Nov. 11 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 365   McCain 162   Ties 11
Senate Dem 57   GOP 40   Ties 3
House Dem 256   GOP 173   Ties 6

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This day in 2004

strong Dem Strong Dem (258)
weak Dem Weak Dem (33)
barely Dem Barely Dem (74)
tied Exactly tied (11)
barely GOP Barely GOP (3)
weak GOP Weak GOP (39)
strong GOP Strong GOP (120)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
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Presidential polls today: (None) RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2004): CO FL IN IA NV NM NC OH VA GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA SMS

PW logo Historical Quote of the Day Govern Like a One Termer
Who Did Obama Meet With? Dean Will Step Aside at DNC
Mirror Images McAuliffe Likely to Run for Virginia Governor

News from the Votemaster

High Hopes for Obama

A new Gallup poll shows that 68% of the people have a favorable opinion of President-elect Barack Obama. Also, 65% think the country will be better off in 4 years. Just after George W. Bush was elected the first time and also after Bill Clinton's first election about 50% were expecting things to be better in 4 years. Thus Obama enters the White House surfing on a wave of good will. That has real consequences. Even if the Democrats end up with 57 or 58 seats in the Senate, the Republicans will be very loathe to filibuster his initial legislation since they will clearly be blamed for the consequences of not letting a popular President carry out his program.

DeMint Will Move to Eject Stevens from GOP Caucus

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), the most conservative member of the Senate, has announced that he will move to eject convicted senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) from the Republican caucus when the caucus meets next week. If the motion gets a simple majority, Stevens will still be a senator but will no longer be a Republican and will lose all his committee assignments. DeMint's argument is simple: he doesn't think the Republicans should tolerate having a convicted felon in their midst. Stevens' reelection is still up in the air as over 70,000 absentee and provisional ballots are yet to be counted. Currently, he leads Anchorage mayor Mark Begich (D) by 4000 votes. Counting is expected to begin tomorrow.

Lieberman's Fate Hangs in the Balance

While the Republicans are debating about what to do with Stevens, the Democrats will be debating what to do about Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who actively campaigned for John McCain. President-elect Obama has said that he wants Lieberman to remain in the caucus. Senate Democrats, however, are really ticked off at him, and may try to find a compromise in which he remains in the caucus but is stripped of one or more of his committee chairmanships. Minority leader Mitch McConnell has openly invited Lieberman to become a Republican, but (1) McConnell has no goodies to offer him (juicy committee assignments, etc.) and (2) McConnell knows very well that Lieberman disagrees with the Republican caucus on virtually everything except Iraq. Most likely since Obama is willing to forgive and forget, the Democratic caucus will strip Lieberman of some of his positions but not eject him from the caucus. Since the Republicans are thinking of booting Stevens and the Democrats are thinking of booting Lieberman one might think the two caucuses could just swap senators, but that won't happen since Stevens is totally toxic and the Democrats won't touch him with a barge pole even though he is not all that conservative as Republicans go.

Fight over NRSC Chairmanship Looming

A complicated fight is looming over who will take over the NRSC from Sen. John Ensign (R-NV). Ensign lost at least six seats, as did his predecessor Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC). You would think nobody would want the job, but Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) both want it. The problem for the Republicans is that the meeting in which the leadership posts are chosen is next week and it won't be known by then if Coleman will return to the Senate pending a manual recount of all the ballots in his Senate race. At last count he led by 206 votes, but there were 25,000 undervotes (no vote for senator), predominantly in Democratic counties. The Republican caucus may be hesitant to pick a leader who may not be around in January, giving Cornyn a bit of an edge. But they could delay the decision until later. While everyone is eager to start the 2010 campaign, they might be able to tolerate waiting 3 weeks.

Palin is Running for President--Already

In an interview with Fox's Greta Van Susteren, Sarah Palin has said she is open to running for President in 2012 if God shows her the way. This remark demonstrates her inexperience. The protocol for running for President dictates that you do not express any interest in the job before the midterms. The correct answer (which she didn't give) was: "Greta, now that the election is over I am going back to Alaska and will be entirely focused on being the best possible governor that I can be for the great and wonderful people of Alaska. My term expires in 2010, and with God's help, I will make a decision about my future in 2010." The problem with announcing now is that her opponents (and she has plenty of them) will have ample time to carefully plot their strategy for making her look bad before the primaries even start.

Obama Wants Cleaner Cars

Already one of the differences between the Obama administration and the Bush administration is coming into focus. The $700 billion bailout bill Bush wanted and got just shovels money at the banks, without getting much in return. Obama has now come out in favor of aiding the struggling auto industry--but contingent on their making cleaner, more energy-efficient cars. Republicans believe in giving large amounts of money to companies that have made bad business decisions in the past, but also believe that attaching some strings to this money would be socialism. Democrats don't have a problem with this.

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-- The Votemaster