"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Polls give Obama a clear lead  Now Let’s See To It That This Election Is Not Stolen!



David Plouffe


David Plouffe's Strategy Update: October 14, 2008

McCain's Robocalls: An All Out Assault

Voters Want Robo-Calls Terminated


Polls Give Obama A Clear Lead


By Daniel Dombey and Harvey Morris in Washington


Published: October 17 2008 03:00 | Last updated: October 17 2008 03:00


Polls and pollsters pointed towards a near-unassailable lead for Barack Obama yesterday, just 19 days ahead of Election Day on November 4.


Snap surveys taken after the last of three televised debates with John McCain on Wednesday night gave the Democrat the edge in the encounter by margins of up to 30 percentage points.


"McCain was behind going in and he is behind coming out," said John McIntyre, co-founder of RealClearPolitics.com, an election website.


Pollsters and analysts say Mr. Obama is now so well ahead of his Republican rival that it would take an exceptional event for him to lose. In the battleground states that will decide the race for the White House, he has a lead even greater than in the national polls.


Mr. Obama, however, sounded a note of caution. "I've been in these positions before when we were favored and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked," he told a fundraising breakfast in New York.


Pollsters echo some of that caution, noting it is a peculiarly difficult election to forecast, precisely because of one of the chief weapons in Mr. Obama's armory: nobody knows how many of the young people, African-Americans and first-time voters enlisted by his campaign will actually vote.


Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll, one of the most venerable and widely followed of US surveys, said a lead of the size Mr Obama enjoys - an average of between 3 and 8 points, according to his own poll - is rarely overturned this late in a race.


"Clearly the probabilities are that Obama wins, based on where he is now, but it would not be out of the question that there would be an unusual circumstance in which McCain charges from behind," Mr Newport said.


So uncertain is Gallup about who will vote amid the Obama campaign's drive to recruit new voters that it provides two estimates of the intentions of "likely" voters, in addition to its survey of registered voters.


Mr Obama's position in the swing states is stronger than in the nation as a whole. According to Pollster. com, he has compiled a formidable lead in the electoral college of 333-155 electoral votes. To win, a candidate needs 270 electoral votes.


Mr McIntyre said the one possible light at the end of the tunnel for Mr McCain post-debate was the "Joe the Plumber" factor. "But we will have to see if that materializes in the polling taken after the debate, which we really won't see in full until Sunday, Monday," he said.


Joe Wurzelbacher, an Ohio small businessman, was elevated to star status by Mr McCain in Wednesday's debate after challenging Mr Obama's tax policies during a campaign stop this week. He disappointed interviewers yesterday by declining to say for whom he would vote.


Editorial Comment, Page 10 Philip Stephens, Page 11


Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

Joe the Plumber's attack on Obama goes down plughole

... even though the man who confronted his opponent, Barack Obama, in the key state of Ohio has turned out to be neither a qualified plumber nor even to  have Joe as his first name....


John McCain is still hoping that "Joe the Plumber" can rescue the ailing Republican campaign for the White House, even though the man who confronted his opponent, Barack Obama, in the key state of Ohio has turned out to be neither a qualified plumber nor even to have Joe as his first name.


Campaigning to hold on to once solidly Republican North Carolina yesterday, Mr McCain declared: "The real winner this week was Joe the Plumber. Joe won, because he's the only person to get a real answer out of Senator Obama about his plans for our country. Congratulations, Joe. That is an impressive achievement."


Samuel J Wurzelbacher, a burly and balding everyman from Toledo, was seized upon by the Republican campaign after cameras captured him questioning Mr Obama about his tax policies. Introducing himself as a plumber named Joe, he complained that he would be paying more tax if the Democrat won the White House, damaging his ability to live the American dream and buy his own business.


With just over two weeks to go, and the Republican campaign losing altitude rapidly, Mr McCain apparently believes that Mr Obama's reply to "Joe the Plumber" – that he wanted to "spread the wealth around" by raising taxes on those earning more than $250,000 (£144,000) – is his best chance of convincing voters that the Democrat is a tax-raiser, practically a socialist, and definitely out of touch with regular Americans.


Even though it emerged that "Joe" does not have a licence to operate as a plumber, is behind on his taxes, and would actually enjoy a tax cut of about $500 under the Democrat's plans, because his real income is much lower than he claimed, Mr Wurzelbacher is still being courted by the Republicans.


According to Newsweek magazine, he was invited to a McCain rally today, but declined – because he is being flown to New York for an interview on the Fox TV network.


Whether that will be more or less damaging than an appearance by Mr McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, on the Saturday Night Live comedy show remains to be seen. But as one commentator cruelly wrote of the Republican campaign after the final presidential debate last week: "Sometimes the leak is so bad that even a plumber can't fix it."



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