September 22nd, 2008
02:30 PM ET

Factors more important than the financial crisis in determining who wins the White House

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/22/art.obama.mccain.split.jpg]
Mark Halperin
Editor-at-large & Senior Political Analyst, TIME Magazine
The Page, TIME Magazine

Listed in order of importance:

  1. Michigan.
  2. The first debate.
  3. The final debate.
  4. The percentage of voters on Election Day who think Barack Obama has a Muslim background.
  5. Colorado, Virginia, Ohio.
  6. The percentage of voters on Election Day who believe the country is on the wrong track who vote for John McCain.

Keep reading

Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    #1 the good people of Michigan will have the common sense to do what is correct fo rAmerica dn vote Obama/Biden

    #2 & #3 The debates will only solidify support for those who have already made up their minds

    #4 The same 28% that stubbornly support GW Bush are the only ones that will go to the polls believing this nonsense.

    #5 the good folks of Colorado, Virginia and Ohio will also do what correct for America and ultimately come out on the side of Obama/Biden although Ohio might be touch and go for a bit.

    #6 Any voter who genuinely believes the country is on the wrong track will in NO way support McCain/Palin or any Republican who supports GW Bush's neo-con foreign policy or has ever supported unregulated 'free markets'

    September 23, 2008 at 7:59 am |
  2. Melissa Bonnette

    I am seriously calling Obama and McCain out to open the debates to The Third Parties. Mostly I want to hear Ralph Nader debate these two so called Popular Parties . All I am seeing is people choosing the one they believe to be the least worst. We deserve better for the leader of our country than least worse.This is supposed to be a Democrasy! The 2 party system is a joke and needs to be abolished. If each candidate has nothing to fear then let them debate Nader. America has the right to hear from all the candidates and not have mainstream media(you) tell us what are choices are. At the very least if Nader is allowed to debate then he will force McCain and Obama to finally tell us what they propose on the issues and not just give more lip service or sprinkle fairy dust on them. At the most they will succeed at finally shutting Nader off and wouldn't both parties love that?

    -Melissa Bonnette, South Carolina

    September 23, 2008 at 3:33 am |
  3. Roger, Bellevue,Wa.

    Whom ever makes this enormous and world changing decision must be able to look outside the box,leaving politics out of this.A great commander in chief will be calm and cool.I thought McCain reacted wrecklessly by not confering with his staff to come up with his decision on the bail out.McCain showed his poker hand way too early,not great strategy.Obama has raised the ante and put more thought,strategy together with Mr Rubin and company.This means we will at least have an oversight committe,with a few other ear marks,one being help for the families in keeping their homes from foreclosure.Thanks

    September 23, 2008 at 3:19 am |
  4. Christine

    People all talk about white people not voting for Obama – I'd like to know how they figure? If there are only 13% Black Americans in the United States of America & heaven only knows how many are truly registered voters? Native Americans are less than 1% & they vote both directions, as do Mexican Americans. I have to deduct, that there are more white supporters than we may think.

    Obama turned down a million(s) dollar job from Wall Street, to become a public servant to the American peoples.

    We should not bail out AIG – the good old boys need to pay their price for robbery. We'll see just how intertwined this crash will affect each of the government officials & which pig squeals the loudest....

    September 23, 2008 at 2:07 am |
  5. J.V.Hodgson

    A good political analyst list ( the complete one) but ignores race (sorry to say it will play) religion on both sides (should not but will.)
    But to say the Economy or bailout will not be equally if not more important as the points listed is Naieve.
    A significant number of voters will vote thier perspective of the pocket book and cash on the 4th as they see it going forward.
    To ignore to mention directly of the high levels of unemployment ( high level unemployment battleground states are mentioned) and its effect in those states understates the significance of those electoral college wise.
    Personally, character is an issue for me as well I do not want someone who jumps in feet and mouth first as senator (McCain) does but the more considered style Obama offers.On balance as well all campaigns put out half truths unfortunately ,that's politics. However, the stretching of half truths to the point of almost absolute untruths, then the balance here is quite heavily on McCain and Palin. QED I trust them less than Obama.
    Love to see AC 360 do a summary of this on keeping them honest or digging deeper.

    September 23, 2008 at 1:42 am |
  6. Chuck; Shelton, CT.

    In order of importance;
    1. U.S. Economy
    2. Energy independance
    3. Global Ecology
    4. Health care
    5. Education

    September 22, 2008 at 11:21 pm |
  7. Chuck; Shelton, CT.

    P.S. I had the day off and have been glued to CNN all day and into the evening. Keep up the good work keeping us informed. Thanks!

    September 22, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  8. tracy ocean view hawaii

    I think the one that seems to be honest and makes choices with the majority of american people in mind not big business or a particular states interests(subject of alaska's ability to drill and the environment comes to mind). I think if any one of them tries to say they know exactly what to do they are not being honest we have never really been through this before. Most of the economic brains of our country do not always agree, have different opinions regarding this problem. I will vote (even though hawaii is last) for the person that seems to think for himself with an open mind and does not seem to jump to quickly, studies things, investigates etc. Analizes issues for the better good of all of us not just his party or party leaders.

    September 22, 2008 at 9:59 pm |
  9. lynn

    I think an issue is McCain's age and whether his gaffes and "forgetfulness" are a result of his age. Also the dtories about McCain's anger issues.

    September 22, 2008 at 9:59 pm |
  10. M.D.

    Would Obama please stand up and make it clear where he stands on the economic issue? I'm tired of his constant re-iteration of the obvious. WHAT would he do as president?

    September 22, 2008 at 9:42 pm |
  11. Taaqiya

    No one is undecided at this point. Most people have the pre-concieved notion of who they are going to vote for. Regardless of what happens most people will vote for who they were going to vote for in the beginning..

    However, I saw one lady on CNN say, "Just as I was about to say ok ill vote for McCain, he opened his mouth".

    September 22, 2008 at 9:30 pm |
  12. Ram Riva

    Need to add the state of Florida...
    And of course the mother of all evils....RACE!!!
    Millions of old conservative people, do not feel comfortable voting for a black citizen as President of the USA
    That's the biggest challenge come November...
    Ram Riva
    Southern California

    September 22, 2008 at 9:23 pm |
  13. lampe

    Sorry one more thought: Why is Obama, taking the next few days off? Oh I know he needs help getting his answers together.

    September 22, 2008 at 9:04 pm |
  14. lampe

    This is going to be one funny show: Obama, is going to fall flat on his face, and then the American People will see exactly what kind of loser he is.

    September 22, 2008 at 9:03 pm |
  15. Jack


    I agree with a lot of what President Clinton has to say but, Sarah is a unashamed liar and I can't stand to look at her.

    It would be one thing if she were an accomplished professional and exaggerated a few details of her career but, she just picked an imaginary resume and continues to lie about it every day!

    Silly Sarah and John McGeezer don't deserve our respect and certainly will not get my vote.

    The GOP has brought this country to the brink of a great depression and they continue to play politics to get every last concession out of the Democrats or they will sit there and let it collapse. Make no mistake the rich elite have their money in safe havens like they did in the 1930's but, you and I will see our 401K and any other savings disappear.

    John and Sarah represent this party of liars and thieves and will continue the GOP policy of gifts for the rich.

    September 22, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  16. Clarence, Albuquerque

    Mark I appreciate your insights but I think the link that catches my eye is: I hate my yellow teeth.

    September 22, 2008 at 8:26 pm |
  17. Paul

    Why isn't known fact that it was the Democrats were the main cause of the financial problems that we face today? They were the ones that blocked a bill that the Republicians try to impossed on home loans, but the Democrats response to anything is that it is discriminating and racist. Democrats believe that everyone is entitle to own a home if you have a job whether you can afford it or not. So when the banks hands were tied and they had to approved all loans whether or not they qualified. I don't consider myself discriminating or racist, but I always believe "don't write a check that your butt can't cash."

    September 22, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  18. Carlos

    Why are we blaming the Bush administration only and not the Congress also for not being aware of the situation. They wanted mayority for WHAT?. It is amazing to watch everybody in Capitol hill running like chickens with their heads cut -off. Shame on this politicians that heve let us all down, cause at the end we elected them.

    September 22, 2008 at 7:18 pm |
  19. David W, Florida

    How are any of these more important than the govermentizing of American financial institutions for $700B? This doesn't include the begging that GM and Ford have been doing in D.C. so so they can compete with their overseas competitors.

    The government dollars at stake here when added to the costs of the Iraq war are unimaginable.

    So in keeping with recent tradition, let's continue to de-regulate our financial agencies, lower taxes for the rich, go to war with Iran and Russia (at the same time and before we resolve Iraq and Afghanistan).

    The past 8 years have been a joke. Why stop the fun and games now.

    September 22, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  20. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    Read "The Lying Game" by Alan Wolfe. After you do there will be no question who you will vote for in November. I encourage especially Republicans to read this. That will show factors that are most important in determining who wins the White House. How about Honesty folks................

    September 22, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  21. Lis Alexandra from Capital of Texas

    and Let's not forget, still in the top 10 List, how many Gaffes or Lies John McCain and Palin can squeeze into each week, between Now and November 4th, the American Voter is not Stupid, non-answers and old Washington Lines will wear thin, and count BIG in influencing the positive VOTER to turn out at the Polls !!
    Remember How Lucky we are in this Country to be able to have a democracy and have that precious RIGHT to Vote individually as we CHOOSE !!
    Tell all your friends, family and neighbors, GO VOTE !!

    September 22, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  22. Keith

    We don't know what the rules are for the debates, who will be deciding the questions, who will be asked the question first ( remember HRC asked why she was always asked first?), how long they have to respond, can there be a rebuttal. Also, what about the content of the audience; should there be an audience?

    How do we know about the objectivity of the person(s) asking the questions?

    September 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  23. Lamont austin

    I feel Mclame shouild just concede the victory now, if he wins i will go on a 4 yr tyrade to get him out of office. not to mention, we in america will be dealing with a revolution as well as a modern civil war that will get ugly...

    im moving to canada

    September 22, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  24. xtina, chicago IL

    I do not think that that large a percentage of people are undecided. They may say they're undecided, but subconsciously, I think almost all Americans know for whom they will vote.

    September 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  25. Gary Chandler in Canada

    McCain's daddy won't be able to bail him out this time.

    September 22, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  26. Rick Lozier

    No bail out for Wall Street.until !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Suggest we get a second opinion since my trust in George Bush has been a littel diminished. The most respected name that comes to mind is to ask Paul Volker the prior Fed Chairman under Reagon and Clinton to look this over on behalf of the taxpayers of this country. Volker got this country through a very bad 1981 recession and was Head of the Fed during the last RTC bail out of the Savings and Loan mess. He is honest and a man of integrity and more importantly not slave to party politics.. Give him (1) week to look over the numbers and report back to Congress on his assessment and recommendations. Congress has an obligation to the taxpayers to take their time and ensure this is not another fabrication to enable and reward Wall Street for their failures. Generations will have to pay for this mess. It took several years under Bush for this to deregulatory mess to evolve and I will be very angry if we meet the Bush demands of a resolution in 1 or 2 weeks. Wall Street will surive a little while longer. Bank on it.
    Rick IN San Diego

    September 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  27. Annie Kate

    Some explanation with that list would be nice. I really would hate to think that those items in that list would outweigh all the important issues our country is facing today and in the years ahead. The list also sounds like we just need to let the states listed vote – the rest of us aren't going to make much difference so our states could save the money and just go with how the state historically votes – they won't do that of course but its disturbing to see how factionalized we are that some states and some segments of the population are so much more influential in their voting than the rest of us.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 22, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  28. Cindy

    I think the debates between McCain and Obama will be what seals the deal on who people choose to vote for. Hopefully they will have adequate questions that matter on the issues and we will see who really has a complete grasp on things.


    September 22, 2008 at 2:39 pm |