[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]ROUND 1 2 3 4 ISSUE Endorsements Money Gaffes Coattails ACTION Colin Powell dramatically unveiled his cross-party support for Barack Obama on Meet the Press--complete with indictments of John McCain's campaign tactics, Sarah Palin's qualifications and George W. Bush's Supreme Court nominees. But it was the former Secretary of State and four-star general's testimony on Obama's readiness to be Commander in Chief that gave this endorsement its unusual megawattage and influence. If, as the saying goes, money is the mother's milk of American politics, Obama should open a national chain of dairies. The announcement that he had raised a record-smashing $150 million in September made it clear that not only will he greatly outspend the Republicans in all battleground states, but he'll also have enough left over to make a last-minute play for some deep red states as well. Republicans finally found a message to sink their teeth into, going after Obama's remark to Joe the Plumber that he wants to "spread the wealth around" with his tax policy and Joe Biden's suggestion that a President Obama would face a foreign crisis soon after taking office. The attacks didn't transform the race, but the rare Democratic missteps were efficiently exploited by the GOP. Republican strategists are worried about the spillover effect of all the new voters Obama's campaign has registered on down-ballot races, particularly in areas with large African-American populations and college towns. A big Obama victory, with campaign cash spread around, could turn a bad year for the GOP into a truly terrible one.
RESULTS [This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]REPUBLICANS X DEMOCRATS X X X TIE
WINNER OF THE WEEK: DEMOCRATS
It's a measure of the Democrats' confidence--and of most poll data--that Obama's need to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii prompted almost no party anxiety about the potential impact of his absence from the trail.
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 or PDF.]JUNE JULY AUG. SEPT. OCT. TOTAL WEEKS WON REPUBLICANS TIE X TIE X TIE X X TIE X X X 7 DEMOCRATS X X X X X X X X X X X 11
I'm an Average Joe
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