CBS: Obama Leading in Early Voting, Little Hope for McCain

Harry Smith and Jeff Glor, CBS Wednesday’s CBS Early Show continued pressing the theme that the election is over as co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "Countdown to election day. The swing state showdown continues as Obama appears to open up an advantage in early voting." Co-host Harry Smith cited polls with wide margins to further shovel dirt on the McCain campaign: "New polls out with just 13 days to go until election day. A poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal gives Barack Obama a ten-point lead over John McCain, that's 52% to 42%. A poll by Reuters, C-Span, and Zogby shows the same ten-point spread." Correspondent Jeff Glor followed with a report: "Those poll numbers you mentioned and the math in these states makes the situation look increasingly difficult for John McCain."

Glor went on to describe how: "John McCain will campaign today in New Hampshire, Ohio, and Florida, following a big push for Pennsylvania." However, Glor immediately threw out the wet blanket: "Though registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans in the state by more than a million voters..." Glor also touted how Smith’s Tuesday interview with McCain was referenced by Joe Biden during a recent stump speech: "Joe Biden is sharply challenging John McCain over those controversial robocalls...Following Harry Smith's interview." Highlighting an Obama stump speech, Glor declared: "Obama pointing out that Florida, where he spent Tuesday, and where we've seen those long early voting lines, lost more jobs than any other state in the past year." Glor concluded the segment by observing: "In Florida, and other battleground states, officials say Democrats are early voting in greater numbers than their Republican counterparts, a good sign for Obama."

In a later segment, co-host Maggie Rodriguez talked to Democratic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist about the race in Florida. Rodriguez began by asking Crist: "The candidates have been running neck and neck there. But this morning, early voting, which usually favors the GOP, is favoring Obama. Is John McCain losing this must-win state?" After Crist cited recent polls showing a slight lead for McCain in the state, Rodriguez wondered if the governor himself was to blame for Obama’s lead in early voting: "You know, Governor, that you have been criticized for not doing enough for John McCain in your state, for distancing yourself from him as the poll numbers start to favor Obama. A popular Republican governor who's giving the perception he's not 100% behind the Republican nominee, that's not good for John McCain."

Rodriguez then turned to Richardson and wondered: "What is Senator Obama doing to get the Hispanic vote?" Richardson cited Obama’s economic policy in response, but Rodriguez followed up with a challenge: "A lot of the Latinos in Florida have left leftist regimes back in their home countries. How do you combat, especially in Florida, Governor Richardson, the socialist label that a lot of Republicans are placing on Senator Obama?" Richardson replied by attacking McCain’s conservative fiscal policy: "Well, I mean all you have to look at is Senator McCain is talking about additional tax cuts for corporate America. You know, this is -- this is what caused us this financial turmoil we have in Wall Street, lack of oversight, these huge subsidies, and now additional tax cuts for corporate America?"

Here is the full transcript of the Glor segment:

7:00AM TEASE:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Countdown to election day. The swing state showdown continues as Obama appears to open up an advantage in early voting.

BARACK OBAMA: We need policies that grow our economy from the bottom up, so that every American everywhere has the chance to succeed.

JOHN MCCAIN: We need to win in Pennsylvania on November 4th and with your help, we're going to win.

7:01AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: First, though, let's get right to the news. New polls out with just 13 days to go until election day. A poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal gives Barack Obama a ten-point lead over John McCain, that's 52% to 42%. A poll by Reuters, C-Span, and Zogby shows the same ten-point spread. Meanwhile, the candidates are focusing on the swing states. Early Show national correspondent Jeff Glor is in Miami with more. Good morning, Jeff.

JEFF GLOR: Harry, good morning to you. Those poll numbers you mentioned and the math in these states makes the situation look increasingly difficult for John McCain. With 13 days left, the candidates are leaving little to luck, all of them hitting swing states at a prodigious pace. John McCain will campaign today in New Hampshire, Ohio, and Florida, following a big push for Pennsylvania.

JOHN MCCAIN: We need to win Pennsylvania on November 4th.

GLOR: Though registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans in the state by more than a million voters, the McCain campaign believes Pennsylvania is essential. Part of a new plan, have Sarah Palin work the women, possibility still upset over what happened to Hillary Clinton.

SARAH PALIN: When it came time for choosing, somehow, Barack Obama just couldn't bring himself to pick the woman who got 18 million votes in his primary. And that seems to be too familiar a story, isn't it?

GLOR: The running mate Obama did pick, Joe Biden, is sharply challenging John McCain over those controversial robocalls.

[CLIP OF HARRY SMITH'S MCCAIN INTERVIEW]

MCCAIN: Listen to me, I'm the candidate. And this -- this campaign is about the economy.

GLOR: Following Harry Smith's interview.

JOE BIDEN: John, stop your ads, bring down those robocalls. If it's about the economy, argue about the economy, not about Barack Obama's character. Not about these scurrilous ads. John, stop these calls!

GLOR: Biden and Obama are hammering on all things economy. Obama pointing out that Florida, where he spent Tuesday, and where we've seen those long early voting lines, lost more jobs than any other state in the past year.

BARACK OBAMA: We need policies that grow our economy from the bottom up, so that every American, everywhere has the chance to succeed.

GLOR: In Florida, and other battleground states, officials say Democrats are early voting in greater numbers than their Republican counterparts, a good sign for Obama.

 

Here is the full transcript of the Rodriguez segment:

7:06AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Joining us now to talk more about the campaign, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, an Obama supporter, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who supports John McCain. Good morning, Governors.

BILL RICHARDSON: Good morning.

CHARLIE CRIST: Good morning, Maggie, how are you?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, thank you. Governor Crist, you and I are Florida natives. We know how crucial our home state is in presidential politics. The candidates have been running neck and neck there. But this morning, early voting, which usually favors the GOP, is favoring Obama. Is John McCain losing this must-win state?

CRIST: I don't think so. There was a Rasmussen poll just out yesterday, showed that John was up by one point here in Florida. I think it's very competitive, I think it's going to come down to the last day. I want to welcome Bill Richardson, my colleague. I understand he's in Tampa Bay today and good to have you in the state, Bill.

RICHARDSON: Thank you very much Charlie.

CRIST: But Florida is important -- of course, of course -- Florida is important and that's why Bill's here, that's why so many candidates, both presidential and vice presidential, are here in the sunshine state. It's incredibly important, it's a swing state, with 27 electoral votes. I think that John's going to do very well here. I look forward to a victory for him. He's going to be back in the state, in fact, tomorrow, Senator McCain is.

RODRIGUEZ: You know, Governor, that you have been criticized for not doing enough for John McCain in your state, for distancing yourself from him as the poll numbers start to favor Obama. A popular Republican governor who's giving the perception he's not 100% behind the Republican nominee, that's not good for John McCain.

CRIST: Well I'm 110% behind him. I think the world of John McCain. He's a dear friend, he's a great United States Senator, he's a great candidate, and he'll be even a greater president. And anything that I can do to help Senator McCain win this election, I'm doing. And I'm proud to do it.

RODRIGUEZ: Governor Richardson, we can't talk about Florida without talking about the Hispanic vote. You're Hispanic, John McCain is out there saying that he's fighting for Joe the Plumber, ‘Jose Plumero,’ as he calls him when he's in Florida. What is Senator Obama doing to get the Hispanic vote?

RICHARDSON: Well first, I think despite the best efforts of -- as good a governor as Charlie Crist is, governors like myself are fighting a terrible economic tide emanating from Bush Administration policies. And the way Senator Obama is focusing on Hispanic voters is talking about the economy, about jobs, about a stimulus package, about unemployment compensation. Senator Obama is doing very well with Hispanic voters here in Florida, Cuban Americans, those that come from Central America, South America. He's emphasizing bread and butter issues. He's emphasizing comprehensive immigration. He's emphasizing civil rights. And that vote seems to be moving our way, but, I agree with Governor Crist that Florida is one of the key battleground states, if not the key one. The Hispanic vote is decisive. And it's going to be very close. But early voting here in Florida is encouraging, as it is across the country in New Mexico, it was 2-1 Democrat early voting so far. And we see those trends around the country and especially in states like Nevada, like Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, with large Latino populations.

RODRIGUEZ: A lot of the Latinos in Florida have left leftist regimes back in their home countries. How do you combat, especially in Florida, Governor Richardson, the socialist label that a lot of Republicans are placing on Senator Obama?

RICHARDSON: Well, I mean all you have to look at is Senator McCain is talking about additional tax cuts for corporate America. You know, this is -- this is what caused us this financial turmoil we have in Wall Street, lack of oversight, these huge subsidies, and now additional tax cuts for corporate America? What Senator Obama's talking about is tax cuts for the middle class, 95% getting a tax benefit. Tax cuts for small business, no capital gains when you start a small business. Continued efforts to ensure that if a company hires somebody you can get a tax cut like we've done in New Mexico. You give a tax cut to a company that pays well, pays over the prevailing wage. These are pro-growth economic policies that Senator Obama is proposing.

RODRIGUEZ: Governors Richardson and Crist, thank you so much for your time this morning.

RICHARDSON: Thank you.

CRIST: Thank you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC