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GOP pickups: FL IN IA NC

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News from the Votemaster

Flake Having a Tougher than Expected Primary in Arizona

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was expected to win an easy primary victory over rich businessman and tea party favorite Wil Cardon, but it hasn't turned out quite like that. While Flake has been a reliable conservative vote in the House, he is not especially popular with his Republican colleagues and few have endorsed him or donated money to his campaign. The latter is important because Cardon is throwing vast amounts of his personal fortune into the race, greatly outspending Flake. Consequently, Flake is having to use up money now that he had hoped to use in the general election. There he will face Richard Carmona (D), George W. Bush's Surgeon General. Carmona is a Latino and a veteran, which will surely help in a state with many of each. Even if Flake wins the primary, he is going to come out of it with high negatives and no money. Of course, superPACs, like American Crossroads, may come to his aid financially, but it is harder to erase his negatives. The Senate seat is open because Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) is retiring.

Scott Brown Raises $5 million in Second Quarter

Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has announced that he raised $5 million in the second quarter of 2012. His opponent, Elizabeth Warren, raised $8.6 million in the same period. Nevertheless, Brown has more money in the bank than Warren, $15.5 million to $13.5 million. This is likely to be the most expensive Senate race in the country.

House Republicans Vote to Repeal Obamacare--Again

House Republicans held one of their periodic votes to repeal the ACA yesterday. It passed, as it always does, but it will die in the Senate, as it always does. These votes are pure grandstanding since they know the Senate will never go along with repeal.

What is interesting, though, is their failure to make good on their 2010 election promises to repeal and replace. They made some fairly specific promises about what they would have instead of Obamacare. These include allowing insurance companies to sell health insurance nationally, tort reform, and health savings accounts. There has been no action on any of these and no bills relating to any of them have even come to a vote. If the Republicans were serious about their own plans, the House would have passed bills containing the Republican alternatives to Obamacare, but nothing like this has happened. At the very least, it would make it look like they have an alternative that they believe in.

Voters Would Accept Black, Female, Catholic,or Hispanic President

A recent Gallup poll asked voters which about various demographic categories and whether they would vote for a presidential candidate in each of them. Here are the results.

Category Yes No
Black 96% 4%
Female 95% 5%
Catholic 94% 5%
Hispanic 92% 7%
Jewish 91% 6%
Mormon 80% 18%
Gay or Lesbian 68% 30%
Muslim 58% 40%
Atheist 54% 43%

While interesting, what the poll really says is what people are willing to tell a pollster, rather than how they would actually vote. Although 18% of the respondents said that would not vote for a Mormon, when push comes to shove (and the shoving date is Nov. 6, 2012), given a choice between a white, Republican Mormon and a black, Democratic generic Protestant, it remains to be seen whether the expressed bigotry against Mormons dominates. It is also possible that some of the anti-Mormon voters rationalize their vote by convincing themselves that Obama is a Muslim, which in their eyes is even worse.

Nevertheless, polls of this type, while they can't be taken at face value, do have considerable value. The link above also gives historical data. For example, in 1937, when Gallup first starting asking this question, only 33% would vote for a woman, 46% for a Jew, and 60% for a Catholic. There has been an immense change since then and the change is undoubtedly real.

iPhone App Now Available

There is an app for the iPhone available. Click on the little iPhone icon above to get it. Actually, it has been available for some time, but there was a bug in the data stream that has now been corrected.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Florida 45% 46%   Jul 09 Jul 09 Rasmussen
Maine 49% 35%   Jun 20 Jun 25 Critical Insights
Wisconsin 50% 44%   Jul 05 Jul 08 PPP
Wisconsin 51% 43%   Jul 05 Jul 08 Marquette Law School

Today's Senate Polls

A new Rasmussen poll has Connie McGillicuddy IV leading Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) by 9 points. This is the first poll all year that shows Nelson trailing outside the margin of error. Maybe things have changed in Florida, although there has not been any news that affects Floridians in a major way, maybe this is an outlier, or maybe there is a problem with Rasmussen's demographic model. Rasmussen is known to have a strong Republican house effect. It will be interesting to see the next poll from another outfit.

In Maine, former governor Angus King is cruising to a landslide victory over both of his opponents. In a sense, this is remarkable because unlike Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is an IINO, King refuses to say whether he would caucus with the Democrats or Republicans. It is as if the people of Maine are saying: "Angus is a great guy and we don't really care whether Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell runs the Senate." But it may be that a lot of people feel that King is really a secret Democrat. There is some circumstantial evidence for that. He used to work for a company specializing in green energy and he once was an aide to a Democratic senator, William Hathaway. Also noteworthy is that the official Democratic candidate, Cynthia Dill, is polling at 7%, on the same day a poll showing Obama leading Romney 49% to 35% in Maine. It could well be that King has given private assurances to Democratic leaders that he will caucus with them, so they are withholding all help from Dill to avoid splitting the vote and electing the Republican, as happened in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Florida Bill Nelson 37% Connie McGillicuddy 46%     Jul 09 Jul 09 Rasmussen
Maine Cynthia Dill 07% Charlie Summers 27% Angus King 55% Jun 20 Jun 25 Critical Insights
Virginia Tim Kaine 46% George Allen 44%     Jul 05 Jul 08 PPP