Election Polls Update

17 10 2008

Barrack Obama retains a five-point lead over his Republican rival following
Wednesday’s third and final debate, according to the latest poll by
Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby on Friday.

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Obama Leading McCain

9 10 2008

A new national poll suggests Barack Obama is widening his lead over John McCain in the race for the White House. Sen. Barack Obama leads Sen. John McCain by 8 points, according to CNN’s latest poll.

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The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Monday afternoon suggests that the country’s financial crisis, record low approval ratings for President Bush and a drop in the public’s perception of McCain’s running mate could be contributing to Obama’s gains.

Fifty-three percent of likely voters questioned in the poll say they are backing Obama for president, with 45 percent supporting McCain.

That 8-point lead is double the 4-point lead Obama held in the last CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, taken in mid-September.

From CNN





McCain Running Out of Ideas?

5 10 2008

Sen. Barack Obama on Sunday charged that Sen. John McCain’s campaign is launching “Swift boat-style attacks” on him instead of addressing the country’s problems.  “Sen. McCain and his operatives are gambling that they can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance. They’d rather try to tear our campaign down than lift this country up,” Obama said at an event in Asheville, North Carolina.

“That’s what you do when you’re out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time,” he said.

The comments come a day after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate, claimed that Obama associated “with terrorists who targeted our own country.”





VP Debate Summary

3 10 2008

Gov. Sarah Palin made it through the vice-presidential debate on Thursday without doing any obvious damage to the Republican presidential ticket. By surviving her encounter with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. and quelling some of the talk about her basic qualifications for high office, she may even have done Senator John McCain a bit of good, freeing him to focus on the other troubles shadowing his campaign.

It was not a tipping point for the embattled Republican presidential ticket, the bad night that many Republicans had feared. But neither did it constitute the turning point the McCain campaign was looking for after a stretch of several weeks in which Senator Barack Obama seemed to be gaining the upper hand in the race. Even if he no longer has to be on the defensive about Ms. Palin, Mr. McCain still faces a tough environment with barely a month until the election, as he acknowledged hours before the debate by effectively pulling his campaign out of Michigan, a Democratic state where Mr. McCain’s advisers had once been optimistic of victory.

Short of a complete bravura performance that would have been tough for even the most experienced national politician to turn in — or a devastating error by the mistake-prone Mr. Biden, who instead turned in an impressively sharp performance — there might have been little Ms. Palin could have done to help Mr. McCain.

The economic problems on Wall Street have posed a severe problem for Mr. McCain, moving the presidential debate to precisely the ground that favors Democrats, and Mr. Biden sought repeatedly during the debate to lay the problem at the doorstep of the Republican Party. And even if a financial rescue plan is approved by Congress, there is no reason to think that the bad economic news is going to stop: with reports of bleak unemployment numbers, more gyrations of the stock market, and the prospect of bad economic reports on everything from job losses to automobile sales.

“For more than a year, people assumed that if Obama was the Democratic nominee, the campaign would be a referendum on him,” Mr. Harris said. “The economic crisis changed that: the campaign is now a referendum on who can get us out of this mess. One of the challenges for the McCain campaign is going to be turn the race back into an up-or-down referendum on Obama.”

And through this period — easily the worst one Mr. McCain has faced since he was forced to lay off most of his campaign staff more than a year ago when he ran out of money — Mr. McCain has appeared off balance. He has been searching for a message and a way to make a case against Mr. Obama, and often publicly venting his frustration at the way the campaign is going, as he did this week in a contentious meeting with the editorial board of The Des Moines Register.

Ms. Palin can presumably claim two victories, though modest ones. She did not offer a reprise of the unsteady responses that marked her interviews with Katie Couric on CBS News, even if many of her answers were not always responsive to the question, particularly when contrasted with Mr. Biden. Her performance — feisty and spirited — also might have heartened conservatives, many of whom had gone from ecstasy to despair in the period from when she was named until this week.

To quote the New York Times, “She succeeded by not failing in any obvious way.”- (About Palin)





‘Most Qualified’=Who?

27 09 2008

In their first head-to-head debate, Sen. John McCain criticized Sen. Barack Obama as a candidate who “doesn’t understand” the key issues the country faces, and Obama linked McCain to President Bush on several issues.

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“I’m afraid Sen. Obama doesn’t understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy,” McCain said Friday as the two traded jabs over Iraq.

Obama shot back, “I absolutely understand the difference between tactics and strategy. And the strategic question that the president has to ask is not whether or not we are employing a particular approach in the country once we have made the decision to be there.”

McCain drew from his experience overseas as he tried to portray himself as the more qualified candidate.

“Incredibly, incredibly Sen. Obama didn’t go to Iraq for 900 days and never asked for a meeting with Gen. [David] Petraeus,” he said.

McCain slammed Obama for not supporting the surge, an increase of about 30,000 troops to Iraq in early 2007. Bush sent the additional troops as part of a campaign to pacify Baghdad and its surrounding provinces.

“John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007,” Obama shot back. “You talk about the surge. The war started in 2003, and at the time when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. You were wrong.”

Obama repeatedly criticized the Bush administration and charged that McCain is an endorser of his policies. In describing his tax plan, Obama said, “over time, that, I think, is going to be a better recipe for economic growth than the — the policies of President Bush that John McCain wants to — wants to follow.”

Obama also said the economic crisis is the “final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Sen. McCain.”

Both candidates squeezed in a few cheap shots. Obama brought up McCain’s jokingly singing a line about bombing Iran, and McCain jabbed Obama for his short-lived “presidential seal.”

Immediately after the debate, both campaigns issued statements declaring their candidate the winner. 

“This was a clear victory for Barack Obama on John McCain’s home turf. Sen. McCain offered nothing but more of the same failed Bush policies, and Barack Obama made a forceful case for change in our economy and our foreign policy,” said Obama-Biden campaign manager David Plouffe.

“John McCain needed a game-changer tonight, and by any measure, he didn’t get it,” he said.

McCain’s campaign said “there was one man who was presidential tonight; that man was John McCain.”

“There was another who was political; that was Barack Obama. John McCain won this debate and controlled the dialogue throughout, whether it was the economy, taxes, spending, Iraq or Iran. There was a leadership gap, a judgment gap and a boldness gap on display tonight, a fact Barack Obama acknowledged when he said John McCain was right at least five times,” communications director Jill Hazelbaker said. Full coverage of the debates

During the first 30 minutes of the debate, the candidates focused on the economy, even though the debate was supposed to be centered on foreign policy.

For a while, it seemed like the debate might not even take place, because McCain said he would not show up unless Congress came to an agreement on the government’s proposed $700 billion bailout plan.

McCain said Friday that enough progress has been made for him to attend the debate, even though Congress has not made a deal.





‘Most Qualified’=Who?

27 09 2008

In their first head-to-head debate, Sen. John McCain criticized Sen. Barack Obama as a candidate who “doesn’t understand” the key issues the country faces, and Obama linked McCain to President Bush on several issues.

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“I’m afraid Sen. Obama doesn’t understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy,” McCain said Friday as the two traded jabs over Iraq.

Obama shot back, “I absolutely understand the difference between tactics and strategy. And the strategic question that the president has to ask is not whether or not we are employing a particular approach in the country once we have made the decision to be there.”

McCain drew from his experience overseas as he tried to portray himself as the more qualified candidate.

“Incredibly, incredibly Sen. Obama didn’t go to Iraq for 900 days and never asked for a meeting with Gen. [David] Petraeus,” he said.

McCain slammed Obama for not supporting the surge, an increase of about 30,000 troops to Iraq in early 2007. Bush sent the additional troops as part of a campaign to pacify Baghdad and its surrounding provinces.

“John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007,” Obama shot back. “You talk about the surge. The war started in 2003, and at the time when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. You were wrong.”

Obama repeatedly criticized the Bush administration and charged that McCain is an endorser of his policies. In describing his tax plan, Obama said, “over time, that, I think, is going to be a better recipe for economic growth than the — the policies of President Bush that John McCain wants to — wants to follow.”

Obama also said the economic crisis is the “final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Sen. McCain.”

Both candidates squeezed in a few cheap shots. Obama brought up McCain’s jokingly singing a line about bombing Iran, and McCain jabbed Obama for his short-lived “presidential seal.”

Immediately after the debate, both campaigns issued statements declaring their candidate the winner. 

“This was a clear victory for Barack Obama on John McCain’s home turf. Sen. McCain offered nothing but more of the same failed Bush policies, and Barack Obama made a forceful case for change in our economy and our foreign policy,” said Obama-Biden campaign manager David Plouffe.

“John McCain needed a game-changer tonight, and by any measure, he didn’t get it,” he said.

McCain’s campaign said “there was one man who was presidential tonight; that man was John McCain.”

“There was another who was political; that was Barack Obama. John McCain won this debate and controlled the dialogue throughout, whether it was the economy, taxes, spending, Iraq or Iran. There was a leadership gap, a judgment gap and a boldness gap on display tonight, a fact Barack Obama acknowledged when he said John McCain was right at least five times,” communications director Jill Hazelbaker said. Full coverage of the debates

During the first 30 minutes of the debate, the candidates focused on the economy, even though the debate was supposed to be centered on foreign policy.

For a while, it seemed like the debate might not even take place, because McCain said he would not show up unless Congress came to an agreement on the government’s proposed $700 billion bailout plan.

McCain said Friday that enough progress has been made for him to attend the debate, even though Congress has not made a deal.





Young Voters Behind Obama

25 09 2008

A new national poll says young adults age 18 to 29 overwhelmingly prefer Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain in the race for the White House.

Obama leads McCain 56 percent to 29 percent with 13 percent undecided and the remaining 2 percent supporting third-party candidates Ralph Nader and Bob Barr.

The Washington, D.C.-based Rock the Vote, a political-advocacy group, conducted the random telephone poll of 500 young people shortly after the Republican National Convention ended on Sept. 4. The poll had a 4 percentage-point margin of error.