You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Polls’ category.

Three weeks after his election as president, the public’s confidence in Barack Obama remains “remarkably consistent” and “doesn’t yet appear to be have been affected, positively or negatively, by news coverage of the president-elect’s staff and Cabinet appointments, or by reports of his economic and other policy plans,” Gallup reports this morning.

The polling firm’s daily tracking poll now shows 65% of those surveyed say they’re confident in the Democratic president-elect’s ability to be a good president. The figure has stayed between 63% and 67% since Election Day. Margin of error: +/- 3 percentage points.

obama_confidence

Source: USA Today

Advertisements

11-20-2008-3-02-03-pm

TIME

A new poll out Thursday paints a bleak picture for the GOP.

A new poll out Thursday paints a bleak picture for the GOP.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Republican Party has hit a new low.

 

Just 34 percent of Americans in a Gallup Poll released Thursday say they have a favorable view of the party, down 40 percent from a month ago, before the election.

What’s worse: 61 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party.

According to Gallup, that unfavorable rating is the highest the polling organization has recorded for the GOP since the measure was established in 1992.

The poll of national adults was conducted on November 13-16 with a three percent margin of error.

The numbers are slightly up from a CNN poll released last week that indicated a 54 percent unfavorable rating for Republicans. Only 38 percent of those polled had a favorable rating for the party.

Meanwhile, Democrats continue to bask in the glow of President-elect Barack Obama’s historic victory on November 4. The Gallup poll suggests that 55 percent of Americans hold a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, with 39 percent saying they have an unfavorable view. Those numbers are mostly unchanged from a mid-October survey.

As the debate rages within GOP ranks over where to take the party, the poll might offer some guidance.

Most Republicans — 59 percent — want the party to become more conservative, according to the poll. Another 28 percent want it to remain about the same ideologically, while only 12 percent would prefer to see the Republican Party become less conservative.

Independents are split on whether the party should track left or right: 35 percent of independent voters say the GOP should become more conservative, and 35 percent say less conservative.

Source: CNNPoliticalTicker

His focused effort to target a group that had heavily favored Republicans paid off, an exit poll shows.

As he vaulted into national acclaim with his 2004 Democratic convention speech, Barack Obama directly took on the assumption that his party should cede religious voters to the Republicans.

“We worship an awesome God in the blue states,” he said, pointedly adopting words from a song familiar to churchgoers, particularly younger ones.

The four-year effort by Obama, who is Christian, to narrow the gap between Democratic and Republican support among religious voters paid off last week when he won the race for the White House.

Exit polls showed the dramatic effect: Obama won 43% of voters who said they attend church weekly, eight percentage points higher than 2004 Democratic nominee John F. Kerry. Among occasional worshipers, Obama won 57%, 11 percentage points higher than Kerry, according to the National Election Pool exit survey.

When looking at how members of different faiths voted, the movement among Catholics is striking. They sided 52% to 47% with President Bush in 2004. But this year, they went 54% to 45% for Obama. That means Obama had more support among Catholics than did Kerry, himself a Catholic, by seven percentage points.

“Obama did better than Kerry among pretty much every religious group,” said Greg Smith, a research fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life who analyzed the poll results.

Even among voters who describe themselves as born-again Christians or evangelicals, a group that tends to vote Republican, Obama improved on Kerry’s standing — although he came in a distant second to GOP nominee John McCain. Kerry had won 21% of evangelical voters; Obama won 26%.

The shift by religious voters may have resulted partly from changes in the electorate — voter participation by blacks and Latinos grew, and both groups tend to be regular churchgoers. Yet there is no doubt that secular voters were more supportive of Obama than religious ones, according to the exit poll.

The Obama campaign, however, made sure to court religious voters and took advantage of his connections to influential Christian leaders.

Nearly two years ago, when voters knew little about him, the Illinois senator stood alongside nationally known author and Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest for a televised AIDS conference. Earlier, Obama had asked Warren to review a chapter of his book “The Audacity of Hope.”

Obama again gained the attention of Christian voters in July when he pledged to expand a controversial White House program to give federal grants to churches and small community groups. The proposal, which would build on efforts by the Bush administration to direct government money to church groups, was announced in Zanesville, Ohio, a hotly contested state that Obama won on election day.

And at the Democratic National Convention in August, which held its first-ever interfaith prayer gathering, the party platform endorsed by Obama — while not backing away from its support for abortion rights — emphatically reached out to women with children who rely on programs meant to ease their struggle.

Obama’s ease in talking about his religion also helped him win over religious voters. During a presidential forum held in August at Saddleback Church, where he and McCain were interviewed separately by church leader Warren, Obama spoke about “walking humbly with our God” and quoted from the Gospel of Matthew. His acceptance speech Tuesday night echoed in parts the church-inspired speeches of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“He uses the faith language very well,” said Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown University professor of government who has studied the subject. And that, he said, inspired trust.

“How do you know whether to trust him or not?” Wilcox said. “If you are a deeply religious person, you want to see that he has a grounding. That authenticity is really important. It reassures people.”

Religion, for a time, became a thorn for Obama during the presidential race. He was harshly criticized for his association with the now-retired Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose incendiary sermons about white America caused an uproar and led Obama to part ways with his longtime pastor, and endured a viral e-mail campaign falsely asserting that he is Muslim.

But “there was a broad recognition that he was a sincerely religious man,” Wilcox said of Obama. “And I think that did come through.”

The Obama campaign reached out to evangelicals and other religious communities, aware of the opportunity to peel away some voters.

Douglas W. Kmiec, a Pepperdine law professor, caused a stir last spring when he publicly endorsed Obama. One month later, at a Catholic Mass to which he was invited, Kmiec was denounced from the pulpit and denied communion because of his endorsement.

Kmiec said that although Obama’s support for abortion rights contradicts official Catholic doctrine, his broader approach aligns well with the church’s beliefs on issues such as the economy, healthcare and the environment.

“I was attracted out of my Republican-ness to Sen. Obama’s side largely because I could hear, in the way he was articulating economic issues and social issues, the social gospel of the Catholic Church,” Kmiec said.

From September through election day, Kmiec traveled to key states including Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, meeting with groups of people at churches on Obama’s behalf. The election’s focus on the economy was “providential,” Kmiec said. Without the usual single-issue debate about abortion rights among Christian voters, the Obama campaign had the opportunity to make its case on other fronts.

“It moderated, it seemed to me, the amount of time that was devoted to these divisive conversations,” he said.

The election results returned Catholics to their historical Democratic moorings, which many had fled for the GOP during the Reagan years.

“That is opening a door that had been closed for a while,” Kmiec said. But whether it stays open may be determined by whether Obama’s actions match what he promised — and also by what larger political environment defines the 2012 presidential race.

“At some level, if he’s a good president, that will affect evangelicals and non-evangelicals, Catholics,” said Wilcox of Georgetown University. It is too soon, he said, to know whether Obama’s improvements among religious voters indicate a new alignment for Democrats, or were simply a verdict on the 2008 candidates.

“I would want to see this over time,” Wilcox said.

latimes-logo

Democratic Rep. Tom Udall won the New Mexico seat that had been held by Republican Pete Domenici, further bolstering Democratic fortunes in the Senate, wire services reported.

Udall defeated Republican Rep. Steve Pearce in the race to fill the seat left by a retiring Domenici, who served for 36 years in the Senate. According to a recent analysis of the race from the Cook Political Report, “as Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s chances of carrying the state in the presidential contest improved, Pearce’s already long odds of holding the seat for his party diminished and are now nonexistent.”

Source: WSJ

Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, the only blue states that John McCain was targeting in the final week of the campaign have gone for Barack Obama, according to the exit poll consortium tasked with calling races for the television networks and major newspapers.

The Keystone State has long been coveted by Republicans who liked to point out in the runup to today’s vote that their party had closed the gap at the presidential level in each of the last four presidential elections.

The Obama campaign has remained resolutely confident about its Pennsylvania prospects, insisting that the massive surge in Democratic voter registration — the result of a high-profile presidential primary in the state — had made it nearly impossible for McCain to win.

Should Pennsylvania and New Hampshire fall into Obama’s column, they would join Democratic strongholds Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, which have already gone for the Illinois senator. (Oklahoma and Tennessee have been called for McCain.)

As the county by county results trickle in, watch to see how big a margin Obama takes out of the city of Philadelphia as well as the four suburban counties that ring the City of Brotherly Love.

New Hampshire had long expressed a warmth for McCain, launching his presidential bid during the 2000 primary season and saving it in the 2008 campaign. But, New Hampshire was the epicenter of anti-war (and anti-Bush Administration) sentiment in 2006 and in the closing weeks of this campaign even the most ardent McCain supporters had acknowledged the state would not go there way.

With Pennsylvania and New Hampshire now seemingly off the map, McCain must run a tricky gauntlet — winning a handful of states that Bush carried in 2004 but are closely contested this time around.

Make no mistake: McCain now has almost zero margin for error.

Source: Washington Post

r-opoll-large

Even though every political and statistical indication points to an Obama victory tonight — and a healthy one at that — a certain brand of liberal paranoia persists. This is too good to be true, Democrats declare, fingers grasping at their hair. McCain is tightening the race in key states. The youth vote won’t come out.

And so it goes.

But if in fact McCain were to win this election it would be, one of the nation’s foremost pollster says, almost historically unprecedented.

“There is no reason in history to suggest [Obama won’t win],” said Frank Newport of Gallup. “All you can go by is history and compare our last polling that we have done before the election and the actual outcome in the presidential election… We have most polls showing Obama with a statistically significant lead nationally and also in these states. If he were to lose, it will be the first time since World War II something like this has happened. Now, keep in mind. It’s a small sample, less than 20 elections, but it would be very unusual, in fact, exceptional… improbable.”

Indeed, the last time that Gallup’s final poll before the election did not accurately determine the winning candidate was 1948, when they stopped polling a week before Harry Truman’s comeback victory against Thomas Dewey. Even in 1980, when Ronald Reagan staged a late comeback that turned into an electoral rout, Gallup caught glimmers of this trend just in time, showing the Gipper up three points in its last poll.

When it comes to the current election, the firm has Obama up eleven points in its final survey. But what should make Democrats more assured, said Newport, is that the Illinois Democrat has maintained a steady margin throughout the past month.

“Since September 15, Obama has been ahead in every poll we have conducted or any other polling I have seen and often by substantial margins,” he said. “It is not like it is race in which McCain was leading and we are seeing some kind of shift for Obama, it has been Obama ahead pretty dominantly.”

Moreover, other polling firms are documenting similar trends — a confluence of data that validates the larger picture.

“We are all using a measuring instrument to estimate a big population,” said Newport. “It is like we have a giant lake and we are trying to estimate the bacteria percentage. So we take a sample and test it and that is what we are doing. But yes… if you have 15 scientists and they are all showing the same thing, that does give you more assurance that the lake has some bacteria.”

There are, of course, Obama supporters who will remain unconvinced. And as evidence they could cite the polls leading up to the New Hampshire primary, which showed the Illinois Democrat in a similarly comfortable lead only to lose to Hillary Clinton by two points. Newport acknowledged that the primary fight in the Granite State gives him and others in the business pause — he has yet to find a smoking gun to explain what happened, though he hinted that massive late-stage change in voter preference moved too quickly for polls to pick up.

But that was, for better or worse, an aberration. Pressed to quantify just how big a failure for the polling industry a McCain victory would represent, he didn’t feel comfortable even following the hypothetical.

“Call me tomorrow,” he replied. “Obviously when Gallup and other scientific polling organizations do our best… and if for some reason the actual voting out there didn’t mirror, internally, what we were showing, it certainly would be a time where we would have to say, ‘What are we doing wrong?’… But we will cross that bridge if we get there. Right now, we aren’t crossing that bridge… It is improbable. But like I said, call me tomorrow.”

Source: HP

Hoping to beat the rush, voters flocked to the polls early this morning only to find parking lots already packed, turnout high and long lines already snaking around the block as scattered voting problems were reported in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

In Virginia, reported problems were widespread, according to reports gathered by the Election Protection Coalition, a cooperative effort by more than dozen voting rights groups.

Voters said they encountered broken touch-screen machines and paper jams in the scanners that are supposed to read the ballots at polling places in Richmond, Alexandria, Newport News, Chesapeake, and Vienna. Polling places in Virginia Beach were not opened at 6 a.m. when they were supposed to be.

“They harangue us to vote and then they don’t have the capacity to handle us when we show up,” said a man standing with a cane in a two-hour line in Fairfax, Va.

Virginia election officials said three polling places opened late because of what she called “human error.” In some cases, voters came in from the rain and failed to properly dry their hands before touching their ballots, fouling the optical scanning machines.

In Pittsburgh, Pa., some lines were stretching several hundred voters long by 7 a.m. In Philadelphia, lines were equally long and at one polling place on in the east side of the city several voting machines were not working because there was no extension cord available to help them reach the electrical outlet.

Despite the scattered problems, most people held on, steadfast in their passion to vote, undeterred by rain, sore feet or the long waits.

Voting experts predicted a record turnout of 130 million voters, which would be the highest percentage turnout in a century. It could shatter the previous record of 123.5 million who cast ballots four years ago. If 64 percent of registered voters make their way to the polls, as some predict, it would be the highest percentage since 1908.

Florida Secretary of State Kurt A. Browning said the 1992 record of 83 percent turnout could be surpassed in his state. Pennsylvania officials believe as many as 80 percent of the state 8.75 million votes will show up at the polls, a record.

Lines and other problems began well before Election Day.

By Monday night, Election Protection Coalition received calls about more than 700 early voters in West Creek Community Center in Kansas City, who waited more than eight hours to cast their ballots. Lines for early voters in Atlanta left people waiting for nearly ten hours.

There were also reports of underhanded tactics. Several callers from Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland reported receiving automated phone calls with incorrect polling locations. Dozens of people in Colorado and New Jersey reported not receiving confirmation of their voter registrations or absentee ballots.

Yesterday alone, the hotline received more than 30,000 calls. Most were from voters in high population and swing states, including over 2,000 calls from Florida. The most common calls by far up until Election Day have been in regard to registration problems, followed by absentee ballot issues and polling place problems, which include extremely long lines.

Note: Video the Vote is a network of citizen journalists, independent filmmakers, and media professionals documenting voter problems at the polls. We will be posting links from them throughout the day.

thecaucus75

r-obamawave-large

In 14 national polls completed over the weekend, Barack Obama surpassed the 50-percent threshold in all but one, suggesting he is within striking distance of a feat no Democrat has accomplished since Jimmy Carter in 1976: winning a majority of the vote.

The one notable and slight outlier is IBD/TIPP; it estimates Obama’s likely margin at 48 to 43 percent.

Two of those pre-election national polls, which project the undecided vote, show Obama in a particularly commanding position. Gallup reports Obama winning 55 to 44 percent, while the Pew Research Center has him winning 52 to 46 percent.

Presidential elections, of course, are not national contests. Rather, the president is selected in 50 different state elections. Here is how the final polls look in 14 of the most competitive battlegrounds.

Arizona

An Arizona State University poll (Oct. 23-26) had McCain’s lead cut within the margin of error early last week, at 46 to 44 percent. About a month earlier, the poll had McCain leading by 7 points. In the summer, McCain was leading by double-digits in the same survey.

Polls completed Oct. 28 by NBC News/Mason-Dixon and CNN/Time had McCain ahead by 4 and 7 points, respectively. However, a poll completed Friday by Research 2000 measured the race as effectively tied, with McCain on top 48 to 47 percent.

Colorado

The most recent poll, conducted by FOX News/Rasmussen on Sunday, showed Obama ahead by 4 points, 51 to 47 percent—the survey’s same margin as one week earlier. The Denver Post/Mason-Dixon poll completed Friday and Saturday shows Obama ahead by 5 points, 49 to 44.

Florida

SurveyUSA’s final poll, completed Monday night, had Obama ahead 50 to 47 percent. The latest Reuters/Zogby poll, completed Sunday, shows Obama leading 48 to 46 percent— a statistical tie, as the poll showed one week earlier. Surveys by Quinnipiac University and Public Policy Polling, completed the same day, show the same 2-point margin. But in Sunday’s FOX News/Rasmussen poll McCain was up 50 to 49 percent, also a dead heat. One week ago, the FOX poll had McCain trailing by 4 points.

Georgia

Two polls completed over the weekend, by InsiderAdvantage/Poll Position and SurveyUSA, show widely varying margins. InAdvantage/Poll Position reported a statistical tie but SurveyUSA showed McCain ahead by 7 points. Strategic Vision’s most recent survey, completed Sunday shows the margin right in between, with McCain leading 50 to 46 percent.

Indiana

Last week’s Indianapolis Star/WTHR poll showed the two candidates statistically tied, with Obama at 46 and McCain at 45. But the Zogby poll competed Sunday has McCain ahead by 5 points, 49 to 44 percent—roughly the same margin it found the week earlier. SurveyUSA’s last poll completed Oct. 28 shows the race tied, while Rasmussen pegs McCain’s lead at 3 points.

Missouri

Polls conducted since Thursday by Rasmussen, SurveyUSA and Zogby show the race tied. An Oct. 29 Politico/InsiderAdvantage poll had McCain ahead by 3 points, 50 to 47 percent.

Montana

The most recent Rasmussen (Oct. 29) and Research 2000 (Oct. 28-30) polls show McCain ahead by 4 points. A Public Policy Polling survey completed Sunday had the race effectively tied, with 48-47 tilting to Obama’s favor.

Nevada

McCain has not held a lead in Nevada since mid-September. Sunday’s Reuters/Zogby poll showed Obama ahead 51 to 43 percent. A couple days earlier, the Las Vegas Review Journal/Mason-Dixon survey (Oct. 28-29) showed Obama leading by a slimmer 4-point margin, 47 to 43 percent, the same 4-point spread as Rasmussen’s Oct. 27 poll. The Reno Gazette-Journal poll, taken Oct. 25-28, puts Obama ahead by 5 points.

New Mexico

The last two SurveyUSA polls peg McCain down by 7 points. The latest, conducted Oct. 29-31, shows Obama leading 52 to 45 percent. Rasmussen’s Oct. 28 poll also showed Obama comfortably ahead, 54 to 44 percent.

North Carolina

In the past week several polls have shown McCain with the slightest lead, though always bobbing within the margin of error. Recent surveys by Rasmussen (Nov. 2), SurveyUSA (Oct. 30-Nov. 2), and Zogby (Oct. 30-Nov. 2) place McCain ahead by 1 point. Mason-Dixon (Oct. 29-30) pegs McCain ahead by 3, while the Oct. 29 Politico/InsiderAdvantage poll showed the state split evenly at 48.

North Dakota

A recent Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll (Oct. 28-29) showed McCain ahead 47 to 46 percent. The week earlier, the same survey showed the two candidates tied. In mid September, Research 2000 showed McCain ahead by 13 points.

Ohio

Sunday’s Rasmussen poll showed the race exactly tied, at 49 percent each. SurveyUSA’s poll, also completed Sunday, has Obama ahead 48 to 46 percent–a statistical tie. Another recent poll (Oct. 31-Nov. 2), by Strategic Vision, shows McCain ahead by a similar margin, 48 to 46 percent. However surveys by Zogby, Quinnipiac and the Ohio Poll, also taken over the same period, have Obama ahead by 6 or 7 points.

Pennsylvania

No public poll has shown McCain ahead in Pennsylvania in the general election. Still, four polls completed over the weekend show Obama ahead by 6 to 8 points–with Zogby the outlier, measuring a 14-point lead for the Democrat.

Virginia

McCain has not led in a public poll in the state since September. Two polls completed over the weekend, by SurveyUSA and Rasmussen, show Obama ahead by 4 points. In the same period, Zogby shows Obama ahead by 6 while Mason-Dixon estimates the Democrat’s lead at 3.

politico-logo

One thing you could say about Karl Rove is that he is willing to face the truth ~ in this case pointing out the likely outcome of this election race.

On his website, Republican strategist Karl Rove writes:

    The final Rove & Co. electoral map of the 2008 election cycle points to a 338-200 Barack Obama electoral vote victory over John McCain tomorrow, the largest electoral margin since 1996.All remaining toss-up states have been allocated to the candidate leading in them, with Florida (27 EV) going to Obama, and Indiana (11 EV), Missouri (11 EV), North Carolina (15 EV), and North Dakota (3 EV) going to McCain.

    The two candidates are in a dead heat in Missouri and North Carolina, but they go to McCain because the most recent polls conducted over this past weekend show him narrowly ahead. Florida, too, could end up in McCain’s column since he’s benefited from recent movement in the state

    2008-11-04-mccainobamastate

Source: HP

fox-news-faux

Has Fox News become a fascist outlet for the GOP ??

The channel puts itself across as representing the views of the Heartland – and uses vicious attacks to make its point – anyone who doesn’t agree with their point of view is deemed unpatriotic. During this election they have come out with all barrels firing – wholeheartedly hashing and rehashing – any GOP/far-right talking points which they thought would take down the other guy and help their one – often without any real focus on the issues. But if they truly represent the views of the Heart of America – why then – even after all of their efforts – their candidates, Sarah Palin and John McCain are so far behind in the polls – and instead of being in a good position to win this election – the candidates they have worked tirelessly to promote – by any means – are poised to lose – short of a perfect storm which blows these pro-Obama polls in their favor? Shame on Fox News.

A Good Guy !!

A Good Guy !!

Fox News correspondent Major Garrett shot back in defense of Barack Obama against the network’s morning show’s effort to suggest that he has ignored Fox News throughout the campaign. In an internal email obtained by the Huffington Post, Garrett — who has been Fox News’ correspondent following the Obama campaign — took issue with a planned “Fox & Friends” segment about whether Obama will try to control the media, using “KICKED REPORTERS OFF PLANE, IGNORE FNC, BIDEN FL AV INTVIEW” as “examples he’s already done.”

“May I point out Obama has done 5 interviews with me and one with Chris Wallace, one with Brit Hume and one with Bill O’Reilly,” Garrett replied-all to a “Fox & Friends” producer’s email. “That’s 8 interviews. Would I like more? Yes. Would Chris Wallace? Yes. Would Brit and O’Reilly like more? Of course.”

The e-mail, which went to a significant portion of Fox News staff, continued, comparing Obama’s eight interviews with Fox News to the five Hillary Clinton gave the network.

“Just a note to add some real numbers and a grain of context,” Garrett said. “Apologies if I left out any other big interview of Obama [or] Clinton on our network.”

The planned guest, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell, did appear but the segment was retooled to discuss the media coverage of Obama’s remarks on the coal industry.

Read the full e-mail below:

—–Original Message—–

From: Garrett, Major
Sent: Sunday, November 02, 2008 9:23 PM
To: [redacted]
Subject: Re: F & F Guests, November 3, 2008

In the context of the 6:15 am B Block “IGNORE FNC” segment, may I point out Obama has done 5 interviews with me and one with Chris Wallace, one with Brit Hume and one with Bill O’Reilly. That’s 8 interviews. Would I like more? Yes. Would Chris Wallace? Yes. Would Brit and O’Reilly like more? Of course.

But it’s still 8 interviews with FNC in this campaign. By comparison, my count is the Hillary Clinton did 5 FNC interviews with FNC during the campaign: 3 with me, one with Chris Wallace and one with O’Reilly. This does not count morning round-robins done during the primaries as those tend not to have any selectivity to them.

Just a note to add some real numbers and a grain of context. Apologies if I left out any other big interview of Obama of Clinton on our network.

MG
Major Garrett
Fox News

—– Original Message —–
From: [redacted]
To: [redacted]
Sent: Sun Nov 02 19:59:31 2008
Subject: F & F Guests, November 3, 2008

FOX & FRIENDS GUESTS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2008 – 1 DAY UNTIL THE
ELECTION!
*** 5AM START!!!! ***

5:00 (A-BLOCK) COLD OPEN // QUICK TEASE

// News HEADLINES // TALKING POINTS

———————-
5:15 (B-BLOCK) – 2 STORIES ((ANCHOR))
&
JUAN WILLIAMS, POLITICAL ANALYST & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR & JAMES T.
HARRIS, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST ((BOTH GUESTS ON SET))
TOPIC: OBAMA’S NEW ATTACK ON THOSE WHO DON’T WANT HIGHER TAXES,
“SELFISHNESS”
———————-
5:22 (C-BLOCK) – 2 STORIES ((ANCHOR))

& CARRYOVER W/ JUAN & JAMES – TOPIC 2 – THE ABILITY TO LOWER TAXES
WORKED FOR IRELAND, WHY WOULDN’T IT WORK FOR US? ((BOTH GUESTS ON SET))
(
———————-
5:29 (D-BLOCK) – BUMP-IN – TBD

// News HEADLINES – INCLUDE WX // TALKING POINTS // SPORTS

PKG HOW WE GOT HERE: OBAMA ((PKG TRT: 3:22 OC: (music sting)))
———————-
5:45 (E-BLOCK) – MINI NEWS ((ANCHOR))

&
PKG HOW WE GOT HERE: MCCAIN ((PKG 3:20: , OC: (music sting)))
———————-
5:52 (F-BLOCK) – JOHN FUND – TOPIC – VOTING ISSUES – EARLY VOTING – IS
IT A GOOD THING? OR IS IT CREATING MORE PROBLEMS? ((NY STUDIO))
====================================================================
5:59 (A-BLOCK) COLD OPEN // QUICK TEASE

// News HEADLINES // TALKING POINTS

———————-
6:15 (B-BLOCK) – 2 STORIES ((ANCHOR))

& BRENT BOZELL- WILL OBAMA TRY TO CONTROL THE MEDIA? EXAMPLES HE’S
ALREADY DONE- KICKED REPORTERS OFF PLANE, IGNORE FNC, BIDEN FL AV
INTVIEW, ((DC BUREAU))
———————-
6:22 (C-BLOCK) – POP UP POLITICS ((ANCHOR))

& CARRYOVER (MUST CARRY OVER BRENT BOZELL) ((DC BUREAU))
>> BDAY IN TEASE

———————-
6:29 (D-BLOCK) – BUMP-IN – TBD

// News HEADLINES – INCLUDE WX // TALKING POINTS // SPORTS

6D – RICK BURGESS & BUBBA BUSSEY: RADIO HOSTS “RICK & BUBBA SHOW” LIVE
FROM THEIR STUDIO– WHAT ARE THEY HEARING? – INCL OBAMA’S “SELFISHNESS”
SOT ((BIRMINGHAM))

———————-
6:45 (E-BLOCK) – MINI NEWS ((ANCHOR))
&
DAVID FREDOSSO – TOPIC: THE CHICAGO MACHINE – POLITICS OBAMA IS USED TO
VS POLITICS OF WASHINGTON
((DC BUREAU))
———————-
6:52 (F-BLOCK) – PETER JOHNSON JR – TOPIC – THE CANDIDATES ON HEALTH
CARE ((ON SET))

====================================================================
6:59 (A-BLOCK) COLD OPEN // QUICK TEASE

// News HEADLINES – INCLUDE WX // TALKING POINTS

———————-
7:15 (B-BLOCK) – MITT ROMNEY – TOPIC – NEWS OF THE DAY ((TOLEDO))
POOL SCHEDULE
6:30 NBC pretape
6:40 ABC pretape
6:54 CNN live
7:05 CBS live
7:15 Fox live
7:35 MSNBC live

———————-
7:22 (C-BLOCK) – GERALDINE FERRARO, FORMER DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL
NOMINEE & & RICH LOWRY EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW TOPIC –

———————-
7:29 (D-BLOCK) BUMP IN – TBD

// News HEADLINES – INCLUDE WX & SPORTS // TALKING POINTS

7D – SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, (D-MO) NATIONAL CO-CHAIR, OBAMA CAMPAIGN
TOPIC – NEWS OF THE DAY ((KANSAS CITY, MO))

———————-
7:45 (E-BLOCK) – THIS DAY IN HISTORY ((ANCHOR))

& STEPHEN MOORE, WSJ -SENIOR ECONOMIC WRITER – TOPIC: HOW IRELAND’S TAX
CUTS HELPED THEIR ECONOMY ((DC BUREAU))
———————-
7:52 (F-BLOCK) – PETER JOHNSON JR – VOTER FRAUD – THINGS THAT CAN GO
WRONG DURING VOTING, OR ON ELEX DAY (BASED ON TIME MAG ARTICLE) ((ON
SET))

====================================================================
7:59 (A-BLOCK) // COLD OPEN // QUICK TEASE

// News HEADLINES – INCLUDE WX // TALKING POINTS
8A – KARL ROVE, FORMER CHIEF POLITICAL STRATEGIST TO PRESIDENT BUSH –
TOPIC PRE-ELECTION POLLS – IS THE RACE TIGHTENING? ((IN STUDIO))
———————-

8:15 (B-BLOCK) – JOHN BOLTON, FORMER US AMBASSADOR TO THE UN – THE EARLY
TESTS FROM ABROAD ((DALLAS BUREAU))
———————-
8:22 (C-BLOCK) – MINI NEWS

& – JOE THE PLUMBER – TOPIC -PLUNDERING THE PLUMBER’S RECORDS (HER
COLUMN FROM 10/31) – WASH POST ARTICLE TODAY “The Wurzelbacher Effect” –
ANOTHER MEDIA ATTACK ON JOE. ((ON SET))

———————-
8:29 (D-BLOCK) – BUMP IN – TBD

// News HEADLINES – INCLUDE WX // TALKING POINTS // SPORTS
>> PULL SOT FROM JOE’S 8C INTV?
MICHELLE MALKIN – MICHELLEMALKIN.COM – TOPIC -PLUNDERING THE PLUMBER’S
RECORDS (HER COLUMN FROM 10/31) – WASH POST ARTICLE SUNDAY “THE
WURZELBACHER EFFECT” – ANOTHER MEDIA ATTACK ON JOE. ((DENVER BUREAU))

& ———————-

8:45 (E-BLOCK) – LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER – FMR SECY OF STATE UNDER GEORGE
H.W. BUSH, ALSO SERVED UNDER NIXON, REAGAN & CARTER ADMINISTRATIONS AND
IS A MCCAIN SUPPORTER ((CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA)) – WHICH CANDIDATE HAS
BETTER FOREIGN POLICY EXPERIENCE?

———————-
8:52 (F-BLOCK) – DAN GAINOR, BUSINESS & MEDIA INSTITUTE. TOPIC: AMERICA
2012: FACTS ABOUT WHAT THE NEXT PRESIDENT’S FIRST TERM WILL DO TO
ENERGY, HEALTH CARE AND YOUR WALLET VS WHAT THE MEDIA HAS TOLD YOU
((DC BUREAU))

———————-
8:58 (G-BLOCK) – GOODBYE

**POST TAPE**
MOTHER OF ANCHORMAN ANNE PRESSLY ((ON SET))
========================================================================
====
REMOTES:

JIM ANGLE, UNSURE ABOUT STARTING TIME

STEVE BROWN FROM OHIO, STARTING AT 7AM

PETER BARNES ON THE ELECTION

Source: HP

CNN

 

 

Talk about running up the score. Florida now looms as the Democratic firewall on Election Day. Thanks to the disproportionate effect of the economic crisis on the Sunshine State, Republicans are in danger of losing the one state that could block any chances for an Electoral College victory.

I firmly believe that Florida is the most representative of the nation as a whole. Presidents are more successful if they win Florida. I am impressed and moved that Barack Obama seems to understand Florida’s significance — for winning and for governing.

There is perhaps no better indicator for the outcome of this presidential election than how Obama is pinning down John McCain in Florida. A few facts, courtesy of the Arizona Republic:

  • Six of Florida’s metropolitan areas ranked in the nation’s 20 worst for foreclosures in the second quarter. Broward and Miami-Dade counties had 10,000 foreclosures last month alone.
  • In 2004, Democrat John Kerry had 14 offices and about 100 paid staffers in Florida. This year, Obama has 60 offices and about 500 paid staffers.
  • From May to September, McCain led in 25 of the 41 polls taken in Florida, with four ties. But since October, Obama has led in 11 of the 14 Florida polls, with seven of them outside the margin of error.
  • From Oct. 6 to Sunday, McCain ran 5,702 TV ads in Florida’s largest markets, according to Nielsen Media Research. In the same period, Obama ran 18,909 TV ads.
  • As he has in most states, Obama has outraised McCain in campaign contributions in Florida. But the $3 million margin, $17 million to $14 million, is among the smallest in the swing states.
  • Florida has voted for a Democrat only once since 1980. President George W. Bush won the state by 381,000 votes four years ago.
  • For decades, Democrats have led in voter registrations in Florida. This year, they have 650,000 more registered voters than Republicans do. That margin is nearly double the margin the party had in the 2000 and 2004 elections.
  • About a quarter of all the state’s voters are in southeastern Florida, in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. Democrats, who have a nearly 600,000-voter edge there, must win big to offset the many Republican-leaning counties elsewhere.
  • Of the 1.2 million voters who have voted early so far, 640,000 of them are registered Democrats, compared with 361,000 registered Republicans. Historically, the GOP has led in early and absentee voting.

Source: CQPolitics

Obama’s White Burden in Virginia

Source: CQ Politics

Just days after Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman reached an agreement in a lawsuit filed against him for allegedly illegally purging voters from the state’s voter roll, Coffman purged an additional 146 voter records from the list.

According to the Denver Post a federal judge angrily ordered Coffman Friday afternoon to stop purging names from the statewide voter registration list. U.S. District Court Judge John Kane said if Coffman didn’t stop the purges “he’ll be listening to me personally.”

Coffman was sued by Common Cause of Colorado and two other groups who claimed the state violated the National Voter Registration Act by illegally purging some 20,000 voters from its registration list within 90 days of the general election. The plaintiffs wanted a preliminary injunction that would reinstate the purged voters and prevent the state from purging anyone else before the election.

The NVRA prohibits states from purging an already-registered voter from a list during that timeframe unless a voter has died or been declared unfit to vote or notifies officials that he has moved out of state.

Aside from those categories, and outside of the 90-day-timeframe, election officials must notify voters before they remove them from the voter list. Voters whose names are matched to death or convicted felon lists can be removed without notice. But voters who are suspected of having moved must be sent a notification that they may be dropped from the list. Even then, a state cannot purge the voter from the list until the voter fails to vote in two consecutive federal elections.

Coffman maintained that he followed the law for purging the names of convicted felons and people who died, moved, or had duplicate records on the list. He also said only duplicate records had been purged during the 90-day period.

But Linda Townsend Johnson and her husband, James Edward Johnson, testified at a hearing that they were removed erroneously within the 90-day period. After moving to Colorado in May and registering to vote, they had received confirmation of their registration as well as absentee ballots in the mail. But the state removed them from the voter list after two people signed voter registration applications in their names in September, using a different address.

When the county clerk’s office sent mail to the address registered by the two people in September, it was returned. Officials then removed the Johnsons from the voter roll, in violation of the NVRA.

On Wednesday night, shortly before U.S. District Judge John Kane was to rule on the case, Coffman and the plaintiffs reached an agreement that would allow all of the voters whose names had been removed from the list since May 14 to cast provisional ballots in the election. They would be presumed to be eligible to vote and would have their ballot counted by default unless there was “a showing by clear and convincing evidence that a voter is not eligible.”

The secretary of state also agreed to compile a complete list of every voter removed from the role since May 14 and provide it to county clerks and the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Coffman said the settlement agreement didn’t require him to stop purging voter names.

He said the new purges were duplications or voters who had moved out of state or died. Half a dozen names were purged because the voter had withdrawn his registration application, was a convicted felon or wasn’t a U.S. citizen, implying that all of the 146 purges were legal cancellations under the NVRA. Nonetheless, Coffman agreed to comply with the judge’s order.

“My office and the county clerks were in full compliance with the judge’s original order,” Coffman said in a statement. “As required after today’s court order by Judge Kane, I’m instructing the county clerks to reinstate the registrations cancelled since 9 p.m. Wednesday evening.”

Source: Wired

The big worry is that the Republicans will attempt to steal this election. By cheating to get in George Bush – we get a lower quality candidate – or more in this election – it’s the best person to lead the country in these economic times. McCain’s view is backward looking, at best he would have made a better president back in 2000, but George W/Rove dirty tricks sealed his fate. In this election he has a person as his VP, who has been deemed unqualified to hold higher office, by the majority voting public. To steal the election – would send the wrong message to the world and put America on a course, which it may not recover from for some time. John McCain has surrounded himself with lobbyists, all lobbyist can’t be bad, but it seems that his focus will be on the interests of these lobbyist over the interests of the average American. These include oil lobbyist, of which he plans to give EXXON Mobil a tax credit – although they made record profits – over giving the poorest workers, and the middle class a tax break. The polls have indicated that people have selected Obama as the best person to steer the county on a new path, while giving high priority to the the interests of the average person who wishes to do well in America. The Republicans propped on the belief that their belief in God/ gives them priority over all others, even those believing in the same God, that this gives them the right to cheat, steal, lie, smear, deceive and manipulate to win an election, by any means, disenfranchising those honest voters, and making a mockery out of the democratic system. Republicans, don’t need to steal this election, what they need, is to steal away and rethink what it means to be Republican – not the racist, hateful, bigoted bag of tricks they have been promoting, not the war mongering blinded by addiction to oil and obtaining the next fix by military means strategy, but a meaningful this is who we are, this is how we want to present ourselves and here’s what we hope to achieve or how we think we might do it better. Alternatively maybe they should select who among them would like to go to prison – for their larger supremacist goal.    

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Barack Obama’s campaign said Democratic voters were piling up imposing early voting totals in battleground states, warning that John McCain must win big on election day on Tuesday to catch up.

“The die is being cast as we speak,” Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe said in a conference call with reporters, saying the Democrat was running strong in swing states Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and others.

“So Senator McCain, on election day is going to have to not just carry the day but carry it convincingly,” Plouffe said.

Plouffe also said that the campaign would expand its advertising in the frenetic final days of the campaign into Republican McCain’s home state of Arizona, following polls which suggest the race had tightened there.

The campaign would also take out advertising spots over the final weekend in normally Republican states like Georgia, after being encouraged by early voting figures and North Dakota, he said.

Plouffe said that in the crucial swing-state of Florida, Democrats had built a 200,000 strong gap over McCain after early and absentee voting — reversing the trend from 2004 when President George W. Bush beat John Kerry in the state.

“In 2008, as of last night, we had just about a 200,000 vote edge over the Republicans, which is, obviously, a big change from 2004,” Plouffe said.

Republicans went into election day that year with an edge of around 40,000 votes.

In the western swing state of Nevada, 43 percent of Democrats who voted early were either new voters or sporadic voters — a prized demographic as campaigns seek an edge in close fought states, Plouffe said.

In North Carolina, Plouffe said, 19 percent of Democrats who voted early had never voted in a general election before, bolstering Obama’s hopes of bringing large numbers of new voters into the process.

“We very much like what we’re seeing in early vote. And obviously, in states like Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina.”

The McCain campaign scheduled its own conference call later on Friday to address the state of the race, four days before election day.

“The pundits have written us off much as they have done before, but we are closing my friends, and we are going to win Ohio,” McCain said in the crucial midwestern battleground state on Friday.

“We’re a few points down … but we’re coming back strong.”

Source: Raw Story

Newly obtained computer schematics provide further detail of how electronic voting data was routed during the 2004 election from Ohio’s Secretary of State’s office through a partisan Tennessee web hosting company.

A network security expert with high-level US government clearances, who is also a former McCain delegate, says the documents – server schematics which trace the architecture created for Ohio’s then-Republican Secretary of State and state election chief Kenneth Blackwell – raise troubling questions about the security of electronic voting and the integrity of the 2004 presidential election results.

The flow chart shows how voting information was transferred from Ohio to SmarTech Inc., a Chattanooga Tennessee IT company known for its close association with the Republican Party, before the 2004 election results were displayed online.

Information technology expert Stephen Spoonamore believes this architecture could have made possible a KingPin or “Man in the Middle” (MIM) attack — a well-defined criminal methodology in which a computer is inserted into the network of a bank or credit card processor to intercept and modify transactions before they reach a central computer.

In an affidavit filed in September, Spoonamore asserted that “any time all information is directed to a single computer for consolidation, it is possible… that single computer will exploit the information for some purpose. … In the case of Ohio 2004, the only purpose I can conceive for sending all county vote tabulations to a GOP managed Man-in-the-Middle site in Chattanooga before sending the results onward to the Sec. of State, would be to hack the vote at the MIM.”

Not everyone agrees. RAW STORY also sent the schematics to computer science professor David L. Dill, a longtime critic of electronic voting machines. In an email message, Dill said he’s skeptical that an attack of the sort described by Spoonamore could have been carried out undetected.

“It seems that the major concern is whether routing election results through a third-party server would allow that third party to change the reported election results,” Dill wrote. “These diagrams haven’t answered my basic question about that idea. The individual counties know the counts that they transmitted to the state. If those results were altered by the state or a middleman, I would think that many people in many counties would know the actual numbers and would raise an alarm.”

Spoonamore has now filed a fresh affidavit (pdf), in regard to a case involving alleged Ohio vote tampering, which asserts that the schematics support a “Man in the Middle” attack having been implemented in Ohio in 2004. Ohio provided the crucial Electoral College votes to secure President George W. Bush’s reelection.

“The computer system at SmartTech had the correct placement, connectivity, and computer experts necessary to change the election in any manner desired by the controllers of the SmartTech computers,” Spoonamore wrote in the affadavit.

“Overall, my analysis of the two Architectures provided is the following,” he added. “They are very simple systems. They are designed for ease of use during the one of two times a year they are needed for an election. They are not designed with any security or monitoring systems for negative actions including MIM or KingPin attacks. These systems as designed would not be sufficient for any banking function, credit card function, or even or many corporate email systems needing a high degree of confidence. They are systems which will work easily, but are based on a belief all users and the system itself will be trusted not to be hacked.”

He continued, “There are obviously many parties willing, with motivation, and able to hack an election for a desired outcome.”

Inconclusive Evidence?
Dill told Raw Story the schematics are inconclusive and that he continues to have questions after reading Spoonamore’s latest affadavit, although he cautioned that he himself is not an expert in Spoonamore’s specialty of network security.

“Basically, the whole thing seems highly speculative,” Dill said. “It’s important to distinguish ‘possible’ from ‘probable’ here. I don’t even know if this is possible. More details about how the tabulators worked in those particular counties, who was managing them, how the results were uploaded, whether they were all the same kind, etc. would help establish that.”

“As to ‘probable’ — I don’t think that’s been established at all, unless one starts with the presumption that the election was stolen and works backwards from there,” he added. “I don’t think Spoonamore has made the case that SmartTech and Triad ‘.. reversed the outcome of the 2004 Ohio Presidential Race.’ I don’t know that it DIDN’T happen, but, at this point, I think we need to demand better evidence.”

“Neither I nor Spoonamore have any special knowledge on exit polls or Ohio voting patterns in judicial races,” Dill continued. “I’d urge you to take a close look at what skeptical political scientists have written. It’s been a long time, but I was left with the impression that proof was lacking.”

RAW STORY has posted the schematics here for 2004 and for 2006 see below.

2006 schematics/click to enlarge

The Connally Anomaly
Spoonamore notes that on election night in 2004, he observed what he calls the “Connally anomaly,” in which eight Ohio counties that had been reporting a consistent ratio of Kerry votes to Bush votes suddenly changed at about 11 pm and began reporting results much more favorable to Bush. Election tallies in these counties, plus a few others, also showed the unlikely result of tens of thousands of voters choosing an extremely liberal judicial candidate but not voting for Kerry.

Spoonamore immediately suspected that a Man in the Middle attack had occurred but had no idea how it could have been carried out. It was not until November 2006 that the alternative media group ePluribus Media discovered that the real-time election results streamed by the office of Ohio’s Secretary of State at election.sos.state.oh.us had been hosted on SmarTech’s servers in Tennessee.

“Since early this decade, top Internet ‘gurus’ in Ohio have been coordinating web services with their GOP counterparts in Chattanooga, wiring up a major hub that in 2004, first served as a conduit for Ohio’s live election night results,” researchers at ePluribus Media wrote.

By then, SmarTech had become embroiled in the White House email scandal, during which it was discovered that accounts at rnc.com, gwb43.com, and other Republican Party domains which were hosted by SmarTech had been used by White House staff,, instead of their official government email accounts, to avoid leaving a public record of their communications. When subpoenaed by Congress, the White House said the emails had been accidentally deleted.

Remaining Questions
Dill further noted after examining the schematics, “The 11/02/04 diagram has several computer icons in the upper left for EN Results entry of various types. I don’t know how this works, but given that counties are using different software to prepare their totals, I suspect the data is entered by hand into web forms or that spreadsheets are uploaded. Such an entry method would not easily lend itself to corrupting the original data. … Even if data can be changed at the county servers, many pollworkers and possibly others know the results that were reported from their precincts, and someone would probably notice if the numbers reported by the county or state differed from those.”

Dill said it would be helpful to have more information regarding the computers used and how they were connected.

“It would be a great idea to get some more definitive information about how the computers were connected and run in those counties,” he wrote. “Messing with disks might help cover up evidence after the fact. But the first thing that had to happen was that county-level results had to be changed in such a way that no one could compare the precinct results with the announced totals.”

Spoonamore said tampering could have been accomplished without broad knowledge.

Some have said “that local County Elections officials had been instructed to fax final results to confirm them, but this action would not have mattered if the local elections boards computers were already under the control of the KingPin,” he wrote. He said the ultimate results faxed to the Secretary of State from Ohio counties could have been inserted by SmarTech, providing “a smokescreen” that would “mask the already hacked results and provide an illusion the tabulators were not reporting results over the Internet.”

Source: Raw Story

From CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Check out CNN’s Electoral Map. (CNN) — Some tough news for John McCain in his own backyard, as his home state of Arizona moves from “safe McCain” to “lean McCain” in the latest CNN poll of polls.

And the Republican nominee continues to lose ground in reliably-red areas, as North Dakota moves from “lean McCain” to “toss-up” – meaning three electoral votes that had been counted for McCain are now considered up for grabs.

But there’s some good news for McCain down south: Louisiana has moved from “lean McCain” to “safe McCain.” And the movement on the map is far from done.

Barack Obama now leads McCain by 131 electoral votes, up from his 128-vote lead yesterday. CNN now estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win 291 electoral votes and John McCain 160. There are 87 electoral votes up for grabs. Again, 270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House.

The CNN Electoral Map is based on analysis from the CNN Political Unit and takes into account a number of factors, including polling, state voting trends, ad spending patterns, candidate visits, and guidance from the campaigns, parties, and political strategists. The list will be updated regularly as the campaign develops over time.

Source: CNN Politics

So has John McCain’s big play for Pennsylvania, where he’s hoping to poach 21 electoral votes out of the Democratic column, been paying off in the opinion polls?

The answer: Not in any way to speak of — even though McCain and Palin have have each visited the state many times in the last two weeks, and Palin is herself spending all of today there.

McCain’s own level of support has recovered somewhat from a deep hole he was in weeks ago — when the economic crisis hit, he was down by as much as 15 points — but his gains haven’t significantly weakened Barack Obama’s position. McCain has simply grabbed back some of his lost support from the undecided column, but Obama hasn’t actually lost much from what he gained during the same period.

The graph from Pollster.com illustrates the situation very clearly:

Only two polls in the last week, from Mason-Dixon and Strategic Vision (R), have put Obama below 50% support, while most others have him above that key level. For example, CNN has Obama up 55%-43%, and the local college Franklin & Marshall has him up 53%-40%.

Obama should still be expected to score a decent-sized victory here, unless the polls turn out to be drastically wrong or show a dramatic swing to McCain in the next few days.

Source: TPM

A growing number of voters have concluded that Senator John McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, is not qualified to be vice president, weighing down the Republican ticket in the last days of the campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

All told, 59 percent of voters surveyed said Ms. Palin was not prepared for the job, up nine percentage points since the beginning of the month. Nearly a third of voters polled said the vice-presidential selection would be a major factor influencing their vote for president, and those voters broadly favor Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee.

And in a possible indication that the choice of Ms. Palin has hurt Mr. McCain’s image, voters said they had much more confidence in Mr. Obama to pick qualified people for his administration than they did in Mr. McCain.

After nearly two years of campaigning, a pair of hotly contested nominating battles, a series of debates and an avalanche of advertisements, the nationwide poll found the contours of the race hardening in the last days before the election on Tuesday. Twelve percent of the voters surveyed said they had already voted. These were among the findings:

¶Mr. Obama is maintaining his lead, with 51 percent of likely voters supporting him and 40 percent supporting Mr. McCain in a head-to-head matchup.

¶Some perceptions of race are changing, with a marked increase in the number of people who say they believe that white and black people have an equal chance of getting ahead in America today.

¶Mr. McCain’s focus on taxes, including his talk about Joe the Plumber, seems to be having some effect, as a growing number of voters now say Mr. McCain would not raise their taxes.

¶Eighty-nine percent of people view the economy negatively, and 85 percent think the country is on the wrong track.

¶Mr. Obama continues to have a significant advantage on key issues like the economy, health care and the war in Iraq.

The survey found that opinions of Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain had hardened considerably, as 9 out of 10 voters who said they had settled on a candidate said their minds were made up, and a growing number of them called it “extremely important” that their candidate win the election. Roughly half of each candidate’s supporters said they were “scared” of what the other candidate would do if elected. Just 4 percent of voters were undecided, and when they were pressed to say whom they leaned toward, the shape of the race remained essentially the same.

Bolstered by the fiscal crisis and deep concerns about the direction of the country, Mr. Obama has seemed to solidify the support he has gained in recent months. When likely voters were asked whom they would vote for in an expanded field that included several third-party candidates, Mr. Obama got the support of 52 percent of them, Mr. McCain 39 percent, Bob Barr 1 percent, and Ralph Nader 2 percent.

The nationwide telephone poll was conducted Saturday through Wednesday with 1,439 adults nationwide, including 1,308 registered voters. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

The poll was conducted as a wide range of state polls have shown Mr. Obama, of Illinois, ahead or tied in several crucial contested states, including some traditionally Republican states that Mr. McCain, of Arizona, must carry to win the election.

The survey suggested that Mr. Obama’s candidacy — if elected, he would be the first black president — has changed some perceptions of race in America. Nearly two-thirds of those polled said whites and blacks have an equal chance of getting ahead in today’s society, up from the half who said they thought so in July. And while 14 percent still said most people they knew would not vote for a black presidential candidate, the number has dropped considerably since the campaign began.

Mr. McCain’s heavy focus on taxes in the final weeks of the campaign seems to be having some effect, the poll found. Forty-seven percent of voters said Mr. McCain would not raise taxes on people like them, up from just 38 percent who said so two weeks ago. (And 50 percent said they thought Mr. Obama would raise taxes on people like them, while 44 percent said he would not; both numbers are similar to two weeks ago.)

With just days until Americans choose a new president, the survey found them deeply uneasy about the state of their country. Eight-five percent of respondents said the country was pretty seriously off on the wrong track, near the record high recorded earlier this month. A majority said the United States should have stayed out of Iraq. And President Bush’s approval rating remains at 22 percent, tied for the lowest presidential approval rating on record (which was President Harry S. Truman’s rating, recorded by the Gallup Poll in 1952).

Mr. McCain’s renewed efforts to cast himself as the candidate of change have apparently faltered. Sixty-four percent of voters polled said Mr. Obama would bring about real change if elected, while only 39 percent said Mr. McCain would. And despite Mr. McCain’s increased efforts to distance himself from President Bush, a majority still said he would generally continue Mr. Bush’s policies.

Dixie Cromwell, a 36-year-old cosmetologist from Shelby, N.C., who is a Republican, said in a follow-up interview that she had already voted for Mr. Obama.

“I generally vote Republican, but this year I voted Democrat,” she said. “I just don’t feel we can go through any more of the same old thing that we’ve been going through with the Republican Party.”

Mr. Obama’s policies were seen as much more likely to improve the economy, provide health insurance to more people, and scale back military involvement in Iraq than Mr. McCain’s were. But Mr. McCain enjoyed an advantage when it came to questions about which candidate would make a better commander in chief: 47 percent of voters said Mr. McCain was very likely to be an effective commander in chief, compared with 33 percent who said Mr. Obama would be.

While a majority viewed Ms. Palin as unqualified for the vice presidency, roughly three-quarters of voters saw Mr. Obama’s running mate, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, as qualified for the job. The increase in the number of voters who said Ms. Palin was not prepared was driven almost entirely by Republicans and independents.

Over all, views of Ms. Palin were apparently shaped more by ideology and party than by gender. Ms. Palin was viewed as unprepared for the job by about 6 in 10 men and women alike. But 8 in 10 Democrats viewed her as unprepared, as well as more than 6 in 10 independents and 3 in 10 Republicans.

Here’s our daily composite of the six major national tracking polls. The recent tightening in the race appears to have stopped for today, with Obama’s lead expanding slightly:

    • Gallup: Obama 51%, McCain 44%, with a ±2% margin of error, unchanged from yesterday.

    • Rasmussen: Obama 51%, McCain 46%, with a ±2% margin of error, compared to a 50%-47% Obama lead from yesterday.

    • ABC/Washington Post: Obama 52%, McCain 44%, with a ±2.5% margin of error, unchanged from yesterday.

    • Hotline/Diageo: Obama 48%, McCain 42%, with a ±3.3% margin of error, compared to a 49%-42% Obama lead from yesterday.

    • Research 2000: Obama 50%, McCain 45%, with a ±3% margin of error, compared to a 50%-44% Obama lead yesterday.

    • Zogby: Obama 50%, McCain 43%, with a ±2.9% margin of error, compared to a 49%-44% Obama lead from yesterday.

Adding these polls together and weighting them by the square roots of their sample sizes, Obama is ahead 50.5%-44.2%, a lead of 6.3 points, compared to the 50.2%-44.4% Obama lead from yesterday.

A new poll from Arizona State University finds John McCain just two points ahead of Barack Obama in his home state.

The results would likely be dismissed if not for the reputation of Bruce Merrill, the poll director, whose work is considered a gold standard in Arizona polling.

Some details:

    Republican John McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by two points (46 percent to 44 percent) in Arizona, a margin that makes the race too close to call, according to a new Cronkite/Eight Poll. The poll of 1,019 registered voters in Arizona was conducted Oct. 23-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

    According to poll director Dr. Bruce Merrill, “The race in Arizona is very close. Supporters of both candidates are highly committed to their candidates, with 94 percent of Obama’s supporters and 93 percent of McCain’s supporters indicating that they are firmly committed and won’t change their mind before Election Day. In addition, the undecided vote is very low, which means that there are few people remaining to be persuaded during the last week of the campaign. Obama has been closing the gap by attracting independents and women to his campaign. McCain does well among conservative Democrats and evangelicals. Still, a week is a long time in a political campaign and anything can happen. Who wins will be determined by which candidate gets their supporters out to the polls on Election Day.”

The previous Arizona State University, taken last month, had McCain leading 45 percent to 38 percent

Source: HP

NATIONAL

From the ABC/Washington Post tracking poll:

    More than twelve million voters have already cast ballots in the presidential contest, according to one estimate, and new data from the Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll shows these voters breaking Democratic by a wide margin.

    Among those who said they have already voted at an early voting location or sent in an absentee ballot, Barack Obama picked up 60 percent of the vote in the new poll to John McCain’s 39 percent.

    These voters make up 9 percent of “likely” voters in the track.

    The senator from Illinois has a similar lead, 58 to 39 percent, among those who plan to vote early but have not yet. (Those who plan to vote on Election Day also go for Obama, but by a narrower, 51 to 45 percent.)

From Gallup:

    The voter preferences of the group of 1,430 individuals who have already voted and who were interviewed by Gallup between Oct. 17 and Oct. 27 show a 53% to 43% Obama over McCain tilt.

    Among the group of those who say they have not yet voted, but will before Election Day, the skew towards Obama is more pronounced, at 54% to 40%. By comparison, those who are going to wait to vote on Nov. 4 manifest a narrower 50% to 44% Obama over McCain candidate preference. (Across all registered voters over this time period, Obama leads McCain by a 51% to 43% margin).

Some analysis of early trends from Nate Silver:

    According to Michael McDonald’s terrific website, there are three states in which early voting has already exceeded its totals from 2004. These are Georgia, where early voting is already at 180 percent of its 2004 total, Louisiana (169 percent), and North Carolina (129 percent).

    Hmm … can anybody think of something that those three states have in common?

    The African-American population share is the key determinant of early voting behavior. In states where there are a lot of black voters, early voting is way, way up. In states with fewer African-Americans, the rates of early voting are relatively normal.

    This works at the county level too. In Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland), which about 30 percent black, twice as many people have already voted early as in all of 2004. In Franklin County (Columbus), which is about 18 percent black and also has tons of students, early voting is already about 3x its 2004 total.

COLORADO

Early voting is currently at over 75% of 2004 levels with one week to go.

Democrats currently outnumber Republicans in early voting, albeit by a slim margin – 38.6% of all early voters, to 37.9% Republicans

TEXAS

“Across Dallas County and into the outer suburbs, thousands of people continue to stream into polling places, dwarfing early-voting records and raising questions about what the preliminary tallies mean for candidates and political parties.”

FLORIDA

In this critical swing state, early voters already make up 27% of total 2004 numbers (in 2004, early voters constituted 36% of total votes).

Dems outnumber Republicans so far, 44.7% to 40%.

GEORGIA

Early voting is already 33% higher than 2004 numbers, and is equivalent to 31% of all votes cast in Georgia in 2004.

Of early voters, 35% are African-American, compared to 25% of the total voting population in 2004.

Also, nearly 56% of early voters are women, another excellent sign for Democrats.

OHIO

“Among those in Ohio who told WHIO-TV/SurveyUSA that they have already voted, Barack Obama leads by 13 points. When the two populations are combined, the data is as here reported: Obama 49%, McCain 45%. Compared to an identical WHIO-TV/SurveyUSA poll released two weeks ago, Obama is down 1 point; McCain is flat.”

ILLINOIS

60,000 votes have already been cast in the Tenth Congressional District.

Of those, 58% were cast by registered Democrats, compared to 25% for Republicans.

Obama should win the district and state in a landslide, but these numbers bode especially well for IL-10 Democratic candidate Dan Seals.

IOWA

Registered Democrats have a 20-point advantage in early voting over Republicans in Iowa.

LOUISIANA

Early voting is near double 2004 levels. Of early voters, registered Democrats have a huge edge, 57.9% to 29.4%.

34% of early voters are African-American.

NEVADA

Democrats lead 54.4% to 29.1% among early voters. Early voters constituted 59.4% of all voters in 2004; this year, early voting to this point is equivalent to 44% of all 2004 numbers.

NORTH CAROLINA

The proportion of black voters among all early voters has leveled off – they constitute 28% of all voters now – but still exceeds black registration in the state.

Early voting has far outstripped 2004 levels, and Democrats are turning out disproportionately.

Source: HP

The Republican National Committee has taken out a $5 million line of credit to help fund last minute efforts to keep Senate Democrats from winning a filibuster-proof 60 seat majority, according to an official with the committee.

Of the $5 million, $2 million is being directly transferred to the National Republican Senatorial Committee while $3 million is being devoted to coordinated expenditures that began over the last week.

“This effort not only helps fortify senators but it’s good for the whole Republican ticket,” said the RNC official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “This is an investment in the entire ticket in addition to an unprecedented get out the vote effort.”

With the White House apparently slipping away and House Republicans looking at losses of 20 or more seats, the Senate is being painted as the last, best chance for Republicans to hold some semblance of power within Congress.

Right now, three states are largely seen as near-certain Democratic pickups: Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado.

The RNC line of credit is almost certain to be spent on a handful of vulnerable Republican incumbents who face varying levels of peril. That list includes North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens among others.

The decision by the RNC to help fund a series of Senate contest shows that national GOP strategists see the Senate as their firewall in next week’s election.

Will it change things? It’s very hard to know with so much volatility in the environment. But, it does show the RNC is willing to do everything it can to hold strong against the onrushing Democratic wave.

Washington Post

Your Daily Politics Video Blog: Most of the attention is on the presidential race. But there’s also that question of whether the Democrats are going to put together that 60 vote majority in the senate. In today’s episode we look at the 12 top senate races that will determine whether the Democrats will go into 2009 with that filibuster-proof majority.

A new Pew Research poll shows Sen. Barack Obama holds his widest national margin yet over Sen. John McCain, 53% to 39%, among likely voters.

Key findings: “Obama’s gains notwithstanding, a widespread loss of confidence in McCain appears to be the most significant factor in the race at this point. Many more voters express doubts about McCain’s judgment than about Obama’s: 41% see McCain as ‘having poor judgment,’ while just 29% say that this trait describes Obama. Fewer voters also view McCain as inspiring than did so in mid-September (37% now, 43% then). By contrast, 71% of voters continue to think of Obama as inspiring.”

“In addition, Sarah Palin appears to be a continuing – if not an increasing – drag on the GOP ticket. Currently, 49% of voters express an unfavorable opinion of Palin, while 44% have a favorable view.”

Pew interviewed 2,599 registered voters on both landline phones and cell phones.

Source: Political Wire

As voters have gotten to know Senator Barack Obama, they have warmed up to him, with more than half, 53 percent, now saying they have a favorable impression of him and 33 percent saying they have an unfavorable view. But as voters have gotten to know Senator John McCain, they have not warmed, with only 36 percent of voters saying they view him favorably while 45 percent view him unfavorably.

Even voters who are planning to vote for Mr. McCain say their enthusiasm has waned. In New York Times and CBS News polls conducted with the same respondents before the first presidential debate and again after the last debate, Mr. McCain made no progress in appealing to voters on a personal level, and he and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, had alienated some voters.

Mr. Obama’s favorability is the highest for a presidential candidate running for a first term in the last 28 years of Times/CBS polls.

Personal appeal is an intangible element in voters’ decisions. Each voter has a personal reason for connecting with a candidate or not. But the percentage of those who hold a favorable opinion of Mr. Obama is up 10 points since last month. Opinion of Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Obama’s running mate, is also up, to 50 percent last weekend from 36 percent in September.

In contrast, favorable opinion of Mr. McCain remained stable, and unfavorable opinion rose to 45 percent now from 35 percent in September. Mrs. Palin’s negatives are up, to 41 percent now from 29 percent in September.

Mr. McCain made no progress in appealing to voters on a personal level, and he and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, had alienated some voters.

Mr. Obama’s favorability is the highest for a presidential candidate running for a first term in the last 28 years of Times/CBS polls. Mrs. Palin’s negative rating is the highest for a vice-presidential candidate as measured by The Times and CBS News. Even Dan Quayle, with whom Mrs. Palin is often compared because of her age and inexperience on the national scene, was not viewed as negatively in the 1988 campaign.

The nationwide telephone poll was conducted Sept. 21-24, with re-interviews completed Friday through Sunday of 518 adults, 476 of whom are registered voters. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus five percentage points for all adults and voters.

Of those who said their opinion of Mr. McCain had been tarnished, many cited his attacks on his opponent, the choice of Ms. Palin as his running mate and his debate performance.

Among the voters who said their opinion of Mr. Obama had improved, many cited his debate performance, saying they liked his calm demeanor and the way he had handled the attacks on him from the McCain campaign.

Of those who said their opinion of Mr. McCain had been tarnished, many cited his attacks on his opponent, the choice of Ms. Palin as his running mate and his debate performance.

“Even though I am a Democrat, there was a strong possibility I would have voted for McCain,” said Yolanda Grande, 77, a Democrat from Blairstown, N.J. “What pushed me over the line was McCain’s choice of vice president. I just don’t think she is qualified to step in if anything happened to him.”

Some voters in the latest New York Times/CBS News poll were disappointed by John McCain’s attacks and running mate choice. The poll found Barack Obama was supported by majorities of men and independents.

Some voters in the latest New York Times/CBS News poll were disappointed by John McCain’s attacks and running mate choice. The poll found Barack Obama was supported by majorities of men and independents.

Backfired

The McCain campaign’s recent angry tone and sharply personal attacks on Senator Barack Obama appear to have backfired and tarnished Senator John McCain more than their intended target, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll has found.

McCain Campaign Attacks

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.

Election Supposition

Over all, the poll found that if the election were held today, 53 percent of those determined to be probable voters said they would vote for Mr. Obama and 39 percent said they would vote for Mr. McCain.

Debate

The findings come as the race enters its final three weeks, with the two candidates scheduled to hold their third and last debate on Wednesday night, and as separate polls in critical swing states that could decide the election give Mr. Obama a growing edge. But wide gaps in polls have historically tended to narrow in the closing weeks of the race.

Opinions

Voters who said their opinions of Mr. Obama had changed recently were twice as likely to say they had grown more favorable as to say they had worsened. And voters who said that their views of Mr. McCain had changed were three times more likely to say that they had worsened than to say they had improved.

Gov. Sarah Palin Choice

The top reasons cited by those who said they thought less of Mr. McCain were his recent attacks and his choice of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate. (The vast majority said their opinions of Mr. Obama of Illinois, the Democratic nominee, and Mr. McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, had remained unchanged in recent weeks.) But in recent days, Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin have scaled back their attacks on Mr. Obama, although Mr. McCain suggested he might aggressively take on Mr. Obama in Wednesday’s debate.

Confidence

With the election unfolding against the backdrop of an extraordinary economic crisis, a lack of confidence in government, and two wars, the survey described a very inhospitable environment for any Republican to run for office. More than 8 in 10 Americans do not trust the government to do what is right, the highest ever recorded in a Times/CBS News poll. And Mr. McCain is trying to keep the White House in Republican hands at a time when President Bush’s job approval rating is at 24 percent, hovering near its historic low.

Obama vs. McCain

While the poll showed Mr. Obama with a 14 percentage-point lead among likely voters in a head-to-head matchup with Mr. McCain, when Ralph Nader and Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate, were included in the question, the race narrowed slightly, with 51 percent of those surveyed saying that they were supporting Mr. Obama and 39 percent supporting Mr. McCain, with Mr. Nader getting the support of 3 percent and Mr. Barr 1 percent. Other national polls have shown Mr. Obama ahead by a smaller margin.

Members of Congress

The poll suggested that the overwhelming anxiety about the economy and distrust of government have created a potentially poisonous atmosphere for members of Congress. Only 43 percent of those surveyed said that they approved of their own representative’s job performance, which is considerably lower than approval ratings have been at other times of historic discontent. By way of comparison, just before the Democrats lost control of Congress in 1994, 56 percent of those polled said that they approved of the job their representative was doing.

Republican vs. Democrat Rule

And after nearly eight years of increasingly unpopular Republican rule in the White House, 52 percent of those polled said that they held a favorable view of the Democratic Party, compared with 37 percent who said they held a favorable view of the Republican Party. Voters said they preferred Democrats to Republicans when it came to questions about who would better handle the issues that are of the greatest concern to voters — including the economy, health care and the war in Iraq.

Nationwide Telephone Poll

The nationwide telephone poll was conducted Friday through Monday with 1,070 adults, of whom 972 were registered voters, and it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for both groups.

Past Associations

After several weeks in which the McCain campaign sought to tie Mr. Obama to William Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground terrorism group, 64 percent of voters said that they had either read or heard something about the subject. But a majority said they were not bothered by Mr. Obama’s background or past associations. Several people said in follow-up interviews that they felt that Mr. McCain’s attacks on Mr. Obama were too rooted in the past, or too unconnected to the nation’s major problems.

Issues vs. Attacks

“What bothers me is that McCain initially talked about running a campaign on issues and I want to hear him talk about the issues,” said Flavio Lorenzoni, a 59-year-old independent from Manalapan, N.J. “But we’re being constantly bombarded with attacks that aren’t relevant to making a decision about what direction McCain would take the country. McCain hasn’t addressed the real issues. He’s only touched on them very narrowly. This is a time when we need to address issues much more clearly than they ever have been in the past.”

Independents

The poll found that Mr. Obama is now supported by majorities of men and independents, two groups that he has been fighting to win over. And the poll found, for the first time, that white voters are just about evenly divided between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama, who, if elected, would be the first black president. The poll found that Mr. Obama is supported by 45 percent of white voters — a greater percentage than has voted for Democrats in recent presidential elections, according to exit polls.

Favorability

Mr. McCain was viewed unfavorably by 41 percent of voters, and favorably by 36 percent. Ms. Palin’s favorability rating is now 32 percent, down 8 points from last month, and her unfavorable rating climbed nine percentage points to 41 percent. Mr. Obama’s favorability rating, by contrast, is now at 50 percent, the highest recorded for him thus far by The Times and CBS News.

Prepared

There were still some strong findings for Mr. McCain. Sixty-four percent of voters polled said Mr. McCain, 72, was well-prepared for the presidency, which has been a central theme of his campaign. Fifty-one percent said Mr. Obama, 47, was.

Temperament

But roughly 7 in 10 voters said Mr. Obama had the right kind of temperament and personality to be president; just over half said the same of Mr. McCain.

Enthusiasm

Mr. Obama’s supporters continued to be more enthusiastic about him than Mr. McCain’s supporters, the poll found, and more of those surveyed said they had confidence in Mr. Obama than in Mr. McCain to make the right decisions about the economy and health care. And while more than 6 in 10 said Mr. Obama understood the needs and problems of people like them, more than half said Mr. McCain did not.

Source: NYT

Although McCain says ‘I’m a Fighter’ no one history has made a comeback – from being 10 points down in the polls 3 weeks before the election – to win. Everyone is wondering – what’s McCain’s message – and maybe he should make that clearer – but I think what has happened is that people have heard his message and haven’t bought it. Tax cut proposals for multi-millionaires and billionaires – while the average person is losing their jobs or seen money tighten through higher prices. And because of the US administration of which John McCain belonged – not only the US economy, but economies around the world have been rocked by decisions John McCain and his trusted economic adviser made – the economic adviser one who was saying America has become a nation of whiners – and the recession was in people minds.

The black guy can’t win. The black guy with the middle name “Hussein” can’t win. The black guy with the  middle name “Hussein” who has “most liberal voting record” in the Senate just can’t win. So if and when the terrorist-loving, radical ideology-embracing, “he doesn’t see America like you and I see America” skinny black guy from Chicago wins the presidency, the only logical explanation is that he stole it.

So goes the perverted “logic” of the panicked right these days, as the entire right-wing noise machine roars up into another faux frenzy this week regarding alleged “voter fraud.”

This was, after all, supposed to be the age of the “permanent Republican majority.”

As McCain’s numbers having nose-dived in the last week, some Republicans have dived head-first into the realm of conspiracy theories in order to sow the seeds of speculation that Democrats are going to “steal” this election. This week has provided some news items which they are using as kinder for their tinfoil bonfire.

ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), is an organization which has been registering voters in low-income areas. Volunteers at some chapters (who are paid per registration) have been found guilty of submitting to ACORN fake voter registrations. That, obviously, is a crime.

Indeed, as this screencap from John McCain’s “Strategy Briefing” demonstrates, the entire McCain campaign was premised on the idea that voters do not think Obama is “one of them”:

ACORN is obligated by law to turn over all voter registration forms, even the fake ones, but it flags those it believes are suspicious (Mickey Mouse, John Q. Public, etc.) While the why of the situation remains unclear, ACORN’s Nevada office was raided this week in connection with a voter registration fraud probe.

Ben Smith at Politico, like many others across the blogosphere, puts the ACORN story into perspective:

The key distinction here is between voter fraud and voter registration fraud, one of which is truly dangerous, the other a petty crime.

The former would be, say, voting the cemeteries or stuffing the ballot boxes. This has happened occasionally in American history, though I can think of recent instances only in rare local races. Practically speaking, this can most easily be done by whoever is actually administering the election, which is why partisan observers carefully oversee the vote-counting process.

The latter is putting the names of fake voters on the rolls, something that happens primarily when organizations, like Acorn, pay contractors for new voter registrations. That can be a crime, and it messes up the voter files, but there’s virtually no evidence these imaginary people then vote in November. The current stories about Acorn don’t even allege a plan to affect the November vote.

When the reporter calls him out on the distinction between “voter registration fraud” and “voter fraud,” Graham palinizes his response:

Asked to identify non-existent people who have voted in the presidential election, Graham said: “Have you been following the ACORN investigation out there? They’re registering people who don’t exist.” He said there are multiple registrations going on. “One lady registered 11 times. I’m saying that the dynamic out here of voter fraud is something we’re concerned about.”

Republicans are pushing the irrational theory that Democrats are “cheating” their way to the White House because for them, the real reason for a possible Republican defeat would be irrational.

In this atmosphere, maybe having a “liberal” president who favors reasonable regulation and stringent oversight isn’t a bad thing after all.

This was, after all, supposed to be the age of the “permanent Republican majority.” America is a “conservative country” we’ve been told. Indeed, as this screencap from John McCain’s “Strategy Briefing” demonstrates, the entire McCain campaign was premised on the idea that voters do not think Obama is “one of them”:

But that screencap is from many months ago, before the full brunt of the failure of conservative policies has come to the foreground with the resounding “thud” of a stock market collapse. In this atmosphere, maybe having a “liberal” president who favors reasonable regulation and stringent oversight isn’t a bad thing after all. And maybe, when voters are worried about how to pay for health care, voting for the Republican who touts the ability of the “market” to deal with the problem doesn’t seem that appealing anymore. 

And maybe, when voters are worried about how to pay for health care, voting for the Republican who touts the ability of the “market” to deal with the problem doesn’t seem that appealing anymore.

The middle class is being cheated. And they know–as much as Republicans would like for them to forget–which party has been in power for the last eight years. And as they flock to a candidate who promises them change from failed Republican policies, panicked Republicans flock to conspiracy theories.

Blaming a possible Democratic victory on “voter fraud” is much easier than acknowledging that a resounding Democratic victory would be a wholesale rejection of Republican governance. And it’s easier than admitting that voters–yes, Senator Graham, maybe even voters in Indiana and North Carolina–like what the liberal black guy from Chicago is saying about the middle class.

So let them wrap themselves in tin foil. Let them revel in nuttery now. They can use that tin foil to wipe their eyes if and when–as the polls suggest–they will be wallowing in defeat in November.

Source: Daily Kos

PRINCETON, NJ — The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking report shows Barack Obama with a 52% to 41% lead over John McCain.

These results, based on Oct. 5-7 polling, are the best for Obama during the campaign, both in terms of his share of the vote and the size of his lead over McCain. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)

Nearly all interviews in today’s report were conducted before Tuesday night’s town hall style debate in Nashville. Any movement in voter preferences as a result of this debate will be apparent in coming days.

Voter preferences seem to have stabilized for the moment, as Obama has held a double-digit lead over McCain in each of the last three individual nights of polling.

Concern about the economy seems to be playing to Obama’s advantage; he overtook McCain when the financial crisis worsened in the middle of September, and his strong showing today coincides with the worst rating of the economy this year (59% of Americans describe current economic conditions as “poor”). — Jeff Jones


(Click here to see how the race currently breaks down by demographic subgroup.)

Survey Methods

For the Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey, Gallup is interviewing no fewer than 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide each day during 2008.

The general-election results are based on combined data from Oct. 5-7, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,747 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone only).

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Source: Gallup

On the eve of the penultimate presidential debate, a new TIME/CNN poll shows John McCain still struggling in states won by George W. Bush in 2004, a sign that last week’s vice presidential debate had little effect on voter opinion.

In North Carolina, which Bush won by more than 12 percentage points in both 2000 and 2004, McCain and Obama are locked in a dead heat, with each candidate garnering the support of 49% of likely voters. In Indiana, which Bush won by 21 points in 2004 and 16 points in 2000, McCain maintains a slight 5 point lead over Obama, with 51% of likely voters, compared to Obama’s 46%.

In the crucial swing state of Ohio, which Bush won by slight margins in both 2000 and 2004, McCain trails Obama by 3 points, with the support of 47% of voters, compared to Obama’s 50%. Obama also holds a statistically significant 8 point lead over McCain in New Hampshire and a 5 point lead in Wisconsin, two states that Democrat John Kerry was able to win in 2004.

As a result of the new survey, CNN now considers New Hampshire and Wisconsin to be Obama-leaning states, after previously being considered tossups. North Carolina is now considered a tossup, after previously being categorized as a McCain-leaning state.

The polls were conducted between October 3 and 6, after last Thursday’s debate. They have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 to 4 percentage points.

Last week, the McCain campaign reacted to a polling downturn by shuttering its operation in the state of Michigan and redistributing staff to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Maine, where electoral votes are distributed by congressional district. In a conference call last week, Mike DuHaime, the McCain campaign’s political director, acknowledged that the national mood and Obama’s deep pockets had put previously solid Republican states like Indiana in play.

“I do think just the overall environment right now that we face is one of the worst environments for any Republican in probably 35 years,” DuHaime said. “Any time you have that, you have states move within that margin.”

After two grueling years, only two major events remain in the 2008 presidential campaign, a candidate town hall forum Tuesday in Tennessee, and a debate on October 15 in New York. In a nod to the dwindling window of opportunity, McCain again sharpened his attacks on Obama during a stump speech Monday in New Mexico, charging that Obama harbors a “back story” on every issue that needs to be explored.

“All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government? What does he plan for America?” McCain said. “In short: Who is the real Barack Obama? But ask such questions and all you get in response is another barrage of angry insults.”

Campaigning in North Carolina, Obama countered by charging that McCain and his aides were “gambling that they can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance.”

Source: TIME