Republicans do have a decent shot at unseating some of the people near the top of the list. Probably any Democrat won by less than 10% in a Republican district has reason to worry. Of course worrying and losing aren't the same thing. To knock off a weak Democrat, the Republicans first have to find a strong challenger and that is easier said than done in some districts.

Suppose the Birthers Are Right?     Permalink

A small, but very noisy, group of protesters is claiming that Barack Obama is not a "natural-born citizen" and thus ineligible to be President. Obama has shown his birth certificate and two Hawaii newspapers published birth announcements (based on data forwarded to them by the state, not by Obama's parents). State officials have also repeatedly said the original certificate is on file and says Obama was born in Honolulu. But suppose magically it were proven that Obama was actually born in Kenya. What then? If he refused to resign and the House refused to impeach him, probably nothing. Any private citizen suing him would have to prove he had standing to sue, which would be very difficult unless the plaintiff could prove Obama had injured him. Cases in which someone doesn't like a decision a politician made are routinely thrown out for lack of standing to sue, even when the underlying facts are correct. For example, a case against Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, who voted to raise the salaries of Supreme Court justices when he was a senator (one of those little constitutional no-no's) was thrown out for this reason even though Black's ascension to the Court was unambiguously unconstitutional. See Slate for more on this angle.

In recent years, the issue of a member of Congress being appointed to a position whose salary he or she voted to increase has come up repeatedly (e.g., Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State). The usual solution is to (temporarily) reset the pay grade back to what it was before the vote so the new appointee does not profit from his or her vote. This is what was done for Sec. Clinton, for example.

As an aside, should Obama be disqualified from being President or resign, Joe Biden would become President, of course, not John McCain, as some birthers seem to believe.

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

-- The Votemaster