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EARLYBIRD

Campaign News

McCain barnstorms through seven states on Election Day, while Obama mourns his grandmother's death. Plus: 'Uncle Ted' makes his stand.

• "Democrat Barack Obama leads Republican John McCain in five of eight key battleground states as Americans prepare to vote in the White House race, according to a series of Reuters/Zogby polls released" today.

• "In 14 national polls completed over the weekend," Obama "surpassed the 50-percent threshold in all but one, suggesting he is within striking distance of a feat no Democrat has accomplished since Jimmy Carter in 1976: winning a majority of the vote," the Politico reports.

 

• The 2008 campaign "has rewritten the rules on how to reach voters, raise money, organize supporters, manage the news media, track and mold public opinion, and wage -- and withstand -- political attacks, including many carried by blogs that did not exist four years ago," the New York Times reports. "It has challenged the consensus view of the American electoral battleground, suggesting that Democrats can at a minimum be competitive in states and regions that had long been Republican strongholds."

• "Voters in two small New Hampshire towns cast the first Election Day ballots minutes after midnight this morning, starting off a day that experts say could be marked by delays in getting voters to the polls and in getting ballot counts out by the end of the day," the Washington Post reports.

• Obama "came up a big winner in the presidential race in Dixville Notch and Hart's Location, N.H., where tradition of having the first Election Day ballots tallied lives on," the New York Times reports.

 

• "The broadcast networks and many cable channels are primed with an array of flashy, star-studded grand finales Tuesday, capping a year of high-rated election programming," the Wall Street Journal reports. "The marathon-coverage plans are designed to attract news-savvy viewers as well as those who haven't followed all the twists and turns of the 21-month campaign."

• "At least one broadcast network and one Web site said Monday that they could foresee signaling to viewers early Tuesday evening which candidate appeared to have won the presidency, despite the unreliability of some early exit polls in the last presidential election," the New York Times reports.

• "Several students attending Canadian universities have been scrambling to get home to Massachusetts today to vote, with some saying they did not receive their absentee ballots despite having requested them months ago," the Boston Globe reports.

GOP 2008: Palin Cleared In Second 'Troopergate' Probe

• "On the eve of Election Day," McCain "was at times defiant, pleading and humorous as he made a final seven-state campaign swing looking for presidential votes," USA Today reports.

 

• "Joe the Plumber conceded Monday night that" McCain "has a slim chance of defeating" Obama "in the race for the White House," the Washington Times reports.

• "A report released on Monday by a state board found that Gov. Sarah Palin did not apply improper pressure to try to dismiss a state trooper who was her former brother-in-law and did not violate state ethics laws in the firing of her public safety commissioner," the New York Times reports.

• "Palin, 44, is in excellent health and has had no major medical problems, according to a two-page, seven-paragraph letter by her doctor released late Monday night," the Times also reports. "The letter is the first information the Palin campaign has provided about her medical history."

• "The town of Wasilla," Alaska, "which bristled under the glare of intense media scrutiny in the weeks after" McCain tapped Palin "as his running mate, seems to be buzzing in anticipation of Election Day," the Politico reports.

Dems 2008: Obama Banking On Text Messages In GOTV Operation

• "Now all that's left is to vote, even for the man who would be president," AP reports. Obama "planned to start Election Day like millions of other Americans, at the polls. It's the ending that will be unique, securing his place in history as the first black president or as the loser of one of the toughest races in American political history."

• Obama's "campaign is counting on a potent new weapon for Election Day: the humble cell-phone text message," Bloomberg News reports.

• "Madelyn Dunham, who watched from afar as her only grandson rapidly ascended the ranks of American politics to the brink of the presidency, did not live to see whether he was elected," the New York Times reports. "Mrs. Dunham, 86," Obama's "grandmother, died late Sunday in Hawaii after battling cancer."

• "California, the ATM for politicians nationwide, has spit out cash for" Obama "at an extraordinary clip," the Los Angeles Times reports. "One of every five dollars he has raised in itemized contributions to his campaign has come from the Golden State."

• "Kenyans in" Obama's "ancestral homeland prayed for victory on Tuesday and relatives prepared to roast a bull in celebration if he becomes the first African-American president of the United States," Reuters reports.

Downballot 2008: Blue Dogs Sit On Cash To Chagrin Of Dems

• "Republicans in charge of spending the party's money for congressional races have ceded some ground to Democrats without a fight, declining to defend seats they currently hold in an admission that some areas have turned too blue to save this year," the Wall Street Journal reports.

• "Democrats are within reach of their magic number this election -- a 60 percent majority in both chambers of Congress," The Hill reports. "In the Senate, they could secure a filibuster-proof majority, which would set the seal on a new epoch of one-party domination."

• "Democratic officials say they have more opportunities this year than they have money, but there's one Democratic group that has more money than it can give away," The Hill also reports. "The political action committee (PAC) of the Blue Dog Democrats has $1.4 million going into the election, and few places left to spend it."

• Republican Sen. "Ted Stevens may be a dead man walking in Washington, but he's still 'Uncle Ted' in Alaska, where supporters turn out for rallies wearing name tags that say 'niece' and 'nephew,'" the Politico reports.

• "While America awaits the outcome of today's historic election, Senate Republican leaders also will be eyeing Nov. 5 -- the day they say marks the beginning of their campaign to take out Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in 2010," Roll Call (subscription) reports.

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