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Battleground: Al's bus tour

Al Sharpton is hitting the road on a bus tour for voter registration. His goal -- to register an "estimated 9.5 million unregistered blacks nationally. The campaign is targeting Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Florida, North Carolina and Michigan, possibly pivotal states in the contest between Obama, a Democrat who would be the first black U.S. president, and Republican John McCain."
The Sun-Times' Sweet looks at the big money that Team Obama sent to battleground states last month.

Cash has been pouring into Planned Parenthood from donors galvanized against Sarah Palin. "A three-week-old Internet campaign is asking abortion-rights activists to send donations to Planned Parenthood in honor of the Alaska governor. The origin of the campaign is unknown and Planned Parenthood officials insist it is not their doing." More: "Katie Groke Ellis, field manager for the Planned Parenthood of the Rockies Action Fund, predicts that the five-state chapter of the group alone could draw $100,000 in donations."

COLORADO: Per the Denver Post: "Colorado Republicans have nearly a 30,000-voter edge in requests for mail-in ballots, but strategists on both sides of the aisle say that may not be enough to overcome the Democrats' historically strong get-out-the-vote efforts on Election Day. The GOP, whose overall voter-registration advantage over Democrats has plummeted 60 percent since the last presidential election, usually excels at racking up early votes. That effort counterbalances the Democrats' Election Day mobilization and the unpredictability of those registered as unaffiliated -- a third of the electorate." 
Democrat Mark Udall holds about an 8-point lead against his Republican opponent for Senate.  How robust is support for the green-friendly Dem? "Udall has held a lead in the face of more than $10 million in ads from independent issue groups and political party committees attacking him, about twice as much as the amount spent on ads attacking Schaffer and more than in any other Senate race in the country."

FLORIDA: What might those Florida Hispanic numbers mean for McCain: "Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker said his survey found a clear divide in the Hispanic community, with overwhelming support for McCain among Cuban Americans and strong backing for Obama among other Hispanic voters. But the McCain supporters are more likely to go the polls because they've been in the United States longer, Coker said."

INDIANA: "Indiana, with 11 electoral votes, is one of only a handful of states where Obama's advertising has been unanswered by McCain. The Democrat has 32 offices across the state and dozens of paid staffers. His campaign spent about $6 million on television advertising in Indiana leading up to the May primary and has aired at least $1.5 million in TV ads since June. Obama has made five stops in the state since mid-July, and running mate Joe Biden was returning to the state Wednesday. The McCain campaign, by contrast, is nearly invisible. It has no field offices or paid staffers working full-time in the state, and McCain hasn't visited the state since July 1."

: Jon Ralston writes that despite the winds of history against him, the state appears to be leaning towards Obama. "A simple look at the Nevada tallies leads to the conclusion that, despite the polls, the state should go blue in 41 days. Some of the math seems inexorable... Washoe County, where Bush won by 7,000 votes and which had a 17,500-voter edge for the GOP, could have a Democratic plurality come Election Day. That's unprecedented and ominous for the GOP. And Clark County now has 100,000 more Democrats than Republicans, more than twice the margin of 2004. Obama is significantly ahead with independents in Nevada, but even if he only breaks even, the Democrats would seem to have to struggle mightily to lose."

OHIO: Cincinnati's not feelin' the love from Democrats. "When Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden delivers a speech this morning before an invitation-only crowd in the rotunda of the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, it will be the first time in 72 days that one of the top Democratic candidates has set foot in the city of Cincinnati." McCain has stumped in nearby areas and his campaign has overnighted in the city recently.

VIRGINIA: Will coal cause trouble for Obama/Biden in the Old Dominion? Richmond Times-Dispatch readers awoke to this headline: "'No coal' comment follows Biden to Va."