Nov. 26 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Obama 365   McCain 173  
Senate Dem 58   GOP 40   Ties 2
House Dem 255   GOP 175   Ties 5

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strong Dem Strong Dem (258)
weak Dem Weak Dem (33)
barely Dem Barely Dem (74)
tied Exactly tied (0)
barely GOP Barely GOP (14)
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 Chambliss Favored in Georgia Run Off Obama Will Speak to Governors
The Next Host of Meet the Press? The Lamest of All Possible Ducks
Specter Holds Double Digit Lead Over Matthews Volcker Will Head Emergency Board

News from the Votemaster

Ballots Are Missing in Minnesota

The Franken campaign is now claiming that hundreds of ballots are missing in multiple counties. In other counties, uncounted ballots are surfacing. Franken believes that Coleman's lead has now dropped to 84 with 6400 rejected absentee ballots in limbo. A big fight is looming over the rejected absentee ballots. Franken believes the canvassing board has the authority to re-inspect them. Coleman says only the courts can order this. The official tally puts Coleman ahead by 231 votes now, but that means next to nothing since each candidate has challenged 2000 votes, which are not included in this total.

One would think all that the precincts have to do is scan the ballots then put them in boxes and ship them to headquarters, but this seems to be beyond everyone. And Minnesota has a long tradition of honest and effective government. If nothing else, this episode shows the need for a verifiable paper trail. If Minnesota had used touch screen machines without paper trails, there would be no way to do a recount, although the fight over the absentee ballots and provisional ballots would still have happened.

Here is a story from the Wall St. Journal on the legal fight that is likely. MyDD has a piece on the whole Minnesota situation.

Slow Progress in OH-15

Steve Stivers (R) has increased his lead in OH-15 to 594 votes as more votes were counted. However, thousands of provisional ballots remain to be counted in Franklin County, the home base of Mary Jo Kilroy (D). No matter what happens, a recount is likely.

Bob Menendez to Head the DSCC in 2010

After Chuck Schumer said he would not chair the DSCC in 2010, Harry Reid has given the job to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), one of the three Latino senators. However, his real attraction is his track record of being a prodigious fund raiser.

Chambliss Leads in Georgia Runoff

A poll from Insider Advantage shows Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) leading Democrat Jim Martin 50% to 47% in their runoff on Dec. 2. These numbers are similar to the general election results, which Chambliss won, but fell just short of the 50% required by Georgia law.

Sarah Palin is Emerging as a Highly Polarizing Figure

Political guru Charlie Cook has a column in the National Journal about Sarah Palin. Several polls have now shown that she is immensely popular with Republicans, immensely unpopular with Democrats, and somewhat unpopular with independents. But having a substantial fraction of the population know who you are and really dislike you is not a good place to be. Palin's difficulties with independents and Democrats is causing more speculation about a possible 2012 candidacy for Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA). However, Jindal, an Indian-American, ran badly in rural areas of Louisiana, which are normally Republican strongholds, which Cook interprets as racially based. But Obama showed that Democrats and independents will vote for person of color who is perceived as being otherwise qualified. The Republicans probably don't want to be confronted with a choice between a candidate who can get nominated but can't get elected (Palin) and a candidate who can't get nominated but could get electd (Jindal). But there are also Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and many others. Fortunately, 2012 is a long way off still.

Gates to Be Defense Secretary

Gates (Bob, not Bill) will be the new secretary of defense, at least for a year. With two wars going on, President-elect Obama wants to have some continuity in defense policy before putting in his own man.

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-- The Votemaster