October 10, 2008

Candidates Pursue Suburban Votes

By The Associated Press

Report: Obama outspends McCain on TV ads MADISON (AP) -- Nearly every TV ad John McCain ran last week was negative, compared to just 34 percent of those by Barack Obama, according to an analysis released Wednesday. The harsher tone in McCain's ads mirrors the sharper attacks he and his running mate Sarah Palin have been making on the campaign trail as polls show Obama opening up a lead. Obama also has a lead in fundraising. Between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4, Obama spent more than $17 million on ads compared with just under $11 million by McCain and the Republican National Committee. News You can use

MADISON (AP) - Everyone agrees that Barack Obama will be trounced by John McCain in the conservative Milwaukee suburbs when voters go to the polls Nov. 4.

But if his defeat is slightly less than previous Democratic presidential candidates, the Illinois senator might easily carry Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes if he wins big as expected in Madison and Milwaukee and holds his own elsewhere.

That's why Obama's campaign is organizing heavily in three western and northern counties that border Milwaukee, territory so unfriendly that previous Democratic candidates have written it off.

It's also why McCain is trying to run up the score like previous Republicans there. Today, he will campaign in Waukesha with running mate Sarah Palin. Last week, McCain's campaign sent several regional staff members who had been working in Michigan to relocate in Waukesha after he pulled out of that state.

A WISC-TV poll released Wednesday shows Obama leading McCain by 10 points in Wisconsin, where Democratic candidates have eked out victories in the past two presidential races despite losing badly in the Milwaukee suburbs.

Three suburban counties - Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington - favored President Bush over John Kerry by 36 percentage points in the 2004 election. Bush beat Kerry by 128,000 votes in these counties - but barely lost the state by 11,000.

"If Obama can crack them to any degree he probably wins the state by several points," Madison-based Democratic pollster Paul Maslin wrote in a column on Salon.com earlier this year, a view he reiterated in an interview.

The Obama campaign argues that anecdotal evidence suggests it is making inroads, that its message of change resonates with moderate Republicans unhappy with President Bush.

Republicans concede that Obama's campaign is doing more to target voters in the suburbs than previous Democrats but say they are confident that McCain will do just as well as Bush in the area.

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