269 to 269

Cross-posted on Daily Kos and on Wayne Mattson's blog.

As we head into tonight's town-hall presidential debate, it's time to take a look at where things stand to date in the Electoral College. This isn't a prediction of how things will turn out on Election Day, but rather a snapshot of where things stand as of today.

Based on state-by-state polling, if the election were held today we'd have another history-maker on our hands. President Bush and Sen. Kerry would each receive 269 electoral votes, sending the election of the President to the incoming House of Representatives in early January and the election of the Vice-President to the incoming Senate. In the House each state gets one vote and the Republicans will more than likely hold their edge on that count. But if the Senate goes Democratic in November, President Bush might find himself Dick-less. Can we say Vice-President Edwards?!

As of today the map would look like this:

Bush 269
Kerry 269

My last snapshot showed Bush carrying Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Hampshire. Recent polling, taken after the first debate, show Kerry leading by very slim margins in each state. Kerry was leading in New Mexico, but two recent polls there show Bush slightly ahead or the race tied. I still think the state will remain blue in November, but for the sake of this map I've painted it red.

A Gallup poll done this week in Colorado shows a dead heat. The ballot initiative to allocate the state's 9 electoral votes based on popular vote precentages looks like it will pass. As such, it would change the overall electoral vote from a tie to a Kerry win with 273 or 274 electoral votes. If that turns out to be the case, count on court challenges to the ballot initiative by the Bush/Rove team.

Bush has enjoyed a slightly comfortable lead, both in popular vote polling and in state-by-state polling, since early September. Things have moved in Kerry's direction since the first debate. Following tonight's debate, numbers will start to settle a little more and my future maps will be more of a prediction of the outcome in November.

But as of today, it is mighty close. And for an incumbent, that ain't good news.

State-by-state polling here and here. Another take on the electoral map is here.



Bush's Breakthrough

President Bush on Oct. 8, 2003: "This is historic times."

President Bush on April 20, 2004: "This is historic times."

President Bush on June 1, 2004: "This is an historic times."

President Bush on Sept. 24, 2004: "These are historic times."

'Atta boy!


Who Would Jesus Vote For

Police had to break up two University of North Carolina students who started slapping each other in the face while discussing who Jesus would vote for on Nov. 2.

Smacking the other cheek?


Work It

Before tomorrow night's town-hall debate, a summary of the first two debates:

President Bush: "It's hard work . . . working hard . . . working hard. ... It's hard work. . . . And it's hard work. ... the hard work. . . . It is hard work. . . . It's hard work. . . . You know, it's hard work. . . . It's hard work. . . . Everybody knows it's hard work . . ."

John Edwards: "We have a plan for . . . We have a plan for . . . We have a plan. . . . We have plans on both of those subjects. . . . John Kerry and I have a plan to . . . We have proposed a plan to . . . We think we have a plan to . . . We have a serious plan . . . We have a clear plan . . ."

Yes. But does Edwards plan on doing any hard work?

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