By CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Many Americans are hurting - big-time - from a lousy economy. But that doesn't stop the politicians, shameless creatures that they are, from holding their hands out for campaign donations. It's an election year after all.
The latest scheme comes courtesy of President Obama who wants people to give him money in lieu of giving graduation, anniversary, wedding, birthday, bar mitzvah gifts, etc.
This new fund-raising tool lets those who want to contribute set up a gift registry to solicit donations from their friends and loved ones to give to Obama. This in lieu of a gift for your birthday or wedding. The name for this is chutzpah.
The website suggests this is a "great way to support the president on your big day. Plus, it's a gift that we can all appreciate - and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl." Sure.
As you can imagine, critics and comedians are having a heyday with this.
Jimmy Kimmel suggests it's a "great way for people to lie about getting you a present."
And one guy writes on the campaign's website: "M y 6-year-old just lost a lower incisor. he's going to be so excited when the Tooth Fairy leaves him an obama-biden donation receipt in his name."
Meanwhile the president, Mitt Romney, and the rest of them go right on asking Americans to give them money at a time when millions of Americans can't find a job and 28% of us have no emergency savings.
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Fresh new polls are out today in the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida - states that went for President Obama in 2008 but are expected to be toss-ups in November.
The Quinnipiac polls show Obama leading Mitt Romney by four points in Florida, 45% to 41%, which is within the poll's sampling error. The president is helped out here with strong support from Florida's Latinos.
In Pennsylvania, the president leads Romney by six points, 45% to 39%, his lead bolstered by a strong gender gap. Mr. Obama leads Romney by 12 points among women in Pennsylvania.
And in Ohio, the president is up nine points, 47% to 38%, once again with a big gender gap.
History suggests Obama will almost certainly win a second term if he can keep the lead in all three of these key swing states through Election Day.
In every presidential election since 1960, the winning candidate for president has carried at least two of the three. These three states combined have 67 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.
But the word "battleground" has a special meaning in some cases.
Remember the hanging chads in 2000? The Supreme Court wound up deciding the election because Florida was mired in an antiquated system that kept the vote count there in question for weeks.
And then there's Ohio. Remember the voting machine fiasco in 2004?
You could make an argument that until they learn how to do it, Florida and Ohio shouldn't be allowed to vote in any more presidential elections.
But the fact is, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania hold the keys to the White House – and that's a fact, Jack.
And right now things are looking pretty good for Obama.
Here’s my question to you: Should the same three states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - be able to determine the outcome of every presidential election?
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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