Wednesday, October 8

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

NY Times
- American business, typically a reliable Republican cheerleader, is decidedly lukewarm about Senator John McCain's proposal to overhaul the health care system by revamping the tax treatment of health benefits, officials with leading trade groups say. . . Officials with eight business trade groups contacted by The New York Times predicted the McCain plan would raise costs and force some employers to stop providing health benefits. A recent survey of 187 corporate executives by the American Benefits Council and Miller & Chevalier, a consulting firm, found that three-fourths felt the repeal of the tax exclusion would have a "strong negative impact" on their workers. Only 4 percent said they would provide additional pay to fill any gaps.

Ben Smith, Politico - Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill's mild affect masks a bit of a killer, and she's perhaps the Obama campaign's deftest surrogate on the attack. . . McCaskill was stepping out of her chair at the end of an MSNBC interview, and Romney was up next. She and a staffer unplugged her various wires, and she handed Romney the earpiece the guests use to hear the host. "I spit on this before I put it in," she said to Romney, with a sweet smile. . . UPDATE: Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom emails: "You should have seen what she did to the chair."

MCCAIN: A MAKE BELIEVE MAVERICK

WATCHING THE COUNT

ABC News
- Election officials and watchdog groups are bracing for the wave of sneaky or suspicious phone calls, leaflets and emails that typically hit battleground states in the final 30 days of the presidential campaign. Young voters at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn. have already been targeted, with students reporting that flyers have been posted around campus warning that undercover police will be at the polls on Election Day looking to make arrests. The flyer reads like a friendly letter to fellow students relaying a warning from an "Obama supporter": "He informed me that on the day of the election there will be undercover officers to execute warrants on those who come to vote based on the anticipated turnout," writes the anonymous student in the letter which was later posted on the Drexel College Democrats website. "He advised me if I had any outstanding warrants or traffic offenses I should clear them up prior to voting.". . .
Raymond and Sabato say voters should be on the look out for a number of other time-honored tricks, including:

- "Push-poll" phone calls using the guise of a survey to push negative information about a candidate.

- Leaflets or emails listing the wrong date or a "rain date" for the election.

- Automated voicemail messages telling voters that the location of their polling place has changed.

- Repeated late night automated "robo-calls" with a message from a candidate.

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