After the longest and most expensive presidential campaign in history, 7% of likely voters are still not sure who they're going to vote for. And the election is now less than two weeks away. These are the findings in the latest CNN Poll of Polls. So what's the problem? Maybe if you haven't figured it out by now you should not be allowed to vote.
Maybe it's the issues. We've had three presidential debates, one vice presidential debate, one economic meltdown, a $700 billion financial bailout package, a couple of wars and countless arguments about under whose plan you and I would pay more in taxes and for health care.
Or maybe it's the mud-slinging…
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RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) –- Barack Obama dismissed his running mate’s recent comments Wednesday that if elected, his new presidency would immediately be tested by adversaries looking to “test the mettle of this guy.”
“Joe sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes. But I think that his core point was that the next administration is going to be tested regardless of who it is,” Obama told reporters after meeting with his national security working group. “The next administration is going to be inheriting a whole host of really big problems and so the president is going to be tested and the question is will the next president meet that test by moving America in a new direction by sending a clear signal to the rest of the world that we are no longer about bluster and unilateralism and ideology but we’re about creating partnerships around the world to solve practical problems.”
Obama added that with the economy in a “free fall” the United States is more vulnerable than ever. He said because of the Bush administration’s policies the next president will have to deal “with two unresolved wars, Bin Laden and Al Qaeda communicating regularly and training folks to potentially attack America.”
The McCain-Palin ticket seized on Senator Joe Biden’s comments made at a west coast fundraiser to highlight what they say is Obama’s inexperience, and have said on the stump Obama would need “on the job training.”
Obama dismissed the notion that his group of national security and foreign policy advisors were scrambled together in Richmond to counter Biden’s remarks and the Republican attacks.
“It would be pretty hard to gather this group in two days. They have pretty busy schedules. We actually had this planned about two weeks ago, two to three weeks. It was prompted by the fact that I was focused fairly single mindedly on the financial crisis and I asked my staff to convene this group because I think it’s very important at a time when we are so focused on the economy, and rightly so, that we not lose sight of that fact that we remain threatened and there are a whole host of international challenges that we’re going to have to deal with,” he said flanked by fifteen members of that group, including former Sen. Sam Nunn and several high ranking retired military officers.
AKRON, Ohio (CNN) - Shortly after taking off from Toledo on a flight bound for Akron, Sarah Palin’s campaign plane twice circled around a now-famous image of the Alaska governor etched into a golden cornfield in northeast Ohio, offering Palin a surreal chance to look down on the outsized agricultural rendering of herself.
The portrait, which reads “Sarah America,” was cut out of 16-acres of corn in Whitehouse, Ohio by designers hired by Duke and Martha Wheeler, who hope to attract visitors to their Corn Maze at The Butterfly House, a local tourist attraction.
Palin and her family peered down on the corn-carved candidate from their windows, with several members of her senior staff clamoring over to the left side of the plane to join them.
Since many on the plane apparently missed the initial glimpse of the corn candidate, the pilot circled the JetBlue charter jet around for another pass, allowing members of the campaign apparatus to snap pictures.
(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama is maintaining his lead over Sen. John McCain, according to CNN’s latest national poll of polls.
In Wednesday’s poll of polls, Obama’s support with likely voters stands at 50 percent and McCain’s at 43 percent. Seven percent of those surveyed are unsure about their choice for president.
The latest poll of polls represents a slight tightening compared to the previous national poll of polls when Obama stood at 51 percent and McCain at 42 percent. Obama’s nine-point lead in the previous poll of polls was Obama’s widest advantage so far over McCain.
Wednesday’s CNN national poll of polls is comprised of the following eleven national general election surveys: American Research Group (October 18-20), Franklin & Marshall (October 13-19), IPSOS-McClatchy (October 16-20), Fox/Opinion Dynamics (October 20-21), AP/GfK (October 16-20), Pew (October 16-19), CNN/ORC (October 17-19), ABC/Washington Post (October 16-19), Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby (October 19-21), Gallup (October 19-21) and Diageo/Hotline (October 19-21).
CNN’s poll of polls does not have a sampling error.
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama said Wednesday that the country needs a leader who "understands the connection between our economy and our strength in the world."
"We often hear about two debates - one on national security and one on the economy - but that is a false distinction.
"We can't afford another president who ignores the fundamentals of our economy while running up record deficits to fight a war without end in Iraq," he told reporters following a meeting on national security policy.
Obama charged that Sen. John McCain would continue "the policies that have put our economy into crisis and endangered our national security."
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Wednesday he would consider a second economic stimulus package if he is elected president.
He attacked Barack Obama, his Democratic rival for the White House, for saying that "when you spread
the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
"That is "certainly not something I would ever do," he said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blizter that is to air on "The Situation Room" at 6 p.m. ET.
Watch: 'I've been tested,' McCain says
Obama made the comment as he defended his proposal to raise taxes on couples earning more than $250,000 a year while cutting taxes for those with lower incomes.
McCain contended that Obama has been "all over the place" with his economic proposals.
(CNN) - Barack Obama’s campaign is set to release it’s own robocall in Wisconsin Wednesday in response to McCain’s ‘sleazy phone calls,’ against the Illinois Senator.
According to the Web site Talking Points Memo, the call features Jeri Watermolen, a former McCain backer who has turned to support Obama because of the McCain campaign’s robocalls which ‘viciously—and falsely’ attack Obama.
“Hi, this is Jeri Watermolen, calling for the Campaign for Change. I live in Green Bay and, like you, I've been getting sleazy phone calls and mail from John McCain and his supporters viciously - and falsely - attacking Barack Obama. I used to support John McCain because he honorably served our country - but this year he's running a dishonorable campaign.”
Full script after the jump
ABOARD THE ELECTION EXPRESS
MARTINSBURG, West Virginia (CNN)– “The most divided this country has ever been.”
You hear that phrase tossed around almost casually from time to time during this presidential campaign. Usually it is used to point out the ugliness into which the campaign sometimes has descended.
And, indeed, with the occasional campaign-season talk of what and what does not constitute the “real America,” and of which candidate is the most loyal to the values of the United States, the rhetoric by supporters of both candidates does tend to get more than a little unpleasant, even inflammatory.
But the most divided the country has ever been?
(CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign trail encounter with Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher continues to play a prominent role in Sen. John McCain’s economic message during the final weeks of the race for the White House.
McCain’s new television ad, “Sweat Equity,” begins with footage of Obama’s exchange with Wurzelbacher, now known simply as “Joe the plumber,” followed by images of would-be voters declaring “I’m Joe the plumber.”
“I'm supposed to work harder... Just to pay more taxes. Obama wants my sweat to pay for his trillion dollars in new spending?,” the ad’s script also says.
The McCain campaign says the 30-second spot will air in “key states.” The ad follows up on a Web video launched last week that also features the Wurzelbacher exchange with Obama .
(full script of “Sweat Equity” after the jump)
Watch Obama on Ellen.
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) – Barack Obama lauded his wife Michelle at his evening event for being a better speaker than he is. Apparently she is also a better dancer.
The Democratic presidential nominee taped an appearance for the "Ellen DeGeneres Show" after his rally on a makeshift set behind the press filing tent. DeGeneres told Obama that when Michelle appeared on her show "she was talking some smack" about his dance "moves."
Standing in front of a few rows of supporters, Obama danced to James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing" much to the delight of the talk show host.
"Let me tell you that Michelle may be a better dancer. But I'm convinced I'm a better dancer than John McCain," Obama said.
Watch: Obama says he's a better dancer than McCain
Obama told DeGeneres that his daughters were opting for scary Halloween costumes this year. He said Sasha, the younger daughter, is planning to be a "corpse bride" and Malia will be an "evil fairy."
"I've got to admit they both look too cute. They're not scary enough for my taste," he said.
The segment will air on Wednesday.