Senior Political Analyst
Undecided voters are almost all whites. Very few African-American voters are undecided. White voters favor McCain. So it would not be surprising to see more undecided voters going for McCain than for Obama as they make up their minds. That will tighten the race up a bit. But are there enough undecided voters left for McCain to overtake Obama? Don’t think so.
AC360° is live again for two hours tonight.
Just like last night, we'll be posting your comments from 10pm ET to Midnight ET.
Tonight on 360°, the battle for votes. We'll take you live to the Obama rally at the Univerity of Missouri-Columbia. And, is John McCain closing the gap in the polls? All that and more, tonight on 360°.
We want you to be part of the program. Share your thoughts below.
But remember our rules.
Here are some of them:
1) Use your real name (Mickey Mouse won't work here)
2) Keep it short
3) Stay on topic (we don't want to know about your Halloween plans just yeet)
Erica has the night off so our floor crew is handling the webcast during the commericals. Don't miss the fun. LINK TO WEBCAST.
And get a look at what's going on in the 360° studio.
via the live web camera LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA
Where's Joe Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber? He didn't show up at a McCain event today in Ohio.
It was a bit of an awkward moment for the GOP candidate. Today, Wurzelbacher was MIA when McCain called for him in the crowd in Defiance, Ohio. But he did show up later in the day at two other events.
Could the "Joe the Plumber" mantra backfire for the McCain camp? We'll dig into that tonight on 360.
We'll also take you on the trail to a live Obama rally at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
And, we're tracking the latest poll numbers. At one point today, the CNN poll-of-national polls showed Obama with just a 5 percentage points lead over McCain. Now we're back at a 7-point difference. Oh, what a difference a couple of hours makes in this campaign.
A lot of ground to cover tonight. We're two hours live.
Hope you can join us at 10pm ET.
AC360° Senior Producer
The NPOP..known to CNNers as the national poll of polls..today shows Obama 5 points ahead of McCain, versus 7 points on Wednesday.. SO.. if he keeps losing 2 points a day, Obama loses.
But wait! Obama is pulling further ahead in some key Battleground State polls. And that's what matters, right? So that suggests he'll win - big time, if the numbers of people attending Obama rallies and tuning into his half hour commercial mean anything.
Maybe there really is a silent majority of Americans in the "red" states, planning as the McCain camp says, to vote for their man, without talking about it to all those pollsters.
Or maybe the polls are just clues, puzzles pieces, and we just don't know what the big picture really looks like. After all, the primary polls didn't match those vote totals.
So here we all are, like an audience sitting together in the theater at a suspenseful, even scary movie, trying to figure out how this twisted plot will end. We're all struggling to get a handle on what's really going on in this country. And despite watching it closely every day, we have no idea.
As in so many things, the more we know, the less we seem to know. Unless you know something I don't.
Frederik Pleitgen | BIO
CNN International Correspondent
It was going to be just another report about Germany’s troubles with the financial crisis illustrated through the impact on the auto industry, an essential part of the country’s national identity.
We decided to take a ride with 70 year 'rally car racing' veteran Heide Hetzer in her 1973 Opel GT (That’s a German sports car which looks almost exactly like a 1970’s Corvette). Heidi Hetzer has been racing cars since her teens. Not only is driving her passion, but she also owns one of the largest Opel dealerships in Berlin. Like most German car markers- her company is feeling the pinch. Opel has temporarily halted production in several of its plants.
And what better way to show Heidi's passion for cars then interviewing her as she was driving the streets of Berlin. Little did I know I would get more then I bargained for.
My cameraman took the passenger seat so I had to squeeze into the baggage compartment of the two-seater sports coup. I’m about 6’5” so it was like pressing a whale into a sardine can.
GOP Strategist and Former Deputy White House Chief of Staff
There has been an explosion of polls this presidential election. Through yesterday, there have been 728 national polls with head-to-head matchups of the candidates, 215 in October alone. In 2004, there were just 239 matchup polls, with 67 of those in October. At this rate, there may be almost as many national polls in October of 2008 as there were during the entire year in 2004.
Some polls are sponsored by reputable news organizations, others by publicity-eager universities or polling firms on the make. None have the scientific precision we imagine.
For example, academics gathered by the American Political Science Association at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington on Aug. 31, 2000, to make forecasts declared that Al Gore would be the winner. Their models told them so. Mr. Gore would receive between 53% and 60% of the two-party vote; Gov. George W. Bush would get between just 40% and 47%. Impersonal demographic and economic forces had settled the contest, they said. They were wrong.
Right now, all the polls show Barack Obama ahead of John McCain, but the margins vary widely (in part because some polls use an "expanded" definition of a likely voter, while others use a "traditional" polling model, which assumes turnout will mirror historical trends but with a higher turnout among African-Americans and young voters).
John D. Geanakoplos and Susan P. Koniak
Op-Ed Contributors, The New York Times
The current American economic crisis, which began with a housing collapse that had devastating consequences for our financial system, now threatens the global economy. But while we are rushing around trying to pick up all the other falling dominos, the housing crisis continues, and must be addressed.
We start with this simple fact: Too many families are being thrown out of their homes when it makes more sense to let them stay by “reworking” their mortgages — adjusting terms to make it possible for the homeowners to meet their responsibilities. In many cases, adjusting loans would help the homeowners and the lenders: the new mortgages would have lower monthly payments that homeowners could afford to pay, and would end up giving the lenders more money than the 50 cents on the dollar that many foreclosure sales are bringing these days.
The presidential candidates have proposed plans to help some homeowners and mortgage-security holders by buying out loans or putting a moratorium on foreclosures. We have a plan that would be much less costly than buyouts and more comprehensive than a moratorium.
In the old days, a mortgage loan involved only two parties, a borrower and a bank. If the borrower ran into difficulty, it was in the bank’s interest to ease the homeowner’s burden and adjust the terms of the loan. When housing prices fell drastically, bankers renegotiated, helping to stabilize the market.
Ready for today's Beat 360°?
Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.
Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!
Here is the 'Beat 360°’ pic:
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama runs with U.S. Secret Service agents as he enters a rally at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla.
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!
Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
But wait!… There’s more!
When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!
Dana Bash | BIO
CNN Political Correspondent
During my regular morning call to McCain headquarters to see what’s up for the day, an aide told me we would finally see Joe Wurzelbacher – Joe the Plumber – appear with John McCain.
McCain’s entire closing theme is based on Wurzelbacher’s curbside encounter with Barack Obama over taxes. But Joe’s never been to a McCain rally.
About halfway through McCain’s first speech in Defiance, Ohio, however, I realized Joe wasn’t there. I called the aide I had spoken with in the morning, who told me that in fact Joe wasn’t going to be there after all.
Unfortunately, no one told the candidate.
As I was hanging up the phone, McCain started to yell for Joe, who he thinks is in the crowd.
“Joe’s with us today. Joe, where are you?” McCain called the into the crowd, “Where’s Joe? Is Joe here with us today? Joe, I thought you were here today (pause) All right, well, you’re all Joe the plumber, so all of you stand up and say – I thank you.”