Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Thursday
Oct042012

Expect 750,000 Votes In NH On Nov. 6

If the past in any indication--and it most certainly is--expect upwards of three-quarters of a million votes to be cast in New Hampshire on November 6.  Turnout is always up substantially (nearly 75 percent) in a Presidential year over the previous year (2012 vs. 2010).

Here are the numbers for the past four election cycles.  Note that not only the numbers of absentee ballots cast is way up, but the percentage is also way up in Presidential years (5.8-6.5 percent vs. 9.1-10.0 percent).

2004--Presidential Year

683,672 votes cast

62,059 absentee, 9.1 percent

2006

417,436 votes cast

24,380 absentee, 5.8 percent

2008--Presidential Year

719,403 votes cast

72,264 absentee,  10.0 percent

2010

461,423 votes cast

30,032 absentee, 6.5 percent

That's a 72.3 percent increase from the 2006 total to the 2008 number adn then a 35.9 percent decrease for the 2010 off year election.

If we were to increase 72.3 percent from the 2010 number for the 2012 turnout, turnout would be 795,032.  However, that's not likely since population growth has basically stopped in the past four years.

I've also run the numbers for Manchester turnout.  Most likely, we'll see 50,000 votes cast in the city this year.  That's three and a half times the number cast in last year's city election (less than 15,000).  Amazing.  Note that Manchester's percent of the total votes cast in the state is slightly higher in Presidential years.

Manchester Votes Cast--2004--47,130 (6.9 percent of state)

Manchester Votes Cast--2006--27,260 (6.5 percent of state)

Manchester Votes Cast--2008--49,147 (6.8 percent of state)

Manchester Votes Cast--2010--30,309 (6.6 percent of state)

I've got a ward-by-ward chart which I'll show on next week's edition of The Liberty Express (Monday at 10 p.m. on Channel 23; also Thursday at 9 p.m., Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon; always available at vimeo.com/channels/libertyx).


Thursday
Oct042012

Who Won The Debate?

I think we all know the answer, but I can't write about it here.
I just wrote my exclusive column for the New Hampshire Herald which should be in a Manchester or Concord supermarket as early as tomorrow.
I can't wait to read what I think.
I trust some sports analogies are in order.
What I did not say is that not since Richard Nixon, in those black and white days of 1960, refused make-up and sweated through his five o'clock shadow while John F. Kennedy looked entirely calm and collected....not since that year of the first televised debate has an outcome been determined by the jousting...until this year???
Thursday
Oct042012

Media Watch--DiStaso's Ignorance Is Stunning

For such a veteran reporter as John DiStaso, the ignorance he displays in his Granite Status column in Thursday's Union Leader must be considered nothing less than stunning.
Always one to lap up slop fed to him by leaders of either political party, DiStaso displays total lack of government and the political situation--not to mention history--by asserting that when the New Hampshire meets on organization day December 5, it will "just a formality".
That may or may not be the case, but for a high paid reporter to say so with such certainty is absolutely mind boggling.
DiStaso then goes on the list O'Brien's supporters, mostly the usual suspects, as if he's being paid by the Speaker to do his bidding.
The reporter correctly reports that Republican will caucus on November 15 and Democrats on November 17 to choose their candidates for Speaker.  However, he asserts, with no factual basis, that the real action will take place when the Republican meet, assuming both O'Brien and challenger Lee Quandt of Exeter win their elections.
That statement assumes that Republicans will be in control, no sure thing as any astute observer of the scene should feel compelled to at least note.  Numbers cruncher William Tucker, admittedly a Democrat, yesterday placed the odds at 50/50 of Democrats taking control of the House.  My own work, as posted here yesterday, is virtually identical, and no one could accuse me of being a Democrat.
But let's say that Republican maintain control.  Off the top of my head, I can think of a dozen Republicans (likely to be elected)  who will never vote for Bill O'Brien for Speaker.  That's just a start; I suspect the number is closer to three dozen.  Thus if Democrats win as few as  165 seats they will be able to throw all their support behind a candidate other than O'Brien and deny him the gavel.  You don't have to delve too deeply into history to find the last time that happened, 2004 when all Democrats and only a few Republicans elected Doug Scamman Speaker (of course, we'll never really know who voted for whom since it was by secret ballot).
It's a mere quibble to state that DiStaso most likely has the wrong name for "Paul" Silva as an O'Brien supporter.  I can only assume he means Peter Silva, the Republican leader who took over when D.J. Bettencourt left in disgrace.  Yes, that would be the same Peter Silva who earlier in the year, as a Rick Perry supporter, said he could never support Mitt Romney for President.
Peter, Paul, who's counting.  We all make mistakes (I certainly do here, but I try to correct them...just ask Josh McElveen...that's EE). 
DiStaso's big mistake, an unforgivable one at that, is his insistence that all will be decided when Republicans meet and the rest will be "just a formality".
Gary Rayno Gets It--Congratulations to DiStaso's lower paid Union Leader colleague Gary Rayno for pointing out in his Sunday column how you just can't vote early in New Hampshire for any old reason.  As noted in a posting here last week, absentee voting is severely limited by law, a fact both parties seem to be ignoring as they try to mine early votes.  Rayno mentioned a reason I hadn't noted, religious need.  If November 6 is a holiday in your religion, you may legally vote absentee.  I trust that will not apply to many people, but it's a good catch by Rayno.
I'll post historical percentages of absentee voters in an upcoming blog.  In the meantime, think this over.  Do you think there's any difference between the percentage of those voting absentee in a Presidential versus a non-Presidential year (in other words, 2008 vs. 2010).  Answer to come...
Wednesday
Oct032012

Updated NH House Projection--Democrats Gain One More, Now Trail 201-198-1

Since the September primary, I have made 11 changes in my prediction of NH House seats.  However, since five of the changes benefit Republicans and six benefit Democrats, the net change is only a plus one for Democrats, bringing the total to 201 Republicans, 198 Democrats, and 1 Independent.

These changes are based on numbers posted in the primary.  For example, Republicans found two write-in candidates in the town of Belmont (Belknap County), and it now appears they will capture both those seats in a highly Republican town in November.

I’m moving a Coos County seat to the Democratic column due to the loss of Republican incumbent William Remick in the primary (I’m calling this “The I am not a witch” syndrome, in honor of the Republican Senate primary candidate in Delaware being unable to hold a seat which would otherwise have gone Republican two years ago!  We could also call it the "Republicans eat their own" syndrome.) 

Based on projections that Obama will do well in the Grafton County area, I’ve moved two of the floterial seats there into the Democratic column.

In Hillsborough County, I’m moving three seats in Manchester to the Republican column (Win Hutchinson in Ward 2; Emily Sandblade in Ward 11; and Kathy Souza in the floterial involving wards 4, 5, 6, and 7).  It is, after all, Ovide's home turf.  However, I’m moving one of the three Weare/Deering seats to Democrats (Evelyn Connor) ; one of the five seats in Goffstown to Democrats (Ruth Gage); and one of the eight seats in the town of Merrimack (no one specifically) to Democrats….thus it’s a wash in Hillsborough County.  These changes are based on one of the candidates making such a strong primary showing (or one of the other party’s candidates making such a weak showing) that changes are likely although by no means certain.

I have real doubts about keeping an Amherst seat in the Independent column.  The greater the turnout, the more difficult it is for an Independent to win, and turnout should be very heavy this year.  However, the last time Cynthia Dokmo was on the general election ballot with both Robert Rowe and Steve Stepanek (2006), she finished 600 votes or so ahead of both of them, so at least for now, I’m staying with her as a winner.  Consider this an extremely low level of confidence pick.  Were it not to happen, Republicans would have a 202-198 edge in my calculations.

For the sake of clarity, I’m reproducing all forecasts here with the changes in bold (and notations at the side).  I have considered another dozen changes (including my own ward; some say I will lose), but decline to make any further changes at this time.  Note that were I to offer these changes, they would pretty much cancel each other out, so I am confident with the overall margin as expressed here.  Also note that these numbers are pretty much in line with those from Democrat numbers cruncher William Tucker who today projected a 200-200 split.  His work is based on sheer numbers (using a computer model with Obama carrying the state by 3.8 points); my projections take individuals into account a bit more, but our end result is nearly identical.

Bye, bye, BillyO.

For the sake of consistency, Republicans are always listed first.2012 New Hampshire State Represenative Projections By County

 

                                  2012 Projection

County                        R        D     I               2010 R/D

Belknap                        13        5                      18        0         +2R

Carroll                          12        3                      14        0

Cheshire                       5          18                    10        14

Coos                              4          6                     6          5           +1D

Grafton                        9           18                   13        13           +2D

Hillsborough                 62        59     1             102      21          +3R/+3D

Merrimack                    16        29                    27        17

Rockingham                 69        21                    80        10

Strafford                       7          30                    19        18

Sullivan                         4          9                      9          4

TOTAL                       201      198   1             298      102

 

Belknap          Area                            #Reps R        D

Be1      New Hampton, Ctr. Harbor      1          1          0

Be2      Meredith, Gilford                      4          3          1

Be3      Laconia                                    4          2          2

Be4      Sanbornton, Tilton                    2          1          1

Be5      Gilmanton, Alton                       2          2          0

Be6      Belmont                                    2          2           0     +2R

Be7      Barnstead                                 1          1          0

Be8      Float Districts 5 and 7               1          1          0

Be9      Float Districts 3 and 6               1          0          1

BE       2012 COUNTY TOTAL                18        13        5  

BE       2010 COUNTY TOTAL                18        18        0

 

Carroll            Area                            #Reps R        D

Ca1      Bartlett, Jackson                       1          1          0

Ca2      Conway, Eaton, Chatham         3          1          2

Ca3      Albany, Freedom, Tamworth    2          2          0

Ca4      Moulton, Sandwich, Tufton       2          2          0

Ca5      Brookfield, Ossipee, Wkfld      3          3          0

Ca6      Wolfeboro                                2          2          0

Ca7      Float Districts 1 and 2               1          0          1

Ca8      Float Districts 4 and 5               1          1          0

CA       2012 COUNTY TOTAL                15        12        3

CA       2010 COUNTY TOTAL                14        14        0

 

Cheshire         Area                            #Reps R         D

Ch1      Chest, Hinsdale, Walpole          4          0          4

Ch2      Alstead, Marlow, Surry            1          0          1

Ch3      Gilsum, Stoddard, Nelson         1          1          0

Ch4      Keene 1                                   1          0          1

Ch5      Keene 2                                   1          0          1

Ch6      Keene 3                                   1          0          1

Ch7      Keene 4                                   1          0          1

Ch8      Keene 5                                   1          0          1

Ch9      Dublin, Jaffrey, Harris   2          0          2

Ch10    Marlborough, Troy                   1          0          1

Ch11    Fitzwilliam, Rindge                    2          2          0

Ch12    Richmond, Swanzey                 2          1          1

Ch13    Winchester                               1          0          1

Ch14    Float Districts 9 and 11 1          1          0

Ch15    Float Dists 10, 12, and 13        1          0          1

Ch16    Float All of Keene                    2          0          2

CH       2012 COUNTY TOTAL               23        5          18

CH       2010 COUNTY TOTAL               24        10        14

 

Coos                Area                            #Reps R         D

Co1     Colebrook, Pittsburg, Etc         2          2          0

Co2     Northum, Dummer, Milan         1          0          1

Co3     Berlin                                       3          0          3

Co4     Lancaster, Dalton, Kilkenny      1        0          1        +1D

Co5     Carroll, Jeff, Whitefld, Rand      1          1          0

Co6     Gorham, Shelburne, Etc            1          0          1

Co7     Float Districts 2, 4, and 5          1          1          0

COOS 2012 COUNTY TOTAL               10        4          6

COOS 2010 COUNTY TOTAL               11        6         5

 

Grafton           Area                            #Reps R         D

Gr1      Littleton, Bethlehem                 2          2          0

Gr2      Franc, Lisbon, Lyman, Etc        1          0          1

Gr3      Bath, Orf, Warren, Pier Etc      1          0          1

Gr4      Haverhill                                  1          1          0

Gr5      Lincoln, Woodstock. WV          1          1          0

Gr6      Rumney, Thornton, Groton       1          1          0

Gr7      Campton                                  1          0          1

Gr8      Plymouth, Holderness               3          0          3

Gr9      Ashland, Bristol, Bridge            2          2          0

Gr10    Enfield                                      1          0          1

Gr11    Canaan, Dorchester                  1          0          1

Gr12    Hanover, Lyme                          4          0          4

Gr13    Lebanon                                   4          0          4

Gr14    Float Districts 1 and 2               1          1          0

Gr15    Float Districts 3 and 4               1          1          0

Gr16    Float Districts 6 and 11 1          1          0           1         +1D

Gr17    Float Districts 9 and 10 1          1           0          1          +1D

GR       2012 COUNTY TOTAL              27        9          18

GR       2010 COUNTY TOTAL              26        13        13

 

Hillsborough        Area                       #Reps R         D

Hi1       Antrim, Hillsborough                 2          0          2

Hi2       Weare, Deering                        3            2           1          +1D

Hi3       Bennington, Hancock                1          0          1

Hi4       Francestown, Wilton, Lynd       2          1          1

Hi5       New Boston, Mt Vernon          2          1          1

Hi6       Goffstown                                5          4           1         +1D

Hi7       Bedford                                    6          6          0

Hi8       Manchester 1                           2          0          2

Hi9       Manchester 2                           2          1          1         +1R

Hi10     Manchester 3                           2          0          2

Hi11     Manchester 4                           2          0          2

Hi12     Manchester 5                           2          0          2

Hi13     Manchester 6                           2          1          1

Hi14     Manchester 7                           2          0          2

Hi15     Manchester 8                           2          2          0

Hi16     Manchester 9                           2          0          2

Hi17     Manchester 10                         2          2          0

Hi18     Manchester 11                         2           1           1         +1R    

Hi19     Manchester 12                         2          1          1

Hi20     Litchfield                                  2          2          0

Hi21     Merrimack                               8           7           1          +1D

Hi22     Amherst                                   3          1          1          1

Hi23     Milford                                     4          4          0

Hi24     Peterborough                           2          0          2

Hi25     New Ipswich, Temple               2          2          0

Hi26     Brookline, Mason                     2          1          1

Hi27     Hollis                                        2          2          0

Hi28     Nashua 1                                  3          2          1

Hi29     Nashua 2                                  3          1          2

Hi30     Nashua 3                                  3          0          3

Hi31     Nashua 4                                  3          0          3

Hi32     Nashua 5                                  3          1          2

Hi33     Nashua 6                                  3          0          3

Hi34     Nashua 7                                  3          1          2

Hi35     Nashua 8                                  3          1          2

Hi36     Nashua 9                                  3          1          2

Hi37     Hudson, Pelham                       11        8          3

Hi38     Float Districts 1, 3, and 4          2          1          1

Hi39     Float Districts 2 and 6               1          1          0

Hi40     Float Dists 5, 23, and 27          1          1          0

Hi41     Float Districts 7 and 22             1          1          0

Hi42     Float Manch 1, 2, 3                  2          0          2

Hi43     Float Manch 4, 5, 6, 7              3           1           2         +1R

Hi44     Float Manch 8, 9, Litch            2          1          1

Hi45     Float Manch 10, 11, 12            2          0          2

HI        2012 COUNTY TOTAL             122      62        59        1

HI        2010 COUNTY TOTAL             123      102      21

 

Merrimack                 Area                #Reps R         D

Me1     Andover, Danbury, Salisbury    1          1          0

Me2     Franklin 1 Wds 1, 2, Hill           2          1          1

Me3     Franklin Wd 3, Northfield         2          1          1

Me4     Sutton, Wilmot             1          0          1

Me5     New London, Newbury            2          2          0

Me6     Bradford, Henniker                   2          0          2

Me7     Warner, Webster                      1          0          1

Me8     Boscawen                                1          0          1

Me9     Canterbury, Loudon                 2          1          1

Me10   Concord Wd 5, Hopkinton       3          0          3

Me11   Concord Ward 1                      1          0          1

Me12   Concord Ward 2                      1          0          1

Me13   Concord Ward 3                      1          0          1

Me14   Concord Ward 4                      1          0          1

Me15   Concord Ward 6                      1          0          1

Me16   Concord Ward 7                      1          0          1

Me17   Concord Ward 8                      1          0          1

Me18   Concord Ward 9                      1          0          1

Me19   Concord Ward 10                    1          0          1

Me20   Chichester, Pembroke              3          1          2

Me21   Epsom, Pittsfield                       2          2          0

Me22   Allenstown                               1          1          0

Me23   Bow, Dunbarton                       3          1          2

Me24   Hooksett                                  4          4          0

Me25   Float Districts 1 and 7               1          0          1

Me26   Float Districts 3, 8, 9                1          0          1

Me27   Float Concord 1,2,3,4,6,7        2          0          2

Me28   Float Concord 8,9,10               1          0          1

Me29   Float Districts 21 and 22           1          1          0

ME      2012 COUNTY TOTAL              45        16        29

ME      2010 COUNTY TOTAL              44        27        17

 

Rockingham               Area                #Reps R         D

Ro1      Northwood                              1          0          1

Ro2      Candia, Deeefld, Nottingham    3          3          0

Ro3      Raymond                                  2          3          0

Ro4      Auburn, Sandown                     5          5          0

Ro5      Londonderry                            7          7          0

Ro6      Derry                                       10        8          2

Ro7      Windham                                  4          4          0

Ro8      Salem                                       9          8          1

Ro9      Epping                                      2          2          0

Ro10    Fremont                                   1          1          0

Ro11    Brentwood                               1          1          0

Ro12    Danville                                    1          1          0

Ro13    Hampstead, Kingston               4          4          0

Ro14    Atkinson, Plaistow                    4          4          0

Ro15    Newton                                    1          1          0

Ro16    E Kings, Kens, S Hampton       1          1          0

Ro17    Newfields, Newmarket 3          0          3

Ro18    Exeter                                      4          2          2

Ro19    Stratham                                   2          1          1

Ro20    Seabrook, Hampton Falls         3          3          0

Ro21    Hampton                                  4          2          2

Ro22    North Hampton                        1          1          0

Ro23    Greenland, Newington  1          1          0

Ro24    Rye, New Castle                      2          1          1

Ro25    Portsmouth Ward 1                  1          0          1         

Ro26    Portsmouth Ward 2                  1          0          1

Ro27    Portsmouth Ward 3                  1          0          1

Ro28    Portsmouth Ward 4                  1          0          1

Ro29    Portsmouth Ward 5                  1          0          1

Ro30    Float Ports 1, 2, 4, 5                1          0          1

Ro31    Float Dists 22, 23, and 27        1          0          1

Ro32    Float Districts 1 and 2               1          1          0

Ro33    Float Districts 10, 11, 12          1          1          0

Ro34    Float Districts 13 and 14           1          1          0

Ro35    Float Districts 15 and 16           1          1          0

Ro36    Float Districts 17 and 18           1          0          1

Ro37    Float Districts 20 and 21           1          1          0

RO       2012 COUNTY TOTAL               90        69        21

RO       2010 COUNTY TOTAL              90        80        10

 

Strafford                     Area                #Reps R         D

St1       Middleton, Milton                     2          1          1

St2       Farmington                               2          1          1

St3       New Durham, Strafford            2          1          1

St4       Barrington                                2          0          2

St5       Lee                                          1          0          1

St6       Durham, Madbury                    5          0          5

St7       Rochester Ward 1                    1          0          1

St8       Rochester Ward 6                    1          0          1

St9       Rochester Ward 2                    1          0          1

St10     Rochester Ward 3                    1          1          0

St11     Rochester Ward 4                    1          0          1

St12     Rochester Ward 5                    1          0          1

St13     Dover Ward 1                          1          0          1

St14     Dover Ward 2                          1          0          1

St15     Dover Ward 3                          1          0          1

St16      Dover Ward 4                         1          0          1

St17     Dover Wds 5,6 Somer Wd2     3          1          2

St18     Somer1,3,4,5, Rollinsford         3          0          3

St19     Float Dover Wards 1 and 2      1          0          1

St20     Float Dover Wards 3 and 4      1          0          1

St21     Float Dover Wards 5 and 6      1          0          1

St22     Float Roch Wards 1 and 6        1          0          1

St23     Float Roch Wards 2 and 3        1          1          0

St24     Float Roch Wards 4 and 5        1          1          0

St25     Float  Barrington, Lee               1          0          1

ST        2012 COUNTY TOTAL              37        7          30

ST        2010 COUNTY TOTAL              37        19        18

 

Sullivan                       Area                #Reps  R       D

Su1      Corn, Gran, Plainfld, Spring      2          0          2

Su2      Sunapee, Croydon                   1          0          1

Su3      Claremont Ward 1                    1          0          1

Su4      Claremont Ward 2                    1          0          1

Su5      Claremont Ward 3                    1          0          1

Su6      Newport, Unity                         2          2          0

Su7      Act, Gos, Lem, Lang, Wash      1          1          0

Su8      Charlestown                             1          0          1

Su9      Float Districts 1 and 2               1          0          1

Su10    Float Claremont Wards            1          0          1

Su11    Float Districts   7 and 8             1          1          0

SU       2012 COUNTY TOTAL               13        4          9

SU       2010 COUNTY TOTAL               13        9          4

Wednesday
Oct032012

The Week In Polls--Oct. 3--A Lighter Shade Of Blue

            The bad news for Republicans heading into tonight’s first Presidential debate is that Mitt Romney trails in almost every poll, by an average of three points in the Real Clear Politics Average, and that Democrats have moved ahead in enough states to maintain control of the United States Senate.  In fact, had I written about the polls a week ago, I would have used the headline, “Blue, blue, all is blue.”

            Note that we’ve gone to a lighter shade of blue for this week’s headline because there’s good news for Republicans.  A week ago, Obama was up four points in the Real Clear Politics average, so he’s lost a point prior to the debate, and many of the State Senate races are too close for comfort either way. 

            For example, as of today RCP has Republicans picking up three seats (Montana, North Dakota, and Nebraska) but losing two (Maine and Massachusetts) for a net gain of one, leaving Democrats with 52-48 control of the Senate.

            The biggest surprises are Wisconsin where Democrat Tammy Baldwin has moved five points ahead of former Governor Tommy Thompson (so much for Paul Ryan helping the ticket in his home state) and Connecticut where wrestling maven Linda McMahon has moved within a couple points of Democrat Chris Murphy (Pollster actually has her 0.3 points ahead in its averages).  It’s so tight in the Nutmeg State that ultra liberal media phenom Chris Matthews is actually picking McMahon to win.

            Elizabeth Warren has taken the lead from Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown in recent days (up between one and two points depending on which average one uses), but I suspect that’s because Obama has pulled so far ahead in the Bay State that he’s taken Warren with him.  Look for 60-40 as the over-under there.  If Obama hits 60 percent at the top of the ticket, Brown will be in trouble.

            The three big states at the Presidential level (Florida, Virginia, and Ohio) now have three Democrats in rather firm control for the Senate.  Kaine has moved 4.8 points ahead of Allen in one Virginia average, 1.9 points in another.  Sherrod Brown and Bill Nelson are also farther ahead than I thought they’d be, Brown by as much as nine points over Josh Mandel in Ohio (I thought Brown would be in trouble, but like in Massachusetts, Obama appears to have coattails here).

            You know you’re being inundated with polls when even the averages tell different stories.

            Going into tonight’s debate, Obama is up 49.1-46.0 (3.1 points) in the RCP average.  He’s up 48.7-44.4 (4.3 points) in the Pollster average.  Pollster has him with 303 electoral votes to 191 for Romney with only North Carolina and Florida as toss-ups.  Update--it just changed to 290-191; they moved Virginia back to toss-up.   See what a state of flux we're in!

            RCP has Obama at 269 (enough for an Electoral College tie) and Romney at 181.  Thus Romney would have to win all the toss-up states (Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Virginia, Florida where Obama leads and North Carolina and Missouri where Romney is ahead).  Ohio and New Hampshire are in the Obama camp according to both surveys.

            Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com (my favorite numbers cruncher) give Obama an 84.7 percent chance to be re-elected.  He has the Electoral College at 319-218 and the popular vote at plus 3.9 percent for Obama (51.4-47.5).

            For the record, let’s get individual polling numbers out at this landmark juncture.

            National Journal is out today with a 47-47 tie.  Gallup has Obama up four (49-45); even Rasmussen (which Fox News usually point to as it tries to make the race look close) has Obama up two today (49-47).

            That 49-47 seems to be a magic number.  That’s exactly what ABC News/Washington Post and Politico/GWU/Battleground polls have Obama up. NPR, on the other hand, has the Demagogue in Chief up seven points (51-44).  Never trust NPR!

            State polls usually take a few days to reflect gaps closing, but NBC/Marist has Obama’s lead down to only a point (47-46) today in Florida and only two (48-46) in Virginia.  He still leads by eight in Ohio (51-43), a real problem for Romney.  Again, so much for that strategy of picking Ryan to help in the Midwest.  I contended all along that Romney really needed a boost in the Southwestern states which Marco Rubio could have provided.  If Romney loses by failing to carry Colorado and Nevada (not to mention Florida), blame it on the Veep pick!

            The good news for Republicans is that they continue to hold a lead in the generic Congressional ballot and will most likely maintain a fairly big lead in the House.  RCP pegs it at 226-183, a 43 seat advantage.  After Rasmussen had Democrats ahead by a single point a few weeks ago, it’s back to a four point Republican lead now (45-41).  The RCP average has it virtually tied, but they factor in some Democrat polling outfits (such as NPR) which simply cannot be trusted.

            While we can’t look at all the polls out this week, two stand out as indications why the GOP should hold the House.  In Massachusetts, the tainted Congressman John Tierney has fallen six points behind Richard Tisei (37-31) in the sixth district, and in Utah, Saratoga Springs mayor Mia Love (the African American who wowed the country at the GOP convention) has moved from 15 points down to six points ahead (49-43) of  Jim Matheson.

            Lest I be accused of cherry picking positive polls for Republicans, I refer you back to the slew of bad news for the GOP at the Senate level.  In fact, look at Indiana which appeared to be a sure hold for Republicans with Dick Lugar six months ago.  He was ousted by Richard Mourdock to his right in the primary, and now Democrat Joe Donnelly is running neck and neck and is actually up by two points in one poll.  I doubt he’ll pull the upset, but it’s a sign of the blue wave that this one is even close.

Missouri is particularly intriguing.  After being left for dead by his fellow Republicans, Todd Akin is within 2.3 points of Clair McCaskill in the RCP averages.  Rasmussen and PPP both have him down six (46-40), but We Ask American has McCaskill up only one (46-45).  Go figure.

I’m having trouble making sense out of the WMUR/Granite State poll, not the one which has Obama up 15 points over Romney in New Hampshire but the one which has Maggie Hassan up two points over Ovide LaMontagne either 42-40 or 38-36 depending on which sampling you focus on.  Ovide is doing much better with independent voters than Romney, so he should be doing better overall, but with so many undecided voters, it doesn’t really matter at this point.  Time will tell on that race.  I was going to write a blog that if only we had the None of the Above option; New Hampshire would be better served.

Maybe tomorrow….  

National RCP Poll Average

49.1 Obama (+3.1)   Romney 46.0