Bill Clinton and Obama Set to Campaign Together for First Time

During the Democratic National Convention, Bill Clinton delivered one of the strongest addresses on Barack Obama's behalf, and in the time since he has hit the hustings on behalf of the Democratic nominee. But now, for the first time, the two men -- the former President and the man hoping to become President -- will campaign side-by-side. Ben Smith has the scoop.

Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Barack Obama will appear together "within the week," a source close to one of the men said.

[...]

"Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Ready to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Barack Obama is ready to be President of the United States," Clinton said in Denver.

But the planned appearance this week -- the source wouldn't say where -- will be their first appearance on the stump together. It's an opportunity to stage another symbolic passing of the party's torch, and to command media attention on one of the dwindling number of days left in the campaign.

No one ever said that Bill Clinton didn't have a good sense of timing. Coming out and stumping the last week of the campaign, and in the process not only helping bring home voters to Obama while also helping Obama own the news cycle for at least a couple of the remaining 10 days of the campaign, is simply huge. This race is not yet over -- far from it. But the more developments like this and the fewer opportunities the McCain campaign has to control the message, the harder it will be for John McCain to grab for 270.

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Obama Strongest Dem Among White Voters Since Carter

We have known for a long while that Barack Obama is on track to peform more strongly among white voters than either John Kerry or Al Gore. Now a new crunching of numbers indicates that Obama may run the strongest within this demographic of any Democrat since Jimmy Carter.

Barack Obama, the first black major party nominee, is positioned to win the largest share of white voters of any Democrat in more than three decades, according to an exclusive Politico analysis of recent Gallup and Pew Research Center polling.

The most recent two weeks of Gallup polling, which includes roughly 13,000 interviews, show 44 percent of non-Hispanic white voters presently support Obama -- the highest number for a Democrat since 47 percent of whites backed Jimmy Carter in 1976.

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No Democrat has won a majority of white voters since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. John McCain has shuffled between 48 percent and 50 percent support in recent weeks -- which would be the lowest share for a Republican candidate in a two-man race since Barry Goldwater's run.

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A Politico breakdown of the Pew polling shows dramatic improvement for Obama among whites since early September on the question of who would do a better job "improving the economy." White women, who last month were split, now believe Obama will do a better job "improving the economy" by a 49 to 35 percent margin. White men, who had favored McCain by 10 points, are now split with 41 percent preferring Obama and 43 percent McCain.

The growth in Obama's share of the white vote cannot be divorced from the growth in his share of the vote of the entire electorate, so the fact that, if the polling holds, Obama would be the first Democrat in 32 years to earn a majority of the popular vote makes it unsurprising that Obama would perform the best of any Democrat among white voters in that same time span. Nevertheless, there was an awful lot of squawking about whether or not Obama could earn the support of white voters -- squawking that at the time I argued was without base -- and these numbers ought to help put that to rest.

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Is Arkansas on the Map?

The Pollster.com trend estimate out of Arkansas has John McCain leading Barack Obama by about 12 points, but could this once blue now red state come back to the Democratic fold in 2008? If Bill Clinton has any say, Arkansas might actually be in play this fall (h/t Ben Smith).

Former President Bill Clinton will join Gov. Mike Beebe, state Democratic Party Chairman David Pryor and former U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers in a series of rallies for Barack Obama this week, the Democratic Party of Arkansas announced Wednesday.

The get-out-the-vote rallies will be held in North Little Rock on Friday and in Pine Bluff and Jonesboro on Saturday. The times and exact locations of the events have not been determined.

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Former Arkansas first lady Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., headlined a rally for Obama in Little Rock on Oct. 10.

Arkansas isn't going to be one of the states to get Obama to 270 electoral votes -- or even 300 or 350, most likely, were he to hit those marks -- but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be a coup for him to prevail in the state, or that it wouldn't matter. George W. Bush was successful in wresting Arkansas out of the Democratic column in 2000, and keeping it red in 2004 (by about 10 points), so it would be no small feat for Obama to bring it into the Democratic column, one that would help Obama make the argument that there is a broad-based mandate for progressive change. So a win in Arkansas is not at all necessary for Obama -- but it wouldn't be a bad thing, either.

Update [2008-10-25 19:47:28 by Jonathan Singer]: As Markos notes in the comments, recent Research 2000 polling he commissioned finds a race that's not so close, 52 percent to 41 percent (pretty much in line with the Pollster.com trend estimate.

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Tracking Poll Update: McCain Back Below 45 Percent

Here are today's numbers:

ObamaMcCain
Diageo/Hotline5043
Gallup (Trad)5144
Gallup (Exp)5143
Rasmussen Reports5244
Research 2000/dKos5240
Composite:51.2542.625

Yesterday's Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll had Barack Obama up 53 percent to 44 percent, and Newsweek polling gives Obama a 53 percent to 41 percent lead among likely voters.

Still need some firing up? Watch Al Gore on the stump back in 1992:

We are 10 days out from election day. What are you doing to help enact progressive change in this country?

Tracking Poll Update: Obama's Lead Inches Up to 8 Points

Here are today's numbers:

ObamaMcCain
Diageo/Hotline5043
Gallup (Trad)5045
Gallup (Exp)5144
Rasmussen Reports5245
Research 2000/dKos5240
Composite:51.12543.125

Yesterday's daily tracking poll from ABC News and The Washington Post (.pdf) looked substantially similar to the four-poll average above, with Barack Obama leading John McCain by a 54 percent to 43 percent margin. The latest CBS News/New York Times survey, which also went up yesterday, gave Obama a 52 percent to 39 percent margin. The Battleground tracker sees the race differently, giving Obama just a 49 percent to 46 percent lead.

For those still feeling a little edgy about the polling, remember that perhaps as many as one in sixnine of those voting this year have already turned in their ballots, and, at least according to the numbers crunchers at the Obama campaign, these voters overwhelmingly tend to be Democrats. In other words, quite a few votes will likely have been banked by election day.

We are 11 days out from election day. What are you doing to help enact progressive change in this country?

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