Feb. 04 absentee ballot for overseas voters

Senate Dem 58   GOP 41   Ties 1
House Dem 257   GOP 178  

Map of the 2010 Senate Races
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strong Dem Strong Dem (57)
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strong GOP Strong GOP (35)
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Dem pickups (vs. 2004): (None) GOP pickups (vs. 2004): (None) PDA

PW logo Yepsen Leaves Journalism Exchange of the Day
Decision Boosts Coleman's Chances Shaheen Gets a Perk
Carnahan Enters Missouri Senate Race Daschle Pulls Out

News from the Votemaster

Minnesota Court Orders Examining 4800 Absentee Ballots

The court overseeing the Minnesota recount ruled yesterday that 4800 disputed absentee ballots must be verified to see if they are valid. This is a big victory for Norm Coleman since with so many ballots in play, he might pick up the 226 votes he needs to win.

Robin Carnahan Announces for the Senate

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) has announced yesterday that she is running for the open Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Kit Bond (R). Carnahan had no choice. It is in her blood. Dad (Mel Carnahan) was governor of Missouri. Mom (Jean Carnahan) was (an appointed) senator. Brother Russ Carnahan is a U.S. representative from MO-03. Needless to say the Carnahan name is well known in Missouri and she is a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination (unless she gets into a primary fight with her brother). But Missouri is full of nice people and attacking your sister is considered poor form. Probably Robin and Russ flipped a coin to see who got to go after the seat and Robin won. The Republican nominee isn't known yet but former senator Jim Talent is said to be interested, along with state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and Rep. Roy Blunt.

Hodes Will Run for Gregg's Seat

Representative Paul Hodes (D-NH) has announced that he is running for the Senate seat currently occupied by soon-to-be Secretary of Commerce Judd Gregg. Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) named Bonnie Newman, a Republican, to Gregg's seat, but she is not expected to run in 2010, leaving an open seat. Given how blue New Hampshire has become in the past two election cycles, Hodes has an excellent chance of winning the seat--unless Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) challenges him to a primary fight. But the winner of a primary is still in pretty good shape given the way the state has been voting. Former senator John Sununu might try to get his job back, but the voters kicked him out of office last year and there is little reason to think they now regret their decision.

Daschle Quits

Former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle has withdrawn his candidacy for being Secretary of Health and Human Services after the NY Times called for it yesterday. What is amazing is that high ranking politicians, of both parties, think they can flout the law and get away with it. Come to think of, most of the time they do, that's why it never occurs to them that not paying your taxes might be a problem at a confirmation hearing. As if that weren't enough, Obama's pick to be chief performance officer, Nancy Killefer, is also withdrawing when it came out that she didn't pay her taxes on household help. One would think that transition committees would ask specific questions like: "Have you paid all the taxes you owe?" and "Have you ever committed a felony?" Not to mention asking for all the candidates' tax returns for at least 10 years. But that is apparently not how it is done--or the candidates lie outright.

Minority Groups Worried about Gregg Running the Census

As Secretary of Commerce, Judd Gregg will be responsible for making sure everybody is counted in the 2010 census, which will be used as the basis for allocating seats in the House. Minority groups are worried that Gregg won't try very hard to find poor people, transients, and homeless people, thus reducing the representation of states with a lot of them. Some people have advocated using statistical techniques to estimate the number of people missed, but the constitution calls for an enumeration, not a statistical model, so anything short of an actual count would probably be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, Gregg has a fair amount of discretion about how hard the enumerators try to count difficult-to-count people.

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