POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/20

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Political Insider: The Obama campaign counts ten different themes coming from the McCain campaign today alone.

McCain Campaign Reconsiders Use of Wright

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told radio host Hugh Hewitt late last week that they are reconsidering using the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as an issue in the last two weeks of the presidential race.

Said Davis: “Look, John McCain has told us a long time ago before this campaign ever got started, back in May, I think, that from his perspective, he was not going to have his campaign actively involved in using Jeremiah Wright as a wedge in this campaign. Now since then, I must say, when Congressman Lewis calls John McCain and Sarah Palin and his entire group of supporters, fifty million people strong around this country, that we’re all racists and we should be compared to George Wallace and the kind of horrible segregation and evil and horrible politics that was played at that time, you know, that you’ve got to rethink all these things. And so I think we’re in the process of looking at how we’re going to close this campaign. We’ve got 19 days, and we’re taking serious all these issues.”  

Google CEO Will Back Obama

Google CEO Eric Schmidt “will hit the campaign trail this week on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, signaling Mr. Schmidt’s push for a greater voice in politics while giving the Obama campaign a boost from a highly desirable constituency,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

PPP Poll: Obama Increases Lead in North Carolina

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain, 51% to 44%, “and his remarkably strong standing with white voters in the state is the main reason.”

Key findings: “Obama’s gains are being fueled by very strong performances with two of the fastest growing voter blocs in the state: suburbanites and independent voters. He is up 56-38 in suburbia, where Bush won convincingly in 2004, and has expanded his lead with independents to 51-33.”

CNN Poll: Obama’s Lead Shrinks to Five Points

A new CNN poll of likely voters suggests the national race for the White House may be tightening up.

Sen. Barack Obama leads Sen. John McCain by five points, 51% to 46%, down from an eight point edge two weeks ago.

“One reason behind the tightening of the race appears to be a drop in the number of people who think McCain, if elected, will mostly carry out President Bush’s policies. Forty-nine percent of those questioned in the new survey say McCain would mostly carry out Bush’s policies, down from 56 percent in the previous poll.”

Rasmussen: Obama Way Ahead in Virginia

A new Rasmussen survey shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain by a stunning ten points, 54% to 44%. Just last week, Obama’s lead was just three points.

Update: A new SurveyUSA poll gives Obama a six point lead, 51% to 45%.

Poll Shows Democrats on Verge of Another Wave

The latest Democracy Corps poll shows that in the top tier of competitive House races — the 20 most vulnerable Republican seats — Democratic candidates “are beginning to pull away, doubling their 4-point lead from last week to 8 points. Meanwhile, Democrats in the next two tiers remain within striking distance, trailing their Republican opponents by just 2 points in the second tier and 3 points in the third and holding the Republicans under 50 percent in both.”

“Seats that once appeared out of reach are now very much in play.”

Suffolk Poll: Obama Leads in Ohio, McCain Up in Missouri

A new Suffolk University poll shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain by nine points in Ohio, 51% to 42%.

Said pollster David Paleologos: “If Ohio goes for Obama, it may be lights out for McCain. At least today, the probability of an Ohio win is supported by the high-single-digit lead in the statewide poll coupled with the Perry County bellwether, which showed Obama leading by 4 percent.”

Meanwhile, a poll in Missouri gives McCain a one point edge over Obama, 45% to 44%.

McCain Has Less Than $50 Million Left

Sen. John McCain reports spending $37 million in September and has $47 million for the campaign in October, the AP reports.

While Sen. Barack Obama raised more than $150 million in September, McCain “is no longer raising funds because he is participating in the presidential election public financing system. That restricts his spending to $84 million between early September and Election Day Nov. 4.”

Is the Presidential Race Tightening?

Sen. Barack Obama’s prediction that his lead would shrink in the final days of the campaign is apparent in the new Diago/Hotline tracking poll to be formally released later this morning. 

Obama’s 5% lead in the poll, 47% to 42%, is his smallest in two weeks.

Update: The new Gallup tracking poll has Obama’s lead expanding to 11 points, 52% to 41%.

Palin Pick Hurting McCain

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that 52% of Americans believe that Sen. John McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin for vice president weakens their confidence in his judgment — “that’s up 13 points since just after the selection, as doubts about Palin’s qualifications (also voiced by Powell on Sunday) have grown.”

Nevada Early Voting May Give Edge to Obama

Nevada political guru Jon Ralston notes that “more and more” the state “is looking as if it leans toward Barack Obama, no matter what the overmatched McCain folks do here. There are 100,000-plus more registered Democrats than Republicans in Nevada now. That should be an insurmountable barrier. If it’s not, and McCain wins Nevada, the Democrats will have to go into hiding.”

Ralston was also quoted by First Read: “Of the 25,000-plus who voted early, 15,644 were Democrats and 5,721 were Republicans, according to Clark County Election Department records. If that trends holds, this won’t be a wave; it’ll be a tsunami.”

How Indiana Became a Battleground

Walter Shapiro looks at why Indiana is suddenly up for grabs. 

“Obama’s unexpected strength here cannot simply be attributed to the Chicago media market, which reaches only about 20 percent of the state, or a heavy African-American vote (Indiana is 86 percent white).” 

Instead, it’s about jobs. “Indiana — whose economy more revolves around manufacturing than that of any other state — has also lost 150,000 factory jobs since 2000, and its 6.2 percent unemployment rate in September was close to a 20-year high.”

Powell May Dominate News Cycle for Days

The most important aspect of Colin Powell’s endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama may be its impact on Sen. John McCain’s ability to take control of the news cycle with just two weeks until Election Day.

The Note: “Powell’s endorsement has the power to live for a few more news cycles in part because it was coupled with an indictment of McCain’s campaign — on Bill Ayers, on the economy, and running through a running-mate selection ‘that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Sen. McCain made.’ In its sweep, Powell’s lasting impact may be that he rendered McCain’s last best weapons ineffective.”

First Read: “As for the impact of Powell on voters, it’s probably tough to measure. Voters usually don’t believe they are ever moved by endorsements but it can reassure soft supporters. Moreover, it’s the impact Powell will have on the news cycle with the opinion intelligentsia that should benefit Obama the most over the next few days.”

Obama Makes Big Push In Florida

“As early voting begins in Florida, some of the biggest names in Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign will barnstorm Florida for three days,” the Tampa Tribune reports.

Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson “will hold 10 events across the state during the first three days of early voting… He’s making an all-out push to take back the state, which Republicans have won in every presidential race since 1996.”

The Orlando Sentinel notes there should be 30,000 to 40,000 people at tonight’sObama-Clinton rally in Orlando.  

The New York Times notes Obama “intends to devote most of his time over the next 15 days in states that President Bush won, aides said, going to Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia.”

Palin Critical of Robocalls

Gov. Sarah Palin had critical words about the robocalls the McCain-Palin campaign has been using in key battleground states, according to CNN.

Said Palin: “If I called all the shots, and if I could wave a magic wand. I would be sitting at a kitchen table with more and more Americans, talking to them about our plan to get the economy back on track and winning the war and not having to rely on the old conventional ways of campaigning that includes those robocalls and includes spending so much money on the television ads that, I think, is kind of draining out there in terms of Americans’ attention span. They get a bit irritated with just being inundated…”

Obama Leads in Newspaper Endorsements

The Obama-Biden ticket maintains its strong lead in the race for daily newspaper endorsements, by 105 to 33, a better than 3-1 margin, picking up 50 or more papers in the past day,” reports Editor and Publisher.

Obama’s lopsided margin, including most of the major papers that have decided so far, is in stark contrast to John Kerry barely edging George W. Bush in endorsements in 2004 by 213 to 205.”

Quote of the Day

“There’s no doubt. We think the race will tighten because that’s just what happens.”

— Sen. Barack Obama, interviewed on NBC’s Today Show.

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

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