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Presidential polls: NC
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: FL IN IA NC

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News from the Votemaster

Cruz Leading Dewhurst in Texas Republican Primary

It seems like almost every day we have a story about a tea party candidate threatening the establishment candidate in a Republican senatorial primary. Yesterday we had Wil Cardon in Arizona and Wednesday we had Eric Hovde in Wisconsin and John Brunner in Missouri. Today's story is about Ted Cruz, who appears to be leading Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R-TX). A new PPP poll has Cruz ahead 49% to 44%.

However, there are big differences between Texas on the one hand and Arizona, Wisconsin, and Missouri on the other. For starters, Texas is a very red state. It is tough for any Democrat to win here. Second, the Democrats don't even have a candidate yet. So if Cruz wins the primary, he will almost certainly be the next senator from Texas. In Arizona, which is not nearly so red as Texas, the Democrats have an extremely strong candidate in Richard Carmona, who didn't even have to wage a primary fight. Wisconsin is a blue state and the Democrats have a strong candidate who also didn't have a primary. Finally, Missouri is a swing state, but the Democrat is an incumbent senator, Claire McCaskill.

Romney Calls Obama a Liar

Once upon a time, long ago in a faraway land, people showed a certain amount of respect for their leader, even if they disagreed with him. That certainly doesn't apply to America now. Mitt Romney has now called President Obama a liar for saying that Bain Capital outsourced jobs overseas. Probably we can draw two conclusions from this new development. First, this may be the nastiest, most personal campaign in memory. Second, Obama's attacks on Romney's time at Bain are clearly having an effect. It is very dangerous for Romney to call Obama a liar since that in itself becomes a news story and people who hadn't noticed Obama's attacks may now sit up and take notice of what's going on. It is a long-standing rule of politics, if you don't want people to think about X, don't talk about X yourself and when your opponent does, ignore him. Romney apparently felt so much damage is being done that he had to do something.

In a related area, Romney claims that he left Bain Capital in 1999, but an article in the Boston Globe says that according to SEC documents he remained CEO until 2002. Obama has jumped on this but didn't call Romney a liar. It matters when Romney left because if he was CEO until 2002, the outsourcing of jobs that occurred in 1999-2002 was on his watch. If he left in 1999, then signing SEC documents in 2000 through 2002, when he wasn't CEO, is a felony. This is somewhat subtle material but having Romney's past dominate the news puts Romney on the defensive when he wants to talk 24/7 about how Obama has failed to fix the economy.

Republicans Worry That Romney Is Being Swiftboated

Remember back in 2004 when a Republican-allied group managed to attack candidate John Kerry on his supposed strength--his time as commander of a swift boat during the Vietnam war? Some Republicans are now worried the same thing is happening to Mitt Romney. His supposed strength--his business experience at Bain Capital--is under constant attack for ruining companies and people's lives. These Republicans want him to hit back much harder than he is doing now. So far, Romney has been hesitant to do so for fear of drawing even more attention to his time at Bain.

A New Gap: Marriage

In addition to the well known gender gap (women prefer Democrats, men prefer Republicans), a new Quinnipiac University poll shows that nationwide Romney has the support of married voters 51% to 38%. Unmarried voters go for Obama 54% to 34%. In both categories, women support Obama more than men. The director of the poll, Peter Brown, says that in general, married people tend to be older, wealthier, whiter, and more Republican than unmarried voters. Married voters are also more likely to focus on the economy and health care, whereas the unmarried are more concerned about gay rights and reproductive issues.

Over 5 Million Felons Are Disenfranchised

A new study shows that 5.85 million felons and ex-felons are disenfranchised. The ones currently in prison clearly have no right to vote, but there is a lot of controversy about those who have served their time and been released. Some states, like Florida, are trying to make it hard for former felons to vote, no doubt because a large percentage of them are minorities and skew Democratic. It is estimated that in a close election, the difference between Obama and Romney could be less than the number of people disenfranchised.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
North Carolina 48% 49%   Jul 01 Jul 08 Project New America

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Florida Bill Nelson 47% Connie McGillicuddy 42%     Jul 09 Jul 11 Mason Dixon
North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp 40% Rick Berg 49%     Jul 10 Jul 11 Rasmussen