Tales from the Trail

Obama has voted…

President Barack Obama has filled out his absentee ballot to cast his vote in the Senate and governor races in Illinois.

And… drumroll please… he voted for the Democrats.

OBAMA/“He just voted absentee in the West Wing,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs disclosed. “I know who he voted for, for governor and Senate in Illinois — the two Democratic candidates who I believe will win,” he said.

According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, both of those candidates are trailing the Republican candidate. In the Illinois Senate race for Obama’s old seat, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias is trailing Republican Mark Kirk by about 2 percentage points. It is  one of the key races that is being watched to see whether Republicans can seize control of the Senate.

In the Illinois governor’s race, Democrat Governor Pat Quinn is trailing Republican Bill Brady by an RCP average of 3.5 points.

Illinois is one of the stops on Obama’s final campaign push this weekend before next Tuesday’s election.

Romney rakes in the dough, gives generously

USA-POLITICS/Former, and perhaps future, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney raked in some serious cash — $1.6 million — for his political action committee during the first half of 2009, despite the recession.

Romney, who dropped out of the 2008 presidential campaign after poor showings in the early primaries despite raising huge sums of money, is considered one of the untainted potential candidates for 2012. Problems saddling fellow Republicans like outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Nevada Senator John Ensign have put their presidential aspirations in question.

In addition to trying to stockpile some cash in case he decides he will make another White House bid, Romney donated $5,000 to Missouri Republican Representative Roy Blunt, who is running for Senate in 2010, and Republican Bob McDonnell, who is seeking Virginia’s governorship.