WASHINGTON POST: NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 30 — New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin (D), along with a half-dozen police, fire and community leaders, encouraged residents Saturday to leave the city as soon as possible, ahead of the anticipated landfall early next week of Hurricane Gustav. City officials said they would turn all lanes of traffic on major highways into one-way routes headed away from the city starting early Sunday morning. More specific plans are expected later Saturday evening, Nagin said. With winds of up to 145 mph, Gustav became a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale on Saturday, as it menaced western Cuba. Forecasters are predicting that the storm will reach Category 5 — the strongest level — and winds at better than 155 mph before hitting the Gulf Coast states. The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas’s east Gulf Coast. MORE


elephant_on_a_bike.thumbnail.pngPOLITICO: President Bush is unlikely to make it to the Republican National Convention, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)may deliver his acceptance speech via satellite because of the historically huge hurricane threatening New Orleans, an official said. Officials insisted that the convention, scheduled to open here on Monday, will go on — albeit in a more limited and sedate form — even if Hurricane Gustav stays on its projected path. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: Senator John McCain said Sunday afternoon that Republicans would suspend most activities on the first day of their convention on Monday because of Hurricane Gustav. On Monday, the Republican Party will conduct only its essential business of convening the convention, adopting its rules, electing its officers and adopting the party platform. Rick Davis, a top McCain aide, said the convention would only be convened from 3 p.m. Central time to about 5 or 5:30 p.m. The Republicans need a quorum on the floor to conduct their business. Mr. Davis left open the possibility that Mr. McCain might not attend. He said the nominee is not required to attend, but since this convention is “the culmination of his political career,” he wants to be here but he “won’t do anything deemed inappropriate.” MORE


GALLUP: The current results are based on Aug. 27-29 interviewing, which includes two nights of polling during the convention and one post-convention night on Friday. The Friday interviewing was conducted in an unusual political environment — the first conducted fully after Obama’s well-regarded acceptance speech and McCain’s surprise announcement of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate. Each event in isolation has usually been associated with increased candidate support for the relevant party. On this day — with strong partisan forces pushing the public in both directions — Obama still polled better than he had been prior to the convention, but not as well as he was polling on the individual nights of the convention. MORE

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