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United States Presidential Election, 2008

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|[http Gallup Tracking Traditional]
| 10/31 - 11/02
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McCain's debate with Obama went well and he was viewed as having done better than expected. Unfortunately for him, Obama was also viewed as doing better than expected and was seen as looking Presidential, further cementing his standing and locking in a lead in the polls that had become rather substantial. The Vice Presidential debate was the most watched in history and Palin was given high marks for her performance, but unfortunately for the Republican ticket, Biden was also on his game that night and also came across well. There were no changes in the polling numbers and the number of undecided voters began to quickly dwindle. The second and third debates caused little change as well.
With Obama spending 110 million dollars on TV advertising in October alone, including 30 minute specials on each of the major networks, McCain was hard pressed to make up the necessary ground to win the election after being outspent by 3 to 1 for TV adds over that time period. He couldn't count on regular TV to help put in a good word for him either, as late night political jokes are running at a pace of 7 jokes against McCain/Palin for every 1 joke against Obama/Biden and a study of news stories on McCain and Obama since the end of the conventions found that 57% of news stories about McCain were negative while only 29% were for Obama.<ref></ref> A later study by the independent Pew Research Center found that the discrepancy had grown even worse. McCain had 57% of the articles about him negative while only 14% were positive, while Obama had more positive articles than negative. The only network to achieve a balance, 40% negative for both, was [[Fox News]].<ref>http,2933,445846,00.html</ref>
== General Strategy ==
Barack Obama had a significant edge over Hillary Clinton in the fundraising department during their contest for the Democratic nomination, but both actually set records for raising money and both raised far more money than John McCain. McCain didn’t didn't have to spend as much since he locked up the Republican nomination much earlier than Obama locked up the Democratic. Both Obama and McCain said they would accept government funds—which would also cap how much the candidates could raise on their own—but Obama, who could presumably raise more through his own sources, changed his mind and later declined. Much of McCain’s McCain's war chest will come from the Republican Party in general, which has more money to spend than their Democratic counterparts. McCain’s McCain's campaign raised $47 million in August, a very sizable figure for him so far and a personal record, but not as strong as Obama’s Obama's best months. In the same time period, Obama set a record with $66 million. Obama, still having an edge in fundraising that has continued throughout his run for the Presidency, saw $10 million collected the day after Sarah Palin’s Palin's strongly received convention speech, a new one day record.<ref>[ After Palin speech, Obama has record $10 million day]</ref> The Palin announcement has been good for John McCain's fundraising as well.
Obama set a new record of $150 million raised in September and over $600 million overall.<ref></ref> Obama's camp does not release information on who contributes to the campaign.
* Abramowitz, Allen I. and Larry J. Sabato. ''The 2008 Elections'' (2008), state by state statistical analysis
* Balz, Dan, and Haynes Johnson. ''The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election'' (2009), by leading reporters with inside information
* Nelson, Michael. ''The Elections of 2008'' (2009), factual summary [http except and text search]* Todd, Chuck, and Sheldon Gawiser. ''How Barack Obama Won: A State-by-State Guide to the Historic 2008 Presidential Election'' (2009) analysis of exit polls for each state [http excerpt and text search]
== References ==
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