Former senator Phil Gramm stepped down as co-chairmain of John McCain's campaign
after saying that Americans are whining too much about the economy. Barack Obama
instantly responded that maybe they are whining because Republican mismanagement of
the economy has resulted in $4 gas, record housing foreclosures, job losses, and other
economic misery for millions of people. McCain apparently realized that Gramm
was going to be a lightning rod for criticism that Republicans don't care about average
people and presto,
Swing State Project has a
of second quarter Senate fundraising. Here are the data for the races already reporting.
The second quarter and cash-on-hand numbers are in thousands of dollars.
Three presidential polls today. In Virginia, Obama and McCain are tied at 44% each. This is going to be
a squeaker. In Maine, Obama has a solid 46% to 36% lead. Maine, like Nebraska, splits its electoral votes
by congressional district, but there is little chance that Maine will split and only slightly more chance
that Nebraska will. Alaska is safe for McCain.
We have three states that are exact ties now (Missouri, North Dakota, and Virgina), but also seven more
that are "barely" one way or the other. Anything with a white center on the map is a statistical tie.
What is noticeable, however, is that Obama's lead in the strong+weak category is 246 electoral votes to
181, quite a substantial base for Obama to build on. He needs only 24 of the 111 up for grabs.
In the Senate we have polls for three competitive races. The closest one is Alaska, where Anchorage mayor
Mark Begich (D) is trying to to unseat Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), who has been in the Senate since Methuselah was in
short pants. It's very close. This year normally cold Alaska is very hot. In Maine, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is
holding her own against Rep. Tom Allen (D), who already represents half the state in the House. He now has to somehow
convince the other half.
A poll in the open seat in VA-11 taken by Lake Research puts Gerry Connolly (D) ahead of
Keith Fimian (R) by 52% to 21%. Lake Research is a Democratic firm so this number won't go in our
data base because the partisan companies like Lake and Strategic Vision (R) can't be trusted
but even these guys wouldn't make up a 30-point gap. Probably the Democrats are going to pick up this seat
from which Tom Davis (R) is retiring. The demographics of the district, hard by D.C. and covering Prince
William and Fairfax counties, has changed over the years and become much more Democratic basically
changing Virginia from a Southern state to a Middle Atlantic state.
Another partisan poll by Public Opinion Strategies (R) in WI-08 puts incumbent Rep. Steve Kagen (D)
ahead of challenger John Gard (R) 46% to 42%. When a partisan firm says its candidate is behind, it is usually
true. It's when the firm reports its candidate winning that the alarms should go off. Like the Lake report, this
one also does not go in the data base.
A poll by Research 2000 (which is nonpartisan) puts Ethan Berkowitz ahead of Rep. Don Young (R-AK) 50% to 40%,
but Young first has to get past a tough primary challenge from Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell before he can face