The Nader Effect: Polling from Florida

Eight years ago Democrats had good reason to blame Ralph Nader for peeling off enough votes from Al Gore to cost him Florida and the presidency. But this year Democrats may have good reason to welcome the so-called Nader effect. According to recent CNN/Opinion Research polls, Barack Obama leads John McCain by four points in a two-way choice among likely Florida voters. That gap grows to eight points with Nader in the mix, along with other minor-party candidates such as Libertarian Bob...

WOLFFE: 'The Palin Effect--in Reverse'

By Richard Wolffe Call it the Palin effect in reverse. John McCain's veep pick isn't just firing up the GOP base with bigger crowds and more cash. Sarah Palin is having the same impact on the progressive base of the Democratic Party.Take a look at what's happened to MoveOn.org, the signature online left-of-center group that marks its 10th anniversary this year. The group has added almost a million new members since 2007, many of them over the summer, to bring its total to 4.2 million – around...

Joe Biden Is the Change Obama Needed

VP candidate Joe Biden's foreign-policy experience is helpful, but what's more important is his scrappy instincts and ability to connect with Hillary Clinton's supporters.

Obama: Christian, Not Muslim

Barack Obama has never been Muslim and never practiced Islam. But rumors about his religion intended to frighten some voters persist, and they mostly return to one point of fact: his name. "Barack" is the candidate's Kenyan father's name; Obama's middle name, "Hussein," is his grandfather's name. Hussein embraced Islam—after first converting to Christianity under the name "Johnson." According to Obama's memoir, Hussein valued discipline and strength and found Christian forgiveness to be...

Crossover Cabinet Candidates

Since locking up their parties' presumptive nominations, Barack Obama and John McCain have emphasized their bipartisan cred. How might that translate when the winner assembles his team? (Job possibilities in parentheses.)Obama's worked closely with Sens. Dick Lugar (secretary of State) and war critic Chuck Hagel (secretary of Defense) on the Foreign Relations Committee. He admires California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (climate-change czar) approach to the environment—and he's close to the...

When Barry Became Barack

It didn't happen overnight. But in college, the young Barry took to being called by his formal name. What this evolution tells us about him.

Obama's Delta Win

Buoyed by an overwhelming edge among African-American voters, Barack Obama cruised to victory over Hillary Clinton in the Mississippi primary, posting a 60-37 percent margin and teeing up a crucial showdown in Pennsylvania, the next major contest in the quest for the Democratic presidential nomination.Obama, seeking to become America's first African-American president, has enjoyed strong support from black voters throughout the nominating process. But here in the Delta Tuesday night the racial...

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