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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)
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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

PW logo Schwarzenegger Not Running in 2010 Red vs. Blue, Spacious vs. Compact
Lieberman Remains Unpopular in Connecticut Dodd Edges Simmons in Possible Matchup
The Year of Deep Pocket Candidates? Patrick Tanks in New Poll

News from the Votemaster

Toomey Leads Specter by Double Digits

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows former representative Pat Toomey (R) leading Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) 41% to 27% in a potential primary matchup. Specter beat Toomey by just 2 points in their 2004 primary. This new poll is clearly worrying Specter a lot. On Tuesday, Specter announced that he would not vote for cloture on the Employee Free Choice Act, the unions' top priority for this session on Congress. Employers are strongly against this bill, which in practice would make it easier for employees at a company to form a union. Specter is in a bind because while announcing his opposition will deny Toomey a cudgel to bash him over the head with in the primary, it will provide the unions with one to bash him over the head with in the general election. But apparently Specter is more worried about losing the primary than losing the general election. If Toomey continues to gain strength, expect a free for all on the Democratic side because everyone will expect the Democratic nominee to have a huge edge over either a badly bloodied Specter or a newbie candidate far too much to the right to have much chance in a state Obama won by 11 points.

Another poll by Franklin & Marshall College, but with a much smaller sample size, put Specter ahead 33% to 18%. It is hard to reconcile these two, except maybe the wording was different.

NY-20 is Now a Tossup

Political Wire is now reporting that three polls put Jim Tedisco (R) and Scott Murphy (D) within 2-3 points of each other for their special election March 31 for Kirsten Gillibrand's House seat. One seat more or less does not change the balance of power in the House very much, but a Tedisco victory would give the GOP a much-needed shot in the arm after so much bad news so long. They would claim the vote was a rejection of President Obama's economic policies, even though Obama has been careful not to campaign for Murphy (although he did send out an email for him). On the other hand, a Murphy victory--in a Republican district, no less--would be very painful for the Republicans and demoralize them even more than they already are. What is odd about this race is that the Democrat is a businessman and venture capitalist and the Republican is a long-established politician in Albany, so the Democrats are touting the private-sector experience of their man and the Republicans are saying their guy knows how government works.

Alaska Legislature Wants the Stimulus Money

Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), who is clearly running for President already, said she wouldn't take nearly $300 million of money earmarked for Alaska in the stimulus bill recently enacted into law. The funds she is rejecting would have been used to improve education in Alaska. It is almost unprecedented that a governor reject federal funds for his or her state--unless the governor is trying to score points with a deeply conservative base. In the past, Palin has gone out of her way to try to get as much federal money as she could, something governors are normally very proud of, usually saying: "Part of my job is to bring federal dollars to my state."

However, it is not that Alaskans don't want the money. On the contrary. The leaders of the state legislature, all Republicans, are now saying they definitely want the stimulus money. They can overrule Palin by passing a law saying that Alaska will take the money. She could veto the law, but the legislature probably has the votes to override her. She knows this very well, so her position is merely grandstanding: making a symbolic, but pointless, gesture to impress her 2012 base. Anybody who thinks Sarah Palin is not an astute politician is not paying attention to her. Like Specter, she fully realizes that if you don't win the primary you don't get to run in the general election and if you have to do things to win the primary that will hurt you in the general election, you bite the bullet and do them. There is always time to flip flop later. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Minnesota Senate Race Breaks Record

The still-undecided Senate race in Minnesota between former senator Norm Coleman (R) and Democrat Al Franken has dragged on longer than any election battle in the history of Minnesota, now passing the 1962 gubernatorial election in which DFLer Karl Rolvaag defeated incumbent Republican Elmer Andersen by 91 votes. Currently, Franken leads Coleman by 225 votes but the three judge panel overseeing the case has yet to issue its ruling. It is expected momentarily, but it is likely the loser will appeal, thus dragging the case on for additional weeks, maybe months.

Map of Presidential Election by Congressional District Now Available

CQ Politics has produced a great map of the country showing who won each congressional district. You might wonder why it took so long. The answer is that election results are generally reported by county but congressional districts cut through county lines willy nilly (a process technically known as "gerrymandering") so to get the results by CD you often have to find the results for all the precincts in a CD and add them up. The map is bright red, as it always is, because McCain won vast numbers of underpopulated rural districts whereas Obama racked up huge victories in cities. Most of New York State and all of New England are blue and so is most of the Upper Midwest and West Coast. Obama also won scattered CDs in the South (largely those with large black populations). The rest of the country is red. Even states that Obama won like Florida, Ohio, and Indiana are almost entirely red.

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-- The Votemaster