The electoral college graph over time is now operational. Please
click on "Electoral coll. graph" on the menu below the map. In addition,
the Senate pages now have a link for the polling data. Click on
"Senate map and races" to the right of the map for the key Senate races.
has a list of how the various committees are doing with fundraising.
Here it is.
Cash on Hand
The national committees, the DNC and RNC, tend to focus their efforts
on the presidential election. For the Republicans, the large RNC bank
account will help offset Barack Obama's expected large fundraising
advantage over John McCain, but not entirely since McCain is limited
to $85 million in government funds and spening and Obama is expected to
raise something like $200 million to $300 million.
The Senate and House committees are a different story. Here the
Democrats have a big advantage, especially in the House. The Republicans
are trying to offset this by recruiting rich businessmen to run in the
hope they can adequately fund their own campaigns. History shows this
is not an easy route. It is hard to buy a seat in Congress (in contrast
to a businessman buying a sitting congressman, which is surprisingly
Continuing with looking at some possible Republican Veeps, let's look at
the Republican governors. After all, since John McCain is a senator, a
governor would provide some executive experience and there are several
plausible options among the governors.
Haley Barbour (R-MS)
is an old party war horse who served as chairman of the
Republican National Committee. Age? He is popular in
Mississippi and with him on the ticket, McCain would
certainly win the state. Without him it might actually
be a horse race down there. About 37% of the population is
black and if Obama is able to get most of the registered--and
he is going to try like hell--he needs only a quarter of the
white vote (say, young people and those with college degrees) to carry the state. Still wasting the VP slot to win a
state that should be easy is too defeatist.
Matt Blunt (R-MO)
is a one-term governor who is not running for reelection
because he is so unpopular he'd probably lose. McCain
would probably do better in Missouri with him off the
ticket than with him on it.
Don Carcieri (R-RI)
has 14 grandchildren he dotes on. He would make McCain
look positively young. Probably McCain doesn't see it
that way though.
Charlie Crist (R-FL)
is the young, good-looking, popular, governor from a
crucial swing state with 27 electoral votes. What else
could McCain ask for? How about a wife and three smiling
children? Crist was married 28 years ago, got divorced
after a year, and never married again. Might be a tough
sell to the family values crowd.
Mitch Daniels (R-IN)
is a conservative from a state McCain can probably win
under his own steam (unless Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) is
Obama's Veep). However, Daniels has tried repeatedly to
raise taxes. The legislature balked every time, but
the tax-cutting wing of the Republican party would never
stand for him.
Jim Gibbons. (R-NV)
Oy vey. Sex scandals, nanny scandals, business scandals,
The complete trifecta. Then throw in a messy public divorce.
While Las Vegas tolerates everything, Kansas doesn't.
Jim Douglas (R-VT)
is a moderate, which is the only way for a Republican to
get elected in this picture postcard blue state. He even
signed a bill banning discrimination against gays, which
went over well locally but would cause McCain no end of
grief with the Base, which doesn't think he is right wing
enough. This would be the final nail in his coffin.
Dave Heineman (R-NE)
is a solid conservative and popular in his state, but
McCain will probably sweep Nebraska anyway. However,
like Maine, Nebraska awards its electoral votes by
congressional district and there is one CD that might
turn blue. Still wasting the Veep slot to maybe save one
electoral vote is a bad choice.
John Hoeven (R-ND)
is the nation's most senior and most popular governor but
is unknown outside North Dakota, a state McCain will
win by 30 points anyway.
Jon Huntsman (R-UT)
is a relative unknown Mormon from a state that is one of
the reddest in the nation.
Bobby Jindal (R_LA)
is currently a hot item. He is the country's only top-tier
Indian-American politican. At 37 he brings youth and lots
of buzz to the ticket. However, the 35-year gap with
McCain makes McCain look really old and also, it will
be tough to attack Obama (46) as too young and inexperienced
while simultaneously defending Jindal as old enough and
experienced enough. True Jindal has served as governor
(for 1 year, congressman (for 4 years), and Assistant Secretary of
Health and Human Services (for 2 years) but
Obama has 12 years of public service if you count
his previous jobs. Still, putting Jindal on the ticket
would get lots of attention, although the media might
find him more fun to follow around than McCain himself.
Another plus is that he is very, very conservative, which
the Base will love. You can just see those "Jindal in '12"
signs and those "Jindal in '16 signs" and ... and those
"Jindal in '36" signs already.
Butch Otter (R-ID)
is a little-known solid conservative from a state where
McCain doesn't need any help. Nor does he need help in
neighboring Montana or Wyoming.
Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)
is definitely on the radar. He is a serious, young (47)
conservative from a swingish state that Kerry won but
with Pawlenty on the ticket (and the GOP convention in
St. Paul) might go Republican. Among the sitting governors,
he is probably first or second choice.
Sonny Perdue (R-GA)
is very conservative but unless Bob Barr, the Libertarian
Party candidate, lights up like a Christmas tree,
McCain can probably win Georgia on his own, albeit by
a smaller margin than Bush did.
Rick Perry (R-TX)
is governor of Texas. Who would he remind people of?
Can you think of any other Texas governors who have
graduated to the national stage? Maybe better find another
Robert Riley (R-AL)
is a solid conservative but he doesn't really add any
Mike Rounds (R-SD)
could have run for the Senate against Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)
but decided not to even though he had a good chance.
The Republicans had a decent chance to pick up a Senate
seat. Some Republicans may feel he doesn't have enough
fire in the belly. Besides McCain will win South
Dakota by 30 points anyway.
Mark Sanford (R-SC)
doesn't bring in any new states but he is one of the few
top-tier politicans who can appeal both to the Base and also
to moderates and independents, no mean feat. In a way,
that is precisely what McCain needs, so mark him down as a
is not eligible for the job due to that pesky old 12th
amendment (he was born in Austria). Otherwise, he would
have a real shot at it, making Obama fight for Californy.
We have three new polls today, two in key states. Obama has a tiny
lead in Pennsylvania (within the margin of error) and a larger lead in
New Mexico. Pennsylvania is a must-win state for Obama. New Mexico is
a true swing state and can go either way.
The New Mexico Senate race is becoming a complete blowout.
Tom Udall is nearly 30 points ahead of Steve Pearce, who is much too
conservative for the state as a whole. Since To's cousin, Mark Udall is way
ahead in Colorado, we are very likely to have a set of first cousins
in the Senate in January.