News from the Votemaster
Barack Obama stated yesterday that he won't take public funding for his campaign, thereby breaking an agreement he had with John McCain to do so if both were nominated. He'll take some flak about that for a week, but when the dust has settled he will probably have $300 million to spend from private donations and McCain will get $85 million from the government. Obama says that McCain-Feingold is obsolete. He probably has to watch his tongue and not say McCain is obsolete. His argument is that although McCain-Feingold regulates the candidates spending, 527 groups like Moveon.org (D) and Freedom's Watch (R) can raise and spend whatever they want to, making the campaign limits a sham.
Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the DCCC, is so flush with cash (over $40 million) and his Republican counterpart at the NRCC is so impoverished (about $6 million), that Van Hollen has picked another 14 Republican-held seats he wants to attack (English translation: is prepared to spend serious money on). The Democrats who get the loot and their opponents are listed below. Asterisks mark incumbents.
These are in addition to 23 seats Van Hollen already targeted. More can be found here. Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) over at the NRCC has no program targeting Democratic seats. He has his hands full defending the Republican-held seats where the 2006 winner is not running in 2008.
Over the past two weeks we have gone over all the sitting Democratic senators and governors as potential Veeps. Of course, Obama could choose someone not in those categories (or someone no longer in them). Needless the say, the list of Americans who are not a senator or governor and who are 35 or over is pretty long. Here are a few of the possibilities but there are no doubt many more.
There are no doubt many others including over 200 Democratic members of the House. But again, this is an election with only one voter and he's not talking, so when some pundit announces that he's in on the secret, don't bet the farm on it.
Some interesting polls today. In Florida, Rasmussen has John McCain comfortable ahead of Barack Obama--in contrast to yesterday's polls putting Obama ahead. Chalk this up to statistical variation. It is probably pretty close there and the truth is likely to be somewhere in between yesterday's polls and today's. Another dead heat in Florida. Could be exciting. Dead heats in Florida are always exciting. Also noteworthy is the statistical tie in Georgia although a couple more polls are needed before Democrats should start salivating and Republicans should dust off their worry beads. The Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr is running around 6-8% in Georgia. He could be a factor. Also the large black population and unusually large number of young voters in Atlanta, a booming city, could help Obama. But take this with a spoon of salt for the moment. Colorado is definitely in play, but we knew that,
In the Senate, Mark Udall (D) is heading for a blowout against Bob Schaffer (R). This is one of four Republican-held Senate seats where the Democrat is likely to win in a landslide. The others are New Hampshire, Virginia, and New Mexico. Tight battles are expected in Alaska, Oregon, Minnesota, Maine, and Missippi-B (Wicker).
We even have a couple of House polls today, one of which is a key battleground. In WA-08, incumbent Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) is ahead of challenger Darcy Burner (D) 51% to 45%. This is a top-tier race and both parties will go all out pouring money and energy into this race in the eastern Seattle suburbs. In 2006, Reichert beat back a challenge by Burner, a former Microsoft executive, by the skin of his teeth but she's back again for round 2.
-- The Votemaster