In the latest sign of John McCain's rapidly disintegrating hopes of winning the presidential campaign, he now finds himself on the ropes in Montana, a large cattle-oriented state that wasn't even remotely in play in the last two elections.
A poll released by Montana State University shows Barack Obama leading McCain, 44% to 40%. Interestingly, Montana is the only state where Congressman Ron Paul is on the ballot (as the Constitution Party candidate), and he is pulling 4% of the vote in the poll.
The RNC revealed today that it will be buying advertising in the state in the last week before Election Day.
The Republican National Committee will begin running television ads in Montana beginning on Wednesday, a sign of how heavily the playing field is tilted against the GOP with just eight days left in the presidential election.
Montana has been a Republican stronghold for years at the presidential level. President George W. Bush carried it with 59 percent in 2004 and a similar 58 percent four years earlier. It's worth noting, however, that then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton carried Montana when he ran for president in 1992 — thanks to Ross Perot taking 26 percent of the vote.
Barack Obama has been advertising steadily in Montana for the last few months and, until tonight, John McCain and the RNC seemed content to let the Illinois senator have the airwaves to himself.
The content of the ads has not been revealed. Look for grainy slow-motion footage of Obama eating arugula while an ominous announcer says, "Barack Obama. Untested, unready, and possibly a vegetarian. Wrong for Montana and wrong for America. Also, I'm pretty sure he's gay."
Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain, Montana, Ron Paul
On Tuesday, we posted a whole slew of sexy pictures of Charlize Theron who "spoke" at a pro-labor event here in Denver.
Believe it or not, our trip here hasn't only been movie stars pretending to care about stuff. We've also seen some honest to goodness politicians who might actually care about stuff like Rep. Mike Michaud of Maine, and Teamster leader James Hoffa, who also attended the event with Ms. Theron.
In the Big Tent, several folks have dropped by. Below are Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate Majority Whip from Illinois, and Sen. John Tester of Montana mixing it up with the liberal bloggers.
And lastly, Senator Ben Cardin of Maine Maryland* spoke at The Dark Court Panel Discussion.
Check back for more pictures later today.
* @ Harold. Maryland is my home state too. This is what happens when you don't sleep for 3 nights straight. Still had Michaud on the mind I guess…
Tags: Dick Durbin, Illinois, James Hoffa, Maine, Maryland, Mike Michaud, Montana
When Senator Jon Tester arrived in Washington after winning his Senate campaign in 2006, I read that he brought a cooler of his own meat from Montana. Since then I have spent many a sleepless night wondering if Tester had succeeded in finding a decent steak house in D.C.
Well, today, I had the opportunity to ask him.
Apparently he still brings his own beef because "he knows where it came from."
Now I'm a wussy, beltway insider vegetarian, but if Jon Tester offered me a steak, I think I'd have to eat it. Shaking his hand, I could tell that this was a man who truly knows his meat.
Tags: DNC, Food, Jon Tester, Montana
Oh, those Ron Paul supporters. They are nothing if not persistent. Or, rather, they are nothing but persistent.
The Montana GOP got a chance to see this persistent persistence in person late last week at the state's convention…
The group [of Paulies] led an impassioned fight Friday at the Montana GOP convention, shaking things up in a failed effort to secure the state's 22 national convention delegates for Paul — who suspended his presidential bid earlier this month.
It was a real nail-biter, but in the end, yeah, that didn't work out so well. At least the Sisyphean effort made one person feel warm and validated (hint: he suspended his presidential bid earlier this month)…
Earlier in the evening, Paul told the crowd that his support in Montana was the best he had received anywhere.
"Montana's been treating me quite well," he said. "The spirit is alive here."
And who needs contact with reality when you've got the spirit?
Tags: Montana, Ron Paul
11:03: We're going to end this before CNN gets to their "magic wall." Goodnight, everyone. Have sweet, sweet, historically black dreams.
10:52: CNN reports that history is being made in the United States right now. And who better to mark to mark this historic moment than a completely inaudible Jesse Jackson on the satellite phone from Tanzania.
10:38: Barack Obama: "This is the moment. This is the time."
And with that, he took off his flag pin, gelled back his hair, looked over his headshot and quit the presidential race to audition for the touring company of Jekyll and Hyde.
10:24: Barack Obama: "I respect McCain's many accomplishments, even if he refuses to acknowledge mine."
And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon….
10:12: Obama thanks his typical white grandmother. Typical.
10:08: Obama enters, the first black candidate to accept the nomination from a major American political party. If I didn't hate U2, I'd probably be really inspired by this.
10:03: CNN calls Montana for Obama based on reports from the loneliest exit pollster in history.
9:54: Hillary Clinton did not concede. In fact, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann now reports that she delivered the speech in an arena with no cell phone or BlackBerry service, so that none of her supporters would know that all of the networks had already called the nomination for Obama and that she might even be even a teensy bit expected to concede.
It was the best she could do, of course, as "Alternate Reality" was already booked by the Ron Paul army.
9:50: Hillary Clinton: "I will be making no decision tonight." Is that really what we want? A leader who can't make decisions?
Score one for Indecision, I guess.
9:45: Maybe it's just because McCain was the opening act, but other than the Obama needling Hillary Clinton really came off well. Nice speech all in all — for a lady.
9:33: Hillary Clinton is speaking. And Terry McAuliffe is waving. Wave, Terry, wave!
9:26: CNN calls South Dakota for Hillary Clinton. Which means nothing, of course, unless she gets more black or more historic real fast.
9:21: From our comments board:
Chris Matthews brings up a good point. This is the first time in the WORLD that an African American is his party's presumptive nominee. Eat that Mozambique for never elevating an African American to this level.
Thanks to Punditphoelia.
9:11: And with 9% of South Dakota reporting, and Obama losing handily, MSNBC is also calling Obama the presumptive nominee
9:06: According to the CNN pundit panel, Barack Obama's victory comes 45/52/200 to the year/day/month/minute/parsec after Martin Luther King/Frederick Douglass/Paul Robeson/Abraham Lincoln/Michael Jordan said "I have a dream"/got himself on a stamp/sang "Ol' Man River"/freed the slaves/three-peated.
9:02: Oh, and would you know it, he's a black!
9:01: According to CNN, Barack Obama has clinched the nomination. Not the first time he's clinched the nomination, mind you. But the best time.
8:52: This is what I learned from John McCain's speech:
New Or-lee-ans is old douchebag for New Orleans.
Hillary Clinton is the best most best person in the world, and her supporters are even bester.
McCain takes America's economic security as seriously as he takes her physical security, proving that, as president, he will not rape America.
He's just not very good at this.
8:41: McCain on. Turn your damn music down!
8:34: Howard Fineman just burst onto MSNBC and said that an Obama insider has confirmed that Hillary Clinton has promised Obama she will concede only if offered the VP slot, which Obama has agreed to do, on the condition that she promises not to accept.
Clinton, in turn, has promised not to accept, provided Obama promise to lose, paving the way for her comeback run in 2012.
8:25: Wolf Blitzer asks John McCain advisor Steve Schmidt why his candidate is spoiling Barack Obama's party with a speech of his own tonight. Schmidt says that it's time for McCain to start the "great debate" with Obama.
He's right. All of history's great debates have started this way. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln's giant "fuck you" to Stephen A. Douglas that, ultimately, got the slaves freed.
8:15: 4, now. Not very impressive, for a giant 4.
8:00: To demonstrate how many delegates Barack Obama needs to clinch the nomination, CNN is displaying the world's largest number 6, beating out the previous record holder, "The Whoppin' 6," just off Exit 112 on I-29 in Onawa, IA
Welcome to Indecision 2008's final Democratic primary liveblog. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both slated to deliver big speeches tonight, and the votes of some white people who live far away from each other will be tallied. We'll be updating you when the important things happen, and when nothing does, we'll still pretend every few minutes or so.
Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Liveblog, Montana, South Dakota