Only in Real America

In an interview with CNN today, Sarah Palin apologized for her recent remarks at a fundraiser in North Carolina about "the real America," the "hard-working, very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation."

Asked by CNN's Drew Griffin if there are parts of the country that are "more American" than other parts, Palin said she did not want her comments to be "misunderstood."

"You know, when I go to these rallies and we see the, the patriotism just shining through these people's faces and the, the Vietnam veterans wearing their hats so proudly and they have tears in their eyes as we sing our national anthem…it is so inspiring," Palin said. "I say that this is true America, you get it. You understand how important it is that in the next four years we have a leader who will fight for you. I certainly don't want that interpreted as one area being more patriotic or more American than another. If that's the way it's come across, I apologize."

Poll numbers from the so-called real and not-real parts of America continue to show that John McCain is defending more states than he is playing offense in and the already narrow path to 270 for the Republican ticket may be shrinking even more.

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos reports that Democrats sources say the McCain camp may be giving up on two more blue states - New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

Per Stephanopoulos, the McCain campaign is stretching out previous ad buys over more days rather than devote new ad money instead of placing new television advertising buys there.

"No denial from the McCain camp. One source said simply, 'We are on the air in those states.'"

Stephanopoulos also reports that ad buyers in Colorado are seeing the same dynamic: no new McCain ad buys and stretching out the old ones.

After a three-event swing through the Keystone State today, McCain meets up with his running mate for two events in Ohio. The McCain-Palin ticket holds a rally in Green, a city in Summit County in northeastern Ohio, which went for Kerry by 14 points in 2004 (57-43). Later the GOP ticket holds a joint rally in Cincinnati.

Obama is in not-real Virginia on Wednesday, with rallies in Richmond and Leesburg. ABC News' Steven Portnoy spent some time in two key areas of this battleground state – Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia – and found that the political dynamics seem to be leaning toward Obama.

Portnoy reports: "Throughout two days of interviews conducted at random, in both northern and southeastern parts of this traditionally Republican state, it was much more difficult to find supporters of John McCain than Barack Obama."

ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll Day 2:
The horserace remains unchanged from Monday – Obama holds a 53-44 lead over McCain. Today's lede: how first-time voters are giving Obama his clear advantage over McCain.

Per ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer, first-time voters favor Obama by a lopsided 73-26. Four years ago, first-timers backed John Kerry by seven points.

Among people who have voted in previous elections, Obama leads McCain 50-47.

But Langer gives a word of caution for the Obama campaign: "Turnout among first-time voters is challenging to predict, since they're clearly not in the habit. That means targeted get-out-the-vote efforts can matter particularly with this group – not just in how many vote, but in how those who do vote divide between the candidates."

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