Feb. 25 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Senate Dem 58   GOP 41   Ties 1
House Dem 257   GOP 178  

Map of the 2010 Senate Races
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strong Dem Strong Dem (57)
weak Dem Weak Dem (0)
barely Dem Barely Dem (1)
tied Exactly tied (1)
barely GOP Barely GOP (5)
weak GOP Weak GOP (1)
strong GOP Strong GOP (35)
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Senate polls today: (None) RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): (None) GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

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News from the Votemaster

Obama: Tough Times Ahead So We Need Bold Action

In an address to a joint session of Congress last night, President Obama said the nation faces very serious problems that require bold action. He specifically named health care, education, energy, and the environment as areas where action is needed quickly. The speech was long on optimism, short on details, but when his budget is released later this week, it will contain thousands of pages of details.

For political junkies, perhaps more interesting than the speech was the rebuttal, given by Louisiana governor and possible 2012 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal (R). Some Republicans see him as a potential savior for the Republican party. At 37, the child of Indian immigrants, and unquestionably very smart, he could represent a new image for the Republican party. This was his national debut, a chance to show the country that Republicans have a different vision than Obama. But his speech fell flat. It was panned by Democrats and Republicans alike. David Brooks, a solid Republican, said there was plenty to fault in Obama's speech, but to say basically that government is the problem and what we need are more tax cuts is not going to fly right now. Even Fox News wasn't impressed. But 2012 is a long ways away still, so Jindal has time to sharpen his oratorical skills.

Another Setback for Coleman in Minnesota

In another ruling unfavorable to former senator Norm Coleman (R), the three-judge panel overseeing his election contest for the Minnesota Senate seat rejected Coleman's attempt to eliminate ballots that he and challenger Al Franken (D) had previously both approved. Coleman's argument is that the court had set a new standard on Feb. 13 and all ballots accepted or rejected prior to that now had to be reexamined. The court didn't agree with him as the essence of the Feb. 13 ruling was that legal ballots had to be counted and illegal ones had to be rejected. Coleman is in trouble as the pool of ballots that might contain fresh votes for him keeps shrinking.

Race to Fill Solis' Seat Heats Up

Rep. Hilda Solis has now been confirmed by the Senate as the new Secretary of Labor, creating an opening in CA-32, which will be filled by a special election. Since the district had a PVI of D+17, there is little doubt that her successor will be another Democrat. Ethnic politics play a big role there as the district is 62% Latino, 18% Asian, and 15% white. There will be an open primary in June or July and if nobody gets 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff. So far, two Democrats seem to be leading, a Latino, state senator Gil Cedillo, and a Chinese-American, Judy Chu, chairwoman of the state Board of Equalization. No Republican has announced yet.

DCCC Reveals Frontline Program

One consequence of the Democrats success in the House during the past two cycles has been a lot of Democrats representing highly Republican districts. They will all be in the NRCC's gunsights in 2010. The Frontline program means that the DCCC will be spending a lot of money defending Democratic incumbents in 2010 rather than going after Republicans. The NRCC, of course, will be on the offense this time, trying to get back "their" districts. Swing State Project has made a list of these districts showing who won the presidential election there and by how much. By this metric, the most endangered House Democrat is Bobby Bright, who won by 1 point in a district that McCain took by 27 points. The safest in Martin Heinrich, who won his race by 11 points, although underperforming Obama, who won it by 20.

Bunning Threatens to Sue NRSC

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) is going to provide a lot of comic relief the next two years. After first predicting Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg's death in 9 months, then retracting it, he is now threatening to sue the NRSC if it supports a primary candidate against him in 2010. He's not going to do that, of course, but just saying it makes him look desperate.

The Democrats' entry in the "least popular senator contest" is Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL), who turned down the suggestion of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) that he resign from the Senate. It's kind of in balance, with each party having one senator it hopes will die in 9 months from pancreatic cancer (or any other available disease). Both of these guys are causing their respective parties a lot of grief.

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