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The general: Is Obama really up 15?

Newsweek released a poll that has Obama sporting a 15-point lead. It's the largest lead in any Obama-vs.-McCain poll to date. Will it be an outlier? An important point about THIS poll: "Obama's current lead also reflects the large party-identification advantage the Democrats now enjoy—55 percent of all voters call themselves Democrats or say they lean toward the party while just 36 percent call themselves Republicans or lean that way. Even as McCain seeks to gain voters by distancing himself from the unpopular Bush and emphasizing his maverick image, he is suffering from the GOP's poor reputation among many voters. Still, history provides hope for the GOP."

VIDEO: Hardball guest host David Shuster and panel discuss the latest Newsweek poll in which Barack Obama leads John McCain 51 percent to 36 percent among registered voters.

We learned a lot about Obama's summer campaign plans in the Sunday New York Times. "Future commercials could run on big national showcases like the Olympics in August and smaller cable networks like MTV and Black Entertainment Television that appeal to specific demographic and interest groups. He is also dispatching paid staff members to all states, an unusual move by the standards of modern presidential campaigns where the fight is often contained to contested territories."

More: "Free from the constraints of public financing, Mr. Obama's budget for the rest of the year could exceed $300 million, campaign and party officials have said. But his fund-raising slowed in May, when the campaign raised about $22 million — almost $10 million less than in April and a large decline from the record amounts he was taking in earlier this year. The decline was evidence that he might have to invest substantial time at fund-raising to match the levels he set in the first quarter this year."