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(CNN) - Some tough news for John McCain in his own backyard, as his home state of Arizona moves from “safe McCain” to “lean McCain” in the latest CNN poll of polls.
And the Republican nominee continues to lose ground in reliably-red areas, as North Dakota moves from “lean McCain” to “toss-up” – meaning three electoral votes that had been counted for McCain are now considered up for grabs.
But there’s some good news for McCain down south: Louisiana has moved from “lean McCain” to “safe McCain.” And the movement on the map is far from done.
Barack Obama now leads McCain by 131 electoral votes, up from his 128-vote lead yesterday. CNN now estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win 291 electoral votes and John McCain 160. There are 87 electoral votes up for grabs. Again, 270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House.
The CNN Electoral Map is based on analysis from the CNN Political Unit and takes into account a number of factors, including polling, state voting trends, ad spending patterns, candidate visits, and guidance from the campaigns, parties, and political strategists. The list will be updated regularly as the campaign develops over time.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) – Former Ronald Reagan Chief of Staff and powerhouse lobbyist Ken Duberstein became the latest member of the GOP establishment Friday to jump ship, suggesting to CNN he’ll vote for Barack Obama.
But three McCain sources tell CNN that little more than three months ago, Duberstein was pushing to run John McCain’s post-election transition to the White House - a charge Duberstein himself insists is not true.
One of the sources says he was contacted by Duberstein in July with a request to relay a message to the McCain team that he thought he would be an “ideal” person to run the Republican nominee's transition.
This source - who noted that at the time McCain was doing well in the polls - said he and Duberstein had several conversations about it, and that he did pass that information along to the campaign.
The Statement: In a television ad titled "Rear View," that began airing Thursday, October 30, the campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama attacks Republican opponent Sen. John McCain's economic policies, saying, in part, that McCain "would tax your health care benefits for the first time ever."
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KETTERING, Ohio (CNN) – Joe Biden always closes his speeches by telling supporters that once the election is over, they have to reach out to Republicans, even those who have conducted “scurrilous” attacks against Obama. The same critics, Biden said Friday afternoon, will be calling Barack Obama “the 44th President of the United States of America” after November 4.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we need to move past the politics of division and attack,” Biden told supporters at rally, the first stop on a two day bus-tour through Ohio.
“Over the past weeks, the Republicans have gone way over the top in my view, calling Barack Obama every name in the book, and it probably will get worse in the next three and a half to four days.”
“If you look at who he is, what he's done, and what he plans to do for this country,” Biden continued, “if you work for us in the closing days and choose hope over fear, after next Tuesday the very critics he has now and the rest of America will be calling him something else. They will be calling him the 44th president of the United States of America, our commander-in-chief Barack Obama!”
John McCain released an ad Friday that was void of any negativity or direct mention of Obama, but tells voters, "don't hope for a stronger America, vote for one." McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis told reporters Friday morning that their campaign would outspend Obama's in the closing days.
Biden delivered his campaign’s “closing arguments” in a high school gym in central Ohio, a swing state where CNN’s poll of polls suggests Obama leads John McCain by 5 percentage points, 49 to 44 percent, with 7 percent of the state’s voters still undecided. The Delaware senator's battleground state tour continues over the weekend, with more stops in Ohio, Indiana and Florida.
(CNN) - The lingering aftermath of Hurricane Katrina looms large over New Orleans residents this election season. CNN’s Voter Hotline has received several calls from New Orleans residents wondering where to vote, whether former evacuees are still registered, and how to vote absentee after being displaced.
Joseph Harris of New Orleans was confused about whether his temporary displacement after the storm would affect his registration.
“I was calling to make sure I was on the list. I want to make sure my information had been changed back now from Houston where I was evacuated during Katrina, and I just want to make sure I’m able to vote on November 4,” Harris asked on the Hotline.
According to the Louisiana Secretary of State, Katrina’s lingering impact doesn’t extend to the voter rolls. “There has been no purging because people were displaced by Katrina. Basically, they can vote if we have a good address,” said Jacques Berry from the Louisiana Secretary of State office. “If you live in a homeless shelter and have an address, you can register to vote in Louisiana.”
Katrina victims who were displaced and are still planning to vote in Louisiana should call the state’s toll free number, (800) 883-2805. The rules for those displaced by the storm are no different than other residents, Berry said. “There’s nothing specific to them.”
The Hotline has also gotten calls from New Orleans parish voters who haven’t received their absentee ballots. “There’s a good chance that all the absentee ballots are out now. We want all voters to have the opportunity to vote. I am sure all absentee ballots will be out with sufficient time,” Berry said. “We want all voters to have the opportunity to vote.”
If you are a resident in the state of Louisiana who has questions regarding your registration status or where you should go to vote, you can visit geauxvote.com or call 1 (800) 883-2805.
ABOARD THE ELECTION EXPRESS
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN)– On this journey we stay in a lot of hotels near interstate highways, the kind that serve free breakfasts in the lobby. And at adjacent tables at breakfast one day during the past week, there was a person crying at one table, and people laughing at the next.
We have been in West Virginia and Indiana and Kentucky and Ohio and Missouri and now here in Iowa in recent days, and the stops tend to blur into each other, but this stood out. The woman crying at the one breakfast table was in the town for a funeral; I could overhear the conversation as family members tried to comfort her. She was weeping softly; if the people raucously laughing at the next table over had been aware of her grief, I like to think that they would have toned it down. But they were facing away from her, they didn’t hear or see her, so their laughter continued, as did her quiet tears.
(CNN)–With only four days before election day, Sen. John McCain is ending the battle of the airwaves with a pair of 30-second spots.
"Obama Praising McCain" echoes a Web ad released a month ago: “Praising McCain." That spot spot shows prominent Democrats commending the Arizona senator for his stances on public policy and his leadership abilities within Congress. "Even Obama has Praise for the Maverick," read the screen.
In the new 30-second spot, an announcer begins “The truth on global warming”: the only other speaker in the ad is Obama himself. "The Lieberman-McCain bill establishes limits for greenhouse gas emissions. It's a framework that's not only good for the environment, it's also good for business," says Obama. "I want to thank Senator Lieberman, as well as Senator McCain, for the outstanding leadership that they've shown.”
The second spot, “Freedom,” brings the focus back to McCain’s biography. “I've served my country since I was 17 years old, and spent five years longing for her shores,” says McCain, evoking his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
“I came home dedicated to a cause greater than my own. We can grow our economy. We will cut government waste,” he says, adding — in an apparent subtle swipe at Barack Obama - “Don't hope for a stronger America. Vote for one. Join me.”
The campaign said the ad will air in key states. On a Friday conference call, campaign manager Rick Davis said he expected McCain to out-spend Obama on the air in the race’s closing days.
At a rally Thursday, October 30, in Columbia, Missouri, Sen. Barack Obama said, "The choice in this election isn't between tax cuts and no tax cuts, it's whether you believe we should only reward wealth or whether we should also reward work and the workers who create it."
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama told CNN Friday that turning around the economy and energy independence are his top priorities for 2009 if elected president.
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer in Des Moines, Iowa, Obama was asked to name his top priority from a list of issues, including taxes, health care, education, energy policy and immigration.
"[The] top priority may not be any of those five. It may be continuing to stabilize the financial system. We don't know yet what's gonna happen in January," he said. "None of this can be accomplished if we continue to see a potential meltdown in the banking system and financial system. So that's priority number one - making sure the plumbing works."
Obama said priority number 2 is energy independence:
"We have to seize this moment because it's not just an energy independence issue, it's also a national security issue and it's a jobs issue. We can create five million new green energy jobs ..."
You can watch the full interview on ‘The Situation Room’ at 6 p.m. ET.
ATLANTA (CNN) – The scariest part of this Halloween for some Atlanta voters is the unprecedented wait time at area polling stations, where heavy turnout and computer problems are leading to delays of 2 to 10 hours.
At a downtown Atlanta location the wait was up to four hours Friday as the line stretched down three blocks according to CNN’s Rusty Dornin, who was in line herself at the location.
And that location isn't even the longest wait for voters in that county. According to Jessica Corbitt of the Fulton County Office of Community Relations, at the Welcome All Center in South Fulton County the wait was five hours long.
Three thousand people have voted at the Adamsville location, according to Beverly Isom, executive aide to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. Isom told us that those at the front of the line at 4 p.m. had been waiting to vote since 9am, and that hundreds more have signed up and continue to wait in line. Crowds are reported to be orderly and patient - but are weary of the six-hour wait.