Obama Maintains Poll Lead

Answering Questions on Experience

October 22, 2008— -- 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. . .


-- 9:00 am ET: Holds Rally in Ormond Beach, FL.

-- 6:00 pm ET: Holds Rally in Sarasota, FL.


-- 1:00 pm ET: Holds Rally in Troy, OH.

-- 7:15 pm ET: Holds Rally in Beaver, PA.


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


-- 10:30 am ET: Holds Rally in Charlotte, NC.

-- 2:15 pm ET: Holds Rally in Winston-Salem, NC.

-- 7:00 pm ET: Holds Rally in Raleigh, NC.

At the White House. . .


-- No Public Events.


ABC News' Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller: Obama Dismisses Biden Comments on Being "Tested" as "Rhetorical Flourishes" LINK

ABC News' Ann Compton, Yunji de Nies and Jennifer Duck: White House Hosts Meeting of World Leaders on the Economy LINK

ABC News' Gary Langer: Daily Tracking Poll: First-Time Voters Go Big for Obama; Economic Worries Drag on McCain LINK

ABC News' Emma Schwartz: Palin Shopping Spree Legal? Yes, but Barely LINK

ABC News' Imtiyaz Delawala: Palin Reaches Out to Women Voters, Slams Obama for Passing Over Clinton LINK

ABC News' Robin Sproul: How Exit Polls Work LINK

ABC News' Matthew Jaffe: Biden Blasts McCain on Need for Second Stimulus, Spares a Thought for Obama LINK

ABC News' Imtiyaz Delawala: Palin Again Chides Biden's 'Crisis' Comments LINK

ABC News' Matt Jaffe: Emotional Biden Describes Meeting with Father of Deceased Soldier LINK

ABC News' Imtiyaz Delawala and Z. Byron Wolf: Palin Says Vice President "In Charge Of" Senate LINK

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos: 'It's a Whole Different Game' LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper, Matt Jaffe and Imtiyaz Delawala: Palin Now Much More Media-Accessible Than Biden LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Obama-Loving Haters Flourishing As Well LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Which of These Two Mama's Boys Are You Going to Vote For? LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Rendell 'Nervous' McCain Could Win Pennsylvania LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: A Big Wrinkle in Palin's $150,000 Clothing Allowance LINK

ABC News' Rick Jervis: Hurricanes May Help Steer Texas Politics LINK


McCain Bolsters 'Spread the Wealth' Rhetoric

At New Hampshire rally, Sen. McCain continues to slam Sen. Obama on tax policy. LINK

Obama Defends Running Mate Biden

Obama dismisses Biden's "crisis" remarks Sunday as "rhetorical flourishes." LINK

Bare-Chested 'Maverick' Fans Cheer

McCain-Palin supporters show their enthusiasm at a rally in Manchester, N.H. LINK

Obama Confronts National Security

Sen. Obama: "Change must start with a responsible end to the war in Iraq." LINK

Bush to Host World Economic Summit

White House plans to convene a meeting on financial markets and world economy. LINK

Hasselbeck's Obama Confession!

"View" co-host says she considered voting for him after hearing his DNC speech. LINK

Barbara Walters Feels Sorry for Palin

"View" ladies discuss the negative polls and news related to the governor. LINK

Hillary Clinton on the Road

The New York senator throws her political muscle behind formal rival, Obama. LINK

America's Youngest Mayor

Meet the 20-year-old elected to head one Oklahoma town. LINK

Kimmel on McCain's Slip-Up

Jimmy Kimmel points out the senator's recent flub in Pennsylvania. LINK

Palin's $150K Makeover

The RNC has reportedly picked up a hefty price tag to clothe the governor. LINK

Kimmel Says Biden Can't Do the Math

Jimmy questions the senator's calculations when it comes to sports numbers. LINK

Karl Rove Escapes Handcuffs

A woman tries to handcuff him for what she calls "treason." LINK

Obama Shakes His Groove Thing

The Democratic candidate surprised the audience at a taping of the "Ellen" show. LINK

Kimmel: Don't Mess With Sarah Palin

Jimmy shows the governor taking security detail into her own hands. LINK

Democracy Drive-Through

Voters in Santa Ana, Calif., can cast their ballot at the without leaving the car. LINK

Jake Tapper Breaks Down the Electoral Map

A closer look at the states each candidate needs to win the election. LINK

Obama Vandals Strike During Rally

Police say almost 30 people had their tires slashed during a N.C. Obama rally. LINK

Presidents in the Face of Crisis

Former Secretaries of State Eagleberger and Albright discuss Biden's comments. LINK

McCain Racing the Clock

The Arizona senator has 14 days to make up Obama's 9-point lead. LINK

Jake Tapper on Obama in Orlando

The Illinois senator hopes to reclaim Florida from Republicans. LINK

Stephanopoulos on Campaign Cash

Senator McCain is running low on funds to campaign in key battleground states. LINK

Bob Barr: The Libertarian Candidate

Barr's goals include smaller government and more personal freedom. LINK