Y’all need to chill! Seriously!

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Mitt Romney is the living embodiment of a President from Hollywood central casting.  His all-American good looks and patrician bearing are reassuring to some folk and harkens back to the halcyon days of yesteryear when times were simple and dark people, women and gays knew their proper places.  Following the lead of Congressional Republicans in racializing Obama’s policy agenda, Mitt Romney’s strategists, conscious of their diminishing odds of winning this election, elected to frame their horse’s throwback candidacy in a way that intentionally stokes a sense of white racial resentment.  President Obama’s every thought, word and deed is construed as a racial attack on God-fearing, taxpaying white Americans. Whites are cast as the victims in this alternate Republican universe and Mitt Romney is the savior they’ve been praying for.  It is a lie, like everything the modern Republican Party stands for. It doesn’t matter how confidently Mitt Romney recites his lies. A confident lie is still a lie. Remain calm. There is nothing that transpired yesterday between the contenders to America’s throne that should disturb any Obama partisan.

Let’s review. In the span of 50 years, we’ve gone from, “Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever,” to the eleventh great grandson of the first enslaved African serving as President of the United States.  God is speaking through this recent revelation in Obama’s family tree. Can you hear him? I believe in my sanctified soul that Barack Obama’s miraculous rise to the presidency was predestined. The African ancestry traceable through his “white” mother shatters the myth of white supremacy and cleanses the stain of chattel slavery.  In Jeremiah 1:5, God tells his prophet, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  Jeremiah 1:10 states, “See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”  Every step this brotha has taken in the last thirty years has been ordered by The One Most High.

Eight years ago, Barack Obama was a minor state legislator nobody had ever heard of. He gamely took on the State Comptroller and a Multi-Millionaire Businessman for the chance to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate. Heavily outspent, he vanquished them both. Plucked from obscurity by John Kerry to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, he electrified the nation. Two opponents, including his attractive Republican opponent, self-destructed in sex-scandals. Smears, misinformation and right-wing distortions, many of the same we hear today, were employed by an unhinged Republican to stop his rise.  None worked. Four years later he went on to defeat the most formidible political dynasty the Democratic Party has ever produced to claim the Democratic nomination for President. The Clintons questioned his fitness for the Presidency and Bill Clinton dismissed his ambition as a “fairytale” and prompted Teddy Kennedy to endorse Obama after letting rip, “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.” Oh, how the worm has turned. President and Mrs. Clinton both serve at Obama’s pleasure now.

We love him because he has always displayed the cool serenity and regal dignity that every child of God should emulate.  This is the same president that shamed Donald Trump on Wednesday, punked his ass contemptuously on Saturday, and killed Bin Laden on Sunday.  Don’t believe for one minute that an empty suit like Mitt Romney got under our president’s skin last night.  Don’t fall for that.  Obama set a trap and Romney took the bait. Romney shook his etch-a-sketch so hard that he broke it.  This is the same president that allowed Republican extremism and obstructionism to trap them into the untenable position of opposing tax cuts, a grand bargain on deficit reduction and a debt limit extension.   To hear some pundits tell it, Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing, but he always seems to come out on top.

Romney still has much to answer for. The specificity of his budget and tax plan that journalists and pundits were critical of earlier in the week sure as hell didn’t materialize last night. What we heard was a lot of nonsensical doubletalk and backpedalling from what he was saying during the primaries.  The Obama for America campaign is sure to take a hefty pound of flesh from Romney for his evasions and falsehoods.  The ads should pretty much write themselves. All one has to do is stack Romney’s inconsistencies on top of one another and call it a damn day.

The corporate media knows that this race was over a long time ago. It doesn’t want to give up the ghost just yet because it invests the empty theatrics and ridiculous posturing of the modern presidential debate with more meaning than the serious policy discussions it was designed to facilitate. The contention that stagecraft means more than statecraft is a serious indictment of our fourth estate and an indication that the systemic corruption beneath the Media’s shiny façade threatens our democracy.  We need to continue working, watching and praying for healing and racial reconciliation in our country.

There is a hymn that goes, “We’ve come this far by faith. Leaning on the Lord. Trusting in His holy word… Just the other day I heard someone say he didn’t believe in God’s word. But I can truly say that God has made a way.  And He’s never failed me yet. That’s why we’ve come this far by faith.”

Super Tuesday: Santorum wins Oklahoma, North Dakota, Tennessee, and fights Romney to a draw in Ohio

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Ohio Results

Mitt Romney 451972 38.00%
Rick Santorum 439932 37.00%
Newt Gingrich 173797 14.60%
Ron Paul 110289 9.30%
Rick Perry 7367 0.60%
Jon Huntsman 6350 0.50%

Oklahoma Results

Rick Santorum 82764 33.70%
Mitt Romney 69088 28.20%
Newt Gingrich 66739 27.20%
Ron Paul 24190 9.90%
Rick Perry 1148 0.50%
Michele Bachmann 845 0.30%
Jon Huntsman 635 0.30%

Tennessee Results

Rick Santorum 178511 37.30%
Mitt Romney 133486 27.90%
Newt Gingrich 113870 23.80%
Ron Paul 43750 9.10%
Uncommitted 2856 0.60%
Rick Perry 1673 0.30%
Michele Bachmann 1656 0.30%
Jon Huntsman 1122 0.20%
Buddy Roemer 779 0.20%
Gary Johnson 515 0.10%

Massachusetts Results

Mitt Romney 247385 72.00%
Rick Santorum 41838 12.20%
Ron Paul 32904 9.60%
Newt Gingrich 16012 4.70%
Jon Huntsman 2071 0.60%
No Preference 1691 0.50%
Rick Perry 929 0.30%
Michele Bachmann 836 0.20%

Georgia Results

Newt Gingrich 404593 47.50%
Mitt Romney 218087 25.60%
Rick Santorum 167792 19.70%
Ron Paul 55334 6.50%
Jon Huntsman 1681 0.20%
Michele Bachmann 1657 0.20%
Rick Perry 1650 0.20%
Buddy Roemer 1088 0.10%
Gary Johnson 723 0.10%

Idaho Results

Mitt Romney 5326 76.30%
Ron Paul 813 11.60%
Rick Santorum 623 8.90%
Newt Gingrich 214 3.10%
Buddy Roemer 5 0.10%

Virginia Results

Mitt Romney 157127 59.50%
Ron Paul 107120 40.50%

Vermont Results

Mitt Romney 17407 40.30%
Ron Paul 10836 25.10%
Rick Santorum 10089 23.40%
Newt Gingrich 3568 8.30%
Jon Huntsman 877 2.00%
Rick Perry 375 0.90%
Mitt Romney still can’t close the deal with conservatives, and with virtually no money or organization, Rick Santorum wins a majority of counties in rust belt Ohio.  Tonight has been very exciting. Still looking for results in Alaska to report.  Santorum continues to confound expectations and will likely be in this thing for the long haul even though there is probably no path to win the nomination this year.  As much as his extremism scares me, I continue to pull for him.  I would like nothing better than for Santorum to win the Republican Nomination because President Obama would win in a landslide.

Weekend Developments

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U.S. REPRESENTATIVE JULIA CARSON 1938-2007

As I am sure you’ve heard, Indiana Congresswoman Julia Carson, 69,  passed over the weekend after a short bout with lung cancer.  The Congressional Black Caucus lost another trail blazer and progressive stalwart.   Mrs. Carson’s career in public service was long and distinguished by her grace, wit, determination, and compassion.   Holding public office for 35 years, she is the first African American woman to be elected to both Houses of the Indiana legislature, local elective office, and the U.S. Congress. 

The second African American woman elected to Congress from Indiana, and the first to be re-elected, Julia Carson stands alone in a class by herself.  In 35 years in elective office, Miss Julia never lost a race.   Her devotion to the down and out was legendary and so was their affection for her.   On Friday, Miss Julia will break down one last barrier when she becomes the first African American woman to lie in state at the Indiana State Capitol.     Well Done, Sistah.  Well Done.

Also this weekend, the endorsements of the major papers in the first caucus and primary states came out.   In a surprise move, the Des Moines Register endorsed the Hillary Clinton, a.k.a the Borg Queen.   It was just what she needed to right her listing ship of inevitability. I was expecting them them to either re-endorse Edwards or to endorse Obama.   Not to be left out, Obama picked  up the endorsement of the Boston Globe, a major coup because New Hampshire has long been considered a bedroom community to Massachusetts.  

 Mitt Romney at CPAC

Finally, Mitt Romney appeared on Meet the Press yesterday to have his chesnuts roasted over an open fire.  He and Tim Russert had this interesting exchange.  

 MR. RUSSERT:  You, you raise the issue of color of skin.  In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court, Brown vs.  Board of Education, desegregated all our public schools.  In 1964 civil rights laws giving full equality to black Americans. And yet it wasn’t till 1978 that the Mormon church decided to allow blacks to participate fully.  Here was the headlines in the papers in June of ’78. “Mormon Church Dissolves Black Bias.  Citing new revelation from God, the president of the Mormon Church decreed for the first time black males could fully participate in church rites.” You were 31 years old, and your church was excluding blacks from full participation.  Didn’t you think, “What am I doing part of an organization that is viewed by many as a racist organization?”

GOV. ROMNEY:  I’m very proud of my faith, and it’s the faith of my fathers, and I certainly believe that it is a, a faith–well, it’s true and I love my faith.  And I’m not going to distance myself in any way from my faith.  But you can see what I believed and what my family believed by looking at, at our lives.  My dad marched with Martin Luther King.  My mm was a tireless crusader for civil rights. 

You may recall that my dad walked out of the Republican convention in 1964 in San Francisco in part because Barry Goldwater, in his speech, gave my dad the impression that he was someone who was going to be weak on civil rights.  So my dad’s reputation, my mom’s and my own has always been one of reaching out to people and not discriminating based upon race or anything else.  And so those are my fundamental core beliefs, and I was anxious to see a change in, in my church.

I can remember when, when I heard about the change being made.  I was driving home from, I think, it was law school, but I was driving home, going through the Fresh Pond rotary in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  I heard it on the radio, and I pulled over and, and literally wept. 

(Romney becomes teary-eyed) Even at this day it’s emotional, and so it’s very deep and fundamental in my, in my life and my most core beliefs that all people are children of God.  My faith has always told me that.  My faith has also always told me that, in the eyes of God, every individual was, was merited the, the fullest degree of happiness in the hereafter, and I, and I had no question in my mind that African-Americans and, and blacks generally, would have every right and every benefit in the hereafter that anyone else had and that God is no respecter of persons.

MR. RUSSERT:  But it was wrong for your faith to exclude it for as long as it did.

GOV. ROMNEY:  I’ve told you exactly where I stand.  My view is that there–there’s, there’s no discrimination in the eyes of God, and I could not have been more pleased than to see the change that occurred.

I am so “moved” that a grown man wept about his church embracing the twentieth century, 10 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, and deigning to allow black folk to participate fully in the church’s ministerial ranks.  But the unanswered question is what did Mitt Romney and his parents do before then to make this change occur?   The answer is probably nothing.  Because if Mama and Daddy or Mitt had done anything, we’d have heard about it before now and he certainly woulda said so yesterday.  Whatcha’ll think?

Mitt Romney’s Christmas Card (Revised)

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I’m dreaming of White Christians
Just like the ones I need to win
As my hypocrisy glistens, 
and white folks listen 
To a slick Arkansas huckster trudging around Iowa in the snow 

I’m dreaming of White Christians 
With every Christmas card I write 
May your days be merry and bright 
And may all the rapists Huckabee lets out of prison be white 

I’m dreaming of White Christians 
With every Christmas card I write 
May your days be merry and bright 
And may all the rapists Huckabee lets out of prison be white

From my right-wing stepford family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas.

Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season and he wants you to support the strongest possible GOP candidate to beat Hillary Clinton and her radical leftist, homosexual agenda.

Mitt Romney’s Faith in America Speech (re-written)

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Banner 6.11.07

As prepared for Delivery at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, December 6, 2007

Thank you, Mr. President, for your kind introduction.

It is an honor to be here today. This is an inspiring place because of you and the First Lady and because of the exaggerated film propping up your fragile ego exhibited across the way in the Presidential library. For those who have not seen it, it shows the President as a young pilot in a segregated unit, shot down during the Second World War, being rescued from his life-raft by the crew of an American submarine.

It is a moving reminder that when America has faced challenge and peril, Americans rise to the occasion, willing to risk their very lives to defend white anglo-saxon protestant privilege and preserve our economic and political supremacy. We are in your debt. Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, your generation rose to the occasion, first to defeat Fascism, and first to incorporate its ruthless cruelty and amoral ideology to unapologetically crush European style democratic socialism. You left us, your children, an ignorant, strong, and jingoistic America. It is why we call yours the greatest generation. It is now my generation’s turn. How we respond to today’s challenge to defend white anglo-saxon protestant privilege will define our generation. And it will determine what kind of America we will leave our children, and theirs.

America faces a new generation of challenges. Radical violent Islamofascists seek to destroy us. An emerging yellow peril in China endeavors to surpass our economic leadership. And we are troubled at home by government overspending on unproductive black welfare cheats, overuse of foreign oil, and the invasion of our borders by illegal aliens.

Over the last year, we have embarked on a national debate on how best to preserve white anglo-saxon privilege. Today, I wish to address a topic, which I believe is fundamental to America’s greatness: our shallow religiosity. I will also offer perspectives on how I would use faith to pander to and trick bigoted, anti-Morman evangelicals into giving me the Presidency. 

There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation’s founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator to enslave the African and kill the Indian. And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of white supremacy and the promotion of theocracy.

Fascism requires the complicity of religious zealots just as religious zealotry requires fascism. Fascism opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs in communion with a God that validates his evil. Fascism and religious zealotry endure together, or perish alone. Given our grand tradition of religiosity and faux liberty, some wonder whether there are any questions regarding an aspiring candidate’s religion that are appropriate. I believe there are. And I will answer them today.

Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was a right-wing anti-communist war hawk running for President, not a Catholic running for President. Like him, I am right-wing anti-communist war hawk running for President. Unlike him, I define my candidacy by a phony profession of religiosity. A person should not be elected unless he is willing to shamelessly pander to right-wing people of faith.

Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert visible influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, exercised secretly within the nefarious province of religious institutional back channels, and it ends wherever the limitations of their imaginations begin.

As Governor, I tried to position myself to run for President as best I knew how, serving my ambition and subverting the Constitution. I openly comingled the particular teachings of my church with the obligations of the office and of the Constitution – and of course, I would unapologetically do so as President. I am not above using any doctrine of any church to obtain the plain power of the office to subvert the sovereign authority of the law.

As a young man, Karl Rove described what he called America’s ‘political religion’ – God, Guns, and Gays. When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my ticket to unlimited power. If I am fortunate to become your President, I will serve no one religion, no one group, and no one cause, except white anglo-saxon protestant privilege. A President must serve only the common cause of the white people of the United States.

There are some for whom these commitments are not enough. They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I sometimes endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers – I will be as true to them and to my beliefs as the political expediency of this campaign will allow.

Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, they can kiss my grits. But I think they underestimate the shallow stupidity of the American people. Americans claim not to respect believers of convenience but never seem to tire of voting for those who would jettison their beliefs, even to gain the world.

There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? The answer that I am required to give to be elected is that I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. I say that to distract you about the fact that my church’s beliefs about Christ may not be the same as those of other faiths.  I will then appeal to our country’s fake tradition of religious tolerance after reassuring you that what I believe isn’t all that different from the theology of the evangelical rubes I need to win the nomination.

There are some who would have a Republican presidential candidate describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines, which enables the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. However, the reality is that no non-believer will ever be nominated by the Republican Party.  And if the besotted wingnut we eventually nominate ever becomes President, you all better get on your knees and pray.  

I believe that every GOP candidate I have encountered claims to be closer to God than me. And in every candidate in my party I have come to know, there are features in each I wish were in my own: I love the profound and shameless hypocrisy of the Catholic adulterer Giuliani, the slick Willie approachability of the Evangelical Huckabee, the lazy spirit of the Pentecostal Thompson, the confident fanaticism of the libertarian Ron Paul, the ancient Episcopalian McCain, unchanged through the ages, and the endless commitment to the frequent, fruitless prayer to God for the miracle it will take to elect Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter or any one of us for that matter.

As I travel across the country and see our towns and cities, I am always moved by the many houses of worship with their steeples, all pointing to heaven, reminding us of the source of our electoral bread and butter.It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the Republicans in America, we share a common creed of amoral religiosity. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it’s usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the vacuous religious principles that urge us all on a common course.

Whether it was the cause of abolishing Affirmative Action, or denying America’s racist holocaust, no movement of false conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the racial delusions of white people.

We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for no good reason. Religion should dictate to the state and no state should interfere with the free practice of theocracy. The secular humanists are intent on driving religion from the public square and they are wrong. The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square.  

We are one nation ‘Under a greedy capitalist God’ and in God, we do indeed trust. We should begrudgingly acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in word but not in deed. God should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of historical propaganda, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places.  

Our greatness would not long endure without the respect earned by our cluster bombing warmongering, upon which our political power as a nation rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any non-white Christians, but I will not separate us from ‘the God who’s blind to our tyranny.’ Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage.

Perhaps the most important question to ask a person of faith who seeks a political office, is this: does he share these American values: a fealty to helping the rich escape taxation, the obligation to serve the fascist power structure, and a steadfast commitment to white supremacy?  They are not unique to any one conservative. They belong to the great amoral indifference we hold in common. They are the firm ground on which Republicans of different faiths meet and stand as a fascist theocracy, united.

We believe that every single white human being is a child of God – we are all part of God’s chosen people.  The conviction of the inherent and inalienable worth of every white life is still the most elementary political proposition ever advanced.  Trent Lott put it, “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”   

White Americans acknowledge that white privilege is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government. No people in the history of the world have sacrificed so many for privilege. The lives of hundreds of thousands of America’s sons and daughters were laid down during the last century to preserve white supremacy, for us and for freedom loving Europeans throughout the world.

America obviously learned nothing from that Century’s terrible wars. –Which is probably why we let the ignorant patrician in the White House lie us into a quagmire in Iraq. America‘s resolve in the defense of false religiosity has been tested time and again. It has not been found wanting, nor must it ever be. America must never falter in holding high the banner of fascist theocracy.

These American values, this great amoral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours. I was taught in my home to honor God and love my neighbors. I ignored my father marching with Martin Luther King. I forgot my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways to people nearby, and in just as consequential ways in leading national volunteer movements. Totally ignoring my parents noblesse oblige, I am now deeply moved by George Herbert Walker Bush’s broken pledge:  Read my lips: No new Taxes.     

My faith is grounded on these truths. You can witness them in Ann and my sickening “Father Knows Best” marriage and in our family. We are a long way from perfect, I don’t think Ann has ever had an orgasm, and we have surely stumbled along the way, but our aspirations, our values, are the self-same as those Republicans from the other faiths that stand upon this common, porous foundation of phony religiosity. And these convictions will indeed deform my presidency.

Today’s generations of Republicans have always known of a Bush in the White House. Perhaps we forget the long and arduous path the Bushes took to achieve it. They came here to Texas from Connecticut to seek freedom from patrician obligation. Upon finding it for themselves, they ran for office in the longest quest for dynastic power in the nation’s history.  

After twelve years of supply-side mismanagement, they found themselves out of power. Eager to get back in the game and repulsed by her liberal beliefs, Ann Richards was destroyed to make way for Dubya and she was exiled from Texas so the fortunate son could propel himself from Austin to D.C.   As a former governor of Massachusetts and the father of five sons, perhaps I can install one of my boys in the White House just like the ignorant patrician’s daddy did for him.   

It was in Houston that founding father Bush defined a revolutionary vision of dynastic power, grounded in self evident truths about the supremacy of oil, and the inalienable right to plunder the world in search of it, which is endowed by the Creator.  We cherish these sacred rights, and secure them by shredding the Constitutional order.In such a fluid campaign, I am deeply thankful that we live in a land where hypocrisy and religiosity are friends and allies in the cause of fascist theocracy, joined against the evils and dangers of another Clinton presidency.

And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, had better do it with one eye open because I am liable to say or do anything to win this race. In that spirit, let us give thanks to the divine ‘author of liberty.’ And together, let us pray that this land may always be blessed with a nuclear arsenal capable of annihilating our enemies.  

God bless the United States of Hypocrisy. 

 

ABC Republican Debate

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gopdebate

The comb-over caucus met again for another one of their forgetable debates yesterday morning on This Week with Georgie the Greek.   On display was the full panoply of GOP wingnuttia and delusional posturing on abortion, immigration, and the War in Iraq.  It was truly not worth watching except that the applause of partisans cheering for their guy was totally unexpected.  

The buzz being generated on the right by Ron Paul is interesting.  First, he’s foresquare against the war and they applauded him lustily for it.   Second,  he’s a former libertarian Presidential candidate and has generated fanatical enthusiasm from the small government and anti-tax zealots that dwell therein.   Third,  his fundraising is picking up substantially.  His candidacy is harnessing the resurgence of far right wing extremism and in that respect, his candidacy is reminesent of Barry Goldwater’s in 1964.  He is not a traditional Republican by any means.  He’s too far to the right.  Crony capitalism is not his deal.   He’s all about drowning government in the bathtub.    

My favorite line of the debate was Mitt Romney’s shot across the bow to Barack Obama.  He said “He’s willing to have tea with our enemies and to bomb our allies,” or something to that effect.   It was a great line and a signal to the sentient that this crowd are the most dangerous reactionaries to ever seek the presidency in a long time.   Nothing will be settled in this contest until Fred Thompson joins them on stage and his full campaign platform is unveiled for all to see.  

After the mauling that Giuliani took on abortion, I was surprised that the NYPD didn’t storm the stage to arrest his challengers.  In the perfect police state of his fantasies, this is what would happen.

Obama leading McCain and Romney 47% to 38%,

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Barack ObamaJohn McCainMitt Romney

Hat Tip: Rasmussen Reports

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll finds Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) with a nine point lead over Arizona Senator John McCain (R). It’s Obama 47% McCain 38%. That’s little changed from a month ago and the fourth straight monthly poll in which Obama has enjoyed an advantage over McCain. For the two months before that, they were tied.

McCain has had a terrible month of July including a shocking report that his campaign was nearly out of money, staff defections, and declining poll numbers. Among those seeking the Republican nomination, he is currently in fourth place in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. Early in the month, his favorability rating fell to 44% and, for the first time ever, a larger percentage offered an unfavorable opinion of the Senator. Polling released this week showed that McCain’s decline has stopped for the moment–45% now have a favorable opinion of him while 46% hold an unfavorable view.

Last December, McCain had been viewed favorably by 59% of voters. As recently as two months ago, 55% had a positive assessment of the Senator from Arizona.

As McCain seeks to keep his campaign afloat, he does so with a tremendous disadvantage—40% of Republican voters have an unfavorable opinion of him. No other candidate in either party approaches that level (the closest is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, viewed unfavorably by 31% of Republicans).

Obama is now viewed favorably by 54% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 37%. He remains in second place among those seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination. Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton are clearly in a league of their own at this point in the nomination process.

McCain also trails Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards in general election match-ups.

Obama leads Romney and is in close races with Republican frontrunners Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani.