Mar. 04 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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News from the Votemaster

Quigley Wins Illinois Congressional Primary

When Rahm Emanuel resigned from the House to become President Obama's chief of staff, he left behind an open seat in a heavily Democratic Chicago district. There was a 12-candidate primary yesterday to select the Democratic candidate for the April 7 special election and it was won by Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley, with 22% of the vote. Given the huge Democratic edge in the district, which Obama carried with 73% of the vote, Quigley is virtually certain to win the special election and succeed Emanuel, so the partisan balance of the House will not change. Only 48,127 Democrats turned out to vote, but this far exceeded the 2750 Republicans who turned out to nominate Rosanna Pulido, a former police dispatcher, as their candidate.

Coleman Wants a New Election

Former senator Norm Coleman rested his case in the Minnesota Senate election contest by saying that the judges will never be able to figure out who won so they should just toss out the election and hold a new one. Al Franken's lawyers immediately rejected this idea saying that the day after the election, when Coleman held a lead even smaller than what Franken now holds (225 votes), he said Franken should concede the race to save the taxpayers the cost of a recount, let alone a whole new election. Futhermore, Franken's lawyers said that the judges were not empowered to discard an election, merely to determine who got the most legal votes. Given that most of Coleman's motions so far have been rejected, with this motion it looks like Coleman realizes he is not going to find a net gain of 226 votes in the absentee ballots left so his best hope is to chuck out the election and have a new one. However, there is no precedent for doing this in Minnesota, although it did happen in the 1974 Senate race in New Hampshire.

Coleman's lawyers have finished their case; now Franken's lawyers get to present evidence. They called 23 witnesses yesterday. They also showed a 40-minute video that the Secretary of State sent to all counties to train the poll workers. This is a crucial piece of evidence because Coleman claims different standards were used in different counties for admitting voters and counting votes. If Franken can establish that the Secretary of State mandated uniform standards throughout the state and even provided training material so all poll workers would respond to the same situation in the same way, it strongly undercuts Coleman's case. Franken's lawyers think they can wrap up their case in 2-3 weeks. Then the appeals will begin.

Republicans Have a Limbaugh Problem

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh caused a huge problem for congressional Republicans when he said he wanted President Obama to fail last week and then repeated this at the Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend. The new chairman of the RNC, former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele, said Limbaugh's remarks were "incendiary" and "ugly" but after Limbaugh attacked Steele Monday, Steele immediately backed down and apologized. Democrats are having a field day saying Limbaugh is the de facto head of the Republican Party--knowing full well that he turns off crucial independent voters. The DCCC even made a Website where anybody can apologize to Limbaugh (thanks to Political Wire for the tip).

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-- The Votemaster