Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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Polls tightening. Cause: Joe the Plumber

This story from lawschool buddy and Rays bandwagon-er Javier Soto: "McCain looking better in Florida polls."

Two new polls in Florida now show the race back in a dead heat. Obama had enjoyed a 2-4 point advantage for the past two weeks.

Said the Mason-Dixon pollster:

''Joe the Plumber created the situation where Obama made a public relations mistake about spreading the wealth around, so there's a Joe the Plumber Effect to the degree that McCain finally found some sort of economic message that people can relate to -- taxes.''

I've been contending that the "Joe the Plumber" issue would serve as a flashpoint for Obama's tax-hike scheme, and would ultimately tighten the polls in key battleground states.   Looks like that's finally happening.  It'll be interesting to see if the JTP effect shows up in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, too.

Update:  The Mason-Dixon poll shows Virginia now in a dead heat, and the latest AP national poll has it 44-43 for Obama, a six point swing since their last poll. 

Update II:  McCain and Palin hammered at Obama's "wealth spreading" plans at a joint rally in New Hampshire today.  Clearly, they think they've found a wedge issue, and they're going to ride this horse to the barn.  Let's see if the polls continue to narrow.

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Reader Comments (8)

Hey thanks for the props. Yes, Florida is getting tighter as we down here always thought it would. Yes, we think we have enough (working) voting machines to avoid a meltdown. Yes, lines at early voting polls are insane. And yes, I'm on the Rays bandwagon and everybody else should jump on board as well...who the hell likes the Phillies outside of Philadelphia anyway??

Go Rays.
J Soto

October 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjsoto

Have the Rays drawn more than 35k for a game yet? lol.

As a Mets fan, it's my civic duty and birthright to wish i'll will on the Philthy Phillies, so LETS GO RAYS!

October 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTR

Go ahead and give McLoser Florida. Heck, given him Ohio as well if you want. The math isn't there for him, even if he closes margins in a few swing state polls. McCloser needs to win every single swing state, including those where Obama is up by more than 10 points. Obama needs basically just one of these swing states and he wins. Sorry McLoser, your home #6 awaits you to come back and mow the lawn or something.

The political punditry at this point should start focusing the transition team than the race itself. It is all but over.

October 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

Hmmm, maybe the Giants should've conceeded the Super Bowl to the Pats last year 2 weeks before the game....

October 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTR

Football is nothing but a one off game. upsets take place every week. This campaign, through every poll, every measurement, every stumble by VP pick (get a load at her 4th attempt to explain what a Vice President does!), etc shows not just a win, but essentially a blowout. These polls are much more of a science than they were even four years ago. You really won't see much of a change. And, from early voting in the states that allow for it, democrats are turing out more than 3-1 vs. republicans...that is, people cannot wait to get some fresh, new blood in the White House.

If I am wrong, I hereby proclaim to all ragone.com readers that I will let you all tar and feather me, wear a sign around my neck reading "mitch is a loser" and posting it on youtube.com.

October 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

Nick, check out the latest state polls, where Obama is pulling away in Ohio, Fla, etc...these national polls have zero meaning at this point

October 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

New ads are starting to roll out with people saying they are just like Joe the Plumber. Wonder if they''ll hit a nerve too. If so, I look forward to tarring and feathering you, Mitchie...

October 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlan


State polling is headed in the wrong direction. Everyone loves an outlier poll to use as a life preserver.

Hopefully people won't read this from CBS News:

McCain's appeal to Joe the Plumber rests on a claim he will cut taxes, including business taxes and in the process create new jobs.

“We will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America,” he said this week.

The fact is none of McCain's tax plans help Joe the Plumber right away and his main tax pledge changes nothing at all.

Here's why:

McCain's claim that his tax cut is the "real thing" is based on his pledge to keep all of the Bush tax cuts. Fine, but those are on the books and part of the law for the next two years anyway. Nothing changes here if McCain gets elected, and no extra money goes to Joe.

How about those "business taxes" McCain says he will cut. This is verbal sleight of hand.
McCain is indeed proposing a corporate tax cut, in fact a bold one: 35% down to 25% phased in over five years. But almost no small businesses file taxes as corporations.

In other words, experts tell CBS News, Joe the Plumber, small businessman, isn’t getting these business tax cuts either, because they are corporate tax cuts.

“There would be no direct benefit for small businesses because most small businesses don't pay corporate taxes,” according to tax policy expert Martin Sullivan.


It's better if people just don't read and just vote McCain.

October 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian

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