Candidate Tracker

There's nothing that tells you more about which states are being targeted as 'high priority' than where the Presidential candidate is going. I'm going to continue to focus solely upon the Presidential candidates, and not the VP's in their visits (on that VP note, news out that Palin plans on doing 30 fundraisers over the next 60 days, and McCain only doing 4). That's probably then not going to give the full picture, but it'll do the job. Also, because the WaPosts candidate tracker is only doing the Pres. candidates.

Here's the third installment (previous) of looking at where the candidate have spent their days in the last months (where they do public events):

Here was 6/5-7/5
2 visits: MO, OH, MI, NH
1 visit: CO, ND, MT, MN, NV, NM, FL, WI, VA, PA

3 visits: FL, PA
2 visits: LA, VA, OH
1 visit: NH, CT, NJ, MO, MN, NV

Here was 7/5-8/5            


3 visits: MO
2 visits: OH, VA, NY, GA  
1 visit: MI, FL, IA, NC, CA, IN


3 visits: OH, CO, WI
2 visits: PA, NH, MO, CA, ME  
1 visit: SD, FL, VA, MI, NV, NM, LA, NY

Here is 8/5-9/5


2 visits: CO, PA, VA
1 visit: HI, MN, IN, WI, OH, MN, MT, MO, IA, IL, FL, NC, NM, NV, CA


4 visits: OH, PA
2 visits: MI, CA, MN
1 visit: IA, CO, FL, LA, NM, MO, AZ, WI

The main reason for the disparity between Obama and McCain, is that Obama went 9 days, from visiting MN on 7/7 to NV on 7/17, without visiting a battleground state. Meanwhile, McCain camped out in OH and PA. Similarly, during the previous month, Obama had 10 days less, due to his global trip and a short vacation. But Obama also has campaigned harder when he's on the trail, while McCain consistently takes time off during the week, so it pretty much evens out.

Over the past month, Obama had 13 visits in '04 red states and 7 visits to blue states. That 13:7 ratio is off the aggressive one done last month, at 13:4, but better than the 11:7 ratio in the month prior.

Obama remains consistent in being able to be more aggressive in campaign visits. In fact, he had public visits to 18 states, vs the 13 for McCain, even though he had one less visit over all in the past month, 21, vs 22 for McCain.

McCain had 9 visits to '04 blue states and 13 to red states. A 9:13 ratio that is his least aggressive of the past three months (13:14 and 7:11 for the prior two months).

McCain remains on the defense. What jumps out is that he didn't visit New Hampshire at all during the last month. He's very much narrowed his focus of blue states to the midwest, and specifically to Pennsylvania and Michigan.  McCain still doesn't act as if he's overly concerned about VA or FL flipping to Obama, though he has started buying TV ads in the latter state this week.

It seems to really be coming down to Michigan in the midwest. If McCain can't win there, he has to run the table of the other  6 battleground states (CO, NV, OH, IN, VA, FL), assuming that IA & NM are safely for Obama, and NH is off the table. And there's been a lot happening in MI this week, for another post.

Tags: 2008 (all tags)



track interviews?

Jerome, as long as you are tracking candidate activity, what you you think of tracking candidate appearances at forums in which they are asked questions, such as (a) media interviews, (b) press conferences, (c) citizen forums.  The obvious point is to show how Obama, Biden and McCain are out responding to questions while Palin refuses to put herself into any situation where she might have to answer a question.  I think a nice table of question/answer forum appearances would be very telling: candidate names across the top, dates running down the left, appearances in the table cells.

by Alan 2008-09-06 03:33AM | 0 recs
Are you counting visits from the

candidate's spouses?  I only recall Obama going to NH once for the event with HRC; I recall Michelle Obama going there one other time.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-06 04:03AM | 0 recs
Why is Obama in Newark today?

Is that the Bon Jovi fundraiser?

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-06 04:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

Obama also has Hillary and Bill Clinton as high profile campaigners.

by mo 2008-09-06 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

Indiana is not a battleground state - safely in the McCain column.

Your right about it coming down to Michigan. Obama will easily keep Pennsylvania and McCain Ohio.  Palin will be going from one small town to another in Michigan non-stop and McCain will live in McComb Cty.
Obama will spend his time trying to get Michigan to forget about their now imprisoned Detroit mayor.

by oliver777 2008-09-06 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

What makes you think McCain will keep Ohio? Latest polls at pollster have Obama up by two consistently and gives him a nearly 60% chance of winning the state.

Forget bout the mayor of Detroit.  McCain will have to spend all his time trying to get Michigan, and Ohio, and Indiana to forget about the crappy economy, the unemployment rates, the housing crisis and that he was a part of the Bush administration that brought all this about and voted with Bush 95% of the time.  

It's hard to run against the people currently in power when you are one of them.

by mjshep 2008-09-06 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

Exactly. No matter what McCain says, there is still a big fat R by his name.

McCain is on DEFENSE. Yes, we haven't had any state polls post convention but going into it, McCain was either tied or behind in the crucial states that he needs to win.  I'm sorry but McCain has a very tough road to 270 no matter what the national polls say.  Ohio is truly toss-up with Obama as the slight favor because of the built in structures of the state.

by sweet potato pie 2008-09-06 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

Ummm.... So you are just flat out saying Obama has no chance. In your worldview, then, why is Obama even trying? Clearly if he is only focused on Michigan, he has lost the race. Do you just think he can't do math?

by vcalzone 2008-09-06 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

McCain camp could be lying--what else do they do?-- but right now they say they'll have Palin hitting 30 fundraisers in 60 days.

Doesn't sound like she'll be camped out in the Rust Belt to me. I mean, how much fundraising can she do in Michigan and Ohio?

by Bush Bites 2008-09-06 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

Just wondering if you are counting visits or events. If Obama goes to MI for a day and does 3 events is that counted as one visit?  It may be true that the old fart goes to a state and does one event in a day as opposed to multiple events.

by msw4477 2008-09-06 04:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

Please read and reply. n_el_pr/obama_strategy

by nzubechukwu 2008-09-06 05:01AM | 0 recs
I really hope the AP writers

are full of shit when they seem to cite sources from the campaign saying that their chances in Michigan and PA are "iffy."  I hope the authors of this article just made that up and attributed the thoughts to unnamed Obama sources.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-06 05:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Iffy AP stuff

Yeah, if Obama is found in bed with Kwame in Michigan or with Teresa Heinz in Pennsylvania, those states could be iffy. Otheriwse, I guess an Obama campaign insider could say that those two states seem to be McSame's top targets so that makes them sort of iffy as in "worth watching just in case" unlike, say, New York or Illinois.

I was disappointed to see in the article that Obama has stopped advertising in Georgia. I know that was the longest shot on his list but rarely can a campaign retreat its way into a victory.

Of course, we'd been hoping that the Obama campaign in GA would help Jim Martin take back the Senate seat that Shameless Saxby Chambliss took from war hero Max Cleland. We seemed more likely to win the Senate race than the Electoral Votes.

But perhaps the DSCC concluded that a strong media effort by that "uppity" Obama was hurting the Jim Martin campaign with potential white voters. In that case this move could be a strategic retreat from the air war only, without quitting the crucial ground game of registering new voters and getting Obama -- and Martin -- supporters to the polls.

And maybe they will move the money from the pricey Atlanta media market and put it into West Virginia TV and help on the weak Southeastern flank of the Ohio campaign. That way they could aggressively add WVa to the list of battleground states and still have some money left over to use elsewhere.

by Woody 2008-09-06 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: I really hope the AP writers

If anybody in the campaign really said that, I'm sure there's some gamesmanship going on.

by Bush Bites 2008-09-06 09:42AM | 0 recs
Poorly Written Article

That article was all over the place and just poorly constructed.  I do not believe Obama's chances are iffy at all in PA. He has yet to be ahead by less than five points there. PA is not going to be a swing state this year.

Michigan is going to be close but right now Obama has been leading in the Detroit area by 80-20 or something. Kerry won led in Detroit by 60-20 or something and won the state by 4-5 points. Obama is also tying in the surrounding suburbs so McCain can spend all the money he wants there but unless he runs the margins outside of Detroit and improves in Detroit he is just not going to win.

Obama is still holding steady in Detroit despite Kilpatrick so I have a hard time believing that Obama is going to lose Michigan given that Kilpatrick is now gone.

by sweet potato pie 2008-09-06 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

We will do our best in Michigan.  

Based on highly-anecdotal accounts from my conversations with AA senior citizens in Detroit, we can anticipate an African American turnout the likes of which we could never have imagined.  Presumably Gov. Palin will help with turnout on the west side.  As always it will come down to Macomb and Oakland counties.  Though my opinion is that we will have a cushion given better performance in Detroit.  My view is that the so-called Reagan Democrats in those two counties have moved considerably to the left given the Bush administration.  I think McCain = Bush and Palin = extreme (maybe) will work in these counties.  The Same ad is in pretty heavy rotation right now.  McCain's "those jobs aren't coming back" should help (the objective here is to win); after all it did help Romney in the primary, though how much of that was warm feelings for papa I cannot say.

I am reasonably poor but gave 100 to Obama yesterday.  I encourage everyone who can put up some money do so now and if you live in Michigan put in some sweat.

by Trond Jacobsen 2008-09-06 05:16AM | 0 recs
Kirkpatrick stepping down

was good for Obama; I wish Obama had come out more forceful in calling for his resignation.  Though I agree that it's pretty silly that Obama could get tied to Kirkpatrick simply on the basis of color, I thought Kirkpatrick's re-arrest on bail violations provided Obama with enough of rope to throw Kirkpatrick overboard without having it look as if he's throwing him under the bus out of political expedience.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-06 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

Obama will win Michigan. Go look at his margins out of Detroit and compare them to Kerry who won Michigan by only 4 points.  Obama is going to win Michigan. It will be close but he's going to win because of Detroit.

by sweet potato pie 2008-09-06 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

My girlfriend and I spent a weekend canvassing my hometown of 1,500 people in NW Michigan.

Things are a'changin'.

by vann 2008-09-06 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

Changing in what way?

by vcalzone 2008-09-06 11:15AM | 0 recs
Jerome you should really look at

the voter registration totals in many states.

The Dems are swamping the GOP in so many battleground states in terms of new voter registration totals. It's NOT even close.

If it is just a turn-out the base election, the Dems will win by a landslide. 5150/43557/176/588661

by puma 2008-09-06 05:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome you should really look at

What I am interested in is how turnout goes. In Florida, there were more registered Democrats than republicans even in 2004. If the Democrats are more enthusiastic and there is a concentrated GOTV effort that even includes getting MORE Democrats on the roll... we honestly shouldn't be able to lose this.

by vcalzone 2008-09-06 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome you should really look at

I mean, hell, if we win Florida, we can lose every single one of the other battleground states AND Michigan and still come out on top, no? If we get Florida, the war is over.

by vcalzone 2008-09-06 05:40AM | 0 recs
We'd win 270-268

in that scenario; +27 from Florida, +7 from Iowa, and +5 from New Mexico but -17 from Michigan and -4 from New Hampshire in your hypothetical.

Waiting with abated breath for the next Florida polls to be released from PPP, Rasmussen, Quinnipiac, and yes even ARG and Insider Advantage.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-06 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: We'd win 270-268

Got a wrong number text message from someone in New Mexico. I told them to vote Obama, they said vote McCain, I told them fine, but that they really should look up Palin's mayoral record. If we tell more people to do that, we can probably change some minds.

by vcalzone 2008-09-06 05:46AM | 0 recs
We don't have to worry about NM

(at least I hope we don't); there are so many Hispanics in that state, and it's pretty clear that Palin does absolutely nothing to help McCain close that gap (though it's likely that no Republican besides ironically enough Jeb Bush coudl do so) that we'd win the state even if we got hammered among white voters in the state.

With that said, Palin power is in NM today, so McCain hasn't said uncle just yet.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-06 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome you should really look at

Right, looks great, but MI isn't on that list for a reason. I do believe that Obama is focusing more on OH than MI at this point, for a reason, as the article points out

Lots of new voters registered for the state's March primary, and Democrats now enjoy a 900,000-person advantage on state voter rolls. Pennsylvania favors Obama by a million registered Democrats. Michigan doesn't register by political party.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-09-06 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome you should really look at


I agree that about Obama and Ohio. Michigan is going to be close but looking at all the polls Obama has held a slim but steady lead (yes this is pre-conventions but still).

The main reason why I think in the end that MI will go for Obama is his numbers out of Detroit. He is swamping McCain and doing better than Kerry did out of Detroit. He is also holding his own in the suburbs and Kerry won the state by 4 points. If McCain can't cut into Obama's lead in Detroit given that black turnout will be off the charts and he isn't swamping Obama in the suburbs, he cannot win the state.

by sweet potato pie 2008-09-06 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome you should really look at

Obama should just keep running that clip of McCain during the Michigan Primary:

"Your jobs are all gone, my friends. And they're never coming back," or some such.

by Bush Bites 2008-09-06 09:36AM | 0 recs
Speaking of tracking...

...the Rasmussen Tracking Poll is in and Obama GAINED a point since yesterday.

by thezzyzx 2008-09-06 05:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker


Are you counting PA as safe Obama?  I didn't see it in the list of swing states in last paragraph.  If so great news for Obama

by yitbos96bb 2008-09-06 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Candidate Tracker

Yes, for now, but its not based on the polls, most of which are old. This has become a base war, and that favors Obama in PA, but not in MI.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-09-06 08:31AM | 0 recs
My opinion
McCain has FLA, VIRGINIA and OHIO.  He needs to pick up Penn, Michigan OR Colorado + either NM or NV.  That's what I think the election will come down to.  If Obama can hold Penn and Mich (which is completely doable)- then I think McCains path is extremely difficult.  It's great that we can compete in these other states (NC, VA, IN)- but I don't think that in the end we can really WIN them.  I just don't.  Do you remember that this time in 2004 Kerry was AHEAD in TN and tied in Arkansas?!  Crazy.  He was also competitive in MO and VA.  The difference that year was that Bush had a slight Electoral College edge at this point.  Right now Obama has a slight Electoral College edge (by slight I mean he's ahead in many states by the most fragile of percentages).
So interesting.  We will 100% assuredly be staying up all night Nov. 4th watching this squeaker of an election.  I don't know if I can mentally handle it.  I may need to be watching it from an insane asylum.............
by easyE 2008-09-06 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: My opinion

I'm actually going to go out on a limb (a BIG one) and say that I think Obama might get Florida, Virginia and Colorado, but lose Ohio. McCain has an inherent disadvantage in PA, and in MI, once Obama has finished hammering on the economy, it's over (unless the GOP digs up some sort of Kwame Kilpatrick damning footage).

But McCain really energized the Jewish vote with Palin, and I think once the luster has faded, the more moderate Republicans will lose some enthusiasm.

Or I might look like an asshole when the next FL poll comes out.

by vcalzone 2008-09-06 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: My opinion

I agree with you about Obama holding Michigan (see my above comments about Detroit). Although Colorado is tight I think it will go Obama, Virginia(maybe), Iowa and NM are solid Obama.  Not so sure about Ohio but it is definitely doable given the fact that the state is controlled by dems and early voting.

Ohio is the one I wouldn't bet on for Obama. Polls may be close now but McCain is playing far more defense than Obama and he has little room for error despite what the national polls say.

by sweet potato pie 2008-09-06 08:14AM | 0 recs
You and I have both

been pounding this Palin makes Florida a true toss-up narrative for about a week.  At least, I won't look like the only asshole if the Florida polls next week don't show any change.  At least neither of us predicted John Kerry or Tom Daschle to be Obama's veep (at least I don't think you did).

Any thoughts as to how Palin plays in VA?  I don't feel as strongly about predicting how Palin Power will impact VA as I do with Florida but it seems that one of obstacles to Obama actually picking up the state's thirteen electoral college votes was that he wasn't running up Warner-like margins in Northern VA.  McCain was holding him to 65% in the area, whereas he probably needs to get closer to 75-80%.  My guess is that Palin won't play well with the wealthy moderates in Northern VA, though I'm not as confident about this prediction as I am with her impact among Jews, senior citizens, and foreign policy Cubans in Florida.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-06 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: You and I have both

Well, VA has a bunch of military Republicans, no? Quite a few of them might be less than thrilled with Palin when all is said and done. If Obama shows himself to be serious about national security (and makes them believe it), he stands a decent chance (a CHANCE) at winning. I think he'd be more likely to win through moderate voters, heavy AA turnout and either the support or ennui of those pragmatic military officers.

by vcalzone 2008-09-06 08:24AM | 0 recs
Obama was already holding his own

among the heavily military area in the eastern part of the state.  The reason why it's tied in Virginia is that McCain had been holding down Obama's margin in Northern VA and absolutely destroying Obama in rural areas.  I am speculating that Palin cannot help McCain too much in rural Virginia because McCain was already kicking Obama's ass in the state.  I cannot see her doing much for McCain in Northern Va, and perhaps even lifting up Obama's advantage in the area, which is dominated by wealthy moderates.

I'm going to go out on a limb and state that Palin won't help McCain among African-Americans.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-06 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: You and I have both

I actually don't mind being wrong about Biden, he didn't less than he took away from the ticket imo. The best options were Strickland, Warner and possibly Webb.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-09-06 08:34AM | 0 recs
What did you think about our man

at the convention?  I wasn't feeling it but he was sandwiched in between some pretty heavy hitters.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-06 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: What did you think about our man

I thought the narrative and emphasis on the future was right, but you are right about the placement of the keynote. His got earlier and earlier as it went on. They wanted red meat I guess.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-09-06 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: You and I have both

Unfortunately, none of them wanted the job.  Otherwise I think Warner or Strickland would have been Obama's first choices.

by yitbos96bb 2008-09-06 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Sunshine and Buckeys

Why does it ALWAYS come down to Florida and Ohio.  Those two states get so much attention during the General Election.  Florida is going to come down to turnout by the former HRC supporters.  If they come home and support Obama then he has a fighting chance.  On the flip-side it's seems like McCain's people are really confident about their overall chances in the Sunshine state.  Just think for a second, Obama has poured in over 7 million into advertising and at best he's either behind by a few or tied.  Ohio is always interesting.  First just imagine if Kerry flipped 60,000 votes, we would be talking about his re-election chances. Demographics in the south eastern part of the state is such an overwhelming deficit for Obama.  I'm not sure how Palin plays out here.  Really she hasn't done much economically for Alaska other than bank on the states oil revenue.  No matter what happens IMO who ever wins Ohio wins the election

by nzubechukwu 2008-09-06 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Sunshine and Buckeys

Well, 538 points out that it's actually only McCain who has to win Ohio. If he doesn't, he has a near absolute chance of losing. If Obama loses, he's still got a 1 in 3 shot, and as numbers firm up in CO, VA and FL, that number will change, but still reflect that he only has to win about 10 electoral votes to take the election.

by vcalzone 2008-09-06 11:19AM | 0 recs
New Zogby Poll

New Zogby poll out there. D=1548

The GOP team is ahead 50-46%.  

McCain's favorability rating increased from 50% favorable last week to 57% favorable now, a significant jump that indicates the GOP convention was a success. Among independent voters, 61% now have a favorable impression of him, compared to just 49% who said the same a week ago.

Nearly half - 49% - said they had a favorable opinion of Barack Obama, while 50% they had a negative impression of him. Among independent voters, 47% gave him favorable marks, compared to 46% who said the same thing last week.

Among the vice presidential candidates, 54% said they now hold a favorable view of Palin, while 42% hold an unfavorable view. While 49% have a favorable opinion of Joe Biden, 47% hold an unfavorable view of him.


Interestingly, Palin seems to be drawing men, and not independent women:

"Clearly, Palin is helping the McCain ticket. She has high favorability numbers, and has unified the Republican Party. The striking thing here in this poll is that McCain has pulled ahead among Catholics by double-digits. On the other hand, Palin is not helping with likely voting women who are not aligned with either political party. The undecided independent women voters decreased this week from 15% to 7%, but those women went to Obama. Palin is also helping among men, conservatives, notably with suburban and rural voters, and with frequent Wal-Mart shoppers, who tend to be "values" voters who like a good value for their money."

Does this mean Biden is not helping with the Catholic vote?  Also, does this also mean independent women will go with the pro-choice duo, but men find something appealing in Palin?  I don't mean this in a sexist way -- but a lot of men find tough, athletic women very appealing -- women they view as having strength.  I thought all along that Biden was one of the poorer choices Obama could make.

by strongerthandirt 2008-09-07 05:03AM | 0 recs


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