(CNN) – Did John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate cause a major shift of white women toward the Republican presidential ticket?
Not according to the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls.
The pick of Palin, the first female Republican VP candidate, was designed in part to lure women voters to the GOP ticket, with McCain aides hoping a significant proportion of that voting bloc would identify with Palin's working-mom credentials.
But in a CNN/ORC survey released Monday, McCain drew 56 percent of support from registered white women - a statistically insignificant 3 points more than his support among that demographic in the week before he picked Palin as his VP.
Read full poll results [PDF]
"In CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls, Barack Obama was losing white women before the conventions, and he's losing them now," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "His problems with this important voting bloc didn't start when Sarah Palin joined the GOP ticket."
These numbers appear to contradict findings from a recently released Washington Post/ABC News poll that suggested the Arizona senator gained 20 points among white women after Palin joined the ticket and prompted several stories of the Illinois senator's new problem with this key demographic.
But the CNN/ORC poll indicates McCain is even more popular among white women than Palin is (69 vs. 65 percent approval) - evidence his support among that demographic may be attributed to his own appeal, not Palin's. Obama and Joe Biden are also popular with white women, though not to quite the same degree: 58 percent said they held a favorable view of Obama while 55 percent said the same of Biden in the latest poll.
(CNN) – President Bush’s announcement that some U.S. troops will be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan has re-ignited the foreign policy/national security debate between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain – just as the general election campaign gets under way.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Wolf Blitzer has the latest on Bush’s new troop plan. Suzanne Malveaux, reporting from the campaign trail, has Obama’s response to the Bush announcement as well as the Democratic nominee’s latest education policy proposal.
Dana Bash, who’s also out on the campaign trail with Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin, reports on McCain’s latest line of attack directed at Obama on the issues of foreign policy and national security.
Finally, with McCain’s surprise pick of Palin for the Republican VP spot, many pundits have speculated that the Republican Party is making a concerted effort to win over disaffected female supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who lost the Democratic nomination to Obama and was not offered the VP slot on her party’s fall ticket. Using results from a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider takes a closer look at Palin’s popularity with both sexes.
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(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign said Tuesday Barack Obama’s reference to “lipstick on a pig” to describe the Republican’s vow to bring change to Washington was offensive language, and a slap at VP nominee Sarah Palin – despite the fact that the Arizona senator himself used the phrase last year to describe a policy proposal of Hillary Clinton’s.
Obama made the remarks at a Virginia campaign stop late Tuesday afternoon. “John McCain says he’s about change too, and so I guess his whole angle is, ‘Watch out George Bush – except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy and Karl Rove-style politics – we’re really gonna shake things up in Washington,’” Obama said.
“That’s not change. That’s just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You know you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, it’s still going to stink after eight years. We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”
(CNN) – John McCain’s campaign responded to Barack Obama’s new education ad Tuesday with a tough new spot that said the Democratic nominee’s only achievement on the issue was backing bills to bring sex education to children – marking a rare campaign ad foray into culture war territory.
“Education Week says Obama ‘hasn't made a significant mark on education.’ That he's ‘elusive’ on accountability,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot. “A ‘staunch defender of the existing public school monopoly.’
“Obama's one accomplishment? Legislation to teach ‘comprehensive sex education’ to kindergartners.
“Learning about sex before learning to read?
“Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family.”
The campaign said the ad will air in ‘key states.’
Within minutes, the Obama camp battled back. “It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls – a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds,” said campaign spokesman Bill Burton. “Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn’t define what honor was. Now we know why.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul will call on supporters to back a third party candidate for president Wednesday, rejecting his own party’s nominee and offering equally harsh words for the Democratic candidate.
Paul, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination, will tell supporters he is not endorsing GOP nominee John McCain or Democratic nominee Barack Obama, and will instead give his seal of approval to four candidates: Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney, Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr, independent candidate Ralph Nader, and Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin, according to a senior Paul aide.
The announcement will take place in the morning at the National Press Club in the nation’s capital.
While Paul failed in his bid for the Republican nomination, he found a large, diverse audience for his anti-war and anti-tax messages. The Texas congressman’s campaign was fueled by a successful on-line grassroots fundraising operation. Throughout the campaign, Paul supporters called on others to join the “Ron Paul Revolution.”
Paul will offer this open endorsement to the four candidates because each has signed onto a policy statement that calls for “balancing budgets, bring troops home, personal liberties and investigating the Federal Reserve,” the Paul aide said.
Bill Maher has harsh words about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in this interview from the Situation Room.
(CNN) - Watch comedian and political commentator Bill Maher as he discusses the presidential race with The Situation Room's Wolf Blitzer.
Maher is the host of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher." CNN and HBO are both part of the Time Warner family of companies.
(CNN) - Barack Obama is holding a campaign event in Lebanon, Virginia - a state the Illinois senator's campaign has made a top target.
Earlier in the day, Obama campaigned in Ohio.
Catch the event on CNN.com/live
UPDATE: This event has ended, but stay with CNN.com/live for all the day's events on the campaign trail.
(CNN) - John McCain's campaign hit back hard at Joe Biden Tuesday after the Democratic VP candidate appeared to suggest Republicans who do not support stem cell research - like GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin - are lacking in their support of children with disabilities.
“Barack Obama’s running mate sunk to a new low today launching an offensive debate over who cares more about special needs children," McCain-Palin spokesman Ben Porritt said. "Playing politics with this issue is disturbing and indicative of a desperate campaign."
The sharp response, indicative of the increasingly heated rhetoric from both presidential campaigns as the election enters the final stretch, came shortly after Biden said advocates for people with disabilities should support stem cell research.
Biden did not mention Palin - the mother of a baby with Down syndrome, and someone who has said she will be a “friend and advocate in the White House" to parents of children with disabilities - but seemed to direct a question to her.
Election Center: Where the candidates stand on stem cell research
“I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy…and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect,” he said. “Well, guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?”
Biden spokesman David Wade insisted Tuesday the Delaware senator's comments were not directed at Palin.
"This is a clash of policies, not a clash of personalities," Wade said. "We've heard not a dime's worth of difference between the McCain-Palin ticket and the Bush Administration on medical breakthroughs that millions of parents and doctors believe could save lives and transform the quality of life for countless Americans."
(CNN) – John McCain's campaign is moving a Wednesday rally from a northern Virginia high school to new venue following complaints from some local officials, who complained that holding a partisan event on school grounds violates local School Board policy.
However, McCain's campaign told CNN on Wednesday the main reason for moving the event was to accommodate outsized demand for tickets.
The McCain camp was scheduled to hold a rally Fairfax High School’s field house tomorrow morning from the school system and the city for $10,200.
The event, originally scheduled to be held at Fairfax County High School in northern Virginia, is being re-located after some county School Board members and parents complained that the rally posed a violation of board policy because it would disrupt normal school hours, and objected to the exception granted the McCain campaign. Over the summer, when school was not in regular session, Democrat Barack Obama held a rally at the county’s Robinson High School.
(CNN) – John McCain’s campaign defended Sarah Palin Tuesday over a report that highlighted some of her travel expense claims as governor, and announced the launch of the “Palin Truth Squad” to fight future attacks on the VP nominee.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Alaska governor had billed the state a per diem for 312 days she spent at home, and requested reimbursement for plane rides and hotel rooms for her husband and children, including a $707 room when her daughter accompanied her on a trip to New York to attend a Newsweek forum.
The paper noted that officials said the claims were justified under existing state regulations.
The McCain campaign said that Palin had reduced yearly travel expenses by roughly 80 percent of the amount spent by predecessor Frank Murkowski, in part by selling the governor’s private jet. Roughly half the $93,000 spent went to cover expenses incurred by her family. In a post on the campaign’s Web site, adviser Michael Goldfarb told supporters that Alaskans were paying “pennies on the dollar,” and accused the Washington Post of “hunting for ‘scandal.’”
“As governor of the state, Palin is expected to travel across Alaska to meet her constituents and attend community events. As a mother of five, she occasionally brought her children with her,” wrote Goldfarb. “Her travel-related activities have been appropriately documented, are completely transparent, and entirely legal. She also saved Alaskan taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in the budgeting process and hundreds of thousands in cutting waste from her own office. It is an impressive record of reform by any measure.”