The LA Times uses the new Quinnipiac polls showing McCain closing in on Obama in some key states, and writes a glass-is-half-empty story -- which includes some Clinton criticism. "Obama also faces discontent from some of Hillary Rodham Clinton's most ardent supporters, who are put off by what they describe as a campaign marked by hubris and a style dedicated to televised extravaganzas. Susie Tompkins Buell, a major Clinton fundraiser, said: "The Clinton supporters that I know are bothered by these rock-star events. These spectacles are more about the candidate than they are about the party and the issues that we care about."
Regarding those Quinnipiac polls, don't miss this: "Clay Richards, the assistant director of the Connecticut university's polling institute, said the Obama slide [in Minnesota] probably isn't as dramatic as the raw numbers reflect. Still, Richards said McCain is clearly stronger in the state than he was in June."
A Pew poll of Hispanics finds that Obama leads 66%-23%.
In his most recent National Journal column, Charlie Cook writes, "Obama is more than midway through his tour of the Middle East and Europe, a trip designed to generate images of the freshman Democratic senator standing next to foreign leaders, projecting a presidential image. That's important. Swing voters need to be able to visualize him as president and to see him dealing as an equal with the world leaders whose ranks he seeks to join. So far, Obama has made no major missteps during this important journey."
"McCain has spent the past week trying to stay visible and seem relevant—talking about the economy and lobbing verbal grenades at Obama any time that his junior colleague appeared to make, or almost make, a gaffe or expose a weakness. Trailing narrowly but steadily in national polls, McCain needs to wait for Obama to make a mistake—or needs to try to force one—then exploit it. This election is about whether Obama can make the sale, taking advantage of the voters' demand for change and their preference for Democrats these days. If Obama cannot close the deal, McCain will win by default, the beneficiary of voter reluctance to embrace Obama."
More compiled by NBC/NJ's Carrie Dann…
COLORADO: Howard Fineman looks at how the heavily attended Denver convention could be a key tool in mobilizing grassroots support in the state before November. "The campaign is using the scramble for tickets as a way to harvest names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers for Coloradoans who might not otherwise get involved. "They could ID an extra twenty or thirty thousand people," [a Democratic] official said. "If they are willing to come out and see him, they might be willing to make calls for him."
FLORIDA: Obama's campaign opened its first South Florida office yesterday, its third overall in the state.
MICHIGAN: The Detroit Free Press looks at Obama's loss among indies in the Quinnipiac poll. "The survey now shows McCain leading Obama among independents in the state 44%-41%, compared to a month ago when Obama led McCain 46%-38% among that same group in the state. Independents may make up as much as a third of the electorate in Michigan."
OHIO: Ohio's Secretary of State predicts a whopping 80% voter turnout in November. That would break the state's previous record of 77% turnout in 1992.
PENNSYLVANIA: Obama leads McCain in PA field offices 24-2.