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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MI, MN, WI: Q-Poll shows Obama with slight leads

2:56 PM

The results of the latest poll from Quinnipiac University:

MICHIGAN: Obama 48 - McCain 44
MINNESOTA: Obama 47 - McCain 45
WISCONSIN: Obama 49 - McCain 42

From the poll press release:
By 19-24 point margins, voters in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin say Democrat Barack Obama, not Republican John McCain, is the candidate of change, helping lift Sen. Obama into the lead in these battleground states, according to four simultaneous Quinnipiac University polls of likely voters in these battleground states, conducted in partnership with The Wall Street Journal and and released today.

More voters in each state also would rather see Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Biden become President, even though voters in each state say Sen. McCain's selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as running mate is a good choice.

Sen. Obama has double-digit leads among women in every state except Minnesota, where his six-point lead leaves him with only a two-point edge among all voters.


Friday, September 19, 2008

ALL: Big 10 Battleground Poll shows tight state races

10:51 AM

A new survey of registered voters in states with Big 10 universities shows a series of tight races across the Midwest.

From the poll press release:
The surveys show a tight race in all of the Big Ten states except for Obama's home state of Illinois, where he holds a 16-point lead over McCain. The two candidates are tied in Iowa and Pennsylvania, and Obama has just a one-point lead in Ohio and Wisconsin. McCain is ahead in just one state -- Indiana -- where he leads by 4 percentage points.

"The close margins in the vast majority of states show that whatever the effects were immediately after the national party conventions, these states have moved back to a highly competitive status, with neither candidate having a clear lead, except in Illinois," said [UW-Madison political science professor Charles] Franklin, co-developer of
The individual state results, which are all based on surveys of at least 600 registered voters and include "leaners":

Illinois: Obama 52.9%, McCain 37.0% Indiana: McCain 46.7%, Obama 43.2% Iowa: Obama 44.8%, McCain 44.8% Michigan: Obama 47.8%, McCain 43.8% Minnesota: Obama 47.3%, McCain 44.5% Ohio: Obama 45.6%, McCain 45.1% Pennsylvania: Obama 45.0%, McCain 44.6% Wisconsin: Obama 45.2%, McCain 44.3%


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

IA, MI, MN, OH, WI: $5.2M in prez ad spending in week after RNC

5:58 PM

A new TV advertising analysis from the Wisconsin Advertising Project shows the campaigns of John McCain and Barack Obama have spent more than $5.2 million on ads in states in the week following the Republican National Convention.

The analysis, conducted using data from TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG, showed McCain outspending Obama in those states $2.88 million to $2.35 million between Sept. 6 and Sept. 13. McCain outspent Obama in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin; Obama outpaced McCain in Michigan.

Nationwide since the convention the analysis said the two campaigns have combined to spend more than $15.5 million on TV ads, including $8 million in 10 top battleground states.
TOTAL$2.88 million$2.35 million

Read the full analysis


MI, OH, WI, MN, IL: Obama proposes $5B trust fund for Great Lakes cleanup

12:19 PM

From the Associated Press:
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is calling for a $5 billion trust fund for Great Lakes cleanup and restoration as he focuses on states critical to winning the White House.

The fund, to be phased in over 10 years, would be the centerpiece of a plan that also calls for a coordinator to oversee Greats Lakes programs and would step up the fight against invasive species.

Obama's campaign announced the plan in a telephone conference call featuring Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, chairman of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.
Read the Obama campaign's press release

Read the Obama campaign's fact sheet


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

IA, OH: EMILY's List backs 2 'emerging' House candidates

6:26 PM

Democrats Becky Greenwald of Iowa and Sharen Neuhardt of Ohio now have the backing of one of the largest political action committees in the nation. EMILY'S List, a PAC that helps to elect pro-choice Democratic women, today announced its endorsement of Greenwald, who's running against U.S. Rep. Tom Latham in Iowa's 4th Congressional District and Neuhardt, who's running against Republican Steve Austria in Ohio's 7th District. Neuhardt and Austria are competing to replace retiring GOP incumbent Dave Hobson.

"Hailing from the swing states of Iowa and Ohio, these exceptional candidates have the passion and experience to tackle the real problems facing their districts," said Ellen R. Malcolm, president of EMILY's List. "Their backgrounds and leadership will be valued assets in the upcoming freshman class in Congress. EMILY's List members are proud to support these Democratic women and help elect them to the United States House in November."

Read the EMILY's List press release for more


Monday, September 15, 2008

OH, MI, IA, WI: SEIU airing pro-Obama ad

11:57 AM

The nation's largest health care union has released a new pro-Obama television ad that is airing in six battleground states, including four states covered by

The Service Employees International Union, which represents 2 million working people and 50,000 retirees, announced Sunday that it is spending more than $2 million on the new television ad campaign that focuses on what's at stake economically for millions of American families in the upcoming presidential election.

The ad, titled "Family," features a mother talking about the strain of trying to provide for her family in an economy defined by higher costs, lower wages, and lost jobs. The ad goes on to detail the stark differences between Barack Obama and John McCain when it comes to jobs and the economy.

The ad is airing in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Mexico, Iowa and Wisconsin.

See video of the ad


Friday, September 12, 2008

MN: Coleman challenged on length of ad disclaimer

11:09 AM

From The Washington Post
Television stations in Minnesota and Oregon are asking the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Communications Commission for advice regarding allegations that Republicans in two Senate races are shortchanging viewers with the brevity of their stand-by-your-ad statements.

The argument is over a matter of seconds, but depending on how the complaints are evaluated, the decision could cost Republican Sens. Norm Coleman (Minn.) and Gordon Smith (Ore.) hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The complaint says the too-short length of the identifier should mean that Coleman has to pay full commercial price for his ad, instead of the cheaper rate given to political candidates. Coleman's campaign called the complaint desperate and a GOP election lawyer says the requested sanction is unlikely.

Read the full Washington Post item for details


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

MN: Franken, Davis cruise in party primaries

3:19 PM

From a analysis by Eric Black
The results of Tuesday's primary contained no surprises in any federal race, by which I mean races for U.S. Senate or U.S. House.

As expected, incumbent Republican Norm Coleman easily dispatched his only challenger, Jack Shepherd, a dentist who lives in Italy and is, I kid you not, a fugitive from justice. ...

DFL-endorsed Senate candidate Al Franken trounced six other candidates for the Democratic ballot position in the general election. The runner-up, attorney Priscilla Lord Faris, made a spirited but hopeless bid (after originally supporting Franken and contributing to his campaign), based on the argument that Franken's negatives would make it impossible to beat Coleman. ...

What might have been the closest race – the Republican contest in the 1st Congressional District – also turned into a no-contest. The Mayo Clinic's Dr. Brian Davis of Rochester easily bested state Sen. Dick Day of Owatonna. Because of his prominence in the state Senate, Day started out with name advantages. But Davis was the Republican endorsee and, as usual in such cases, that proved to be an overwhelming advantage.
Read Black's full analysis for more from Minnesota's primary.

MinnPost columnist Doug Grow also wrote about the results, saying that the 30 percent showing by primary rival Priscilla Lord Faris could be a problem for Franken:
As the night wore on, Lord Faris, unknown, underfinanced and ignored by Franken and the media, was running in the 30 percent range.

What might this woman, who jumped into the race seven weeks ago, have done if anyone had taken her seriously? ...

When she got into the race, Lord Faris said she personally liked Franken. She's even given him some money.

But after seeing stories about some of his crude "satire," she decided to run. She's more convinced than ever that Franken is a flawed candidate. She doesn't sound as if she likes him so much anymore, though she said she'd never support Coleman.


WI: Sensenbrenner easily wins primary; Barca returns to politics

11:12 AM

U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner said his victory in today's GOP primary proves the district appreciates the kind of representation he provides, and he has no plans to retire any time soon.

"I think that the results show that if you tell it as it is, you don't try to spin things, you keep in touch with the people, the voters will respond," said Sensenbrenner, who will be unopposed in November.

Sensenbrenner said he has no plans to change how he's represented the district, and while he takes the job "two years at a time," he's just as vigorous and active as he was when he was first elected three decades ago.
Wisconsin's primary also saw Peter Barca return to state politics as he won a Democratic primary for a state Assembly seat that has no Republican opposition in November. Barca had represented the Kenosha area in the state Assembly for eight years when he won a 1993 special election to the U.S. House. He replaced Les Aspin, who was picked by President Bill Clinton to become defense secretary. After winning the special election in 1993, Barca lost to Republican Mark Neumann in the 1994 race.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

MN: Primary today for Franken, U.S. House candidates

1:30 PM

In Minnesota the candidates endorsed during summertime party conventions often see their opposition drop away shortly afterwards. But a pair of congressional races are seeing more than the usual level of opposition today.

Observers think Dem Al Franken will coast through his U.S. Senate primary -- none of his recent TV ads have focused on his fellow Dems and national groups who have focused on the race have treated him as the de facto nominee.

But he is facing six other Dems today, most visibly attorney Priscilla Lord Faris, who has been on the air with TV and radio ads critical of Franken's work as a comedian and his time spent living outside of Minnesota.

"I just wish that Franken would have had the respect to have debated me. You know we always debate in the primaries, but he refused to even acknowledge my presence, and I'm a little insulted by that," Lord Faris said to Minnesota Public Radio.

There's also a seven-way primary to determine the Independence Party's candidate in the Senate race. The top candidate in that race is thought to be Dean Barkley, a former adviser to former Gov. Jesse Ventura who served as the state's interim senator after Paul Wellstone died in 2002.

The other congressional primary that state politicos are keeping an eye on is the Republican race between the party-endorsed Brian Davis and state Sen. Dick Day. The winner will take on first-term Dem Tim Walz.


WI: State senator takes on Sensenbrenner's primary opponent

10:57 AM

Wisconsin's primary election is today and long-time GOP incumbent F. James Sensenbrenner is getting a challenge from history professor Jim Burkee.

A conservative state senator from the district today authored a letter to the editor taking on Burkee.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, is urging his conservative and libertarian friends to re-think their decision to support Jim Burkee in today's GOP primary against U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

The conservative Boots & Sabers blog posted a letter from Grothman today in which the state senator takes a series of shots at Burkee, who he says has been inconsistent in the positions he's taken during the course of the campaign.
See the Election Blog for more on Wisconsin's primary.


Monday, September 8, 2008

WI: Biden visits as NBC moves state from 'lean Obama' to 'toss-up'

5:54 PM

NBC's political team has released its latest look at the state of the electoral map, shifting Wisconsin in the direction of John McCain by moving it from the "lean Obama" category to "toss-up."

NBC ranks the states as follows:

Likely Obama: IL
Lean Obama: IA, MN
Toss-up: MI, OH, WI

See more from NBC's First Read

Meanwhile Dem VP nominee Joe Biden visited Green Bay today, stressing his middle-class upbringing, his ties to the Roman Catholic church and his appreciation of the Green Bay Packers in this blue-collar, heavily Catholic region of the state.

Read WisPolitics coverage of the visit


Friday, September 5, 2008

WI, MI: McCain, Palin promise reform in Wis., Mich.

8:49 PM

CEDARBURG -- Republican presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, promised today to bring a message of hope and confidence to small-town America in the coming months.

Looking out over a crowd of several thousand who packed a three-way intersection lined with quaint, early-American style shops, McCain said the "turnout in Cedarburg is what this campaign is all about."

"We're going to go across the small towns of America and we're going to give them hope, we're going to give them confidence, and we will bring about change in Washington, D.C.," McCain said to cheers.

This was McCain and Palin's his first appearance since he accepted the Republican nomination last night at the party's national convention in St. Paul, Minn.
Read the full article

Following their morning visit, McCain and Palin's stopped in Sterling Heights, Mich., where McCain said he and Palin would "shake up Washington."

From CNN
STERLING HEIGHTS, Michigan (CNN) -- At a large rally in Michigan on Friday, his first day campaigning after accepting the Republican presidential nomination, John McCain promised to upend the Washington status quo, arguing that the Democratic ticket doesn't have the chops to do so.

"That's why this ticket is the ticket to shake up Washington, because Sen. Obama doesn't have the strength to do it," McCain said. "He has never bucked his party on any issue. Never. If you want real reform, if you want real change, send the one's who've actually done it. Send the team of mavericks who aren't afraid to go to Washington and break some china."
Read the full article


Thursday, September 4, 2008

MI: Rep. Kilpatrick supports son's decision to resign, plead guilty

7:14 PM

From the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, with a heavy heart, said she supported her son Kwame Kilpatrick's decision Thursday to resign as Detroit mayor and plead guilty to felony charges.

Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, thanked "all those who have encouraged the mayor and our family with your prayers, cards and other expressions of support."

"While my heart is heavy, I support Mayor Kilpatrick's decision to do what he believes is best for his family, our family, and the citizens of Detroit," she said in a statement.
See the full article at


WI: Feingold says hard to think of Lieberman as Dem these days

12:44 PM

From the GOP National Convention Blog
U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold said it's going to be hard for Joe Lieberman to maintain his role in the Democratic caucus if he continues to support John McCain the way he has so far, including last night's speech at the Republican National Convention.

"It is kind of hard to think of him as a Democrat these days," said Feingold, who was in Madison to announce legislation to expand federal funding for small businesses that he plans to introduce.

Feingold also told reporters McCain is "a very, very conservative man who does not focus very much on the day-to-day needs of American families."

"That doesn't mean he's a bad guy," Feingold said. "I think he's a good guy, but he's not focused on this enormous pressure that American families are feeling, and that is what the test should be for the next president."
Read the rest of the item


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

OH: Obama focuses on equal pay, faults GOP on economy in Ohio stop

7:36 PM

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama hit McCain and his running mate on opposing equal pay legislation during a campaign stop in New Philadelphia, Ohio that focused on women's issues.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama criticized Republican John McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for not supporting equal pay legislation that would guarantee women the same paycheck as men when they perform the same work.

"These are the type of fights we need to engage in," Obama said at a small rally in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Obama made no other mention of Palin, who addresses the Republican National Convention in St. Paul this evening. He claimed Palin believes equal pay provisions are not necessary because the pay difference can be attributed to the difference in education.

"The facts are not on their side," he said.
Read the full article

Obama also criticized speakers at the Republican National Convention, accusing them of ignoring the economy in their speeches last night.

The Obama campaign released this video snippet of his visit:


OH, MI: McCain, RNC ad hits Obama, Senate Dems on offshore drilling

6:38 PM

Joint McCain campaign and RNC ads running in Michigan and Ohio suggest Barack Obama and "Congressional liberals" are standing in the way of economic recovery by opposing expanded offshore drilling.


MN, IA: CNN pegs Minn., Iowa for Obama

5:38 PM

From CNN:
Based in part on newly released public opinion surveys, CNN has now re-classified the states of Minnesota (10 electoral votes) and Iowa (7 electoral votes) as states leaning in favor of Obama. Both states were previously categorized as toss-ups. If the election were held today, CNN currently projects that Obama would carry 19 states and the District of Columbia, for a combined total of 243 electoral votes. McCain would carry 23 states worth a combined total of 189 electoral votes.

Eight states worth a combined 106 electoral votes remain in CNN's tossup column.
See the complete item here.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

IA, MN, MI, OH, WI: McCain and RNC launch joint television ad

4:21 PM

A new ad from the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee declares that Barack Obama and congressional leaders are ready to tax and spend, but not ready to lead.

"Take away the crowd, the chant, all that's left are costly words," a narrator says to dark images of an Obama Rally in the 30-second spot.

"Barack Obama and out of touch congressional leaders have expensive plans, billions in new government spending, years of deficits, no balanced budgets and painful tax increases on working American families," the narrator continues as images of Democratic Congressional leaders fade unto the screen."They're ready to tax, ready to spend, but not ready to lead."

The ad is running in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia.


MN: Coleman leads in cash on hand, trails Franken in donations, spending

12:48 PM

From CQ Politics:
The most watched contest in Minnesota - and possibly in the country, other than the presidential race - is the Senate race: first-term Republican Sen. Norm Coleman is facing a strong challenge by former comedian and satirist Al Franken. Coleman reported raising $12.7 million as of Aug. 20 and had $5.6 million on hand while Franken reported raising $13.1 million and had $2.4 million on hand.
See the full CQ Politics item here

Late Democratic entrant Priscilla Lord Faris, who announced her candidacy in July, did not have finance data available through the FEC database. According to the Southwest Review News, Faris raised about $37,000 and contributed $55,000 to her own campaign. The article says her goal is to raise $250,000 before the Sept. 9 primary.


MN, WI: McCain, Palin to stop in Cedarburg Friday

12:18 PM

John McCain and Sarah Palin will make their first post-convention stop in Cedarburg, Wis. Friday, Wisconsin state GOP Chair Reince Priebus said this morning.

Priebus, who announced the stop to state delegates during a breakfast at the national convention in St. Paul, said he didn't have full details yet. But early word out of the McCain campaign was that it would start about 10 a.m. in the community north of Milwaukee on its Main Street.

"It's obviously goes to show you where Wisconsin is on their map," Priebus said. "I think Wisconsin is the bulls eye for them. If McCain wins Wisconsin, he wins the presidency."

-- By JR Ross
See this and other convention news at the WisPolitics GOP Convention Blog


WI: Obama says no red states, blue states in times of need

9:00 AM

There are no political parties in times of need, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama told a crowd along Milwaukee's lakefront Monday, largely avoiding political themes as Hurricane Gustav battered the Gulf Coast.

"In times of need, there are no red states or blue states," Obama said, bringing the crowd to its feet. "There is the United States of America."

Obama's speech, his second stop in Wisconsin in just more than a week, was billed as a rally for America's workers when first announced. But Obama instead called for a spirit of ongoing national unity during a campaign stop at the close of LaborFest.

Obama called upon Americans to carry the spirit of national unity found during times of calamity to and use it to help not only those suffering due to Gustav, but those suffering from "quiet storms," such as the loss of a job, economic uncertainty, living without health care, being unable to afford college or growing up in inner cities without hope.

"All across America there are quiet storms taking place," Obama said. "There are lives in quiet desperation, people in need of just a little help."

Obama said that although Americans are independent, they know that problems can happen to themselves or others at any time.

"What has always made this country great is the understanding that we rise and fall as one nation," Obama said. "The spirit that we extend today and in the days to come as we monitor what happens on the gulf, that's the spirit that we've got to carry with us each and every day. That's the spirit we need in our own homes, and that's the spirit we need in the White House."
Read the full item

Listen to audio of Obama's speech


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