CAMPAIGN SCORECARD [This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine.]ROUNDS 1 2 3 4 ISSUE Party Unity Grabbing the Spotlight Guilt by Association Public Misstatements ACTION Many who supported Hillary Clinton--except for a few holdouts--have switched their allegiance to Barack Obama, and the candidate is using his vast war chest to bulk up his already huge staff. Meanwhile, John McCain still lags in support from the donors and religious conservative leaders who helped George W. Bush. But he did get his daughter Meghan to register as a Republican. Taking frequent days off from the stump hasn't helped McCain, but there's a bigger problem: the media continue to find Obama a more compelling story, with daily features, blanket coverage and long profiles. McCain was once a media darling too, but his strategists haven't yet figured out how to leverage their assets to get increased and better coverage. Who will end the madness? Obama's side jumped on McCain for the past conduct of his biggest fund raisers, including a Texas oilman who once compared rape to inclement weather. Republicans hit Obama over the financial ties of a businessman vetting his potential running mates. Both sides decried the attacks on their allies but showed little interest in a truce. Another battle calling out for a peace agreement. In minor flubs, McCain seemed to minimize the importance of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, while some interpreted a comment from Obama as endorsing high gas prices. Neither campaign has held back from pouncing on and exploiting these petty gaffes.
RESULTS [This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine.]REPUBLICANS DEMOCRATS X X TIE X X
WINNER OF THE WEEK: DEMOCRATS
Polls show Obama emerging from his nomination battle in good shape, even if he's only slightly ahead of McCain. Obama's campaign--like most voters--expects a Democratic win, while the GOP remains worried about its chances.
NOT ALL ROUNDS ARE CREATED EQUAL
The week's winner is based on the relative importance of each fight and by how much the winner takes each round.
WEEK BY WEEK [This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine.]JUNE JULY AUG. SEPT. OCT. TOTAL WEEKS WON REPUBLICANS TIE 0 DEMOCRATS X X X 3
Evaluating the Undercards. A cheat sheet for November's other electoral fights
With its larger-than-life characters, unpredictable twists and big stakes, you can bet the gas money that the presidential race will get the lion's share of media coverage from now until the fall. But there's a lot more up for grabs in several state and local ballots this year. Some highlights:
SENATE: With 35 seats at stake, including five held by retiring Republicans, Democrats are looking to expand their narrow majority by as many as seven seats. Supercompetitive contests include races in Colorado, Minnesota and New Hampshire.
HOUSE: All 435 seats are up for election, with more gop retirements. Democrats are expected to have an edge in campaign spending this year. They also have on their side the unpopularity of the President and the Iraq war, along with a likely Obama-inspired surge of African-American and youth voting.
GOVERNORS: States picking chief executives include Washington, Missouri and North Carolina. With the economy in a downturn and voters hungry for change, it could be a tough year for incumbents looking to hold on to their jobs.
BALLOT MEASURES: As always, voters will be asked to govern themselves on a range of initiatives, from gay marriage in California to casino limits in Missouri and the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Michigan.