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RNC Donors on Palin's Clothes: "Not the Change They Wanted"

Newsweek reports RNC donors were furious about the $150,000 clothing expense shelled out for Gov. Sarah Palin's clothes.

Lobbyist Andrea McWilliams, a GOP fundraiser in Texas, said the flap undercut the party's message. Palin's "transformation from low couture to haute couture isn't the kind of change that voters had in mind," she said.

Marty Eisenstadt takes a closer look at the expenditure form and notes that the second make-up artist, Tracy Thorpe, was flown in and paid $900 to give Sarah Palin a spray tan to get rid of her "Eskimo tan."

Newsweek reports the McCain campaign "directed" the RNC to foot the clothing bill. [More...]

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Hillary's 65th Campaign Appearance for Obama

Hillary made her 65th campaign appearance for Sen. Barack Obama in Aurora, Colorado today. Also on hand: Gov. Bill Ritter, Sen. Ken Salazar and Reps. Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter.

More here at the Denver Post.

McCain campaigned in Denver today as well, along with former Denver Bronco quarterback John Elway.

Sen. Barack Obama will be in Denver on Sunday for a rally in Civic Center Park downtown. My prediction: The Obama crowd will dwarf the 4,000 that showed up for McCain today.

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Newsweek Poll: Obama Up By 13

Obama's lead is holding steady according to the latest Newsweek poll. Poll data is here.

Obama's lead in the NEWSWEEK Poll is consistent with other recent national polls, including soundings taken by CBS News and The New York Times, The Washington Post and ABC News, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal and by Pew Research, all of which measured Obama's lead over McCain as somewhere between 10 and 14 points. In the NEWSWEEK Poll, Obama's lead stayed virtually unchanged from two weeks ago, when he led McCain 52 to 41 among registered voters.

Obama leads in almost every demographic. [More...]

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Battleground State Analysis

ABC News has an analysis of the battleground states today.

Eight states that could go either way -- Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Missouri, Indiana and North Carolina -- hold 111 of the 270 electoral votes needed for either candidate to win the presidency.

Whether those red states will turn blue is yet to be determined, but according to the latest polls, Obama has a 52-45 percent advantage in those battlegrounds. States like Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina, previously leaning in McCain's favor, are now considered toss-ups.

John McCain needs every state Bush carried in 2004 plus a big one Kerry carried -- like Pennsylvania. [More...]

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McCain's Unsolvable Problem: Sarah Palin

Big Tent Democrat believes that:

The country is rejecting Republicanism and extreme conservatism, not Sarah Palin's "qualifications." The mandate is for a change away from extreme Republicanism and conservatism, not a rejection of Sarah Palin the person.

I agree that Sarah Palin "the person" is not being rejected. But her qualifications are being rejected, and as CNN reports today, her lack of qualifications are the number one reason voters are rejecting John McCain:

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John McCain: Rock Star?

Meghan McCain was in Denver yesterday to pitch her new book about her father and her. Dad John arrives today where he will campaign with former Denver Quarterback John Elway. From her interview with local 7 News,

John McCain's daughter calls campaigning with him "like being on tour with a band except we're trying to save the world."

Katie Couric asked John McCain when was the last time he cried.

John McCain: I cry regularly.
Couric: You do?
McCain: Aw, yeah. You know, I'm very sentimental.

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McCain and Palin: The Thrill is Gone

Chuck Todd of NBC News interviewed Sen. John McCain and Sarah Palin today.

"There was a tenseness," Todd told MSNBC's Chris Matthews. "I couldn't see chemistry between John McCain and Sarah Palin. I felt as if we grabbed two people and said 'here, sit next to each other, we are going to conduct an interview.' They are not comfortable with each other yet."

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Time/CNN Poll: Obama Ahead in Red Battleground States

Time/CNN just released a new poll:

Senator Barack Obama has held or increased his lead in four key states won by President George W. Bush in 2004 — Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia—while losing ground to Senator John McCain in West Virginia.

Obama gained the most ground in North Carolina, where he now leads McCain among likely voters by 51% to 47%, up four percentage points from earlier this month when a similar poll showed the two tied at 49%. [More...]

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WSJ/NBC Poll: Obama Ahead By Ten

The Wall St Journal/NBC Poll released today has Sen. Barack Obama with a ten point lead over John McCain, his biggest yet. The poll results are here (pdf.

Sen. Barack Obama has opened up a double-digit lead in the presidential race, with a growing number of voters saying they're now comfortable with the Democratic nominee's values, background and ability to serve as commander in chief,

...Though most voters polled said that Sen. McCain is better prepared for the White House than the first-term senator from Illinois, there are increasing concerns about the readiness of Sen. McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Obama is leading among groups that earlier were expected to go for McCain. Obama now leads among Independents by 12 points. Same for suburban voters. Also, [More...]

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Pew Research Poll: Growing Doubts About John McCain

The Pew Research Center released a new poll today. Shorter version: Voters have increasing doubts about John McCain's judgment, age and campaign conduct.

Currently, Obama enjoys his widest margin yet over McCain among registered voters, at 52% to 38%. When the sample of voters is narrowed to those most likely to vote, Obama leads by 53% to 39%.

On views of Obama:

More voters see him as “well-qualified” and “down-to-earth” than did so a month ago. Obama also is inspiring more confidence on several key issues, including Iraq and terrorism, than he did before the debates. Most important, Obama now leads McCain as the candidate best able to improve economic conditions by a wider margin (53% to 32%).

As for McCain: [More...]

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Obama Fighting Hard For Colorado

The McCain campaign continues to deny reports that it is ceding Colorado to Barack Obama.

"We see the race tightening both internally and in public polling. We are within striking distance in the key battleground states we need to win," said Jill Hazelbaker, the McCain campaign's national communications director.

Gov. Sarah Palin is on to her next stop, leaving Alaska "First Dude" Todd Palin to campaign alone today in Glenwood Springs and Denver.

The Obama campaign, on the other hand, is in full swing. Not only is Sen. Joe Biden here today and tomorrow, but check out the other political magnets holding rallies the next few days .[More...]

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McCain Denies He's Giving Up on Colorado

CNN's John King reported earlier the McCain campaign had decided to give up on Colorado to focus on Pennsylvania and other big states.

Watching my 10pm local news, McCain is denying it. The regional spokesman for the campaign says McCain will continue to fight for our 9 electoral vote. The station has confirmed that McCain intends to be here Friday.

Checking McCain's campaign schedule at his website tonight, there are no events listed after Wednesday, when he'll be in Ohio with Sarah Palin. Palin will stay in Ohio on Thursday, but no details are given for McCain. [More...]

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CBS/NYTimes Poll: Obama 13 Points Ahead, Palin Tanking

A new CNN/New York Times poll out tonight finds Obama 13 points ahead of McCain, 54% to 41%. Full poll results are here (pdf):

WHY HAS YOUR VIEW OF MCCAIN GOTTEN WORSE?
(Among those saying view has worsened)

His attacks on Obama 32%
Choice of Sarah Palin 14
Debate performance 12
He seems erratic/unsteady 11
Don’t like him 7

Opinions of Palin among these voters have drastically changed for the worse in the last three weeks, while favorable impressions of Joe Biden have improved among the same voters.

[More...]

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Aspen Daily News Endorses Obama as Palin Campaigns in Colorado

As Gov. Sarah Palin makes the round of Republican strongholds in Colorado today, the Aspen Daily News issues its endorsement of Barack Obama. On John McCain, the paper says:

McCain's own behavior has been cause for concern. He has clearly abandoned the 'maverick' platform that made him popular in 2000, and has shamelessly catered to the religious right, which has its party in a headlock.

It's hard to say what McCain's true colors are, but they were clearly evident in his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. While it was a tactical success in energizing the Republican Party, it was a reckless move that would put our country in danger should she ever become commander-in-chief. Not only is she inexperienced and unworldly, Palin just doesn't seem that bright. She dodges too many questions and fumbles too many answers to lead the free world.

More...

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Suffolk Ohio Poll: Obama Leads by 9

In addition to the national polls cited here by Big Tent Democrat, there's a Suffolk Ohio and Missouri poll out today.

Barack Obama leads John McCain by 9 in Ohio and McCain's ahead by 1 in Missouri.

I think Ohio is critical. If McCain loses there, I think he loses the election.

"If Ohio goes for Obama, it may be lights out for McCain,” said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University in Boston. "At least today, the probability of an Ohio win is supported by the high-single-digit lead in the statewide poll coupled with the Perry County bellwether, which showed Obama leading by 4 percent.”

Joe the Plumber didn't help McCain in Ohio, his home state.

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