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News from the Votemaster

Poll Shows Women See Romney as Out of Step on Their Health Issues

A new poll shows that by a 20-point margin women in swing states think Mitt Romney is out of step on women's health issues, including contraception and abortion. By a 13-point margin, they prefer Obama to Romney. When Romney's positions on these issues were read to them, Obama's lead grew to 22 points. Needless to say, Obama is going to do his best to make sure all women are familiar with Romney's positions. To counter a 22-point deficit among female voters, Romney would need more than a 22-point lead among male voters, since more women vote than men. No poll so far has shown him with a lead among men anywhere near this large.

Could North Dakota Senate Race Be Competitive?

When Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) announced his retirement, everyone assumed that the Republicans would pick up the seat easily. That assumptions is no longer true. Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND) may ultimately win, but is it not going to be easy at all. The Democrats tapped former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp and she has run an absolutely flawless campaign, surprising just about everyone. The polls show it to be a very close race. Roll Call rates it as a tossup.

Hundreds of Pages of Bain Capital Internal Documents Published Online has published 950 pages of internal Bain Capital documents involving Mitt Romney's finances and investments. The information is extremely complex but shows that one of Romney's driving forces was (legal) tax avoidance at all costs through the use of exceedingly complex financial instruments (often in the Cayman Islands), use of the carried interest provision in the Internal Revenue Code, and other similar maneuvers. Even if all these things are legal, one can ask the question of whether a person who has apparently devoted much of his life to paying the absolute minimum tax possible by using every trick in the book is setting a good example for everyone else. The document dump also exposes the lengths to which the very wealthy will go to avoid paying taxes by using methods available only to the very wealthiest Americans. It also raises the question of whether the laws should be changed to prevent this kind of tax avoidance.

Hurricane Isaac Could Affect Security at Republican National Convention

If Hurricane Isaac hits Florida, it could impact the security at the Republican convention next week. In short, the plan is that law-enforcement officers from all over the state will be in Tampa to ensure law and order, especially if there are any demonstrations. However, if other cities in the state are hit by the hurricane, those cities may decide to keep their officers at home, rather than sending them to Tampa. If enough cities keep enough officers at home, Tampa may not have a sufficient number. Security within the convention hall itself is the job of the Secret Service, not Florida law enforcement, however.

Nevada Voters Have to Pick Somebody for President

Voters in Nevada have to choose a candidate for President. So what, you might think. Don't they have to do that in every state? Yes, but in Nevada, there was an option "None of the above" until a judge struck it down yesterday at the request of the Republican Party. The Republicans feel that voters who know Obama and don't like him but also don't like Romney might choose this option. In its absence, they think more voters will choose Romney. In previous elections, it has never gotten even 1% of the vote, but in a close election, 1% could matter. The state will appeal the decision.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Alabama 36% 54%   Aug 13 Aug 16 Capital Survey
Connecticut 51% 43%   Aug 21 Aug 21 Rasmussen
Florida 49% 46%   Aug 15 Aug 21 Quinnipiac U.
Michigan 48% 42%   Aug 18 Aug 20 Glengariff Group
Missouri 42% 52%   Aug 20 Aug 20 PPP
Ohio 49% 46%   Aug 16 Aug 21 U. of Cincinnati
Ohio 50% 44%   Aug 15 Aug 21 Quinnipiac U.
Pennsylvania 49% 40%   Aug 20 Aug 22 Muhlenberg Coll.
Wisconsin 49% 47%   Aug 15 Aug 21 Quinnipiac U.

Today's Senate Polls

A new Rasmussen poll shows what the Republicans feared about Todd Akin's statements about rape and pregnancy: it has devastated his campaign. He was ahead by as much as 11 points in recent polls; now he is behind by 10 points. If this poll is confirmed by other ones, Akin may yet decide to drop out of the race. To do that, he would need a court order, but his opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) could contest his request, which would definitely take us into uncharted territory. Never before in Missouri history has a candidate tried to drop out and his opponent tried to keep him in.

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Florida Bill Nelson* 50% Connie McGillicuddy 41%     Aug 15 Aug 21 Quinnipiac U.
Michigan Debbie Stabenow* 48% Pete Hoekstra 40%     Aug 18 Aug 20 Glengariff Group
Missouri Claire McCaskill* 48% Todd Akin 38%     Aug 22 Aug 22 Rasmussen
New Mexico Martin Heinrich 48% Heather Wilson 41%     Aug 21 Aug 21 Rasmussen
Ohio Sherrod Brown* 48% Josh Mandel 41%     Aug 15 Aug 21 Quinnipiac U.
Ohio Sherrod Brown* 48% Josh Mandel 47%     Aug 16 Aug 21 U. of Cincinnati
Virginia Tim Kaine 46% George Allen 46%     Aug 16 Aug 19 PPP
Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin 44% Tommy Thompson 50%     Aug 15 Aug 21 Quinnipiac U.

* Denotes incumbent