I was wrong when I said a few weeks ago that the Obama campaign should consider pulling its resources out of North Carolina.
Today’s Rasmussen poll (never one to over-estimate Democratic support), has Obama up 50 to 47 in the Tarheel State.
Now, I have no idea whether or not Obama would actually win the state. McCain officials (publicly) laugh at these poll results, and in fact recently the Obama campaign has put out word that some of these polls are overly optimistic and their private polling showed tight races.
But let’s remember what we all said at the beginning of the race. Obama’s ability to put some of these states in play was supposed to be a resource challenge to McCain. It didn’t matter necessarily whether or not Obama ultimately won every state, but it would force McCain to play defense and stretch him very thin, therefore increasing the likelihood that Obama would pick up at least some of the 2004 Bush states.
And that’s why today’s poll number is a victory for Obama. Regardless of whether or not he wins North Carolina, we are just about a month from election day, and no one can dispute it’s a legitimate battleground. The fact that we are talking about North Carolina at all 30-some days out from the election means that McCain is in trouble, pure and simple.
No time for complacency, keep working hard, volunteer, donate, etc. When you have your foot on your opponent’s neck, you do not let up.
Obviously the Obama campaign knows what it’s doing, but with early voting going on in Ohio now…and the one-stop registration deadline coming up on October 6th…shouldn’t Obama be doing at least 1 day of visiting to that state? Yet the upcoming rallies as listed through October 4th on his website have him in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Shouldn’t he be paying a visit soon to the Buckeye State?
A bunch of eye-opening polls out today must have the GOP’ers sulking in the corner.
FLORIDA: Obama 51, McCain 47
MINNESOTA: Obama 54, McCain 43
MISSOURI: Obama 49, McCain 48
NEVADA: Obama 51, McCain 47
VIRGINIA: Obama 53, McCain 44
FLORIDA: Obama 51, McCain 43
OHIO: Obama 50, McCain 42
PENNSYLVANIA: Obama 54, McCain 39
AP/GfK: Obama 48, McCain 41
CBS News: Obama 50, McCain 41
After the Quinnipiac polls came out, the McCain camp went into pushback mode, claiming the poll was an outlier. But with all of the confirmation, I don’t think it is operative at this point. So what does this mean for the future? We’ll probably have to wait until after tomorrow’s debate for sure, but I’d expect McCain to push the panic (Wright/Ayers) button to change the subject, assuming that the debate doesn’t fundamentally change the trajectory of the race. Be prepared.
Apropos of my post below linking to McCain’s meltdown in front of the Des Moines Register editorial board, we have a story from AP bringing the story into the mainstream. Not good for Mccain.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate John McCain, once renowned for his jocular sessions with journalists, appeared irritable and at times sarcastic in an interview in which he defended running mate Sarah Palin’s experience and campaign ads critical of rival Barack Obama.
Meeting Tuesday with the editorial board of The Des Moines Register, McCain was asked why he picked the Alaska governor, someone “who doesn’t have a lot of experience.”
“Thank you, but I disagree with your fundamental principle that she doesn’t have the experience,” McCain replied before citing Palin’s work as a PTA member, city council member, mayor and governor. “You and I just have a fundamental disagreement, and I am so happy the American people seem to be siding with me.”
When it was suggested that Palin’s lack of experience worried voters, McCain turned sarcastic.
Aside from his obvious temper-tantrum in the interview, I have to ask: Why was he in Iowa in the first place? His polling there has been nearly uniformly awful, he hates ethanol and didn’t campaign there in the primary. GOP strategist Mike Murphy breaks it down:
I thought Obama had a very solid night. He was absolutely on his game on Foreign Policy, especially when it came to Iraq. This was clearly the exchange of the night:
As for McCain, he was able to control the narrative on the Economy somewhat, drawing the discussion to Earmarks, as if that is our huge problem right now. However, Obama isn’t really known as some sort of “Earmark King,” so I don’t know how much that will resonate.
Finally, where is Sarah Palin? Biden was all over the networks doing a good job supporting Obama, but she was nowhere to be found. Apparently, her disastrous interviews have gotten her a timeout from the McCain Camp. The fact that she isn’t out there supporting McCain is very telling.
McCain is suspending his campaign, and calls for the debate to be rescheduled.
There are two things behind this, one of which Ben Smith points out:
Both candidates have been marginal players; McCain, though, seems to have the potential to make himself a major one, and his move is a mark, most of all, that he doesn’t like the way this campaign is going.
The other thing this does is allow McCain to stretch out his campaign spending. Obama should say no deal, but I don’t really see how the campaign can continue if McCain doesn’t want to play. He should, however, be made to pay a price for this.
Joe Biden sets the stage nicely for the debate Friday night with a blistering talk on foreign policy in Cincinnati, Ohio today. The great thing about our ticket is that our VP candidate can give a speech like this with credibility and gravitas and actually knows whereof he speaks. Contrast that with Sarah Palin being set up in photo ops with foreign leaders (the first time she’s ever met a foreign head-of-state, by the way).
Not Biden, who lets McCain have it on foreign policy and national security:
“… the policies he would pursue as president would be wrong for America – nowhere more so than with our security and standing in the world.”
“John is more than wrong — he is dangerously wrong. On a question so basic, so fundamental, so critical to our nation’s security, we can’t afford a Commander-in Chief so divorced from reality and from America’s most basic national interests.”
Ouch. Much more below:
Item: John McCain’s pushes back (declares war?) on the New York Times for their report on Rick Davis’ connections with Fannie and Freddie. McCain goes on CNBC and denies that Davis had any dealings with Fannie or Freddie. And breaking tonight Newsweek and the Times drop bombshells, flatly contradicting McCain. The criticism starts in earnest.
Item: The continued sheltering of Sarah Palin reaches a high (low?) point, as the McCain camp attempts to prevent reporters from being in the room as Gov. Palin meets with various world leaders. CNN threatens to pull its reporters, and the McCain camp relents…for all of 29 seconds. Campbell Brown launches a blistering editorial, accusing the McCain camp of sexism for not allowing Gov. Palin to answer questions.
Item: National tracking polls have trended in Obama’s direction after McCain received a decent bounce after his convention. State polling in key states (with a few exceptions) have begun to move Obama’s way as well, with Florida and Virginia in particular looking evermore promising. And breaking tonight we have a bombshell of an ABC poll which will have the chattering class talking tomorrow:
I had a great experience this weekend volunteering for the Obama campaign, going door-to-door, and doing the necessary muck work of the elections. I found the process invigorating, inspiring, but more importantly, highly encouraging from at least one aspect: organization. Much more on this below.
Yesterday, three friends and I drove from Manhattan to Bristol, PA, in Lower Bucks County. We arrived at the Obama headquarters to find a huge crowd already there, I’d estimate between 150-200 volunteers (many came on a bus organized by the Upper West Side office here in NYC). Turnout was incredible and the enthusiasm was palpable. However, I was impressed that the Obama office workers weren’t wasting our time with a pep rally, but immediately jumped into the nitty gritty of our task for the day: canvassing.
Each team of two was given a packet – that packet included a list of names and addresses, each with relevant info we were tasked with filling out (which candidate that person is supporting, level of committment, issues of importance, willingness to volunteer, not-at-home, moved, etc).