Some economists and people who follow business think the
economy will get worse.
When people feel pain in their wallets, the usual political reaction is
"throw the bums out." The effect this year will be magnified because
Barack Obama puts the word "change" in every sentence whereas John McCain
is running on experience.
Oil hit $142 a barrel yesterday before falling back. Not a good sign
for a speedy economic recovery.
The Republicans can't seem to find a candidate in NY-13, Vito Fossella's
Staten Island-based district.
A couple more prospects have
DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is playing with their minds there.
He just announced a $2.1 million ad buy in New York. (English translation:
Hi there, Republicans. Chris here. If you want to run here you'd better
have $2 million cash on hand right now before even starting.)
Lots of polls todays. For President, Obama has increased his
lead in Colorado to 5 points. This is within the margin of error,
but it is also the fourth consecutive poll in which Obama has been
leading. If the state were truly a tossup and these polls were like
flipping a coin, Obama has gotten 4 heads in a row. The chances of
that are 1 in 16. He has solid leads in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The latter could affect McCain's choice of Veep. If Minnesota is
tied, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) could help pull the state over the line.
But if McCain is 17 points behind there, Pawlenty won't be of any use.
McCain's lead in Mississippi is only 6 points and could narrow if
Obama succeeds in registering thousands of new voters. When a pollster
calls up, question 1 is typically: "Are you a registered voter in the
state of X?" If the answer is "no" that's probably the end of the
interview. Thus as the voter registration drive gets going, the
population that is polled will change. About 37% of Mississippi adults
are black, and if they all register and vote for Obama, he needs only
25% of the whites. He might be able to find them among young people
under 30 and those with college educations. Now Mississippi ranks close
to the bottom in terms of number of college degrees per capita, but the
number isn't zero.
Furthermore, if black turnout is higher than white turnout
(historically not true but maybe this year), less than 25% of
the whites are needed.
We also have a number of Senate polls. Mark Udall is ahead for the
fifth consecutive poll, so he is in good shape in Colorado.
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) is ahead by double digits so he may survive
the expected Democratic wave this year. Probably most interesting is
Mississippi where appointed Sen. Roger wicker (R-MS) and former governor
Ronnie Musgrove (D) are essentially tied. Wicker has never won a statewide
election and Musgrove has, so this is backwards from the normal contest.
If Obama succeeds in registering thousands of new Democrats--and he is
going to try very hard--this will definitely help Musgrove.