POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/14

Pew Research: Presidential Race Draws Even

According to a new Pew Research poll, Sen. Barack Obama’s national lead over Sen. John McCain has disappeared. The race is now a statistical tie, with Obama barely edging McCain, 46% to 43%. In late June, Obama held an eight point lead.

Two reasons for the shift:

McCain “is garnering more support from his base — including Republicans and white evangelical Protestants — than he was in June, and he also has steadily gained backing from white working class voters over this period.”

McCain “has made gains on his leadership image. An even greater percentage of voters than in June now see McCain as the candidate who would use the best judgment in a crisis, and an increasing percentage see him as the candidate who can get things done.”

An Almanac of Republican Scandals

A Citizen's Guide to Republican Family ValuesIn the mail: You Don’t Know Me: A Citizen’s Guide to Republican Family Values by Win McCormack.

The book “catalogues over 100 cases of sexual misconduct and criminality committed by Republican officials and supporters in an entertaining effort to expose the hypocrisy of America’s self-professed family values party. Readers hungry for a helping of schadenfreude will relish the A-Z illustrated collection of misdeeds featuring prominent GOP personalities involved in bestiality, pedophilia, incest, autoerotic asphyxiation and lengthier musings on the exploits of Republican heavyweights including Newt Gingrich, Bill O’Reilly and George W. Bush.”

Warner Would Not Submit to Vetting

Marc Ambinder reports that the selection of Mark Warner to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention “comes on the heels of a secret, last-minute effort to convince Warner to submit his name and record for vice presidential vetting.”

Warner “was subject to fairly intense pressure by Obama advisers to allow the team of Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy to open an account and begin their work.”

However, Warner resisted, “citing, as he has done publicly, family concerns and his public pledge to Virginians.”

Strategic Vision: Obama Leads in Wisconsin

Political Wire got an advance look at a new Strategic Vision poll in Wisconsin that shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain, 47% to 42%. 

The poll has a margin of error of 3 points and will be released tomorrow.

IA Poll: McCain Slightly Ahead in Florida

A new InsiderAdvantage poll in Florida shows Sen. John McCain just ahead of Sen. Barack Obama, 48% to 44%.

Analysis: “Dramatic turns of event could still spell unexpected trouble or prosperity for either candidate, in Florida or elsewhere. But for now, Obama simply isn’t ginning up quite enough support in Florida to turn all eyes to the state as the ‘tiebreaker’ in November… The likely reason is demographics.”

Franklin & Marshall Poll: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania

A new Franklin & Marshall poll in Pennsylvania shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain among likely voters in the key battleground state, 46% to 41%.

The poll’s margin of error is 3.9 points.

Poll director Terry Madonna on Obama: “He’s on third base, but so far he can’t seem to find a way to get home. Look at the underlying trends. The economy is a huge issue. Bush’s ratings are terrible. But too many voters are concerned about Obama’s experience, and don’t yet have enough confidence in his ability to lead.”

Reed to Raise Money for McCain

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Republicans around Georgia received an invitation from Ralph Reed last week, who will serve as a host of a “special event” — also known as a fundraiser — for Sen. John McCain on Aug. 18. 

The Wall Street Journal notes Reed “was a high-profile figure in the investigation of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Although he was never charged with any wrong-doing, his ties to Abramoff’s lobbying schemes — unearthed in a series of high profile Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearings chaired by McCain — came at a political price. The relationship, and ensuing backlash against the Republican Party on corruption issues, is widely credited with costing him the 2006 Republican primary in Georgia’s gubernatorial race.” (Note: It was actually the primary for lieutenant governor.)

First Read: “How shocking is it that Ralph Reed — the former GOP boy wonder who was Jack Abramoff’s business partner — is helping to raise money for McCain for a fundraiser next week in Atlanta? … It’s amazing marriage of convenience — one that some in McCain world may believe is a step too far. In fact, what are the odds that Reed actually shows up to this McCain event?”

Reactions to the McCain-Wikipedia Story

Political Insider: A round up of opinions on the McCain campaign’s apparent use of Wikipedia in speech writing.

SurveyUSA: Obama Gains in North Carolina

A new SurveyUSA poll in North Carolina finds Sen. John McCain edging Sen. Barack Obama, 49% to 45%.

Compared to an identical poll released 12 weeks ago, McCain is down 2, Obama is up 2. 

Key findings: “Among the better educated, there is movement to Obama. Among the less-educated, there is erosion in Obama’s support. Blacks continue to vote 10:1 Obama. Whites continue to vote 2:1 McCain. Obama continues to lead 5:4 among the less affluent. McCain continues to lead 5:4 among the more affluent. Among men, McCain led by 20 points four weeks ago, leads by 9 today. Among women, Obama led by 7 points four weeks ago, leads by 2 today. A then-27-point Gender Gap is now 11 points.”

New Swift Boat Book Tops Charts

Leftist Politics and the Cult of PersonalityJerome Corsi — the former Swift Boat veteran whose book Unfit for Command helped sink Sen. John Kerry’s presidential bid four years ago — “has released a new attack book painting” Sen. Barack Obama “as a stealth radical liberal who has tried to cover up ‘extensive connections to Islam’ and questioning whether his admitted experimentation with drugs in high school and college ever ceased,” according to the New York Times.

Even though significant parts of the book “have already been challenged as misleading or false” it will nonetheless be the top selling book on this Sunday’s New York Times bestseller’s list.

“The publisher is Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster whose chief editor is Mary Matalin, the former Republican operative turned publisher-pundit. And it is a significant, early success for Ms. Matalin’s three-year-old imprint, which is also planning to publish the memoirs of Karl Rove, President Bush’s longtime political guru. ”

Quinnipiac: Obama Remains Ahead in New Jersey

The latest Quinnipiac poll in New Jersey finds Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain by a comfortable margin, 51% to 41%.

Key findings: “Independent voters go 45% for Sen. Obama and 42% for Sen. McCain. Men also give the Democrat a slight edge, 48% to 45%, while women back Obama 53% to 38%. McCain leads 50% to 42% among white voters. Obama leads 66% to 28% among voters 18 to 34 years old and 51% to 42% among voters 35 to 54, as McCain has a 47% to 44% edge with voters over 55 years old.”

Both Parties Now Ignoring McCain

More proof the presidential election is a referendum on Sen. Barack Obama: Al Kamen looks at the DNC and RNC websites and notes at first glance they “seem almost interchangeable. In fact, it was hard to find a mention of John McCain on either of them. Obama dominates both sites pretty much equally.”

What Drives Convention Bounces?

Tom Holbrook has some interesting historical analysis on the “bounces” presidential nominees receive in their poll numbers coming out of the party convention.

“Two things in particular seem to drive the size of the bumps. First, candidates who are running ahead of where they “should” be (based on the expected election outcome) tend to get smaller bumps, and those running behind their expected level of support get larger bumps… The other key factor is the timing of the convention. The earliest convention tends to get a bigger bump, and there is some evidence that going appreciably earlier exacerbates this effect.”

This would suggest Sen. Barack Obama is likely to get a bigger bounce coming out of the Democratic convention than Sen. John McCain will get from the Republican convention.

Big caveat: “It should be clear that the magnitude of the convention bump is not a great predictor of election outcomes.”

Warner Will Keynote Democratic Convention

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign announced today that former Virginia Governor Mark Warner will deliver the keynote address at the 2008 Democratic Convention on Tuesday, August 26th, the second night of the Convention.

Colorado Primary Results

Freshman Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) survived a challenge in the CO-5 GOP primary yesterday, “prevailing comfortably in a virtual rematch of the bitterly contested open-seat race he won in 2006,” according to CQ Politics.

In CO-2, businessman Jared Polis (D) won the Democratic primary”and enters the fall race with a big edge to succeed five-term Rep. Mark Udall, this year’s Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.”

In CO-6, Mike Coffman (R) “won a comfortable primary victory in the heavily Republican 6th District and is highly likely to succeed five-term Rep. Tom Tancredo.”

All three districts are rated as safe for the incumbent party.

Why Did Elizabeth Let John Run?

Anne Taylor Fleming wonders why Elizabeth Edwards let her husband run for president after knowing what skeleton hid in his closet.

“She had to know the tabloids were after the story and after her husband — stalking him as he stalked the White House. It’s just a little bit bizarre, that disconnect, even from someone so special and admirable…” 

“That’s what is both troubling and sad. You can make the argument that this is private stuff, private pain. Many people clearly believe that would be a more desirable state of affairs — where personal lives and personal indiscretions are not constantly fair game. But that is not the world we live in right now, nor the country…”

“And, by running with her husband, Elizabeth Edwards, in effect, invited us all in — yes, even those nasty tabloids who had been chasing him from day one.”

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Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics, Virginia

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