Swing state battles rage hard around the country

Both the Obama campaign and the McCain campaign are engaged in battles for various states around the country right now. This will only intensify in the remaining week of the campaign. The most hotly contested states seem to be Pennsylvania, where Obama is defending against a potential blue/red turn to McCain, and Florida where McCain is defending in the opposite direction against a turn to Obama. Either change would be a substantial hit for the respective campaign.

First, report on Pennsylvania from Yahoo News:

HERSHEY, Pa. – Barack Obama and John McCain fought for votes Tuesday on critical ground in Pennsylvania, the only Democratic state McCain is still contesting on a national political map growing increasingly daunting. With just one week to go, GOP doubts about his chances for the presidency grew louder.

Even two Republicans once on McCain’s short list for vice president sounded skeptical. In a fundraising e-mail on behalf of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Mitt Romney referred to “the very real possibility of an Obama presidency.” In the Midwest, Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave a dour assessment of McCain’s chances in his state, saying Obama “has a pretty good advantage in Minnesota right now.”

Nationally, a poll by the Pew Research Center found Obama with a 16-point lead among registered voters. The survey said Obama had 52 percent and McCain 36 percent, with independent voters supporting the Democrat by a 48-31 margin.

The candidates kicked off their final week of campaigning in the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania, which hasn’t supported a Republican presidential candidate in 20 years and where Obama is ahead in the polls. McCain is working for an upset and has Pennsylvania as the linchpin to his victory strategy.

“I’m not afraid of the fight, I’m ready for it,” McCain told noisy supporters at a rally in this Republican region that is home to the world’s largest chocolate factory.

Obama’s advisers say they are confident of victory in the state. Still, they sent the candidate to rally supporters in Pittsburgh Monday night and to the battleground Philadelphia suburbs on Tuesday. About 9,000 people stood in the mud and a steady, cold rain at Widener University to hear him.

“I just want all of you to know that if we see this kind of dedication on Election Day, there is no way that we’re not going to bring change to America,” said Obama, uncharacteristically attired in jeans, sneakers and a raincoat. McCain canceled a second event 50 miles away in Quakertown because of the dismal weather.

McCain appeared with running mate Sarah Palin, who planned to stay in the state for another rally in Shippensburg. “Pennsylvania, it’s going to be a hard-fought contest here,” she said. “It’s going to come down to the wire here.”

Video report from the AP on the McCain/Palin rally in Hershey, PA:

Local interview with McCain on WHP in Harrisburg, PA:

The Obama campaign is not worried about Pennsylvania on the surface anyway, however, clearly they reserve some doubt since Hillary Clinton beat Obama during the primary and the state only went to Kerry in 2004 by a few points. Obama’s heavily favored right now, however, McCain has been putting a lot of resources into the state.

Next, the battle in central and southern Florida is heating up, so to speak. Report from Yahoo News:

PLANT CITY, Fla. – Barack Obama and John McCain both made it a point to stop by the Parksdale Farm Market for Jim Meeks’ strawberry shortcake and milkshakes as they hopped across central Florida.

Meeks likes to joke that his treats have a lucky ingredient: Both George Bushes stopped by during their campaigns, too, and won.

“You mean, I’m gonna get elected if I drink this?” Meeks remembers Obama asking.

“I said, ‘There’s a good chance,'” the farmer recalls with a laugh.

Joking aside, this is political reality in Florida, a crucial battleground state again this year: No region is a greater bellwether of who will win the state and its 27 electoral votes than the counties that stretch along Interstate 4 from Tampa Bay, through Plant City and into Orlando and Daytona.

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was just here; Joe Biden wrapped up a visit Tuesday, and Obama makes another visit Wednesday. McCain has been here several times.

“We have to have the I-4 corridor or we don’t win,” declares Chet Renfro, manager of the McCain campaign in Pinellas County.

Recent polls show McCain with a slight lead in the region, though they show him trailing statewide.

Florida is not only the swing state richest in electoral votes but also the one with a reputation of nail-biting close calls. It was Florida that decided the presidency in 2000 after weeks of hanging chads, recounts and court rulings all the way to the Supreme Court. In the end, a mere 537 votes separated George W. Bush from Al Gore.

So far this year, the number of statewide early and absentee ballots indicates more registered Democrats have voted than Republicans.

That’s true, too, at least for people casting early ballots, in two of the most populous counties along Interstate 4, in Hillsborough and in Orange, which includes the city of Orlando, according to state Division of Elections statistics. Those counties’ figures do not include absentee ballots, which account for more than 40 percent of all ballots cast so far in the state.

“In Florida, Democrats have never led in voting before Election Day,” said Eric Jotkoff, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party.

Voters in the I-4 corridor represent a near equal mix of Democrats and Republicans. In a sign of the state’s importance, Obama in September and October alone has given more than $4 million to the Florida Democratic Party, the most he has given to any state party committee.

Video report on the early voting from the AP:

Florida has been a bit closer in the polls though, in the past couple days, has been trending slightly toward Obama. Again though, this state could be anywhere since, to be honest, I actually think senior citizens might turn out in droves for McCain. No offense to the state of Florida or Sen. McCain intended.

  • Mary R

    I’m not voting for Obama. And I don’t believe most others would vote for him if the main stream media has been doing its job. The reason I’m not voting for him is because of his linkage to radicals and terrorist. And I’m just not talking about the Ayers connection. The one that concerns me the most is his affiliation with Raila Odinga, a radical from Kenya. I wouldn’t trust him with the safe-guarding of this country. It would take forever to fully explain it but I will post a link to a website that has a accurate description of the linkage to Odinga. The title is: Barack Obama & Raila Odinga – Just Another Terrorist From The Hood – The website link is: http://www.thexreport.com – There are also some video’s that accompany the story at the bottom

  • the_don

    No matter who anyone votes for I have to say some of the things that people say here are just absolutely insane to say the least. It just makes me sad.

  • bdjnk

    Thanks for the insightful link Mary R. I mentioned the Odinga connection on this site before but nobody seemed to take notice. Glad to know there are others spreading the news.

  • chris

    Obama will win and he will make a fine president! OBAMA*BIDEN 08!!!!!

  • I hope Obama wins Chris. Looks like some of the whacky Republicans can’t stop trying to pin guilt by association by any means possible on Obama, which is extremely sad.

    Obama will make a fine President and the sooner the Reps stop their hate-mongering the better.

  • Pats

    If any one is troubled by Obama’s presidency, start thinking of what to do. You can link him with Raila Odinga and present all media linkage, coverages, articles and clips but they will not distort his image enough to be a better president for America in this economic crisis.
    I discussed this so called Obama/ Odinga linkage in this very site and referred to and article published by The London Times were Sean Hannity of Fox News was schedule to present an interview with someone who has the evidence on that linkage. The very person who was porported to have that evidence went to Kenya with the pretext of publishing a book but with the intension of talking/interviewing Obama’s half brother. That man and his assistant were arrested at Nairobi airport and deported. A $5000.00 gift for Obama’s brother was found in his possession. Someone must remember this story.
    Not every body will vote for Barack Obama or John McCain but the truth is Obama will be president of the United States of America and not a president of those who voted for him. Whether you vote for him or not, he has better policies than his opponent and those policies will benefit all Americans and the world at large.

  • EricF

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hSnEMV58F8

    priceless. do you really want this guy as POTUS?

    its over.

    Khalidi tape coming soon. you betcha!

    game over.

    has any major party candidate ever lost every state before? pfffffffffffft!

  • susan

    I can`t believe what I read on this site either.The world has endorsed Obama,The Kennedys,The Clintons,Every Senator,Could they all be douped by him?He will not only be a fine leader for America,but the world over!

  • susan

    It is a sad day when some of the American people would allow their own country to crash and burn,which will happen under a McCain/Palin ticket,rather than vote in a Brown Man!

  • EricF

    susan, the race card is dead. give it up. it has nothing to do with his skin color. it has everything to do with his policies and poor choice in friends. yes some important people endorsed him but they were swept up in the hype and didnt have all the facts. look at everything thats coming out now. you will see dems jump ship really soon. you can bank on it.

  • Pats

    Did you see the empty seats in first clip above? Where are McCain’s supporters to fill them? Even Bill Mccall turned his poster upside down. It seems as if everything in the McCain camp is turning upside down

  • EricF

    looked packed to me. are you a paid blogger? lol.

  • susan

    Excellent! How about Sarah Palins friends in Alaska,the seperatives,the ones who would rather burn in hell than be buried in America,I have seen alot of distorted videos on You Tube also,I find them rather comical as I do anyone who believes them.And no,I don`t believe the colour issue is over,but I do think McCains campain is.Thank Christ!

  • EricF

    susan you are clueless. its over for Obama.

  • susan

    Not according to the AP and every major network,where do you live? Alaska`s biggest newspaper endorsed Obama.Maybe you should go to myobarakobama.com or turn on the news.It is all over but the crying for McCain/Palin

  • EricF

    sure susan a newspaper endorsed Obama so it must be over. do you think before typing? sorry but i dont subscribe to the main stream Obama media. in fact hardly anyone does. FOX news is the only major network reporting the facts. every other media outlet is in the tank for Obama. the American people are in the tank for McCain/Palin because he has better, much better policies. you tell me who you think will win.

    its over.

    game over.

  • susan

    Well there is no point in continuing this conversation until Nov 4th,the day Obama wins a by a landslide,Oh and by the way,Have a little more respect for your incoming President.You are a disturbed person who needs therapy.Perhaps Obama`s health care plan will help pay for it.

  • susan

    One last comment to Miss Disturbed,The Obama campain has raised 605 million in donations by the American people who will never vote for him?,McCains campain was financed by tax payers money and rich corporations who he intends to rub backs with like Bush.No contest who will win.

  • EricF

    yawn

  • Babs

    For the life of me, I’ve missed a comment by a “Miss Disturbed”. Was she talking to herself?

  • Stalin

    Susan:

    I thought I told you to go play with your Hello Kitty doll.

  • EricF

    hey Babs you should do a commentary on P.U.M.A and how they could sway the election in McCains favor.

    heres some links…

    http://www.puma08.com/

    http://www.hillaryclintonforum.net/discussion/

  • Pats

    I don’t need to be paid to point out a candidate’s weakness. If you did not see the empty seats at the beginning of the clip, I’ll offer you lens.

  • Sunny

    EricF
    I’m with you….and as far as Obama raising $605 million….that was after he broke his PROMISE. Amazingly, Campbell Brown at CNN wrote a story about that just today.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/28/campbell.brown.obama/index.html

    And she is NOT a McCain fan at all. Truth is, without those contributions, he would not have gotten this far. After reading the the article attached to the following I seriously wonder where the bulk of his money came from.

    http://nalert.blogspot.com/2008/02/obamas-elected-illinois-democratic.html

    He is a very highly educated man that’s for sure, however
    he’s just a lawyer turned politician like all the rest nothing more, nothing less.

  • JD

    ASSOCIATED PRESS/GFK: Obama up in six battleground states — double digits in Pennsylvania and Nevada — and tied in Florida, North Carolina.

    New Hampshire (+18)
    Pennsylvania (+12)
    Nevada (+12)
    Colorado (+9)
    Virginia (+7)
    Ohio (+7)

    Tied with MCCAIN in North Carolina, Florida.

    http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1854609,00.html

    QUINNIPIAC: Shows Obama with a wide lead in Pennsylvania, Ohio. Race too close to call in Florida.

    FLORIDA: Obama 47, McCain 45

    OHIO: Obama 51, McCain 42

    PENNSYLVANIA: Obama 53, McCain 41

    Dates conducted: Oct. 22-26. Error margin: Ranges 2.6-2.7 points

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x2882.xml?ReleaseID=1224

  • Stalin

    JD:

    If Obama has such a wide lead in PA, why is he spending so much time there?

  • JD

    Stalin,

    It is because it is a battleground state. Personally, almost everyone I know from PA say that the state is going to go blue like it has since 1992.

    Not to mention PA is one of the states who has been hit harder than others during this economic downturn.

    Still, let me be clear. I did not say that Barack is going to win it. I just posted up the latest poll numbers in case anyone was interested. This is still a news site isn’t it?

    Now onto my personal opinion. Why is Obama campaigning there? I think this is in play heavily with the fact that McCainPalin so desperately need the state and so it is in ObamaBiden interest to keep the McCainPalin ticket occupied in PA while hitting the other GOP states.

    If Obama let up than McCainPalin could spend more time defending other states from Obama. This is a campaign strategy.

    Now, I wish we just went off of the popular vote so that we wouldn’t have this kind of certain states only getting the attention.

    But lets be clear that most of the moves the campaigns are making now are strategic. Presidential election are like chess and that is probably why I love this as much as I do.

    I believe people will be talking about the Obama strategy and implementing a lot of what he has done in the elections to come.

  • EricF

    JD theres only one poll that counts and thats on election day. i dont care what polls say we all know McCain is up, we all know the polls are slanted. its over. nothing you say will change that. Obama lost when the redistribute the wealth tape came out. its over. get used to it.

    game over.

  • Babs

    PA’s internal polls from both camps show the race there within 2 points. Don’t forget, PA is the state full of bitter, gun totin’, bible clinging, rednecks and racists who have antipathy against anyone who is not like them.

    Anyone who thinks PA isn’t in play is an idiot.

  • EricF
  • JD

    Babs – “Anyone who thinks PA isn’t in play is an idiot”

    Chalk me up as an idiot but I know you already have along time ago. 🙂

    I believe whole heartedly that PA will go blue in the election. It has done this twice (and not by small margins) with bush jr. in office and I don’t think they are going to want more of the same.

    We will see on election day if you calling me an idiot is true or if you are are just being rude and calling people with different opinions, idiots.

    Either way, name calling is about all that the GOP has left.

  • EricF

    yeah im hearing FOX news is about to PWN Obama 😛

  • Babs

    Ok, EricF, what does PWN mean?

  • EricF

    Babs, use google 😛

  • Babs

    Oh geez, one of those. 😉

    Gotcha. Professional Woman’s Network 😉

  • EricF

    Obama just made it official. “rich” just dropped from 250 to 200 thousand. wonder what it will be next week. lol.

  • OBAMA_SUCKS

    I love how liberals just play the race card every single day.

  • EricF

    this infomercial is the phoniest thing i have ever seen in all my life. wow!

  • O_S most liberals don’t play the race card, but those that do don’t make a convincing case anymore.

    How is the infomercial phony Eric? Had McCains campaign not blown half its budget on fitting out Palin, then perhaps they could have done one.