Five Days Until Election Day
Most Note readers know Ron Brownstein as the Los Angeles Times' ace reporter and columnist, who is able to write about politics, policy, polls, and process with the best in America.
Others know him as Abbott to Lou Dobbs' Costello. LINK
But, today, with the presidency still very much up for grabs, Mr. Brownstein is at the dead center of American life.
First off, Ron is a long-time, long-suffering Boston Red Sox fan. So last night was the sweetest thing for him.
Second, Ron is a long-time, long-rocking Bruce Springsteen fan. So today will be nearly as sweet.
Per this morning's Wisconsin State Journal and the sizzling copy of the Dickensian named Dee J. Hall: LINK
"Madison officials are bracing for crowds of between 40,000 and 60,000 people today to see Senator John Kerry and rock star Bruce Springsteen as the hotly contested presidential election races to the finish line."
"Coming just days before Election Day, today's Downtown rally featuring Kerry, Springsteen and Foo Fighters lead vocalist Dave Grohl could be the largest political gathering ever in Wisconsin, Madison Ald. Michael Verveer said."
It is scheduled for 1:30 pm ET. How much will cable take? Will there be a "No Surrender" guitar duet? Only time will tell … ..
And on the eve of the first and last visit to the ultimate battleground state of Ohio by the apotheosis of the melding of politics and Hollywood (Arnold Schwarzenegger appears, during the East Coast feeds of the evening newscasts in Columbus with President Bush Friday.), Brownstein moves center stage as well.
Although he wrote the ultimate book about the intermingling of celebrities and politics back when that world was more about Warren Beatty and Gary Hart, Brownstein's "The Power and the Glitter: The Hollywood-Washington Connection" (paperback: LINK; hardcover: LINK) is still a great read today, when Ashley Judd, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jake Gyllenhaal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kirsten Dunst, Melissa Fitzgerald, and Allison Munn are all out on the trail.
But, most important, today Brownstein is the author of the Los Angeles Times must-read poll write up of their latest surveys for the Big Three, and the jumbled mess he finds demonstrates more conclusively than ever that this race remains up for grabs.
"On a broad series of questions, the results in The Times polls for Bush are sunny in Florida, gloomy in Ohio and mixed in Pennsylvania," writes Brownstein.
He also spends much of his write up of his paper's polls explaining that the results are somewhat different than other recent public polls in those states. (Note Note: "Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania … " just doesn't roll off the tongue as easily, does it?) LINK
Here are the paper's numbers among likely voters for all three states:
FLORIDA: Bush 51 % vs. Kerry 43% vs. Nader 2%
PENNSYLVANIA: Bush 48% vs. Kerry 48%
OHIO: Kerry 50% vs. Bush 44%
"If Kerry can't win two of the three, it would be extremely difficult for him to reach 270 electoral votes," writes Brownstein.
"Mathematically, Bush might be able to survive losing Ohio and Pennsylvania by capturing New Mexico, Iowa and either Minnesota or Wisconsin. But no one in his campaign would be eager to test the proposition."