POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/2

The Political Futures

On Intrade, Obama has a 64.6% chance of winning the presidential election. McCain has a 30.2% chance of winning.

On the Iowa Political Market, Obama has a 66.5% chance of winning. McCain has a 33% chance of winning.

McCain Not Fundraising Down Ballot

Sen. John McCain “has begun to raise eyebrows in Republican circles for his lack of fundraising help on behalf of his party’s House and Senate campaign committees,” according to The Hill.

“The Arizona senator has yet to send a fundraising appeal for those committees nearly four months after becoming his party’s presumptive nominee, and he skipped out on a major fundraising dinner for them in recent weeks.”

CNN Poll: McCain, Obama in Tight Race

The latest CNN/Opinion Research poll shows Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama locked in a statistical dead heat in the race for the White House. Obama holds a narrow 5-point advantage among registered voters nationwide over McCain, 50% to 45%.

In a four way match-up that includes independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr, Obama’s lead over McCain dwindles to 3 points, 46% to 43%. (Nader registers 6% while Barr gets 3%.)

Obama, McCain Met With Powell

Sen. Barack Obama met privately with former Secretary of State Colin Powell two weeks ago, The Hotline reports.

“The blogosphere is abuzz with speculation that Powell could back the Democrat, a sign of his disaffection with the Republican Party and the Bush administration. The nod could, of course, also carry weight with voters concerned about Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience. In poll after poll, the only consistent question in which McCain bests Obama is on the matter of who is best able to handle national security issues. A Powell endorsement of Obama would certainly be a blow to the Arizona senator’s chief selling point — that he is better prepared to be commander in chief.”

Powell also met recently with Sen. John McCain.

Know Your Power

A Message to America's DaughtersExpect to see a lot more of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the coming weeks. 

Pelosi’s first book, Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters, will be published at the end of this month, “allowing the Speaker to hit the book promotion trail as she prepares for her spotlighted role as permanent chair of the Democratic National Convention in late August,” according to CQ Politics.

In the book, Pelosi “tells how her work on behalf of then-California Gov. Jerry Brown’s 1976 presidential campaign helped turn her from a San Francisco housewife and mother of five who dabbled in Democratic Party politics into a serious political figure who became California’s state party chair in the early 1980s. In 1987, all her hard work paid off when she was elected to the House in a special election from San Francisco, the Baltimore native’s adopted hometown.”

Most See McCain as Too Much Like Bush

A recent USA Today/Gallup poll has very bad news for Sen. John McCain: “Two in three Americans concerned that McCain would pursue policies as president that are too similar to what George W. Bush has pursued. Nearly half — 49% — say they are ‘very concerned’ about this.”

Quote of the Day

“I love Kathleen Sebelius. I think she is as talented a public official as there is right now. Integrity. Competence. She can work with all people of all walks of life, but I promised that I am not going to say anything about my vice president until I actually introduce my vice president.”

— Sen. Barack Obama, in an interview on a Fox News affiliate in Missouri. 

Hat tip: Ben Smith.

Martinez Will Face Tough Re-Election Battle in 2010

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) — not up for re-election until 2010 — is in grave danger of losing that challenge, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida. The poll found that just 23% of voters in the state currently approve of his job performance. 

Meanwhile, in a potential 2010 match up, state CFO Alex Sink (D) leads Martinez, 37% to 31%.

Martinez also struggles against Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), with their match up showing a 33% to 33% tie.

Landrieu Holds Re-Election Edge

A new Southern Media and Opinion Research poll in Lousiana finds Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) holding a slight lead over challenger John Kennedy (R), 46% to 40%.

CQ rates the race Leans Democratic.

PPP Poll: Obama Slightly Ahead in Florida

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida finds Sen. Barack Obama narrowly leading Sen. John McCain, 46% to 44%, on the basis of greater support among Hispanics.

Four years ago, President Bush won Hispanic voters in the state, 56% to 44%, but this survey shows Obama leading among them, 51% to 37%.

In addition, Obama is winning every age group except voters over 65, where McCain’s considerable 52% to 34% advantage allows him to keep the race competitive overall.

Quinnipiac: McCain Drags Lieberman Down

A new Quinnipiac poll shows Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) with a 45% approval rating, his lowest score ever.

Said pollster Douglas Schwartz: “Sen. Lieberman’s approval rating has dropped below 50 percent for the first time in 14 years of polling, with nearly two-thirds of Democrats giving him low marks, probably because he is campaigning for Sen. John McCain.”

PPP Poll: McCain Edges Obama in North Carolina

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina finds Sen. John McCain just ahead of Sen. Barack Obama, 45% to 41%.

Key finding: Obama continues to have difficulty nailing down the votes of self identified Democrats  —  right now he leads 67% to 20% among them. It’s not a new phenomenon for a meaningful number of voters in North Carolina to vote Democratic on much of their ballot but not for President, but Obama will need to push that number up closer to 80% to have much of a chance of taking the state.”

McCain May Unveil Veep to Limit Obama Bounce

The New York Times examines the timing of announcing running mates and notes that while Sen. John McCain has limited choices compared to Sen. Barack Obama, the August calendar also presents an opportunity for him.

“The Democratic convention ends on Thursday Aug. 28, and the Republican convention begins the following Monday. What better way for Mr. McCain to squash whatever lift Mr. Obama receives from his convention than to announce his choice for running mate just as Democrats are folding their tent in Denver? It would knock Mr. Obama to the back of the stage and give Mr. McCain a nice little lift going into his own convention. And yes, Republicans say that is something that is under very serious consideration in the McCain camp.”

Strategic Vision: McCain Leads in Florida, Georgia

Political Wire got an advance look at two Strategic Vision polls that will be officially released tomorrow.

In Florida, Sen. John McCain leads Sen. Barack Obama, 49% to 43%, with Libertarian Bob Barr getting 1%.  

In Georgia, McCain leads Obama, 51% to 43%, with Barr pulling 3% in his home state.

NRA Plans Blitz Against Obama

The National Rifle Association “plans to spend about $40 million on this year’s presidential campaign, with $15 million of that devoted to portraying Sen. Barack Obama as a threat to the Second Amendment rights upheld last week by the Supreme Court,” according to Politico.

“The politically powerful gun rights group will split its message efforts between communicating with its 4 million members and the tens of millions more firearms owners across the country.”

So far, a USA Today analysis shows outside groups “have spent more than $25 million since Jan. 1, 2007, on independent expenditures, and more than 70% has gone toward Democratic candidates.”

Bush Backers Stay Away from McCain

Though President Bush has headlined a fundraising event to help Sen. John McCain finance his campaign, “most of the big-money backers who helped reelect Bush in 2004 haven’t pulled out their checkbooks for McCain — or asked their friends to chip in either,” according to the Boston Globe.

“McCain’s struggle to mobilize the Bush fund-raisers is in part a sign of the disaffection among some GOP stalwarts for McCain, who positions himself as a party rebel on some issues. But it’s also a sign of the obstacles that any Republican nominee would face in exciting elite GOP donors at a time of discouraging poll numbers driven by economic turmoil and frustration over the Iraq war.”

Wall Street Backs Obama

“Wall Street is investing heavily in Barack Obama. Although the Democratic presidential hopeful has vowed to raise capital gains and corporate taxes, financial industry bigs have contributed almost twice as much to Obama as to GOP rival John McCain,” a New York Daily News analysis of campaign records shows.

David Brooks take the analysis further and notes the real core of Obama’s financial support “are not just small donors but the rising class of information age analysts.”

Another GOP Seat Up for Grabs

A new SurveyUSA poll in KY-2 to fill the seat of retiring Rep. Ron Lewis (R-KY) shows David Boswell (D) and Brett Guthrie (R) effectively even. Boswell edges Guthrie, 47% to 44%, but within the survey’s 4.3 percentage point margin of sampling error. 

The CQ backgrounder has this seat Safe Republican.

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