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McCain Goes After Obama in Victory Speech

It seems John McCain knows who his general election opponent will be. In his victory speech last night, McCain took a veild swipe at Barack Obama on his message of hope.

Hope, my friends, is a powerful thing. I can attest to that better than many, for I have seen men’s hopes tested in hard and cruel ways that few will ever experience. And I stood astonished at the resilience of their hope in the darkest of hours because it did not reside in an exaggerated belief in their individual strength, but in the support of their comrades, and their faith in their country. My hope for our country resides in my faith in the American character, the character which proudly defends the right to think and do for ourselves, but perceives self-interest in accord with a kinship of ideals, which, when called upon, Americans will defend with their very lives.

To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope. It is a platitude.

When I was a young man, I thought glory was the highest ambition, and that all glory was self-glory. My parents tried to teach me otherwise, as did the Naval Academy. But I didn’t understand the lesson until later in life, when I confronted challenges I never expected to face.

I did not see his speech, but on paper, it is very powerful. The problem is, can McCain actually portray himself as the real candidate of hope. He has a very unique history that could play well if used effectively. Will an Obama vs. McCain campaign result in hope vs. real hope?

Napolitano Gets Homeland Security

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano will head the Department of Homeland Security according to Democratic sources. While Obama has not offered the job, it is expected he will and that Napolitano will accept. Napolitano was also the Attorney General of Arizona from 1999-2002. She served as the Chair of the National Governor’s Association, the first woman to do so.

The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for border security, response to natural disasters and terrorist acts.

Napolitano was also a candidate for Attorney General and was widely expected to make a run against John McCain in 2010.

Napolitano had endorsed Obama in January.

Battleground Georgia

A December 2 runoff looms for the Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss and Democratic challenger Jim Martin.

Earlier the Chambliss campaign announced John McCain will campaign for the Republican Senator.

“We’re bringing in all the superstars,” said Michelle Grasso, the Chambliss campaign’s communications director. “We’re in the process of reaching out to everyone. And it’s not just us reaching out, people are contacting us to ask how they can be helpful.”

Some 2012 hopefuls may also contribute a helping hand. A Romney spokesperson said the former Governor would love to help in anyway possible.

“We are now talking with his campaign about how we can be of further help in the run-off,” Fehrnstrom said.

Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin may contribute her star power to the Senate race.

“She wants to come down, but right now we are working with her schedulers to see if that’s possible,” Grasso said.

The Obama campaign is not letting Georgia out of their sights, however, sending their Ohio team to Georgia in hopes to add one more state to the Democratic caucus. With far less African-American turnout expected in the runoff, however, Chambliss may be able to fend off Democratic challenger Martin for another six-year term.

China Hacked White House Computers

Reports now say Chinese hackers, possibly sponsored by the Chinese government, hacked into White House computers. E-mails and information was stolen before government officials were able to fix the problem.

Earlier, reports said foreign entities also hacked into campaign computers of Barack Obama and John McCain. The Obama campaign suspected either the Russians or the Chinese.

This marks a new era in intelligence gathering and cyber attack. In the Georgian war, Russian hackers hacked Georgian government websites, essentially limiting the exchange of government information to the public. In a time where the vast amount of information and communication is transferred through the internet,defense against cyber attacks has become an increasing priority in American national security.

Obama Raises $66 Million in August

The Obama campaign raised $66 million for the month of August. The campaign reports they have added 500,000 new donors and have $77 million on hand. Along with the DNC’s $17.5 million, collectively, the Democratic Party has about $94 million on hand to spend as of August 31.

The McCain campaign has accepted public financing and received $84 million on September 1 to spend for the general election. Any money raised by the McCain campaign after September 1 must be transferred to the Republican National Committee. The RNC had $76 million in the bank, plus $17 million transferred from the McCain campaign, in addition to $20 million in a joint fundraising committee for total of $197 million.

The McCain campaign plans to send Palin to raise money for the RNC in the final days of the campaign.

USA Today/Gallup: McCain +4 (or +10)

McCain got a significant bump from the Republican National Convention, now leading Barack Obam four points among registered voters and ten points among likely voters.

Registered Voters

Barack Obama: 46% (-4)
John McCain: 50% (+7)

Likely Voters

Barack Obama: 44%
John McCain: 54%

• Before the convention, Republicans by 47%-39% were less enthusiastic than usual about voting. Now, they are more enthusiastic by 60%-24%, a sweeping change that narrows a key Democratic advantage. Democrats report being more enthusiastic by 67%-19%.

• Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a national unknown before McCain chose her for the ticket 10 days ago, draws a strong reaction from voters on both sides. Now, 29% say she makes them more likely to vote for McCain, 21% less likely.

Obama’s choice of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as running mate made 14% more likely to vote for the Democrat, 7% less likely.

• McCain’s acceptance speech Thursday received lower ratings than the one Obama gave a week earlier: 15% called McCain’s speech “excellent” compared with 35% for Obama.

McCain still has one giant hurdle to jump, however. 63% of voters say they are concerned McCain will pursue policies same as President Bush. Bush’s approval rating is 33%.

While McCain is benefiting from a Convention bounce, it is worthy to mention in a year where Democrats have everything going for them, the Presidential candidate still significantly underperforms the generic Democrat. The generic Democrat beats the generic Republican by 10 to 15 points. Plus, despite the worries from a majority of voters that McCain will be just like Bush, Obama is still struggling. Then again, this is not Europe. Americans vote for the person, not the Party.

It will be interesting to see how long this bump last. It is called a bump for a reason–it is just that, a parabolic bump. If McCain still leads by next week, I say there will be reason for Obama supporters to worry.

McCain now leads the RCP Average for the first time since April.

Daily Rasmussen – September 7, 2008

McCain is making inroads in the Rasmussen tracking poll, now even with Barack Obama. At the peak of Obama’s convention bounce, he was six points ahead of McCain.

Without Leaners

Barack Obama: 46%
John McCain: 46% (+1)

With Leaners

Barack Obama: 48% (-1)
John McCain: 48% (+2)

Favorable/Unfavorable (NET)

Barack Obama: 56%/43% (+13)
John McCain: 58%/40% (+18)

At the peak of Obama’s convention bounce, he had a net favorable rating of 19 points.

Forty-two percent (42%) of voters say that economic issues are most important this year and Obama holds a 34-point advantage among these voters.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of voters say the national security issues are most important. Among these voters its McCain by 39.

The Republican hopeful also leads by wide margins among those who consider fiscal issues or cultural issues most important. Obama leads among those primarily interested in domestic programs such as Social Security and health care.

The enthusiasm gap is also closing. Before the Republican convention, 54% of Republican were voting for McCain because they were enthusiastic, now that number is 65%. Still, Obama holds the advantage in enthusiasm. 77% of voters are voting for Obama because they are enthusiastic.

The poll includes all three post-Palin speech days and two post-McCain speech days. Monday will be the first poll taken entirely after the Republican convention.

Daily Rasmussen – September 5, 2008

The bounce begins for John McCain as Sarah Palin becomes more popular than either presidential candidates.

Without Leaners

Barack Obama: 46% (-1)
John McCain: 45% (+2)

With Leaners

Barack Obama: 48% (-2)
John McCain: 46% (+1)

Favorable/Unfavorable (NET)

Barack Obama: 57%/42% (+15)
John McCain: 57%/41% (+16)
Sarah Palin: 58%/37% (+21)

40% have a Very Favorable opinion of Palin, compared to 37% who have a Very Favorable opinion of Obama and 27% who says the same of McCain.

Interviews include one day of post-Palin speech and two days of pre-Palin speech.

Daily Rasmussen – September 4, 2008

The race remains steady today, three days into the Republican Convention.

Without Leaners

Barack Obama: 47% (-1)
John McCain: 43%

With Leaners

Barack Obama: 50%
John McCain: 45%

Favorable/Unfavorable (NET)

Barack Obama: 57%/41% (+16)
John McCain: 56%/43% (+13)

Virtually all of the results are based on interviews taken before Palin’s convention speech.

51% believe the media is trying to hurt Palin with their coverage, while only 5% believe they are trying to help. 35% believe the media is providing unbiased coverage. Among Unaffliated voters, 49% think the media is trying to hurt Palin.

On the experience question, 49% say Obama has the experience to be President, while 39% believe Palin has the experience to be President. Among unaffliated voters, 42% give Obama the edge on experiece while 37% give Palin the edge. This poll was taken before Palin’s convention speech.

Daily Rasmussen – September 2, 2008

Today’s Rasmussen numbers show Barack Obama higrowings lead from yesterday, now corssing the 50% mark when leaners are included.

Without Leaners

Barack Obama: 48% (+1)
John McCain: 43% (-1)

With Leaners

Barack Obama: 51% (+2)
John McCain: 45% (-1)

Favorable/Unfavorable (NET)

Barack Obama: 58%/41% (+17)
John McCain: 56%/43% (+13)
Sarah Palin: 52%/36% (+18)

An ominous sign for McCain? It is unclear if this is part of a convention bounce or if voters moving towards Obama in light of McCain’s VP choice. While voters still have a favorable view of Palin comparable to the presidential candidates, the partisan gap widens–more Democrats view her less favorably and more Republicans view her very favorably. Given that there has been a lack of Obama’s convention speech coverage and an ever increasing level of negative stories about Palin, it may be safe to infer that McCain’s and Obama’s movement is largely due, though not entirely, to Sarah Palin.