Obama Maintains Poll Lead

Barack Obama still holds a sizeable advantage in the ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, leading John McCain by 54-43 percent among likely voters.

A notable first? Obama has 50 percent support among men.

ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer reports that Obama "has shored up his experience rating to the point where it now surpasses George W. Bush's in 2000 and matches Bill Clinton's in 1992, addressing what has been Obama's greatest vulnerability in the presidential election."

Per Langer:
"Fifty-six percent of likely voters now say Obama has the experience it takes to serve effectively as president, up from 48 percent after the Republican convention. That's now better than George W. Bush's rating just in advance of the 2000 election, when 52 percent said he was experienced enough. Obama's advance on experience resembles Bill Clinton's 16 years ago, from 49 percent in June 1992 to 57 percent that October."

NRCC Bails on Bachmann
A Republican source confirms that the NRCC has pulled out of Michelle Bachmann's district. The NRCC had reserved ad time on behalf of Bachmann but had not yet paid for it.

Bachmann raised eyebrows with comments she made on Friday night's edition of Hardball on MSNBC about Obama's "anti-American views" and those of his wife and associates. Bachmann also called on the media to investigate which members of Congress are "pro-America" and which are "anti-America." Her subsequent explanations have done little to put out the fire.

Democratic campaign officials are giddy at the response to her comments last week. Her opponent, Democrat El Tinklenberg, has raised over $600,000 since Friday and their polls show a tight race (42-38 last week).

The Republicans do not consider this race lost yet - one official notes that she still has $1 million to spend. The DCCC has reserved $1 million of television time in this district for the final two weeks.

Obama Takes Time Off the Trail
Obama holds a rally in Indianapolis Thursday morning and then flies to Hawaii to visit his ailing grandmother. ABC News' Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller report that Obama will spend much of Friday with her in her apartment in Oahu – the same apartment building where a young Obama lived while attending high school nearby.

Obama's campaign will continue in his absence - running mate Joe Biden stumps in North Carolina.

Republicans have indicated that there is no change of plans on their end and they will campaign and proceed as business as usual.

McCain is on the trail in Florida while his running mate Sarah Palin is in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

World Series Kicks Off in Florida
With two weeks until Election Night, even baseball is political. Obama says he is rooting for the Phillies, but shows some love for the Rays. McCain has not taken sides. But both candidates can agree on the significance of the sport as America's pastime. Obama and McCain recorded quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr and former presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy about baseball as a "beacon of hope through some of America's most difficult times," per a release from Fox Sports. The quotes will be used in an opening segment for each World Series broadcast.

On the campaign front. . .

JOHN McCAIN
-- 9:00 am ET: Holds Rally in Ormond Beach, FL.
-- 6:00 pm ET: Holds Rally in Sarasota, FL.

SARAH PALIN
-- 1:00 pm ET: Holds Rally in Troy, OH.
-- 7:15 pm ET: Holds Rally in Beaver, PA.

BARACK OBAMA
-- 11:00 am ET: Holds Rally in Indianapolis, IN.

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