Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Video Quote of the Day

For those who think competence matters, check out this damning video clip from Fareed Zakaria, columnist for Newsweek and host of GPS on CNN, as he talks about Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin.

The Moose Vote: Obama, not Mama

Many of us hardcore political junkies spend a lot time every election cycle pouring over hundreds of polls, trolling for every bit of information we can find. There is typically a lot of focus on various groups of voters, identified by gender, race, age, geography, education level, income bracket, etc. This so-called identity politics has also become a staple of the chattering classes on cable TV and in the print media.

It's become the fashion to give these voting blocs catchy little labels so we don't have to go through long descriptions (or - God forbid! - offer proof of their existence) to make our point. Think of CNN's John King, who can hardly get through a recap of the latest poll without at least one reference to "lunch-bucket Democrats". Then there is MSNBC's Chris Matthews, waxing poetic over the "white, blue-collar, Catholic, working class voters" of Pennsylvania.  And, of course, there are the universally invoked "Reagan Democrats". You know the drill.

Thanks to the selection of Sarah Palin as the Republican VP candidate, we at ElectBlue have identified a group of voters who have been all but ignored by the mainstream media. So, we're going to correct that oversight here and now. These are what we call moose voters

Moose voters live in states with naturally-occurring populations of wild moose. In spite of wide differences in location, education, income, race, gender, etc., these voters have a lot in common. They share a a fondness for cold weather, own lots of heavy winter clothing, love riding around in snow mobiles and are addicted to ice fishing. They typically prefer Molson to Budweiser, drive American cars and have a very independent political streak.

There are thirteen states in what we like to call the moose belt: ME, NH, VT, NY, MI, WIMNCOMT, IDWA, OR and, of course, AK. So how is the presidential race shaking out with moose voters this election? In a word, it's not even close - even though the results may be a bit surprising to many.

Barack Obama and running mate Joe Biden have a commanding lead over John McCain and Sarah ("Moose Huntin' Mama") Palin. Of the thirteen states in the moose belt, Obama-Biden currently lead in ten: ME, NH, VT, NY, MI, WI, MNCOWA and OR. Only three states - MT, ID and AK - look safe for the McCain-Palin ticket. In the race for moose state electoral votes, Obama-Biden are crushing McCain-Palin, 107 to 10.

Of course, things can and do change in an election campaign. We at ElectBlue are committed to follow developments in the moose belt. We will bring you updates as warranted.

Video: Palin inserts foot...again

Here's another segment that will air on tonight's CBS Evening News.

Tuke Rising In TN

Democratic US Senate hopeful Bob Tuke's camp started the week with some great news, courtesy of two separate polls.

The first, conducted by the Global Strategy Group of 600 likely voters, found that Tuke has cut incumbent Republican Lamar Alexander's lead in half since June, with Tuke now trailing by only 12 points. Alexander is at 50% and Tuke is at 38%.

Moreover, the GSG poll found that when respondents were re-polled after finding out more about Tuke, the difference shrank to 46% for Alexander and 43% for Tuke.

The poll also discovered that Tuke has enjoyed a 37-point jump in name recognition (with 76% now familiar with him), while Alexander's favorable rating dropped 8% and his unfavorable rating climbed 11%.

"A referendum is emerging throughout Tennessee, and Senator Alexander will have to answer for his voting record, which has favored special interests over Tennessee interests time and time again," said Tuke in a press release touting the new numbers.

A second poll, conducted by telephone of 635 eligible voters by Middle Tennessee State University also found that Tuke has closed the gap on Alexander. Half (50%) of those surveyed still prefer the incumbent, but Tuke's ratio of solid support climbed to 26%, with a whopping 23% undecided.

There is a 4% margin of error in the MTSU poll.

While Tuke is smiling, the Alexander campaign cannot be pleased with the new numbers, especially when you consider that Tennessee voters favored John McCain by roughly the same percentage (48%) -- and Tennessee Republicans have famously dissed the Arizona senator.

Recall that during the Republican Primary, most of the state's top Republicans supported other candidates (Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee chief among them). When the race was narrowed to two, Tennessee Republicans picked Huckabee in what many pundits regarded as a poke in the eye to the then-unbeatable McCain.

And now native son Alexander has roughly the same amount of support as one of the party’s least liked presidential candidates?

If I were Tuke, I’d be smiling too.

Gallup Debate Poll: Obama Gains Confidence On National Security

The bad news for John McCain keeps coming.  According to a Gallup poll conducted on Saturday, more Americans believe that Barack Obama won the debate, 46-34.

Even worse for McCain is that Americans are growing more confident of Obama with regard to credibility on foreign policy and defense issues.  Obama also made gains on issues related to the economy.

The entire Gallup debate poll can be read here.

Couric 3 McCain/Palin 0

The McCain/Palin ship is really starting to sink. 

Here's that far-left, liberal, socialist, boogeywoman, again. Katie Couric that is. Watch McCain try to blame Couric for Palin's disastrous interview. Oh, and something about a pizza place..

Who will the McCain campaign blame after Thursday's VP debate?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Critical Dates: Voter Registration and Early Voting

Click here for an easy-to-read summary of voter registration deadlines in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, provided by Rock The Vote

ElectBlue is working on a companion table to summarize early voting and absentee voting information. Definitions of what constitutes early voting versus absentee voting vary widely from state to state, making a simple summary very difficult to  produce. The best online table we have found so far is at EarlyVoting. We at ElectBlue hope to develop and publish our own, easier-to-use summary shortly.

In the meantime, if you have questions about early voting or absentee voting in your state, the best source of information is your local election commission. Our experience is that rules and dates can vary by county and city, even within the same state. Your local officials are the best bet for accurate information. Basic information about state and local contacts can be found at the EarlyVoting site.

Absentee Resident Dole

Is it too much to ask that a U.S. Senator actually spend time in their home state? That's the question residents in North Carolina should be asking themselves.

According to official Senate sources, press releases and North Carolina newspaper clips, Dole has spent very little time getting to know North Carolinians since being elected in 2002. Although she was born in North Carolina, she hadn't been a resident for decades until 2001 when she decided to run for the open Jesse Helms' seat.

For 33 years, the Dole's had lived in the prestigious Watergate Apartment Complex before Elizabeth declared her primary residence at her mother's home in North Carolina. Not everyone was thrilled about the idea. The perception of Dole being a carpetbagger was strong even then, although Republicans welcomed her with open arms. The chair of the Republican party had these nice words to say about the new resident.
"She's considered a North Carolinian who's been on duty in Washington for a long time."
Maybe the perception of being a Washington insider served Dole an advantage in 2002, but something tells me that's not the case in 2008.

Bless her heart...

After one term, the long time Washington insider is in a fight for her political life. Recent polls show "Senator Nowhere" trailing lifelong North Carolina resident Kay Hagan, and North Carolinians are taking notice of where Dole really lives this time.  

Let's face it. Some people spend more days on a Smoky Mountain vacation than Dole spends at her primary home in a whole year. According to a study by Media General News Service, in her first five years as Senator Mrs. Dole spent 90% of her time outside of North Carolina.

Dole Days In NC
% of year
2003 55 15%
2004 34 9%
2005 20 5%
2006 13 4%
2007 50 14%
2008 97 to date 27%

No wonder North Carolinians are ready to fire Elizabeth Dole. That's usually what happens when you don't show up to work, right?  Help Kay Hagan serve Liddy Dole her pink slip on November 4th by contributing to her campaign today.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nuptials in Nome: the Next McCain Gimmick?

Since securing the Republican Presidential nomination, John McCain has engaged in a consistent pattern of gimmick-driven efforts to distract voters and change the subject in this campaign. In light of Barack Obama's growing lead in most national polls, many of us have been expecting another gimmick from the McCain campaign. We may not have long to wait.

The Times of London is reporting today that Bristol Palin, 17, daughter of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, will wed Levi Johnston, 18, her boyfriend and father of her unborn baby, before the November election. Lest you think this has nothing to do with politics, The Times quotes a McCain insider as saying: "It would be fantastic. You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week."

Shut down the race for an entire week? Not talk about the issues? Avoid those pesky political reporters? So, that's the goal, huh? Who knew?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Quote of the Day

Woodrow Wilson, speaking nearly one hundred years ago, displayed an uncanny prescience about the actions of the current Republican members of the US House of Representatives:

"A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible." 

Another Poll Finds KY's Mitch McConnell in Deep Trouble

For the second time in less than a week, a survey of Kentucky voters finds Democrat Bruce Lunsford has pulled even with Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell in the race for the US Senate. The latest poll, released just hours ago, was conducted for The Louisville Courier-Journal by the Mason-Dixon Polling and Research organization. Lunsford has been waging a vigorous fight to unseat McConnell who is a twenty-four year Senate veteran and, as Minority Leader, the most powerful Republican in the Senate.

The Mason-Dixon poll shows the race knotted up at 41%-41%. Until recently, Lunsford had trailed McConnell by double digits in most polls. The Bluegrass Democrat has closed the gap with a hard-hitting campaign focusing on economic issues, McConnell's ties to Big Oil and McConnell's accumulation of great personal wealth while in the Congress. A SurveyUSA poll released just four days ago also found the raced statistically tied.

Good work, Mr.Lunsford!  Keep it up!

Debate Win Should Add to Obama's Momentum

As noted in our latest Electoral Vote projection, Senator Obama was already picking up steam heading into last night's Presidential debate. Three tracking polls out today  - Rasmussen, Gallup and Diageo/Hotline - confirm that assessment. 

Obama leads McCain by five points in the Gallup and Diageo/Hotline surveys and by six points in Rasmussen's tracker. None of these daily tracking surveys reflect the impact of last night's debate. Note that Obama's lead is outside the margin of error in all three tracking polls.

Then comes the debate. According to flash polls by CBS, CNN and others, Obama won last night's encounter handily. Numbers from various real-time focus groups (Luntz, GQR, etc.) show the same results. Assuming these snapshots are accurate, we will almost certainly see Obama's lead increase in the days ahead. Without a doubt, the Democratic Presidential nominee now has what Bush The Elder famously called "Big Mo" (momentum).

There must be a bunch of very worried ex-lobbyists at McCain Headquarters today. Stay tuned for the next gimmick from McCainWorld. Given the trouble they're in, you can bet it's coming.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Electoral Update - McCain On the Brink of Disaster

John McCain's surge is over. In fact, the opposite effect is taking place.  For the second straight week, John McCain has lost electoral ground. Last week, we moved Virginia from the McCain column to tossup, and this week we're doing the same for North Carolina. Obama's numbers have held very steady for 10 weeks straight, and he now leads John McCain 273-217.  Besides North Carolina (15), Ohio (20) and Virginia (13) are also too close to call. Ohio and Virginia, as promised, will remain as tossups until one candidate gains a clear advantage.

George Bush won North Carolina by more than 12 points in 2000 and 2004, despite John Edwards running as veep on the Democratic ticket. Regardless of this year's outcome, a double-digit win here by either candidate is unlikely. 

It's hard to tell who's coattailing who, but Barack Obama and Kay Hagan both lead their Republican opponents in the latest Rasmussen polling. Both candidates will put a lot of effort into the triangle region and the northeast area of the state where Democrats generally fair well. Read today's analysis of Wake County by PPP.

But Obama will need to do more than just fair well to win.  He will need to best Kerry's performance in 2004 in Mecklenburg/Charlotte (Kerry 52% Bush 48%) and Chatham County where John Kerry beat George Bush by only 5 votes (12,897 - 12,892). While polls show the race as a dead heat, a strong turnout on election day for Democrats could be the leading headline on November 5th.

Last week's electoral projection made mention of a possible John McCain surprise.
"The last time McCain needed a jolt to his campaign, he shocked everyone with Palin. If at some point, the campaign begins to slip away, he may just pull another fast one."
And here we have it. McCain's call to suspend his campaign has everyone wondering whether or not he will attend tonight's debate. In light of  gridlock on bailout, McCain's Hail-Mary, and next Thursday's vice presidential debate, we'll ask a some related questions today and then answer them in next Friday's projection.

1. Will John McCain's appearance (or no-show) in Oxford tonight be a moment of demise or reinvigoration for his campaign?

2. The expectations to perform well are high for Barack Obama. Can he live up to them in the debate.

3. Many people are hoping that a deal on the bailout will be made by Sunday. Will Republicans be able to catch McCain's Hail-Mary pass? Will poll numbers next week show confidence in McCain's role in whatever decisions are made, or will voters see his decisions this week as razzle dazzle, as Chris Matthews put it. Will McCain alienate himself from the conservative base?

4. For more than three weeks, the nation has been captivated by moose hunting mama, Sarah Palin. The expectations haven't been much lower than they are for Palin going into next week's vice presidential debate. Will the viewing audience be left with the impression that Biden was too tough on her? Will the debate even matter?

As always, a week is a lifetime in presidential politics. Just last week, we were talking about how the political landscape was shaping up to look like 2000 and 2004.  This week, when you consider NC and VA as both being tossups, that doesn't seem at all to be the case. 

With just 38 days left until election day, John McCain is on the brink of disaster. Any further setbacks are sure to cost him in places like Ohio, Nevada, and Florida. For him, next week could be the most important week of his political life. For Obama, the opportunity to round another base is at hand, and sliding into home plate on November 4th is shaping up to be more possible now than ever. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sarah, the Turtle and the Post

The recent bizarre utterances and clueless appearance of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin have given new life to an old, but timelessly funny, political joke. With a small make-over for the Alaska setting, it goes something like this:

Deep in the north woods of Alaska lives an old fur trapper who rarely sees another human being. A few times a year, however, one of his grandsons will make the trek from town into the wilderness to check on grandpa. One of these visits took place last week.

After discussing the usual family matters, the talk turned to politics. The grandson was eager to know what the old man thought about Sarah Palin running for Vice-President. Grandpa paused a moment and then said: "Well, you know, Sarah Palin is a post turtle." The young man had never heard the term and asked grandpa what he meant.

The grizzled fur trapper explained: "Well, it's like when you're driving down a country road and you see a turtle perched on top of a fence post." 

Seeing the still-puzzled look on his grandson's face, the old man continued: "Well, you know that turtle didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she's up there, so you start wondering what kind of dumb ass put her up there in the first place." 

Shock Video: God Help Us

Here's Sarah Palin defending her so-called foreign policy experience as it relates to Alaska's close proximity to Russia.

The Man with the Plan

Here's the latest ad from the Obama campaign. It's a strong, clear message on the economy, delivered in a confident, re-assuring tone. Now that's what I call Presidential.

Oregon's Merkley Pulls Ahead in New Poll

Jeff Merkley, Democratic candidate for the US Senate from Oregon, has made dramatic gains against his Republican opponent, incumbent Senator Gordon Smith, according to a poll released by SurveyUSA just hours ago. The latest survey of likely Oregon voters shows Merkley with 44%, Smith with 42% and Constitutional Party candidate Dave Brownlow with a surprisingly strong 8%.  These figures represent a 14 point improvement for Merkley since the previous SurveyUSA poll just seven weeks ago.

Merkley's surge has been across a board spectrum of Oregonians, including strong gains among men, with voters under 50 and among those living in the greater Portland area. Merkley has focused his spirited campaign on bread-and butter issues while blasting Smith's ties to big corporate interests. It's working. Keep it up, Jeff!

Whither Tennessee's Senate Race?

Maybe it's because pollsters and pundits have decided that Tennessee will be stained a deep red this political season.

Maybe it's because voters here are still fatigued from 2006's exhausting Senate race between Democrat Harold Ford Jr. and the ultimate victor, Republican Bob Corker.

Maybe it's because it's been a good year for the roses.

I don't know. Your guess is as good as mine.

Whatever the reason, something seems to have stymied a race that many viewed as a golden opportunity to unseat one of the biggest phonies to ever represent the Volunteer State, Republican U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander.

An extreme rightwing conservative who passes himself off as a populist moderate, Alexander enters this election season of "change" as a candidate who cannot escape his allegiance to a party that has shifted so hard to the right that Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater would be considered liberals by its current standards.

He comes off like a kindly old grandfather, but like it or not, Alexander's folksy demeanor cannot hide the one thing his conservative backers treasure most: his voting record.

For example, in 2005 Alexander voted against a bill that would fund education and contraceptives to combat teen pregnancy. (Republican family values?)

A year later, he voted in favor of changing the Constitution to prevent same-sex marriage and to ban flag desecration. (Apparently, Alexander thinks he knows better than our nation's Fore Fathers what's best for our citizens.)

When it comes to education, Alexander is a man of the people, right?

Not so fast. Incredibly (or not), Alexander -- who was President George H.W. Bush's Secretary of Education -- earned an abysmal 27% rating from the National Education Association (NEA) in 2003, indicating a shameful anti-public education record. In the years that followed, he voted against investing in community learning centers; against $5 billion for grants to local educational agencies; and against redirecting $11 billion from corporate tax loopholes to education.

These are but a few of the truths that shatter Alexander's deceptive image as a middle-of-the-road moderate.

When is Democratic challenger Bob Tuke going to fully engage this George Bush-like impostor?

We can only hope it's sooner than later. Otherwise there won't be enough time to list the ways in which Alexander is out of step with Tennessee -- and the number of times he has voted against our interests.

John Brake is the former chairman of Tennessee's Williamson County Democratic Party. He is also a columnist for the Williamson Herald.

North Carolina: Obama +2

For the first time this year, Barack Obama is leading John McCain in North Carolina. Polls previous to today's survey suggested the race as being dead even. 

Now, Rasmussen shows Obama taking a 49-47 lead in a state where George Bush won by more than 15% in 2004.  No Democrat has won North Carolina since Carter in 1976 , although Clinton lost the state by less than one point in 1992

View poll from Rasmussen.

There is a clear enthusiasm gap between those supporting Obama and those supporting McCain.

From the analysis:
"Eighty-one percent (81%) of Obama supporters are voting for their candidate with enthusiasm while 14% are voting primarily against McCain. Those figures have changed little over the past week.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of McCain voters are casting their votes with enthusiasm, up from 62% a week ago. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are voting primarily against Obama, down from 34%."

Rasmussen's analysis did not indicate whether or not the crisis on Wall Street had anything to do with Obama's surge; however, the poll was conducted on September 23rd, before McCain's announcement to suspend his campaign.

Poll: On With the Debate. This is it!

Nearly 90% of Americans want to see a debate in one form or another on Friday, that according to a new Survey USA poll released yesterday.  View full results here.

Survey USA surveyed 1000 adults immediately after John McCain suspended his campaign. The poll found:
  • 50% of respondents said the debate should go on as scheduled.
  • 36% said that the debate should be focused on the economy instead of foreign policy.
  • 10% agreed with postponing the debate; and 4% were unsure.
  • Just 14% believed that suspending the campaigns was the right decision.

Video: Think Bush Is The Worst? Think Again.

Viewer warning: Be sure you have something to catch the drool with because your mouth will be wide-open and paralyzed for the the next five minutes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

Congressman Barney Frank, on John Sidney McCain III's suspension of his campaign, via MSNBC:

"It's the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys."

A Noun, a Verb and a Gimmick

In an act of utter political desperation, driven by naked personal ambition, John McCain has suddenly 'suspended' his campaign, called on Barack Obama to do the same and announced he wants to delay the presidential debate scheduled for this Friday.  The public excuse he offers for these dramatic actions is to allow the two presidential candidates to go to Washington so they can focus on crafting a bailout plan for the financial industry.  

Oh really, Mr. McCain? It has nothing to do with a raft of new polls in recent days showing that your campaign is coming apart at the seams? Nothing to do with how tired, confused and erratic you've looked and sounded on the campaign trail lately? Nothing to do with the burgeoning scandals plaguing your campaign? Nothing to do with the fact that you can't allow your running-mate out of the house without adult supervision? Really?

Or is it, Mr. McCain, that you just can't do more than one thing at a time,? I've got a news flash for you: Presidents often have to juggle multiple problems simultaneously...  and sometimes several very serious problems at that. Lincoln ran a presidential campaign (1864) in the middle of the Civil War. FDR ran for President twice (1932 and 1936) in the midst of the Great Depression and once (1944) in the middle of World War II. What's your problem, Mr. McCain? Are you just not up to the job? 

No, Mr. McCain, this won't do. Your suggestion just won't wash. Be a man and admit the truth. This ploy is just one more gimmick - like the 'drill here, drill now' scheme, the faux concern about Hurricane Ike during the RNC, the selection of a totally unqualified and unexpected VP candidate and the reckless call to fire the head of the SEC as a fix for the Wall Street meltdown. All of them were gimmicks and all were designed with only one goal in mind: to get you elected President. Just raw, cynical political ambition - nothing more.

Barack Obama just held a press conference. He told us the truth while looking and sounding very presidential in the process. He knows this campaign must continue. He's willing to do what it takes to fix the mess on Wall Street while protecting taxpayers' interests, but he is unwilling to suspend the most important election campaign in a generation. Above all, he knows that we deserve presidential candidates who can manage a crisis and present their views to the American people at the same time. It's called leadership.

Enough with the gimmicks, John McCain!

Poll Perspective

As the stream of political polls turns into a veritable flood between now and election day, it's probably a good idea to take a deep breath and try to keep a little perspective on what these surveys are actually telling us.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that, although national polls are extremely useful in giving us a good sense of how the race is going, we choose our President through the electoral college, not by direct popular vote. It's an obvious point, I know, but one that is often ignored by the chattering classes on network and cable television - and even by those in the print media.  The state-by-state polls are what really matter. 

Secondly, the margins of error (MOEs) in any poll - national or state - are very important. These MOEs are typically in the range of plus or minus 3 to 5 percentage points. Thus, real voter sentiment can vary as much as six to ten points from what the raw poll numbers indicate. So far, we've seen only few national polls in the presidential race which give one candidate or the other a lead outside the margin of error.  The Washington Post/ABC News poll, released today and discussed in detail in the blog below, is a notable exception. Obama's nine point lead is well beyond that survey's three point (plus or minus) margin of error.

Finally, it is helpful to remember how many real voters these national poll numbers represent. Assuming that the turn-out in this year's election is at least as high as four years ago, each percentage point equates to roughly 1.3 million voters. So, a nine point lead in a national survey, such as we see in today's Washington Post/ABC News poll, equals over eleven million voters. No small potatoes, that.

National Poll: Obama By 9

A new Washington Post/ABC News Poll released this morning shows Barack Obama surging past John McCain to a 52-43 point lead nationally.  McCain's convention bounce gave him a two point lead two weeks ago, but that lead has now been erased as voters fear a worsening economy and the ongoing catastrophe on Wall Street.  

Highlights from the poll. View full polling data (pdf)
  • Obama leads 52-39 on the economy
  • Independents prefer Obama by 21 points on issues related to the economy
  • 9% rate the economy as "good" or "excellent"
  • 14% of voters believe the nation is heading in the right direction  (ties record low in 1973)
  • 60% are worried about their own family finances
  • 43% of independent women view Palin favorably compared to 65% last month (-22%)
  • 62% of Obama supporters are "very enthusiastic" compared to just 34% for John McCain who feel the same way about his candidacy.

Rocky Mountain Blue

One good thing about election day getting closer is the glut of polls being released, particular on the state level. One such example is Colorado and the news in very good. In the Centennial State Barack Obama and Mark Udall are pulling away from John Sidney McCain III and Bob “Oil Man” Schaffer.

Three polls in the last week have come out of Colorado all of which show an Obama lead ranging from 4% to 10%. While the truth is likely somewhere in between (the PPP poll that has Obama up 7% sounds about right), the fact is that Obama is starting to open up a narrow, but substantial leads in the crucial state. Two polls were also released in the Senate race (an open seat being vacated by perpetually vulnerable Wayne Allard) between Congressman Mark Udall and former Congressman and "Oil Man" Bob Schaffer. Both polls show Udall with a comfortable lead of 48-40%. Colorado has been tight all year. Polls have mostly shown Udall with a 2-4% lead and have indicated that the Presidential race is more or less a dead heat. The Centennial State is typically Republican in national elections.  John Kerry is the only Democratic Presidential nominee to exceed 45.3% of the vote there since 1964. However, Colorado has trended blue the last couple cycles with Democrats taking over the Governorship, a Senate seat and a seat in Congress.  It was also the site of the Democratic Convention last month.

Colorado and its nine electoral votes is key to this Presidential election and completely necessary to the Democrats’ chances of attaining a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. As of right now, an Obama win in Colorado would put John McCain in an extremely tough position in the electoral college. McCain would not only have to sweep the remaining swing states that Bush won in 2004 (Nevada, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida), but he would also need to win either Michigan or Pennsylvania (or at least one of the much less likely Wisconsin and Minnesota duo) just to have a chance to get to 270 electoral votes.

Help turn Colorado blue by helping Barack Obama and Mark Udall!

CNN's Campbell Brown to McCain Campaign: Free Sarah Now!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

"The failed economic policies and the same corrupt culture that led us into this mess will not help get us out of it. We need to get to work immediately on reforming the broken government -- and the broken politics -- that allowed this crisis to happen in the first place."

-- Senator Barack Obama, in a message sent to his supporters this evening

The Road to No Bridge, Nowhere....

Breaking News:Latest Poll Shows Lunsford Surge in KY Senate Race

According to Lexington (KY) television station Lex18, Democrat Bruce Lunsford, has moved into a statistical tie with incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell in his race for the US Senate. The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, was released earlier this morning and shows McConnell with a 49%-46% lead, well within the poll's 3.9% margin of error. The survey was taken Sept. 21-22.

These results represent a major gain for the Bluegrass Democrat. In a poll by the same organization taken just six weeks ago, McConnell led 52% to Lunsford's 40%. Internals of the current poll suggest strongly that economic concerns have fueled Lunsford's dramatic closing of the gap with McConnell. Some 60% of Kentucky voters now cite the economy as the number one issue. Among those listing the economy as most important to them, McConnell has plummeted from a six-point advantage six weeks ago to a nine-point deficit today. 

Women are another major factor in Lunsford's leap. Six weeks ago, McConnell held an eleven point lead among female voters, but Lunsford has now pulled even with him among women. Lunsford's gain was also registered in every geographic section of Kentucky. This poll has got to be putting smiles on lots of Democratic faces in Kentucky and at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee today.

Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Gives KY's Lunsford A Big Boost

CQ Politics is reporting today that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has given the largest share of its state party outlays for the month of August to the Kentucky Democratic Party. Democrat Bruce Lunsford is mounting a fierce campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell in the Bluegrass State. CQ says:

"The DSCC’s big August outlays also included $3.1 million in transfer payments to state Democratic Party committees to help them build their get-out-the-vote efforts ahead of the Nov. 4 elections. The largest chunk of these funds ($1 million) went to the Kentucky Democratic Party, which is helping Democratic businessman Bruce Lunsford... in his campaign against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell." 

This infusion of cash into the Kentucky race by the national Democratic Party's most important funding organization for Senate campaigns suggests that the contest may be closer than widely thought. Are there new internal polls? Is there more fall-out to come from McConnell's ties to Big Oil and corporate lobbyists? Whatever the answer, you can bet the DSCC isn't investing that kind of money unless it has good reason to believe that Lunsford can upset McConnell and add yet another seat to its majority in the next Senate.

Video: Obama Takes Lead in Florida. Mason-Dixon

Fresh Off the Press: Quinnipiac Battleground Polls

Quinnipiac has just released polling data from four battleground states: Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin. The entire 26 page press release includes more analysis and internals and can be found on the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute's home page.

Some analysis from the poll.
"By 19 – 24 point margins, voters in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin say Democrat Barack Obama, not Republican John McCain, is the candidate of change, helping lift Sen. Obama into the lead in these battleground states, according to four simultaneous Quinnipiac University polls of likely voters in these battleground states, conducted in partnership with The Wall Street Journal and washingtonpost.com and released today."
COLORADO: Obama 49 – McCain 45
"Obama leads 55 – 40 percent among Colorado women likely voters, while men back McCain 49 – 42 percent. White voters back McCain 51 – 44 percent as Hispanic voters go with Obama 68 – 26 percent. Obama and McCain are tied 48 – 48 percent with voters 18 to 34 years old, while voters 35 to 54 back Obama 52 – 42 percent. Voters over 55 go 47 percent with McCain and 46 percent with Obama.
Obama will bring change, 46 percent of voters say, while 22 percent say McCain will bring change and 26 percent say neither candidate will bring change.
But by a 49 – 42 percent margin, voters would rather see Biden as President. Women pick Biden 52 – 37 percent while men go 46 percent to Palin and 45 percent Biden.
In the U.S. Senate race, U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, the Democrat, leads Republican Robert Schaffer 48 – 40 percent, compared to a 44 – 44 percent tie July 24."

MICHIGAN: Obama 48 - McCain 44
"Michigan women voters back Obama 52 – 40 percent, while men back McCain 49 – 44 percent. White voters back McCain 51 – 41 percent, as black voters support Obama 93 – 5 percent. The Democrat leads 51 – 48 percent among voters 18 to 34, and gets 47 percent of voters 35 to 54 to McCain’s 45 percent. Voters over 55 back Obama 49 – 41 percent.
Obama rather than McCain is the candidate of change, voters say 43 – 21 percent.
Palin’s selection is a good choice, voters say 58 – 32 percent, while these same voters say 51 – 30 percent that Biden is a good choice.
By a 47 – 42 percent margin, voters would rather see Biden as President. Women back Biden 50 – 38 percent while men go 47 percent for Palin and 45 percent for Biden.
The economy is the most important issue, 58 percent of Michigan voters say, and Obama understands it better, voters say 50 – 38 percent. McCain understands foreign policy better, voters say 64 – 26 percent.  
'Sen. Obama’s lead in Michigan is built upon two key changes since the last Quinnipiac University poll: He has consolidated the Democratic base to the same degree that Sen. McCain has coalesced the Republican vote, and his lead among those who see the economy as the most important issue has almost doubled, from 50 – 39 percent to 55 – 35 percent,' Brown said."
MINNESOTA: Obama 47 - McCain 45
"Obama leads McCain 49 – 43 percent with women, while men go 47 percent for McCain and 45 percent for Obama. White voters go with McCain 48 – 44 percent. Voters 18 to 34 years go 51 – 43 percent for Obama. Voters 35 to 54 go 51 – 43 percent for McCain, with the Democrat up 50 – 40 percent among voters over 55.  

Obama rather than McCain is the candidate of change, voters say
43 – 24 percent.
Palin is a good choice, voters say 56 – 35 percent and Biden is a good choice, these voters say 52 – 31 percent. They would rather see Biden step up as President, voters say 50 – 41 percent, including women 49 – 39 percent and men 50 – 43 percent.

The economy is the biggest issue, 55 percent of voters say. Voters tie
45 – 45 percent on who better understands the economy, but say 66 – 24 percent that McCain understands foreign policy better.

In the Minnesota U.S. Senate race,
Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman tops Democrat Al Franken 49 – 42 percent, compared to 53 – 38 percent July 24.

'Sen. John McCain is within striking distance in Minnesota for two reasons: Republicans held their convention in the state and the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin brought a new wave of
independent women to the GOP ticket, offsetting a big swing by independent men to Obama,' said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

'Al Franken now trails Sen. Norman Coleman by seven points, down from 15, mainly because Democratic support for Coleman has dropped eight points from 19 points in the last poll.'"
WISCONSIN: Obama 49 - McCain 42
Wisconsin women voters back Obama 53 – 37 percent while men back McCain 48 – 45 percent. Obama leads 55 – 38 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old, 47 – 44 percent among voters 35 to 54 years old and 49 – 43 percent among voters over 55.
Obama rather than McCain is the candidate of change, voters say 45 – 22 percent.
Palin is a good choice, voters say 57 – 33 percent and Biden is a good choice, voters say 47 – 33 percent. Voters prefer Biden as President 46 – 42 percent. Women prefer Biden 47 – 37 percent while men back Palin by a narrow 46 – 44 percent.
The economy is the biggest issue, 51 percent say, and Obama understands it better, voters say 47 – 40 percent. McCain understands foreign policy better, voters say 65 – 23 percent. 

Hagan Extends Lead Over Dole

A new Rasmussen poll from North Carolina released yesterday shows Democrat Kay Hagan extending her lead over Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole, 51-46. Both Hagan and Obama have made significant gains in the past month over their Republican opponents. Our current Balance of Power Projection shows the U.S. Senate race as too close to call. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything."

--Harry S. Truman
                           33rd President of the United States

New Poll: GOP Takes the Hit on the Economy

Just when you may have started to wonder if half of your fellow citizens have been in a coma for the last eight years, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll gives some hope that they haven't been. In a poll released this afternoon, the researchers found that twice as many Americans hold the Republicans responsible for the current economic mess than blame the Democrats. Well, duh.

Some 47% of those questioned believe the GOP is more responsible for the present (lousy) state of the economy, while 24% blame the Democrats. You gotta think those 24% have simply been off their meds too long.

These views already seem to be having an impact on the national, head-to-head poll numbers in the presidential race. The same poll gives Barack Obama a 51%-46% lead over Republican John McCain among registered voters.  It's a pity that so many voters have to be hit over the head with reality before they wake up, but such is the state of the body politic in America these days. Only forty-two days to go...