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

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News from the Votemaster

Crisis Averted in Greece as Center-Right Party Wins Election

Greek people do not like the austerity measures imposed on them by the so-called "troika" consisting of the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, and European Commission, but they also don't want to drop the euro. Yesterday they gave a plurality to the conservative New Democracy party, which is pledged to try to renegotiate the terms of the Greek bailout, but they definitely want to stay in the eurozone. They will probably form a goverment with the much-weakened Social Democrats and muddle along. The potential worldwide financial crisis that would have occurred had the radical left-wing SYRIZA party won has been averted for the time being.

Can Any President Govern?

Chris Cilliazza raises the issue of whether any President can govern in our new extremely partisan environment with (literally) millions of news sources competing for attention. Whichever party loses will blame it on everything except itself and there will be vast numbers of articles, blogs, and tweets confirming that. The day after the election, the losing party will start gearing up to win big in 2014 and 2016. The spirit of compromise that once made governing possible simply does not exist any more. Numerous polls have asked "Do you think politicians should compromise or stick to their principles?" Republican voters choose "stick to their principles" by wide margins, whereas Democratic voters prefer compromise. This explains why Republicans in Congress won't budge: they are doing what their constituents want. That is all well and good but unless one party wins all the marbles, running the country becomes impossible.

Child Propaganda Takes Off

It is well known that once people form a political allegiance, they are unlikely to change. So the message there is: sign them up young. But young didn't used to mean 5 or 6. Now it does as political coloring books are hitting the stores.

Interactive Chart Shows Unemployment Numbers

There is general agreement that the economy will play a big role in the elections, but what is less clear is whether former House Speaker Tip O'Neill's comment that "All politics is local" holds here. Is the key variable the national unemployment rate of the local one? If you like your state unemployment data presented in a novel way, take a look at this chart.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Maine 48% 34%   Jun 13 Jun 14 MassINC

Today's Senate Polls

The three-way Senate race up in Maine has now been polled. As everyone expected, former governor Angus King has a commanding lead and will undoubtedly win easily. King has refused to say whether he will caucus with the Democrats or the Republicans in the Senate. He has even floated the idea that he will not caucus with either one, but that is unlikely when he discovers that committee assignments are doled out by the caucuses. If he doesn't caucus with either party, he won't get any committee assignments so he won't have much influence at all. Also, when the new Senate convenes, there will be elections for majority and minority leaders. Surely he will want a vote there.

Given that he won't say who he will caucus with, but will almost certainly pick one of the parties upon election, he is very unlikely to be a true independent. He is probably going to be an IINO (Independent In Name Only), like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), both of whom are effectively Democrats. Since I don't believe King will be a true independent, I don't want to create a new category on the scoreboard above. Consequently, Maine will be recorded as a tie as long as King is ahead. This is effectively no different than states like Massachusetts where there are two partisan candidates who are neck and neck.

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Maine Cynthia Dill 09% Charlie Summers 23% Angus King 50% Jun 13 Jun 14 MassINC