(CNN) - Barack Obama and John McCain are statistically tied in New Hampshire, the state known for its perennial political role that is again expected to be a key battleground in the race for the White House.
According to a new poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire, Obama holds a narrow 3 point lead over McCain, 46 percent to 43 percent, with 8 percent remaining undecided. That marks a clear departure from a similar poll conducted there in April that showed McCain with a 6 point lead among Granite State voters.
New Hampshire is only worth 4 electoral votes, but its famously independent voting electorate has repeatedly rendered the state a tossup at the presidential level: it voted for John Kerry by 1 percentage point in 2004 and for George Bush by 3 points in 2000.
The state has already played a vital role in the 2008 presidential process - John McCain's come-from-behind victory there is largely credited with salvaging the Arizona senator's White House hopes while Hillary Clinton's surprising win set the stage for the prolonged Democratic primary. Clinton and Obama later held their first public show of support in Unity, New Hampshire - a town where the two candidates exactly tied.
Watch: A look back at New Hampshire
The poll, conducted on July 11-20, surveyed 519 voters and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
(CNN)–Sen. Barack Obama continues his tour overseas while Sen. John McCain criticizes him back home. In the latest installment of CNN = Politics Daily, Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowely outlines Obama’s trip thus far and explains how his campaign is defending its Iraq policy.
Meanwhile back in the States, the McCain campaign is still making the case that Obama’s Iraq policy is wrong. CNN’s Dana Bash has the details from Kennebunkport, Maine.
Plus: The New York Times is refusing to publish a McCain op-ed - even though it printed Obama’s just last week. CNN’s Howard Kurtz sheds light on the newspapers justification for its decision.
Finally: The presidential candidates are set to attend a religious forum together later this month. CNN’s Jessica Yellin reveals how Pastor Rick Warren was able to bring Obama and McCain to the same stage.
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(CNN) - There’s been plenty of second-guessing from Republican critics about Barack Obama's large-scale public events and speeches scheduled for his visit to Europe this week - but former President George H.W. Bush isn't one of them.
Asked today whether, as a former head of state who has a sensitivity about protocol, he has any thoughts about the appropriateness of Obama's planned events, the former President replied, "A little jealous, is all."
The former president, who says he's just returned from a visit to Germany's Brandenburg gate, added that Obama will "figure it out."
For more on the stagecraft of Obama's world tour, tune into Campbell Brown: Election Center tonight at 8 pm ET.
(CNN)–We want your take on this historic election. In ten words or less (yes, we're counting) please add a comment below or send us an iReport video or audio recording of yourself describing what you see your role being in this election, why you vote, or what politics and this election means to you. In adding your comment below, be sure to include your email address (which will remain unpublished). We will contact the finalists whose quotes will be used in a new promotional campaign and in turn receive a CNN=Politics swag bag (read: free stuff).
(CNN) - John McCain and Barack Obama will share a stage next month, shortly before officially claiming their parties’ presidential nominations.
Both men will appear at a forum at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church August 16 – and briefly appear on stage together before being interviewed separately by the “Purpose-Driven Life” author.
“This is a critical time for our nation and the American people deserve to hear both candidates speak from the heart – without interruption – in a civil and thoughtful format absent the partisan ‘gotcha’ questions that typically produce heat instead of light,” said Warren in a statement released Monday.
He added that he viewed both men as friends, but “they also know I will be raising questions… beyond what political reporters typically ask,” including issues like climate change, human rights, poverty and HIV/AIDS.
The Saddlebrook forum will be co-sponsored by Faith in Public Life, which co-organized a similar event with CNN at Messiah College in advance of the Pennsylvania primary.
(CNN) - Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign debt continued to grow after she suspended her White House bid - and included another $1 million loan by the New York senator to her own campaign, according to documents filed Sunday with the Federal Election Commission.
Clinton reported carrying a total of $25.2 million in debts and self-financed loans at the end of June, up from $22.5 million one month earlier. The increase is due in part to an additional $1 million that the New York senator loaned the campaign out of her personal funds on June 30. Clinton now has loaned her campaign a total of $13.2 million - more than half the total debt.
The campaign’s debts to outside vendors and creditors also increased from $10.3 million at the end of May to $12.0 million one month later. Part of this increase is likely due to spending related to the Puerto Rico primary on June 1 and the Montana and South Dakota primaries on June 3, as well as expenses incurred from shutting down her campaign operation.
(CNN) - The New York Times has rejected an op-ed piece written by John McCain defending his Iraq war policy in response to a piece by Barack Obama published in the paper last week.
In an e-mail to the McCain campaign, Opinion Page Editor David Shipley said he could not accept the piece as written, but would be “pleased, though, to look at another draft.”
“Let me suggest an approach,” he wrote. “The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans. It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece.”
McCain’s rejected op-ed had been a lengthy critique of Obama’s positions on Iraq policy, particularly his view of the surge. “Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history,” wrote McCain, criticizing Obama’s call for an early withdrawal timeline. “I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner prematurely.”
Obama’s July 14 essay had taken shots at McCain for not further encouraging the Iraqi government to take control of the country.
(CNN) - "The world is waiting to love America again" is a quote from a recent editorial in a British newspaper, and many Europeans are hoping Barack Obama will provide them with just that chance. When Obama travels to Europe later this week, it's expected he'll be treated like a rock star – mobbed by cheering fans in Berlin, Paris and London.
A recent poll in England found 70 percent of Italians, 67 percent of Germans, 65 percent of the French and 49 percent of Britons would vote for Obama. Compare that to Republican John McCain, who gets support from 15 percent of Italians, 6 percent of Germans, 8 percent of the French and 14 percent in Britain.
Books about Obama are hot sellers in France, and some European newspapers describe him as a "John Kennedy of our times." After eight years of unilateral "my way or the highway" George Bush, Europeans are hungry for the change Obama is offering, especially when it comes to America's role on the world stage.
It's been a long time since the visit by an American politician has been so highly anticipated in Europe.
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(CNN) - Barack Obama will speak before a major gathering of journalists in Chicago this Sunday, likely the Illinois senator's first national appearance upon returning from his trip abroad.
The event, sponsored by an alliance of minority journalists called UNITY, will be broadcast live on CNN Sunday morning. The gathering's organizers also extended an invitation to John McCain.
"We are pleased that our UNITY colleagues will have the chance to hear from Sen. Obama and be among the first to question him upon his return from his overseas trip," Karen Lincoln Michel, UNITY president, said in a statement. "We hope that in this historic campaign, Sen. McCain, whose presence is equally important, will also address our audience – the kind of audience that reflects the growing diversity in America."
UNITY says it represents nearly 10,000 members of the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.