EVER NOTICE THAT: The More Things Change…

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The more they stay uncannily the same? Or do they?  CLICK TO ENLARGE

Barack_ObamaCROPPED.1_1.jpgTELEGRAPH: Barack Obama’s senior aides believe he is on course for a landslide election victory over John McCain and will comfortably exceed most current predictions in the race for the White House.Their optimism, which is said to be shared by the Democratic candidate himself, is based on information from private polling and on faith in the powerful political organisation he has built in the key swing states. Insiders say that Mr Obama’s apparent calm through an unusually turbulent election season is because he believes that his strength among first time voters in several key states has been underestimated, both by the media and by the Republican Party.

Barack_ObamaCROPPED.1_1.jpgMr Obama has come under fire from within Democratic ranks over his message and his tactics. Critics say he has failed to connect with the blue-collar workers seen as crucial to winning the election, and too reluctant to make direct attacks on Mr McCain. But his aides are convinced that he has a strong chance of winning no fewer than nine states won by George W.Bush in the closely contested 2000 election, including former Republican strongholds like North Carolina, Virginia and even Indiana, which have not voted Democrat for a generation.

Barack_ObamaCROPPED.1_1.jpgDavid Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, said last week that Obama had “a lot of opportunity” in states which Mr Bush won four years ago. But in private briefings in Washington, a member of Mr Obama’s inner circle of policy advisers went much further in spelling out why the campaign’s working assumptions far exceed the expectations of independent observers. “Public polling companies and the media have underestimated the scale of new Democratic voters registration in these states,” the campaign official told a friend. “We’re much stronger on the ground in Virginia and North Carolina than people realise. If we get out the vote this may not be close at all.” MORE

Barack_ObamaCROPPED.1_1.jpgTALKING POINTS MEMO: In a development that could have a significant impact on the presidential race, the rise in registered Democrats has far outpaced Republican registration in many key swing states, giving Dems a clear registration advantage in a lot of them, while wiping away one-time GOP registration advantages in a couple others. We compiled these registration numbers mainly from the secretaries of state in the battlegrounds — and they are are striking. You can view them in our chart below. MORE

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