(CNN) – New England's lone House Republican appears to have publicly broken with his party's standard-bearer, saying John McCain has not run a clean campaign and is likely to lose his bid for the presidency.
"I just don't see how [McCain] can win," Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays told the Yale Daily News earlier this week. "He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign." Shays, who in 2006 became the only Republican congressman from New England, perennially finds himself in a heated re-election race.
The comments are the latest in a string of Republicans who have publicly criticized the Arizona senator's handling of the presidential race and predicted his defeat next week is all but certain. (Other Republicans joining the chorus include Former Maryland Sen. Charles Mathias, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.)
Fellow Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl and former GOP presidential Candidate Mitt Romney also have reportedly said they think McCain is likely to lose. Jon Kyl denied making the comments, though the Arizona Daily Star later produced audio indicating he did.
In his Yaale Daily News interview, Shays did not endorse Barack Obama, and said he remained skeptical the Illinois senator will govern from the center if he is elected president.
“It’s what all presidents should do, but [Obama] has never been there,” he said of Obama's ideological orientation.
Shays is a co-chairman of McCain's campaign efforts in Connecticut.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Pennsylvania must have paper ballots available for its voters if half the machines at a polling place break down, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
The state wanted paper ballots mandatory only if all the machines in a polling place failed.
"Emergency back-up paper ballots shall be used thereafter until the county board of elections is able to make the necessary repairs to the machine(s) or is able to place into operation," Judge Harvey Bartle ruled.
The state will not appeal the decision. In a statement, Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes said the state will work with counties to ensure emergency ballots are used consistently, and that there is a sufficient supply.
(CNN) - Does the road to the White House run through the Rocky Mountains? A new state poll in Colorado suggests that Barack Obama has doubled his lead over John McCain there, as the Democratic nominee claims more territory on CNN’s Electoral Map.
In a new survey — one of five new CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation state polls released Wednesday - 53 percent of likely Colorado voters questioned say that Obama is their choice for president, with 45 percent backing McCain. That 8 point lead for Obama is double the 4 point advantage he held in our last poll, taken two weeks ago.
"Older voters in Colorado have started to break Obama's way." CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Two weeks ago he was losing the over-50 crowd by a couple of points. Now he has a five-point edge among them."
Election Center: Check out CNN's Electoral Map
The new numbers in Colorado, along with similar findings from other new polls in the state, are factors in CNN's move of Colorado from a toss up state to lean Obama in our new Electoral College Map. CNN is also changing Indiana from lean McCain to toss up. A new CNN Poll of Polls in Indiana suggests McCain holds a two point lead over Obama in a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since 1964. The poll of polls is an average of the latest state surveys.
With the switch of Colorado’s nine electoral votes and Indiana’s 11, CNN now estimates that if the election were held today Obama would win states with 286 electoral votes and McCain states with 163, with 89 electoral votes still up for grabs. Two-hundred and seventy electoral votes are needed to clinch the presidency. Obama's estimate of 286 electoral votes is a jump from 274 in our most recent electoral college map.
Washington State is also being moved from lean Obama to safe Obama, though that move doesn't change the electoral count. The CNN Electoral College map is an estimate of what could occur if the election were held today. State polls, voting trends, campaign visits and advertising, are among the factors used in deciding the electoral college map.
The Statement: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, speaking on Oct. 29 in Bowling Green, Ohio, said Barack Obama "spent a lot of time with" Rashid Khalidi. "Rashid Khalidi, he, in addition to being a political ally of Barack Obama, he's a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization," she said.
Get the facts!
(CNN) – The economy has been Issue #1 for voters in CNN’s polls for several months. As Election Day approaches, the foreclosure crisis means new concerns for some voters who have reached out for information on CNN’s voter hotline.
“My home was recently foreclosed on and I don’t know if I’ll be able to vote in my registered precinct,” a caller for Jacksonville, Florida said in a recent call to CNN. “I was able to for the primary but I don’t know what’s going to happen now.”
Florida has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. Now the rumor that a foreclosure may disqualify someone who is otherwise a properly registered Florida voter has become so widespread that the Secretary of State has addressed the issue on its “Election Myths vs Facts” Web page.
Here’s what the Web page says about foreclosures and voting in Florida:
MYTH: If your house is under foreclosure, you will not be able to vote.
FACT: A foreclosure notice does not necessarily mean that a person no longer resides in the home, as people often remain in the home after foreclosure begins and are sometimes able to refinance the home. Voters whose homes have been foreclosed but who remain in their homes may continue to vote in their assigned precinct. Voters who have physically moved from their foreclosed residence with no intention of returning to that address as their residence may still vote, but should provide a change of address to the supervisor of elections. You must vote in your correct precinct.
If you live in Florida, click here to go to Florida's Election Myths vs. Facts Web page
If you don't live in Florida, click here for a list of links to info on other states
(CNN) - Presidential candidate John McCain denied Wednesday that race will determine the outcome of next week's election pitting him against Barack Obama, who hopes to become the country's first black president.
"Look, there's racism in America - we all know that," the Republican hopeful told CNN's "Larry King Live" in a taped interview set to air Wednesday evening.
"But I am totally convinced that 99 and forty-four-one-hundredths percent of Americans are going to make the decision based on who is best to lead this country," he continued.
"These are the one of the most difficult times in our history... I have faith in the American people that they will make the judgment for the best of reasons."
McCain trails Obama by about 7 points in CNN's national Poll of Polls, and is also behind in a number of polls in must-win states as well.
(CNN) - Embattled community organizing group ACORN is taking the offensive with a new ad targeting Sen. John McCain and the Republican Party, accusing the GOP presidential nominee and his party of attempting to intimidate voters.
The new ad, entitled “Not This Time,” is shot in black-and-white and features an African-American man who ages before viewers’ eyes. “It happened to him in 1960, 1965, and again in 2000. He was intimidated so he wouldn’t vote,” an announcer says as a traditional Southern hymn plays. “Tell John McCain: not this time,” the announcer says as the ad ends, and the phone number of McCain’s Capitol Hill Senate office appears on screen.
“Senator McCain needs to instruct his operatives and supporters to cease and desist. Nothing is more important to the fabric of our democracy than protecting the rights of American voters,” said Steve Kest, ACORN’s executive director, at a Wednesday press conference where the ad was released.
In a statement issued Wednesday about lawsuits recently filed in New Mexico, Sean Cairncross, the Republican National Committee’s Chief Counsel, said the only voter suppression has been that directed at false voter registrations.
The McCain campaign also swiftly responded to the allegations of suppression in the new ad. “I am not sure how any allegation relating to what might have happened 48 years ago has any relevance to the McCain campaign,” former GOP senator John Danforth, the co-chair of the McCain campaign’s Honest and Open Election Committee, said on a conference call with reporters. “Our response is that any kind of intimidation or suppression is illegal, it’s reprehensible, it is condemned by the McCain campaign, it has been condemned specifically by Sen. McCain himself.”
ACORN says the new ad will air 48 times on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. The group said it is hoping to raise enough money to continue to air the ad through Election Day.
(CNN) - The already-contentious North Carolina Senate race took a brutal turn Wednesday after incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Dole released a television ad suggesting challenger Kay Hagan is "Godless."
“A leader of the Godless Americans PAC recently held a secret fundraiser for Kay Hagan,” the 30-second ad says before showing clips from members of the group declaring God and Jesus do not exist.
“Godless Americans and Kay Hagan. She hid from cameras. Took godless money,” the ad's narrator also says. “What did Kay Hagan promise in return?”
The ad ends with an unidentified female voice declaring, "There is no God."
The Dole campaign says it's basing its charge on Hagan's attendance at a fundraiser that was in the home of an advisor to the Godless Americans’ political action committee, a group that promotes rights for atheists.
In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Hagan said she has never heard of the Godless PAC "before Lydie Dole sent out a press release on this," and said the fundraiser in question had more than 40 hosts, including Sen. John Kerry. She also said she has contacted her lawyers to issue a cease-and-desist order on the commercial.
"I am absolutely appalled at Elizabeth Dole's vile tactics," Hagan said. “This is politics of the worst kind, and I know it has been rejected by North Carolinians at every level. It is so unbecoming of a woman like Elizabeth Dole. This is a fabricated, pathetic ad."
Of all the differences between Barack Obama and John McCain, here's one that could really make a difference down the home stretch: One has a president to help him and the other one does not. And at first glance, it's not what you might think.
After his appearance with Barack Obama tonight at a rally in Kissimmee, Florida, former president Bill Clinton plans to criss-cross the country on behalf of Obama in the closing days of the campaign. Tonight will mark President Clinton's first joint appearance with Obama on the campaign trail. Despite his lukewarm support at first,President Clinton as well as Hillary Clinton will campaign hard in the next few days to help Obama close the deal.
But what about John McCain?
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In a campaign speech Tuesday, October 28, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain accused Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, of being inconsistent on taxes.
"Senator Obama has made a lot of promises. First he said people making less than $250,000 would benefit from his plan. Then this weekend he announced in an ad that if you're a family making less than $200,000, you'll benefit," McCain said. "But yesterday, right here in Pennsylvania, Senator Biden said tax relief should only go to middle class people, people making under $150,000 a year .... It's interesting how their definition of rich has a way of creeping down."