Nate Silver

In opposition to the House, where essentially every representative in a swing district voted against the bailout bill (the exceptions were mostly in wealthy, investor-class districts), many senators in tough races were willing put their backing behind the measure.Among those senators in races that might even vaguely be considered competitive (all the races on Swing State Project's list, including their snowball's-chance-in-hell category called "races to watch"), the only to oppose the measure were four Southern fiscal conservatives -- Liddy Dole, Roger Wicker, James Inhofe, and Democrat Mary L

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Like Andrew Sullivan, I think that the Obama campaign has little to lose and everything to gain by encouraging the CPD to have Gwen Ifill to pull out of moderating the VP debate.It's not that the right's critique isn't utterly transparent, but media backlash was one of the principal dynamics in motivating the Palin bounce in the first place.But there's another factor here too. In preparing for a debate, you are often preparing nearly as much for the "judge" or moderator as for the opponent.

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Gonna try and make it to the Cubs game tonight, which means that I've got a ton of work to do this afternoon, which means that ... you're getting a rare AM edition of Today's Polls. And it's a good one for Barack Obama:What's up with those Quinnipiac polls? Why have I listed them twice?Well, Quinnipiac broke its sample into two halves: pre-debate and post-debate. For all intents and purposes, these are two separate surveys, and so that's how I list them.

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It is difficult to gauge the immediate reaction to yesterday's financial meltdown in the polling, particularly as several other aspects of the campaign, such as last Friday's debate, are also still echoing onto the numbers.

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Mis-Schlep

It is a politician’s rite of passage--at least if he expects to win Florida. Each summer, the presidential candidates take turns speaking to the Council of Jewish Elders (really just a sufficiently telegenic synagogue, preferably in a swing district like Tampa), competing with each other to see just who can claim to love Israel the mostest. The media covers the events with great ardor, usually suggesting that Jewish voters are the key to the entire state--and perhaps the entire election.

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Today's Polls: Meltdown

When the Democrat is polling even with the Republican in states like North Carolina, and polling 7-8 points ahead of them in a state like Pennsylvania, that means the Republican is in a lot of trouble. While there are isolated results in this batch of polling that seem decent for John McCain -- he may have closed the gap in Colorado a bit -- several of these polls have Obama at or near the highest numbers he's been at all year.

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Here's the long and short of it for John McCain: Barack Obama has as large a lead in the election as he's held all year. But there is much less time left on the clock than there was during other Obama periods of strength, such as in February, mid-June or immediately following the Democratic convention. This is a very difficult combination of circumstances for him.On the strength of a set of national tracking polls that each show Obama at or near his high-water mark all year, our model projects that he would win an election hold today by 4.2 points.

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Barack Obama had another strong day in the national tracking polls, increasing his advantage in the Rasmussen Tracker to +6, and in the Gallup Tracker to +5. Indeed, four of the five tracking polls are now in agreement that Barack Obama's lead is in the 5-6 point range, with Battleground dissenting and putting the race at McCain +2.You should bear in mind, however, that these polls reflect the pre-debate state of the race, as the overwhelming majority of the interviews for the these tracking polls took place before last night's debate was completed.

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TPM has the internals of the CNN poll of debate-watchers, which had Obama winning overall by a margin of 51-38. The poll suggests that Obama is opening up a gap on connectedness, while closing a gap on readiness.Specifically, by a 62-32 margin, voters thought that Obama was “more in touch with the needs and problems of people like you”. This is a gap that has no doubt grown because of the financial crisis of recent days. But it also grew because Obama was actually speaking to middle class voters.

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On the eve of the first Presidential Debate, Barack Obama is perhaps in as strong a position in the polls as he has been all year, now projecting to win the election 74.7 percent of the time.

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