John McCain

Daily Kos Launches Daily Presidential Track

Add this one to your list. First day out, yesterday, had it 47% Obama, 45% McCain and 2% each Nader and Barr.

Presidential Ad Wars: McCain Camp Calls Obama "Disrespectful," Obama Campaign Fires Back, Says McCain Is "Out of Touch"

- U.S. Sen. John McCain's camp released another negative TV spot today, this time alleging that U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has been "disrespectful" to Gov. Sarah Palin:

- The New York Times today reports that Obama's campaign will take a more aggressive tone in response to McCain's factually-dubious attacks. Following Simon's post a few days ago, a slew of editorials and op-eds have been penned this week about McCain's questionable attacks, many calling them flat-out lies. Opinion pieces in The Washington Post and The Huffington Post call for Obama to push back harder. The Obama campaign has not yet issued a direct and forceful rebuttal, but it did release a new TV ad today, entitled Still, which may give some indication of a shift in strategy: 

NPR Report on the Bridge to Nowhere Destroys Palin's "No Thanks" Claim

Last night, NPR ran a report that leaves no doubt that Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that she told Congress "no thanks" on the Bridge to Nowhere, is, shall we say, not at all true

The bottom line - while she did not get her bridge (which she supported) - she did get the over $200 million proposed for the bridge, and was able to use it for other state projects.  So her claim that she said "no thanks" to Congress is not anywhere even close to the truth.    

It is a must-listen for anyone wanting to learn more about this story and the good Governor from Alaska.


The Race has Stablized Now, and Is Essentially Tied

The McCain post-convention bounce appears over now, and we seem to be settling into a within margin of error race.  The poll aggregates have McCain up a point or two, but clearly within the margin of error.  And that may drop down a bit in the coming days as his bounce subsides.  Rasmussen for example has Obama up 2 in their daily track today, after having McCain up earlier this week.  

Interestingly, most Electoral College maps still have the race leaning Obama, but very very close. As I wrote the other day the battlefield has narrowed, and there are 10 or states where the campaign will be primarily fought now.

So my conclusion is that this thing is up for grabs, and that it is going to be one hell of a fight.  The 1st debate is in just 2 weeks, September 26th.  The next 3 coming very soon after that.  There can be no doubt now that these debates will very very important.....

Off to See the Wizard

In a recent post, I talked about how much more comfortable the post-Reagan Republican Party is with the artifice and theater of politics - narratives, TV ads, message events, scripted speeches. They are much more conscious, and accepting, of the notion that politics is many things, but it is also a show - it needs to play well on TV. 

The McCain campaign has been remarkable to watch. It has been one of the worst performers of any campaign for President in modern times. It is operating in one of the most difficult environments Republicans have seen in 40 years. McCain's personal narrative has been severely damaged by his sacrificing of virtually all of his major beliefs and principles in his final quest to win the Republican nomination. But yet here they sit, even, or perhaps ahead, of one of the most compelling political figures American has ever produced. How have they done it? 

They've done it by essentially running a television and free media campaign completely untethered from reality, from the responsibility of governing, from the truth. From Paris Hilton to the Bridge to Nowhere to the claim that McCain supports renewable energy to the blanket over the belly bump to Sex Ed for Kindergartners to "Victory in Iraq" to the Lipstick fiasco, the lion in winter, John McCain, has become a silly tool for a bunch of over-caffeinated conservative operatives who clearly see American politics as a video game for grownups. His acceptance speech last week did not even try to lay out a real plan for where he wanted to take the country. They are not even trying to make serious arguments about issues, governing, our future. Each day in their speeches, their almost daily ads and videos, and their events, they attempt to keep writing this next chapter of their imagined world they've fallen in love with - avoiding at all costs letting the real world get in the way of this beautiful campaign. Just in the last few weeks, they've had to pull two ads. And almost none of these videos they've produced have talked about what they plan on doing next year.

This week, buoyed by their strong Convention, these conservative Wizards of Oz amped up their game. Videos came faster and more furiously, the subjects wilder and more over the top, until they created one that illegally used the words and image of iconic mother Katie Couric. And bang! Someone, at least for a few hours, pulled the plug on their video game and sent these kids up to their room. 

Where this all goes, I don't know. But the children of Rove now running the McCain campaign grew up in an Administration and politics so uninterested in the common good and the national interest that it still astounds. The media has begun to grasp how wild and unprecedented in its lack of seriousness this campaign really is - but it took them all too long to figure out the horrendous lies at the heart of the Bush era. So we cannot count on them. 

So, who does need to figure out how to put this all in proper context?  To explain the tragedy of this all-too-serious charade to the American people?

Perhaps this is a job for the next President of the United States. Barack has spoken passionately about his desire to bring this failed conservative era to an end. To do so, he will have to take on one of its worst manifestations - its all too sophisticated and cynical politics.

Matt Damon on The Palin Ultimatum

And just for fun - I think Matt Damon brings up a good point.

I love the comment a VERY conservative friend of mine made when I sent him this video: "Caring or quoting what celebrities think about anything is usually cause for a punch line, but in this case, he happens to be correct."

His comment reflects how during this election, unlike any other, people are switching parties, switching preferences, and reflecting over a broader array of issues that are less substantive but no less relevant - issues like race and age in a Presidential election, the role of a Vice Presidential nominee - much more than in the past.





NDN Releases Major Findings on Immigration

Today, NDN released polls conducted among all voters in four key battleground states - Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada - that show strong support for comprehensive immigration reform. As Simon and Courtney mentioned, the poll was conducted in key swing states that also have a large Hispanic Population. Additionally, the states in question are reflective of the cross-section of Hispanics in the United States, with Florida's Hispanic population consisting mainly of foreign-born Hispanics from the Caribbean and South America, Nevada with mostly foreign-born Hispanics from Mexico, and New Mexico and Colorado with largely native-born Hispanics.

For an in-depth look at how the public views the immigration debate in these four states, please view our full Immigration Survey Report here.

As stated in the Executive Summary, our findings indicate that in each of these four states, voters:

  • Overwhelmingly support Comprehensive Immigration Reform as:
    1. Strengthening border security
    2. Strengthening interior enforcement through an employer verification plan
    3. New visa program for 200,000 workers annually
    4. Increasing the number of family visas available
    5. Path to earned citizenship for the undocumented once they meet certain requirements.
  • Have a positive view of undocumented immigrants, believing that they have come here to work and seek a better life, are not taking jobs from American citizens and are not interested in receiving public handouts.
  • Blame the federal government and businesses - not immigrants - for the broken immigration system. This tells us that the anti-immigrant message of the Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaughs of the world actually doesn't resonate with the large majority of voters.

The data also shows:

  • The issue of immigration remains an important issue to voters, particularly Hispanics, and Democrats and Barack Obama are more trusted to handle the immigration issue than U.S. Sen. John McCain and the Republican Party.
  • The dramatic swing of Hispanic voters to Senator Obama in Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada - with a total of 46 electoral votes - has helped turn these previously red states, which were critical to Bush's narrow victory in 2004, into competitive swing states this year.
  • But in each state, 14 percent to 20 percent of the Hispanic electorate remains undecided, which translates into a two percent to six percent of the statewide vote in each state - a percentage significant enough to tip dead-even states into one camp or the other.
  • The Hispanic vote may very well determine the Presidential winner in these four states. Given how close the election is, this may determine the outcome of the Presidential race itself.

Therefore, the data proves that the paranoia over the prospect of dealing with the broken immigration system due to the emotional nature of the debate as framed by anti-immigrant activists is unfounded. An overhaul of our current immigration system is not only the right thing to do, there is an urgent need for it and the data demonstrates that there is overwhelming support to enact it. Enforcement-only is not an immigration policy. We need to fix the entire broken system. Just this morning, USA TODAY's Emily Bazar wrote a story reporting how the higher application fees at ICE are actually discouraging immigrants from seeking citizenship. Even Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the research center for a series of anti-immigrant hate groups, CIS, which calls for reduced immigration agrees fees are, "probably too high" and should reflect only processing costs.

When it comes to immigration reform, our data matches the data from the many polls conducted on this issue for the last three years: politically, immigration is actually a positive and not a negative because voters want action, and from a policy standpoint there is a consensus to enact it.




More on the Meaning of "Maverick"

As Travis writes below, the GOP has bet the farm on the maverick concept. But like most words, it has both positive and negative connotations. Would it be appropriate for a further examination of the word and the idea? 

For while it can be a virtuous word, can it also not suggest risk, recklessness, whimsy, shooting from the hip, unmoored, lack of preperation, self-indulgence, immaturity, impetuousness, not playing well with others? 

Are these traits that will make a successful leader, chief executive or President? In a body of 100, a maverick has its place.  But as the chief? 

Food for thought....

Latinos and the Emerging Electoral College Map

Tomorrow we will be releasing a new set of polls which take an indepth look at the public's views of the immgration debate in four key battleground states - CO, FL, NM and NV. In preparing for their release, one thing became clear to us at NDN - that of the final 10 or so states where the election will be fought, four states with 46 Electoral College votes have significant Hispanic populations.  

Using the latest Real Clear Politics map as our guide, there are now 10 toss up states - CO, FL, IN, MI, NM, NV, OH, PA and VA. Gone are some of the Obama hopefuls - AK, GA, MO, MT, NC - which seem to be drifting back into the GOP camp. Of the remaining 10, they fall into three categories - the Industrial North (IN, MI, OH, PA), the heavily Hispanic (CO, FL, NM, NV) and the rest (NH, VA). 

More than a third of the Electoral College votes still up for grabs run through heavily Hispanic territory.  With this, one would expect a great deal more attention, more spending, more candidate time - and all the rest - on Hispanic voters and in these states this fall. 

Check back around noon tomorrow for our report, and for more background on the growing power of the Hispanic vote in America.  And if you are in town tomorrow, drop by our Poll Briefing at 10 a.m. at the NDN offices.

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