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The Line: McCain Puts 3 Key States in Play

PHILADELPHIA -- The Fix is on the way back from a whirlwind trip to Pennsylvania to check out the lay of the land in advance of the state's presidential primary on Tuesday.

But if it's Friday, it's time for The Line ... some traditions you just can't break.

Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.

Roll over a state to see its 2004 presidential election result.

Today we tackle the presidential playing field -- ranking the 10 states most likely to switch from the Democratic to Republican column (or vice versa) in the presidential election this fall. As always, the No. 1 ranked state should be considered the most likely to switch in November. In the parentheses by each state's name is listed the winner and margin from the 2004 election.

Agree or, more likely, disagree with our picks? Offer your own in the comment section below.

To the Line!

10. Florida (Bush, 52 percent): The uncertainties in the Democratic race make it difficult to correctly handicap Florida at this point. Polling suggests that if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) is the nominee, then the state is a toss up; if Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) is the Democratic standard-bearer -- as is more likely -- then presumptive GOP nominee John McCain holds a double-digit lead in current polling. Then there's the question of how Florida voters react to the unresolved question of seating their delegates at the Democratic convention and the inevitable spin from Republicans that Democrats don't care about the Sunshine State. Did we mention that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) will likely be on McCain's vice presidential short list? X-factors everywhere! (Previous ranking: 8)

9. New Hampshire (Kerry, 50 percent): There's little doubt that McCain is extremely popular in the Granite State -- especially with the independent voters who comprise the most crucial voting bloc. But New Hampshire is also one of the hotbeds of anti-war sentiment in the country (witness Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's stunning win in 2006), so it may be hard for McCain to keep his maverick persona under a withering assault from Democrats intent on painting him as the heir to President George W. Bush. McCain is the only Republican candidate who can keep New Hampshire on The Line, but the political dynamics in the state may be too much even for him. (Previous ranking: 7)

8. Michigan (Kerry, 51 percent): The most notable omission from our first take at the states most likely to switch was Michigan. John Kerry won the state by just over 150,000 votes (out of more than 4.6 million cast) in 2004, and the ongoing question of whether and how Democrats will seat the Michigan delegation provides ammunition for Republicans to argue that the other party is trying to silence the voters of the state. A recent independent poll confirmed that this state should be close in the fall; McCain led Clinton 46 percent to 37 percent while McCain and Obama were in a statistical dead heat. (Previous ranking: N/A)

7. Minnesota (Kerry, 51 percent): There is a real temptation to move this race higher on the Line given how well Democrats did at the ballot box in the state in 2006 -- easily claiming an open Senate seat, defeating a House incumbent and nearly ousting Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) with an only so-so candidate. Then there's the fact that current polling suggests that either Clinton or Obama would easily best McCain here in the fall. But The Fix still believes Pawlenty is the frontrunner to serve as McCain's runningmate, a scenario that if it comes to pass will make the Republican ticket quite competitive in Minnesota. (Previous ranking: 9)

6. Colorado (Bush, 52 percent): The November election will be a seminal vote in determining the future direction of Colorado politics. Democrats have claimed the governorship, a Senate seat and two House seats over the past two election cycles. GOP strategists argue that the winning formula for Democrats has been to ape Republican policies and that the electorate in the state remains decidedly conservative. A recent Republican poll showed McCain with double-digit leads over Clinton and Obama. But even if that's right, the gap will almost certainly close once Democrats formally pick their nominee at their national convention ... right there in Denver. (Previous ranking: 4)

5. Ohio (Bush, 51 percent): Republicans insist that the 2006 election debacle was an isolated incident and that the state remains a place where McCain can and will run well. Maybe. But the economic anxieties being felt nationwide are being experienced even more deeply in Ohio where the collapse of the manufacturing industry has devastated many communities. A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed 44 percent of Ohioans naming the economy as the most pressing issue facing the country -- more than double the number who named the war in Iraq, which placed second. That same poll showed Clinton leading McCain 48 percent to 39 percent while Obama took 43 percent to 42 percent for McCain -- a potential problem for Democrats if Obama winds up as the nominee. (Previous ranking: 5)

4. Virginia (Bush, 54 percent): The Commonwealth's political inclinations are changing as rapidly as any state in the country. After developing into a Republican stronghold in the 1980s and 1990s, Democrats have claimed the last three contested statewide races (2001 and 2005 governor and 2006 Senate) and are heavily favored to claim Sen. John Warner's (R) seat when he retires in the fall. Add to that the fact that three Virginia Democrats -- Sen. Jim Webb, Gov. Tim Kaine and former governor Mark Warner -- are all mentioned as potential vice presidential picks and you quickly see why Virginia is moving up The Line. (Previous ranking: 6)

3. New Mexico (Bush, 50 percent): No state has more competitive contests at the federal level than the Land of Enchantment. Four of the five federal offices (Senate as well as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd congressional districts) are open this November -- a level of fluidity that means that millions of dollars are going to pour into the state. McCain gives Republicans a fighting chance in the state due to his neighbor appeal, but the state has been trending Democratic of late and either Clinton or Obama will be favored in the fall. (Previous ranking: 2)

2. Nevada (Bush, 50 percent): The first 18 months of Jim Gibbons's tenure as governor have been, um, rocky -- doing no favors for the Republican brand in the state. And remember that the Nevada presidential caucuses were a HUGE deal on the Democratic side and a non-event on the Republican side, giving the Democrats a leg up in registration heading into November. As of last month, there were 441,676 active Democrats compared with 396,489 active registered Republicans. (Previous ranking: 3)

1. Iowa (Bush, 50 percent): After a series of difficult reelection races in past cycles, Sen. Tom Harkin (D) faces no serious opposition from Republicans this fall -- meaning he will almost certainly win a fifth term. Harkin's race symbolizes Democrats' ascendancy of late in the state -- a trend line that should help whoever is the party's presidential nominee. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 18, 2008; 9:35 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , The Line  
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Next: McCain's Innovators and Trailblazers

Comments

I live in Minnesota and there is no way McCain wins Minnesota in the fall. He didn't even win the caucus here, which went to Romney. While Obama trounced HRC here by over twenty percent. I'm not sure where you got your numbers from. I also do not see McCain winning Michigan. He again lost the primary there and Michigan is a blue state, through and through.

Posted by: sp3akthetruth | April 21, 2008 5:02 AM | Report abuse

Based on this story, we need to be crossing our fingers for the Hill. She's got a much better chance of winning in these swing states.

Posted by: Christina | April 21, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree Missouri and NC are definitely in play for the Dems for Obama vs. McCain. WVa is not in play: there are enough otherwise dems there who would never vote for an African American (just the facts, I used to live there).

Posted by: Don | April 20, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Re: Nevada, it's worth noting that McCain wasn't just a supporter, but the most important backer of using the seismically unstable Yucca Mountain to dispose of nuclear waste from other states. It's hard to understate how important this is for Nevada voters, especially in and around Las Vegas. Both parties in Nevada strongly oppose it (as do California politicians, as if McCain had a chance anyway).

Posted by: mojave | April 20, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The New York Times leads with a 7,500-word exposé of the Pentagon "message machine," a concerted effort by the Department of Defense to spread the Bush administration's Iraq talking points by briefing supposedly independent retired commanders for network and cable television appearances.

The NYT successfully sued the Department of Defense to gain access to thousands of e-mails and internal documents relating to its posse of military T.V. commentators. The 8,000 pages of information "reveal a symbiotic relationship where the usual dividing lines between government and journalism have been obliterated." These "military experts" often communicated with the Pentagon to receive the latest agenda before going on camera, and some used the inside information to assist private companies in obtaining military contracts. More unfortunately, "members of this group have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated. Some analysts acknowledge they suppressed doubts because they feared jeopardizing their access."

Posted by: the pentagon/contractor propaganda machine | April 20, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The New York Times leads with a 7,500-word exposé of the Pentagon "message machine," a concerted effort by the Department of Defense to spread the Bush administration's Iraq talking points by briefing supposedly independent retired commanders for network and cable television appearances.

The NYT successfully sued the Department of Defense to gain access to thousands of e-mails and internal documents relating to its posse of military T.V. commentators. The 8,000 pages of information "reveal a symbiotic relationship where the usual dividing lines between government and journalism have been obliterated." These "military experts" often communicated with the Pentagon to receive the latest agenda before going on camera, and some used the inside information to assist private companies in obtaining military contracts. More unfortunately, "members of this group have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated. Some analysts acknowledge they suppressed doubts because they feared jeopardizing their access."

Posted by: wotta suprise | April 20, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

New Hampshire voters are not the rock ribbed Republicans of years past, and anger at Bush's version of the Republican Party runs deep. John McCain won the primary with a fraction of the votes for either Clinton or Obama. It will take little to tie Bush's legacy to McCain's borrow and bomb message. The New Hampshire Republicans running for national office will be distancing themselves from both the last 8 years and their Presidential candidate's willingness to have four more years of it. This won't be a swing state in '08.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Ok Chris...you make some good points, but McCain is not going to win Minnesota and New Hampshire in the fall. Its just not going to happen. Obama is polling even with McCain in Colorado, North Carolina, and Ohio. Obama also is leading in New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin. McCain will likely carry Florida against Obama, but it might be a toss-up with Clinton. Now if Clinton is the nominee, McCain will win Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, and possibly Iowa AND maybe even Oregon. Her standing with independents is awful.

Posted by: John | April 20, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

"Sleeper" Swing State:

There hasn't been enough or consistent polling, but from the ground it's clear that Obama will carry North Carolina in the general.

Posted by: thisniss | April 19, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

While it may be true that Clinton appears stronger than Obama in some states vs. McCain, at least at this point, Clinton is definitely weaker in a number of other states that were blue in 2004, including: Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin. The fact is that it is simply too early to judge at this point, except to say that the fundamental dynamics right now strongly favor the democratic candidate in November, such as: Bush/GOP fatigue, the economy, the war, a more energized Dem base, shifting identification away from GOP to indep/Dem plus increased registration, a GOP nominee despised my large portions of the GOP base, funding for campaigns, etc. In any case it is a moot point about where Hillary might be stronger or not. Obama will win the pledged vote count, so the only way she can win the nomination is by convincing the ever dwindling number of unpledged superdels to override the results of the primaries and caucuses, which is very unlikely to happen. And if it did, it would fundamentally alienate many potential democratic voters, and probably hand the election to McCain.

Posted by: DC | April 19, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Stephanopoulos was on at least two right-wing radio shows the day before the debate, assuring both Sean Hannity and right-wing host Steve Malzburg that he would take their advice about which inane, sideshow questions to ask Obama -- a promise he dutifully kept, to the delight of National Review readers.


Is Stephanopoulos a pseudo Democrat?

Posted by: henry | April 19, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

VAMMAP:

Polls, in general, are less and less relevant because the underlying assumptions made by the pollsters are no longer relevant.

The sixties, seventies, and eighties rules on use of the telephone system, coupled with the high percentage of phone ownership (virtually all landline) Meant that it was possible to design a polling startegy that could accurately reflect the voting population in a small sample.

Now, with caller Id, with significant protions of the population that don't have traditional wire phone service, (and especially since the no wire service population is not representative of the population as a whole), the ability to dodge pollsters, means that any telephone poll is a largely self selected population, and Polling agencies are still learning to adjust for those problems. Now if you want to know how Pennsylvania is going to break, you need to treat Rural Pennsylvania as many non uniform populations, figure out how each of those populations sort out as to Phone ownership, likleyhood of willing participation, etc. The same for each large Urban population, and even, as for around Philadelphia, by urban area. If you are polling a WIFI hot zone, do you lose all the WIFI literate users who have abandoned Ma Bell and her family for the VOIP family? Obviously that costs you a very special portion of the Voting base, which you cannot assume will vote like the base you can reach via landline.

It is also becoming possible that hostile respondents deliberately try to distort the results by not answering with their actual tendencies, but deliberately name someone not of their choice for given questions.

Polling isn't what it was, and might not return to real reliability for another Decade.

Statewide elections, on the other hand, almost HAVE to be representative of how the voters will behave, since they have to behave by voting. Up until Texas, Republicans who wanted to skew Democratic results had to ignore ALL Republican races in their district, so unless they were totally indifferent to who the republicans ran, not only for President, but also for representative,Senate, Governor, etc. they HAD to stay in party to protect their people.

Get the state by state results and see how oftyen the Democrats turned out in vastly greater numbers than the Republicans. Note the states where Obama out polled the entire Republican slate. Compare that with the opinion pollsters and try to reconcile the discrepancy.

If anyone wants my Access Data base to try this theory out on previous elections, send me a request.

I Think the Dems carry more than 400 electors in November.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | April 19, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

McCain is no conservative and as a republican
if I decide to vote it may well be for the democrat.McCain may be a war hero but otherwise he's just as ignorant as george bush the coward

Posted by: pooty | April 19, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Here's another fun read for you:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/04/17/debate/
Harmony between the Right and the Media

Bottom line is a story as old as sociology itself: If you're on one side, your perception is biased towards that position and you think the refs are calling everything in the other guys favor, when in fact they're probably not.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 19, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Polcomm: I have been saying essentially the same thing that Obama cannot win the GE and that is the reason so many Repubs have changed their Registration to vote for him in the closed Primaries [ Pa. is a good example]. I've been watching Polls closely and many months ago I thought Hillary would win Pa. by about six points, and anything more than that would be a Blowout, considering close to 300,000 Repubs changed their Registration and just about all of them did so in the all out effort to stop Hillary. I have even seen some comments about Ca. going Repub in the GE, and that is pretty far fetched, but the thought is out there.

Posted by: lylepink | April 19, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Chris

Are you kidding? Is this some sort of joke?


Have you been looking at the polls ???

What is the basis of your rankings ??? It appears you simply looked at the 2004 results.


First


1) McCain is a much better candidate than Bush ever was.


2) Obama runs poorly in many states


3) your rankings are so divorced from actual polling data I really dont want to get into the details.


Posted by: Words of Wisdom | April 19, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Pawlenty will not help McCain in Mn, he is very weak there. It would be like taking another Dan Quayle. Romney as VP could help win Mich, Nv, Colo an even California. McCain will win Fla an Ohio hands down, Iowa will be close, Pa should go McCain. If Obama is the nominee, he will not be as strong a Candidate in the Blue States as Hillary would. I am in wonderment as to how the Dems have made a landslide victory into a hill climb. Amazing. Also, you are going to see alot of Ads showing how bad things have gotten since the Dems got elected in 2006.

Posted by: eafcat | April 19, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Many Hillary supporters will defect to McCain." -- Posted by: Polcomm | April 19, 2008 8:11 AM

And "many" Obama supporters will defect too. This argument is meaningless.

Posted by: egc52556 | April 19, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I decided to go back and present some of my research on the reporting about Bill Ayers on 9/11/2001. I present the following quotation from a biographical sketch on Bill Ayers about that time.

"In 2001, Ayers published Fugitive Days: A Memoir. Ayers's interview with the New York Times about his book was published on September 11, 2001, and opens with his statement, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough." The interview also includes his reaction (in his book) to Emile De Antonio's 1976 documentary film about the Weathermen: "He was 'embarrassed by the arrogance, the solipsism, the absolute certainty that we and we alone knew the way. The rigidity and the narcissism."[1] Ayers later explained that by "no regrets" he meant that he didn't regret his efforts to oppose the Vietnam War, and that "we didn't do enough" meant that efforts to stop the war were obviously inadequate as it dragged on for a decade.[4] New Politics reviewer Jesse Lemisch has contrasted Ayers's recollections with those of other Weathermen and alleged serious factual errors.[5]"

I am no apologist for Bill Ayers. I do not like or even respect the tactics of the Weathermen. However, if we are to move forward as a nation as we endeaver to form a "more perfect union," then we must learn from the lessons of our past. Many of my friends around the world do not understand how we can go into Iraq and remove a dictator when it appears that we have our own dictator here. They say that if the Americans do not want the war in Iraq to continue, how come we cannot get out of it unless, as they say, that Bush is a dictator. Just think about this in someone else's shoes.

I have noticed a decided turn toward expressed hostility, if not outright hatred, expressed toward former President Jimmy Carter. Let's take a moment just to analyze the situation. So he is talking to Hamas. First, are these people human beings? Do these people have feelings? Are these people terrorists? This label may depend on which side of the political fence you are on. The God that I worship created human beings and loves all of them. He is the same God that has asked me to love my enemies. Jimmy Carter's visit is nothing more and nothing less than his putting action to his understanding of the teachings of the Bible. There is very good reason that President Bush is not engaged in a lot of diplomacy -- try translating his garbled English and his nonsensical phrases into another language. He even has a difficult time reading from a prepared speech.

Regarding John McCain -- I'll never vote for him after he switched his view about the Bush tax cuts. Can you imagine a country running big annual budget deficits launching a war on the back of a massive tax cut -- a tax cut that was skewed to favor the super wealthy. Then he and his advisors had the nerve to tell the country that the tax cuts did not contribute to the new deficits that were appearing.

A brief bit of history is in order.
Jimmy Carter was not personally responsible for the high interest rates, the gas prices, and so forth in the latter 1970s. During his day, Economics 101 had not been repealed. We know now that the Federal Reserve has been a big Republican interprise for a long time. During his day, we were told that the interest rates were high because the government as well as people were trying to borrow a limited amount of available dollars. Supply and demand economics. Gas prices were high because of supply and demand economics. During Carter's tenure as president, he launched a zero-based budget strategy. By the end of his time in office, we were well on our way toward a balanced budget, a budget that had gotten out of kilter by the conservative Republicans who were in office before him. (These are the same type of Repubicans that allowed the most conservative county in the U.S.A. to go broke -- Orange County, CA.) Anyway, Reagan came in. When he faced a national debt of 1 trillion dollars, he declared that this type of debt was "asinine." However, he signed a new ceiling for the deficit above the $1 trillion level. By the time that Bush I left office in 1993, the national deficit had reached $5 trillion. During Clinton's presidency, this liberal, big spending Democrat, left the office after 8 years of relative prosperity by adding only another half trillion or so to the national deficit. Actually, the debt was being reduced when he left office. He and some brave Congressmen were able to stop the bleeding of the budget in Washington. Now comes Bush II. We now have another $4 trillion added to the budget deficit, claiming all along that their economics is right for the country. We watch as the Federal Reserve has consistently lowered interest rates to unprecidented lows, especially when the national government is borrowing money at unprecidented rates. As an average American, interest rates on regular savings help me maintain some form of standard of living. Even though the government taxes every penny of normal interest earnings at the normal tax rates, I know that regular savings are insured and backed by the government. I know that my investments on Wall Street are not insured. Why is the Federal Reserve now pumping billions upon billions of dollars into Wall Street? Please tell me who is getting this money? Please tell me where the extra $4 trillion in the national debt has gone? I have answers, but the fat-cat CEOs out there do not want to hear the answers.

There is nothing that Obama has said or done, past or present, that I do not understand. As a Southern white male in his 60s, a person who lived through massive resistance, a person who has seen a lot, I know that racism is still alive and well in my world. It exists in every culture by many of those who are uneducated by circumstance or by choice. I am not elitist when I say this, I have experienced this. The PhD preachers in the pulpit take great pride in berating educated worshippers so that they can appeal to the "masses," get one more dime in the offering plate, and create a "loyal following." Remember, a good definition of a "loyal follower" is a person who --- before I really get into trouble, perhaps you get my drift.

Both I and my mom were prepared months ago to support Hillary. A few months back, I became disgusted with the tactics of the Clinton campaign. My mom remained loyal to Clinton -- she was a woman. During the past month, my mom came over to the Obama side, expressing disappointment at the way the Clinton campaign was going. My mom is in her 80s. Do you know how hard it is to change the mind of an 86-year-old? However, come whatever may, we'll vote Democratis again this year. We know that we'll never be rich enough to run with the "big dogs."

I do not mind debating the issues. However, please allow for a civil exchange of ideas. I personally do not respect those who feel that they must use vulgar and hateful speech.

Do I like Bush? He is a person created by God and I have been asked to love my neighbor. I "love" him in the agape way - Christian way. I really do not like his politics. I resent the way that he and the Republicans have used religion and the military to "shame" Americans into doing less than Christian things. You can read about our demise in Revelation -- the fact that we are not mentioned as one of the great forces in the End Times. Are we seeing the ruining of the greatest military that ever existed on the planet? 300,000 military men and women with PTSD and depression. Year after year in war zones. Military families coming apart at the seams. America seems more vulnerable to a strike from an outside force now more than at any time in a history. With a planet that seems to get smaller by the day, we are not nearly as isolated from the rest of the world as we once were.

To my Republican friends, I congratulate you on having achieved the American dream par excellence. You are indeed the model of wealth beyond measure. You have no fear about what a dramatic rise in gas prices will do to your wealth. You go about buying your $10 million dollar pieces of art, staying in those $5000 per night hotel rooms, giving minimal tips to those who serve you, and tipping the Lord each Sunday. God sees the arguments that you give for not raising the minimum wage. He hears you make those stereotypical comments about poor people. He sees you bankrupting your companies and leaving your loyal workers without pensions. God knows it all. Like not paying taxes to those whom taxes are due, there will be a payday some day. Right now, the payment is a mere $9 trillion and counting plus the estimated $3 tillion in non-mortgage debt owed by American citizens.

Cal Thomas wrote this week that when you hear the word "compassionate," hang on to your wallets. He forgot that Bush entered office as a "compassionate conservative." Cal was referring, of course, to the discussion during the past week at Messiah College.

Posted by: Earl C, Virginia Beach | April 19, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Bill Ayers and his quote in the New York Times on 9/11. It is my impression after doing some research that some passages in his book were being quoted, something that Bill Ayers has dissociated himself from for many years. In the total context of the day, the out-of-context reporting about this statement is the ultimate in spin. I encourage anyone to go back to source documents and statements for the events of 9/11. It does seem that Jerry Fallwell among others had much to say about 9/11 as well. We live in an America of nothing but spin, it seems. It's the "gotcha" game which does nothing to unite us. In fact, those preaching the "United We Stand" doctrine have only been doing so since Bush made his big blunder in Iraq. Tell me that spin is not in vogue! I'd like to hear more about Bush's years in the National Guard, his DUI, his drug use, and his days as a frat boy. A real model he was! Give me a break. Get a little religion and the religious right eats out of your hand. My Bible does not teach me to "Do unto others before they do unto you." Bush believes this. There is proof in this pudding.

Posted by: Earl C, Virginia Beach | April 19, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

One more time: Obama cannot win a national election; he hasn't even been able to win one major Democratic Primary, let alone a national election. Many Hillary supporters will defect to McCain. McCain is not Bush. Obama has so much baggage that has not even been exposed. Obama's debate performance is another example of why he will be crushed in November. It is my prediction, as soon as he gets the nomination (and I think he will) his numbers will go down immediately. Alot of this is Republicans pushing for Obama to get the nomination (not Hillary as reported) because they know McCain can defeat him. Imagine this reality above all the analysis: The economy is crashing; people are losing their jobs, their homes, their health insurance; McCain admits he knows nothing about the economy. Yet, with all this, he is winning or highly competitive in almost all the states mentioned. That says more than any analysis.

Posted by: Polcomm | April 19, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Polls aren't only aimed at revealing how candidates stack up against each other's total numbers and demographics, they're aimed at influencing...that's my point.

They're used by the media to influence voters. How many voters are going to look up Pollster.com to determine whether a particular poll is considered trustworthy or how relevant it is when compared to other polls? We know only politicos do that.

So, an overwhelming portion of the electorate are misinformed by the media. Period! It's a travesty!

Good night all.

Posted by: VAMMAP | April 18, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

...er... 10 states most likely to...

Posted by: pjf0226 | April 18, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so I compiled a spreadsheet of all the state-by-state head-to-head polls posted on realclearpolitics.com since the beginning of March and simply averaged them. There was at least one set of polls for each state, but none for DC (although that's not exactly up for grabs anyway). Based on that data, here are the 15 states (and electoral votes) most likely to switch for each match-up:

Obama vs. McCain

1) Iowa (7)
2) New Mexico (5)
3) Nevada (5)
4) Colorado (9)
5) Pennsylvania (21)
6) North Dakota (3)*
7) Michigan (17)
8) New Hampshire (4)
9) New Jersey (15)
10) Ohio (20)

1) Arkansas (6)
2) New Hampshire (4)
3) Oregon (7)
4) West Virginia (5)*
5) Washington (11)
6) Wisconsin (10)
7) Ohio (20)
8) Michigan (17)
9) Florida (27)
10) New Mexico (5)

* Only one set of head-to-head polls was available for these states

Posted by: pjf0226 | April 18, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

vammap we should all agree that most polling in the primaries has been totally worthless. The undecideds in Pa are reportedly as high as around 13 per cent. Many of them will decide either sunday when polling will likely have ended or when they go to vote on tues. Polling in Ca on the morning of super tues claimed Obama would win by 18 points and in New Hampshire five. Lets see if after Sen Obama has blown through at least ten million in Pa he can close the deal with a win. If he gets blown out by 8-10 points even his supporters should ask if he can t close the deal in April why should anyone presume he can so so in Nov. We all need to take a deep breath, ignore all of the polls good or bad, and just wait and see if the voters of Pa embrace Sen Obama or say just wait a minute that is not what they want.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

"Posted by: the revms paromita baidya roy, democratic refoms agent world wide | April 18, 2008 9:38 PM"

Keeping the posts germain would be nice. Keeping they consiser would be nicer. Using eight feet of screen space is a waste anyway, and that was done twice, seperated enough that it wasn't an inadvertent double post.

THIS Column, one would think, was predictions, along with reasons, for states that will switch.

But the CB mentality, if two people are communicating go in and break it up applies to cyber comms as well.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | April 18, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

My point is that the media is not involved in non-partisan reporting, giving the public access to all polling; and in that same vein, we also know that pollsters have been caught hiking up or dumbing down numbers..

This is from Zogby: I think it's important because some of these indicators are not great for Obama.


There was a shift in the genders. Among men, Clinton made up seven points in the last 24 hours against Obama,

As was the case in yesterday's release, Clinton holds double-digit leads among whites and Hispanics, while Obama holds a huge lead among African Americans, winning 86% support.

The economy was again cited by likely voters as the most important issue for them in deciding for whom to vote, and Clinton was seen as the better candidate to both improve the personal financial situations of likely voters and the U.S. economy at large.

Clinton was also seen as the candidate who better understands Pennsylvania - 56% said as much, while just 28% said Obama better understands the state, the poll showed.

http://www.zogby.com/News/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1483

Posted by: VAMMAP | April 18, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

U S Senator, gop and a us Presidential hopeful with the help of gop national committee with a motive of political corruption is being aimed for nomination of him at the next political convention without officially considering fates of other valid and clean candidacy viz the reverend dr kamal karna roy, a fec regd gop candidate, as if kama roy et al may not exist. Unilateral decision on alleged corrupt politician is unlawful. U S senate must conduct open u s senate hearings on other allegedly corrupt politician hillary r clinton and mr barack hussain obama alongwith john mcCain to assess suitability o their successfully contesting u s presidential electoral contestss by them. furthermore the prayers were made to postpone u s Presidential election for high level misconducts and violations of campaign laws, including abuse o u s antitrust laws prohibiting any industrial produce viz news items to essentially curb electoral competition viz candidate roy was ignored and ommitted from major party gop candidacy by news media ,as if candidate roy did not lawfully exist did not exist, so he could not exist more than u s $ 4.80 milions receive from outsources campaign machinery and spent all and over the amount stated but require 100's of u s 4 IN MILLIONS TO CAMPAIGN TO WIN AN EQUITABLE U S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL COMPETITION. SEE BELOW AS WELL :
Intellectual Intercourse
C'mon baby. You KNOW you wanna.« Fun new FUSSP //
Today's kooky lawsuit
Posted on April 15th, 2008 by MickC
Association of Committee to Elect Rev.. Dr. Kamal K. Roy v. John McCain, et al.

Any time you get a lawsuit written on printouts and which has major political candidates, political parties, and legal documents as defendants, it worthy of a look just for the humor value.

So, here's the complaint, but be warned, I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

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Posted by: the revms paromita baidya roy, democratic refoms agent world wide | April 18, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

It's the COWARD again.

Whoever it is they're rabid. The fact is that the Newsweek Poll should lead you to conclude that the poll is an OUTLIER. Look the word up. It's clear that anyone that
becomes so enraged at a poll result and fires back with such venom, has a hate-on problem.

Actually this most recent Gallup is not on any of the major media outlets, or wasn't whenever I originally posted.

No one was talking about the media bias that Politico just exposed. But many of us knew it was happening. And still the major media outlets aren't reporting it.

You can lie; you can deceive, but in the end the truth comes out...eventually it comes out..


-------------------------------------------
"You won't find these poll results anywhere but Gallup and Fox."

Actually, genius, you see it everywhere, along with today's Newsweek poll showing Obama with a 19pt lead, and everyone asking WTF and looking at deeper analysis for more explanations (KO is doing it right now). Maybe you should pull your head out before posting delusional, baseless biases and presenting them as fact (this is nowhere near the first time one of your assertions that "no one is talking about this" has appeared here at the same time EVERYONE was talking about it).

Posted by: | April 18, 2008 8:11 PM

Posted by: VAMMAP | April 18, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Sen Clinton, James Carville likened Gov Richardson to Judas over his endorsement, and has since reaffirmed that on multiple occasions, do you agree with those statements?

YES YES YES

The fact that Obama supporters 3 days after the debate are still complaing about it proves how poorly their candidate actually performed.

You stated that for all intense and purposes, genius, that the nomination has been over for 2 months. Is that your closing message to Pa voters, genius?
And did you also boast that proObama polling co. John Zogby said this morning that HC is starting to soar(his words) in Pa since the debate. I am sure you knew that genius because the media has repeated that story so much today.You can only find that story at the zogby site so vammap was making a perfectly valid point.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that Primary election actually means something, consider the ratios of Democratic voters in any given state primary election in 2008, divided by the Democratic vote in that state in the 2004 general election call it the DEC (Democratic Enthusiasm quotient) and the equivalent REC (Republican Enthusiasm Quotient) consider the Ratio DEC/REC. Only Michigan and Maine voted Democratic in 2004 and have a REC/DEC ratio greater than in the primaries. Fourteen states that voted republican in 2008 have a DEC/REC ratio greater than 2 (that is the DEC is more than twice the REC.) In Order Greatest to least:
Mississippi 4
Louisiana 3
Kansas 3
North Dakota 3
Texas 3
Tennessee 2
Georgia 2
South Carolina 2
Virginia 2
Missouri 2
Colorado 2
Ohio 2
Alabama 2
Oklahoma 2

Unless the Republicans significantly everse the party enthusiasms, it would appear that THOSE states are most likely to flip, in that order. Maine's caucus turn out was so low that its slight Republican plurality can't reasonably be read, and Michigan was a state very much in play for the Republicans, so its slight preponderance of Republican voters probably won't mean near as much in the fall.

If the fall elections break the way the Primaries broke, of the states already polled, thirty one states, having 359 electoral votes, will go Democratic, and eight states, having 82 electoral votes will go republican.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | April 18, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me pick up on this. When these comments from
Senator Obama broke on Friday, Senator McCain's campaign immediately
said that it was going to be a killer issue in November.
Senator Clinton, when Bill Richardson called you to say he was
endorsing Barack Obama, you told him that Senator Obama can't win. I'm
not going to ask you about that conversation; I know you don't want to
talk about it. But a simple yes or no question: Do you think Senator
Obama can beat John McCain or not?"

I know you don't want to talk about it, so I won't ask you? Great standard for a moderator. Sen Clinton, James Carville likened Gov Richardson to Judas over his endorsement, and has since reaffirmed that on multiple occasions, do you agree with those statements? Why not a single follow up on those types of questions? Why, when Hillary is favored in Pennsylvania by somewhere around 10 points were all questions pointed at Obama? Is it because this race has been over for all intensive purposes for two months but the Media, which is supposedly in the Obama tank, is desperate to keep it alive to make money off the perception of a real race going on?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"You won't find these poll results anywhere but Gallup and Fox."

Actually, genius, you see it everywhere, along with today's Newsweek poll showing Obama with a 19pt lead, and everyone asking WTF and looking at deeper analysis for more explanations (KO is doing it right now). Maybe you should pull your head out before posting delusional, baseless biases and presenting them as fact (this is nowhere near the first time one of your assertions that "no one is talking about this" has appeared here at the same time EVERYONE was talking about it).

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Chris, meant detachment!

Posted by: VAMMAP | April 18, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Here's a question for the Fix. Has the Fix preserved proffessional attachment and been fair in his reporting?

According to Politico today:

The shower of indignation on Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos over the last few days is the clearest evidence yet that the Clintonites are fundamentally correct in their complaint that she has been flying throughout this campaign into a headwind of media favoritism for Obama.

Last fall, when NBC's Tim Russert hazed Clinton with a bunch of similar questions--a mix of fair and impertinent--he got lots of gripes from Clinton supporters.

But there was nothing like the piling on from journalists rushing to validate the Obama criticisms and denouncing ABC's performance as journalistically unsound. "

"The response was itself a warning about a huge challenge for reporters in the 2008 cycle: Preserving professional detachment in a race that will likely feature two nominees, Obama and John McCain, who so far have been beneficiaries of media cheerleading."

"In fact, the balance of political questions (15) to policy questions (13) was more substantive than other debates this year that prompted no deluge of protests. The difference is that this time there were more hard questions for Obama than for Clinton. "

"Moreover, those questions about Jeremiah Wright, about Obama's association with 1960s radical William Ayers, about apparent contradictions between his past and present views on proven wedge issues like gun control, were entirely in-bounds. If anything they were overdue for a front-runner and likely nominee."

"If Obama was covered like Clinton is, one feels certain the media focus would not have been on the questions, but on a candidate performance that at times seemed tinny, impatient, and uncertain."

"The difference seems clear: Many journalists are not merely observers but participants in the Obama phenomenon. "

Read the entire article at:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0408/9718.html

Posted by: VAMMAP | April 18, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

'It is one of the strongest insults in the Arab world -- sticking the sole of your shoe in somebody's face, in a culture where the foot is considered the dirtiest part of the body.'

Was that Senator Obama's intention when he slapped the sole of his shoe when he referenced HC and the debtate at a N. Carolina rally? Did anyone else pick up on that obvious slur?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

The lastest Gallup Tracking poll shows Obama's numbers falling. According to Gallup it could be the blowback from the debate, and certainly the Bitter remarks.

You won't find these poll results anywhere but Gallup and Fox.

And we thought the press was so keen on polling?

http://www.gallup.com/poll/106630/Gallulp-Daily-Clinton-Moves-Within-Points-Obama.aspx

Posted by: VAMMAP | April 18, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Imagine, Senator Obama's naive belief that young soldiers, sailors, and airmen shouldn't be killed just so neocon geniuses like Bill Kristol and Dick Cheney can be justified in their reasoned and mannered actions.

My solid belief is that the first prerequisite for a commander-in-chief is an utter disregard for the military.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

From the Tinfoil Monthly: "Our understanding is that Barack Obama actually believes men landed on the moon."

I read Town Hall, and I know for a fact that the moon landings were conducted on a soundstage in Hollywood (close to Barry's friends on the liberal left).

You dumb libs. You've been snookered.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

From the Flat Earth Monthly: "Barack Obama has been linked to John Wilkes Booth."

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, 'we need a centrist to win' -

You say:
"Neither extreme, left or right, holds the answer. Only the center does."

I say:
"Things fall apart/The center does not hold"

Posted by: TS Eliot | April 18, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

From one point of view, it's a shame that Hillary is so tainted, because she delivered some body blows to His Serene Highness in that last debate.

She reminded viewers that Obama's church had offered its bulletin as a forum for a message from Hamas, and cheerfully piled on when George Stephanopoulos raised the troublesome matter of Obama's connection to William Ayers.


Bill Ayers is no run-of-the-mill lefty. Along with his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, he was a founding member of the Weather Underground, a radical spin-off of the SDS that "declared war" on "Amerikkka" in 1970 and planned a terrorist attack on Fort Dix, N.J., that the group anticipated would be "the most horrific hit the United States Government has ever suffered on its soil." Alas for them, three of the Weathermen were blown up in a Greenwich Village apartment while mixing the ingredients for the bomb.

In his memoir, Obama recalls that in his college days, he sat up late with friends discussing ''neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism and patriarchy." To "avoid being mistaken for a sellout," he selected his friends carefully. "The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance artists." On first reading I thought that he'd achieved ironic distance from this jejune leftism. But maybe not.

And now, to paraphrase his pastor and mentor, the chickens are coming home to roost.

...
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/MonaCharen/2008/04/18/more_debates_please!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Tally-ho Everyone!

It's me! The fabulously wealthy kingofzouk, just dropping by see the good peons posting on this board.

My stocks are up. My fingernails are clean and my palms are smooth as a baby's bottom.

I must be off, now, to shoot a partridge. Of course, I'll be riding my porsche to the outing.

Toot-a-loo!

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 18, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

touche', Herr simon. :)

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"It's also helps if your candidate isn't a complete buffoon"

So you sat the last election out?

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, I don't know. I think uncommon valor and courage are pretty important in a President."

Which is of course why you voted for John Kerry...."


It's also helps if your candidate isn't a complete buffoon.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Davester:

The first problem with your hypothesis that Michigan and Florida voters will punish Howard Dean and the Democratic Party by voting overwhelmingly for McCain in November is that there's just no evidence for it. The latest poll in Michigan (EPIC/MRA, Apr. 3-8) shows Obama leading McCain, 43-41. Clinton trails McCain in Michigan 46-37, but she leads McCain in Florida 45-44 (Rasmussen, Apr. 10). You'd think if the Democrats faced a big problem in these states, it would be showing up in the polls most strongly now. By November this flap will be ancient history, and voters' calculations will be a lot more complicated than a simple knee-jerk vote based on a 9-month-old perceived slight. Look at it this way: if you're a factory worker in Michigan worried about losing your job and your home, or the spouse of a soldier in Iraq on a third tour of duty, a primary that took place (or didn't) in March of 2008 is going to be pretty far down on your list of concerns by November.

Besides, the real story about "disenfranchisement" is more complicated. It was the governors and legislative leaders of Michigan and Florida who disenfranchised voters in those two states when they arrogantly and defiantly proceeded to schedule their primaries outside the DNC's approved calendar, despite clear and repeated warnings that those contests would not be recognized. They thought they could bully, bluster, and blackmail their way into forcing the DNC to back down. They lost that gamble. It's Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R), and the legislative leadership in both states (mostly R in Florida, bipartisan in Michigan) who should face the voters' wrath (if any) over "disenfranchisement.".

All Howard Dean and the DNC did was to even-handedly enforce rules that applied equally to a lot of other states that were just as eager as Michigan and Florida to try to move up their primaries to exert more influence in the presidential selection process, but settled for compliance with the rules---and as a consequence, got their delegates recognized. Had Dean and the DNC caved in to Michigan and Florida's blackmail threats, it would be impossible to enforce the discipline of a calendar on any state in the next election cycle, and we'd be starting the 2012 presidential primary season sometime early in 2009, within days after President Obama is sworn in to his first term.

Posted by: Brad K | April 18, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Bush43 also displayed uncommon valor and courage -- a complete lack of both. Few men display that.

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 18, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Metternich writes
"And with all due respect, I do not see how being a prisoner of war qualifies one to be President.

Different skill sets, no?"

I'd hardly call being a POW a 'skill set'. While I agree that POW status is not a 'qualifier' for being President, it is likewise not a disqualifier. Like any of the candidates' life experiences, it gives us a metric by which to measure their character. As his supporters often point out, McCain's naval tenure is noteworthy for his refusal to accept special treatment based on his familial connections (i.e. his father being an Admiral). That he continued to refuse special treatment for this relationship while a POW is further evidence of his character. I wouldn't call it, in and of itself, a qualification for President, but rather, information worth knowing.

I think the comment left by egc52556 is likewise worth discussing. If McCain isn't as 'in touch' with the culture of the late 60s & early 70s that forged so many boomers' worldview, is that a disqualifier? Hardly. Its worth noting, but hardly the kind of thing that should keep him from (or promote him into) office.

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, I don't know. I think uncommon valor and courage are pretty important in a President."

Which is of course why you voted for John Kerry....

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"If you don't think Democrats have a situation on their hands with Michigan & Florida then you're just plain stupid. Without Michigan and Florida the Dems will not win the presidency. The idiot Dean has refused to address the issue with those 2 states and I can guarantee as a Michigan resident people will be pissed at the democratic party for silencing their voices."

A dem can't win without Ohio, a Dem can't win without FL, a Dem can't win without MI....

C'mon, we don't need 350 electoral votes here, we only need the 2004 map plus 19 votes. Michigan is staying in the Dem column (Obama does better than Clinton, but both would win it, as opposed to John 'Your automotive jobs are gone and never coming back' McCain), and with that one of the others would be nice (and I think Ohio goes to either of them as well, while I still think neither win FL), but there are plenty of maps to electoral victory with neither. Red states that are potential pickups include Missouri (11), Iowa (7), Colorado (9), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), Virginia (13), any combination of which is more than enough to put Obama over the top, even if he is forced to play defense in Pennsylvania. They're both dead even against McCain now, before the post-primary bounce that will come when the party finally comes together (I'm betting about 3/4 of those on each side who right now say they will never vote for the other will come around after the dust settles) and before it becomes a two-way race where some scrutiny is now pushed on McCain who has gotten a free pass to this point. I don't see how McCain stands a shot, frankly. I can just see the chants at the GOP convention now... FOUR MORE WARS! FOUR MORE WARS!!

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of pow's out there. It does not make them qualififed to be President.

You need a whole lot more than valor and courage to run this $14 Trillion a year economy.

Posted by: Sizemore | April 18, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Montana will go Democratic. They know when they've been conned. Two Dems in the Senate and lot's of anger at the Bush child for screwing everything up. The New Western Democrats will ride to the rescue!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 18, 2008 5:09 PM


Obama will carry the West.
Obama will carry the South.
Obama will carry the NorthEast
Obama will carry the Midwest.

I give Arizona to McCain. And Minnesota if he goes with Pawlenty. That's it folks.
Can you say landslide?!

Posted by: Metternich | April 18, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"And with all due respect, I do not see how being a prisoner of war qualifies one to be President.

Different skill sets, no?"


Oh, I don't know. I think uncommon valor and courage are pretty important in a President.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Montana will go Democratic. They know when they've been conned. Two Dems in the Senate and lot's of anger at the Bush child for screwing everything up. The New Western Democrats will ride to the rescue!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 18, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, I was responding (with erudition) to the post by Checkered.1 @ 4:23 PM

All of this discussion of intellect and who's candidate is "schmarter" reminds me of a geico commercial or something.

Obama: My mom is calling - I'll put her in speakerphone.


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

This is huge. Robert Reich is not.

Posted by: Vertically Challenged | April 18, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"...Dick Cheney's complete and utter lack of interest in the Vietnam War."

Classic case of "ChickenHawk-itis".

Posted by: Metternich | April 18, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I respect John McCain enormously.

And with all due respect, I do not see how being a prisoner of war qualifies one to be President.

Different skill sets, no?

Posted by: Metternich | April 18, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

egc: Republicans prefer guys who stayed utterly disassociated from the traumatic times.

Excellent book: David Maraniss, "They Marched Into Sunlight." Read about Dick Cheney's complete and utter lack of interest in the Vietnam War.

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 18, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

[QUOTE]
I have a feeling [McCain] gained quite a bit more insight into his nationality and love for country by courageously chosing to stay where he was. [as a POW]
Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 11:52 AM
[/QUOTE]

I agree. But while McCain was undergoing those traumatic times, America was undergoing traumatic times too. We weren't there in the Hanoi Hilton and nobody who wasn't could completely understand that experience. But I wonder if the reverse is also true. I think it's a fair question.

Posted by: egc52556 | April 18, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

To "I'm confused":

Granted, social security payroll taxes are a confusing subject, but Obama is in fact being very straightforward here. There's been a proposal out there for a long time to eliminate the current open-ended exemption from the payroll tax for all wage & salary income over $97,500, and to replace with a much narrower exemption on income between $97,500 and $200,000 (or $250,000). That wouldn't raise as much money as extending the payroll tax to all wage & salary income, but it would still raise a lot more than the current payroll tax, without raising taxes on the middle class. Someone making $300 K a year, for example, would pay the payroll tax on $197,500 (instead of just the first $97,500 as under the present tax). Someone making $500 K would be taxed on $397,500; someone making $1 million would be taxed on $897,500, and so on; but those making up to $200 K would not pay a dime more than they do today. All the new revenue comes from high-income earners. I think it's a sound and workable proposal, and it's entirely consistent with Obama's commitment not to raise taxes on the middle class.

To "all liberals are confused":

Frankly, I think you're being deliberately obtuse about affirmative action. Colleges and universities, as well as most large corporations and other pajor employers, have long employed race as a "plus" factor in admissions and hiring decisions without reducing it to a quote. In college admissions, for example, colleges frequently look at race along with other factors like high school extracurriculars, test scores, grades, geographic diversity, gender, and a lot of other factors in considering the "whole person." They don't find it necessary or useful to reduce extracurriculars (for example) into specific quotas for tuba players, actors, or chess champions; nor do they find it necessary or useful to reduce race into specific quotas. But if they find they're overloaded on tuba players and short on actors, an otherwise highly qualified actor may get slightly more favorable consideration than an otherwise similarly qualified applicant who would be the 113th tuba player admitted this year, because on balance it makes for an equally qualified and more diverse entering class. Is that really so difficult to understand?

Posted by: Brad K | April 18, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP asks
"Who says or writes "antipathy to people who aren't like them" anymore except someone who thinks he is being terribly clever or erudite?"

Who says erudite anymore except someone who thinks (s)he is being terribly clever or, uh, erudite?

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't need to have a beer with him, I would just love to see SOME humility. Being intelligent but being arrogant is not exactly what we should expect after 7 years of arrogance AND incompitence from W. I guess arrogance with brains is better than W's arrogance and dimwitedness(awesome speech Pope) but I really don't care for either. Have other's sensed this smugness?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is seen as untrustworthy by a majority of voters.

Obama continues to receive more votes of superdelegates and endorsements like those of "friend of Bill" Labor Secretary Reich, and foreign policy heavyweights former senators Nunn (GA) and Boren (OK). Seems like those who know her best....

Hillary's lead in PA according to Gallup is down to 5 percent. She is a viable candidate only because of media hype and her own destructive ambitions.

Billary.... it's time.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 18, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Davester says
"The idiot Dean has refused to address the issue with those 2 states and I can guarantee as a Michigan resident people will be pissed at the democratic party for silencing their voices."

So, Davester, if I'm reading you correctly, you're saying that if only the Dems hadn't fouled up the primary in those states, you'd vote for them. It sounds like you're saying "I know the Dems are better for me, but I'm mad at them, so like a 2 year old, I'm going to vote for the other guy. HA! That'll show them!" Do you understand how idiotic & short-sighted that kind of thinking is? On the other hand, George W Bush was elected twice, so maybe I should lower my expectations of US voters.

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"...certainly not someone most people would want to associate with."

Look... I don't want to have a beer with the guy. And I don't care if he's a lousy bowler.

I'm glad he rose from a fatherless home to go to Harvard, graduate near the top of his class and become president of the Harvard Review.

In other words, smartest of the smart.

This Global Economy and the Geo-Political Dynamic are enormously complicated and require a near-genius to understand it all.

We've had 8 years of dim-witted leadership and we see where that has gotten us: our military is in a quagmire in the Middle East, oil if over $115 a barrel and our Economy is in the toilet.

We can't afford a President that you want to have a beer with... the stakes are just too high.

We need someone with intelligence on the magnitude of Senator Obama.

Posted by: proudtobeAmerican | April 18, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Sen Obama's smugness is staring to remind me of W.
Brushing his shoulder and gesturing his superiority;
Touching his shoe and showing disrespect for his opponent;
and statements like this from him: "I Am A Pretty Darned Good Politician."
Who in the world talks like that, certainly not someone most people would want to associate with.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,

Since you're focused on trivia like pushy people asking Obama for a photo, check out the picture at http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-chelsea18apr18,0,7934751.story?track=ntothtml, where it looks like Chelsea is pursuing the family business of lying about anecdotes on the campaign trail.* The picture shows her to be (q) spectacularly unattractive (judge for yourself) and (b) the spitting image of Webb Hubbell. There's no Bill Clinton in that face.

Howlong are we going to ignore the elephantin the living room?

*Quoting: "During a long day of campaigning in Oregon on Saturday, she mentioned at two different stops that during the course of the campaign a 7-year-old and an 11-year-old had separately asked her "with terror in their eyes" what will become of the Social Security system. It's possible they were precocious, or that their parents put them up to it, but one skeptical blogger wrote afterward that the story was "stunning in its absurdity."

(When asked for details, such as where and when Clinton met the children, the campaign could not provide them.)"

Posted by: gbooksdc | April 18, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I actually think Obama will take a number of those Midwest states. Kansas anyone?

Posted by: Brendan | April 18, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Wisconsin was the closest state in 2004, and it doesn't even make your top 10?

Posted by: Kyle | April 18, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

change????: The capital gains tax is virtually irrelevant to new investment. Most capital gains are on sales of "old and cold" stock from one private party to another, neither of whom have any involvment in the company.

Now, if you think making Chuck Schwab's bottom line healthier = expanding the economy, then you would be on to something. Otherwise, not so much.

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 18, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't you add North Carolina? Obama is even with McWar in NC polls now. Yup, I call NC for Obama.

Posted by: Brendan | April 18, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

change??? is right.

We should see the world through the McCain paradigm: pretend it is 1945 and this New Global Era is just like the Cold War only the Muslims have replaced the Soviets.

It's not that he is 70+ years old -- it is that his thinking is 70+ years old.

Why can't you Iraq-invasion-occupation supporters understand that the REAL enemy is "borderless"?

They don't need Iraq. They're doing fine in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sudan. Being financed by the incredibly Rich Saudi Arabia. We could stay in Iraq for 100 years and it would not defeat THIS enemy.

And if you agree with McCain that you can turn Iraq into a democracy, I have to ask you: do you know anything about the history of this people? Do you know when -- and under what circumstances Iraq became a country? Do you know how they've been governed for the last 1,300 years?

Posted by: Metternich | April 18, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I am from NM, and I see it going for Obama. The "neighbor" thing means nothing. New Mexicans view everyone as a stranger. Of course, recently a lot of Texans and East Coast folks have made their homes in NM, so that could change things a little. Still, I hope it slides to Obama.

Posted by: Brendan | April 18, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Owen: Sore Loserman can go suck on some bitter herbs.

And he will be drowned out by 24/7 Dem ads in the South Florida media market.

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 18, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Who says or writes "antipathy to people who aren't like them" anymore except someone who thinks he is being terribly clever or erudite?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Crybaby Keith
Olbermann is upset. Again.

By Peter Wehner


Last night on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the MSNBC host spent part of his broadcast condemning ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson for their role in Wednesday's Democratic debate. For Olbermann to sit in judgment of accomplished news journalists is comical.

For the unaware, Olbermann was a decent cohost (with Dan Patrick) of ESPN's SportsCenter during the 1990s. This was followed by a stint on FOX Sports, before landing his position as host of his current MSNBC program. (Previously, he spent some time on MSNBC, but left out of disgust because he tired of covering the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.)

Olbermann does excel at some things; he knows quite a lot about baseball, for instance. Unfortunately, his wisdom does not extend to serious journalism, or to matters of policy. Instead of original insight or thoughtful commentary, Olbermann offers a nightly digest of left-wing blogosphere clichés.

From time to time, Olbermann enriches his anemic program with a "Special Comment," segment during which, furrow-browed, he lashes out -- usually at the Bush administration -- for as long as ten minutes at a time. It is riveting in its own way: haughty and self-righteous, melodramatic, overwritten, sputtering with rage, banalities, and quotations from Bartlett's. It turns out that the mad utterings of a cable-news host can command an audience (though not a particularly large audience).

Like the band player who longs to be the high-school sports star, Olbermann covets the life of the serious journalist, and aspires to be the next Edward R. Murrow. But he is neither. He is not even Bob Ley.

Lately, Olbermann has become one of cable television's most vociferous Obama cheerleaders. He eagerly waves palm branches for Obama, and criticizes anyone who dares to question the Man of Hope -- hence his criticisms of Stephanopoulos and Gibson for merely asking the candidate about his relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers. These days Olbermann will often interview MSNBC contributors whose dispositions toward Obama range from love to reverence to worship. On his program, this qualifies as balance.

NBC News has a great history and it includes some of the best journalists working today, including Tim Russert and Brian Williams. But NBC News also has Keith Olbermann, and so long as it does, its reputation as a serious news organization will suffer. The esteemed among NBC's journalists deserve better, as does the American news-consuming public.

Posted by: Libs are cookoo | April 18, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Chris seems to need a weekly "FIX" on Pawlenty. I'm glad that "The Fix" Chris Cillizza keeps trying to sell Pawlenty as McCain's running mate each week. It gives the chance to keep the nation aprised of Pawlenty's Draconian behavior. This week Pawlenty or PawTy had to apologize to the MN citizens and the Democratic House Speaker for threatening to veto projects in the Minnesota's Democratic leaders district so PawTy could take revenge. All the House Leader said was that PawTy seems to be spending too much time out of state, working on his national ambitions which makes it difficult for the Legislature to resolve issues with the Governor's office. Chris can mark Minnesota blue if McCain chooses PawTy for his running mate. If McCain was to choose Romney, then Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin are possible for McCain, unlike doom if he chooses Pawty, even by Chris's analysis. As Chris knows, Romney won Minnesota, Michigan, and would have won Wisconsin if he had stayed in the race.

Posted by: Patricia | April 18, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse


If you don't think Democrats have a situation on their hands with Michigan & Florida then you're just plain stupid. Without Michigan and Florida the Dems will not win the presidency. The idiot Dean has refused to address the issue with those 2 states and I can guarantee as a Michigan resident people will be pissed at the democratic party for silencing their voices.

Posted by: Davester | April 18, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

On the issue of guns, Obama said, "As a general principle, I believe that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can't constrain the exercise of that right..." When asked if he still favors the registration and licensing of guns because, as Gibson pointed out, "in 1996, your campaign issued a questionnaire, and your writing was on the questionnaire that said you favored a ban on handguns," Obama denied it:

No, my writing wasn't on that particular questionnaire, Charlie. As I said, I have never favored an all-out ban on handguns.

But as the New York Times points out today


Politico.com recently found an amended questionnaire that [Obama] filed with [a liberal] group that year [1996] with the same answer to the handgun question.

So contrary to what he said last night, Obama did favor banning the manufacturing, sale, and possession of handguns.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NmYwY2JjNTRkYmJiM2UxOTJiZWE2MzJlMzdkODgyMzk=&w=MQ==

Posted by: All Libs lie, it's OK | April 18, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION --

AT LEAST BUSH DIDN'T WRITE A BOOK BRAGGING ABOUT HAVING A HISTORY OF GRAND THEFT AUTO AND FELONY HARD DRUG USE.

Posted by: At least Bush DIDN'T write a book bragging about his felonies | April 18, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

So Senator Obama believes in affirmative action but not in quotas to overcome "potentially current discrimination." He believes as well that race "can't be something that is simply applied without looking at the whole person." But what specifically does Senator Obama have in mind when he speaks about affirmative action without quotas? And in what circumstances should we make decisions based on race? Should a middle-class black get a slot at an Ivy League university because of race if he's in competition with, say, a lower-class Asian woman? Obama seems to believe that race can be a factor that is taken into consideration when it comes to college applications and jobs, but it shouldn't always be a factor. And sometimes, but not always, class circumstances should trump race. It's very hard to discern a principled position from Obama on this important matter of constitutional law.


Posted by: all libs are confused, it's OK | April 18, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"... methinks Northern Virginians overestimate their own importance..."
-----------------------

Who says or writes "methinks" anymore except someone who thinks he/she is being terribly clever or erudite?

Posted by: Checkered.1 | April 18, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama wasn't much better in his treatment of other issues. Last night he said that a central focus of his campaign was to deliver on "middle-class tax relief." When asked if he had just taken a pledge on not raising taxes on people making less than $200,000, Obama agreed. But later in the debate Obama admitted he would raise the cap on the payroll tax, meaning that those making more than $97,000 a year would pay higher payroll taxes. When Charles Gibson pointed out this fact to Obama and said there are "a heck of a lot of people between $97,000 and $200(,000) and $250,000" and that if you raise the payroll taxes, that will raise taxes on them, Obama said, "I would look at potentially exempting those who are in between." But of course if he exempts all of those in between, then he's not going to raise the payroll tax to help save Social Security. And if he doesn't exempt all of those in between, then he's raising taxes on those making less than $200,000.

Posted by: I'm confused, I'm a Lib | April 18, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Jimmy Carter should go set up shop in ramallah and leave the U.S. I'm so sick of him. He's an embarrassment to our country as he fawns over Arafat's grave site and curries favor with hamas.

Q-If hamas kidnaps President Carter, should the U.S. government negotiate for his release. Let them have him and I say this as a Democrat and a Senator Obama supporter.

Posted by: Jeff Owen | April 18, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Obama's response was, "I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness." Obama assures us that he wants "businesses to thrive and I want people to be rewarded for their success." But he also wants to "make sure ... that our tax system is fair and that we are able to finance health care for Americans who currently don't have it and that we're able to invest in our infrastructure and invest in our schools." But back to the empirical evidence: when capital-gains taxes are cut, the private economy expands. So if lowering the capital gains tax led to a stronger economy and higher revenues, Obama presumably would still oppose it on grounds of "fairness" (a concept that doesn't help you determine what the precise tax rate ought to be). This demonstrates the depth of Obama's animus toward the corporate world, which is the engine of prosperity for America.

Posted by: change??? | April 18, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama's own words convict him of multiple Felonies. At least Bush did write a book where he bragged about stealing cars and buying and using hard drugs.

Obama's own words convict him.

He's even dumber and more arrogant than Bush.

We've had one too many arrogant ex-cocaine users in the oval office already.

Posted by: Obama's own words convict him. He's even dumber than Bush!!! | April 18, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

On Iraq, Obama reaffirmed a rock-hard pledge that he will withdraw our combat troops and leave no permanent bases. He is wholly uninterested in what General Petraeus or anyone else has to say on the matter of our mission; our troops are coming home, come what may. And if as a result of a precipitous withdrawal we see mass death and genocide, a revitalized al-Qaeda, a strengthened Iran, and massive instability in the region, the withdrawal would presumably continue. There is, it seems, no scenario that would cause Obama to change his mind. David Brooks of the New York Times put it well: "To pledge an automatic withdrawal is just insane. A mature politician would've been honest and said: I fully intend to withdraw, but I want to know what the reality is at that moment."

Posted by: change??? | April 18, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama is leading McCain in polls in NM (where I live). Deal with it. Also in NM, Udall, the Dem Senate candidate leads the two leading GOP candidates by 20% and 15% respectively -- meanwhile those two GOP candidates (both U.S. Reps) are trashing one another daily in at least as rough a fashion as the Dem Presidential nominees. There will be "reverse coat tails" when the Dems turn out for the Senate and House races. The GOP will hold one house seat (southern NM), but will likely lose their other one (ABQ), while the Dems will hold one (northern NM) and likely gain one (ABQ).

Dems crushed the GOP in NM in 2006, and the only significant GOP winner (Heather Wilson) will either be crushed in the senate race vs Udall or else will be on the sidelines watching a Dem take her house seat.

Color NM blue in 2008 -- across the board, Presidential, Senator and 2 of 3 Reps, which will represent a gain of 1 senator, 1 rep and a switch back to Dem in presidential races.

Posted by: Dolph T | April 18, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama is getting some last-minute help from one of America's leading unions in his effort to exceed expectations in the Pennsylvania primary, as reported earlier on the Fix.


The SEIU jumps in again on Obama's behalf, with an ad that shows mostly white, working- and middle-class Pennsylvanians complaining about their gas prices and then declaring their faith in Obama.

http://www.labornotes.org/node/1604

This picture is of some rank-and-file members of the SEIU. They're goons that the SEIU sent to disrupt a Michigan labor conference last weekend. The thuggish tactics are part of their ongoing fight with the California Nurses Association over efforts to unionize new workers.

This time the SEIU sent a 68 year old woman to the Emergency Room. As a result of their heavy-handed tactics, a restraining order has now been slapped on the SEIU, along with an order for union boss Andy Stern to appear in court.

It's a good thing Obama is so clean and non-controversial--because from Jeremiah Wright, to Jodie Evans, to James Meeks, to William Ayers, to Tony Rezko, to union thugs, he seems to attract some unsavory supporters.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

As a South Floridian, the key for Senator Obama if he is to win FL in the general election is to get the confidence of the many elderly Jewish voters that are active here in local and county Dem politics.

If my parents are any barometer of the wariness many Jewish voters have for Senator Obama, indeed he has his work cut out for him because I can guarantee you that Senator Lieberman will be spending alot of time in the Sunshine State on behalf of Senator McCain and courting those Jewish voters in the fall.

Senator Obama can get those Jewish voters on his side by talking about his commitment to strengthening social security and medicare and of course his unwavering support for Israel. Perhaps he should start eating matzoh for the next week and getting a feel for some Jewish food. Get the egg matzoh Senator Obama. It actually has some taste,lol.

Happy Passover my blogger colleagues.

Posted by: Jeff Owen | April 18, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

See... the simple fact is this: 2/3 of the American voters believe Iraq was a mistake and think we should get out asap.

What does this mean?

It means McCain will lose to Hillary.
or
McCain will lose to Obama.

This general election is going to be a blow-out. Once the Dems finalize on a nominee, they will employ the boatloads of cash they have to inform the electorate of how badly McCain wants to stay in Iraq. The old guy just happens to be on the wrong side of history. He's the Herbert Hoover on the 21st Century.

McCain will carry the 1/3 of the voters that think Iraq is a good place to deploy our troops and sink our billions.

Obama (or even Hillary) will carry most of the 2/3 that know Iraq was a huge strategic error (of historical magnitude).

This landslide will be of historic proportions, ala, LBJ-Goldwater, FDR-anybody, Andrew Jackson-John Quincy Adams.

Suck on that GOP!

Posted by: proudtobeAmerican | April 18, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

One more thing to anwser the stupid question of some idiot prior to my statements about McCain. McCain dose not need to wear no pin flag. Why? asking why he walks the way he walks and why his left hand is handicap. He was a POW for 5 years serving in the US military. Nothing Obama ever do can compare to that. McCain is a true paitriot! If you knew what you were talking about idiot McCain released his income tax today fool. read and learn fool.

Posted by: Rafael | April 18, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Hillary with 39% over all approval rating might win nomination with back hand deals. In general election, she will not even get 30% of independent vote. It will be a miracle if she can get 45% of vote in November.

Posted by: Independent | April 18, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Robert Reich, Clinton's Secretary of Labor just endorsed Barack Obama.

http://www.robertreich.blogspot.com/

Posted by: GandalftheGrey | April 18, 2008 3:43 PM


This is HUGE -- Reich is BRILLIANT.

Posted by: GOPlover | April 18, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

You keep saying IF Obama is the nominee. Please, to retain any credibility, try to keep it real -- Obama is 100% to be the nominee and has been ever since the "SNIPER FIRE -- oops, my bad, just a girl scout" video became the hottest item on the net. No one perceived by 60% of American voters as untrustworthy (as is Clinton) or who has made herself the butt of national jokes for being a pathological liar will ever be someone the super delegates would overrule grass roots Dems in order to pick.

Also -- McCain can only pick ONE VP, so both FL and MN can't be swayed by his pick -- at most one of them can.

So far, McCain is getting a "free ride." Once enough voters realize his stances on the occupation of Iraq, the economy and his strident anti-abortion stance (all items where he is far out of touch with the majority of Americans), a lot more "red" states may be in play than have made your list.

Posted by: Dolph T | April 18, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama will not win in November! He wont carry New Mexico, Ohio, Florida and that's it if you as a Democrat cant win Ohio tell me how you become president? Remember this the black factor may be enough to win you the primaries in the Democratic party but, I am no fool you really think a state like Ohio will vote for a black president? Please remember this is the USA. Call me racist I don't care I know I am not I am just saying the facts just like Bill Clinton said in South Carolina this whole Obama thing is a fairy tale for Democrats. Hillary Clinton is the only one that has a honest and real chance to beat McCain. If you refuse to belive me then when you go get that tissue box on November when Obama gets destroyed to wipe your angry tears remeber this and give your thanks to Mr. Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy and the far left of the Democratic party and maybe then you will wake up from this fairy tale. This was the easiest year for democrat to win the White House but, they went dreaming. Oh please and one more thing also thank Rev. J Wright he preaches against white rich people and now he is moving to a million dollar home in a white subarban town in Chicago from the money the real poor blacks give him in the church talk about a hypocrate boy I tell you that reverend is bad news for Obama the USA and the democrats.

Posted by: Rafael | April 18, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Do Americans want America Haters in the white house as advisors...Do Americans want a man who doesn't love his country to run and destroy her...well...do you...

Posted by: Dwight | April 18, 2008 1:26 PM

What are you saying? Are you accusing Bush and Cheney of hating America?! how dare you, sir.

[slaps with gloves]

There!

Posted by: southern gent | April 18, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

dying: the Dems are flush with cash. Before election day people will think McCain was created out of Bush's DNA.

Remember that the Dems have not yet run general election ads.

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 18, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Why do so many people thing obama will hold all the states that Kerry won? Obama is not running against Bush, who was and is one of the most polarizing and disliked presidents ever. McCain is neither of those things. If McCain is polling so well in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania before he has run a single commercial, what chance does Obama have in these places? And of course, without these states, Obama loses.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | April 18, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I'm sure many "intelligent" voters will reject the "elitist" Obama because he doesn't understand them, and flock to the "regular guy" McCain, who is living off his wife's $100 million fortune.

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 18, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA'S FELONY HARD DRUG HISTORY MAKES HIM UNELECTABLE.

HIS GRAND THEFT AUTO DOESN'T HELP EITHER.

HIS BOOKS ARE A TREASURE TROVE OF QUOTES FROM HIS OWN BIG MOUTH THAT MAKE HIM UNELECTABLE

TYPICAL WHITE PEOPLE CARE ABOUT "LITTLE THINGS" LIKE GRAND THEFT AND HARD DRUGS!!!!

Posted by: OBAMA FELONY HARD DRUG HISTORY MAKES HIM UNELECTABLE | April 18, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

A new national poll shows Barack Obama's once-healthy lead shrinking to a hair's width, suggesting his defensive performance at the Wednesday debate in Philadelphia may have hurt him.

The fresh numbers come as Hillary Clinton calls on Obama to quit whining about his supposed unfair treatment at the debate. Her campaign already has claimed Obama is trying to cover up an "awful performance" by saying he was hammered with petty political questions.

The Gallup daily tracking poll, taken from Tuesday to Thursday, indicates viewers may have had similar assessments.

http://www.pollingreport.com/wh08dem.htm

The poll showed Obama with just a three-point national advantage over Clinton, 47 percent to 44 percent. A few days ago, Obama had an 11-point lead in the same poll.


Probably just the religious nuts and gun-toting xenophobes ...nothing to worry or get bitter about, Barry. Just stay positive like you always do.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA'S A MULTIPLE FELON.

THAT MAKES HIM UNELECTABLE.

Read Obama's books.

They're a treasure trove for Republican 527.

Buying, Selling and using Cocaine is a FELONY.

Obama's admitted, in his own words, that he purchased and used Cocaine MANY TIMES.

When happens when he gets asked in a debate with McCain.

Mr. Obama - How many times did you either PURCHASE or USE HARD DRUGS like COCAINE?

How does he answer that question?

How many votes does he get after that?

Posted by: OBAMA'S FELONY HARD DRUG HISTORY MAKE HIM UNELECTABLE | April 18, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who think Clinton can win more easily than Obama. I have just one number for you to ponder. 39. That is her percent approval rating. You won't win anything with that kind of approval rating.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Chris
Were you on HRC payroll, like George Stephanopoulos. May be McCains.

Posted by: Independent | April 18, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Patrick NYC - "It is pretty clear that Obama is just scratching his cheek. If you watch closely his index finger is extended as well. Some people need to get a life."

OK I watched it and came to the opposite conclusion. As, apparently, did the crowd that you could hear on the video. But I'll wait for a clip that shows more context before final judgement.

Posted by: Dave! | April 18, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Robert Reich, Clinton's Secretary of Labor just endorsed Barack Obama.

http://www.robertreich.blogspot.com/

Posted by: GandalftheGrey | April 18, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Let us not forget, in 1992, Bill Clinton may not have made the White House without Ross Perot.

This could be a tough win for the Dems, but we can do it.

Posted by: Comment | April 18, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

and also remember that Michael Dukakas had an 18% lead over George H Bush right before his convention.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama did not start a populus movement. Bush Administration and the Republican party themselves started a populus movement.

McCain needs to take up fishing or something to transition into retirement effectively.

How can anyone represent the people from a bus ? And that goes for Hillary and Barack. Wake me up in February of 2009 when the real work for the people and by the People will resume ambiously.

Posted by: Hank Whatever | April 18, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Not sure I agree about voting patterns comments. That statement would indicate that voting patterns in 1996 would be more like 1994, then 1992. We really don't know because the democratic house does not have particularly high ratings as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I live and Florida and I can tell you one thing. If the Obama wins the Demcratic nom. the state goes McCain

Posted by: michelle | April 18, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"Remember, in Jun 1992, Bill Clinton was ahead in polls only in Arkansas. Much is left to be played out. Posted by: Jim | April 18, 2008 3:25 PM"

Excellent point. One that everyone seems blissfully inclined to forget.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 18, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"...... some traditions you just can't break."

Like making ridiculously GOP-centric predictions that completely ignore the fact that the voting patterns of 2006 are more likely to be replicated in 2008 than are the voting patterns of 2004.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 18, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It is pretty clear that Obama is just scratching his cheek. If you watch closely his index finger is extended as well. Some people need to get a life.

Posted by: Patrick NYC | April 18, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

My brother who lives in Minnesota says everyone suspects Pawlenty wants the VP post more than the party wants him. However, if he leaves the governorship, Carole Molnaer becomes governor. She is the disgraced Lt. Gov and Director of MNDoT who over saw the collapse of the 35W bridge last summer and was voted out of MnDOT by the state Senate in January. And needless to say no one wants Molnaer as governor. Her other claim to fame is that she is the women's state arm wrestling champion which I guess makes her qualified to be a Republican governor in Minnesota ala Jesse Ventura. To prevent all this from happening the voters of Minnesota will work against McCain not for him. And apparently Pawlenty has always told McCain he couldn't deliver Minnesota.

It looks like Minnesota is going Democratic matter what.

Posted by: Mike | April 18, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Again, living in the DC area, I think Virginia is still an election away from going dem despite the comments from previous posters.

Posted by: Jim | April 18, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I think Louisiana could be in play. I tend to doubt VA will swing over to the democrats, at least this election. 2012 is another issue.
Also, didn't Hawaii vote for Kerry in lower numbers than previous democrats in previous elections?
Oregon will still go for a democrat when all is said and done. Remember, in Jun 1992, Bill Clinton was ahead in polls only in Arkansas. Much is left to be played out.

Posted by: Jim | April 18, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Steve: always consider the source with comments from mibrooks. Although he claims to be a Democrat, his posts are generally highly negative towards Democrats."

Actually, I've found that his posts are highly negative towards corrupt politicians, those that want to restrict firearms, illegal immigration and outsourcing as well as insourcing with non-American guests. That he can be highly and sometimes acidically critical of Democrats does not necessarily mean he is not one.

Posted by: Dave! | April 18, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse


Obama Gives Hillary The Finger

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DygBj4Zw6No


The new kind of politics in action

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is enjoying the gift of non-movement by the dems at this time as we continue to decide who our nominee will be. Once a decision is made, I think Senator McCain's poll numbers will immediately drop by 10 - 15 points.

He obviously does not have a background or interest in economic issues. Really, if one listen closely to him, all he seems to crave is war. And he fumbles on that.. Age is an issue, and it will unfold more as we get into real heat of the election season.

Americans are not as dumb as Senator Mccain seems to think we are. We need immediate change in this country to addresss some serious issues like foreign policy (the #1 in my opinion), escalating gasoline prices, the economy, health care, and the environment. These are much more important than a war on a country that has done nothing to harm us.

I am predicting a election this year like the 1964 federal election, remember:

"The Senator lost in what was then the biggest landslide"

I am of course referring to another one dimensional senator from Arizona, Barry Goldwater.. He too was anti civil rights.

Truthfully, I think the republicans are offering John McCain up as a sacrificial lamb this year to embarass him enough to finally retire from politics... We wish him well, and I am sure the republicans do too.

Posted by: Al Jones | April 18, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

listen to the cheers from his supporters when Senator Obama gives her the finger.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

ANybody who thinks Harry Reid will benefit the Dems in NV in November should note that Harry's Fav/Unfavs are in Hillary-esque territory

Posted by: Bruce, NV | April 18, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

My take has always been that Obama will win all of the states Kerry won. Kerry supporters trended liberal and I don't see any reason that these folks won't end up voting for Obama because he's a more appealing persona than Kerry. Many of the votes cast for Kerry were probably cast as much against Bush as they were for Kerry. Obama is more likely to attract voters who actually support him than Kerry did. Chris makes some good arguments for why New Hampshire and Minnesota might drift toward McCain and those could be the states most likely to move Republican in November although I don't think they will. I think it more likely that more of the red states will shift to blue. I agree that Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, and Virginia are going to go blue in the fall. Colorado seems the next most likely. I don't think the Democrats have a snowballs chance in Hell of winning Ohio or Florida regardless of the nominee, although Obama would probably fare worse than Clinton. I think Obama's loss to Clinton in Ohio was his first loss that could truly be attributed to a racist electorate. Ohio's just not ready to vote for a black president. Obama's willingness to talk with Cuba dooms his chances in Florida.

My take is that the democratic nominee will be Barack Obama. He'll win Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia, and the states Kerry won in 2004. I could see a close race in New Hampshire and Minnesota but he could lose those states and still come out on top if I'm right about Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, and Virginia. Another wild card could be southern states with large African-American populations. It's unlikely that he'd win any southern states but I wouldn't be surprised if he picked up at least one southern state.

Posted by: Keith Hood | April 18, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

News that makes me sad for my kids. Democrat and Obama supporter Jimmy Carter has legitimized groups that use terrorism...

"Carter meets Hamas chief over Israeli, US objections By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Writer

Former President Carter met Friday with the exiled leader of Hamas and the militant group's deputy chief, men the U.S. government has labeled as global terrorists and Israel accuses of masterminding suicide bombings and kidnappings.

Carter's meeting with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal followed two other meetings between the former American president and the Palestinian militant group in the Middle East this week. Hamas officials say the meetings have lent their group legitimacy.

Mashaal's deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk attended the meeting with Carter at Mashaal's Damascus office, a Hamas official at the site told The Associated Press. Abu Marzouk was designated a terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1995, allowing the government to seize his assets. He was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York that same year and spent two years in a New York jail before he was deported in 1997.

The U.S. State Department twice advised Carter against meeting Hamas leaders before he left on his Mideast trip earlier this week. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized Carter's plans to meet Mashaal, saying last week that Hamas is an impediment to Middle East peace.

Several members of Congress also urged Carter not to meet Mashaal, saying it would confer legitimacy on the group behind some 250 suicide bombings that have killed numerous Israeli.

But Carter, who brokered the 1978 Israeli-Egyptian peace and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, has defended what he calls his personal peace mission, saying Hamas must be engaged in order to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Though Israel's government refuses to deal with Hamas, Carter said Thursday he knows some Israeli government officials are "quite willing" to meet the militant group and he speculated that might happen in the near future.

Israeli Cabinet minister Eli Yishai said Friday he asked Carter earlier this week to arrange a meeting with Hamas to discuss a prisoner exchange. Yishai, the Israeli deputy prime minister, said he wanted to try to win the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, held by Hamas in Gaza for two years.

Hamas said from Gaza Friday that Shalit will "not see the light" until Palestinian prisoners are also released in an exchange.

Yishai was the only Israeli minister to meet Carter when he visited Israel and the Palestinians territories earlier this week. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he did not meet Carter during his visit to avoid creating the impression that he was negotiating with Hamas.

The Carter-Mashaal meeting was the first public contact between a prominent American and Hamas officials since the Rev. Jesse Jackson met with Mashaal in Syria in 2006

The U.S. State Department did not comment further on the meeting Friday.

"I don't think I have anything more to add to what I as well as others have said previously on it," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. "We have made our views clear."

The United States designated Hamas a terrorist organization in January 1995, which made it a violation to conduct any financial or business transaction with the group.

Shortly after Hamas claimed responsibility for an August 19, 2003 suicide bombing in Jerusalem that killed 20 people including four U.S. citizens, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control named a number of Hamas leaders as "specially designated global terrorists." They included Mashaal and Abu Marzouk and the designation made it illegal to conduct any transactions with them.

Hamas official Mushir Masri, in a fiery speech Friday to thousands of Hamas supporters in Gaza, said the meetings with Carter were proof that Hamas was not a terrorist group, but a national liberation movement.

"It confirms the failure of the U.S. and European policies of ignoring Hamas," he told the crowd. "It confirms that all the countries that assume Hamas is a terrorist group should reconsider.""

Posted by: Dave! | April 18, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,

How 'bout PA and NJ????

Prediction: Clinton still wins PA by 10 pts.

Prediction #2: McCain beats Obama in PA and possibly NJ.

Reason? McCain is the white guy. Look at the last year's governor race. Facts are facts!

Posted by: EL-CHS | April 18, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Just when you thought the Democratic race couldn't get uglier, Barack Obama is being accused of giving Hillary Clinton the finger at a town hall meeting in North Carolina.

As the Illinois senator scolded his Democratic rival for her performance at the debate, he raised his right hand and scratched his cheek with one finger. That finger.

"This is one of those political moments that really needs few words," wrote the Los Angeles Times in a blog. "He'll no doubt deny it later, but that mischievous smile seems to confirm plenty. And the crowd sure sees something."


Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Aw, Spectator2, "Toxic Hag, Jr." and one genuine reason why anyone with brains wont vote Democratic this year. Simply replaying her snide insults and shallow remarks ad nausium will sway voters to flee in the opposite direction. Multiply this by tens of thousands of remarks by feminist twits like her nationwide and you get a landslide!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 18, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Intellectual Intercourse
C'mon baby. You KNOW you wanna.« Fun new FUSSP //
Today's kooky lawsuit
Posted on April 15th, 2008 by MickC
Association of Committee to Elect Rev.. Dr. Kamal K. Roy v. John McCain, et al.

Any time you get a lawsuit written on printouts and which has major political candidates, political parties, and legal documents as defendants, it worthy of a look just for the humor value.

So, here's the complaint, but be warned, I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

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Posted by: the rev ms paromita r baidya asst, campaign kamal roy for u s president 2008 | April 18, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

For the sake of argument, let's go with The Fix's 10 states. Early polls show Obama running stronger than Clinton in match-ups against McCain in 8 of the 10 states:

Colorado (Obama tie 46-46; Clinton L 38-52)
Iowa (Obama W 46-42; Clinton L 36-51)
Michigan (Obama W 43-41; Clinton L 37-46)
Minnesota (Obama W 47-43; Clinton L 46-47
Nevada (Obama W 45-41; Clinton W 44-43)
New Hampshire (Obama L 43-46; Clinton L 41-47)
New Mexico (Obama W 45-42; Clinton L 43-46)
Virginia (Obama W 48-47; Clinton L 36-58)

Clinton runs stronger only in Ohio (Clinton L 42-47; Obama L 40-47, a stitistically insignificant difference) and Florida (Clinton W 45-44; Obama L 53-38, a clear advantage for Clinton, but the only one out of 10 states). (Source for all figures: www.electoral-vote.com, which compiles all published poll results).

I'd add some states to The Fix's list, depending on who's the Democratic nominee. Recent polls show Clinton faring poorly in the Pacific Northwest, trailing McCain in both Washington and Oregon while Obama leads handily in both states. Polls also show Obama highly competitive in North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, North Dakota, and Nebraska, while Clinton trails badly in all these states.

If I were the Clinton campaign, I'd shut up about the "electability" issue, because if you look at the map closely, "electability" is a clear advantage for Obama.

Posted by: Brad K | April 18, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, Steve, you evidently don't read much. Both the Oregonian and Rasmussen tracking polls have Obama and McCain swapping places for likely voters as of Aprim 14. McCain beats Obama **IN OREGON** by 6 points. The evidence, according to Rassmussen, points directly to the "bitter" remarks. The results of a telephone survery conducted this week, Rasmussen reports that 56% of likely voters diagree with Obama;s remarks. Even 33% of self identified liberals disagree, but moderates disagrree "strongly" by a 2 -to- 1 margin AND indicate it will effect their vote in the general election. The remarks, for some reason or other, seem to effect Democratic candidates across the board. Since those remarks, Senator Gordon Smith (a truly awful Senator) has moved ahead of both of his Democratic challengers - now leading Merkley 48% to 30% and leading Novick 48% to 35. Interestingly, the number of undecided voters climbed from 10% to better than 25% in the aftermath of the remarks and the ABC News debate, every bit of it at the expense of the Democrats. The prioritized issues, for Oregon voters, are the economy, illegal immigration, the Iraq war (illegals and Iraq swapped places this week), and opposition to gun control.

So, be as delussional as you like, but the Obama-Clinton dog fight and Obama's bigoted and ignorant small town remarks cost the Democrats an all but certain victory in Oregon to a likely lose. I would assume that this pattern is being repeated all over the West, the Midwest, and Northeast where "Jeffersonian" Democrats have traditionally provided the margin of victory. If you have any shred of evidence to the contrary, I'd sure like to hear of it.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 18, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

This is the best grassroots Obama video to date - hilarious: Baracky! http://roadkillrefugee.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/baracky/

Posted by: Roadkill Refugee | April 18, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Why does The Fix keep talking about Charlie Crist as though he has a chance in Hell of being picked as McCain's running mate? There's no way a gay man is going to be on the ticket.

Posted by: Brian | April 18, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

4.18.2008 new york
jojn mcCain et al named in federal civil actions in the u s distric court for district of rhode island at providence, R I, U S A, along with 480 other defendants including u s a govt, , national ommittee of gop (republican) of u s a, washington dc, alleging corrupt and misconduct in u s a for sale in the paxson_40+ yr old beauty as lobbyist, female, for paxson busines_ john macain scandal of infleuence pedalling for free sex an companionhip of female passion, free aircraft use etc; and mccain so far evaded enquiry by f b i in copany of gop to nominate him as gop candidate without giving chances of nomination of clean gop leader the rev dr kamal k roy; see below:
Intellectual Intercourse
C'mon baby. You KNOW you wanna.« Fun new FUSSP //
Today's kooky lawsuit
Posted on April 15th, 2008 by MickC
Association of Committee to Elect Rev.. Dr. Kamal K. Roy v. John McCain, et al.

Any time you get a lawsuit written on printouts and which has major political candidates, political parties, and legal documents as defendants, it worthy of a look just for the humor value.

So, here's the complaint, but be warned, I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

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Posted by: the rev dr kamal karna k roy | April 18, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm . . . Minnesota a swing state? I seem to recall people saying that in 2000 and 2004. Results? Dem nominee won the state. In fact, I believe you would have to go back to '66 (I think) to find the last time a Republic (Learn to call our party by the correct name and I'll add the "an") nominee won Minnesota.

Pawlenty is not the golden boy you folks seem to think he is. He is a petty, divisive, Grover Norquist lackey. Actually, I hope McCain picks him. It will almost guarantee a Democratic victory.

GOP convention goers, bring your wallets when you come to the Twin Cities. We want your money. Then, promptly leave.

Posted by: Mpls | April 18, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree with bsimon in general. Pawlenty is not loved by the political middle in Minnesota. In the last election he was merely the better of the two mediocre choices. At the state level, the legislative branch went significantly to the left in 2006.

Republicans peeked in MN in 2004 and they are coming back down to their historical place. Which is 3 US reps (MN has 8), maybe 1 US senator, and losing the presidential vote by about 60% to 40%.

Posted by: s14a3a | April 18, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I'd love to hear your thoughts on W. Virigina and Missouri. If I'm not mistaken, while W. Va. went for Bush both times, the margin tightened in 2004, and went for Clinton both times (I think). Plus, it's a big union state. Can the Dems put this in play?

And Missouri swings like Ohio, does it not? Does the right Dem candidate play better there over, say, Florida?

Posted by: MNoperator | April 18, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I am now posting under "Obama doesn't stand a chance" and "We need a centrist to win." In Columbus I am still posting my anti-Hillary attacks under svreader, because I can not exploit the login system there like I can with the Post.

Whatever the name, my posts are the usual drivel.

Posted by: svreader | April 18, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama ruined his chances by bashing Bill Clinton and Obama's overplayed his card about having made a speech against the war.

He didn't take any risk by doing so.
It was the safe decision for him in a liberal district.
When Obama got to the Senate, he voted for the war every time.
He switched his position so many times its impossible to keep count.
He showed no spine at all.

Obama's supporters speak and act like spolied brats.

The way Obama supporters act, I'd personally like someone to bring back the draft.

It would do them a world of good.

McCain as President combined with a strong Democratic Congress will be what people will vote for if Obama's the candidate.

Nobody will trust having both congress and the Presidency in Democratic hands if Obama the nominee.

The will if Hillary is.

She's a centrist.

The vast majority of both liberals and conservatives respect her judgment.

The center wins.

Obama's hyperactive kiddies pushing a far-left agenda loses.

Posted by: Obama doesn't stand a chance | April 18, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Nice. McCain is living off his wife's millions, but doesn't want the public to know anything about them.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080418/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_taxes

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 18, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

what happens when you become a lying liberal:


The New York Times Company, the parent of The New York Times, posted a $335,000 loss in the first quarter -- one of the worst periods the company and the newspaper industry have seen -- falling far short of both analysts' expectations and its $23.9 million profit in the quarter a year earlier.

first Air amerika, then NYTimes, next look for MSNBC to declare chapter 11.


Posted by: loony Libs | April 18, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Steve: always consider the source with comments from mibrooks. Although he claims to be a Democrat, his posts are generally highly negative towards Democrats.

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 18, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"No "official" poll numbers out just yet, Chris, but every Oregon Democrat I know is planning on voting for McCain. Once they get over their delussions, you will likely find that any other Oregon Democrat on this forum will tell you that Obama is at the very least in deep trouble here and Hillary Clinton has no chance at all. After all is said and done, Chris, I'll bet you lunch that McCain wins Oregon in the general election by a narrow margin, but wins nonetheless. The backtracking on doing away with free trade, the anti-gun remarks, and the bitter small towner label hit both Clinton and Obama here, and it's going to cost them."
------------------------------------
LOL!!! Well speaking for all of Oregon . . .

Those who wanted to here Obama speak during his one-day travel through the state had to take extraordinary measures to get into the venues - they were packed to the gills with people. Only those highly motivated need try to get in. I was interested, but not THAT interested!

Bill passed through - but didn't come anywhere near the major metro areas - so I can't compare the sentiment. However there are a smattering of Obama bumper-stickers to be seen - and I've seen nothing for Hillary or McCain.

The eastern part of the state is more Republican than the western part of the state, but it's sparsely populated - which may account for the ". . .Oregon Democrat I know. . ." meaning both of them.

Posted by: Steve | April 18, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The McCain-Pawlenty ticket: Empty Head and Empty Suit!

Posted by: a son of mississippi | April 18, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Clinton was also seen as the candidate who better understands Pennsylvania - 56% said as much, while just 28% said Obama better understands the state, the poll showed."

zogby 4-17-08

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Great article. Hillary won those states. It proves that Clinton can win blue and red states.

Posted by: Grace | April 18, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Your discussion of Minnesota makes no sense..You discussion is contradictory to what occurred in the last election.

Posted by: Robinhood | April 18, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Minnesota, Michigan, and New Hamsphire for McCain? I don't so. I am sure part of the analysis you are using is based on polls that indicated a large defection of Hillary or Obama supporters if one or the other was not a the top of the Democratic ticket.

You are underestimating the enthusiam and turnout in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Combined with the increasingly unpopular War in Iraq and the economic recession we are in, people will be fed up with "McBush" and his policies. You watch.

I foresee a medical condition causing trouble for McCain by August. Why? I don't know, maybe because of so many other Democrats and Republican congressmen in their 70s and 80s have being experiencing medical problems at an astonishing rate.

Posted by: AJ | April 18, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

O.K., maybe not take care of us in Hollywoodland. Sure, times are hard here, especially when you have to decide between leasing a new Jag or buying a Prius to help save the planet. Or maybe do both, so that they carbon-offset each other and you can feel virtuous about driving either one.

But take care of you. Yes, I'm talking to you, you poor benighted helpless fools who can't function without the beneficent help of Uncle Sam. You, who can't pay your mortgages, can't afford to send your kids to decent schools, are forced to pay nearly $4 a gallon for gas so you can drive your miserable selves from your soulless suburbs into horrifically declining inner cities, on your way to work as bail bondsmen and exotic dancers. You know who you are.

Posted by: Obama whiners | April 18, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

If it is McCain-Crist, then FL is off The Line. If it is McCain-Pawlenty, then MN will still vote Dem. You can keep it on The Line, but it's going to vote blue. As for MI and FL not being seated at the Dem Convention, I find it hard to believe those state's voters will give any consideration to it. They (the voters) didn't move the primary. Their not too highly thought of legislatures moved the primary. They (the legislatures) broke the rules and they got spanked. In MI and OH it'll be the economy anyway: aka blame the party in power.

I know the Fix was busy gorging on cheese steaks this week, but if Obama is the Dem candidate then you can't use the last two cycles as your past performance data.

On the Obama negative side: The Democratic pickups of late have come from conservative Democrats playing in national politics. They are not automatic votes for a national Democratic candidate. It'll be voting for someone too liberal for them versus voting for the highly disliked party in power. That is why McCain must make it the Democrat versus McCain and not the Democrat versus the Republican.

On the Obama plus side: Will Bush stick? The party in charge has very little going for it among anyone but a die hard Republican.

New electoral math: In states Bush won by 8-10 points you have to look at the math. Generally speaking, for every 100 eligible voters only 60 vote. An eight point win means Bush won 34 voters for every 26 Kerry voters. Among those 40 non-voters are some blacks. Depending on the demographics, you can now project McCain 34 and Obama 29. Now factor in the youth. They make up a disproportionate number of the 40 non-voters. Obama not only appeals to the youth vote, but he will have the money and the on-the-ground-mobilization expertise to get them off their butts and into the booth. Can he get 5 of them? Don't know, but unlike a Clinton-McCain race that would be limited to fighting over the same 60 of every 100 voters, an Obama race has incredible potential to disrupt the normal election calculus.

Posted by: muD | April 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

No, the scurrilous attacks on Barry were totally unfair. And they were made worse by his halting, uncertain and downright embarrassed responses, replies so bad that they never came close to tipping the Obamamometer into the red zone. I mean, the pathos was unbelievable.

And there was Hillary, Queen of the Undead, cackling in the corner as our brave Barry tried to deal with the underhanded tactics of Messrs. Gibson and Stephanopoulos.

Furthermore, none of the issues they clubbed Obama with really matters to the average voter, such as me. What we want to know is this: how fast is he going to extricate us from the hellhole of Iraq?

How much is he going to raise taxes, so we can get our accountants thinking ahead as to how to avoid them? How is he going to make life fair? And how is the federal government going to take care of us, the Little People?

Posted by: Obama whiners | April 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Latinos will not go for Obama.Rather we'll support McCain

Posted by: Rose | April 18, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Earl C writes "Apparently Bill Ayers had no life after 30."

No life, you say?

Professor Ayers, a former member of the fugitive group Weather Underground, was quoted approvingly on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 in (where else?) the New York Times to the effect that he and his freedom fighters didn't do enough when they were bombing the Pentagon and accidentally blowing up a perfectly nice brownstone in Greenwich Village that could have sold for millions today.

And such is the fascist power of the U.S. of KKKA to suppress dissent that Ayers and his fellow bombstress, Bernadine Dohrn, have been forced to labor as college professors at the University of Chicago and Northwestern ever since.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

New Jersey is in play if Obama wins the nomination. McCain is popular there, and the state should not be considered a Democratic slam dunk.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | April 18, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Latinos will not go for Obama.Rather we'llsupport McCain

Posted by: Rose | April 18, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Question for Sen. Obama: Senator, which federal prison should former HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson serve his sentence in?

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 18, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

No "official" poll numbers out just yet, Chris, but every Oregon Democrat I know is planning on voting for McCain. Once they get over their delussions, you will likely find that any other Oregon Democrat on this forum will tell you that Obama is at the very least in deep trouble here and Hillary Clinton has no chance at all. After all is said and done, Chris, I'll bet you lunch that McCain wins Oregon in the general election by a narrow margin, but wins nonetheless. The backtracking on doing away with free trade, the anti-gun remarks, and the bitter small towner label hit both Clinton and Obama here, and it's going to cost them.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 18, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Media catering by McCain is finally paying off big time. Base on this analysis it's report is totally bias toward McCain. He may be short on campaign cash but he will reap rewards from free advertising just mere mentioned of his name.

Posted by: bigben1986 | April 18, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

An early discussion on bittergate, fine and acceptable. Move on from there to some real issues.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 2:03 PM

how about we answer the questions before moving on. Only if and only if Snobama begins to definitively answer some questions will he be allowed to move on. the free pass for the AA candidate has expired.

Posted by: loony Libs | April 18, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

If Senator Obama is the nominee, the GOP faces the chance that several southern states will be up for grabs.
1. LA - If the refugees get to vote, this state is going blue.
2. Miss - Its going to be close, if everyone gets to vote, which is a big, big if.
3. Georiga- Senator Obama ruled this state in the primary.
4. SC, NC are in the mix if its Obama.

If its Senator Clinton.
1. Ark is going dark blue, she got 80% of the primary vote.
2. Mich, Ohio and the rust belt isn't going GOP in the middle of a Recession/Depression brought to them solely by the GOP.

Barring an economic or political event of epic size, the Democrats are going to have a firm grasp of the House, Senate and White House, and a lot of state governments firmly in the hands of the GOP at the present will be dark, dark blue.

This recession going depression is a DIRECT result of GOP policies at all levels more than any down turn in recent history, and the Iraq War appears to be going rapidly south as well. Even Diebole can't deliver another election under those terms.

Posted by: Muddy | April 18, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Why don't any of the McCain's media poodles ask him why he doesn't wear a flag pin?

Amy, that's a very good question. They focus too much on this issue to Barack and yet they are not wearing it either.


It is not about wearing or not wearing a pin. it is about making an issue out of declaring that you will NOT wear one. Of all the issues in the world, why would someone pick that as their statement? Peculiar.

Posted by: loony Libs | April 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"When a campaign stoops so low as to use a candidate's actual words and personal associations against him, then I weep for the future of social democracy in this soon-to-be-great land of ours."

A candidates actual words? No, most all of the questions were about associates of the candidates (do you beleive Rev Wright is as patriotic as yourself? Gimme a break.). An early discussion on bittergate, fine and acceptable. Move on from there to some real issues.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Today we tackle the presidential playing field -- ranking the 10 states most likely to switch from the Democratic to Republican column (or vice versa)..."

Seven of the ten were Bush states in 2004, Chris. Given that, don't you think the phrasing of the above sentence is a little, um, misleading? I'm sure it was just an accident, of course. Of course.

Posted by: Hotspur | April 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"It's settled - everyone agrees, stop talking - al gore, example of religious dogma

I am skeptical, not sure if this is all you say it is - example of science

dogma - darwinism explains everything, it is a fact and has no questions remaining"

Wow, again, demonstrate your absolute ignorance of science... Evolution (or, biology in general, not Darwinism) does not claim to have all the answers, yet, but it does provide us with real answers and not just "because that's the way God wanted it." It is constantly examined from all aspects and applied in every aspect of biology and numerous related fields (psychology, sociology, even geology and physics) on a daily basis. The details are always in flux and being worked on, but the idea that life evolves and there are basic principles guiding it is as widely accepted in the scientific community as universal gravitation. Do you beleive we should still be teaching the crystal spheres as an alternative to physics?

Posted by: Michael | April 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Barry! Barry! Barry!
We are the ones who are ready to get it over with already.

By David Kahane


You know, I've about had it with the Republicans. Wednesday night's "debate" proved they are a bunch of dirty, low-down, mean, nasty skunks who will stop at nothing to trash, denigrate, demean, and otherwise disrespect my guy, Senator B. Hussein Obama the Younger (D., Rezko). When a campaign stoops so low as to use a candidate's actual words and personal associations against him, then I weep for the future of social democracy in this soon-to-be-great land of ours.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Virginia may lead the way to Obama. There is shifting sand in The Commonwealth. It is about time.

I listened to the whole debate Wednesday night. Obama did just fine. I refuse to let other people tell me what I heard very well for myself. Hillary had a first chance to stop the ganging up on Obama, but she added more fuel. She finally figured it out and took a pass when it was offered the next time. I was a big Hillary fan until about three months ago when I was less than amused with some of her campaign tactics and theatrics. Her sarcasm was noticed by me.

I was just reading up on Bill Ayers - a very interesting biography. Before people speak, they should do the research. Remember, Bush had no life before he was 40. Apparently Bill Ayers had no life after 30. After reading about the New York times interview reported on 9/11/2001, assuming that we can ever get our facts straight in such a spin everything world in which we live, I was convinced that what was reported this week was not an accurate reflection on what happened. Same with Jane Fonda and many others. Vietnam and the Great Depression years were marked with controvery.

However, thank goodness for those who learned the lessons and moved on. I am not so thankful for those who did not learn the lessons, but prefer to keep slamming those who did.

Posted by: Earl C, Virginia Beach | April 18, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Real people see through the Wright/Ayers/Rezco nonsense for what it is, nonsense.'

more like blind people can't see it. did you just wake up to the fact that clinton(s) is a liar and always has been? and based on your history of spotting liars, what makes you think you are better at it now?

If you voted for Jimmy Carter, your opinion doesn't count. you are clearly deranged and will likely remain that way.

Posted by: loony Libs | April 18, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Amy (wrote)
Why don't any of the McCain's media poodles ask him why he doesn't wear a flag pin?

Amy, that's a very good question. They focus too much on this issue to Barack and yet they are not wearing it either. What hypocricy!! What's the point of wearing a flag pin when they don't even blink an eye sending troops half way around the world to defend democracy. Oh.. what lunacy!

Posted by: bigben1986 | April 18, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"His lumping of the Clinton years of peace and prosperity with the horrors of the Bush years is dishonest and he knows it...Hillary's great. She can both win and govern."

Well, if you liked NAFTA, DLC-style triangluation, and the advancement of ZERO core democratic issues, all while the manufacturing sector whithered on the vine, then yeah, the Clinton years were great. Certainly they were far superior to the Bush years, but that's not saying a whole heck of a lot now, is it? As for Hillary governing, if you really think someone with a 56% negative approval rating with at least 45 votes in the Senate dead set against giving her a major policy victory, especially when they can use her mandates to declare them "creeping socialism," fine, go ahead and vote for Clinton. I think, no matter how good her policies may be, she can't sell them and a vote for her equals four years of gridlock while real Americans suffer. I can't stand for that anymore. I son't want a return to the politics of the 1990s and the status quo of settling old scores and the continued politics of personal distruction which will only continue under another Clinton presidency. It's time to turnthe page, and only Obama can do that. Real people see through the Wright/Ayers/Rezco nonsense for what it is, nonsense. If Republicans want to fight that battle against him, they lose, even many conservative pundits like Pat Buchanon are coming around to that simple reality.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Um, Missouri? Wisconsin? These have to be considered more likely to swing than Florida where all of the old people will vote for one of their own.

Posted by: Peter | April 18, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"the difference between science and religious dogma"

Here's the difference:

It's settled - everyone agrees, stop talking - al gore, example of religious dogma

I am skeptical, not sure if this is all you say it is - example of science

dogma - darwinism explains everything, it is a fact and has no questions remaining

science - some questions remain, there are holes in the theory, it is not established as fact.

Libs - "it is my opinion and it is very true".

Posted by: loony Libs | April 18, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

6 out of 10 of these states were won by Clinton. Plus the ones Obama won don't have alot of delegates. And two of the most populous Obama is trying to disenfranchise.

Wonder if the super delegates are paying attention?

Posted by: DCDave | April 18, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Why has this blog gone back to anyone can sign any name? This nonsense just spirals out of control sometimes...

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Neither extreme, left or right, holds the answer. Only the center does.

Obama's practicing "national patricide"

His lumping of the Clinton years of peace and prosperity with the horrors of the Bush years is dishonest and he knows it.

Combined with his vague call for "change" its just a code-word for "throw out anybody older than you"

It would be a huge mistake to nominate Obama.

We'll either lose or wind up with a left-wing version of George Bush.

Hillary's great. She can both win and govern.

With Hillary we get Bill and his experience, wisdom, and judgement.

Hillary's gotten a bum rap by the press.

She's the only path we have to universal health care and she's a centrist in every meaning of the word.

Both liberals and conservatives will feel good voting for her.

Clinton/Obama would bring the party together like nothing else will.

The party's split down the middle.

Clinton supporters won't vote for Obama.

Obama supporters will vote Democratic no matter what, but if Obama's VP they'll be really turned on.

I don't like Obama one bit but I'd be willing to accept him as VP if it would make Democrats win.

I care too much about America to vote for him for the top spot.

He's not presidential material yet.

He might be someday.

That's a chance I'm willing to take, but not I'm not willing to risk having him be President and neither will the rest of America once they get past his hype.

Posted by: We need a centrist to win | April 18, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little."

Stop talking about me.

Posted by: drindl and al gore | April 18, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Krugman has been Clinton's top cheerleader from the beginning. She's the one keeping the campaign going despite no chance of securing the nomination, none of these truths would have been spoken had she not bowed out gracefully months ago.

"Everyone should take the opportunity to see "Expelled" -- if nothing else, as a bracing antidote to the atheism-friendly culture of PC liberalism. But it's far more than that. It's a spotlight on the arrogance of this movement and its leaders, a spotlight on the choking intolerance of academia, and a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little."

And a spotlinght on the ignorance of conservatives who still can't figure out the difference between science and religious dogma. Evolution is a fact that has explanatory and predictive value and has had literally thousands of applications. Creationism is the latest incarnation of the "God of the Gaps" that has no testable or predictive value whatsoever. It belongs in philosophy class, not science class.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

After the last eight years any state that goes Red should be excluded from the union.

Posted by: Stuck in a Red | April 18, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Everyone should take the opportunity to see "Expelled" -- if nothing else, as a bracing antidote to the atheism-friendly culture of PC liberalism. But it's far more than that. It's a spotlight on the arrogance of this movement and its leaders, a spotlight on the choking intolerance of academia, and a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little.

Posted by: loony Libs | April 18, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama's destroyed the Democratic Party from within. The Clinton years gave us both peace and prosperity. Paul Krugman's editorial is "spot-on"

From the NYT --

Clinging to a Stereotype
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: April 18, 2008
Will Barack Obama's now famous "bitter" quote turn out to have been a big deal politically? Frankly, I have no idea.

Skip to next paragraph

Paul Krugman

Go to Columnist Page » Blog: The Conscience of a Liberal But here's a different question: was Mr. Obama right?

Mr. Obama's comments combined assertions about economics, sociology and voting behavior. In each case, his assertion was mostly if not entirely wrong.

Start with the economics. Mr. Obama: "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration."

There are, indeed, towns where the mill closed during the 1980s and nothing has replaced it. But the suggestion that the American heartland suffered equally during the Clinton and Bush years is deeply misleading.

In fact, the Clinton years were very good for working Americans in the Midwest, where real median household income soared before crashing after 2000. (You can see the numbers at my blog, krugman.blogs.nytimes.com.)

We can argue about how much credit Bill Clinton deserves for that boom. But if I were a Democratic Party elder, I'd urge Mr. Obama to stop blurring the distinction between Clinton-era prosperity and Bush-era economic distress.

Next, the sociology: "And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them."

The crucial word here isn't "bitter," it's "cling." Does economic hardship drive people to seek solace in firearms, God and xenophobia?

It's true that people in poor states are more likely to attend church regularly than residents of rich states. This might seem to indicate that faith is indeed a response to economic adversity.

But this result largely reflects the fact that southern states are both church-going and poor; some poor states outside the South, like Maine and Montana, are actually less religious than Connecticut. Furthermore, within poor states, people with low incomes are actually less likely to attend church than those with high incomes. (The correlation runs the opposite way in rich states.)

Over all, none of this suggests that people turn to God out of economic frustration.

Finally, Mr. Obama, in later clarifying remarks, declared that the people he's talking about "don't vote on economic issues," and are motivated instead by things like guns and gay marriage.

That's a political theory made famous by Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter With Kansas?" According to this theory, "values" issues lead working-class Americans to act against their own interests by voting Republican. Mr. Obama seemed to suggest that's also why they support Hillary Clinton.

I was impressed by Mr. Frank's book when it came out. But my Princeton colleague Larry Bartels, who had an Op-Ed in The Times on Thursday, convinced me that Mr. Frank was mostly wrong.

In his Op-Ed, Mr. Bartels cited data showing that small-town, working-class Americans are actually less likely than affluent metropolitan residents to vote on the basis of religion and social values. Nor have working-class voters trended Republican over time; on the contrary, Democrats do better with these voters now than they did in the 1960s.

It's true that Americans who attend church regularly are more likely to vote Republican. But contrary to the stereotype, this relationship is weak at low incomes but strong among high-income voters. That is, to the extent that religion helps the G.O.P., it's not by convincing the working class to vote against its own interests, but by producing supermajorities among the evangelical affluent.

So why have Republicans won so many elections? In his book, "Unequal Democracy," Mr. Bartels shows that "the shift of the Solid South from Democratic to Republican control in the wake of the civil rights movement" explains all -- literally all -- of the Republican success story.

Does it matter that Mr. Obama has embraced an incorrect theory about what motivates working-class voters? His campaign certainly hasn't been based on Mr. Frank's book, which calls for a renewed focus on economic issues as a way to win back the working class.

Indeed, the book concludes with a blistering attack on Democrats who cater to "affluent, white-collar professionals who are liberal on social issues" while "dropping the class language that once distinguished them sharply from Republicans." Doesn't this sound a bit like the Obama campaign?

Anyway, the important point is that working-class Americans do vote on economic issues -- and can be swayed by a politician who offers real answers to their problems.

And one more thing: let's hope that once Mr. Obama is no longer running against someone named Clinton, he'll stop denigrating the very good economic record of the only Democratic administration most Americans remember.

Posted by: The Clinton years were great!!! Obama's destroying the Democratic Party | April 18, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"If you believe President Bush's severest critics, he lied about his reasons for going into Iraq -- notably that Saddam Hussein had any involvement with either terrorism or al-Qaida"

Wow, there's a strawman argument (but, at least you put an OR in there between terrorism and al Qa'ida). It was never an argument that there was NO connection between him and terrorism. He was a Ba'athist, part of the Arab Nationalist movement, and therefore had ties to numerous organizations related to that movement like the PLO, but he wasn't by any means an Islamist and didn't have significant ties to Muslim Brotherhood derivitive organizations such as AQ and therefore was a distraction from the real war at hand. But, money and politics being what it is over there, some got spread around, but if you were to weigh all nations in that region and their relationship to 9-11 or direct terrorist threats to the US, Iraq would definately have been near the bottom. True then, less so today...

"Switch to Iran. The president said recently: '(Iran's leaders) have declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people -- some in the Middle East. That's unacceptable to the United States, and it's unacceptable to the world.'"

Well, had they actually said that, it would have been unacceptable, but they have not. Furthermore, the NIE (comiing from a bunch of good liberals I'm sure...) clearly states weapons programs were suspended in 2003. Now, do we need to keep an eye on them? Absolutely. But again, the issue is distraction here. Khomeinists are different from Islamists are different from Arab Nationalists are different from tribalists. They differ on religion, philosophy, goals, ethnicity, and numerous other issues. To lump them all in together as boogymen who are all huge threats to the US only strengthens them and hurts our cause by unnecessarily confusing the issue through oversimplification. Kinda like saying AQIZ is the biggest obstacle to stability in Iraq today, or believing that there was any way al Qa'ida could ever gain a base of operations in Iraq, it all just shows profound ignorance of the issue.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Do Americans want America Haters in the white house as advisors...Do Americans want a man who doesn't love his country to run and destroy her...well...do you...

Posted by: Dwight | April 18, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to point out that, if Clinton is the nominee, Arkansas would go blue. The three states - AK, OH, and FL -where she has a decisive advantage over Obama in their respective head-to-heads with McCain give her a 53 vote advantage in the electoral college. 53 votes is 10%! That's the election! Hillary can win MUCH more easily than Barack. Why aren't Democrats paying more attention to this?! I sure hope the automatic delegates are...

Posted by: Nate | April 18, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

proud,

When the tech bubble burst in 2001, that was the result of natural market forces catching up to an industry that boomed naturally. The result was damaging, but Middle America was not harmed as badly as investors were.

The collapse of the housing market was a result of under-regulation. A Republican Congress and President made it easy for the mortgage industry to prey on subprime borrowers, without remembering that a lot of these people would later be unable to pay. This is one of the reasons why Middle America is being thrashed economically right now.

Posted by: JamesCH | April 18, 2008 12:12 PM

all regulations or lack of occurred during the Clinton administration. and in the last 2 years, a dem congress who knew it was coming and kept silent for political reasons, did absolutely nothing, because they knew they could blame the Bush Administration.

Posted by: Dwight | April 18, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Nothing made the bumbling, likeable Gerald Ford look better than having been succeeded by a walking, ever-talking disaster.

The Carter administration was that bad: stagflation, gas lines, appeasement, never-ending sanctimony . . . . You name a colossal mistake and Jimmy Carter probably made it a policy.

Was there any part of the globe, from the Caribbean to the Middle East, from Haiti to North Korea to the Balkans, where Jimmy Carter didn't cozy up to dictators? Wherever he goes, tyrants smile. The long, dispiriting trail of former President Carter's overseas travels has been marked by one diplomatic disaster after another.

As for Jimmy Carter's role as a monitor of free-and-fair elections, the low point must have come when he gave his blessings to Robert Mugabe's takeover in Zimbabwe. Naturally, utter disaster followed. It hasn't ceased there since.

The Carter Center in Atlanta, a kind of think tank for failed thought, keeps producing bad ideas. This visit to the Mideast is only the latest. You have to wonder if Jimmy Carter will have his picture taken with a terrorist leader who by now has been responsible for the murders of scores of innocent men, women and children - about 250 at last bloody count.

Do you think Mr. Carter will come away with Khaled Meshall's autographed picture to hang proudly in his office - the way American naifs used to accept decorations from Hermann Goering in the '30s, and explain how we could do business with the Nazis? It was all done in the name of peace, of course. We all know how well that worked out.

Posted by: snObama the elder | April 18, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Why no mention of Wisconsin? It had the third-closest result in 2000 and the closest result in 2004.

Posted by: Lucas Westmaas | April 18, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey CC:

If these 10 states flip, what would be the final electorial vote total and for whom?

Posted by: Vlad | April 18, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Because Carter's meetings with the Hamas leadership run counter to international agreements to isolate Hamas, and to U.S. policy and international policy regarding this terrorist group, Myrick has publicly called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to revoke Jimmy Carter's passport.

Hallelujah. With this request, an American leader has actually taken a stand for American security interests, for victims of terrorism, for the principle of not bargaining with terrorists, for an important ally, and, perhaps most important, for a grown-up, restorative moral order. Jimmy Carter should certainly lose his passport for his shameful and degrading and harmful Hamas overtures.

And preferably before he flies back home.

Posted by: loony Libs | April 18, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

McCain's Holiday Would Cost $11 Billion. Suspending the gas tax -- whose revenues are fully dedicated the federal highway trust fund that maintains our crumbling infrastructure -- for three months would cost $11 billion. McCain has not said how -- or if -- he would replace those revenues. [CAPAF, 4/15/08]

McCain's Holiday Sends More Money 'Out Of Our Economy Immediately.' The Wall Street Journal notes "Many economists have also questioned the wisdom of suspending or cutting gas taxes; doing so, they say, simply stimulates more consumption of gasoline." In McCain's own words, that increased consumption would send more money "out of our economy immediately" to oil-producing countries, "unfortunately, to fund terrorist organizations." [WSJ, 4/15/08]

Cutting Transportation Investment Kills Jobs. The Wall Street Journal asked: "Relief -- or fewer jobs? According to a white paper circulated on Capitol Hill last week by the U.S. Transportation Department, every $1 billion of federal highway investment supports 34,779 jobs." McCain's plan could put over 300,000 workers on an unpaid "holiday." [WSJ, 4/15/08]

McCain's Holiday Threatens 'Fundamental Fiscal Underpinnings.' McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said "general revenue transfers" would pay for the "holiday" -- increasing the budget deficit by $11 billion. As Matthew Jeanneret, a spokesman for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, says: "It might be good politics. But it is shortsighted, and it won't do anything to stimulate the economy." [MSNBC, 4/15/08]

McCain's plan would push gas prices up and force policymakers to choose between killing jobs and infrastructure investment or blowing up the budget.

Posted by: mcCain wants to destroy the economy | April 18, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"The National Defense University is an elite military institute funded by the Department of Defense. Both President Dwight Eisenhower and Gen. Colin Powell studied there, and diplomat and historian George Kennan -- best known as "the father of containment" -- taught at the university.

Given the institution's ties to the Defense Department, it's therefore significant that it has chosen to publish a withering critique of the Iraq written by Joseph J. Collins, a former senior Pentagon official who served under Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Collins's conclusions were based, in part, "on interviews with other former senior defense and intelligence officials who played roles in prewar preparations," and were completed in fall 2007. From his study:

Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle. [...]

The war's political impact also has been great. Globally, U.S. standing among friends and allies has fallen. Our status as a moral leader has been damaged by the war, the subsequent occupation of a Muslim nation, and various issues concerning the treatment of detainees. [...]

To date, the war in Iraq is a classic case of failure to adopt and adapt prudent courses of action that balance ends, ways, and means. After the major combat operation, U.S. policy has been insolvent, with inadequate means for pursuing ambitious ends. It is also a case where the perceived illegitimacy of our policy has led the United States to bear a disproportionate share of the war's burden.

Collins also notes that "senior national security officials exhibited in many instances an imperious attitude, exerting power and pressure where diplomacy and bargaining might have had a better effect."

Posted by: repugs really know how to lose a war | April 18, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The Obama stories are anything but superficial and couldn't be more relevant. Obama has revealed more about himself by advertising his obvious misapprehension of what makes small-town Americans tick and his voluntary associations with a racist, anti-American, obscenity-spewing pastor and an unrepentant terrorist than we could ever learn through rote repetition of his policy preferences.

It's astonishing that a man who is nearly deified by his admirers and personality-cultist groupies as a "post-racial" unifier displays such disrespect for his fellow Americans. How could so-called small-town Americans warm to the candidacy of a man who presumes they attend church, own guns and oppose illegal immigration because of bitterness and bigotry? What indescribable arrogance and elitism.

When someone is so fundamentally wrong about such fundamental things, he clearly does not have the requisite judgment to be president of the United States. For the mainstream media to be wholly oblivious to the hyper-relevance of these stories demonstrates they are on the left side of that chasm that separates Americans according to their worldviews. They are so eaten up with their own self-assurance, superiority and elitism that they are blinded to their own bias.


Posted by: loony Libs | April 18, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

From MN:

Pawlenty only won his 2 Gov elections because there were 2 Dems each time spliting the vote. Both the AG and Sen races were supposed to be close and ended with landslide D wins. We know he is just using us as a stepping stone to bigger offices which is why he is forsaken our state future for his quick personal gain. Great at photo ops but no results.

Posted by: Vlad | April 18, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

OK now assuming that Obama is the nominee then if he has the Governor of Ohio as his running mate could that put Ohio firmly in the Democratic camp? And could having the son of a steelworker who is also an ordained Minister--Strickland--help with blue collar and the church more than once a week crowd?
At any rate, if the Democrats can trade Ohio's 20 for Minnesota's 10, pick up any one of VA, NM, IA, CO or NV and hold what they had in 2004 then they win. I'm not sure, but they may not even need to swap MN for OH to get their number--I think they would still be a few short that way, but I'm no expert.

Posted by: Tom Fiore | April 18, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Libs can't be wrong every time...or can they????

If you believe President Bush's severest critics, he lied about his reasons for going into Iraq -- notably that Saddam Hussein had any involvement with either terrorism or al-Qaida. Now "Saddam and Terrorism," a report based on the study of 600,000 captured items from Saddam's regime, shows unequivocally that Saddam had close ties to al-Qaida and was up to his keister in promoting terror.

Switch to Iran. The president said recently: "(Iran's leaders) have declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people -- some in the Middle East. That's unacceptable to the United States, and it's unacceptable to the world." Whereupon Bush's critics went off -- insisting Bush is lying yet again because Iran's leaders stress they want uranium enrichment for solely peaceful purposes. But Bush likely is right in this, too. Iran has just announced a tripling of its uranium-enriching centrifuges -- from 3,000, with an ultimate goal of 54,000. Funny thing, but without enriched uranium, a nuclear weapon cannot be built.

Posted by: loony Libs | April 18, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
It would be helpful if you were to list # of electoral delegates next to each state you place on the line.

Posted by: Curious | April 18, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ohio: You said "That same poll showed Clinton leading McCain 48 percent to 39 percent while Obama took 43 percent to 42 percent for McCain -- a potential problem for Democrats if Obama winds up as the nominee. (Previous ranking: 5)"
Huh? Obama is leading McCain in a state where Bush beat Kerry in 2004 - and that is a potential problem for democrats? Could somebody explain this logic to me?

Posted by: NM Moderate | April 18, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Re: Ohio: You said "That same poll showed Clinton leading McCain 48 percent to 39 percent while Obama took 43 percent to 42 percent for McCain -- a potential problem for Democrats if Obama winds up as the nominee. (Previous ranking: 5)"
Huh? Obama is leading McCain in a state where Bush beat Kerry in 2004 - and that is a potential problem for democrats? Could somebody explain this logic to me?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The current McCain vs. Obama polls may mean about as much as all the Hillary vs. Obama polls did in December. For that matter, the Rudy vs. McCain polls. This is a dynamic race, folks.

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | April 18, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Don't argue with ProudtobeGOP about gun control, because he's right. Whatever your opinion may be, gun control is a stone cold loser for Democrats in vital swing states.

Fortunately Obama knows that, and can easily defuse this issue. He need only say that his position has evolved, like McCain's position on taxes, or McCain's position on torture, or Hillary's position on Iraq.

One kind of electoral manna from Heaven that ProudtobeGOP definitely WON'T be seeing this election year is any sign of Obama playing up to the gun-grabbers.

Gun-grabbing is not only wrong, it's electoral suicide. Democrats are finally waking up to that fact. This time, Democrats aren't going to let their broader agenda get derailed by gun-control monomaniacs driving voters away.

Here's some sound political advice. Are you a Democrat who doesn't like guns?

Then shut your big yap.

Posted by: OD | April 18, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Nice backpedaling, Proud. Always nice to note that the military experts here are also the Chickenhawks.

Posted by: bondjedi | April 18, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The debate wounded Obama and revealed his inability to respond to the coming GOP attack machine. It reinforced Hillary's perception as an opportunistic scold who will eat her own rather than go down in flames. And it re-affirmed the view that the MSM is consumed by trivia and the horse race and can't get its arms around the real issues that confront the nation.

YOU CAN CALL HIM AL... BUT CALL HIM...

If Obama loses by a significant margin in PA, his only real option is to announce that he's suspending his campaign and throwing his delegates to Gore, will will then step to the mike and announce that Obama is his presumptive VP pick, should he win the nomination.

Obama would continue to campaign alongside of Gore and Hillary can go back to singing McCain's praises -- and worrying about how she's going to win re-nomination in New York, where her once-united constituency no longer can be counted on to back her. Robert Reich's endorsement of Obama validates the view that Hillary is done.

SUPERS WILL KNOW HOW TO CLEAN UP THE MESS...

Yet the pundits prattle on about Hillary-Obama. This race is well past that point, and the MSM is behind the curve, once again. Maybe they should spend more talking to the supers rather than taking in each's campaign's daily spin.

IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT THE MEANING OF "YES YES YES" IS...

When Hillary said YES YES YES she meant that she'll work hard to see that "one of us" -- she or Obama -- will win. Translation: She doesn't want to see Obama do a delegate toss to Gore, because she comes out the big loser. But that's the hand that's starting to be dealt.

FLICKS NIX PUNDITS' PIX...

Has anyone rented "The Best Man" starring Henry Fonda, circa 1962? It's all there. Any critics of the political film genre out there, or is Joe Klein the only one who gets it? (While you're at it, take a second look at his "Primary Colors" if you're thinking of going with Hill.

Posted by: scrivener | April 18, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Taft remains a four-letter word to Ohioans. It could be decades before the GOP overcomes his shameful performance as governor.

Posted by: Henry Joseph | April 18, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Unity'08, I'm confident that John McCain loved this country very much while he was serving as a squadron commander for his unit on the Forestal where he almost lost his life, for the first time.

The fact is that John McCain has an unparralled and remarkable record of leadership and experience that embodies his unwavering lifetime commitment to service and love of country.

It was 1967 when John McCain was taken as a prisoner of war into the now infamous "Hanoi Hilton," where he was denied necessary medical treatment and often beaten by the North Vietnamese.

He spent much of his time as a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, aided by his faith and the friendships of his fellow POWs. When he was finally released and able to return home years later, John McCain continued his service by regaining his naval flight status. His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

I disagree that being in the states during Watergate would have prepared him better for the office of the Presidency.

(btw, when is all this "Unity" supposed to start?)

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

proud, should local communities not be allowed to regulate the sale of handguns? The polling I've seen suggests that most people are okay with local regulations, in much the same way that people are okay with local regulations of who can sell liquor. This may not be the slam-dunk issue you imagine it to be, except maybe with the kind of voters who would never vote D anyway.

Posted by: novamatt | April 18, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"I have a feeling he gained quite a bit more insight into his nationality and love for country by courageously chosing to stay where he was."

That is sick. You say that it took being a POW to make McCain love his country? You should be ashamed, not Proud. Get a life.

Posted by: Unity '08 | April 18, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Kreuz, I'm not even talking about the questionaire, nevermind the fact that Obama can't tell the truth about it. More to the point is his liberal record which is at odds with some of his public statements.

Need I remind you that, in the past couple weeks, America has been getting glimpses of a Barack Obama that is nothing like his manufactured image?

Obama has proposed that all federally licensed gun dealers be banned from selling guns from their businesses within five miles of a school or a park. What this amounts to is a back door nationwide gun ban.

Obama parses the issue in public:
"The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can't initiate gun safety laws . . . isn't borne out by our Constitution." But, in other words, the DC handgun ban is okay with candidate Barack Obama.

Like many of Obama's contradictions, his stated belief in the individual rights view of the Second Amendment is at odds with his support for DC's categorical ban on handguns. That law is currently being challenged in District of Columbia v. Heller, now pending before the Supreme Court.

Fifty five senators and 250 house members (including many Democrats in both chambers) signed a brief in that case supporting the individual rights view. Obama was not one of them.


Some far-left politicians from lib strongholds like San Francisco, Chicago (where Obama is from) and NYC may tout such extremist measures, but not anyone trying to carry Pennsylvania, Michigan or Ohio in a presidential election.

The last time a Democrat nominee supported a ban on handguns was Michael Dukakis, and we all know how that election ended.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Are you serious about Pawlenty and Minn?
Pawlenty could not even carry Minnesota for McCain in the Republican primary. Plus, he had appointed his Lieutenant Governor head of MN Dept of Transportation...which they refused to fund resulting in the 35W Bridge fiasco. Even if Pawlenty is chosen, which I can't believe he would be, MN is lost to the Republicans.

Posted by: concernedcitizen8 | April 18, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Chris, when you list the states, would you also please show how many electoral votes each has?

Thanks.

Posted by: DJ | April 18, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"... methinks Northern Virginians overestimate their own importance and underestimate the impact of SnObama's liberal stance on gun control."


'Today, as President of the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA), I announced our endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Because the gun issue has recently become a factor in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, I want to share the remarks I made today:

As a gun rights organization we have not come to this decision lightly. We were formed two years ago because our research shows that millions of gun owners wanted a change. They not only wanted an organization that would protect their gun rights but an organization that was also committed to the protection of their communities as well as the protection of our lands.

We reached out to the Obama campaign several weeks ago to offer our support and approval as was reported by Paul Bedard of US News and World Report.

We believe recent attacks on Senator Obama's stand on the 2nd Amendment and his commitment to our hunting and shooting heritage are unfair and American Hunters and Shooters Association is stepping up to set the record straight."

Posted by: Sam | April 18, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"The louder Obama's fans whine, the more obvious it is that their candidate bombed in the debate and that tough questions are Obama's kryptonite"

Show me one debate where Hillary Clinton or John McCain were targeted for 45 minutes straight by the moderators.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"The louder Obama's fans whine, the more obvious it is that their candidate bombed in the debate and that tough questions are Obama's kryptonite"

Tough questions, no. Repetitive, one sided personal questions, maybe. This looked like a Sunday morning talk show, not a debate (Stephanopolis even said he wasn't gonna ask Clinton a question because he knew she didn't want to talk about it, actually said so. Glad to know that's the standard...). Sorry, 45 min of gotch questions, all but one aimed at Obama is not a debate.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

proud,

When the tech bubble burst in 2001, that was the result of natural market forces catching up to an industry that boomed naturally. The result was damaging, but Middle America was not harmed as badly as investors were.

The collapse of the housing market was a result of under-regulation. A Republican Congress and President made it easy for the mortgage industry to prey on subprime borrowers, without remembering that a lot of these people would later be unable to pay. This is one of the reasons why Middle America is being thrashed economically right now.

Posted by: JamesCH | April 18, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Will Al Franken's run for the Senate have a play as well in MN?

Posted by: Patrick NYC | April 18, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Agree totally that Iowa will go Democratic. Regardless of the media drumbeat, Obama will be the popular nominee as Hillary can only win with a coup and the superdelegates aren't up for that.

McCain's just announced economic plan is a gigantic corporate welfare shell game, more Bush trickle-down voodoo. It's Bush's economy, stupid... McSame really doesn't understand.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | April 18, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

A couple of notes about New Mexico, a state where I lived for a few years back in the '90s. The state is very, very different from Arizona. NM's cultural connections are with Colorado (in the very blue north) and with Texas (in the very red east and south). Albuquerque is the state's swing spot, especially Rio Rancho and the Heights, and like other Western cities, is a hodgepodge of influences. Mostly, though, NM is influenced by the long and rich history of NM.

NM has some recent immigrants from Mexico, but many of the state's Hispanics (and almost all of its political tastemakers) are the descendants of the original Spanish settlers from the 16th century. They may speak some Spanish and look Hispanic, but they don't vote like other southwestern Hispanics (except their cousins in southern Colorado). They're yellow-dog Democrats.

Nuevo Mexicanos -- Hispaño, Anglo, and Indian -- may feel sympathy for Sen. Domenici, but he's not likely to sway their vote for president, for the Senate, or for the House. NM-2 will be difficult to pry away from the R's, but the Senate seat should be an easy win for Tom Udall, the ABQ-based NM-1 (Heather Wilson's old seat) is eminently winnable for the D's, and NM-3 in El Norte will be an easy hold. Oh, and the state's 5 EV's are a mortal lock for Obama.

Posted by: novamatt | April 18, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"The louder Obama's fans whine, the more obvious it is that their candidate bombed in the debate and that tough questions are Obama's kryptonite"

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

And Chris, Pawlenty has offended too many fiscal conservatives of late, guys who already distrust McCain. I think picking Pawlenty would be a huge mistake for him nationally, gambling picking up one state in exchange for weakening him in three or four other key swing states. I don't see him doing it.

Posted by: Michael | April 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"The bursting of the housing bubble was going to happen at some point; it was not predicated on having an R or a D in office. I understand that Dems will try to paint this as a Bush problem, but I'm surprised that you're carrying this water for them."

Its not about carrying water, its about voter perception. To put it in Reaganesque, are you better off now than you were 8 years ago? It doesn't matter what you think, or what I think. The question is what the voters will do. After 8 years of Bush-Cheney I don't think the voters are lining up for more of the same. McCain's economic plans thus far sure sound a lot like more of the same.

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Florida is definitely in play. The economy blows down there. We're talking like a hurricane.

I talked to my late father's lady friend this morning. Condos where she lives are going for not much more than half of what she paid us for my father's condo a couple years ago.

If McCain thinks the answer to this mess is TAX CUTS! TAX CUTS! he is in for a rude awakening.

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 18, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"... methinks Northern Virginians overestimate their own importance and underestimate the impact of SnObama's liberal stance on gun control."

He said the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to gun ownership, that's not a very liberal position. Trying to go off a 1996 survey to prove otherwise will open up McCain to charges of being Pro-Choice for some of his survey answers from the same timeframe, and more recently in 2000.

Posted by: kreuz_missile@yahoo.com | April 18, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I think the New Mexico outcome would be affected by whether it's Obama or Clinton, a point not made here. Surely a candidate who allowed someone to namecall the governor in a particularly memorable and ugly way is not going to be as popular with the voters and certainly not with the local political establishment.

Posted by: New Mexico differences | April 18, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I think as a vulnerability for Dems, with Obama the likely nominee Pennsylvania becomes a bit vulnerable and probably much moireso than Michigan, which he would hold easily (but, if Rendell is the Veep, which I still think is a decent shot, that is neutralized in many ways). And no matter what they're saying, FL is staying (R) for the forseeable future, but the Midwest as a whole will be stronger for the Dem candidates to more than balancew that out. Depending on the candidate, the map looks different. This is my list, and ordered based on each Dem Candidate:

Obama v. McCain (Pollster.com averages, Dem-Rep)

10. Montana (R) (NA, it's a hunch right now)
9. Minnesota (D) (47.2-41.2)
8. Virginia (R) (43.1-52.2)
7. Michigan (D) (42.5-41.5)
6. Ohio (R) (43.2-45.5)
5. Pennsylvania (D)(43.4-44.1)
4. New Mexico (R) (44.2-50.4)*
3. Colorado (R) (46.0-43.5)
2. Nevada (R) (45.5-42.0)
1. Iowa (R) (47.5-42.6)

* (note: looking at this one, I'm not sure I buy the polling average calculation because SUSA and Rasmussen reached opposite conclusions, I think it's 50-50 right now)

Clinton vs. McCain
10. Iowa (R) (41.7-48.9)
9. Wisconsin (D) (43.7-46.2)
8. Oregon (D) (47.9-45.4)
7. Minnesota (D) (40.5-45.7)
6. Nevada (R) (46.5-40.5)
5. New Hampshire (D) (41.1-46.8)
4. New Mexico (R) (45.1-47.1)
3. Michigan (D) (40.5-45.7)
2. Ohio (R) (48.5-43.1)
1. Arkansas (R) (51.0-38.0)

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 18, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, The bursting of the housing bubble was going to happen at some point; it was not predicated on having an R or a D in office. I understand that Dems will try to paint this as a Bush problem, but I'm surprised that you're carrying this water for them.

As to ecg's ridiculous comments about McCain: "But does he really understand why America has become what it is? Can anybody who wasn't here?"


Yeah, he really should've taken that offer from the No Vietnamese captors to get an early release so he could read Woodward and Bernstein ponder 'Deep Throat'. Too bad for him, he chose to stay with his fellow POWS for 5 years of torture in a far away land.

I have a feeling he gained quite a bit more insight into his nationality and love for country by courageously chosing to stay where he was.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"That was then. Today, McCain has learned to get along with his party and insurers. When asked recently plans that offer coverage guarantees at reasonable prices and consumer protections for individuals with preexisting conditions, McCain said, "That would be mandating what the free enterprise system does."

Wait until the regulations are gone and the 'free market' gets its clutches into you, folks. Think you've got problems with health care now?

They will be able to refuse coverage to anyone they want, refuse treatment, and charge you anything they feel like for premiums. There will be about as much 'competition' as there is at gas stations today.

If you're not wealthy or young and healthy, you might as well just shoot yourself now.

What a disgusting, pandering, flipflopping LIAR AND NEOCON McCain is.

MCCAIN IS FAR WORSE THAN BUSH AND CHENEY

Posted by: sickened | April 18, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

I know this comment isn't corresponding with the topic of this last post but I've just realized something and reading over all the debate analysis this question hasn't been asked...why wasn't Hillary Clinton asked about Mark Penn? It seems such a question would have fit in perfectly in the first half of the debate and it's entirely relevant to the campaign...if you could help me find an answer I'd be grateful.

Posted by: Lieven | April 18, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I can sympathize with Michigan. But since Florida's electoral votes decided the last two presidential elections, what business do they have complaining about being underrepresented? I live in NC, and my vote counts for the first time ever in 2008 because we actually have a meaningful primary. Florida needs to appreciate the influence it already has.

Posted by: Jeff | April 18, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Mich: "A recent independent poll confirmed that this state should be close in the fall; McCain led Clinton 46 percent to 37 percent while McCain and Obama were in a statistical dead heat."

Ohio: A recent Quinnipiac University poll ... showed Clinton leading McCain 48 percent to 39 percent while Obama took 43 percent to 42 percent for McCain -- a potential problem for Democrats if Obama winds up as the nominee.

Strange that two such similar states should have such a different take on the Democratic candidates. Is this just about Mich having more blacks?

But it's notable, anyway, that the Ds win all of these matchups except the Michigan McCain-Clinton faceoff.

I'm no Hillary fan, but I'm surprised she does so poorly in Mich. She made a big fuss about seating the delegates from their one-candidate "election" and the demographics should be kind to her.

Maybe the Michigan media market is exposed to Canadian broadcasting. Everyone in Canada knows that it was actually Clinton's team who contacted the Canadians and told them not to take NAFTA-bashing seriously. It's been in all the Canadian papers for over a month.

For some reason, no-one is bothering to tell the American public. Always the last to know...

I can't believe McCain has a chance in Mich. He didn't even win the GOP primary there. Views on the economy get darker every day, and when McCain unveiled a glimpse of his economic policy the other day, it was greeted with hoots of derision.

Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri - with the probable exception of Indiana, the central north is going to be one great big blue lake after Nov.

Posted by: OD | April 18, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Once a strong supporter of patients' rights, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) today is more worried about insurance companies than patients.

In 2001, McCain was in the middle of Washington's biggest health debate in years. In drafting the Patients' Bill of Rights (S. 1052), McCain's fight though was with Republicans, not Democrats. The goal was to find ways to keep insurers under control and to stop some of the worse abuses of managed care.

McCain's co-sponsors were none other than Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and John Edwards (D-NC). McCain even co-authored a Washington Post opinion piece with Edwards. Titled "Let's See Some Bi-Partisanship," the piece read in part:

For too long, some of us in Congress have struggled to come up with a way to create rights for patients who have disputes with health maintenance organizations...We all agree that patients deserve basic rights.

McCain was bucking his party. President Bush verbally threatened a veto early in 2001 and then issued a written veto during the summer. Senator Don Nickles of Oklahoma, then part of the Senate Republican leadership, once warned, "Employers beware. There is language in this bill that can bankrupt you." Patients' rights became so difficult for Bush that the newly elected president quipped, "A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it."

That was then. Today, McCain has learned to get along with his party and insurers. When asked recently plans that offer coverage guarantees at reasonable prices and consumer protections for individuals with preexisting conditions, McCain said, "That would be mandating what the free enterprise system does."

Posted by: McCain--the Big Sellout Continues | April 18, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

'Systematic disenfranchisement'

republicans favorite activity re black voters.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Proof that ABC is a tool of the neocons..

"Last night on Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity boasted of his success in influencing ABC News Chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos to ask Barack Obama a question about the Weather Underground in a recent debate.

After being lobbied by Hannity, Stephanopoulos asked Obama about his connections to William Ayers, a former member of the radical anti-Vietnam organization Weather Underground. "Now of course, the liberal blogs are losing their minds in part because I suggested the question to George Stephanopoulos Tuesday afternoon on my radio show," Hannity proudly declared last night.

In an exchange with one of show's guests -- Democratic strategist Michael Brown - Hannity bragged of having written the talking points on the Ayers issue:

BROWN: Republicans clearly like this. Your friends clearly like this. You're all reading from the same talking points sheet.

HANNITY: We actually wrote these points, Michael. Nice cheap shot.

BROWN: So you're bragging that you wrote the points."

they let Sean Hannity write their scripts for them--cute.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"FL & MI voters will still remember being told they don't matter."

Methinks you overestimate the degree to which MI & FL voters will lop off their noses to spite their faces. Check out unemployment & foreclosure rates in those states & try to imagine whether those voters will sign up for 4 more years of economic mismanagement.

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Amen to Throop. The headline could have just as easily have been "Dems put 7 states in play." Nevermind the fact that, according to the Line's own math, McCain puts exactly 31 electoral votes into play, while the Dems put 86 -- almost three times as many -- into play.

But no, the MSM must, at all cost and every turn, continue to present McCain as an independent-attracting "maverick."

Enough.

Posted by: Media bias? | April 18, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

That should read "FL and VA switching to red?"

... methinks Northern Virginians overestimate their own importance and underestimate the impact of SnObama's liberal stance on gun control.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"Florida, Ohio, Colorodo & Virginia all stay McCain. There is little to no question about it, McCain wins all 4 of these states against which ever Dem..."

Right on, reason. FL and MI switching to red? Are you freakin kidding, CC?? The Democrat party has screwed over lots of voters who are not likely to forget that their votes didn't count in the primary. Nor will the Rs let them forget it.

Systematic disenfranchisement and nominee selection - not election- will be a big theme this fall. It doesn't matter if the Dems kiss and make up after SnObama is selected, the FL & MI voters will still remember being told they don't matter.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Re: McCain's influence on The Line's prognostications:

McCain was a POW from 1967-1973, so he wasn't in America during the turmoil and consciousness-raising years of RFK and MLK's assassinations, Watts riots, Chicago Democratic Convention, Kent State murders, and Woodstock. Nixon was still President upon McCain's return, but Watergate must have seemed a curiousity to McCain, who had entirely missed Nixon's presidency up to that point.

I wonder how his missing these key years in America's history have played into his world view. I wonder how empathetic he is of the concerns of people shaped by those years?

All hail John McCain's service to America. But does he really understand why America has become what it is? Can anybody who wasn't here?

Peace.
.
.
.

Posted by: egc52556 | April 18, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Caveat: this assumes Obama is the dem nominee
I think you're wrong about Michigan. Obama hasn't even been there. The current disastrous economy there and McCain's "straight talk" about jobs not coming back will hurt him.

As for Iowa, you're probably right. the Dems spent so much time there and Obama already has a great organization.

Posted by: Deb in Dallas | April 18, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The big story may well end up being California, especially if Obama is the nominee. Obama and Hispanics don't play that well together. Plus, Schwarzenegger is a big draw for independents and Democrats.

In fact, if Obama is the nominee, a lot of states will be in play that might not otherwise be.

Posted by: Anon99 | April 18, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"why wasn't the headline, "Obama Puts 7 Key States In Play," rather than McCain's 3?"

My take on it is that putting McCain's name in the headline is more concise than saying 'the Dem nominee'.

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

And, why wasn't the headline, "Obama Puts 7 Key States In Play," rather than McCain's 3? Is this more of the media fascination with the McCain "miracle"*? (*Define that any way you like.)

Posted by: Tom Throop | April 18, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I would say the top few states that could change from 04' are:

1. New Hampshire: NH went for Bush in 00 & Kerry in 04. How about 08? McCain definately starts as the front runner. The state that put him back in the Presidential race to stay until November was good o' New Hampshire. They still see McCain as the maverick that took on George Bush & the Republican establishment in the 00' R nomination. He is a man who stands on conviction. Clinton is an "establishment" candidate to the independents in NH, but she still won the NH primary vs. Obama. In my view, McCain will win New Hampshire against either Clinton or Obama...doesn't matter. Analysis: It goes McCain in November.

2. Iowa: Even though Bush won there in 04, Culver won the gov. mansion in 06' & Harkin is popular. However, Grassley is even more popular and will obviously support McCain, although I'm not sure how much. McCain's big downfall in Iowa is that he doesn't support the corn subsidies. Obama & Clinton will exploit this as another Republican catering to big oil interests. McCain will paint Obama/Clinton as a big time spender more interested in growing gov't. with handouts more than controlling spending in Washington DC. If Obama is the nominee, he well could win Iowa. If it's Clinton, McCain should still Iowa as Iowan's don't care for the Clinton's. Analysis: This one can better be handicapped after the Democratic nomination is over. Too close to call right now.

3. Nevada: Either Democrat can give McCain a run for his money in Nevada in 04'. As Dems. now out-register Republicans. Also working in whichever D's favor is that Harry Reid is the senate majority leader. Working against the D's is that Harry Reid is the senate majority leader. Reid can talk about what all he could do for Nevada with a D President, and McCain will paint them as big spenders out of touch with Nevada values. Remember, a large portion of Nevada is rural communities that McCain should fair well in. He should also do ok in the populated parts. With US sen. Ensign on his side & a still split Democratic electorate, McCain has to be the front runner in Nevada. He'd almost be a sure win if not for James Authur Gibbons, who is dragging the R brand badly. My guess: Stays McCain in November.

4. New Mexico: NM should go McCain by a larger margin than it went for Bush. He's moderate and should be appealing with his stances on immigration, the environment, ect. His stance on the war in Iraq will be interestingly received. He is a war hero & has been firm in standing for what he believes in, this will command respect by the voters in NM. That, coupled with the support of good o' St. Pete, who is exiting political life but who is very popular in NM. He will stump hard for McCain, whoever is the 2nd district House nominee, Darren White for 1 district & the winner of the Pearce/Wilson Senate Primary to take on Udall. NM will be a very, very competitive state in all facets. It may be too close to call until someone wins the Democratic Presidential primary & the Republican US Senate primary. Very interesting political state right now! Analysis: Too close to call, but advantage Democratic takeover, especially with Obama as their nominee.

5. Michigan: The Democrats shunned Michigan in their primary and didn't campaign there or count their voice. This hurts the Democrats there in November, especially with McCain as the R & if Obama is the D nominee. Popular Atty. General Mike Cox & Sec. of State Terri Land both have supported McCain from the state. Granted, he didn't win the R primary there as hometown hero Mitt Romney beat him out. But, independents in Michigan will appreciate McCain's honesty & leadership. If Clinton is the D nominee, I still think she wins Michigan. If Obama is the nominee, I think McCain can win Michigan. US Senator Carl Levin looks like he will not draw a serious challenger and will be left against a 3rd pick of the GOP or worse. Unless Cox gets into the race, Levin will roll. Yet, as the dynamics present themselves, against Clinton: Clinton wins. McCain vs. Obama: McCain wins.

6. Pennsylvania: I believe McCain has a great shot to win Pa., especially against Obama. Clinton has the support of Rendell big time, and prolly would be able to keep Pa., albeit it would be extremely close. Sen. Spector will be stumping hard for McCain, too. Pa. could well be won by McCain & go R this year. Atty. General Corbett is also on the ballot this year in Pa., and he should be re-elected without alot of trouble being that he's Spector's favorite. Pa.: too close to call until the D nomination is over. If it's Clinton, it will still be too close to call. If Obama wins: McCain takes the advantage in Pa. for the time being.

Florida, Ohio, Colorodo & Virginia all stay McCain. There is little to no question about it, McCain wins all 4 of these states against which ever Dem. nominee he's put up against.

Even with Pawlenty as McCain's VP, Minn. will be a very tough state for McCain to win. The advantage is definately democrat. Although, if Clinton were the nominee, McCain could win it.

Posted by: reason | April 18, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

At the rate the Clinton ship is going down, it won't be long before he betrays Hill again.

The former President was overheard, while viewing coverage of a Michelle Obama event, saying "I'd hit that."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is set to announce his endorsement today (knock on wood, assuming he doesn't get an expletive-filled phone call from the Clintons that changes his mind).

The only Clinton-era personality left to endorse Obama is Bill Clinton himself. At the rate the Clinton ship is going down, it won't be long before he betrays Hill again.

Posted by: bondjedi | April 18, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

News out of the midwest is that the political earth is shifting. To the benefit of whom?

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The war's political impact also has been great. Globally, U.S. standing among friends and allies has fallen.2 Our status as a moral leader has been damaged by the war, the subsequent occupation of a Muslim nation, and various issues concerning the treatment of detainees. At the same time, operations in Iraq have had a negative impact on all other efforts in the war on terror, which must bow to the priority of Iraq when it comes to manpower, materiel, and the attention of decisionmakers. Our Armed Forces-- especially the Army and Marine Corps--have been severely strained by the war in Iraq. Compounding all of these problems, our efforts there were designed to enhance U.S. national security, but they have become, at least temporarily, an incubator for terrorism and have emboldened Iran to expand its influence throughout the Middle East.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

from the National Defense University by Joseph Collins, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations in the Pentagon until 2004, couldn't provide a starker contrast. It is titled "Choosing War: The Decision to Invade Iraq and Its Aftermath," and it begins:

Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle. As of fall 2007, this conflict has cost the United States over 3,800 dead and over 28,000 wounded. Allied casualties accounted for another 300 dead. Iraqi civilian deaths--mostly at the hands of other Iraqis--may number as high as 82,000. Over 7,500 Iraqi soldiers and police officers have also been killed. Fifteen percent of the Iraqi population has become refugees or displaced persons. The Congressional Research Service estimates that the United States now spends over $10 billion per month on the war, and that the total, direct U.S. costs from March 2003 to July 2007 have exceeded $450 billion, all of which has been covered by deficit spending. No one as yet has calculated the costs of long-term veterans' benefits or the total impact on Service personnel and materiel.

Posted by: Pentagon Report | April 18, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Why don't any of the McCain's media poodles ask him why he doesn't wear a flag pin?

Or why he refuses to release his tax returns?

Posted by: amy | April 18, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Good analysis... except for Iowa. What does Harkin's sure bet for reelection have to do with the federal race? I think the real reason Iowa might trend Democratic is the snub it was given by John McCain and perhaps the fact that Obama is from a neighboring state.

Posted by: Jeff | April 18, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Every state's politicians are and will be on the "short list" for VP. Every 4 years, Tom Ridge (an empty suit if I've ever seen one) is a vice presidential prospect until the other party flirts with Ed Rendell. I'm sure you all see this at home; it's a good way to get on the local new and nothing more.

Posted by: PAGuy | April 18, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

McCain can't win Ohio or Michigan unless he can actually talk economy. The Dems already have their attack ads made thanks to Mr. McCain.

Besides, Obama should win Michigan easily. Blacks in Detroit and Arabs (remember John Stewart called them a "man-pile of anger" in his book; McCain's gung-ho war man image won't do too well there) in Dearborn should give him some nice padding.

Also, Obama seems to fit Minnesota perfectly. In New Hampshire, they won't be electing any Republicans after their 2006 debacle, and may the energy for the Senate race actually create some reverse coattails for Obama?

Posted by: Dan | April 18, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

These polls mean nothing until there is a 1-1 campaign, as opposed to a 1-2 campaign. McCain benefits from the advantage of having the other two attacking each other while he acts amiable at schools and churches and businesses. He can also piggyback on whichever theme he wants and tag-team whomever he wants.

The fact that he isn't moving the national polls with this advantage is an issue for him. He should be able to pull a lead in this environment, and the fact that he can't is good news for Dems.

Posted by: Noonan | April 18, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

You don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. The public attitudes on both the economy and Iraq are deteriorating and are likely to continue to do so up to the election. Since folks vote their pocketbooks, and since Iraq is also a pocketbook issue given the huge amounts of money spent daily, I suggest you forcast the unemployment rate and foreclosure rates for October if want to know which way the states are going to go.

Posted by: nclwtk | April 18, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
" The Fix still believes Pawlenty is the frontrunner to serve as McCain's runningmate, a scenario that if it comes to pass will make the Republican ticket quite competitive in Minnesota."

You may be correct about Pawlenty's chances of being asked to join the ticket, but his star is falling in MN. You don't veto transit funding in your state the year after a bridge fell down & remain a big draw at the ballot box.

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

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