(CNN)—In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley gives an overview of the Democrats effort across the map, as the number of remaining Democratic primary contests slides into the single digits.
Meanwhile, race and gender still weigh heavily on the minds of many voters. CNN’s Brian Todd has details, while CNN’s Jessica Yellin gives a preview of what’s at stake for Clinton and Obama in North Carolina.
Finally, John McCain served up some tough criticism of the Bush administration Thursday, condemning its widely-criticized response to Hurricane Katrina - one sign the presumptive Republican nominee may be working to distance himself from the president. CNN’s Dana Bash traveled with McCain to New Orleans, the latest stop on his tour of ‘forgotten America.’
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
As the Democrats slug it out for their party's nomination, Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is spending the week going where Republicans fear to tread. McCain is on another tour. This one he's calling his "Time for Action" tour- and it's taking him to parts of the country that have never seen a Republican.
He wants to convince voters in these areas he says have been "forgotten" that he cares about them. He said earlier this week quote "There must be no forgotten places in America, whether they have been ignored for long years by the sins of indifference and injustice, or have been left behind as the world grew smaller and more economically independent." unquote
Monday he was in Selma, Alabama; Tuesday, it was Youngstown, Ohio; yesterday was Inez, Kentucky; and today he toured the lower ninth ward which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here
McCain toured the lower 9th ward Thursday, and criticized the Bush administration for its response to Hurricane Katrina. (Getty Images)
(CNN) - John McCain, speaking to supporters at Xavier University Thursday afternoon, blasted all levels of government - including the Bush administration - for the failed response to Hurricane Katrina.
“We know we didn’t have the right kind of leadership … where government agencies were getting information from watching cable television rather than have a flow of information,” McCain said.
“It was not only a perfect storm as far as its physical impact … it was a perfect storm as far as the federal, state and local governments’ inability.”
In a strong tone, McCain said “never again will there be a mismanaged natural disaster,” later assuring the crowd that “it will never happen again in this country, you have my commitment and my promise.”
McCain is currently on a week-long tour of economically struggling areas of the country, which included stops in Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky and Louisiana.
Earlier Thursday he toured New Orleans’ lower 9th ward, - among the areas hardest hit by Katrina - with his wife Cindy and Lousiana’s GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal. The three walked about 20 minutes through the lower ninth, stopping at a house being rebuilt by about a dozen volunteers from DeutscheBank in New York City.
"I'm proud to be in your company. You're what America's all about," McCain told them.
(CNN) - Longtime political observers are running out of adjectives to describe this year’s presidential race: Record-breaking. Historic. Epic.
But with the campaign firmly settled into a seemingly-endless three-way slugfest, it may come as little surprise that voters in a new Pew Research Center survey had a few other words in mind.
Roughly two-thirds of those polled say it’s been “too long.” Half of them say it’s become “too negative.” And the candidates aren’t the only ones fighting campaign fatigue: more than a third now say the closest race in a generation is just “too dull."
Blame the post-Super Tuesday grind. Two months ago, just 28 percent of voters in the same survey said the race was too negative, and one in four said it was too dull. In the February poll, 57 percent told pollsters that the race was too long – oddly enough, fewer than the 66 percent who had given the same response four months earlier in the cycle.
The still-unresolved contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton seems to be making for a shell-shocked party: two months ago, roughly one in five Democrats thought the campaign was too negative. Now that number has risen to 50 percent.
(CNN) - It's one little point that's making for a whole lot of discussion. Was it 9 points or was it 10? That’s the question many people are asking about Hillary Clinton’s margin of victory over Barack Obama in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Primary.
According to the most up-to-date vote totals from the Associated Press - used by all networks and national news organizations - Clinton won 1,260,208 votes in Pennsylvania to Obama’s 1,045,444. If you break it down by percentages, that’s 54.65 percent for Clinton and 45.34 percent for Obama. If you round up the Clinton number to 55 percent and the Obama number is rounded down to 45 percent, you get a ten point margin of victory for Clinton.
But if the difference between 45.34 and 54.65 is 9.31 percent - the margin of victory for Clinton - the result should be rounded down to nine percent.
(Updated numbers after the jump)
(CNN) - For the few hundred still undecided superdelegates who almost certainly will decide the Democratic presidential nominee, there are two key questions they must answer: who will be the better President of the United States, and who will be the stronger candidate against John McCain.
On the first question, that will come to the superdelegates going over the policy positions, experience, personality, and background of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In the end, that decision will probably come down to their gut instincts – who they feel more comfortable with and like more.
On the second question, they will be able to look at some hard numbers. Who has the most pledged delegates? Who has won the most states? Who has won the most important Electoral College battleground states? Who has won the most popular votes? How, if at all, do you weigh in the disputed primaries in Michigan and Florida, both of which Democrats will desperately seek to win in November?
(CNN) - President Bush was quick to endorse John McCain when the Arizona senator wrapped up his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
But another Bush might not be so sure.
Speaking with CNN's Larry King Wednesday night, Jenna Bush said she hasn't decided yet who she will vote for in November.
"I don't know," Jenna Bush, daughter of President and Mrs. Bush, said when asked if she will back McCain.
"Of course [I am open]. I mean, who isn't open to learning about the candidates and I'm sure that everybody's like that," she added.
Though the younger Bush conceded she has "been too busy with books to really pay that much attention."
Meanwhile, mother Laura Bush was quick to affirm that she will be voting for the Republican candidate in the fall.
The two appeared on the show to discuss Jenna Bush's upcoming wedding next month.
"[It will be] outdoors, very small wedding, you 'know, very small, all relatives, our families, really, kind of big," Jenna Bush said. “So it's half-family and then half very close friends."
NEW YORK (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's Pennsylvania victory seems to be helping her regain ground financially against rival Barack Obama, who has outraised her by tens of millions of dollars.
The day that followed Clinton's Pennsylvania win was the biggest day in the history of her campaign, according to Terry McAuliffe, her campaign chairman.
The New York senator raised $10 million through the Internet and had 80,000 new donors, he said.
Compare that to two months ago, when Clinton could not afford to pay staffers and even lent her campaign $5 million from her own pocket.
(CNN) - Oregon Rep. David Wu said Thursday he will cast his superdelegate vote for Barack Obama.
"I think we are blessed to have two strong candidates for president," Wu said in a statement released by Obama's campaign. "I am endorsing Barack Obama for president today because I believe that he is best suited to turn the page on this sorry episode in American history. He and I both had the judgment to oppose the Iraq War from the very beginning.
Wu, a five term congressman, is one of the party's nearly 800 superdelegates who will ultimately decide who gets the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the second Oregon superdelegate to endorse Obama ahead of the state's May 20 primary - Rep. Earl Blumenauer endorsed the Illinois senator earlier in the year.
Clinton also has two Oregon superdelegates in her camp - Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Rep. Darlene Hooley.
(CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton is arguing that she is ahead of rival Sen. Barack Obama when it comes to the popular vote.
"I'm very proud that as of today, I have received more votes by the people who have voted than anyone else," Clinton said Wednesday, one day after her decisive win in Pennsylvania.
Not so fast, says Obama's campaign. Clinton's count includes her wins in Michigan and Florida, but the Democratic presidential candidates agreed not to campaign in those states because they violated party rules by scheduling their contests too early.