POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/21

The Marriage Gap

A new GQR poll finds that young, white, married women prefer Sen. John McCain by one point, 47% to 46%, while young married women overall favor Sen. Barack Obama by 12 points, 53% to 41%. 

However, young unmarried women prefer Obama by a stunning 48 point margin, 65% to 27%. That’s a “marriage gap” of 36 points.

Pew Research: McCain Collapses in Latest National Poll

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.

 

McCain Giving Up On New Hampshire, Wisconsin?

Democratic sources tell George Stephanopoulos that Sen. John McCain’s campaign “may be giving up on New Hampshire and Wisconsin.”

“Instead of placing new television advertising buys in those states, they say the McCain campaign is stretching out previous ad buys over more days rather than devote new ad money.”

Civitas Poll: Obama Maintains Small Lead in North Carolina

A new Civitas poll in North Carolina shows signs the race is tightening. Sen. Barack Obama now leads Sen. John McCain by three points, 48% to 45%.

Obama held a five point lead in the poll two weeks ago.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God.”

— Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC), quoted by Politico. When confronted, the congressman’s staff denied he said it, but the audio proves otherwise.

According to First Read, Hayes “won his seat in 2006 by only 369 votes, and the toss-up race is one of the more closely watched in the country.”

Tracking Poll Primer

Nate Silver evaluates each of the eight daily national tracking polls currently available.

In summation, none of these tracking polls are perfect, although Rasmussen — with its large sample size and high pollster rating — would probably be the one I’d want with me on a desert island. Conversely, the only one of the trackers that I consider obviously dubious is Zogby.”

PPP Poll: Florida Tightens

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida finds Sen. Barack Obama just barely edging Sen. John McCain, 48% to 47%.

Key finding: “There has been some movement in John McCain’s direction with both white voters and Hispanics over the last three weeks. McCain’s margin has increased five points with whites, from 52-41 to 55-39. Hispanic voters, who have swung back and forth both in PPP’s polls and those of most organizations conducting surveys in Florida, are supporting McCain 50-46 after going for Obama by the exact same margin in our previous poll.”

SurveyUSA: Kentucky Senate Race Now Dead Even

A new SurveyUSA poll in Kentucky finds Sen. Mitch McConnell fighting for his political life against challenger Bruce Lunsford (D) with the race now tied at 48% each.

Obama Started Month With Huge Money Edge

Sen. Barack Obama began October with nearly $134 million in the bank, the APreports. In contrast, Sen. John McCain started the final stretch of the campaign with $47 million.

“Both candidates are also getting help from their respective parties. The DNC had $27.4 million in hand at the end of the month. The RNC said it had $77 million. That helps close the gap, but Democrats still hold a considerable $37 million advantage.”

Key point: “Obama’s $5 million-a-day fundraising rate has likely continued in October and will widen the financial gap between the two sides.”

PPP Poll: Obama Leads in Indiana

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Indiana shows Sen. Barack Obama edging Sen. John McCain, 48% to 46%.

Key finding: “New voters are going for Obama at a clip of 68-24, allowing him to overcome a 48-45 lead John McCain has with folks who did vote in the last Presidential election.”

Quote of the Day

“I’ve done nine presidential campaigns and this is the first time this has ever happened to me. I was even allowed — I won’t say welcomed — on the Clinton plane in the summer of 1996 after I was revealed as the author of Primary Colors.”

— Joe Klein, quoted by Politico, on being banned from Sen. John McCain’s campaign plane.

Signs of a Wave

Over the past week, CQ Politics changed its ratings on 29 House races — all but one of which signified stronger chances for the Democratic candidates.

Research 2000: Obama Expands Lead in New Hampshire

A new Research 2000 poll in New Hampshire finds Sen. Barack Obama has widened his lead over Sen. John McCain, 50% to 43%.

Key findings: “Obama has solidified his support, according to the poll, with 45 percent of those polled proclaiming themselves “firm” in supporting the Illinois senator. McCain, an Arizona senator, garnered the firm backing of 40 percent of those polled. Still, 15 percent of those polled said they could change their minds, leaving the race still fluid with two weeks to go before Election Day.”`

McCain Stumps in Must-Win Pennsylvania

Based on last night’s report, Sen. John McCain’s only viable path to the presidency must include a win in Pennsylvania. McCain has three stops in the state scheduled for today.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Despite polls showing him trailing Democrat Barack Obama by double digits in Pennsylvania, John McCain continued to treat the state as if the whole election depended on it.” 

“All the McCain activity is happening in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 1.2 million, double from four years ago; where Obama, flush with cash, is outspending McCain on television by several orders of magnitude; and where the Democrats have an organizational advantage.”

Obama to Leave Campaign Trail for Ill Grandmother

On Thursday, Sen. Barack Obama will “travel to Hawaii to see his 86-year-old grandmother, who has fallen ill,” according to Politico.

“The change of plans means Obama will scrap scheduled rallies Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, and Madison, Wisc. He will instead head to Indianapolis, Ind., for a morning event, leave for Hawaii and return to the campaign trail Saturday.”

McCain Giving Up on Colorado

CNN reports that top officials of Sen. John McCain’s campaign are “making tough decisions” as they now see Colorado, New Mexico and Iowa no longer winnable.

Instead, the campaign’s “risky strategy” is counting on Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and a comeback in Pennsylvania.

The McCain campaign responds: “We see the race tightening both internally and in public polling. We are within striking distance in the key battleground states we need to win.”

CBS/NYT Poll: Obama Helped By Debates

CBS News/New York Times poll surveying the same set of voters before the first debate and after the final debate finds Sen. Barack Obama improved his position considerably over Sen. John McCain.

Before debates: Obama 48%, McCain 43%

After debates: Obama 54%, McCain 41%

Key finding: “Voters’ overall favorable opinions of Obama have improved ten points since the initial survey, to 53%… McCain, by contrast, has seen his unfavorable rating rise ten points, to 45%.”

Fox News Poll: McCain Improves Slightly in Battleground

The latest Fox News/Rasmussen polls in key red states shows Sen. John McCain slightly improving his position relative to last week.

Florida: McCain 49%, Obama 48%

North Carolina: Obama 51%, McCain 48%

Ohio: McCain 49%, Obama 47%

Colorado: Obama 51%, McCain 46%

Missouri: Obama 49%, McCain 44%

WP/ABC Tracking Poll: Obama Leads By Nine Points

A new Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain by 53% to 44% among likely voters, “aided by voters’ focus on the shaky economy and by their perceptions that he is better equipped to handle those problems than his rival.”

Susquehanna Poll: Obama Leads in Pennsylvania

Sen. Barack Obama leads Sen. John McCain by 8 points in Pennsylvania, 48% to 40%, according to a Susquehanna/Tribune-Review poll that shows the candidates’ support solidifying 15 days before Election Day.

An August Susquehanna poll gave Obama a 5-point advantage.political wire’s headlines

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