Rallies, talk shows and a dinner
(CNN) – Both presidential candidates are scheduled to attend the Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York City today.
Prior to the dinner, Republican presidential nominee John McCain is expected to attend a rally in Downington, Pennsylvania. The most recent CNN Poll of Polls in the state shows McCain trailing Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama 52 percent to 40 percent. The polls were conducted October 3 through October 12, 2008.
He is also expected to appear on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” making up for an earlier cancellation that left the talk show host fuming.
Obama is scheduled to attend a rally in Londonderry, New Hampshire, a state that is increasingly trending to his advantage. The most recent CNN Poll of Polls there showed him leading 51 percent to 42 percent. The polls were conducted September 25 through October 8.
Sarah Palin, the GOP vice presidential nominee, has a busy day ahead of her. She is expected to hold a media interview in Manchester, New Hampshire, hold a rally in Bangor, Maine, and then travel to Elon and Greensboro, North Carolina.
The Republican ticket is slipping in North Carolina. The Southern state has voted for a Republican candidate in nine of the last 10 presidential elections. But, a weak economy and shifting demographics have put the state in play. A recent CNN/Time/Opinion Research poll showed the race there deadlocked at 49 percent. The poll was conducted October 3-6.
Maine is one of two states in the country that splits its electoral votes according to the statewide and congressional district popular vote. Two of the state’s electoral votes go to the statewide winner. One electoral vote is given to the winner of each of the state’s two congressional districts.
Bangor is located in the state’s 2nd congressional district. President Bush lost the district by one percentage point in 2000 and by about 6 percentage points in 2004.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden is traveling to Los Angeles, taping appearances on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and the “Ellen Degeneres Show.”
With the last Presidential Debate now behind them, Obama and McCain are scheduled to speak tonight at the Alfred E. Smith dinner, a political tradition that dates back to 1945. It honors the first Catholic ever nominated for President and was begun by Francis J. Spellman, the Archbishop of Archdiocese of New York’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese at the time.
Al Smith, a former New York governor, was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1928. The dinner raises money for charitable causes and has featured many luminaries through the years, including several U.S. presidents and nominees, other political leaders, businessmen and in 1947 via telephone, Winston Churchill, The British Prime Minister during World War II.