Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama Widens Lead Over McCain

John McCain seems like he's been living in Iowa the past month or so. O.K., I'm exaggerating. But he's been here a bunch, a lot more frequently that he was here before September and before the Caucuses for that matter. From the numbers, it doesn't seem like it's doing him any good. In fact, it looks like it's having the opposite effect. Our new poll has him trailing by even more with just five days to go until the election. Sarah Palin is coming back to the state Monday with a stop in Dubuque. But how can the McCainiacs be very optimistic right now?

Here are our latest numbers:

40% McCain (R)
55% Obama (D)
3% Other
2% Undecided

Asked of 658 likely & actual voters Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 3.8%

Our U.S. Senate race looks like a blowout at this point.

35% Chris Reed (R)
61% Tom Harkin (D)
3% Undecided

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barrack Obama

Barack Obama has made hundreds of stops in Iowa over the past two years. But apparently, not all Iowans know everything about him just yet. Notice anything not quite right about this notice from the city of Des Moines warning drivers of street closures because of Obama's rally Friday?

Roadway Information Report
City of Des Moines
Office of Traffic and Transportation
Phone: (515) 283-4973

Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2008


12th Street will be closed from Locust Street to Grand Avenue at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 30, 2008 to approximately 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 31, 2008.

The North bound lane of 13th Street will be closed from Locust Street to Grand Avenue at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 30, 2008 to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 31, 2008 with both lanes closing at 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on October 31, 2008.

This closure is in preparation for the Barrack Obama Rally to be held Friday, October 31, 2008.

Local traffic will be accommodated as much as possible for the area businesses. Motorists are urged to use caution when driving in this area, and to obey all warning signs.

If there are questions, contact Traffic and Transportation, City of Des Moines, at 283-4973.

B-A-R-A-C-K will be here Friday at 11:30a.m.

Obama Rally and Bikers for Obama

I have had a few people ask me about this... Barack Obama's rally Friday in Des Moines, according to the campaign, is slated to take place at the Western Gateway Park. The rally area isn't right across the street from Obama headquarters on Locust. That's the area that's all torn up right now. The only open grassy area is in front of the Pappajohn Learning Center and the new Des Moines Public Library around 12th and 13th Streets.

Speaking of Obama... There's clearly an effort here to get people to the polls early. Obama's rally is called the "Early Vote for Change Rally with Barack Obama". Governor Chet Culver already voted early, so is Senator Tom Harkin, so is Rep. Dave Loebsack (I think it was. Maybe it was Rep. Bruce Braley).

The campaign also sent this out to supporters:

Barack is coming back to Iowa this week to rally on Friday, October 31st, because he knows how important this state is. What began in Iowa nearly two years ago has set off a chain reaction -- and now all across the country, something is stirring. You see it in the thousands of people who are casting early votes for change in Iowa and across the country. But time is running out for you to be part of it. The last day of Early Vote is coming up quickly, and this Saturday there are extended hours at your local county auditor's office.

Then, there's this:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

McCain Wins By One Vote

A Democratic friend sent a video to me, "blaming me" for something that hasn't even happened and the polls show would be unlikely to happen. But it's REALLY clever. I wish I were smart enough to make up these things... (BTW, it could be a little saucy for delicate readers).

Here's the link:

McCain Hires African Americans for Iowa

I'm not sure what the bigger news of this article is... that McCain's campaign hired two African-American women from Chicago to go door to door in Iowa. They both apparently support Obama, by the way. Interesting. Or there's this, that the Iowan who masterminded Mike Huckabee's seemingly improbable win in the Iowa Caucuses wasn't asked for his input on McCain's Iowa efforts. Instead, Eric Woolson is apparently figuring out how to sell catnip that he admits looks like marijuana. Hmmm...

Decide for yourself.

Obama Back in Iowa

You had to figure Iowa would get its make-good. And Friday morning, it looks like that will happen. Barack Obama canceled a stop to the Des Moines metro last Thursday, so the campaign said he could visit his sick grandmother in Hawaii. But it looks like he has rescheduled. No official word on the details. But some Blackberry carrying folks were studying the area in front of the Iowa Statehouse Tuesday morning. Can we expect a big outdoor "hurry up and go vote early" rally there on Friday? Update: No, we can't. The rally will be at 11:30am at the Western Gateway Park.

We'll have to see if either half of the McPalin ticket will return. McCain has been to Iowa four times in the last five weeks or so.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Budweiser meet Barack. It looks like the original "wassup?" guys from the Budweiser commercials are pitching a new product. Someone emailed it to me.

Here's the original:

Here's the new one:

Take Day Off for Obama

Barack Obama doesn't want you to work on election day. Ask your boss or your professor to give you the day off. That's the message in a video his campaign just sent out to supporters.

Obama vs. McCain

John McCain has almost been living in Iowa the past month and a half. Is it helping? Not so much, at least if you believe results of a new poll. A new Marist Poll shows Barack Obama's lead has grown by one among likely voters, 51% to 41%, over McCain. Over the past month, Obama seems to be picking up a LOT of independents, as well. Obama and McCain are also becoming slightly more unfavorable with voters, but not nearly as much as Sarah Palin is.

Here's the poll:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Barack Roll

For all you numbers peeps, here are the latest from the Iowa Secretary of State's office. And for dessert, a Barack Roll.


Total - 2,134,334

D - 733,478

R - 623,455


O - 847


Total Sent: 393,462

Dem - 188,749

Rep - 110,914

No Party - 93,572

Other (Green and Libertarian) - 227

Total Recieved: 255,884

Dem - 130,220

Rep - 72,105

No Party - 53,401

Other (Green and Libertarian) - 158

Palin Coming to Iowa

I screwed up a post last night. Sarah Palin is coming solo to Des Moines Saturday. This isn't a McPalin two-fer. My bad.

Let me apologize by offering this rarely seen other dual appearance.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

McPalin Comes to Iowa

Who said the Republicans are giving up on Iowa? In fact, John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning together in Des Moines this Saturday afternoon (they are doing three stops total, although I think Des Moines is the only joint appearance).

Question is...what will Palin wear? Or perhaps, the better question much does it cost? Have you seen this story yet in The Politico? It cites expense reports that show the Republican National Committee paid more than $150,000 on clothes, hair, makeup, etc. for Palin and her family since she joined the ticket. John Edwards' $400 haircuts may look like Great Clips Saturday specials now.

Younger Voters

Younger voters say they will vote, but...

More younger voters plan to vote, but they are less likely to actually show up to vote. That's according to a new University of Iowa poll. Will this mean, as John McCain keeps saying, Barack Obama shouldn't measure the drapes for the Oval Office just yet?

Monday, October 20, 2008

McCain Quitting Iowa?

John King of CNN reports John McCain's top advisers acknowledge he isn't going to win Iowa. No doubt the polls aren't looking great for Mac in Iowa. Real Clear Politics averages all Iowa polls to show Obama up by nearly 12 points. I do know, at last check, McCain is doing "Meet the Press" this Sunday...from Waterloo, Iowa. So I'm not sure he's giving up just yet. Should he this late in the game?

Obama Cancels Iowa Trip

(Photo courtesy: USA Today)
It's a little past 8pm Monday and Barack Obama's campaign has just announced he will NOT be coming to Iowa after all Thursday. To this point, the campaign had never issued the details of the trip. It had only said there would be a trip to the Des Moines area. Now, there apparently won't. Here's the release:

Des Moines, Iowa – Senator Barack Obama’s visit to Iowa on Thursday has been cancelled. Please see the below statement from Senior Adviser Robert Gibbs.

"Senator Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has always been one of the most important people in his life. Along with his mother and his grandfather, she raised him in Hawaii from the time he was born until the moment he left for college. As he said at the Democratic Convention, she poured everything she had into him.“Recently, his Grandmother has become ill, and in the last few weeks, her health has deteriorated to the point where her situation is very serious. It is for that reason that Senator Obama has decided to change his schedule on Thursday and Friday so that he can see her and spend some time with her. He will be returning the the campaign trail on Saturday."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

1 on 1 with Sarah Palin

For the first time, we got to talk 1 on 1 with Sarah Palin Sunday. The campaign tells me it's her first Iowa interview. Here's the whole interview.

And finally, how about David Price! I mean the talented one. The one who is the 6'5" pitcher from the Tampa Bay Rays (why didn't they get rid of the "Devil" sooner?) who blew away the Boston Red Sox Sunday night. Finally, David Price makes it to the World Series. I knew it would happen some day!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Must See TV

My beloved Missouri Tigers take on #1 Texas in college football tonight.

My adopted, second favorite baseball team, The Tampa Bay Rays, try to put away the Boston Red Sox tonight.

Plus, Sarah Palin makes a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live tonight.

Too much stuff on tv. Man, I'm not going to get much done. And I'm at work.

Developing Story: Obama returning to Iowa

Well, it wasn't quite this long ago since he came...

(photo courtesy:

I don't have all the details on this yet, but it looks like Barack Obama will make his return to the Des Moines metro next week. Several Democratic sources tell me Obama will rally here late Thursday afternoon/early evening. His campaign is not confirming anything yet. Obama last came to Des Moines on May 20th. That's the night he had earned enough delegates for his party's nomination.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Swing Voters

The Costco by our house in West Des Moines has gas for $2.44. So when do we see other prices start to fall? After all, wasn't the rising fuel price given as the reason for so many other prices going up? Would cheaper prices help John McCain? Most polls I see give the edge to Obama on the economy, so would this help McCain some?

Here's another example of how YouTube is part of the Decision 2008. It's supposed to be for "swing voters". It seems like there are more of these types of videos supporting Obama, rather than McCain. Does anyone know of some good ones for McCain?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

McCain at the Debate

Did it really look this bad on tv? This snapshot comes from Reuters. BTW, if you didn't see the debate or at least didn't stick around until the end... the debate had just ended and Obama was walking around the table to shake moderator Bob Schieffer's hand. McCain couldn't figure out which way to go around the table. And you see the result.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama McCain Debate

O.K., that's it. They're done. Three debates between John McCain and Barack Obama. McCain trailed in every national poll I've seen before the debate. It would seem like he needed a good night. You could argue he might need a great night. So did he get it? Will Republicans say he won? Perhaps, more importantly, did Independents think he won? This is our last chance to grade the candidates on how they did before the election. So what's your grade for each of them?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Americans Can't Identify Obama's Religion

42 percent of Americans can't say what religion Barack Obama is, according to a new nationwide poll by the University of Iowa. 42%? Is that really possible? Is it all those internet-fueled emails people spread to friends, family and co-workers with the allegation Obama is a Muslim? Is this video having an effect?

The poll also found McCain could be in big trouble unless his latest message of "I'm a fighter" works really, really well. About four in five people surveyed think Obama will win the election. McCain sure needs some kind of fight these final three weeks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lovable Losers

This Wednesday, central Iowa will be the place for "almosts", "could have beens", "runners up" and "bridesmaids". John Kerry comes here to campaign for Barack Obama. Kerry, of course, lost to George W Bush in 2004. Bob Dole comes to Des Moines at night for the World Food Prize. Bill Clinton beat him in 1996. George McGovern will be here for that event, too. Richard Nixon beat him in 1972.

For good measure, let's remember Al Gore headlined the Iowa Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner a few weeks ago. Bush 43 beat him, too. All we need now is to invite Ernie Banks from the Chicago Cubs and Jim Kelly from the Buffalo Bills. We can have the first annual second place convention.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Joe Six Pack

Sarah Palin has mentioned, "It's time that normal Joe Six-pack American is finally represented in the position of vice presidency." Who is this Joe Six-pack (and does he get a hyphen?) Well, here he is... (at least when you "google" it).

Joe is a beer reporter in Pennsylvania. Of course, he is. Here's his website.

Cheers! And three cheers for my St. Louis Rams, who finally won a ball game. They should have fired their head coach long ago...look at the results!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mac's Back; McCain coming to Iowa

(Photo courtesy: Associated Press)

John McCain will make his third trip to Iowa in a little more than a month. The campaign just sent out an email to supporters confirming a trip to Davenport Saturday morning.

Here's the invite:

Join John McCain and Your Iowa Ticket for a "Road to Victory" Rally

Saturday, October 11th

Doors Open at 8:30 am

Program Begins at 10:30 am

River Center 136 E. 3rd Street

Davenport, IA 52801

The campaign also made another push to get Iowans to vote early. Here's another email to supporters:

Iowa Voter Registration Deadline is October 24th Click here to register to vote. Our right to vote is one of the most important responsibilities we have as citizens of this great country. While many people might take this right for granted, much has been sacrificed for our democracy and it's up to us to exercise the right to vote. The first step is to make sure you're registered to vote. Please visit this page right now and mail in your application before October 24th. If you're not going to be home on Election Day, please don't forget to request an absentee ballot by visiting this page. It's easy: Visit this page and print out your application.
Mail it to the address listed on the website before October 24th. Vote on November 4th. If you're not going to be home on November 4th,
request an absentee ballot here.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Homer Simpson for Obama

Yes, I know this has no news value. But sometimes, the news has no news value. It's good for a laugh.

Don't Vote Video

I suppose this is a bit of reverse psychology. Some Hollywood actors made a video to urge you NOT to vote. Well, actually they want you to vote. This will clear things up when you watch it. Or maybe not. Not sure. What do you think? Will this get people to vote?

McCain Will Attack Obama's Character

So I'm reading that team McPalin will attack Barack Obama's character in the campaign's final month. Do you McCainiacs think that's a winning strategy? Is that what it takes to win over the undecided Independents? I guess we'll know 30 days from now.

I just got off the phone with an elderly woman who actually called to complain that the NFL football game is going late tonight. She really wanted to see WHO-TV 13's Sports SoundOff, because she wanted to see Keith Murphy cry in his beer. She's convinced he is a big Cubs fan. She likes Andy Fales, because he is a big Cardinals fan. He is actually. She told me I'm a big Democrat and I should be ashamed of myself for being so biased on the air. Last night, I received an email from a viewer who was convinced I'm a big Republican. Boy, I must have had one big flip flop transformation overnight.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Al Gore in Des Moines

Tonight, Al Gore plays headliner for the Iowa Democratic Party's annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner. Let's see if it runs a little closer to schedule than last year. Six prez candidates got their chance to show off their oratory skills then. If memory serves me, it wasn't the smoothest night. It started late. There weren't nearly enough concession stands/workers for people in the cheap seats to get some eats. And Obama took the microphone too late to make many of the print reporters' deadlines to make the Sunday papers, plus he was too late to make much of an appearance on the late television newscasts. I did get to hang out with Tim Russsert though. That made the whole night worth it. I sure miss him.

It's just Al Gore this year, along with state democrats trying to get a little face time before the election. I'll be curious what kind of crowd it draws.

I doubt we'll get this kind of excitement though:)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Biden Palin Debate

Did you hear Palin ask Biden, "Can I call you Joe?" Is that a trap? I wonder if Biden has been told NOT to call her Sarah or Sarah Palin. Will he just keep calling her Governor Palin to remind people she is a politician, not a total outsider.

Why does Biden keep smiling like that from ear to ear when Palin is ripping on him?

Palin looked nervous to me when the debate began. Although, that seemed to disappear. She rarely engages Biden. Biden talks to the moderator. Palin talks to the camera. Perhaps, her time as a tv reporter pays off in this situation.

Palin is now praising Biden and his family (his son is serving in the National Guard) but she isn't even looking at him. She keeps looking ahead into the camera.

Palin is borrowing a George W Bush line: nuc-u-lar. She said it that way at least three times.

Biden will not say Sarah Palin. Well, he said it once and then right away corrected himself and said Governor Palin.

Biden seems to be holding back. This isn't the guy I remember covering so often before the caucus. He's stumbled a handful of times and almost sounds like he's whispering at times. Will he show the passion his supporters love?

Palin said she would disagree with McCain on ANWAR. In fact, she said it while winking at the camera. Biden said he would agree on every major plan of Obama. He didn't name any disagreement he would have.

Second Palin wink. This one was for her dad in the audience, she said, right after she broke out her first "doggoneit".

Palin had made the audience laugh at least twice so far, none for Biden that I remember. Does it matter? It might at least show Palin is feeling comfortable on stage.

Palin completely misunderstood the question on what her "achilles heel" would be, unless she is intentionally not answering it by giving her strengths instead. The moderator didn't call her out on it.

Biden started to choke up talking about how he knows what it's like to be a single dad.

He is now finally getting fired up a bit saying McCain voted with Bush 4 out of 5 times on the budget and skyrocketed the deficit.

My English teachers would have gone crazy to hear Palin say "have got" so many times.

O.K., that's it. It's over. Speaking of my English teachers, get out your red Sharpie pens and grade the candidates. What do you grade them for their performance tonight?

Biden Palin Debate

I have no problem saying it...I'm excited about this V.P. debate tonight. How will this play out tonight? Will Sarah Palin come after Joe Biden to see if she can get him to come hard against her? Will Biden choose to ignore Palin and come after John McCain and George Bush instead?

Will Palin stick to the talking points and the lines like she uses on the campaign trail in that folksy style? Will she avoid getting stumped like it seems she did numerous times by Katie Couric's interview? How will Biden strike the balance of the fiery guy his supporters love and the guy who can go on too long and get too fired up for his on good, especially on tv.

It's on...

McPalin/OBiden Organization

I wonder what Joe Biden and Sarah Palin thought as they woke up this morning (separately, I mean). Were they nervous? excited? confident? cocky? It could be the biggest two hours of their lives at that debate tonight.

I'm not sure if this is a sign of organization or what...but I was checking through my emails this morning. Both prez campaigns sent out notices they'll be holding "debate watch" parties tonight. McCain's campaign holds two, one in Urbandale, one in Council Bluffs. Obama's is holding about 36, if my count is correct.