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News from the Votemaster

Another Poll Shows Biden Won the Vice-Presidential Debate

An Ipsos poll released yesterday gave Joe Biden a victory over Paul Ryan of 42% to 35%, with the rest undecided. Biden also won the CBS snap poll 50% to 31% but lost the CNN snap poll 44% to 48%. However, CNN later said that its poll had about 8% too many Republicans in it, so Biden probably won all three major snap pollss.

Romney To Run Massive Numbers of Ads in Final Three Weeks

The Romney campaign has been saving its pennies for this moment. All year long, Obama has been spending at a record rate and Romney hasn't responded. Now the response is coming.The Romney campaign is going to double and triple its ad budget in key swing states. Whether a voter who sees 15 ads an hour rather than 5 is more likely to be convinced remains to be seen. At some point saturation sets in. Also, Obama is not helpless in the face of this coming barrage, since he raised $181 million in August.

Closing Loopholes Would Allow Only a 4% Tax Rate Reduction

One of Mitt Romney's main campaign promises is that he would reduce tax rates by 20% and make up the lost revenue by eliminating deductions. Now the Joint Committee on Taxation, the official, nonpartisan scorekeeper on tax policy has issued a report on the subject. If Romney were to eliminate deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and state and local taxes, the amount of revenue recovered from them would allow the rates to be reduced only 4%, not 20%, from the rates that will be in effect next year if Congress does nothing. This would mean a top rate of 38% (vs. 35% now and 39.6% under Bill Clinton).

Democrats immediately seized on the report saying a 20% rate reduction would increase the deficit, something Romney opposes. Republicans attacked the report, saying there are other deductions that could be eliminated, such as employer-provided health insurance. Removing all these deductions, however is likely to generate massive opposition. It is doubtful that Congress could muster the will to pull it off.

Gallup To Make Half of Its Calls to Cell Phones

Gallup has recognized that more and more people use cell phones as their primary phone, even if they have a landline, and will henceforth make half of its calls to cell phones to avoid missing these people. Gallup's decision was immediately denounced by Republican groups, which fear new polls will included too many young people, a majority of whom are Democrats. However, Gallup, like all pollsters, normalizes its polls to make sure they have an age distribution that reflects the population of (likely) voters.

Consumer Confidence Highest in Five Years

Another sign that the economy is recovering is that consumer confidence in the economy is at the highest level in 5 years according to the October University of Michigan survey. Rising stock and property prices as well as falling unemployment are responsible for consumer having a brighter outlook. It is expected that an improving economy will blunt one of Mitt Romney's key arguments: that Obama has mismanaged the economy.

Ryan Has Received $3 Million in Donations from the Financial Industry

Over the course of his career, Paul Ryan has benefited from $3 million from the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors. He started out as a speechwriter for conservative representative Jack Kemp, which gained him attention from these industries. His support of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which deregulated the banks earned him more credit with them and his voting to bail out the banks, at a time when many conservatives opposed the bailout, made him a hero to the banks and the money flowed.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
California 54% 33%   Oct 07 Oct 10 Pepperdine U.
Colorado 47% 48%   Oct 09 Oct 10 SurveyUSA
Florida 46% 49%   Oct 08 Oct 11 ARG
Florida 47% 51%   Oct 11 Oct 11 Rasmussen
Michigan 52% 45%   Oct 11 Oct 11 Rasmussen
North Carolina 46% 45%   Sep 29 Oct 10 High Point University
New Hampshire 46% 50%   Oct 09 Oct 11 ARG
Virginia 47% 49%   Oct 11 Oct 11 Rasmussen

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
California Dianne Feinstein* 48% Elizabeth Emken 31%     Oct 07 Oct 10 Pepperdine U.
Florida Bill Nelson* 47% Connie McGillicuddy 42%     Oct 08 Oct 10 Mason Dixon
New Jersey Bob Menendez* 49% Joseph Kyrillos 35%     Oct 04 Oct 08 Global Strategy
Ohio Sherrod Brown* 47% Josh Mandel 46%     Oct 10 Oct 10 Rasmussen
Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin 51% Tommy Thompson 47%     Oct 09 Oct 09 Rasmussen

* Denotes incumbent