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McCain vs. Obama: Your partisan divide

The New York Times' Leibovich notes the differences between rallies for McCain-Palin and Obama. "Supporters of Senators Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden Jr. often look like Benetton-colored billboards, decked out for their candidates in Obama-Biden hats, T-shirts and buttons. Supporters of Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin like logo merchandise, too, but tend more toward pompoms (yes, pompoms), homemade signs ('Pitbulls 4 Freedom'), flag pins and chest paint. There is more dancing at Democratic rallies, more shouting out at Republican ones. They chant 'Yes, we can' (or 'Sí, se puede') at Obama and Biden rallies, 'U.S.A.' and 'Drill, baby, drill' at McCain and Palin rallies; the D's bounce to blaring folk-rock and Motown (Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder) and the R's counter with country-pop (including Dolly Parton's '9 to 5') and arena rock (AC/DC)."

Leibovich adds, "Democratic rallygoers seem more worried about Ms. Palin than about Mr. McCain. They speak of feeling weary of 'the politics of fear' and claim Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin are 'irrelevant' — unless they win, as one supporter in Charleston, W.Va., said with a smile-cringe. When you ask Republicans what they think of Mr. Obama, the word 'socialist' comes up more often than not. They mention that he is a smooth talker, and not in a good way. A lot of them seem to have real problems with Michelle Obama, too, though they cannot pinpoint why. And they do not much care for that Joe Biden, either, or whatever his name is — many cannot immediately summon it."

Politico says it would be a mistake for the McCain campaign to bank on grabbing a lion's share of the undecided vote to close the gap. "The pool of undecided voters on Election Day could be as large as one in 10, but John McCain can hardly rely on them to overtake Barack Obama. According to past election results, undecided voters are unlikely to break decisively for either candidate and dramatically alter Tuesday's race. In the past eight presidential contests, voters who made up their minds during the last week of the campaign never went for either ticket by large margins of 3-2 or 2-1, which potentially could tip the scales. 'There is likely no hidden life raft in the undecided vote for John McCain,' said Andy Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center."

The Boston Globe on the war over the airwaves. "An unprecedented $64 million worth of television ads in just the final week of the race will put an exclamation point on the most expensive presidential campaign in history…. McCain, bolstered by about $18 million in late spending by the Republican National Committee, will hold his own against Democrat Barack Obama on the airwaves in the closing days. But over the course of the long campaign, the Obama operation will have spent more than $100 million more than McCain and the RNC on TV ads, according to data compiled for the Obama campaign and reviewed by the Globe."

"McCain says racism will play virtually no role when voters head to the polls next Tuesday because it will be trumped by the nation's economic problems. ... Referring to people who might vote against Democrat Barack Obama because he is black, McCain added: 'It would be a tiny, tiny, minority. Because people are hurting too much now. I mean, they're worried about staying in their homes, keeping their jobs.'"