Sunday, September 28, 2008

Barack Hits 50%, McCain Mutiny II

In three of the four daily tracking polls that came out today--the first day that debate reaction is figured it (at a third), Obama is at 50%: an 8 point lead in Gallup, 7 in Research 2000, 6 in Rasmussen. He has a 5 point lead in the Hotline poll.

A couple of newer polls confirm that Obama won the debate. This one from the LA Times has this great internal: The difference is even more pronounced among debate watchers who were not firmly committed to a candidate: 44% said they believed Obama looked more presidential, whereas 16% gave McCain the advantage.

McCain Mutiny continued: Newsweek adding even more: The McCain campaign told reporters the fees were irrelevant because Davis "separated from his consulting firm … in 2006," according to the campaign's Web site, and he stopped drawing a salary from it. In fact, however, when Davis joined the campaign in January 2007, he asked that his $20,000-a-month salary be paid directly to Davis Manafort, two sources who asked not to be identified discussing internal campaign business told NEWSWEEK. Federal campaign records show the McCain campaign paid Davis Manafort $90,000 through July 2007, when a cash crunch prompted Davis and other top campaign officials to forgo their salaries and work as volunteers. Separately, another entity created and partly owned by Davis—an Internet firm called 3eDC, whose address was the same office building as Davis Manafort's—received payments from the McCain campaign for Web services, collecting $971,860 through March 2008.

One senior McCain adviser said the entire flap could have been avoided if the campaign had resisted attacking Barack Obama for his ties to two former Fannie Mae executives, which prompted the media to take a second look at Davis. "It was stupid," the adviser said. "A serious miscalculation and an amateurish move.

The AP does Palin: Though Sarah Palin depicts herself as a pit bull fighting good-old-boy politics, in her years as mayor she and her friends received special benefits more typical of small-town politics as usual, an Associated Press investigation shows."

Meanwhile, John McCain was supposed to do ABC's "This Week" this morning as a town hall meeting in Ohio with independent voters. But he cancelled the town hall--although without notifying a lot of the attendees, who showed up, went through security, only to be then told it was cancelled. McCain did an interview instead, which Obama partisans at least thought did not go well (this link has video.)

So to review, Frank Rich sums up the McCain-Palin week of disaster.

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