Projected New Senate: 49 Democrats 51 Republicans
News from the Votemaster
Poll of the Day
Of the four Senate polls today, two are significant. Yesterday we had a Research 2000 poll of New Jersey showing incumenbent Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) ahead of Tom Kean, Jr. (R) by 6%. Today we have one from Rasmussen showing him 5% ahead. Maybe the RNC knew something when they decided to put $5 million into this race. So far, no results, though.
The other key Senate poll today is Virginia, where Jim Webb (D) has taken a tiny lead over incumbent Sen. George Allen (R-VA). Nevertheless it is still a statistical tie. The polls in Pennsylvania and Nevada confirm that Bob Casey (D) and John Ensign (R-NV) will win those races, respectively.
There are so many House polls, that it is best to let the numbers speak for themselves, with a couple of notes. In two of the three battleground districts in Connecticut, CT-04 and CT-05 , Democrats have taken small leads, but they are still well within the margin of error. NY-20 is again surprising. These are Republican counties in the historic Hudson Valley, and while neophyte Kirsten Gillibrand (D) has a chance at an upset here, I am a bit skeptical about such a large lead.
Voter turnout may be be key to this election. Karl Rove's fundamental strategy has always been to move hard to the right and make sure every last Republican is lassoed and dragged to the polls. High GOP turnout of the Base is the key. Newspapers always quote turnout figures, but what do they really mean? It is not as simple as you might think. This article sheds some light on what turnout means.
Suppose the Democrats win the House, as expected. What then? Good question. Thomas Riehle, a senior Democratic pollster, provides some answers. In short, there are a lot of blue dogs in the Democrats' future. Many of the Democrats' expected victories are in districts like NC-08 , NC-11 , and IN-08 , where very conservative (e.g.., pro-life) Democrats are running. They will all join the Blue Dog Caucus. Nancy Pelosi will have her hands full trying to walk the blue dogs, the yellow dogs, and all the other color dogs the Democrats have. If she is smart, and I think she is, she will pass on the social issues that divide Democrats and focus on issues they all agree on, such as raising the minimum wage and having the government negotiate with the drug companies to lower drug prices for seniors. If bills enacting these things pass Congress, President Bush will be in a bind, because most Americans want them, but his corporate contributors most certainly do not.
Although most attention has been focused on Congress and the governor's races, 46 state have elections for the state legislature. The New York Times has a story today on these races. They have national implications, because it is the state legislatures that gerrymander the congressional districts.
Finally, an MIT student, Jacob Eisenstein, has done something that MIT students are very good at: making a mathematical model. In this case, it is a statistical model of the polling data. In this case, his point is that the uncertaintly associated with older polls is greater than with newer polls, which I agree with. Even if you don't understand much about mathematical modeling, his graphs are self explanatory and worth a peek.
Projected New House*: 230 Democrats 203 Republicans 2 Ties* Where no independent polls exist, the 2004 election results have been used. See complete House polls.
Dem pickups: AZ-08 CT-04 CT-05 FL-13 FL-16 IA-02 IL-06 IL-10 IN-02 IN-08 IN-09 KY-03 NC-08 NC-11 NH-02 NM-01 NY-19 NY-20 NY-24 NY-25 NY-29 OH-15 OH-18 PA-06 PA-07 PA-10 TX-22
See the details of the Senate and House races with photos, maps, links, polls, etc.
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-- The Votemaster