The media’s working through all the election post-mortems…Obama ran a brilliant campaign…McCain never broke free of the conservative wing of his party…no Republican could have won with George W. Bush in office…blah blah blah….
Because I’m a sucker for a good story….
Another poll shows that John McCain could be in serious danger of losing his home state of Arizona — and remember, the Obama campaign just announced that they’ll be advertising there for the first time in the general election.
The new numbers from Research 2000: McCain 48%, Obama 47%, with a ±4% margin of error. The key number from the internals is that Obama is winning the early vote by a 54%-42% margin, and this group is expected to make up 17% of the total likely voters.
Another important number, showing McCain’s latent vulnerability: In a test run for his 2010 re-election against Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano, McCain is trailing 53%-45%.
I’m pretty damned cynical. It comes partly from being a former reporter and partly from just following American politics for so long, but I thought I’d take a moment to share this picture of Obama on the campaign trail meeting with a woman who had just lost her son in Iraq. Despite all the silly bullshit that surrounds the campaigns, they are, at their core, serious business, and it doesn’t hurt to remember that once in awhile.
Poll: Obama Now Leading McCain In Red Swing States
By Greg Sargent – October 28, 2008, 11:44AM
Here’s a stunning finding buried in the new Pew poll: Barack Obama is now narrowly leading John McCain among voters in the 10 battleground states that voted for George W. Bush in 2004.
The poll finds that among those voters, Obama is now up 47%-43%, which is within the margin of error, but still noteworthy. In the past few weeks Obama has steadily gained, and now passed, McCain among these voters.
A week ago, according to the poll’s internals, McCain led among these red battleground state voters by seven points, 49%-42%. Two weeks ago McCain led among them by 10 points, 51%-41%.
No wonder McCain is transferring ad spending out of the blue states and into red ones and spending much of his final campaign time in the Bush states. He’s trying to staunch the red bleeding.
Separately, the poll also finds that Obama is leading McCain by 16 points (52%-36%) among registered voters overall, and by 19 points (53%-34%) among the 15% of respondents who say they’ve already voted.
In case you missed the last big debate, here are some highlights.
As you may know, McCain, ever sensitive to racial stereotypes, declared yesterday that he was a-goin’ to “whip his you-know-what.” Here’s McCain during debate prep.
Here they are during the actual debate. Schieffer’s just asked them what stuff they’re going to have to give up because the economy’s totally screwed.
Here McCain finally makes his move, hitting Obama on hanging around with Bill Ayers, who blew some shit up and stuff during the 1960s, when Obama was working on his times tables and we were having another stupid war.
Obama pretty much responds, dude…what? Are you high?
The big move fizzled, and then McCain talked a lot about the American people being scared and angry. (In other words, projection.) And he said Sarah Palin’s a bitchin’ babe who digs puppies. CBS’s snap poll shows Obama winning 53% to 22%. (The remaining percentage was in the restroom or too drunk to respond after playing the “my friends” drinking game.)
There’s a crack in everything….
We’re just about a week out from the first debate, a little over a month away from the election. I’m puzzled. I don’t have any certainty over this election, which is probably good because I’m frequently wrong right when it comes down to the wire. Over the years, my gut was right about predicting Carter (’76), Reagan (’80 & ’84), Bush (’88), Clinton (’92 and ’96), then wrong with Gore (2000) and Kerry (2004). In other words, George W. Bush fucked up my average, along with everything else in America.
This year, my gut says Obama. But, as I said, I’m not certain. I am, however, feeling better because McCain’s bounce evaporated after just a week, and the celebrity/puppy love over Palin seems to have faded, as crushes often will once you get to know the person, which leaves McCain with basically nothing.
And it’s weird about history, but I’d forgotten the absolute nihilism I felt in ’92 at the prospect of another four years of a Bush. As apocalyptic as it turned out, I didn’t feel that bad in 2004 about W., much as I despised him, because, shit, who could have imagined Katrina? That was when I knew, indeed, that we were living in one of the worst times in American history. You…are…there.
But, back to this year’s politics. Here’s why I think Obama has a chance. He’s basically been steadily leading McCain in both the popular vote and the electoral college (where it counts) since he clinched the nomination. Last week, directly after McCain’s Hail Mary pass (which no one seems to acknowledge was as much a desperate attempt to keep his party from splintering as it was to change the overall game), McCain edged ahead, but not by much, and, in fact, more or less pulled to a statistical tie. The debates will tell the tale, certainly, and neither guy is the most briliant debater in history. (Though Biden’s very good, and the VP debate ought to be…fascinating. It’ll either be a slaughter or it’ll look like the first Kerry/Bush debate, where Kerry clearly won but Bush didn’t screw up so badly that he didn’t croak his incumbent advantage.) Brass tacks, though: 2004 was very, very close, really coming down to Ohio. Obama’s a stronger candidate than Kerry, is running a smarter campaign, and, despite the fact that he automatically loses a few points due to race (there are just some white people who will never vote for a black guy), he holds a very strong hand in at least winning every state Kerry did. That won’t be enough, of course, but he’s also putting other states in play sufficiently that both campaigns are contesting states that McCain shouldn’t be worrying about. His ground game is also reputed to be extremely good, his grassroots organizing, and McCain’s is rumored to be a mess. It was Bush’s ground game, particularly among evangelicals, that carried his ass in 2004. Sometimes, it helps to be a community organizer. Obama’s fundraising and use of the Net is clearly superior to McCain’s.
And this is where I think Palin screws McCain rather than helps him: he’s 72 years old, he’s had melanoma four times, and he’s going to look like 26 years of rough road by the time we get to the final stretch, when even youthful, vigorous candidates begin to look like papery husks. All that puts an emphasis on Palin possibly becoming president, and, I think, with people so worried about their checkbooks, jobs, homes, and retirements, the thought of putting a clear lightweight in charge of a listing ship will give them serious pause. She needs to either game up in a big way or Obama needs to make a serious misstep, else McCain has a steep hill ahead of him. Not a good place to be when the Republican brand is so bad their presidential candidate can only get traction by running away from it. Plus there’s simply the war: McCain won’t end it, and people–especially those with military ties who have borne the burden and traditionally vote Republican–are done with it.
So that’s what my gut tells me. It’s pretty clear that people can choose 1960…or 1929. But, as The Clash (and many others) noted: the future is unwritten. There is, literally, no telling what could happen between now and November 4th and how absolutely mindbending this all could become. The entire economy melting down, a terrorist attack, a gigantic skeleton falling out of a closet, and the stars could realign. And if that happens and McCain wins, all those folks who muttered about leaving the country in 2000 and 2004 might actually start dusting off their passports. Not that it’ll do them a lot of good, because by that time the whole damn planet will be swirling ’round the drain.
…that’s how the light gets in.
Not much has been heard from mutant Christian candidate Mike Huckabee of late, mostly because John McCain’s beating his ass like a brass gong, but the Huck resurfaced today in one of the most pathetic press conferences on record. The following is presented purely for scientific purposes…don’t try this at home.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Huckabee said his campaign has been asking the McCain campaign to debate them and suggested questions surrounding McCain’s adherence to campaign finance laws raises doubts about his viability.
Speaking at a press conference that drew no reporters other than the six who travel with the candidate — despite the national press corps in town for the Democratic debate — the candidate said he wants to debate McCain.
“There’s a race going on, and I wish Sen. McCain was debating me this weekend,” Huckabee said. “I wish we were gonna be in Cleveland tonight on stage or in Dallas or in Houston or San Antonio or Austin or somewhere between now and Tuesday having a debate.”
He said Republicans deserve a debate and that he was “disappointed” a forum between the remaining candidates hadn’t been planned.
“We’ve made it very clear that we would love to have,” he said, “whether it’s a debate or a forum or Q and A, where both of us are there. I think any type of format would be acceptable to us and any location would be acceptable to us.”
Huckabee said the race remained open while the McCain questions about his spending were in the air. “What can John McCain actually spend?” Huckabee asked. “And he seems to be almost being bitten by his own campaign finance reform act, and there are a lot of issues to be settled with what happens in his spending limits.”
Huckabee added that McCain may have to “go completely dark between virtually now and the nomination convention.”
Huckabee did not hold a public event in Cleveland, but did receive a private tour of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, before traveling to Columbus and Mason for rallies as well as a fundraiser in Dayton.