Saturday, October 18, 2008
Sign the petition asking Congress to censure Michele Bachman.
I just ponied up $25 to help her Democratic opponent, El Tinklenberg defeat Whack Job Bachman in the General Election. He was nipping at her heals, but the RNC came in with a load of cash, and Tinklenberg started to lose momentum. Since Whack Job appear on MSNBC, progressive bloggers have been able to raise $488,000 for him. If you have any loose change you can send his way to put the Whack Job out of our collective misery, please send some love Tinklenberg's way.
Yesterday, it was a five-point spread, and today it's a seven day spread. So at the end of the day, Rasmussen and IBD/TIPP slightly increased Obama's lead, and R2K, Gallup, Hotline, and Zogby each saw a slight tightening. Three polls saw a 7-point race; one, a five-point race; and two, a four-point race.
Across the state, Democrats showed the most first-day enthusiasm. Of the nearly 114,000 first-day voters, 64 percent were Democrats, 21 percent Republicans and 15 percent unaffiliateds.Second, there was the percentage of African American voters who came to the polls:
African American turnout was up significantly. Black voters, who make up about 22 percent of registered voters, were 36 percent of Thursday's early voters. In 2004, blacks made up 18.6 percent of voters.The article observes that Obama needs African American turnout in North Carolina to be 22 to 23 percent to win there. On the first day, it seemed we're on track.
There are some breathtaking comparisons between 2008 and 2004. As of Friday, 211,000 more voters had cast their ballots fully 18 days before the election than had cast their ballots during the entire early voting cycle in 2004: about 50 percent more early voters to date in Georgia than early voters in the entire early voting cycle last election. Indeed, early votes October 17 represented a number roughly equal to 20 percent of the entire turnout in Georgia that year (3,253,398). The entire early voting in 2004 was about 13 percent of the total votes cast in 2004, and we currently are at 20 percent of Georgia's 2004 totals.
The Voting Rights Act requires the states it covers to maintain data on racial and ethnic composition of voters, and Georgia publishes its data online. In Georgia, 29 percent of registered voters are African American. On Tuesday, they represented 37 percent of early voters. As of yesterday, 228,185 African Americans, out of a total 635,798 early voters, had cast their ballots. In other words, on Friday, they represented 35.9 percent of early voters.
On Tuesday, based on nothing, I proposed a wild-eyed method to assess where the race stood in Georgia: 95 percent of African Americans, I suggested, had voted for Obama, and five percent of African Americans had voted for McCain. Conversely, I proposed that Other Voters of all other races and ethnicities (White, Asian, Latino, Native American) had cast 30 percent of their ballots for Obama and 70 percent of their ballots for McCain. (I excluded Barr and McKinney from my analysis then and now.) On Tuesday, based on this methodology, I suggested Obama might be winning among early voters:
If we apply the same methodology to yesterday's numbers, where would the race currently stand? (Tuesday numbers in parentheses for the basis of comparison.)
African American 217,341 (175,230)
Other 122,284 (94,439)
Total 339,625 (269,768)
African American 10,844 (9,223)
Other 285,329 (220,591)
Total 296,173 (229,814)
In other words:
As I observed on Tuesday, this is all just so many pixels on a computer screen, but it is intriguing to speculate what is happening in early voting in Georgia.
Expanded Likely Voter Model (This accounts for intent to vote.)
Traditional Likely Voter Model (This accounts for history and intent.)
1. Gallup Daily today shows McCain's numbers among registered voters declining a point so that he trails Obama by eight, but the expanded likely voter (intent to vote, including new voters) shows Obama dropping a point as McCain rises a point. It is possible that this is all statistical noise. It also is possible that it shows there is some complacency that, "Obama is going to win, and I don't need to vote."
2. In 2004, toward the end of the race, we also started to see the trackers moving towards each other. My guess is that as we get closer to election day, people become more settled in their choices, and the polls increasingly stop measuring shifting opinions in the electorate. The tracking polls now indicate these results:
Zogby, Obama +4
Gallup Expanded Likely Voter Model, Obama +4
Rasmussen, Obama +5
Research 2000/Daily Kos, Obama +7
Diageo Hotline, Obama +7
Diageo Hotline confirms my earlier speculation that the movement we're seeing in the polls is not a flight by Democrats and independents from Obama but a return home by Republicans to McCain:
While Obama's margins among Indies and Dems are nearly identical to last week, McCain's advantage among GOPers has jumped 10%.
We know from history that the Republicans will do anything to win an election. They have no concern whatsoever about the rights of voters. Their electoral strategy reflects an effort to suppress the vote: The fewer people who vote, the more likely they are to win. Don't let them do this to you or the people you know and love. If we all show up to the polls, Barack Obama will be president. Period. The Republicans will do whatever they can to prevent you from voting: Trust it; be prepared.
If you are challenged, demand the right to cast a provisional ballot. Bring your cell phone with you and be prepared to film the whole thing. Olbermann had this piece last night about the Obama campaign's pushback on the Republicans' voter suppression fraud:
Given the amount of time that the Republican ticket is lavishing on this state, numbers like these must be disheartening for John and Sarah. It also is possible that some of the movement in McCain's numbers in the tracking polls reflects solidification of his base in red states where he never has had a problem rather than gains in the battleground states that will decide the election.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows Barack Obama attracting 50% of the vote while John McCain earns 45%. These figures reflect a remarkably stable race in which Obama has enjoyed a four-to-eight point advantage for twenty-three straight days. McCain has not been up by even a single point in over a month.The numbers from last night's polling in the Research 2000/Daily Kos brought Obama's numbers a bit closer to Rasmussen's. They now report a seven point race:
On successive individual days in the R2K poll (different than the topline, which is a combined three day sample), Obama was up +10 Wed, +6 Thurs and +7 Fri. Today's polling will reflect the debate (two thirds of the sample is post-debate). Obama has been at 50 or more since 9/29. As noted yesterday, a +12 Obama day rolled off and was replaced with a +7.Zogby's numbers also indicate the race has tightened with Obama's number reduced from 49 to 48 between yesterday and today:
What's interesting about these three polls is that they show McCain at 43, 44, and 45 while two of them show Obama at 50. The real movement right now, my guess is, is among Republicans who have decided to come home to McCain as the result of his less erratic performance in last Wednesday's debate.
They're increasingly concerned about their supporters taking this victory for granted, particularly among people who are going through this for the first time.The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Barack Obama is concerned about this phenomenon:
Don't underestimate the capacity of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Don't underestimate our ability to screw it up.Well, let me assure you that we do not have this in the bag. Are we positioned to win? Yes, but getting across the finish line means moving across the finish line. We haven't done that, and to do that, we need to put one foot in front of the other until we have finished the whole project when the last voter votes on November 4.
I was born in November 1958. I have been told I sat in front of the television in diapers during Kennedy-Nixon debates, but of course, I have no recollection of this. I do remember in 1964 watching television and asking my mother which one was the president. In 1968, the campaign between Humphrey and Nixon riveted me, and I have been a junkie ever since. In the 10 elections that I understood, the Republicans have won seven, and the Democrats have won three. By this analysis, the weight of modern American history would suggest the chances of losing in the last few weeks is not outside the realm of probability. Whatever advantages we bring to this moment, failure to volunteer, DONATE, and vote can ruin this thing.
This has been a long and hard campaign. We were bitterly divided during the primaries, but we now have unified around the vision of a sober, calm, and thoughtful president who will work to address our great national crises and make the presidency of the United States a thing of respect again in the eyes of the world. Keeping the erratic hothead out of the White House should fill us with dread caution about the work that remains.
So volunteer, DONATE, and vote.
The congresswoman from Minnesota: Keep putting that one on television.
Friday, October 17, 2008
We'll have more details tomorrow... Just know that the Rethuglicans are up to their dirty tricks again.
Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 45%
Nice. The Sunshine State seems to be going our way. If we keep up the good work, I know we can win. :-)
Obama (D) 50%
McCain (R) 45%
Obama (D) 52%
McCain (R) 45%
The bad news: None here!
The good news: Obama is solidifying his leads out West! The closer to the election we get, the better Democrats are poised to win Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico! At this point, both Colorado & New Mexico show strong leans toward Obama while Nevada is starting to show an Obama lean as well. With Obama winning all the Kerry states, Iowa, and these three Western Swing States, Obama has secured 278 electoral votes and a win on election day!
Conclusion: PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T STOP WORKING FOR VICTORY! Please keep donating, keep volunteering, keep going until we win! I post these poll numbers not to lull us into complacency, but to encourage us to work harder for victory. We're almost there now, so let's make it happen! :-)
We need a leader who demonstrates thoughtful calm and grace under pressure, one not prone to volatile gesture and capricious pronouncement. We need a leader well-grounded in the intellectual and legal foundations of American freedom. Yet we ask that the same person also possess the spark and passion to inspire the best within us: creativity, generosity and a fierve defense of justice and liberty.
The Times without hesitation endorses Barack Obama for President.
Many Americans say they're uneasy about Obama. He's pretty new to them.Aside from their conviction that Obama will bring pragmatic leadership to the nation, the article indicts McCain's failure to select a serious vice presidential candidate.
We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.
Apparently, they show more undecideds than the other trackers. Still, they seem consistent with the other pollsters in showing a slight to moderate Obama advantage. If IBD/TIPP is included in our mean averages, yesterday's average would have been Obama +6.14% and today's average would be Obama +6.29%.
So should we regularly include IBD/TIPP in our daily tracking poll updates?
McCain (R) 52%
Obama (D) 40%
Cornyn (R) 50%
Noriega (D) 44%
McCain (R) 50%
Obama (D) 40%
Wicker (R) 47%
Noriega (D) 46%
OK, so Obama may not win The Lone Star State & The Magnolia State. Still, his numbers are much better than Kerry's in 2004. And guess what? That's helping us downballot!
Just weeks ago, Ronnie Musgrove and Rick Noriega were considered hopeless and helpless. They were in Blood Red States with no chance at all. But in just 2-3 weeks, they've now become 2 of our best chances to 60 Senate Seats.
So what should we do now? Obviously, DONATE! And if you live in Texas or Mississippi, please consider volunteering with your state Democratic campaigns! We have no time to lose, so please use it well!
The last R2K poll showed McCain up in North Dakota over Obama by 53 to 40. This poll confirms what we have seen in two other recent polls:
It looks to me that there was A WHOLE LOT OF NOISE in today's numbers. One poll has an Obama bounce, two polls show a McCain bounce, and the other three essentially show a stable race. Basically, they all mostly cancel each other out as the six poll mean average has an Obama +6.5% lead.
Traditional Likely Voter Model
High New Voter Turnout Model
So to sum up the tracking polls today:
Rasmussen, Obama +4
Battleground, Obama +4
Zogby, Obama +5
Gallup, Obama +6
Diageo/Hotline, Obama +10
Research 2000/DK, Obama +10
Talking Points Memo says:
Adding these polls together and weighting them by the square roots of their sample sizes, Obama is ahead 50.4%-43.9%, a lead of 6.5 points, pretty much the same as the 50.3%-43.7% Obama lead from yesterday.
So what does this mean? The Ohio Republicans were trying to purge legitimate new voters off the rolls by arguing that voters like "Jane D. Plain of Columbus, OH" shouldn't be allowed to vote if her drivers license shows "Jane Plain of Columbus, OH" and her Social Security records show a "Jane Doe Plain of Columbus, OH". Anyone who was recently married or has a middle name that isn't always included or was simply a victim of some government bureaucrat's sloppy handwriting could have been purged off the rolls. And why? Just so the state GOP can "deliver Ohio to McCain" in the same way that former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell promised to "deliver Ohio to George W. Bush" playing dirty tricks in 2004?
Good on the Supremes. It's good that they're standing up for the voters for once. Maybe they still feel guilty about Florida in 2000? Whatever their thinking, I'm glad they're allowing people's votes to be counted this time.
I just love watching the ongoing trainwreck that was once the Republican Party. ;-)
Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 49%
Obama (D) 52%
McCain (R) 46%
Obama (D) 54%
McCain (R) 41%
The bad news: Ugh, Ohio. For some reason, Obama's numbers in Ohio have been worse than the rest of the Upper Midwest region and next-door Pennsylvania.
The good news: MISSOURI??!! Obama's up beyond the margin of error in Missouri?! This is nothing short of spectacular! If Obama wins Missouri, he wins the election hands down. Oh yes, and I like me those Oregon numbers! Stick a fork in the McBush campaign in the Pacific Northwest, Obama will win Oregon & Washington.
Conclusion: Ohio concerns me. I just don't get why Obama isn't breaking through as much there as all its neighboring states. Still, Missouri & Oregon are excellent news! If Obama can carry formerly "Red States" like Florida & Missouri, then he won't need Ohio.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Barack Obama attracting 50% of the vote while John McCain earns 46%. These figures reflect a remarkably stable race in which Obama has enjoyed a four-to-eight point advantage for twenty-two straight days. The last time McCain was up by even a single point was one month ago today.What has me a little spooked this morning are the numbers from Research 2000/Daily Kos. Their numbers are still quite comfortable, but the Thursday contribution to the three day total was just a six point race, so when Tuesday washes out, we'll see a change in Obama's lead:
On successive individual days in the R2K poll (different than the topline, which is a combined three day sample), Obama was up +12 Tues, +10 Wed and +6 Thurs. Friday's Today's polling will start to reflect the debate (one third of the sample is post-debate), and the +6 Thurs is a significant noticable change, for the first time in days. However, while the one-day Thursday numbers are 50-44, an improvement in McCain's numbers, Obama has been at 50 or more since 9/29 . . . . As Tuesday's number drops off tomorrow, the topline number should tighten.Battleground/GWU also shows tightening in the race:
That's a one point drop in Obama's numbers and a one point increase in McCain's numbers.
Now, the other two polls are Diageo Hotline and Zogby, and they give some reassurance that we are holding our own.
Diageo/Hotline actually shows a 10-point race this morning:
Obama's 10% lead in today's Diageo/Hotline release equals his largest advantage ever in the tracking poll.Zogby's numbers remain even with where they were yesterday:
Okay, Obama's numbers in these polls range from 49 to 52, and McCain's numbers range from 40 to 46. We'll see what comes next. We need trends to make an analysis. Pollster dot com's trend analysis is this:
The McCain campaign says that Virginia is its third-best state when it comes to meeting its goals for phone-calling and door-knocking. The number of voters volunteers contacted in a single week -- 130,000 -- exceeded all but one of McCain's battleground operations, a senior campaign strategist said.The Post story leaves comparisons to the reader, but it is obvious from the story that the McCain campaign's ground game must be languishing not just in Virginia but across the country. Observes The Post:
Obama's 3,000 volunteers knocked on 262,000 doors on a recent weekend (italics mine) -- a huge number compared with the 300,000 doors that Democrats knocked on during the state's 2005 gubernatorial campaign.Just those three facts tell us a lot about what's happening on the ground in this campaign:
1. A successful Democratic gubernatorial campaign in Virginia in 2005 partly relied on a total of 300,000 door-knocks;
2. Virginia is the Republicans' third best state for phone calls and door-knocking, and in a single week, they knocked on 130,000 doors: their second best record in the whole country.
3. Obama's volunteers in a single weekend recently knocked on 262,000 doors in Virginia.
On just one weekend, Obama almost equaled the number of door-knocks that elected Kaine governor in 2005. In a single weekend, Team Obama knocked on 50 percent more doors than Team McCain knocked on in an entire seven-day period. Be mindful that though the comparison in The Post article shows Obama in a favorable get the vote out position in Virginia, Virginia is one of McCain's two or three best operations in the whole country.
What is my takeaway message? We must redouble our efforts and try harder. We're not doing enough. We need to do more. Barack Obama for president!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The Post compliments his intelligence, his subtle grasp of the issues, and his potential to influence positively foreign policy. In a long and effusive editorial, The Washington Post concludes:
Mr. Obama's temperament is unlike anything we've seen on the national stage in many years. He is deliberate but not indecisive; eloquent but a master of substance and detail; preternaturally confident but eager to hear opposing points of view.I concur. Barack Obama for president.
And the media are still fixated upon "Joe the Plumber" and what his real name is and what his real occupation is and what his tax statements look like and why he's a "values voter"? Gimme a break. Let's get back to the values WE CARE ABOUT. Enough with Joe, talk about JOBS!
Good. It's time for a change... Even here in "The OC"! :-)
Oh, and he's related to Charles Keating of the Keating Five Scandal.
Other than the fact that he is operating under a sort of alias here, is a tax cheat, doesn't have professional licensure to do his job, and reminds everyone of the nadir of McCain's career, I am sure he's a real stand-up guy.
DFM Research of North Dakota:
Obama (D) 44%
McCain (R) 41%
Christopher Newport University of Virginia:
Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 43%
The bad news: I can't see any here.
The good news: NORTH DAKOTA??!! REALLY??!! This is the second consecutive poll and yet another of many polls since July showing a tight race/slight Obama lead here, so it's getting difficult to dismiss polls like this as "an outlier".
Oh yes, and remember Christopher Newport University? Remember when they showed McCain WAY UP when all other polls showed a tie or small Obama lead? Well, they've now fallen in line. This confirms that Obama has the edge in The Old Dominion.
Conclusion: It's all good today. Obama had a great debate last night. He's good on the stump today. And now, the primary battleground has shifted to once "Solid Red States" that are now VERY purple... States like North Carolina and NORTH DAKOTA! If this holds up, we'll have a great night on November 4. :-)
The numbers tightened in yesterday's polling, even overall as the six tracking poll mean average tightened to an Obama +6.75% lead.
So what's the good news? The debate couldn't have come at a better time! While I guess anything could happen tomorrow, my hunch is that Obama picks up a little support in today's polling... Meaning better numbers tomorrow morning.
Still, this should remind us all that our work is NOT over yet. Keep it up: the calls, the donations, the door knocking. Keep it up until we win! :-)
Democrats +100K new voters
Republicans +35K new voters
Democrats +811K voters, up from +746K
Wow! This is amazing. No wonder why The Tar Heel State has become so competitive. ;-)
Who won the debate?
Who has your vote now?
Still Undecided 38%
Whoa! If this turns out to be true, then we're in good shape out West. The "morning after media consensus" looks to be that Obama won last night, so he and Biden are 4-0 with the debates & nothing happened to undo the momentum on our side. Let's just keep up the good work & I know we can wrap this up & win! :-)
Obama heads out on Friday to:
Virginia (which has not gone Democratic since it voted for LBJ in 1964)
Missouri (which has not gone Democratic since it voted for Clinton in 1996)
North Carolina (which has not gone Democratic since it voted for Carter in 1976)
Florida (which has not gone Democratic since it voted for Clinton in 1996)
Meanwhile, McCain is ratcheting up his spending on advertisements in places like Colorado and Missouri.
It’s the first time since September 25 that McCain’s support has reached 46%, but Obama has now enjoyed a four-to-eight point advantage for twenty-one straight days.That's three weeks with a lead outside the standard error by a factor of at least two.
Research 2000/Daily Kos tells the story this way:
R2K has had Obama at 51 to 53 since September 29. During the same period, McCain has occupied a very narrow band of 40 to 42. During that period, he has been at 41 for eight days and 40 for nine days.
Diageo Hotline remains unchanged:
Those are the same numbers they reported yesterday.
Zogby, staggering like a sailor on a bender, moves the race from a four-point to a five-point lead by Obama:
I like to make fun of Zogby, but even though he reports a different margin every day, his numbers vary within the standard error, and the only interpretation we can draw is that he is a measuring a stable race.
In fact, even though Zogby sees a point shift in Obama's favor and Rasmussen sees a point shift in McCain's favor, all of these data tell the story of an electorate that seems to be hardening its opinion about who should be the next president.
Eugene Robinson opines:
McCain started quite well, getting off the most memorable line of the evening -- that if Barack Obama had wanted to run against George Bush, he should have run four years ago. From there, I thought, things went downhill for him.Harold Meyerson writes:
John of the Grimaces met Barack the Unflappable in Hempstead tonight, and the guy with the arctic cool, not surprisingly, prevailed.Marc Ambinder describes McCain's style, which became the thing that defeated him the debate:
We saw a McXplosion. Every single attack that Sen. McCain has ever wanted to make, he took the opportunity tonight to make. Around 30 minutes in, McCain seemed to surrender the debate to his frustrations, making it seem as if he just wanted the free television.Andrew Sullivan described the primary problem that tripped up McCain throughout his whole performance:
At no point have we seen a grace note from McCain. When dealing with the negativism of the campaign, it would not have killed him to seem genuinely horrified at calls for violence rather than offended that anyone dare criticize him or some of his supporters. Or to wish Obama well. It's this lack of generosity of spirit that he lacks and that people want in a president. Obama still manages to say when he agrees with or admires McCain. In this whole dynamic, Obama seems more secure, more self-controlled, more mature. He is the Alpha Male on this stage, and McCain the bristling teen - aged 72.David Ignatius sums up Obama's performance:
What these debates have shown America is that Barack Obama, the skinny guy with the funny name, is a calm and coherent voice in a frightening time. He has been leaderly, reassuring, respectful of his opponent but tough in making his case. Let’s just say it: In the three debates, he has sounded presidential.Timothy Egan prognosticates:
Forget about the Bradley Effect, lying about race. We should be looking at the Reagan Effect: did Obama look like a president, as Ronald Reagan had to to in the last week of the campaign to unseat Jimmy Carter? History showed one thing in 1980. It’ll show the same in 2008.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
You know what? I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Obama represents the future while McCain obsesses over the past. Obama sounded like our next President while McCain sounded like someone addressing a Republican Party fundraiser in 1988.
Barring some wild & crazy event that changes everything we thought we knew, this campaign is coming to an end. What we MUST do now is make our Democratic victory as large as possible. Win as many House & Senate seats as possible. Turn as many red states blue for Obama now as possible to set the foundation for Democrats in future Presidential Elections to come.
This debate may very well have set our fate for 2008... So let's take advantage of it! :-)
Who won the debate?
Who can be trusted to make the right decisions on Health Care?
Obama 68%, up from 61%
McCain 30%, up from 27%
Who will raise taxes?
Who shares your values?
Obama 64%, up from 54%
McCain 55%, up from 52%
Who can be trusted to handle a crisis?
Obama 63%, up from 50%
McCain 82%, up from 78%
Who will make the right decision in the economy?
Obama 65%, up from 54%
McCain 48%, up from 38%
Who understands your needs and problems?
Obama 76%, up from 66%
McCain 48%, up from 36%
Overall, the internals look great for Obama. This is what we needed. Obama is winning on the issues we need to win on. We're about to win this election! :-)
66% favorable, up from 62% after the last debate
33% unfavorable, down from 34%
Opinion of McCain
49% favorable, down from 51% after the last debate
49% unfavorable, up from 45%
Who won the debate?
There you have it. Obama wins again. McBush is done. ;-)
Score another one for Obama! ;-)
Stay tuned... We may be in for a wild ride in these next 90 minutes. ;-)
Verizon delivered a portable tower know as a "cell site on wheels" -- free of charge -- to Cindy McCain's property in June in response to an online request from Cindy McCain's staff early last year. Such devices are usually reserved for restoring service when cell coverage is knocked out during emergencies, such as hurricanes. In July, AT&T followed suit, wheeling in a portable tower for free to match Verizon's offer.Well, well. I have all my phone service from Verizon; I think it's interesting how they're spending the profits they make off of me.
Just stay tuned tonight, and we'll give you the rundown after the debate on what the buzz looks like.
McCain (R) 54%
Obama (D) 41%
Obama (D) 55%
McCain (R) 42%
Obama (D) 56%
McCain (R) 39%
Obama (D) 62%
McCain (R) 34%
The bad news: I guess Obama won't win Kansas.
The good news: NEW MEXICO??!! Obama is up by double-digits in NEW MEXICO??!! Stick a fork in the McBush campaign there. The Land of Enchantment seems to be quite enchanted with Obama. ;-)
Conclusion: I love New Mexico. I can hardly wait to visit. ;-)
Ohio (Obama +4.3 according to pollster.com)
Virginia (Obama +5.2 according to pollster.com)
Florida (Obama +6.1 according to pollster.com)
North Carolina (Obama +1.5 according to pollster.com)
Indiana (McCain +2.5 according to pollster.com)
So what do they want to do? Oh, just throw us off the voter rolls and/or make sure our votes are not counted! Scared yet? You should be!
Why do you think the radical right continues to obsess over the "ACORN is committing voter fraud!" nonsense? Even though ACORN did no wrong and even though they actually report cases of false registrations to the proper authorities, the vast right-wing conspiracy wants to whip everyone into a frenzy so that "ACORN" can be used as an excuse to disqualify Democrats from voting! Yes, you heard me right! The Republicans are beating the "ACORN" drum to prevent legitimate voters like you & me from voting.
This is no new trick that the GOP is pulling. In fact, they used the same "voter fraud!" excuse to illegally purge 100,000 voters off the voter roll in Florida in 2000, refuse to count many thousands of ballots in Florida that same year, pull dirty tricks to prevent inner city voters from voting in Ohio in 2004, and politicize US Attorneys into purging many more voters off the rolls in swing states like New Mexico in 2006. Today, they are simply using a new excuse ("ACORN voter fraud!") to pull the same dirty tricks and illegally prevent us and millions of newly registered Democrats from exercising our right to vote.
So what can we do about it? Simply put, WE MUST FIGHT BACK! Check the ACLU's voting rights page to know your legal rights. Check election protection sites like Brad Blog often to see if the radical right is targeting your state and see how you can fight back. And finally, visit voteforchange.com to make sure you have everything you need to vote.
Do NOT let the Rethuglicans disenfranchise us! Know your rights. Stand your ground. And most importantly, GO FORTH AND VOTE!
They show some slippage today. Still, Obama leads by a good margin. And today, the six tracker (Research 2000, Rasmussen, Zogby, Diageo-Hotline, GWU Battleground, and Gallup Daily Likely Voters 2) mean average shows Obama +7.33%, down from the +8.50% lead yesterday... Mainly due to wild fluctuation in Zogby and Gallup.
Obama. I think he's the man, really. I think so.
But here's one thing more and more of us are becoming: DEMOCRATS!
These numbers don't lie. Despite their optimism about the future, voters remain troubled about the economy today. That's why they're choosing Obama over McCain. They know we need a competent and wise President now for a better future.
The Republican National Committee hasn’t booked ads for the next week in Wisconsin TV markets after running a series of spots attacking Barack Obama and congressional Dems, according to TV sources. The decision comes amid speculation on whether Republicans may pull back in Wisconsin after several polls in the past week showed Obama up over John McCain by double digits.Out, out, brief candle.
I am sure you didn't miss that Obama leads by 10 votes among likely voters in Virginia and that he is above 50% among likely voters in Virginia, Colorado, and Florida. Just to be sure, the Kerry states plus Virginia plus Colorado is 274 electoral votes, four more than necessary to win the presidency. And the Kerry states plus Virginia plus Colorado plus Florida is 301 electoral votes. Two states where McCain appears to have a pulse, according to CNN, are:
Georgia and Missouri in this poll are tantalizingly within reach; damn, I want both of those states! CNN says:
The CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls were conducted Saturday through Tuesday, with 762 likely voters in Colorado, 765 in Florida, 718 in Georgia, 763 in Missouri, and 698 in Virginia, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.A couple more results:
(10/12-13/08; 1,328 RV, 2.7%)
(10/10-13/08; 600 LV, 4.0%)
The bad news: Where?
The good news: IA confirms it: West Virginia is a swing state! If The Mountain State is really this close now, then McCain's in deep sh*t! North Carolina also looks good for us, while Obama builds on his leads in Nevada and Florida.
Conclusion: I'm starting to feel like a broken record now, but I have to say this again. If this holds up, then Obama is our next President! So please, work as hard as you can in these final 3 weeks! Let's make victory happen! :-)
TO: Interested Parties
FR: Bill Burton, Obama-Biden Campaign National Press Secretary
RE: John McCain's plan to "whip" "That One's" "you-know-what"
DA: October 15, 2008
In tonight's debate, Chuck Todd of NBC News says, McCain needs to "figure out how to disqualify Barack Obama." Time Magazine's Mark Halperin writes, "McCain will have to produce a major memorable moment." The NY Daily News says the debate is "do-or-die for McCain's campaign." However they put it, people agree, John McCain needs a game-changer.
On the big issues, this debate is one last chance for John McCain to do what he has failed to do throughout this entire campaign: explain to the American people how his economic policies would be any different at all than the failed Bush agenda he has supported every step of the way. It's his last chance to somehow convince the American people that his erratic response to this economic crisis doesn't disqualify him from being President.
Just this weekend, John McCain vowed to "whip Obama's you-know-what" at the debate, and he's indicated that he'll use Bill Ayers to attack Barack Obama. Even though Senator McCain has said he doesn't "give a damn" about Bill Ayers, his campaign has admitted that if he talks about the economy, he'll lose.
But perhaps the NY Times explained the peril of McCain's negative strategy best this morning when they wrote: After several weeks in which the McCain campaign unleashed a series of strong political attacks on Mr. Obama, trying to tie him to a former 1960s radical, among other things, the poll found that more voters see Mr. McCain as waging a negative campaign than Mr. Obama. Six in 10 voters surveyed said that Mr. McCain had spent more time attacking Mr. Obama than explaining what he would do as president; by about the same number, voters said Mr. Obama was spending more of his time explaining than attacking. [NYT/CBS Poll, NY Times 10/15/08]
Senator Obama is going to use the debate to discuss his plan for the economy. That's what he's been doing this entire campaign. And on Monday, he built on his proposals in a new Rescue Plan for the Middle Class. That's the kind of steady leadership and real change Americans are looking for - not John McCain's erratic handling of the crisis, his constant character attacks, and the same Bush policies that have failed us for eight years.
But after two debates in which John McCain didn't mention the middle class once - and after his campaign declared openly that they want to turn the page on talking about the economy - the real question is not how many attacks McCain can land in the debate, but whether he can finally communicate a vision to turn this economy around.
And while McCain has promised to attack Obama in the debate, every minute that he ignores the economy and the middle class is not just a minute wasted but time spent on attacks that even some of those closest to him have said don't work.
There, next to his motorcade, was the Ziegfeld Theatre, the venue for the New York red carpet debut of "W" . . . . A reporter present at the scene was not able to gauge McCain's reaction to the sight as he hopped into his SUV and sped off across Manhattan to meet his running mate Sarah Palin at the finance event.
Rasmussen apparently has bought a new photocopier, because his numbers remain the same one day after the other:
Notes the Republican-leaning pollster:
That’s the fourth straight day with identical numbers and the twentieth straight day that Obama’s support has stayed in the narrow range from 50% to 52% while McCain has been at 44% of 45%.Research 2000/Daily Kos likewise holds steady with the numbers it reported yesterday:
On successive individual days in the R2K poll (different than the topline, which is a combined three day sample), Obama was up +11 Sun, +10 Mon and +12. There's no poll tightening here, folks. Steady as she goes.Diageo Hotline stays more or less constant with a slight widening of Obama's lead from yesterday:
The numbers yesterday and the day before were 48-42.
Zogby seems to stagger around like a drunk on a bender. His numbers from a week ago Monday have been these: Obama +3, +2, +3, +5, +4, +6, +4, +6, +4. Even so, we should be mindful that Zogby's numbers vary within his margin of error, and so he also is measuring a stable race. Today's tracker is this:
Why do the tea leaves suggest that Senator McCain does not propose to be an honorable man?
Eleven of the 24 sites included estimates of toss-ups in their projections. Those 11 sites had an average 51.7 toss-up electoral votes.
Three weeks ago, I conducted a similar analysis of data from September 23 from 3 Blue Dudes. In the last three weeks, Obama has increased his average number of Electoral Votes as predicted on updated projection sites on the Internet by more than one-third (38.5%) and McCain's numbers have diminished by nearly one quarter (23.6%). These numbers may suggest that Obama's surge in the Electoral College not only reflects the movement of toss-up but also McCain states into his column during the last three weeks.
For those of you who worry that we are going to get overconfident of victory, work hard to secure our victory on November 4. For those of you who are confident of victory, work hard to make it a landslide on November 4.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
So sit back, enjoy the results from the land up north, and discuss. :-)
Obama (D) 53%
McCain (R) 39%
Basically, McCain's low-blow attacks are backfiring on him... BIG! His approval ratings are falling while Obama's stay steady. Meanwhile, Obama is now growing his advantage on who can be trusted on the economy & the Iraq Occupation.
Let's see what happens at tomorrow's debate. As long as Obama continues to hold his own as McCain falls to the gutter, I think we'll be in for a good November 4. :-)
In September, Obama led McCain 49-45, so he has more than doubled in his lead in this poll in the last month. The Times article notes:
Only 10% now feel the country is heading in the right direction -- the lowest figure since the poll began asking the question in 1991. Eighty-four percent said the country is on the wrong track.
The bad news: Obama's slipping in North Carolina.
The good news: He's still ahead there, and now he's pulling ahead for the first time in Missouri! If Obama wins Missouri, then it's really game over!
Conclusion: Now is NOT the time to be complacent! Keep working hard until election day. Let's turn these red states blue! :-)
Let's make some wild-eyed guesses here. To date, 184,453 African Americans have cast ballots in early voting, and 315,129 other voters of all other races and ethnicities (White, Asian, Latino, Native American) have voted. Let's assume that 95% of African Americans have cast their votes for Obama, and five percent of African Americans have cast their votes for McCain. Let's further assume that 30 percent of Other Voters have cast their ballots for Obama, and 70 percent of Other Voters have cast their ballots for McCain. (I confess I am pulling these percentages out of the thin air, and I am ignoring Barr and McKinney.) Given these assumptions, these numbers would reflect the current vote totals for the two candidates:
African American 175,230
African American 9,223
In other words:
This is all just so many pixels on a computer screen, but it is intriguing to speculate what is happening in early voting in Georgia.
The poll closed on October 10, and a quarter of a million young people cast a ballot in it. Scholastic notes:
Since 1940, the results of the student vote have mirrored the outcome of the general election all but twice: In 1948, kids voted for Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman. In 1960, more students voted for Richard M. Nixon than for John F. Kennedy. In 2000, a majority of student voters chose George W. Bush, mirroring the Electoral College result, but not the result of the popular vote.Young children often adopt their parents' political views only to develop independent assessments as they grow older. In the past, some observers have speculated the success of the Scholastic Poll may reflect that children are expressing viewpoints they carry from home to the Scholastic Poll.
Obama's up 1% from the last ARG national poll done earlier this month. So once more, we see Obama inching upward. No wonder why McBush is in full panic mode. ;-)
Essentially, Gallup shows no change from yesterday. And by the way, we at C4O are using Gallup's "Likely Voters 2" model because we believe this is closest to the most likely turnout situation on election day. Oh yes, and today's six tracker (Research 2000, Rasmussen, Zogby, Diageo-Hotline, GWU Battleground, and Gallup Daily) mean average shows Obama with a +8.5% lead today, up a full 1% from yesterday's +7.5% lead.
All in all, we have ourselves another good day for Democrats! :-)
They now have two likely voter models. Their traditional model reflects past voting behavior in addition to current intentions; the downside of this model is that it excludes people who have registered recently. This model, called Likely Voter Model I indicates:
The second likely voter model, Likely Voter Model II is based on no factor save the voter's expressed intention to vote this year:
Now notice, based upon the expressed intention to vote, the margin between Obama and McCain actually is wider than the margin between the two candidates among registered voters.
Obama's campaign has put out a radio advertisement that takes the Ayers charges straight on. This is the text:
Announcer: John McCain's campaign told the press, "If the election's about the economy, he'll lose." Now, as Americans lose their jobs and savings, McCain's resorting to desperate attacks the press calls, "Smears," and, "False."
Bill Ayers is a professor of education who once served with Obama on a school reform board, a board funded by conservative Republicans tied to McCain. When Ayers committed crimes in the '60s, Obama was eight-years-old. Obama condemned those despicable acts. Ayers has had no role in Obama's campaign and will have no role in his administration.
Obama says this campaign should be about how to fix our economy, help small businesses and home owners on Main Street, and crack down on Wall Street abuses. And John McCain? With no plan to fix our economy, smears are all he has left.
Barack Obama: I'm Barack Obama, candidate for president, and I approve this message.
Announcer: Paid for by Obama for America.
They interviewed 516 likely voters between 10/11/08 through 10/13/08. There was a standard error of +/-4.4%.
Survey USA for Ohio
575 likely voters interviewed 10/12/08 and 10/13/08, +/-4.2%.
Obama (D) 53%
McCain (R) 40%
No, those are NOT your lying eyes! This is for real. GWU shows its biggest Obama lead ever in today's poll. Well, I guess the "McBush Campaign 12.0 Relaunch" isn't fooling anyone. Obama's been consistent in his message of real change to help real working people, and I guess voters appreciate that. ;-)
Ed Rollins worked on the Dukmejian campaign, and he completely dismisses the Bradley Effect as a myth. He said on CNN last evening that Bradley indeed did win on Election Day by a substantial margin, but how he lost the election was in the absentee ballots. Bradley did not organize an absentee ballot program, but Dukmejian did. Bradley won on Election Day just as the polls predicted, but it was Dukmejian's workman-like effort with absentee ballots that brought the Republican across the finish line first.
Just more grist for the mill.
That’s the third straight day with identical numbers and the nineteenth straight day that Obama’s support has stayed in the narrow range from 50% to 52% while McCain has been at 44% of 45%.Research 2000/Daily Kos is out with essentially the same news:
The number were 52-50 yesterday. This is the 19th day that R2K has had Obama at 50 percent or above.Zogby is out with the message that, "Obama builds his lead":
Zogby had Obama at +6 on Saturday but at +4 on Sunday.
Diageo Hotline shows the race even with where it stood yesterday:
McCain advisers say they're saving their best material for the last ten days of the race, when, the campaign hopes, three quarters of the remaining undecided voters will make up their minds, and their minds will be concentrating on Barack Obama. When the urgency of the presidential election impresses itself, the hope is that these voters will swing back to the familiar, rather than the unknown. The last ten days, according to a McCain aide, are when the "imponderables" come into play.Obviously, they do not plan to go quietly into that good night; they're going to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at Obama. I trust that John McCain is not the only candidate who plans to propose "imponderables" during the campaign's last 10 days.
The polls were conducted between October 8 and October 12. The margins of error ranged between 2.8-3.1 points.
Monday, October 13, 2008
The 33rd Senate District includes Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Fullerton, Villa Park, Orange, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Aliso Viejo, Buena Park, Tustin, Silverado, Irvine, Santa Ana, Lake Forest, Coto de Caza and Foothill Ranch.
As you can see, the district is huge and covers a million people, more constituents than the State of Alaska. And the local papers are not willing to even admit that Democratic Candidates exist. Seriously, neither do the Republican candidates.
Republican absence kills UCI voter forumThe short article then went on to list every Republican who was invited and did not mention one Democratic candidate. I posted the second comment to the story asking why didn't they list the Democrats who agreed to come rather than just listing the Republicans. My comment was removed or not approved. It was polite and it was a very simple question. But in admonishing the Republicans for not admitting that Democrats exist in Orange County they refused to admit their presence as well. Talk about an uphill battle.
October 8th, 2008, 4:45 pm · 1 Comment · posted by BRIAN JOSEPH, Sacramento Bureau Chief
UC Irvine planned to have a candidates forum this evening, but organizers had to cancel it when all of the Republican candidates said they couldn’t make it.
Quite a coincidence, huh? I’ve heard of Republicans in Illinois and Indiana ducking debates this year too. Maybe this is another example of how being Republican just ain’t a good thing this election year.
Local liberal blogger extraordinaire, Dan Chmielewski asked a very good question of the OC Register at the Liberal OC.
Ever since Robert Novak was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the OC Register has been trying out a number of hard right columnists in spite of the growing purpleness of Orange County and the paper’s readership. I’m on the record calling for them to add Paul Krugman of the New York Times as a worthy voice to the paper’s syndicated columnists.So what was the response? Steven Greenhut had this to say,
In these trying times, wouldn’t it be good to hear from someone who’s beyond bright about economics? Well, the Nobel committee this morning validated my rationale for my pitch to the Register by naming Krugam the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics.
Steven Greenhut, on October 13th, 2008 at 9:17 am Said:Is it just me, or does anyone else think there is a huge difference between a Newspaper opinion section and a local blog? Yes?
Although I am not the columns editor, I might point out that we have a free-market editorial page, so we’re not likely to run a lefty economist. Our running Krugman would be similar to you — who operates a Democratic blog — to start including bloggers who were Republican partisans.
No wonder no one wants to run as a Democratic Candidate in this County. It's just so frustrating for local Candidates that have a D on the ballot. Gary chose to run this race because no one else was going to. He's a community college teacher, musician and father but he also knew that he couldn't stand the idea of people not having a choice when entering their voting booths or opening their absentee ballots.
So we keep going, doing what we can when can. I work full time as well and we are not financially well off. Many came to our aid when we needed to raise money for Gary's ballot statement but we are a spot again since the Republican Candidate did not put up her own Ballot Statement. That means we out the Registrar of Voters at least another $7,400. That's about 40% of what we've managed to raise so far. The Republican Candidate has at least $200,000 on hand and will probably not spend another dime as many have already declared her the victor in the election.
So here I am, asking again for your help. I've dedicated myself to a handful of projects to work for, one of them being our Five year old daughter, who is the most important of these things in our life right now, the other is getting Proposition 8 defeated, saving some dogs from being put to sleep by fostering and adopting dogs taken from high kill shelters and raising money for Gary's election.
So here is Emma and Charlotte:
if you have no desire to donate to Gary Pritchard's campaign, donate to this rescue to help save more dogs from being euthanized.
and here is where you can donate to Non On Prop 8 if you decided you don't want to help Gary Pritchard. Do something if you haven't yet.
But if you do want to help Gary, you can donate at his Act Blue site or email me and I will be happy to send you a self addressed donation envelope.
and our other woozle, Kona. A sweet and much older Dachshund mix.
Obama (D) 48%
McCain (R) 48%
Obama (D) 49%
McCain (R) 47%
Obama (D) 50%
McCain (R) 47%
Obama (D) 50%
McCain (R) 47%
Obama (D) 51%
McCain (R) 46%
The bad news: North Carolina is a tie.
The good news: North Carolina is a tie! And better yet, Obama now leads in Missouri! If Obama wins The Show-Me State, this election is OVER. Same goes for Ohio, where Ras for the first time shows Obama ahead. And finally, Obama's leads in both Virginia & Florida seem to be stabilizing.
Conclusion: This map being shown by Rasmussen is simply remarkable! If this holds up, Obama wins hands down. Let's make sure this dream becomes reality! :-)
Yesterday, I finally had a chance to walk in my own community and talk about the election here in California. Yes, believe it or not, we have competitive races here! One of them happens to be in the 46th Congressional District, where the always wonderful Debbie Cook is running. That's why I was more than happy to go down a few streets from my house to walk the neighborhood and help Debbie win!
Let me tell you how that went.
When I first saw a "McCain-Palin" yard sign in the neighborhood, I had some concern. I know this area is a little more Republican leaning than my neighborhood on the other side of the park, so I just braced myself for the worst. I walked by the McCain house to the first house on my list.
And what did I discover?
I found a house full of Democrats who were delighted to see me at their door! As soon as I explained to them who Debbie Cook is, why she's running, and how we can send her to Congress, they were immediately on board. My first house was a success, but would it be a good omen of what was to come?
I then found a Republican who didn't want to vote at all, a Democrat who was concerned about her husband's health care (he's a veteran and now retired from his job), and an Independent who liked what Debbie Cook did to protect the Huntington coastline. I even ran into someone who was actually registering to vote when I stopped at her house! Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by all the support for Debbie Cook I found in this neighborhood!
And really, this is what we should be seeing if we want to win this and other traditionally Republican districts. Here in the 46th District, Republicans still hold a 12% registration plurality and a R+6 PVI. But fortunately, this "typical Orange County district" isn't as Republican leaning as you'd think. Democrats like Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have carried the 46th District, and Democrats can actually win here if they try!
I know. I live in Orange County. I've seen successful Democratic campaigns in action. From what I've seen of Debbie Cook's campaign, I know she can win.
So what can we do to help Debbie Cook win? Donate what you can! Give of your time if you're in Southern California! We can't miss this opportunity. Let's help Debbie Cook win so we can expand our majority! :-)
Apparently it's a dying art.
John McCain was never a maverick. He was a staunch Republican whose positions deviated from those of his party only on occasion. But the one thing he had going for him was honesty and sincerity. He told the country what he believed and why he believed it, firmly and unapologetically. He stood up for his beliefs even if they were unpopular. He defended his principles. But somewhere along the line John McCain gave up. He sacrificed his principles, he surrendered to the sordid tactics of his party, the tactics he once despised and vocally denounced. To fully understand the magnitude of his fall, one must look back -- a glance at the McCain of a month ago, really, is sufficient to understand the duplicity of his statements and positions, but the differences between the McCain of 2000 and the McCain of 2008 are staggering. A brief list compiled by blogger Alex Valentine shows the stark contrast between the two McCains:
John McCain 2000Since his 2008 campaign began, John McCain has "flip-flopped" on the issues no less than 100 times. But it isn't just his stance on the issues which has changed, it's his entire demeanor. The McCain of 2000 would be ashamed of the campaign his current incarnation is running. From the man who once said negative attack ads are indicative of a lack of vision...
- Generally told it to you straight, spoke freely with the press, and avoided being handled by spin doctors.
- Refused to campaign based on his Vietnam experience, barely mentioned it, and discouraged discussion of it during interviews.
- Despised the hatred and intolerance pushed by the religious right.
- Fought for getting big money out of politics
- Despised soft money and lobbyists
- A True friend of the environment, pushed for global warming efforts and was against expanded drilling.
- While not a pacifist, he was generally anti-war, and discouraged nation building.
John McCain 2008
- Completely filtered and scripted, taking a page from the Rove playbook.
- Milks his Vietnam experience in an intolerable fashion, pushing his bio, ala John Kerry.
- Courts the religious right fanatics with his VP pick, panders to people like Falwell.
- Gladly influenced by big donors and corporations.
- Has a campaign run by lobbyists
- Pushes oil drilling, and barely mentions a peep about environmental issues.
- Pushes war and fear, and continues to defend his foolish pro Iraq war position.
... we now see vicious attacks not only in his ads, but in his stump speeches. This is a man who once believed in fairness and positive campaigning -- who decried the dirty tactics employed by his party, the tactics which helped destroy his chances at the nomination eight years ago. John McCain and his campaign promised Americans a clean race, one which remained focused on the issues instead of the usual sideshows we see in national politics. His campaign released a memo to the press back in March, vowing that John McCain and the campaign itself would remain respectful:
To: Campaign LeadershipJohn McCain has not delivered on his promise. The DNC has released a web ad contrasting McCain's statements about negative campaigning in 2000 with the caustic tenor of his 2008 campaign.
From: Rick Davis
Subject: McCain Message
John McCain is now the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. It is critical, as we prepare to face off with whomever the Democrats select as their nominee, that we all follow John's lead and run a respectful campaign focused on the issues and values that are important to the American people.
Throughout the primary election we saw John McCain reject the type of politics that degrade our civics, and this will not change as he prepares to run head-to-head against the Democratic nominee.
- from Real Clear Politics
We are currently bearing witness to what is perhaps the sleaziest campaign in American history. From asserting that Senator Barack Obama has been playing the race card to releasing virulent ads accusing Obama of palling around with terrorists (I refuse to embed the video, but you can watch it HERE), McCain has taken presidential politics to a new low. So much for rejecting the type of politics that degrade our civics. But Obama saw it coming.
He anticipated the use of the politics of fear. It's unfortunate that the GOP resorts to such despicable tactics to win elections, but it's a real pity to see this sort of behavior coming from McCain, a man who once so staunchly opposed it.
The principled John McCain of 2000 stood against his party's platform and refused to condemn Roe v. Wade because he understood that overturning it wouldn't stop abortion, but rather, would endanger the health of American women who would be forced to seek out and endure illegal abortion procedures.
"I'd love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."He ripped George W. Bush over abortion in a 2000 Republican primary debate.
- John McCain, 1999
That was straight talk (my friends). Surely he hasn't forgotten. He just doesn't care anymore. He is willing to imperil the lives of untold numbers of women in order to toe the party line -- a line he once refused to cross. The John McCain of 2000 would be ashamed.
There was a time when John McCain stood up for what he believed in -- when he stood against torture, not only because it's fundamentally wrong, but because he believed in American values and in this country's reputation. In 2005, he defended his amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would bar U.S. officials from inflicting "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment" on detainees, asserting, "It's not about who they are. It's about who we are." Three years later, on the floor of the Senate, he voted against the Intelligence Authorization Bill, which contained a provision from Senator Feinstein, establishing a single interrogation standard across government and banning waterboarding. In the midst of the primaries and under the watchful eye of the conservatives he was attempting to woo, he abandoned his principles and followed George W. Bush's lead.
The John McCain of 2000 condemned intolerance in all its forms. In South Carolina on January 9th, 2000, he condemned the symbolism of the confederate flag, saying, "The confederate flag is offensive in many, many ways, as we all know. It's a symbol of racism and slavery." In April of that year, he called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from atop the South Carolina Statehouse and repented his failure to take a stronger stance on the issue during the Republican primary, admitting that he "deserved" the criticism of his detractors.
"My ancestors fought for the Confederacy ... but I don't believe their service, however distinguished, needs to be commemorated in a way that offends, deeply hurts, people whose ancestors were once denied their freedom by my ancestors."He likewise accused Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and the Republican establishment itself of harming GOP ideals. He stood up for the policies and platforms he believed in, while condemning the nefarious tactics employed by many agents of the Right.
- John McCain, April 2000
"The political tactics of division and slander are not our values, they are... They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country. Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right."
- John McCain, February 28, 2000
Preparing for his his next presidential run, he flipped-flopped in 2006, telling Tim Russert that Falwell was no longer an agent of intolerance.
In 2008 he sought and embraced the endorsement of hate-monger John Hagee, who contended, among other things, that Catholics were responsible for the Holocaust. McCain's blind ambition didn't pay off. Under fire from the MSM, he was forced to backtrack and flip-flop yet again, admitting that it was "a mistake to solicit and accept [Hagee's] endorsement."
And just as he embraced the extreme religious Right he once condemned, he has likewise embraced the war on science. Where he once largely supported embryonic stem cell research, he now stands opposed. From Wired Science:
Republican presidential nominee John McCain would criminalize a promising branch of stem cell research, according to a statement issued by the candidate's campaign. Though such legislation would probably not survive Congress, he might extend President Bush's much-criticized limitation of embryonic stem cell research.One is left wondering when his running mate will convince him to attempt to outlaw the teaching of evolution in our classrooms.
[. . .]
McCain also took a harder line than the Bush administration with somatic cell nuclear transfer, better known as therapeutic cloning -- a cutting-edge process that could some day provide personalized embryonic stem cell therapies. Though currently legal, McCain would outlaw the technique.
The new stance is an abrupt reversal for the Arizona senator. As recently as 2007, McCain appeared to favor embryonic stem cell research more strongly than most of the Republican party, especially its most religiously conservative members. "I believe that we need to fund this," he said during a presidential candidates' debate in May 2007.
The John McCain of 2000 stood opposed to offshore drilling because he cared about the environment and recognized that America is better served by seeking alternative forms of energy.
During his last run for the presidency, in 1999, McCain supported the drilling moratorium, and he scolded the "special interests in Washington" that sought offshore drilling leases. Yesterday, he announced that those very same "moratoria should be lifted" and proposed incentives for the states "in the form of tangible financial rewards, if the states decide to lift those moratoriums."He in fact maintained his opposition to offshore drilling until June of 2008:
- Dana Milbank, Washington Post
"[W]ith those resources, which would take years to develop, you would only postpone or temporarily relieve our dependency on fossil fuels. . . . We are going to have to go to alternative energy, and the exploitation of existing reserves of oil, natural gas, even coal, and we can develop clean coal technology, are all great things. But we also have to devote our efforts, in my view, to alternative energy sources, which is the ultimate answer to our long-term energy needs, and we need it sooner rather than later."
- John McCain, June 2008
Within three weeks, he'd reversed his position in one of the most blatant flip-flops of his campaign.
"I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use . . . as a matter of fairness to the American people, and a matter of duty for our government, we must deal with the here and now, and assure affordable fuel for America by increasing domestic production."- John McCain, June 2008The John McCain of 2000 stood up for the middle and lower classes. He stood against his party and their relentless attempts to pass tax cuts on to the wealthiest Americans. McCain has always believed in tax cuts, but it's only recently that he's decided they should go to the wealthy. He once understood the oppressive financial burdens faced by much of the country and sought to give relief to the people who needed it most. In their noble quest to sabotage their own nominee, Human Events has collected a list of McCain's "top ten" arguments against tax cuts. Bitter as they are, they unearthed several notable quotes, among them:
"I don't think the governor's tax cut is too big--it's just misplaced. Sixty percent of the benefits from his tax cuts go to the wealthiest 10% of Americans--and that's not the kind of tax relief that Americans need. ... Gov. Bush wants to spend the entire surplus on tax cuts. I don't believe the wealthiest 10% of Americans should get 60% of the tax breaks. I think the lowest 10% should get the breaks. ...Remarkably, the McCain of 2008 has flopped so hard that he's accomplished the unthinkable: He's come up with a tax plan worse than Shrub's.
"I'm not giving tax cuts for the rich."
--Discussion with media, reported in "Bush, McCain Snip Over Tax Cut Plans," Los Angeles Times, and "GOP Rivals Bicker on Taxes," Washington Post, Jan. 5, 2000.
"There's one big difference between me and the others--I won't take every last dime of the surplus and spend it on tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy. I'll use the bulk of the surplus to secure Social Security far into the future to keep our promise to the greatest generation."
--McCain campaign commercial, January 2000.
"Mr. President, the principle that guides my judgment of a tax reconciliation bill is tax relief for those who need it the most--lower- and middle-income working families. I am in favor of a tax cut, but a responsible one that provides significant tax relief for lower- and middle-income families. And I commend Sen. Grassley for moving in that direction. But I am concerned that debt will overwhelm many American households. That is why tax relief should be targeted to middle-income Americans. The more fortunate among us have less concern about debt. It is the parents struggling to make ends meet who are most in need of tax relief.
--Senate floor statement during debate over President Bush's tax relief package, May 21, 2001.
Under George Bush, 31 percent of the tax cuts were given to the wealthiest one percent of Americans, but under McCain's new plan, 58 percent of tax cuts will go to the wealthiest one percent. He has embraced the failed policies of the Bush administration and taken them a step further.
Perhaps one of his most obvious and well known reversals is his flip-flop on immigration. Throughout 2005, McCain worked to develop a comprehensive immigration reform bill with other members of Congress (including Senators Kennedy and Obama), and as recently as 2006, on the Senate floor, he made a statement calling for immigration reform, expressing the need for a policy which treats immigrants as human beings, and elucidating some of the the economic contributions of immigrants.
Now only two years later, his platform has changed from immigration reform to border security, claiming that our borders must be secured before we can institute comprehensive immigration reforms (he has more recently flipped on the sorts of reforms he plans to implement). He has forgotten -- or chosen to ignore -- the humanity of our immigrants, and has forsaken the compassion which spurred him to reach across the aisle in the first place. During a debate at the Reagan Library during the Republican primaries, he admitted that he wouldn't sign his own immigration bill.
- "However, I do not believe the Senate should or will pass an "enforcement only" bill. Our experiences with our current immigration system have proven that outdated or unrealistic laws will never be fully enforceable, regardless of every conceivable border security improvement we make."
- "We need to establish a temporary worker program that permits workers from other countries - to the extent they are needed - to fill jobs that would otherwise go unfilled."
- "As long as this situation exists, without a legal path for essential workers to enter the country, we will have desperate people illegally crossing our borders and living in the shadows of our towns, cities and rural communities. That is not acceptable, particularly when we are fighting the war on terror. The vast majority of individuals attempting to cross our borders do not intend to harm our country; they are coming to meet our demand for labor and to earn money to feed their families."
- "That is why any immigration legislation that passes Congress must establish a legal channel for workers to enter the United States after they have passed background checks and have secured employment."
- John McCain, 2006 (excerpts taken from a speech transcribed at mccain.senate.gov)
And in an attempt to portray Obama as reckless on foreign policy, he has recently switched positions on the search for Osama bin-Laden. During the Republican debate at the Reagan Library in May of 2007, McCain vowed to hunt down bin-Laden, promising, "We will bring him to justice. I will follow him to the gates of hell." Interestingly, McCain is likely to run into a catch-22 of sorts in the event that the gates of hell are to be found somewhere in Pakistan. Just over a year after vowing to pursue bin-Laden to those gates, he told Larry King that he wouldn't be chasing him into Pakistan. After McCain repeatedly promised to take no action inside Pakistan, King asked him what he would do as president if he discovered that bin-Laden was hiding within its borders. McCain responded, "Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why, because Pakistan is a sovereign nation.... But I want to assure you I will get Osama bin Laden as president of the United States and I will bring him to justice no matter what it takes."
There seems to be something of a contradiction here. McCain's new position comes in response to Sen. Obama's statement that he will launch limited attacks within Pakistan if actionable intelligence affirms the presence of high-value terrorist targets. This is a policy which has been implemented in the past, and which has resulted in the capture of several al Qaeda leaders. McCain's intent is to draw a distinction between himself and his opponent and to paint Obama as careless of the sovereignty of foreign nations: an untenable position for a man who seems more than a little intrigued by the prospect of attacking Iran, which -- unless I'm much mistaken -- is currently a sovereign nation.
McCain's flip-flops on the economy are dizzying. For well over two decades, McCain stood up for the policies which have helped create the current financial crisis. He claims that he's always been for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation, but in the wake of the nation's economic woes, he has backflipped on a number of issues, from the AIG bailout to deregulation. From ABC:
"In the mid 1990s, he supported a measure to ban all new government regulations. McCain supported legislation a decade ago that broke down the firewalls between commercial and investment banks and insurance companies -- the very rules companies like AIG exploited to get in the current mess. And as recently as March of this year, after the collapse of Bear Stearns, McCain was all for deregulating Wall Street." - David WrightWe all know McCain has little to no understanding of the American economy, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to determine whether he has any idea what he believes anymore. His fundamental lack of understanding explains 25 years of pushing for deregulation, but only ambition explains his inability to pick a position and stick with it. For decades McCain's views and policies on the economy have been distorted, wrong, and spawned from a lack of comprehension, but at least he was consistent -- at least he stood up for them. At least he knew what he believed.
[. . .]
"When deregulation was the wave through Washington, he surfed that wave. Now it's not, and the populist inside John McCain is out. . . . It's a conversion of convenience, some will say." - George Will
In trying to flip -- and flop -- his way to the White House, John McCain has compromised his values and his principles. The Straight Talk Express derailed somewhere along the way, and at the end of the day, when he has lost the election and his reputation lies in shambles, he will have no one to blame but himself.
John McCain has forgotten how to put his country first. He has forgotten how to protect and serve the American people. He has forgotten what he stood for, forgotten the bravery required to stand up to his party -- the bravery required to do the right thing in the face of scorn and adversity and political peril.
John McCain has forgotten himself.