Clinton and Obama each hold leads in new Iowa polls.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Three months before Iowa voters officially kick off the 2008 presidential primary process, new polls released this weekend indicate the Hawkeye State is up for grabs in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, holds a 6 percentage point edge (30-24 percent) over Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, in the latest American Research Group (ARG) poll, while Obama edges out Clinton by four points in a Newsweek poll (28-24 percent).
Meanwhile, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards comes in a close third in both polls - registering 19 percent in the ARG poll and 22 percent in the Newsweek poll. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson places fourth in both surveys with 10 percent. Every other Democratic White House hopeful registered single digits in both polls.
Both polls surveyed likely Iowa Democratic caucus goers. The ARG poll, conducted between September 26-29, carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The Newsweek poll, conducted between September 26-27, carries a margin of error of plus or minus 7 percentage points. (Newsweek also surveyed all Iowa Democrats - in that poll Clinton leads Obama 31 to 25 percent.)
Why do the latest Iowa surveys report such different conclusions? CNN Polling Director Keating Holland explains polling in the early-voting state "can be the statistical equivalent of looking for a needle in a haystack."
"Typically, only about 100,000 people participate in caucuses out of a population of roughly 3 million in the state," Holland said. "It's what makes the Iowa caucuses inherently unpredictable - and it's not surprising to find polls that show different results."
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
WASHINGTON (CNN) – As President Bush prepares to brandish his veto pen, House Democrats are wasting no time in criticizing him and several Republicans who oppose the SCHIP health care legislation.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has purchased a week’s worth of radio advertising targeting eight GOP House members for voting against the health insurance program for children, a DCCC source tells CNN. The ads will note the lawmakers are covered by a taxpayer health care plan, but oppose this program.
Congress recently approved the bill, but Bush has promised to veto it.
The source would not reveal how much money the DCCC is spending on the ads, but noted Democrats will be running 15-second spots around traffic and weather reports in districts represented by Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, Virginia Rep. Thelma Drake, Florida Rep. Tom Feeney, Missouri Rep. Sam Graves, Michigan Rep. Joe Knollenberg and New Jersey Rep. Jim Saxton. Sixty-second ads will be run against New York Rep. Randy Kuhl and Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg.
The DCCC is expected to formally announce the ad buy later in the day.
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
LONDONDERRY, New Hampshire (CNN) – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee knows the "bottom line."
In a music venue off I-93, Granite Staters gathered Friday to hear the presidential candidate jam on the bass with local rock band, Mama Kicks.
Dressed in blue jeans, a button down shirt and cowboy boots, the rock and roll evangelical - Huckabee is also a pastor - tapped his foot and swished his guitar to a crowd of locals dancing to the beat.
Attending the show to support Mama Kicks was guitarist Barry Goudreau of the rock band "Boston." Moments into Huckabee's performance, Goudreau joined him on stage, to the delight of the crowd.
"Mike can rock, I mean that guy can play! That was fun," Goudreau told CNN after the show.
– CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
From left, Gov. Tim Kaine, then-Senate candidate Jim Webb and former Gov. Mark Warner watch results come in for Webb's race.
(CNN) - Recently, on George Allen's new Web site, GeorgeAllen.com, the former Republican senator from Virginia listed some words of wisdom from legendary college football coaches like Knut Rockne and Woody Hayes.
Coming from Allen's keyboard, one quote stands out, from Ralph "Shug" Jordan of Auburn: "Always remember ... Goliath was a 40 point favorite over David."
In the summer of 2006, Allen held a monster lead over Jim Webb in the Virginia Senate race. One famous YouTube video and several campaign slip-ups later, Webb is now in the Senate wrangling over Iraq spending bills while Allen is at home in Virginia, blogging about football.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Here's a quick look at what's making news in South Carolina politics this morning:
Sen. Joe Biden will campaign in Rock Hill and Columbia Monday, picking up two new endorsements along the way.
Sen. Barack Obama received a standing ovation at the predominantly black Brookland Baptist Church on Sunday morning. Obama also visited an all-white church in Columbia on the same morning.
South Carolinians will hold a rally for Darfur awareness in Columbia at the State House.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Compiled by Lindsey Pope, Mark Preston and Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
Making News Today…
* Life is often judged in numerical terms. How old are you? What is your salary? How much do you weigh? How tall are you? In what zip code do you live?
In presidential politics, numbers are also a major measurement of a candidate’s strength. How much money has the candidate raised? How many times has the candidate visited Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina? How many offices has the candidate opened in an early primary state? How many endorsements has the candidate received? How many commercials has the candidate aired?
For the next few days, the only “How” the political world will be focusing on is “How much money the candidates have raised over the past three months.” Just hours ago, the third quarter fundraising period closed and we anxiously wait to see what each of the Democratic and Republican candidates will report.
Given the past two historic fundraising quarters, will expectations be high? Or will the media give candidates a pass seeing that the third quarter is historically a terrible time to raise money as families take vacations and then prepare their children for the new school year?
And will any of the candidates abandon their bids for the presidential nomination if they show a poor fundraising quarter? Make sure to bookmark http://www.cnn.com/ticker and check back throughout the day for the latest developments in the 2008 money chase.
* $ 30 million in 3 weeks. On second thought, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Georgia, has decided not to run for president. Full Story
* President Bush heads to Fort Myer this morning to attend the farewell ceremony for Gen. Peter Pace and the welcoming of Adm. Michael Mullen as the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. It is the only event on President Bush’s schedule. We expect the president to brandish his veto pen soon on the SCHIP legislation, but it likely won’t be in front of the cameras.
* And check out CNN Producer Peter Hamby’s must read on how the Web will play an important role in the battle for Virginia’s open Senate seat in 2008. Full Story
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
'08ERS DODGE SUMMER SLUMP: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced last night he raised about $5.2 million over the past three months for his Democratic presidential bid, an amount his campaign said would keep him within reach of the front-runners for his party's nomination. How close he is to the others, though, remains unclear. Washington Post: Hints of Strong Fundraising Emerge
CHICAGO GROUP KEY TO THE OBAMA FUNDRAISING MACHINE: In 2000, after losing a Congressional race, Barack Obama was looking to revive his political fortunes. And he soon found a springboard — a group of black entrepreneurs also trying to break out. New York Times: Loyal Network Backs Obama After His Help
CLINTON REVES UP THIRD QUARTER CASH WITH TRIP TO CALIFORNIA: Norman Hsu could have been here on Sunday if he weren't otherwise occupied. While the wayward fundraiser was in a jail cell in Redwood City, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the main object of his largesse, was sopping up money from Northern California donors on the final day of the third quarter. LA Times: Bay Area Gives Clinton a Boost
COMMONGROUND FOR BILL CLINTON AND NEWT GINGRICH ON '08 FIELD: Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton couldn't agree on much when one dominated Congress and the other ran the White House. But on Sunday, they handicapped the 2008 presidential race the same way. USA Today: Gingrich, Clinton Agree On Leading Candidates
BILL TAKES ON OBAMA: Bill Clinton leapt to his wife’s defence yesterday after Barack Obama, her leading rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, said that she had the wrong kind of experience to lead America. The Times of London: Bill Clinton Wades in to Defend Hillary's Reputation
GOP USE "BETRAY US" AD IN FUNDRAISING: Capitol Hill Republicans are getting a much-needed fundraising boost from a newspaper advertisement in which the liberal group MoveOn.org accused Iraq war commander Gen. David H. Petraeus of lying, strategists say. Washington Times: MoveOn Ad Raises Cash for GOP
THE FORGOTTEN IOWA: People from all over southwest Iowa converged here recently for the town's 150th birthday festivities and Corning High School's homecoming. There was a parade, a hog roast and a football game…but no candidates showed up. No campaign workers were here distributing brochures, yard signs or buttons. USA Today: Candidates Pass Up Iowa's Littlest County
NEW IOWA POLL PUTS OBAMA AHEAD OF CLINTON, EDWARDS: Barack Obama's presidential campaign has been telling people not to pay too much attention to the polls lately, but now they're emailing all their supporters with news of the latest survey. Chicago Tribune's The Swamp: Obama Climbs in Iowa Polls
GRANITE STATE VOTER ON MCCAIN: "YOU GET MORE OF A STRAIGHT ANSWER FROM HIM THAN YOU GET FROM OTHER POLITICIANS": Buoyed by polls showing a slight up tick, as well as fundraising he says is improving, Sen. John McCain set out Sunday to win New Hampshire votes with his trademark blunt talk. Quad City Times: McCain Pressing hard in New Hampshire
MCCAIN: "I JUST HAVE TO SAY IN ALL CANDOR THAT SINCE THIS NATION WAS FOUNDED PRIMARILY ON CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES…I PREFER SOMEONE WHO I KNOW WHO HAS A SOLID GROUNDING IN MY FAITH: Moving swiftly to stamp out a potential political firestorm, the campaign of Senator McCain is trying to clarify the Republican presidential candidate's statements that he would prefer a Christian president… New York Sun: McCain Campaign Clarifies "Christian Nation" Remarks
TANCREDO LINKS PRO-LIFE CAUSE TO IMMIGRATION IN NH DISCUSSION: A Republican Presidential aspirant and surrogates for several others took up the pro-life issue at the annual New Hampshire Right to Life meeting last night at the Manchester Country Club. New Hampshire Union-Leader: Right-to-Life Group Hears from GOP Candidates
CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES UNHAPPY WITH '08 POOL, SEARCH FOR THIRD PARTY PICK: Alarmed at the possibility that the Republican Party might pick Rudolph W. Giuliani as its presidential nominee despite his support for abortion rights, a coalition of influential Christian conservatives is threatening to back a third-party candidate. New York Times: Giuliani Inspires Threat of a Third-Party-Run
PELOSI URGES HOUSE TO MAKE PROGRESS ON IRAQ BILLS: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed late last week that the House will aggressively pursue legislation related to the Iraq War, regardless of whether such bills stand a chance in the Senate. Roll Call: Pelosi Vows to Push Iraq Bills
DOMESTIC ISSUES BACK ON TOP OF LAWMAKER'S PRIORITIES: Out of a political stalemate over Iraq, domestic policy is surging to prominence on Capitol Hill, with Republicans and Democrats preparing for a time-honored clash over health care, tax policy, the scope of government and its role in America's problems at home. Washington Post: Taxes, Health Lead Hill Agenda
REYES EARMARKS MAY HAVE TIES WITH BROTHER'S PAC: A new political action committee created by the brother of Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) raised $50,000 this spring almost entirely from staff and clients of powerhouse lobbying shop PMA Group, and within weeks, those same donors reaped millions of dollars in earmarks from Reyes and other Members of Congress closely affiliated with PMA. Roll Call: Reyes PAC Gets PMA Cash
BUDGET CRISIS HALTS MICHIGAN GOVERNMENT: Michigan began to shut down much of its government early Monday after lawmakers failed to resolve a $1.75 billion budget deficit before the new fiscal year started. New York Times: Budget Impasse Forces Shutdown in Michigan
On the Political Radar:
* Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson meets with local residents at several stops in Iowa. He visits Newton, Marshalltown, Iowa Falls and Cedar Falls.
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, discusses her urban agenda at Laney Community College in Oakland, California.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani meets with local residents in Ocean View, New Jersey, before delivering a speech at a "Tribute to Heroes" event in Cape May. Later in the day, he heads to Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a media availability at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, Missouri.
* Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, gives a speech to York County Democrats in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In the afternoon, he holds a press conference at the South Carolina State House in Columbia.
* Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, will deliver what is being bill today as a “major speech” on the economy at Faneuil Hall in Boston.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook