GOP insiders predicting Obama victory
Nick Juliano and David Edwards
Published: Friday October 10, 2008

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With less than a month until Election Day, even Republicans are beginning to predict Barack Obama will become the 44th president.

Eight in 10 Republican insiders polled by National Journal said there is a "high" chance of an Obama victory. None said there is a "low" chance the Democratic candidate will win.

"I love my crazy uncle. I don't like anybody else's," one anonymous insider quipped to the magazine.

Other Republicans cited McCain's inability to connect with voters who are deeply worried about the tanking economy. Rather than engage in a straightforward debate contrasting his economic proposals with Obama's, McCain has decided to run a scorched earth campaign aimed solely at convincing voters that Obama is unacceptable because he previously crossed paths with '60s anti-war radical Bill Ayers.

There's little indication the strategy is working, despite the fiercely rabid crowds that are greeting McCain and Sarah Palin on the campaign trail. Republican consultant Michelle Laxalt was particularly critical of McCain's decision to employ Palin as an attack dog.

"They have send this young, naive -- very confident, perhaps in Alaska -- young woman out with the most incendiary talking points, the most dangerous racist talking points and I think they should be ashamed of themselves," Laxalt told CNN's Larry King Thursday night.

While Palin's accusation that Obama is "palling around with terrorists" may cause much frothing among the party's base, it hasn't stopped a slide in support that now has Obama up 11 points in the latest Gallup tracking poll.

The town hall debate earlier this week that was supposed to mark McCain's chances to turn things around has done anything but. Two-thirds of the 75 GOP insiders National Journal polled said Obama helped himself more following Tuesday's show down.

"Every time Obama is on the same stage with McCain he looks a little more presidential, a little more prepared for the job," one Republican said. "McCain's attack strategy made him look so small at a time when the issues are so big."

This video is from CNN's Larry King Live, broadcast October 9, 2008.

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