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Can Dole's 'godless' ad draw voters?

Who was Sen. Elizabeth Dole targeting when she released her “godless” ad about challenger Kay Hagan yesterday?

The same people John McCain is trying to reach in the election's final days.

Dole, a Republican, was elected to the Senate in 2002 with a broad base of support, but that's largely changed this year, with Hagan leading significantly with demographics that traditionally go to the Democrat.

Hagan also has polled surprisingly well in rural areas and small towns, where voters historically base their decisions more on cultural issues. Dole, who trails in most recent polls, is getting less than 90 percent of the vote from her party.

Dole has targeted those voters with her recent small-town ElizaBus tour across the state. This ad, risky as it might be, was meant for their eyes and ears.

The game plan

The speeches have largely been the same, but the presidential candidates are moving furiously around the electoral map.

John McCain will make stops today in Ohio, where he trails slightly in polls, while Sarah Palin holds events in Pennsylvania, where the hill seems harder to climb. Palin also will hold a rally in Missouri, a state that's a dead heat.

Barack Obama holds events in Florida, Virginia and Missouri. He leads in the first two and would be happy with a win in any of the three. Joe Biden has been dispatched to find some rural votes today in Williamsport and Allentown, Pa., close to his boyhood home of Scranton.

Poll of the day

State

Pennsylvania

Pollster

Muhlenburg/Morning Call

Numbers

President: Barack Obama 53, John McCain 42.

Details

610 likely voters, margin of error, +/- 4 percentage points.

What it means

One of three polls Wednesday with Obama leads of 11-14 points. On Tuesday, Rasmussen had McCain closing to within seven points. Muhlenburg, however, has Obama remarkably stable – between 50-53 points for the past three weeks.

Dole's ad – online readers say …

This looks like more playground politics. Kay Hagan is not an innocent victim in this nasty game of campaigning, so before people (Hagan) throw stones at Dole, they need to first look at their behavior. Hagan's ads have been negative and nasty from the beginning.

Anonymous

Putting out this ad is beyond dishonest and beyond disgusting – it's perverse. When did the Republican Party become the party of Perversion. I'm so over it.

Eric

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