McCain takes lead in latest national poll

Republican John McCain heads into the final stretch of the U.S. presidential campaign with a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama, a USA Today/Gallup poll released on Sunday showed.

The lead was McCain’s biggest since January and a turnaround from a USA Today poll taken just before last week’s Republican Party convention opened, when the veteran Arizona senator trailed Obama by 7 percentage points.

The new poll, taken Friday through Sunday, showed McCain leading Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, by 50 percent to 46 percent among registered voters with less than two months before the November 4 election.

The poll of 1,022 adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.

USA Today said McCain got a significant boost from the Republican convention and the selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate. McCain also narrowed Obama’s wide advantage on handling the economy, the top issue in the campaign, the newspaper said.

McCain said in an interview aired on Sunday he would bring Democrats into his Cabinet and administration as part of his attempt to change the political atmosphere in Washington.

"I don’t know how many but I can tell you, with all due respect to previous administrations, it is not going to be a single, ‘Well, we have a Democrat now,"’ McCain said on CBS’ "Face the Nation."

"It’s going to be the best people in America, the smartest people in America," he said in an interview taped on Saturday.

Obama, 47, has been running on the change theme for more than a year and a half while McCain, 72, has come to it more recently after mostly campaigning on his experience.

Obama in an interview also taped earlier and televised on Sunday on ABC’s "This Week," said McCain spoke of reducing the rancor in Washington but the Republican convention that nominated him last week was a highly partisan affair.

"How you campaign I think foreshadows how you’re going to govern," Obama said.


With 58 days until the election, the two candidates took a rare day off on Sunday before plunging back into the fray.

Since he accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday, McCain has been campaigning with Palin and attracting enthusiastic crowds.

Palin, unknown on the national political stage until last week, was scheduled to start campaigning on her own on Monday.

Before she was elected governor, Palin had been the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, with a population of under 10,000 people.

Palin, a conservative with a strong anti-abortion and pro-gun record, has not been questioned by the media since McCain made her his surprise pick for No. 2 on August 29.

McCain said she would start giving interview "within the next few days" but did not elaborate.

McCain adviser Mark Salter said later on Sunday that Palin had agreed to a series of interviews with national media, likely starting on Thursday or Friday, and beginning with Charlie Gibson of ABC.

Palin is scheduled to participate in one vice presidential debate against Joe Biden, Obama’s running mate and a veteran senator, on October 2.


  1. sherry

    Here is your proof, posted in Chicago Tribune April 4, 2007 by David Jackson and Ray Long:
    CHICAGO – The day after New Year’s 1996, operatives for Barack Obama filed into a barren hearing room of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

    There they began the tedious process of challenging hundreds of signatures on the nominating petitions of state Sen. Alice Palmer, the longtime progressive activist from the city’s South Side. And they kept challenging petitions until every one of Obama’s four Democratic primary rivals was forced off the ballot.

    Fresh from his work as a civil rights lawyer and head of a voter registration project that expanded access to the ballot box, Obama launched his first campaign for the Illinois Senate saying he wanted to empower disenfranchised citizens.

    But in that initial bid for political office, Obama quickly mastered the bare-knuckled arts of Chicago electoral politics. His overwhelming legal onslaught signaled his impatience to gain office, even if that meant elbowing aside an elder stateswoman like Palmer.

    A close examination of Obama’s first campaign clouds the image he has cultivated throughout his political career: The man now running for president on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it.

    One of the candidates he eliminated, longshot contender Gha-is Askia, says now that Obama’s petition challenges belied his image as a champion of the little guy and crusader for voter rights.

    “Why say you’re for a new tomorrow, then do old-style Chicago politics to remove legitimate candidates?” Askia asked. “He talks about honor and democracy, but what honor is there in getting rid of every other candidate so you can run scot-free? Why not let the people decide?”

    In a recent interview, Obama granted that “there’s a legitimate argument to be made that you shouldn’t create barriers to people getting on the ballot.”

    But the unsparing legal tactics were justified, he said, by obvious flaws in his opponents’ signature sheets. “To my mind, we were just abiding by the rules that had been set up,” Obama recalled.

    “I gave some thought to . . . should people be on the ballot even if they didn’t meet the requirements,” he said. “My conclusion was that if you couldn’t run a successful petition drive, then that raised questions in terms of how effective a representative you were going to be.”

    Asked if the district’s primary voters were well served by having only one candidate, Obama smiled and said: “I think they ended up with a very good state senator.”

    America has been defined in part by civil rights and good government battles fought out in Chicago’s 13th Legislative District, which in 1996 spanned Hyde Park mansions, South Shore bungalows and poverty-bitten precincts of Englewood.

    It was in this part of the city that an eager reform Democrat by the name of Abner Mikva first entered elected office in the 1950s. And here a young, brash minister named Jesse Jackson ran Operation Breadbasket, leading marchers who sought to pressure grocery chains to hire minorities.

    In the early 1990s, Chicago’s 13th Legislative District was served in the Illinois Senate by Palmer, who was working as a community organizer in the area when Obama was growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia. She risked her safe seat to run for Congress and touted Obama as a suitable successor, according to news accounts and interviews.

    But when she got clobbered in that November 1995 special congressional race, Palmer supporters asked Obama to fold his campaign so she could easily retain her state Senate seat.

    Obama not only refused to step aside, he filed challenges that nullified Palmer’s hastily gathered nominating petitions, forcing her to withdraw.

    “I liked Alice Palmer a lot. I thought she was a good public servant,” Obama said. “It was very awkward. That part of it I wish had played out entirely differently.”

    His choice divided veteran Chicago political activists.

    “There was friction about the decision he made,” said City Colleges professor emeritus Timuel Black, who tried to negotiate with Obama on Palmer’s behalf. “There were deep disagreements.”

    Had Palmer survived Obama’s challenge, he would have faced the daunting task of taking on an incumbent senator. Palmer’s elimination marked the first of several fortuitous political moments in Obama’s electoral success: He won the 2004 primary and general elections for U.S. Senate after tough challengers imploded when their messy divorce files were unsealed.

    Obama contended that in the case of the 1996 race, in which he beat token opposition in the general election, he was ready to compete if necessary.

    “We actually ran a terrific campaign up until the point we knew that we weren’t going to have to appear on the ballot with anybody,” Obama said. “I mean, we had prepared for it. We had raised money. We had tons of volunteers. There was enormous enthusiasm.”

    And he defended his use of ballot maneuvers: “If you can win, you should win and get to work doing the people’s business.”

    At the time, though, Obama seemed less at ease with the decision, according to aides. They said the first-time candidate initially expressed reservations about using challenges to eliminate all his fellow Democrats.

    “He wondered if we should knock everybody off the ballot. How would that look?” said Ronald L. Davis, the paid Obama campaign consultant who filed objections to Obama’s rivals as a 13th District citizen.

    In the end, Davis filed objections to all four of Obama’s Democratic rivals at the candidate’s behest.

    While Obama didn’t attend the hearings, “he wanted us to call him every night and let him know what we were doing,” Davis said, noting that Palmer and the others seemed unprepared for the challenges.”
    As for his “legislative” experience. Not exactly sticking out his neck on Vet issues. How about when he promised to filibuster FISA? Not only did he not do that, he voted FOR it. He voted for the Patriot Act. He voted for Cheney’s energy bill.
    A co sponsorship requires little more than a signature.
    Colo, it’s great to see you so passionate. You will come to realize it is difficult to defend any of these slimeballs. McCain is a slimeball. I am voting for him because I believe him to be less dangerous than your guy.

  2. Hoosier_CowBoy

    More than a bullet proof vest and a brigade of Secret Service Agents, falling behind in the polls is the best protection Senator Obama can have from now until election day.

    This is still a Nation with plenty of racist Kooky-pots and its certain that in their demented minds, bagging the first non-white Presidential Candidate would be like downing a prize elk.

    They are sick, sick, sick…

    The only poll that counts is the one on November 4th, lets hope the Senator from Illinois is around to see it.

  3. bryan mcclellan

    Brave Sarah shot a moose, Hillary shipped it to Viet Nam where McCains captors cooked it and fed it to him making him the great warrior poet he is today. NAH,NAH.BLAH,BLAH.

    Wheres that confounded bridge?

  4. colocritic

    Sherry, here are just two of many of the bills Obama has written or co-sponsored. These two are certainly very important and I wouldn’t say they are not landmark legislation. Go to the website and see what all he has done for our veterans. There is plenty of info out there on the bills he has written or co-sponsored, just take the time to look for them – I found one website that said 37 of them since 2005.

    I’d like PROOF from you that he sued everyone else on the ballot.

    You keep claiming he has no experience – he has much more than Palin does. She’s never written a bill, just signed them after they were written. She doesn’t have a law degree from Harvard, the most prestigious school; she has a journalist degree. He graduated in the top of his class – where are her academic achievements? She’s had some administrative experience. small town, gov.of small population state. You can’t really compare the two, but don’t say he has no experience!!!

    As early as February 2005, Senator Obama warned of a shortfall in the VA budget. Four months later, the VA reported that in fact it had more than a $1 billion shortfall. Senator Obama cosponsored a bill that led to a $1.5 billion increase in veterans’ medical care. During the debate on the Fiscal Year 2007 budget, Senator Obama cosponsored measures that would have provided additional funding increases for veterans.

    In January 2007, Senator Obama reintroduced the Lane Evans Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement Act to improve the VA’s planning process to avoid budget shortfalls in the future. The bill requires the VA and the Department of Defense to work together and share data so that we know precisely how many troops will be returning home and entering the VA system.

    WASHINGTON – President Bush today signed the Lugar-Obama proliferation and threat reduction initiative into law.
    These vast numbers of unused conventional weapons, particularly shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles that can hit civilian airliners, pose a major security risk to America and democracies everywhere. That’s why we have introduced legislation to seek out and destroy surplus and unguarded stocks of conventional arms in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

    Our bill would launch a major nonproliferation initiative by addressing the growing threat from unsecured conventional weapons and by bolstering a key line of defense against weapons of mass destruction. Modeled after the successful Nunn-Lugar program to dismantle former Soviet nuclear weapons, the Lugar-Obama bill would seek to build cooperative relationships with willing countries.
    By all accounts, it’s been pretty successful so far.