Saturday, October 4, 2008

An Update from the Obama Campaign on Strategy in Colorado

Colorado state director Ray Rivera talks about the campaign's efforts to turn Colorado blue, including early voting which starts soon. He explains why the campaign needs more volunteers than ever to pitch in in Colorado. So to our readers in Colorado, lend a hand if you can!

The Fight for a Nebraskan Electoral Vote

Nebraska and Main both award one electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district. The candidate who wins the whole state gets the additional two electoral votes. Never since these states implemented this plan has a candidate wrested a congressional district in either Nebraska or Maine from the winner of the whole state, so the issue has been moot to this point.

Apparently, Nebraska's second district really is play. Obama has had an office and 15 paid staff in Obama since August. It's now opening a new office there. But the proof that the Republicans are concerned is that Sarah Palin is going to hold a rally in Omaha Sunday evening.

Nate Silver at has a fascinating analysis of the effort to win Omaha. He ends it with, "Consider Omaha in play."

On a personal note, I was born in Omaha. Most of my extended family lives there, and though I moved to California when I was seven, I have spent immense amounts of time in Omaha over the years and know it very, very well. I would be delighted were my natal city in a very Republican state help to make Barack Obama president.

Hey, Ohio Democrats, Get to the Polls Early and Vote!

David Plouffe has a word about One Stop Voting in Ohio:

Go to Ohio Vote for Change to find your One Stop Early Vote location and to register and vote the same day before October 6.

Not One Word

You won't find one word about it on McCain's web site, but his tax on your health plan could cost your family thousands. Can you afford it?

Diageo Hotline and Gallup Daily for Saturday is Out

The Diageo Hotline poll and the Gallup Daily poll seem to concur with the Research 2000/Daily Kos poll. Diageo Hotline, Gallup Daily, and R2K showed Obama's lead increase by one point. Today's numbers from Diageo Hotline are:

Obama 48
McCain 41

Yesterday's numbers were 48-42, a six-point race. Today's numbers make it, at least according to this poll, a seven-point race.

Today's numbers from Gallup Daily are:

Obama 50
McCain 42

Yesterday's numbers in this poll were 49-42. Significantly, three of the four tracking polls now see Obama at 50%, 51%, or 52%. Moreover, all four of the polls seem to suggest that Sarah Palin's performance on Thursday night may not have helped Team McCain to better its position in the polls.

First Tracking Polls of the Day Out

Saturday's Rasmussen and Research 2000/Daily Kos data are out. Polls, of course, have three day rolling tallies, doggoneit, so these polls are the first to show Americans' reactions to the vice presidential debate since one-third of the participants responded after the much watched event on Thursday night, you betcha.

Rasmussen suggests the race look like this:

Obama 51
McCain 45

Rasmussen calls the race "stable" and observes:
For each of the past nine days, Obama has been at 50% or 51% and McCain has been at 44% or 45%.
He goes on to note
The stability of these results suggests that the McCain campaign faces a the very steep challenge in the remaining few weeks of Election 2008.
Research 2000/Daily Kos, however, suggests that Obama's upward progress has not stopped. Today's results show Obama has increased his margin over McCain by one point since yesterday:

Obama 52
McCain 40

The range yesterday was 51-40. Comments dkos poll analyst DemFromCT:
On successive days in the R2K poll, Obama was up +11 Wed, +12 Thurs and +13 Fri, which is post-debate and Obama strongest day yet (MoE +/- 5.1 for individual days.)
He also observes:
In the end, VP debates do not move presidential votes. With McCain trailing, too bad for him. He was the big loser Thursday night. Watching him sweat Indiana and North Carolina, let alone Florida and Ohio, tells you what you need to know.
Election Day is one day from today.

One of McCain's Home is for Sale: Take a Look

Friday, October 3, 2008

I've been seeing the comparison between

Palin and Bush now for quite a while. It appears that Olberman and I see the same things:

Fishy Tax Returns from Palin

Okay, it's Friday afternoon, and the McCain campaign has dropped Sarah Palin's tax returns onto its web site.

Even a cursory inspection of the documents suggests there's something fishy going on here. For instance, why was the tax return prepared on the day she accepted the nomination for the vice presidency? Either that's just an extraordinary coincidence, or there's something really fishy going on. It was prepared by H&R Block; the vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party who is the governor of Alaska pays H&R Block to do her taxes the day she accepts the nomination?

Todd Palin had about a $10,000 loss from his "snow machine racing business" in 2007 on income of $17,000. Was this really a business? I only ask because hobby expenses aren't deductible. He claimed 100% business use of his cell phone?

The Palins made noncash charitable contributions, claiming "thrift store value" of $825 for a Dec. 31, 2007, donation to the Salvation Army of Wasilla. It's always good to get a little value out of one's junk, huh?

Tax Prof Blog observes:
It does not appear that Gov. Palin reported as income the per diem reimbursement she received for travel, meals, and lodging expenses as governor of Alaska. Her 2007 W-2 reports $107,987 of income as governor.
Per Alaska Statute Section 39.20.010, the governor's salary is set at $125,000 per year. What's up with that?

A reader at Tax Prof Blog made the following comment:
the Joint Committee on Taxation, after examining the tax returns for President Richard Nixon, concluded that Mr. Nixon should have included the value of air travel on government jets for his family members as part of his gross income.

Per Diem is not the only issue. Flying Todd and the brood around and getting reimbursed for it without declaring it as income is still questionable.
Interestingly, it looks like Palins elected to not designate $3 to the Presidential public financing system in either 2006 or 2007. It's especially interesting given that McCain's campaign is living off of that money right now.

Today's States of the Race

Where should we start? Why not Pennsylvania? Then we'll see what Rasmussen has for us. Sound good?

Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania:
Obama (D) 50%
McCain (R) 40%


Obama (D) 51%
McCain (R) 47%

New Hampshire-
Obama (D) 53%
McCain (R) 43%

The bad news: Where?

The good news: Where do I begin?! Obama is really shoring up his strength in Pennsylvania, a state that less than a month ago seemed to be in danger. The same can now be said about New Hampshire as well, as just last week The Granite State looked like a virtual tie. And finally, we have our third consecutive poll showing Obama ahead in The Silver State. Nevada had been hovering around a tie for many months, but Obama is now opening a lead that couldn't come at a better time.

Conclusion: If Pennsylvania and New Hampshire remain as blue as they look now, this can give Obama more freedom to focus time & money on "flipping" former red states like Nevada to the Blue column. So far, the map looks great. Obama just needs to make this into reality on November 4. :-)

So who won the debate last night?

It's funny. If I hadn't seen the debate with my own eyes, the noise from the main stream media might make me think that Palin last night actually was better than mediocre.

Let's put this in perspective. Let me tell you something: I regularly, yes, on a daily basis, do not swallow my tongue and choke on it. Even so, I never credit myself as having a successful day because of my ability to get through the day without swallowing my tongue.

Sarah Palin has had a horrible week. We all expected her to swallow her tongue, and she didn't, but that does not mean she was a success last evening. Any sober analysis of Sarah Palin's performance would reveal a woman who put in an abysmal performance, specifically:

1. She appears to have read crib notes to provide her answers.

2. The crib notes she read often provided answers to questions other than the ones Gwen Ifill actually had asked.

3. I assume she avoided answers to questions for which she didn't have an answer. I haven't counted the number questions she evaded, but I would hazard the guess it was easily half of them.

4. When she had exhausted her memorized and cribbed notes, she started to say, "Maverick," over and over again, as something akin to a mantra from some eastern religion.

5. She made mistake after mistake after mistake. She used a mistaken name, misrepresented the positions of numerous people, and even lied about policy positions of the McCain campaign.

She didn't swallow her tongue, but that doesn't mean she pass some test or other. It just means that she did what most people manage to do most of the time, just get by for an hour-and-a-half in a tight spot.

So who won the debate last night?

Well, according to the people who watched the debate, it actually was Joe Biden, who was informed, thoughtful, and presidential:

CNN/Opinion Research
Biden 51
Palin 36

Biden 46
Palin 21

Biden 61
Palin 39

Folks are spinning like whirling dervishes today, but Sarah Palin frankly just blew it, as we all in fact anticipated she would.

Palin's Reagan Quote from Last Night

Did she know that Ronald Reagan was talking about Medicare supposedly leading to totalitarianism? Does she agree with Reagan on that? Is universal health care a "threat to our freedom"?

Oh, well. I guess that doesn't matter. As long as Failin' can sound all "folksy" and "warm", McBush & his GOP are happy.

House Passes Financial Rescue Plan/Bailout Bill

It passed 263-171. Now I'm sure some GOP pundits will try to spin this into "good news for McCain". However, they may have problems getting most people to believe it.

Here's why.

1. This is only a temporary solution to the credit crunch and the financial crisis. This is NOT some magic elixir that will save the economy. So if the Republicans really think this makes all their economy related woes go away, they need to reconsider.

2. McCain supposedly "suspended his campaign" and parachuted into DC to get the House Republicans on board with the bill. But if McCain is to be judges by this mark, he failed the test. House Republicans still voted 108-91 against the bill. Now how is that "leadership we can believe in"?

3. While McCain resorted to stunts, Obama quietly nudged more House Democrats to support the final bill. That's why it passed today, because of the increased number of Democrats supporting the bill.

So go the media pundits and the GOP try to spin this into a "McCain win", let's remind them all of the real facts.

Last Tracking Poll of the Day

So another day of tracking poll reports comes to its happy conclusions. I previously reported here the results of Rasmussen and Research 2000. And my compatriot atdnext also provided a summary of Diageo Hotline here. Now Gallup Daily is out and suggests that the distance between Senators Obama and McCain is two points wider today than it was yesterday:

Obama 49%
McCain 42%

The results yesterday were 48-43.

So to sum up:

Research 2000/Daily Kos: Holding steady 51-40, though the number masks Obama's strongest day yet in yesterday's contribution to the three day roll.

Rasmussen: Numbers steady all week long and exactly the same as yesterday.

Diageo Hotline: Obama up one point over yesterday.

Gallup Daily: Obama up two points over yesterday.

Talking Points Memo observed about today's trackers:
Adding these polls together and weighting them by sample sizes, Obama is ahead 49.9%-42.5%, even wider than his lead yesterday of 49.4%-42.9%.
TPM's weighted lead yesterday was 6.5 points and today, 7.4 points.

Obama Rising (McCain Falling)

Note in this graphic that Obama is at his highest ebb at the same time that McCain is at his lowest:

McCain in Maine and Obama in Nebraska

The states of Maine and Nebraska uniquely among the 50 states allow candidates for president to cherry-pick electoral votes. If a candidate for president loses the statewide race, he or she still can pick up an electoral vote if they carry a congressional district. For this reason, the McCain campaign is trying to wrest the electoral vote from Maine's second district. Meanwhile, Obama is now making a play for the most Democratic area of Nebraska, Omaha, and the electoral vote associated with the second congressional district in Nebraska.

Ah! The Sweet Roll Out of Palin Gaffes Starts

I suspected that as the day goes on, we are going to hear the steady drum roll of one Palin goof-up after another. For instance, lots of people recognized immediately that Palin had called the commanding American general in Afghanistan in Iraq by the wrong name as well as misquoting what he actually said. She certainly got wrong Biden's history of support for McCain's position on Iraq. But now comes word from ABC News that Sarah "I'm Clearly Not VP Material" Palin also screwed up McCain's position on protection of homeowners:
The Alaska governor incorrectly made it sound like McCain supports giving bankruptcy judges the power to rewrite mortgage payment terms on first homes.

He doesn't.
The McCain camp is now in cleanup operations after Hurricane Sarah whipped through McCain World last night. Frankly, I hope they bring to the task all the skill the Republicans displayed in cleaning up New Orleans after Katrina hit.

Diageo-Hotline Now Out

Here we go!

Obama (D) 48%
McCain (R) 42%

We have a slight uptick for Obama in today's numbers. Let's see if this holds up in the following days as the post-debate numbers come in. If the snap polls are good indicators, then we can breathe a sigh of relief. :-)

"Bosniac," dear Cokie, is correct

Cokie Roberts, whom I often appreciate, didn't do her homework before she made this gaffe on the "Charlie Rose Show":

As Britannica Online Encyclopedia, among many other sources, attests, "Bosniac," is proper usage for the peoples of Bosnia.

First Tracking Polls of the Day Out

Rasmussen has released its numbers.

Obama 51
McCain 44

The race is even with the candidate's numbers from yesterday. Notes Rasmussen:
For each of the past eight days, Obama has been at 50% or 51% and McCain has been at 44% or 45%.
Research 2000/Daily Kos also shows the race steady with the same numbers it reported yesterday:

Obama 51
McCain 40

DemFromCT notes:
Today's trackers will have Tues-Thurs data and are the last of the pre-debate polls. They will not have included last night's event in St. Louis. Monday's polls will include Fri-Sat-Sun, all post-debate . . . On successive days in the R2K poll, Obama was up +9 Tues, +11 Wed and +12 Thurs(MoE +/- 5.1 for individual days.) Yesterday was the strongest single day Obama has had to date.

New Obama Ad Uses Footage from Last Night's Debate

The Most Insecure of the Kerry States is Looking Pretty Secure

At times during the last several months, New Hampshire was looking a little shaky for Obama. Not anymore. Rasmussen has released new data this morning that suggests New Hampshire is looking solid for Barack Obama who now has a 10-point lead in the Granite State:

Obama 53%
McCain 43%

A Saint Anselm College poll confirms Rasmussen's finding:

Obama 49%
McCain 37%
Undecided 11%

Part of the importance of this finding has been the Obama team's strategy to hold all of the Kerry states and build on this base of support with a few pick-offs from the Bush states to collect 270 electoral votes. Everyone now seems to agree that Iowa and New Mexico are easy pick-offs. With Pennsylvania, Michigan, and now New Hampshire from among the Kerry states looking pretty secure, all we need is just one state from among Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, or Indiana, and we've won this puppy.

Fingers crossed. Toes, too.

It Must Gall Them

Ten days ago, conservative columnist George Will took a cool hard look at the two candidates and came to the conclusion that what he perceived Barack Obama lacked could be corrected, but that what he perceived John McCain possessed could not be:
It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected . . . by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?
There seems to be a growing chorus among the conservative chatting class that Obama's temperament, that is, his cool and unflappable style when he is under pressure, trumps McCain's experience. Today's Washington Post contains a piece that Charles Krauthammer wrote that compares the presidential candidates to one another and finds McCain coming up short:
(McCain's) frenetic improvisation has perversely (for him) framed (Obama) favorably as calm, steady and cool.
In the primaries, part of the reason Obama didn't excite me was that I found him sort of boring, but given that after eight years of George Bush's inept management, the chickens are coming home to roost, and to mix metaphors, the bottom is falling out of the barrel, I am finding reassuring Obama's thoughtful, measured, and assured approach to problems. Krauthammer notes, "Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously said of Franklin Roosevelt that he had a 'second-class intellect, but a first-class temperament.'" He then goes on to raise obligatory right wing objections against Obama but concludes:
(Obama's) got both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament. That will likely be enough to make him president.
A favorable comparison with Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Obama has and will suffer more odious detractions than this one.

When I listen to the conservative chatting class talk about Obama's strengths, I surmise that it just must gall them that this guy is the nominee of our party. Whether or not Will or Krauthammer votes for Obama, they certainly acknowledge that he is the man better suited to the hour.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

First Post-Debate Poll Numbers

Here are the first post-debate polls out:

Who won the debate?

CBS News:
Biden (D) 46%
Palin (R) 21%
They Tied 33%

CNN-Opinion Research:
Biden (D) 51%
Palin (R) 36%

Of course, things can change as the media spin changes. But if this holds up, then McCain's latest attempt at a "game changer" has fallen flat. Perhaps Sarah Palin didn't bomb too badly, but that still doesn't change the fact that Joe Biden gave his BEST. DEBATE. PERFORMANCE. EVER! ;-)

Taylor's Take & My Take on the VP Debate

First, I'll defer to Taylor Marsh. She may be a good Democrat, but she's also a great, truth-telling, no-bullsh*t political analyst. She calls 'em as she sees 'em, so I trust what she says.

Palin got a passing grade tonight. Good for her. It wasn't near enough. She was clearly in over her head. Out of her league.

Biden simply soared.

If you want someone who is ready to be president tomorrow, that isn't Sarah Palin.

Joe Biden had the toughest job tonight and he respected Palin while driving hard into the facts, using experience and a lifetime of learning to rebut Sarah Palin's carefully scripted sentences, winking and nodding. She did her best, but it was clearly not enough.

Personally, I agree with Taylor. Did Palin meet my expectations? Frankly, yes. She didn't make too many gaffes, and she sold her product (the McCain-Palin ticket) like a good host on Home Shopping Network (HSN) or QVC.

But when I have to choose between the HSN host and the scrappy working-class fighter from Scranton who also knows a thing or two about handling an international crisis (aka Biden), I'll choose the guy from Scranton. Biden has what it takes to clean up the damage Dick Cheney will be leaving behind. And as for Sarah Palin, well... All I'll say is that she can keep putting lipstick on a pig, but a pig is a pig is a pig.

Hillary Clinton comments on the debate

CNN report that Hillary issued the following statement after the conclusion of the debate:
Tonight's debate underscored the stark choice American families face in this election. I've known Senator Biden a long time – as Americans saw tonight, he is a strong, passionate and experienced leader. Like Barack Obama, Joe Biden understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.

We saw yet again that Senator McCain and Sarah Palin will offer only more of the same failed policies of the Bush Administration. America's hardworking Middle Class families deserve better.

My Take on the Debate

Sarah Palin came in with low expectations. People were waiting for her to make Couric kinds of misstatements. She made some inconsequential errors, like forgetting the name of the general in Afghanistan, but there was nothing Couric-sized in the deficits in her performance. I am sure she is happy it's over, and after watching her for an hour-and-a-half, so am I. If that is the standard to which she is held, people will applaud her successes tonight.

But frankly, she was awful. She had a certain strength in the first part of the debate, like a student who has mastered the spelling of words for a class quiz, but clearly, when she didn't know the answer to the question, she simply changed the subject, and she frequently changed the subject. I am sure that when her handlers recognized the magnitude of their problem, that is precisely what they taught her to do, and I thought she did it rather effectively, but it will be interesting to count the number of times she didn't answer a question. My guess is that she didn't know the answers to at least half of the questions.

As time went on during this excessively long hour-and-a-half, she was running out of steam. It was sort of like she exhausted everything she had to say, and instead of saying substantive things, she started to parrot over and over again the same tired cliches about John McCain being a maverick and reformer.

I am not going to bother to compare her performance with Joe Biden's. To do so would be to dignify her performance as somehow on a par with his. They occupy different universes.

Tonight's Poll Report

Many thanks to TPM for providing us with these lovely new numbers!


McCain (R) 52%
Obama (D) 42%

McCain (R) 52%
Obama (D) 44%

McCain (R) 56%
Obama (D) 37%

New Mexico-
Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 44%

Economist-YouGov National:
Obama (D) 47%
McCain (R) 42%

The bad news: OK, so Obama isn't winning every state. Boo-hoo. ;-)

The good news: For all the talk of Montana swinging sharply to McCain, the newest poll numbers aren't quite confirming that. Sure, he's up... But not by as much as Republicans usually are here. Meanwhile, New Mexico is DEFINITELY showing a Democratic lean! Remember that the last Rasmussen poll showed McCain +2 here, so Ras is finally falling in line with all the other polls in showing Obama ahead nicely in The Land of Enchantment. Oh yes, and Economist-YouGov also seems to be falling in line with most other polls in showing Obama taking the lead nationally.

Conclusion: If this snapshot proves to be true, then Obama's looking good. If he forces McCain to spend money in places like Montana while Obama runs away with previously "purple states" like New Mexico, then Democrats are in great shape. All in all, I just wanted to share some good news with you before the debate. :-)

Pre-debate Chat

Are you nervous about tonight's debate? Honestly I am, too. But hey, let's not worry too much.

Why not?

Let's see... Joe Biden is a good debater. Joe Biden knows his foreign policy. Joe Biden can actually name multiple Supreme Court cases. Oh yes, and Joe Biden has real-life, real-world experience in making laws that help people.

And what does Sarah Palin have? Well crafted "zingers"? Lowered expectations? Interesting stories of hunting moose?

Yes, I know some in the "Netroots" are making a mistake by trying to set the bar so low tonight that Sarah Palin can just walk over it. Personally, I'd like for it to be just low enough that she bumps into it. But hey, I guess I'm just that way! ;-)

So really, what are your expectations for tonight's debate? Is Sarah Palin scaring you? Is Joe Biden reassuring you? Or would you just rather forget it all and veg out to "Grey's Anatomy" tonight?

Consider this a pre-debate open thread. Chat away now. Then, let's all watch the debate later. Just call me when you want me to start the popcorn. :-D

Speaking as a Michigander...

(In reference to this. Hooray!)

McCain Opening New Offices in Virginia

Tim Craig at The Washington Post reports that John McCain is opening 12 new offices in the Commonwealth of Virginia:
The new offices will be located in Sterling, Yorktown, Charlottesville, Woodbridge, Blacksburg, Norfolk, Abingdon, Richmond, Springfield, Gainesville, Danville, and Mechanicsville.
The articles notes that the additional office will bring McCain to two dozen in Virginia. Obama has 43 offices and 200 paid staff in the Old Dominion. Obama always sought to make McCain defend Bush states, and his strategy, as we enter the final month of the campaign, clearly is paying off.

Loserman Has His Priorities Set

Really! The Original "PUMA McTroll", Sen. Joe Loserman (IDR-Sleaze), knows why we must pass the bailout bill. Why? Well, "it's good for McCain".

'Nuff said. It's time to dump Loserman. Do it when we have enough votes in the Senate to really make him irrelevant. ;-)

Some new state numbers from different pollsters

Muhlenberg College/Morning Call has released these numbers for Pennsylvania gleaned from telephone interviews of 610 likely voters over four days:

Obama 50
McCain 41


Mason-Dixon for Virginia bucks the trend we have seen in other recent polls, that is, a lead for Obama. Right now, it sees the race as one that McCain would win were the election today:

McCain 48
Obama 45

625 Likely Voters, +/-4%

Circuli Associates has measured the presidential preferences of Coloradans and found:

Obama 44
McCain 43

501 Likely Voters, +/-4.4%

Joe Lieberman on Sarah Palin's Intelligence

Joe Lieberman just can't bring himself to say that Sarah Palin is smarter than Joe Biden. The best he can do is to say it's not an IQ test:

Could Indiana Go Blue?

That's the title of an interesting article in Newsweek. The article provides an overview to polling data, demographic shifts, and economic influences that have put the Hoosier State within the grasp of the Land of Lincolner. The Republicans clearly see Indiana in play, because they're buying airtime there. Even so, the article concludes:
McCain may have been right not to invest in Indiana. Why? Because it's near-impossible to imagine Obama winning Indiana without winning its eastern neighbor, Ohio, as well. The Buckeye State and the Hoosier State are identical demographically, but the former's politics are far more centrist--meaning that it's far more likely to vote Democratic. And if Obama wins Ohio's 20 electoral votes, he'll almost certainly win the White House--with or without Indiana. In the end, then, an Obama victory in Indiana may not change the outcome of the election. But it would certainly change our image of a swing state. And that could have repercussions long after Election Day 2008.
Personally, I would like Obama to be close to 400 in the Electoral College. A national repudiation of the last eight years would be good for the country and good for democracy.

McCain Pulling Out of Michigan

Jonathan Martin at reports that the McCain camp has decided to poll out of Michigan. Writes Martin:
McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida.
The question really starts to become one of how McCain scrapes together a total of 270 electoral votes.

Second set of today's trackers

Diageo Hotline sees the race even with the numbers it had yesterday:

Obama 47
McCain 42
Undecided 10

They have fairly consistently measured a five-point race with four out of the most recent five days suggesting a 47-42 split.

Gallup Daily also sees a five-point advantage for Obama:

Obama 48
McCain 43

Polling data from the last several days are fairly consistent. Tracking polls have observed a five- to 11-point race with Obama leading with between 47 and 51 points and McCain trailing with between 40 and 44 points.

Obama in Ohio by Six Points

Democracy Corps has a new poll of Ohio out, and it looks nice for Obama:

Barack Obama 49
John McCain 43
Ralph Nader 2
Bob Barr 2
Other 1

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic firm, conducted live telephone interviews of 600 likely voters between September 29 and October 1. The poll has a standard error of +/-4 percent.

Homer Simpson tries to vote for Barack Obama

Bringing Home Michigan!

Public Policy Polling has a new Michigan poll... One that you just have to see!

Obama (D) 51%
McCain (R) 41%

In just 3 weeks, Obama's gone from +1 to +10! Why? The economy is Issue #1, and a HUGE gender gap has opened.

This is yet another poll showing Michigan moving strongly to Obama. Let's hope this keeps up. :-)

Ohio, you have a chance to fix your problems

The Democratic Party in Ohio describes for you what you already know from your own experience and the experiences of your families, neighbors, and friends:

Fortunately, there is a solution. Early voting is underway in Ohio. Get to the polls and vote a straight Democratic ticket to send a message to the Washington Republicans who put us in this terrible fix. Barack Obama tells you just exactly how to do this and bring the White House and the Congress home to Democrats who from the outset will start to reverse the nightmare of the last eight years:

More States of the Race

Oh, yeah! We have ourselves some juicy new polling from North Carolina (Rasmussen) and New Mexico (Survey USA)!

North Carolina:
Obama (D) 50%
McCain (R) 47%

New Mexico:
Obama (D) 52%
McCain (R) 44%

The bad news: None here!

The good news: North Carolina has DEFINITELY shifted toward Obama in the last couple of weeks! If this holds up, Obama will have a HUGE advantage with the electoral map that McCain may not be able to surmount. Meanwhile, New Mexico now looks like a near shoo-in for Obama. His lead in the polls here has consistently been 7-12%, so there's probably little to no reason for McCain to continue spending money here. Obama's winning the Latino vote by 37% and the Native American vote by 33%, so that more than makes up for the close race among Anglo voters.

Conclusion: In the last 72 hours, we've been discovering an electoral map that has shifted dramatically in Obama's favor. Now yes, we still have a month for that to change. But since attitudes are now starting to harden in the final stretch, McCain's options for "game changers" are becoming increasingly limited. If Obama stays strong and on message, Democrats will win! :-)

Barack Obama the Adult and John McCain the School Boy

David Nather at CQ Politics notes that Obama and McCain were together on the Senate floor yesterday for the first time since the two men received the presidential nominations of their respective parties. Nather observes that each stood on his own side of the aisle chatting with colleagues, when Obama approached McCain to greet him. Writes Nather:
He walked over to where McCain was chatting with Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. And he stretched out his arm and offered his hand to McCain.

McCain shook it, but with a “go away” look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.

Finally, with a tight smile, McCain managed a greeting: “Good to see you.”
One of the candidates is a grown up, and one of them is not. The American people have taken the measures of the two men, and they will render their verdict on November 4.

First Two Tracking Polls of the Day

Looking good. I confess that I was secretly concerned the past couple of days about some scant evidence of contraction in Obama's lead, but that seems to have either been noise or a short-lived phenomenon. Both of the morning tracking polls show Obama has increased his lead over McTool.

Rasmussen finds that Obama now leads McTool by seven points:

Obama 51
McCain 44

The margin was six points yesterday, and Rasmussen observes:
This seven-point advantage is the largest yet enjoyed by Obama during Election 2008 and is consistent with the stable lead he has enjoyed over the past week. For each of the past seven days, Obama has been at 50% or 51% and McCain has been at 44% or 45%.
Research 2000/Daily Kos found that Obama went from a 10 point to an 11 point lead:

Obama 51
McCain 40

DemFromCT observes:
On successive days in the R2K poll, Obama was up +11 Mon, +9 Tues and +11 Wed (MoE +/- 5.1 for individual days.) The internals show the 60+ demographic at only +3 McCain (when we started the tracker, it was +15.) Sarah Palin's fav/unfav is now 40/53 (- 13, a new low) and McCain is now -3.
Moreover, he points to the CBS poll released last evening to demonstrate the plausibility of Obama's lead in the new R2K findings. The numbers from CBS were:

Obama 50
McCain 41

Caring about America's Future

A group of Ohio State University students camped out all night the night before Ohio's early voting commenced. They wanted to demonstrate not only the importance of their vote for the next president but also the level of excitement among Barack Obama's supporters for his history-making candidacy:

Sarah's Latest Couric Interview Gaffes

Katie Couric interviewed Joe Biden to get his take on Roe v. Wade and the issue of privacy in the Constitution. Privacy, of course, is a touchy subject with conservatives. The Constitution does not by name grant a right to it, but liberals cite the 9th Amendment, which reserves rights not named in the Constitution to the states and the people, and the 14th Amendment's liberty clause as sources that found an argument for an inherent privacy right. The right to privacy was a fundamental legal argument in the decision of Roe v. Wade. Anyway, Couric contrasted Palin's whacky and adorable answers with Couric's interview with the lucid and commanding Joe Biden. This is the result; here is a video from TPMtv:

Now just a couple of comments. First, few things cause conservatives as much anxiety as the notion there is a right of privacy in the Constitution. Not only did Sarah step on their toes by endorsing it, she also stepped on the toes of thinking people by her incoherent answers to questions about the Supreme Court. As gaffes go, it was a twofer. It had potential to offend people on both sides of the center.

I am sure Tina Fey could make something out of Sarah's answer, but the joke is going to get tired pretty soon. There's just too much material.

This Morning's States of the Race

Brought to you by Insider Advantage (via TPM Election Central)!

McCain (R) 50%
Obama (D) 44%

Obama (D) 48%
McCain (R) 47%

Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 46%

The bad news: Where? Georgia, perhaps?

The good news: If Georgia's within single digits, then McCain's in deep sh*t! And with yet another poll showing Obama ahead just to the south in Florida, the sun's really shining on Democrats here! Oh yes, and how about those sunny numbers from Nevada? They may be The Silver State, but Obama may actually win "The Gold Medal" thanks to Nevada!

Conclusion: Obama now looks to win all the Gore 2000 states... Also known as all the Kerry 2004 states - New Hampshire + Iowa + New Mexico. This makes for 260 electoral votes (EVs). If Obama also holds New Hampshire, that brings him up to 264 EVs.

So where can Obama find the additional 6 EVs to put him over the top? Let's start with Nevada. Nevada's 5 EVs bring Obama to 269 EVs, so he needs only 1 more EV to win. Any combination of Colorado, Virginia, Florida, and/or Ohio will take him there.

See why it helps Democrats to be able to compete in all these states? ;-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Krugman on the Bailout Bill

Basically, it sucks... But it's necessary. I guess I feel the same way. It's bad enough that we'll need to do plenty next year to fix the additional debt problems brought about by all the porky sweeteners in this bill. However, there are enough good provisions to help middle-class homeowners, small business owners in need of credit, and investors that we can't allow it to fail now.

Let's hope the House follows suit and passes this on Friday.

Pre Debate Jitters ...

(Proudly Cross-Posted at ComputerQueen.Net)

I found this both interesting, and comforting, going into tomorrow's VP Debate:

From CBS13
Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin have put in some very long days preparing for their Thursday night debate. To give voters a better sense of who these candidate are, and where they stand on a number of issues, CBS News anchor Katie Couric asked Biden and Palin some "Vice Presidential Questions." This installment tackles Roe v. Wade and Supreme Court decisions.
We'll start with Sen. Biden:
Katie Couric: Why do you think Roe v. Wade was a good decision?

Joe Biden: Because it's as close to a consensus that can exist in a society as heterogeneous as ours. What does it say? It says in the first three months that decision should be left to the woman. And the second three months, where Roe v. Wade says, well then the state, the government has a role, along with the women's health, they have a right to have some impact on that. And the third three months they say the weight of the government's input is on the fetus being carried.

And so that's sort of reflected as close as anybody is ever going to get in this heterogeneous, this multicultural society of religious people as to some sort of, not consensus, but as close it gets.

I think the liberty clause of the 14th Amendment … offers a right to privacy. Now that's one of the big debates that I have with my conservative scholar friends, that they say, you know, unless a right is enumerated - unless it's actually, unless [it] uses the word "privacy" in the Constitution - then no such "constitutional right" exists. Well, I think people have an inherent right.

Couric: Are there Supreme Court decisions you disagree with?

Biden: You know, I'm the guy who wrote the Violence Against Women Act. And I said that every woman in America, if they are beaten and abused by a man, should be able to take that person to court - meaning you should be able to go to federal court and sue in federal court the man who abused you if you can prove that abuse. But they said, "No, that a woman, there's no federal jurisdiction." And I held, they acknowledged, I held about 1,000 hours of hearings proving that there's an effect in interstate commerce.
Women who are abused and beaten and beaten are women who are not able to be in the work force. And the Supreme Court said, "Well, there is an impact on commerce, but this is federalizing a private crime and we're not going to allow it." I think the Supreme Court was wrong about that decision.
Notice how organized his responses are, and how engaged he appears to be. This is what one would expect ... short of having 10 words ...

Then Katie Couric turned to Gov. Palin:
Couric: Why, in your view, is Roe v. Wade a bad decision?

Sarah Palin: I think it should be a states' issue not a federal government-mandated, mandating yes or no on such an important issue. I'm, in that sense, a federalist, where I believe that states should have more say in the laws of their lands and individual areas. Now, foundationally, also, though, it's no secret that I'm pro-life that I believe in a culture of life is very important for this country. Personally that's what I would like to see, um, further embraced by America.

Couric: Do you think there's an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?

Palin: I do. Yeah, I do.

Couric: The cornerstone of Roe v. Wade.

Palin: I do. And I believe that individual states can best handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in an issue like that.

Couric: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?

Palin: Well, let's see. There's, of course in the great history of America there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but …

Couric: Can you think of any?

Palin: Well, I could think of … any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But, you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a vice president, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.
OMG! She fumbled the football ... this is one of the crown jewels in her personal political platform, and she fumbles!!!

Make your own judgements, but I'm expecting her to get creamed tomorrow night.

Just my 2 cents!

BREAKING: Senate Passes Bailout Bill

I just watched the vote on C-SPAN. The Financial Markets Rescue Plan/Bailout Bill just passed 74-25 in the Senate. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and John McCain all voted "Aye". Only a handful of Democrats and a small number of Republicans voted "Nay".

More details following...

NEW CBS-NYT Poll: 9%??!!

Yep. 9%. That's Obama's lead in the newest CBS-New York Times poll!

Obama (D) 50%
McCain (R) 41%

This is yet another poll released this week that shows Obama with a widening lead. With economic woes front and center, Obama and his clear economic plan for action look much more attractive than McCain and his erratic behavior. Oh yes, and it helps that Obama's now jumping ahead in key swing states like Florida & Ohio.

Still, we shouldn't get complacent! We have another month left until election day, and anything can happen between now and then. That's why we need to keep up the good work. Let's work our behinds off like we're 10% down so we can win by the biggest margin possible! :-)

The Palin Trainwreck Express Continues!

OMG, it's for real! Palinpalooza just gets worser & worser for McBush. This trainwreck just keeps getting more entertaining! :-D

Here's some of tonight's excerpt of Katie Couric's interview with The Failinator.

COURIC: Do you think there's an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?

PALIN: I do. Yeah, I do.

COURIC: the cornerstone of Roe v Wade

PALIN: I do. And I believe that --individual states can handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in in an issue like that.

COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?

PALIN: Well, let's see. There's --of course --in the great history of America rulings there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are--those issues, again, like Roe v Wade where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know--going through the history of America, there would be others but--

COURIC: Can you think of any?

PALIN: Well, I could think of--of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a Vice President, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.

McHypocrite Strikes Again!

So McBush won't "play the partisan blame game" on the financial rescue plan turmoil? Oh, really??!! I guess campaign surrogate Rudy "Noun, Verb, 9/11" Giuliani didn't get the memo.


Today's States of the Race

Courtesy of CNN-Opinion Research!

Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 48%

Obama (D) 51%
McCain (R) 47%

Obama (D) 51%
McCain (R) 47%

Obama (D) 53%
McCain (R) 44%

Obama (D) 54%
McCain (R) 43%

So why is Obama doing so incredibly well in all these states? CNN gives us some clues.

"Obama has gained ground among moderates in all five states," said CNN polling director Keating Holland. "That may have something to do with the first presidential debate. Some commentators knocked Obama for agreeing with McCain as often as he did, but moderates tend to like it when candidates appear willing to see the other side's point of view."

"In most states, Obama also won support from senior citizens and voters making more than $75,000. Those are two groups who may have been hardest hit by the recent problems in the stock market and the financial community," Holland added. "Economic jitters may not last if Congress passes legislation in the next few days, but there may have been short-term gains for Obama as a result of the current economic problems."

Let's see. Nevada is #1 in home foreclosures. Florida isn't far behind, and seniors are now worrying about their retirement funds. Even places like Virginia and Minnesota are also facing hard economic ties. Once again... It's the economy, stupid!

So what can Obama do to win all these states? Keep it focused on the economy! Keep offering solutions that work for working families! Point out how Obama is different from McCain and Bush without looking desperately angry (the way McCain is now).

As long as the Obama campaign keeps their eyes on the ball, Democrats will win!

Democracy Corps Sez: Obama's Back!

Today, we have ourselves a new Democracy Corps poll! And oh my, let's look at their new numbers.

Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 45%

Battleground States:
Obama (D) 50%
McCain (R) 44%

Congress National:
Democrats 51%
Republicans 43%

Congress Battleground:
Democrats 51%
Republicans 45%

At first, this may not look great. But then, remember that McCain was up slightly in their last poll! Oh yes, and look at the Congressional numbers. Democrats stand to not just elect Obama this fall, but also expand our majority in Congress.

Mainly, the economy is driving voters' concerns. And since Obama leads on economic issues, Obama has taken the lead. It seems that as long as voters vote their pocketbooks, Democrats win.

Bill Clinton Campaigns in Florida for Obama

Clinton praised Obama's ideas for energy independence, health care, and the economy. He observed the next president will have to deal with economic crisis, so the vice president will have to focus on foreign policy. For this reason, he thought that Obama's choice of Biden was very sage given Biden's experience on the world stage.

"In the Tank"

OK, so right-wing radio is whining about Gwen Ifill moderating tomorrow's VP Debate. So does that give us the right to whine about Tom Brokaw moderating the following debate? Wow, now I get what Phil Gramm meant when he called us "a nation of whiners"... Or did he mean to say that about his own GOP? ;-)


Just what I've been hoping for. Thank goodness Obama knows how to fight! Let's hope he keeps it up. ;-)

Time Sez: Obama Takes the Lead!

TIME has released its new poll, and it has some great news for us!

Obama 50%
McCain 43%

No Democrat since 1980 had crossed the 50% threshold in the TIME poll, so this is VERY significant! Also, Obama has risen from a tiny 1% lead among women to 17% lead. This is a major movement to Obama despite all the mayhem over Sarah Palin.

If Obama maintains his edge in the next month, we'll be in a great position to win on Nov. 4! :-D

Liar, McLiar

Oh, no! McLiar doesn't like it when someone dares to call him out on his lies. Don't the media know that they're "the base" and they're supposed to love McLiar?

Governor Palin has never seen Russia from Alaska

Sarah "Lying Sack of Shit" Palin likes to cite the proximity of Russia to Alaska as evidence of her foreign policy experience. There is only one place in Alaska where residents can see Russia, and CNN points out that Sarah Palin actually has never been there:

First Two Tracking Polls of the Day (Plus a New Pew Poll)

The first two tracking polls of the day are out, and they both show the race steady where it was yesterday.


Obama 51
McCain 45

This is the sixth day that Obama has been at either 50% or 51%. It's also the sixth day that McCain has been at either 44% or 45%.

Meanwhile, Research 2000/Daily Kos continues to show Obama 10 points over McTool:

Obama 51
McCain 41

It is interesting to note, I think that the poll with the highest Democratic lean and the poll with the most Republican lean both peg Obama's support at 51.

Pew Polls released this mornig the results of a survey they conducted September 27 to 29, and it confirms what we have been seeing in the tracking polls:

Obama/Biden 49
McCain/Palin 42

Pew observes:
Obama’s leadership image . . . has improved. There is now almost no difference in the minds of voters as to which candidate would use better judgment in a crisis.

Second, the electorate continues to have much more confidence in Obama than McCain to deal with the financial crisis . . . .

Third, opinions about Sarah Palin have become increasingly negative, with a majority of the public (51%) now saying that the Alaska governor is not qualified to become president if necessary.
So there are two positive elements about Obama related to his leadership skills added to the growing negative impressions about Palin that are driving this surge in Obama's numbers.

McCain Tanking in Battlegrounds

Quinnipiac has released new polling data for Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and it shows that John McCain has quite away to go if he wants to be president of the United States. Obama did himself quite well during the debates in the places where it counts:

Florida before the Debate

Obama 49
McCain 43

Florida after the Debate

Obama 51
McCain 43

Ohio before the Debate

Obama 49
McCain 42

Ohio after the Debate

Obama 50
McCain 42

Pennsylvania before the Debate

Obama 49 - McCain 43

Pennsylvania after the Debate

Obama 54
McCain 39

That's right, according to Quinnipiac, Obama is now over 50 percent in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Notes the pollster:
No one has been elected President since 1960 without taking two of these three largest swing states in the Electoral College.

John McCain is one angry guy

John McCain spent some time being interviewed by the editorial board of the The Des Moines Register. Clearly, he's not a happy camper. We have heard that he has a temper, and here it's on display. I think it's useful that we remember the testimony of the former POW who observed McCain was known in the detention center as a very "volatile guy":

New Data Tells Us GOTV is All Important

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC/My Space poll sought the opinions of 614 newly minted voters, most of whom were young adults. The poll sought to determine their presidential preferences and assess the likelihood they will get to the polls on election day.

It has segregated new voters from more established voters, and the poll contains good news and bad news. The good news is that this nationwide poll tells us:
Americans who are eligible to vote for the first time, or who skipped the previous election but are registered now, found that they back Sen. Obama over Sen. John McCain by a margin of 61% to 30%.
Unfortunately, these data do not mean that these voters are in the bag for Barack Obama. Oh, yeah. If they get to the polls, they will vote for him, but getting them to the polls is the trick. While 70 percent of all voters are "very interested" in the election, only 49 percent of the new voters expressed this kind of interest. Only "54% of the new voters said they would definitely vote Nov. 4."

We have a hurdle here. There is a rich pocket of potential votes that belong to people who are hard to get to the polls, and we cannot delude ourselves by our poll numbers that it's not going to take some effort to make Barack Obama president. A vote is in the bank only when it's in the ballot box. We need to get those voters to the polls by historical percentages.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tonight's States of the Race

Mmmm, yummy! TPM Election Central has some lovely new state polls for us to munch on!

Insider Advantage:

Obama (D) 47%
McCain (R) 45%

Obama (D) 51%
McCain (R) 45%


Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 41%

The bad news: Where?

The good news: Finally, Obama takes the lead in Ohio again! Is he finally breaking the near-tie here? Meanwhile, Obama seems to be pulling away in Virginia and Pennsylvania. This is simply breathtaking, as Pennsylvania was nearing a tie only three weeks ago while McCain once had an edge in Virginia.

Conclusion: The map is really improving for Obama now! Ohio still looks close, but Pennsylvania's showing more of a Democratic Lean... And even Virginia is starting to tilt our way now! If this map holds up, Obama will have an even easier path to 270 EVs! :-D

What's up in Florida

Looking good!


Florida Turning Blue?

Public Policy Polling says it can happen this year.

Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 46%

Why is this happening? Simple. It's the economy again, stupid! The economic turbulence is the #1 issue in Florida, and Obama is favored 55-40 on the economy. Oh yes, and the "Palinpalooza" debacle is also hurting McCain. Floridians now narrowly say 41-40 that they're less likely to vote for McCain because he picked Palin, which is down from 45-34 saying they're more likely.

So what does this mean? Florida's seriously in play for Obama! As long as Obama continues to make connections on the economy and turns away McCain's distractions, Florida may end up going blue this year! :-)

Obama in Colorado

In case you missed it yesterday...

And here are some real life volunteers who are fired up & ready to go!


CNN Clips on McCain's Palin Problem

Tuesday Strategy Session: Update on Our Races

OK, now that I'm back, I'd like to get today's strategy session going. Let's talk about some updates on our All-Star races. Ready for the big news?

NV-03: So far, so good for Dina Titus. The Rothenberg Report upgrades this race from "Pure Toss-up" to "Toss-up/Tilt Democratic". Also, Dina Titus has taken a large 9% lead in her new internal poll while the best Jon Porter could muster in his own tracking poll was a 2% lead for him. Oh yes, and did I mention that I had a great time campaigning for her and Obama last weekend? ;-)

NM-01: News is now breaking that GOP candidate and current Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White was involved in the US Attorneys Scandal that has crippled the New Mexico GOP. They all tried to politicize the US Attorneys and the job they're supposed to do for Republican gain, but the whole mess is now backfiring on them. Martin Heinrich's latest internal poll has him up 5% with leaners, and up 6% without, supporting the newest independent polls here also showing Heinrich in the lead.

Oh yes, and here's Heinrich's awesome new ad!

MI-09: Gary Peters is leading Joe Knollenberg 41% to 37% in his new poll. Obama's also leading McCain in this district. Hopefully with all the Democratic efforts to win Michigan this year, we'll win this race as well.

CA-04: The newest Research 2000 poll here has Charlie Brown leading Carpetbagger Tom McClintock 46% to 41%. Hmmmm, I wonder why? Maybe because Charlie Brown has a history of serving the community up here while McClintock's just looking for another prominent soapbox to spew his radical right crap? Just sayin'... ;-)

Feeling good? I hope so. Want to feel better? Well, why not donate?! That'll really cheer up for day... And your November 4! :-)

Sarah Palin Jokes about Biden's Age

(and gets called on it. Seems that she forgot she is running on the Methusala-Palin '08 ticket.)

Watch CBS Videos Online

Hey, Ohio, History is Calling

Early voting starts today in the great state of Ohio. No Republican ever in the history of the United States has won the presidency if he did not win Ohio, so we Democrats would be very grateful and glad to see 20 blue Ohio electoral votes.

This year, Ohioans can vote early without having to provide a reason. Ohio hopes to prevent the disaster it had in 2004 when long lines prevented many voters from getting to the polls. Every Ohioan who is registered can vote early. Moreover, registration continues right up till October 6, so for a short time, unregistered Ohioans can register and vote in person on the same day. Let's get those Obama votes in the can and start moving the GOTV effort down the field to an Obama victory on November 4.

Listen to Barack Obama tell you what he needs you to do to turn Ohio blue:

Nevada: Up Close & Personal

(Proudly cross-posted at MyDD, Swing State Project, Motley Moose, Clark Community Network, & Open Left)


Last weekend, I was lucky enough to see the state of the race for myself. I traveled to the heart of Battleground Country. Because Nevada's 5 electoral votes are up for grabs and two Nevada Republicans may lose their House seats this fall, I wanted to do something to help. That's why I packed my bags, took some spare change for my favorite slot machines (NOT!), and made sure my family in Henderson had an extra bed for me to crash on.

I went to Vegas, baby, and I'm giving you the full report on what's happening there!



Luckily for me, my cousin's house is in the eye of the electoral storm. She lives in the 3rd Congressional District, the part of Nevada where Obama needs to win to carry the state... And the district where a Dina Titus win will give Democrats the majority in Nevada's Congressional Delegation. So when I left my house on Friday, I was thrilled to go to a place where I can double the impact with the same amount of time!

When I arrived in town on Friday night, the Presidential Debate was just ending. I had listened on the radio while my friend Harriet and I were driving up the 15, and I was personally impressed by Obama's performance. Still, I was anxious to find out what my moderate-conservative Republican cousin in Henderson thought about it. And to my surprise, she was also impressed!

Believe it or not, my Republican cousin will be voting for Democrat Barack Obama this fall. Why? Believe it or not, she may be upper middle-class... But she and her husband are still only a couple paychecks away from losing their home. Their house has now lost about $80,000 of its value while they still have to pay an "interest only mortgage" that's now after the "interest only" period. They consider themselves blessed that they have a beautiful house in a great neighborhood just down the hill from the most exclusive estates in the Las Vegas Valley, but they still fear what would happen to them and their two kids if one of them were to have a health scare or lose a job. That's why both my Republican cousin and her Democratic husband are voting for Obama.

And you know what? This isn't an isolated case. In fact, I would find more of this the following two days when I strapped on my tennies and hit the pavement.




On Saturday morning, I regrouped with Harriet and joined with all the other California Obama volunteers who drove to Nevada for the weekend. Before we were sent off to knock doors, we were given the lay of the land. In just four years, Nevada has turned from a Republican plurality state into a state with 80,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans! In the 3rd District alone, Democrats now have a 29,000 voter registration edge! And now in previously GOP friendly Vegas suburbs like Henderson, voters are afraid of losing their jobs, losing their health care, losing their houses, and losing the middle-class American Dream they thought they had achieved. That's why it was critical to get volunteers like us on the ground here to explain to voters what Democrats like
Barack Obama and Dina Titus will do to help working people.





So that's what we did over the next two days. We knocked doors. We talked to voters who still had doubts about Obama. We urged Obama voters to vote early. We reminded everyone not to forget Dina Titus and the state legislature candidates.

Oh yes, and we also listened. We listened as retirees told us about their health care worries. We listened as young people were telling us about their plans to finish college and get a real career. We listened to parents telling us about how they want to leave to their kids a better nation and a healthier planet. We listened to Democrats thrilled about a chance for us to make history (in a good way!). We also listened to Indpendents and Republicans, who have never voted for a Democrat before in their lifetimes, tell us that Barack Obama is the only candidate who they can trust with our nation's future.

And believe it or not, I could count the number of McCain supporters we encountered on our walks with one hand. Even though we were mainly walking middle-class and upper middle-class neighborhoods in leafy (for the desert) suburban Henderson, hardly anyone on our lists turned out to be McCain supporters. This just goes to show how Southern Nevada's changing and how much the people who live here are yearning for real change.

Now I know my experience in Las Vegas last weekend was only a snapshot of what's really happening in Nevada right now. However, I must admit came back on Sunday feeling more confident of the Democratic operation in Nevada. We have a real chance of winning and winning BIG here... But only if we support our Democrats!

There's plenty we can all do to help Democrats win this year. We can drive. We can walk. We can call. And yes, we can give. So please join us in helping in any way you can. The stakes are too high, and we can't afford to lose this time. Let's win, and let's take our country back!




More signs of senescence in McCain

John McCain on Sarah Palin quoted from Political Ticker at
This is not the first time that I've seen a governor being questioned by some quote, "expert." I remember that Ronald Reagan was a "cowboy." President Clinton was a governor of a very small state that had "no experience" either. I remember how easy it was going to be for Bush I to defeat him. But the point is I've seen underestimation before. I'm very proud of the excitement that Gov. Palin has ignited with our party and around this country.

Obama over McCain in Florida

Public Policy Polling released data today that put Florida in blue territory:

Obama 49
McCain 46

Naturally, the economy is on everyone's mind this yesterday, and I am willing to bet there are a lot of distraught retirees in the Sunshine State this afternoon:
64% of poll respondents named the economy as their top issue, and within that group Obama holds a 55-40 lead.
Moreover, PPP continues to believe that Sarah Palin has become a drag on the Republican ticket:
Another factor driving movement in Obama’s direction in Florida is Sarah Palin’s rapidly declining standing with voters in the state.

Diageo-Hotline Sez: Obama's Surging Where He Needs To!

We have some great news from Diageo-Hotline with their tracking poll today! You just have to see it to believe it.

Among registered voters surveyed in Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin and Nevada, Obama tops McCain 50 to 40%. Just a week ago, Obama led 45% to 42%.

Nationwide, Obama leads 47% to 41%.

Whoa!! So Obama's +10 in just the "Big 10" swing states? This is terrific! If he wins all these states, he'll be a shoo-in on November 4!

Let's see what the other polls say in these states before we celebrate prematurely, but this sign bodes awfully well for us. :-D

Pssst. Do something. Send this video to your friends.

Send this video to your friends and ask them to pass it along.

It is an absolutely devastating indictment of McCain's lack of understanding of the crisis that engulfs the nation. The time is ripe. Let's make this baby fly with pretty wings.

Here is the url, so you can cut and paste:

First Two Tracking Polls of the Day

Rasmussen has numbers out today that suggest Obama must have had a good day of polling yesterday. For the first time in this poll, he moves past 50 percent:

Obama 51
McCain 45

Rasmussen observes that this is:
the first update with results based entirely upon interviews conducted following the first Presidential Debate.
Meanwhile, Obama continued his ascent in the Research 2000/Daily Kos poll with his first double digit lead in that poll:

Obama 51
McCain 41

DemFromCT notes:
On successive days, Obama was up +9 Sat, +11 Sun and +11 Mon (MoE +/- 5.1 for individual days.)
Two polls that show Obama at 51. As people a bit younger than I am sometimes observe, "Sweet."

Monday, September 29, 2008

They've Got the Fear

(cross-posted at Motley Moose, MyDD, & Daily Kos)

That's right, the GOP is terrified. They're skittish, they're nervous, they're running scared. Not from Obama, of course.


They're afraid of Sarah Palin.

Honestly, can we blame them? Her record is sad enough, but her performance in interviews is abysmal. Anything unscripted, and she's in trouble. Here we have Ms. Palin seeming none too sure about what that mysterious "Bush Doctrine" might be:

At first I thought they were just a trifle nervous, but since the Couric interview their reaction to her seems to more closely resemble outright horror. And her performance was unquestionably both horrible and terror-inducing. If John McCain reaches the White House, a woman who thinks living near Russia gives her foreign policy experience is going to be a mere heartbeat (and a 72-year-old heartbeat at that) away from the Presidency. McCain is frightening, but Palin far more so. From the environment to healthcare, her positions are about as offensive as they come. Her position on abortion, a repudiation of it even in cases of rape and incest, is one which nauseates most staunch conservatives. If we think think Roe is in danger under the assault of a McCain administration, more unsettling still is the thought of the all-out crusade Palin will wage against it. If we're nervous about the prospect of having a president who doesn't know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites without Joe Lieberman whispering in his ear, we should be doubly terrified by the prospect of having a president who seems to believe that trade missions to Russia qualify as a form of negotiation with a foreign power.

CBS News reports that skittish conservatives are now asking Palin to bow out.
Palin, new to national politics, boosted Republican presidential nominee John McCain in polls and excited the party's core conservatives when he chose the first-term governor for his ticket.

Some of that shine has since worn off in polls.
And no plea has been louder or stronger than that of conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, who has desperately begged Palin to exit the race gracefully for the sake of her country. Once an enthusiastic supporter of the young governor from Alaska, Parker now writes:
When Palin first emerged as John McCain’s running mate, I confess I was delighted. She was the antithesis and nemesis of the hirsute, Birkenstock-wearing sisterhood — a refreshing feminist of a different order who personified the modern successful working mother.

[. . .]

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there.

[. . .]

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

What to do?

McCain can’t repudiate his choice for running mate. He not only risks the wrath of the GOP’s unforgiving base, but he invites others to second-guess his executive decision-making ability.

[. . .]

Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.

Do it for your country.
Laughable though it is that Ms. Parker should describe the ultimate anti-feminist as a charasmatic feminist icon, she makes a number of good points (even a broken clock is right twice a day). Another conservative columnist Kathryn Jean Lopez, who could still be described as a Palin supporter, seems almost as disturbed by her party's nominee for vice president as her peers, writing:
But I also watch these interviews and I cringe a little. That Russia answer with Couric. Oy. It was a loaded question to be sure. But I thought a certain governor of Alaska had told us this was a time for no blinking. For (Uncle) Sam’s sake. You’re Sarah Palin. You’re governor of Alaska. You’re the mom of five. You’re married to a tough guy. You can handle America’s Former Sweetheart. And yet, you didn’t. She may have come off catty, but you came off hesitant and unprepared. What happened to the pitbull? I see the lipstick.

I don’t know Sarah Palin. Having missed the last cruise to Alaska, I’ve actually never met her. National Review wasn’t on her list of stops this week in New York. So I can’t pretend to know what her wiring is all about. But I know I like a lot of what I’ve heard her say. I also know a lot of what I like about her could be projection. I’m not where my friend Kathleen Parker is — wanting her to step aside to spend more time with her family and Alaska — but that’s not a crazy suggestion. She's right to say that something’s gotta change.
My personal disgust for Palin is off the charts. As a former (and current) Clinton supporter, my vision momentarily went red when she attempted to compare herself to Hillary. Using her "18 million cracks" line and asserting that she could prove capable of breaking the glass ceiling herself -- after doing nothing, accomplishing less, and offending the sensibilities of every reasonable American -- infuriated me. One would be hard pressed to find someone more opposed to Palin as a candidate and as a person than I am. Still, even I cringe watching her interviews. A great deal of cringing followed by a greater amount of laughter. But I almost feel sorry for the people who feel obligated to support this woman. Even my mother, once a Palin fan herself and a proud Republican, admitted after seeing clips of the Couric interview that she's terrified of the idea of Palin running the nation.

So how does the GOP respond?

As everyone will recall, first they managed to harass the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates until it was agreed that the vice presidential debate format would allow for shorter answer segments, their hope being that Governor Palin would have less time to embarrass herself, her state, her party, her running mate, and her nation. From the New York Times:
At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.

McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.
Now it seems that the McCain campaign has shipped Palin off to Arizona for "debate camp", apparently a more intensive exercise than the usual debate prep a candidate typically receives. Meanwhile the Obama camp is wisely playing the expectations game with the media, touting Palin's (undoubtedly formidable) debate skills and anticipating a lively, spirited debate between Palin and Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Joe Biden. With current expectations for Palin's performance being set so low in the wake of three painful interviews, we have legitimate reason to fear that a mediocre performance would be lauded by the MSM as outstanding. At this point, the Obama campaign building her up as a talented debater is a skillful move.
"We've looked at tapes of Gov. Palin's debates, and she's a terrific debater," Plouffe told reporters on a conference call. "She has performed very, very well. She's obviously a skilled speaker. We expect she'll give a great performance next Thursday." [...]

"She's obviously prepping this weekend in Pennsylvania," Plouffe continued. "Anyone who watches any of her previous debates would be impressed by her debating skills."
There was a time when I was afraid of Sarah Palin. She fired up the lethargic conservative base (though she fired ours up as well) and got the sort of positive media coverage Barack and Hillary could only dream of. But her star has fallen, the MSM and the country are onto her. She'll do more to sink McCain's campaign than he will (and he's currently doing his utmost). So thank you, Governor Palin. Stay in the race. Make a fool of yourself Thursday night as we watch and laugh.

Do it for your country.