With the presidential campaign approaching its final stretch, Barack Obama finds himself in an enviable position.
One official close to the campaign said that September's fundraising haul set a new record, surpassing the $66 million Obama raised in August. Another aide, asked about the campaign's take, would only describe it: "big."
Moreover, the assault that John McCain has launched against Obama's character - including repeated criticisms of the Illinois Democrat's association to former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers - has largely backfired. Obama sources shared internal campaign polling figures that show a sharp fall in positive feelings for the Republican ticket. Following the most recent spat of negative ads, they say, McCain's unfavorable rating has gone over 50 percent, notably higher than anything detected in recent public polling.
Gov. Sarah Palin is faring just as poorly if not worse. In New Hampshire, an official with knowledge of internal polling says the Alaska Republican's favorable rating has nosedived to 36 percent, with 56 percent viewing her unfavorably.
Even within Republican circles it seems there is a growing sentiment that McCain's recent strategy has had a blow-back effect. On Sunday, the Weekly Standard's William Kristol called the negative tactics "stupid."