It's apparently not only the case that Sarah Palin's numbers are tanking nationwide. According to Palin's own husband, her numbers have been falling precipitously in Alaska as well.
Consider something else when judging whether she's a good team player: Todd told me that the presidential campaign has torpedoed Palin's once stratospheric approval rating in Alaska. It's down 20 points since she's assumed the partisan pit bull role.
It's not necessarily the case that Palin's numbers are bad, per se, because they're not. They are, in fact, fairly good. According to Research 2000 polling commissioned by Daily Kos about two weeks ago, Palin's home state approval rating stood at 60 percent, with 35 percent disapproving, and 63 percent of likely voters viewed the Governor favorably, compared with 43 34 percent viewing her unfavorably.
Yet as Todd Palin noted, these numbers represented at least a drop of 20 points for Palin. What's more, even more recent polling indicates that the McCain-Palin ticket leads the Obama-Biden ticket in Alaska by an unremarkably 53 percent to 42 percent margin -- significantly narrower than the 61 percent to 36 percent margin by which George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in the state in 2004. Throw on top of this the fact that nationwide more voters view Palin unfavorably than view her favorably, as well as new polling showing her trailing both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee in a hypothetical 2012 Republican primary (in the event of a John McCain loss in a week), and you can see that the luster has come off Palin, to put it lightly.
In the midst of a mad dash toward the election, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama will make time Wednesday to appear on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" with its host, Jon Stewart.
These interviews represent one half of what appears to be a broader strategy by both Barack Obama and his campaign to shape the establishment media environment, in this case by rewarding and bolstering the nascent progressive big media. Josh has detailed the other half of this effort -- marginalizing the conservative media, in general, and Fox News specifically -- most recently here and here.
But the move by Obama to reach out to both Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart is equally important as the shunning of Fox. For one, it indicates that he is not of the mentality that the campaign is just about reaching the middle (or even futilely to the right), to the detriment of speaking to the base. The implications of this down the road are quite obvious (in the event of an Obama victory in one week), as if Obama campaigns in this manner it's much more likely that he will govern in this manner. Indeed, if this media strategy is an omen for what would be to come in an Obama administration, we might see a flourishing of the progressive media -- for which, by the bye, there is a real market judging from the ratings (yesterday Maddow and Keith Olbermann both won their time slot among the key advertising demographic, topping "Hannity and Colmes" and Bill O'Reilly, respectively, among viewers between the ages of 25 and 54).
Today's Battleground tracker (.pdf) has shown no movement in the past couple of days, with Barack Obama maintaining a 49 percent to 46 percent lead over John McCain, while Pew polling gives Obama a 53 percent to 38 percent lead among likelies, roughly the same as a week ago. But regardless of whether Obama is up 3 points, 15 points, or about 6 points, it's important not to get complacent.
We are 7 days out from election day. What are you doing to help enact progressive change in this country?
Yesterday I pointed to Rasmussen Reports polling showing John McCain leading Barack Obama by a mere 5 points -- 51 percent to 46 percent -- in Arizona. This survey came on the heels of two more recent Democratic polls showing McCain under 50 percent and leading by just 2 and 4 points. Now comes word that GOP polling shows largely the same result, and a forthcoming nonpartisan survey might not be too far off, either.
More disturbingly for Republicans, at least one internal Republican poll conducted toward the end of the week showed McCain clinging to a tiny 3-point lead. McCain is tied in Maricopa County, usually seen as a death knell for any statewide Republican candidate, but he makes up the difference with a strong performance in the northern part of the state.
Bruce Merrill, a political scientist who conducts the nonpartisan Cronkite/Eight poll for Arizona State University, told the Arizona Daily Star he expects his next poll to show a narrower advantage for McCain than his last survey. That survey, conducted during the final week of September, showed McCain leading by seven points, already a slim margin for a candidate's home state. Merrill's poll was being conducted over the weekend.
The last few days I have posited that it likely would not be worth it for the Obama campaign to go into Arizona this late in the process. But the more data I have seen quite unanimously showing the race in Arizona to be in the low single-digits, it might actually be worth it -- if the resources permitted it -- to spend a few hundred thousand dollars in late advertising in the state. Again, resources permitting, the upside is fairly high -- 10 electoral votes -- while the downside (a few hundred thousand dollars) isn't nearly as high. Yes, Obama's national advertising, including the 30-minute spot that will run on the major networks (including Univision), will saturate the state. But a targeted television buy in the state could just put Arizona genuinely in play one week from election day.
News was a month ago that the Obama campaign would be pulling out of North Dakota, yet the polling in the time since has actually shown Obama leading in the state, which George W. Bush won by more than 20 points in 2004 and in which no Democrat in the last 30 years has received more than 43 percent of the vote. But with the map still actually expanding, the Democrats are not giving up on the state.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is scheduled in Grand Forks Nov. 1 for a get-out-the-vote rally.
State Democratic Executive Director Jamie Selzler says officials are still working on the site and other details. Dean's visit comes three days before the general election.
The three North Dakota polls in the field this month each show Obama either leading or tied with John McCain, though not yet crossing the 45 percent threshold. Specifically, Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos (10/14-15) showed a 45 percent to 45 percent draw, a poll commissioned by the United Transportation Union (10/13-14) found Obama leading 44 percent to 41 percent, and a Minnesota State University Moorhead poll (10/6-8) pegged the race at Obama 45 percent, McCain 43 percent. In short, even with the Obama campaign ramping down its efforts in the state, Obama still has a decent shot at earning its 3 electoral votes. And with Howard Dean rallying the troops three days out from election day, perhaps Obama might be able to sneak away with a narrow victory in the state.