Discuss as:

Battlegrounds: The registration numbers

The New York Times looks at the problem facing the Republican Party -- and the advantage for the Democrats -- regarding registration. "In several states, including the traditional battlegrounds of Nevada and Iowa, Democrats have surprised their own party officials with significant gains in registration. In both of those states, there are now more registered Democrats than Republicans, a flip from 2004. No states have switched to the Republicans over the same period, according to data from 26 of the 29 states in which voters register by party. (Three of the states did not have complete data.)"

"In six states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, the Democratic piece of the registration pie grew more than three percentage points, while the Republican share declined. In only three states — Kentucky, Louisiana and Oklahoma — did Republican registration rise while Democratic registration fell, but the Republican increase was less than a percentage point in Kentucky and Oklahoma. Louisiana was the only state to register a gain of more than one percentage point for Republicans as Democratic numbers declined."

"Swings in party registration are not uncommon from one year to the next, or even over two years. Registration, moreover, often has no impact on how people actually vote, and people sometimes switch registration to vote in a primary, then flip again come Election Day. But for a shift away from one party to sustain itself — the current registration trend is now in its fourth year — is remarkable, researchers who study voting patterns say. And though comparable data are not available for the 21 states where voters do not register by party, there is evidence that an increasing number of voters in those states are also moving away from the Republican Party based on the results of recent state and Congressional elections, the researchers said."

ALASKA: The Washington Post looks at Obama's chances in the last frontier. "And this year, being a Democrat may not be such a bad thing. Every Republican on the November ballot can expect to suffer from the corruption scandal that has tarred Alaskan politics. Last week's indictment of Ted Stevens, the U.S. Senate's longest-serving Republican, follows the federal convictions of three state GOP lawmakers in cases that featured surveillance videos starring the oil executive who prosecutors say remodeled Stevens's modest Girdwood home."

MASSACHUSETTS: Obama has a 47%-38% lead over McCain in Massachusetts, according to a Suffolk University poll. "Democrat Barack Obama's nine point lead over Republican John McCain in Massachusetts is a sharp fall from the 23-point lead he enjoyed in June. McCain was able to make gains among Western Massachusetts voters, men, middle-aged voters and independents."

MICHIGAN: The Detroit Free Press gives big billing to Obama's plan to offer financial support to the auto industry. The headline: "I'd guarantee $4 billion to retool auto industry."

: The Rocky Mountain News tees off on the swing state Nevada. The Silver State's strong libertarian streak, unique political tensions, and passionate defense of gun rights make it a challenge for both McCain -- viewed as too liberal by many vocal conservatives in the state -- and Obama, whose Second Amendment stance (though softened) could get him in trouble. Check out this killer quote from a gun dealer in northern Nevada: "When Hillary Clinton announced she was running, I was swamped. Guns were flying off the shelf." Oh, and then there's this: "Even brothels are offering gas cards now when services -- as they are politely called -- are purchased."