Tags: Obama | Landslide

Obama Landslide Is Evaporating

By    |   Sunday, 17 August 2008 12:45 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Poll: Few Americans Worried About Global Warming
2. No Signs of Obama Landslide
3. Sports Owners Backing McCain
4. Leno Move to ABC Could Doom 'Nightline'
5. Fox Denies Huckabee Starring in Variety Show
6. 'Colbert Report' Appearance Boosts Democrats' Fundraising
7. We Heard: Chelsea Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Ron Paul


1. Poll: Few Americans Worried About Global Warming

Only 1 in 4 Americans believes global warming is the biggest environmental challenge facing the world, a new poll reveals.

The ABC News/Planet Green/Stanford University survey found that public concern over the global warming issue has diminished over the past year.

Fewer than half of the poll's respondents, 47 percent, think global warming is an important issue to them personally, down from 52 percent in April 2007.

While 80 percent believe the earth is warming, that figure is down four percentage points from last year.

Doubts over the science behind the global warming issue still linger in people's minds, according to the poll results reported by the National Journal. Just 30 percent of respondents said they trust what scientists have to say about the environment "completely" or "a lot," 39 percent said they trust them "a moderate amount," and 30 percent said they do not trust them.

Also, nearly 60 percent of respondents said there is "a lot of disagreement" within the scientific community as to how dangerous climate change is.

According to ABC News' Gary Langer, the diminished concern over global warming coincides with decreased media attention to climate change, in favor of the election and economy. "A database search finds 50 percent fewer news stories on global warming in the month before this poll was conducted, compared with the month before last year's survey," Langer wrote.

In any case, about 7 in 10 respondents said they're attempting to reduce their energy consumption by driving less, using less electricity and recycling.

But 63 percent are in favor of drilling for oil in coastal waters where it is currently not allowed, and 55 percent support drilling in U.S. wilderness areas where it is not allowed.

Editor's Note:

2. No Signs of Obama Landslide

Predictions of a landslide victory by Democrat Barack Obama in the November election may be off base, according to a historical analysis.

In five of the six post-World War II landslides — defined as a victory of 10 percentage points or more — the eventual winner was ahead by at least 10 percentage points in the polls at the end of August, according to the analysis of Gallup Polls by Politico.

But recent Gallup tracking polls put Obama ahead of his Republican rival John McCain by a margin of only two to five points.

One landslide winner, Lyndon Johnson, was ahead of Barry Goldwater in a late August 1964 Gallup Poll by a huge margin — 67 percent to 26 percent. Johnson went on to win the election with 61 percent of the vote.

In 1972, incumbent Richard Nixon was ahead of George McGovern by about 20 points in August. He won by 23 points.

Incumbent Ronald Reagan was ahead of Walter Mondale by 10 points in 1984, and won by nearly twice that margin.

Dwight Eisenhower was ahead of Adlai Stevenson by at least 15 points in two late August 1952 Gallup Polls. Ike won by 11 points.

"There was a definite cockiness that Democrats felt once they regained control of Congress, and I've felt it was a misplaced cockiness," pollster John Zogby said.

And political analyst Charlie Cook told Politico: "I don't think you see leads in presidential races over five points in this day and age. [Obama has] averaged leads of three points since spring. The key is that Obama hasn't closed the sale.

"The question is, Does Obama ever close the sale?"

Editor's Note:

3. Sports Owners Backing McCain

Owners of professional sports teams in the U.S. are overwhelmingly backing Republican John McCain over Democrat Barack Obama in the presidential race.

Through the end of June, team owners and their families in the four major sports — baseball, football, basketball, and hockey — have reportedly contributed or raised more than $3.2 million to aid McCain, compared to only $615,000 for Obama.

McCain even raised over six times more than Obama from the owners of teams in Obama's hometown of Chicago.

And owners of the teams in McCain's hometown, Phoenix, contributed or raised as much as $550,000 for the Republican — and nothing for Obama.

McCain"s wife"s family owns a share of Major League Baseball"s Arizona Diamondbacks, and McCain is a season ticket holder for the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals.

Among McCain's major backers, New York Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson has raised more than $500,000 for McCain, and Thomas Hicks, owner of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League and baseball's Texas Rangers, has raised or donated as much as $309,000 for McCain, according to Politico.

Bob Johnson, owner of basketball's Charlotte Bobcats and founder of Black Entertainment Television, is a former Hillary Clinton backer who now supports Obama. He told Politico he has raised about $200,000 for Obama, although he acknowledged that sports owners have predominantly given to McCain.

"I don't think there's any correlation between being a sports owner and supporting John McCain," he said, adding, "I think there's a correlation between being a businessman and supporting John McCain."

Editor's Note:

4. Leno Move to ABC Could Doom 'Nightline'

Speculation is rife that Jay Leno might end up at ABC after he leaves NBC's nighttime lineup next year — and that move could spell the end of ABC's "Nightline" after nearly three decades on the air.

Leno will step down from "The Tonight Show" in May after 17 years, and Conan O'Brien will replace him as host.

"But at 58, Leno isn't ready to retire, and most TV executives believe he will seek a new berth," the Los Angeles Times reports. "Rival networks ABC and Fox are already mulling over the prospect of recruiting Leno, whose show earns about $50 million a year in profit for NBC."

And a Leno move into the "Nightline" time slot would likely push the news show — which launched in 1979 during the occupation of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran — into oblivion.

This year, "Nightline" has been narrowing the viewer gap against CBS' "Late Night with David Letterman," thanks to a series of high-profile scoops — including interviews with Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and John Edwards.

But Shari Anne Brill, director of programming for the ad-buying company Carat, told the Times that replacing the news show with a talk show hosted by Leno "would be so much more lucrative," in large part because "Nightline" draws "a more narrow audience and a more narrow group of advertisers."

There are several roadblocks to Leno's transition to ABC, however. His NBC contract bars him from appearing on TV until 2010, meaning O'Brien would have a seven-month head start, and that could make it difficult for Leno to recapture his audience.

Also, Leno would be 60 by the time a new show got on the air, and it's not certain how many more years he would want to remain the host.

ABC News President David Westin would say only, "The company will make the decision based on what's best for the company."

Editor's Note:

5. Fox Denies Huckabee Starring in Variety Show

A published report asserting that former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has taped a pilot for a show on Fox is erroneous, according to Fox News.

The New York Post claimed Huckabee taped a weekend variety show, basing its reporting on an interview Huckabee gave the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last weekend.

Huckabee told the paper: "I can say [the show is] going to be unlike anything else that's on Fox and maybe on cable." When asked if it's a talk show, Huckabee said: "Yes and no. Not a talk show like you've seen. We'll have a live studio audience and some very innovative features."

Fox News gave Politico this statement: "Contrary to what was reported . . . Mike Huckabee has not shot a pilot for Fox News Channel. We are in discussion about developing a show with him in the future, but remain in the early planning stages."

Editor's Note:

6. 'Colbert Report' Appearance Boosts Democrats' Fundraising

Democratic politicians see a major increase in campaign contributions after appearing on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," a new study reveals.

Political scientist James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego found that Democrats receive a 40 percent increase in donations in the month after they appear on the fake-news program, compared to colleagues who don't appear, The Hill newspaper reports.

But Republicans "essentially gain nothing" from such an appearance, according to a release from Fowler.

He pointed to the fundraising of House members who have appeared on "The Colbert Report," including Reps. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and John Yarmuth of Kentucky.

The Hill notes that Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida sparked controversy in July 2006 when Colbert cajoled him into saying he enjoyed cocaine and the company of prostitutes.

Editor's Note:

7. We Heard . . .

THAT Hillary Clinton"s daughter Chelsea, and not her husband Bill, will introduce Hillary at the Democratic National Convention.

It was Hillary's idea to have Chelsea introduce her, and party insiders say Barack Obama has agreed to the proposal, the New York Daily News reported.

Hillary will deliver an address in prime time on Aug. 26 at the convention in Denver.

An official close to the Obama and Clinton camps told the News that Obama "has a problem with Hillary's more fanatical women supporters, and this is a way to help with that."

THAT Jesse Jackson's streak of speaking at Democratic conventions is likely to end this year.

Jackson has spoken at every Democratic convention since 1984. But his widely publicized remarks about presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama have probably eliminated him as a speaker at the convention, The Hill reports.

A microphone last month recorded what Jackson thought was a private conversation in which he criticized Obama, using a racially charged remark and voicing a desire to remove a part of Obama's male anatomy.

Ronald Walters, a former Jackson aide who is now the director of the African American Leadership Center at the University of Maryland, said about Jackson, "I think he should speak, but he won't."

THAT presidential historian Doug Wead will be among the speakers at a gathering of libertarian Republicans who support Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty.

The gathering, Rally for the Republic, is being billed as "the convention of the constitutional wing of the Republican Party," and will be held beginning Aug. 31 across the street from the GOP convention in Minneapolis.

Wead, a New York Times best-selling author and former special assistant to President George H.W. Bush, has been credited with coining the phrase "compassionate conservative."

Other speakers will include political pundit Tucker Carlson, and former congressman Barry Goldwater Jr.

According to its Web site, the mission of the Campaign for Liberty "is to promote and defend the great American principles of individual liberty, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, and a noninterventionist foreign policy, by means of educational and political activity."

THAT Ron Paul has other concerns — his wife Carol was admitted to a Houston hospital on Monday and underwent three surgeries.

Paul spokesman Jesse Benton would not specify why she had entered the hospital, except to say that "she has had several abdominal surgeries," The Associated Press reported.

Benton said on Thursday, "She has given us some big scares over the past 48 hours, but things appear to be improving and there is room for cautious optimism."

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Poll: Few Americans Worried About Global Warming2. No Signs of Obama Landslide 3. Sports Owners Backing McCain4. Leno Move to ABC Could Doom 'Nightline'5. Fox Denies Huckabee Starring in Variety Show6. 'Colbert Report'...
Sunday, 17 August 2008 12:45 PM
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