POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/18

Young Wins Nomination for Alaska House Seat

“More than two weeks after the Aug. 26th primary, Republican Rep. Don Young officially clinched his party’s nomination for Alaska’s lone House seat Thursday when his major primary opponent, Lieutenant Gov. Sean Parnell, conceded the race,” CQ Politics reports.

Big Ten Battleground: Very Tight Race in Midwestern States

According to the new Big Ten Battleground Poll, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama “were in a statistical dead heat in seven of the eight Midwest states included in the survey.” 

Illinois: Obama 52.9%, McCain 37.0%

Indiana: McCain 46.7%, Obama 43.2%

Iowa: McCain 44.8%, Obama 44.8%

Michigan: Obama 47.8%, McCain 43.8%

Minnesota: Obama 47.3%, McCain 44.5%

Ohio: Obama 45.6%, McCain 45.1%

Pennsylvania: Obama 45.0%, McCain 44.6%

Wisconsin: Obama 45.2%, McCain 44.3%

Said pollster Charles Franklin: “The close margins in the vast majority of states show that whatever the effects were immediately after the national party conventions, these states have moved back to a highly competitive status, with neither candidate having a clear lead, except in Illinois.”

Pew Research: Obama Maintains National Edge

A new Pew Research survey — including interviews on both landline phones and cell phones — finds Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain among registered voters, 46% to 44%. These results are almost identical to those in the same pre-convention survey in early August.

However, among likely voters the race is tied at 46% to 46%.

Key findings: “McCain has made considerably more progress than has his opponent in changing fundamental attitudes toward his candidacy. Yet the race remains close largely because Obama continues to be seen as the candidate of change, and voters remain divided over whether McCain would govern differently than President Bush.”

Tracking Poll Update

All of the daily tracking polls demonstrate how the momentum of the presidential race is clearly shifting this week to Sen. Barack Obama.

Diageo/Hotline: Obama 46%, McCain 42%

Gallup: Obama 48%, McCain 44%

Research 2000: Obama 49%, McCain 43%

Rasmussen: Obama 48%, McCain 48%

McCain Can’t Keep a Crowd

Radio Iowa attends a McCain-Palin rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where Gov. Sarah Palin spoke for the first 12 minutes and then Sen. John McCain spoke.

“I look up, about five minutes into McCain’s address and see a steady stream of people walking out of the rally. They just came to see Palin apparently.”

National Journal Poll: Key Red States May Flip

This week’s Allstate/National Journal Battleground Poll is out: “Propelled by dissatisfaction with the country’s direction but hampered by doubts about his readiness for the presidency, Barack Obama is forcefully challenging John McCain in four states at the top of the Democrats’ target list, while lagging in a fifth.”

Here are the numbers:

Colorado: Obama 45%, McCain 44%

Florida: Obama 44%, McCain, 44%

New Mexico: Obama 49%, McCain, 42%

Ohio: McCain, 42%, Obama, 41%

Virginia: McCain, 48%, Obama, 41%

Analysis: “Obama almost certainly cannot get the 270 electoral votes necessary for victory without capturing at least one, and probably more, of these potential tipping-point states.”

SurveyUSA: McCain Leads in Florida by Six Points

A new SurveyUSA poll in Florida finds that Sen. John McCain leads Sen. Barack Obama by six points, 51% to 45%. 

Key findings: “McCain has gained ground among men. But, in this first SurveyUSA poll after his pick of Sarah Palin, McCain has lost ground among women.”

Quote of the Day

“She doesn’t have any foreign policy credentials. You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don’t know what you can say. You can’t say anything.”

— Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), quoted by the Omaha World-Herald, on Sen. John McCain’s pick of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

New Battleground Polls Coming

Coming later today: The first of four Allstate/National Journal Battleground Polls. This week will include on Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia.

The Hotline has a sneak peak: “The two key factors in tension in the states in our first round of polling is widespread dissatisfaction with Bush’s job performance (even though he carried all of them in 2004 and all of them except New Mexico in 2000) that is generating a desire for change balanced against a prevailing sense in each state that McCain is more prepared than Obama to be president. (Only in New Mexico does Obama come even close on that question.)”

Check back later for more details.

McCain Town Hall Was Screened

Sen. John McCain’s town hall style meetings “are generally open to the public where anyone may wait in line on the day of the event and come in without an advanced invitation,” according to Fox News.

However, at last night’s 3,500 person townhall in Michigan — “the first time Palin is taking questions from the public — only ticketholders are allowed in. People had to pick up their tickets at local GOP offices after RSVPing for the event.”

ARG Poll: Race Remains Tight in Florida, New Hampshire

American Research Group released several more state polls today, including two key swing states:

Florida: McCain 46%, Obama 46% 

New Hampshire: McCain 48%, Obama 45% 

Also of note in New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen leads John Sununu 52% to 40% in the race for US Senate.

Momentum Shifts Back to Obama

First Read notes how Sen. Barack Obama has retaken control of the presidential race.

“Every poll out this week — whether by a good pollster or a mediocre one — has shown the same trend: movement towards Obama. It’s hard to ignore and one can sense the conventional wisdom shifting again. We have literally lived the adage this week: seven days is a lifetime in politics. If we really back to the pre-convention numbers, this is not a good development for McCain going into the debates. He needed the tie to hold until the debates. The last thing he needs is for the debates to be another moment where he has to catch up rather than solidify his lead. Because after the debates, there really are no more chances to move the race.”

Database is Key Weapon in Obama Campaign

Bloomberg looks at Sen. Barack Obama’s use of Catalist, ” a database that scores 200 million Americans according to their likelihood to vote for party candidates.”

“Catalist collects and stores millions of pieces of information from public records and commercial sources. In addition to voting rolls and tax information, it also has data about voters’ magazine subscriptions and their cars. Campaigns also contribute e-mails, cell-phone numbers and even times when people are likely to be home.”

By using Catalist, the Obama campaign “is able to generate data as detailed as lists of swing voters who are home in the afternoon in a six-block neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. The list can even suggest which voters would be receptive to a pitch based on Obama’s ‘change’ theme, and which may be more interested in his health-care or energy policies.”

Udall Holds Big Lead in New Mexico Senate Race

A new SurveyUSA poll in New Mexico finds Rep. Tom Udall leading Rep. Steve Pearce in the U.S. Senate race, 56% to 41%.

Bush Cancels Fundraisers

With the financial markets in turmoil, President Bush canceled a planned trip to fundraisers in Alabama and Florida today to consult with his economic advisers in Washington, the AP reports.

“The last few weeks have seen enough Wall Street turmoil and corporate collapses to prompt a blitz of federal interventions under Bush’s watch. It is the kind of taxpayer-supported help for the private sector that might seem at odds with Bush’s conservative, free-market economic philosophy. But Bush and his economic advisers say the government has stepped in to keep taxpayers from facing the potential of even worse problems.”

Quinnipiac: Obama Holds National Lead

With a 14-point lead among women and a 91-point lead among blacks, Sen. Barack Obama leads Sen. John McCain among likely voters nationwide, 49% to 45%, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

Said pollster Maurice Carroll: “Sen. Obama is right back where he was before the so-called convention bounces with a four-point lead. The Democratic discombobulation after the selection of Gov. Palin as GOP running mate seems to be steadying. Women, black voters and young people favor Obama. Men, white voters and Evangelical Protestants pick Sen. McCain.”

Indianapolis Star Poll: Obama Grabs Lead in Indiana

Sen. Barack Obama holds a three point lead over Sen. John McCain in Indiana, 47% to 44%, “with one in four likely voters saying they could change their mind on who to support for president,” according to a new Indianapolis Star-WTHR poll.

Key finding: “Obama, the Democrat, holds a 54% to 40% advantage in Indianapolis, but McCain, the Republican, leads in all other regions of the state, including Northwest Indiana.”

Obama Uses Google to Combat Smears

Sen. Barack Obama has taken his campaign fight to Google, according to U.S. News and World Report.

“Specifically, Obama’s campaign has waded into online auctions for Google search terms to snap up potentially negative phrases like ‘Barack Obama birth certificate’ or ‘Barack Obama as a Muslim.’ As of Wednesday morning, Google searches for Obama being a Muslim (a false but pervasive Web rumor) often turn up a prominent ‘sponsored’ link at the top of the results page that connects to a page on Obama’s campaign website that debunks the myth and details his Christian faith. The tech-savvy Obama campaign remains far ahead in the overall Web war. Obama’s website also continues to attract twice the number of unique visitors McCain’s site does.”

SurveyUSA: Obama Holds Solid Lead in New Mexico

A new SurveyUSA poll in New Mexico finds  Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain by 8 points, 52% to 44%.

Key findings: “McCain leads by 11 among whites; Obama leads by 41 among Hispanics. Obama leads by 12 among voters younger than Obama. McCain leads by 10 among voters older than McCain. Half of voters say the economy is most important. Among those voters, Obama leads 3:2. Obama leads among the more educated. McCain leads among the less educated. Obama leads among the less affluent. McCain leads among the more affluent.”

NYT/CBS Poll: McCain Still Seen as Tied to Bush

“Despite an intense effort to distance himself from the way his party has done business in Washington,” Sen. John McCain “is seen by voters as far less likely to bring change to Washington than” Sen. Barack Obama, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

The presidential race is roughly where it was before the two conventions and before the vice presidential selections: Obama leads McCain, 48% to 43%.

Other key finding: Gov. Sarah Palin’s “selection has, to date, helped Mr. McCain only among Republican base voters; there was no evidence of significantly increased support for him among female voters in general.”

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

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