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Observing the McCain/Obama debate

October 9, 2008 | 10:34 am

During the Tuesday evening debate, John McCain criticized Barack Obama for getting a $3-million projector for an observatory in Chicago. Over at MSNBC, truth-squaders have looked into whether the $3 million was really an outrageous waste -- and ended up comparing it with L.A.'s Griffith Observatory. From Alan Boyle's Cosmic Logic:

McCain has repeatedly taken his presidential rival (and Senate colleague) Barack Obama to task for seeking the $3 million earmark for Chicago's Adler Planetarium. The 40-year-old projector currently being used by the world-class planetarium is failing, and it's so obsolete that spare parts aren't available anymore. Obama and other members of the Illinois congressional delegation sought federal funds for a replacement. That request fell by the wayside, and the funds never came through. ... Anyone who's been to a planetarium knows that a planetarium projector is an incredibly complex and expensive device, and not your garden-variety overhead projector. Two years ago, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Griffith Observatory's new projector cost more than $3 million. Total cost of the Griffith's renovation: $93 million.

Although Obama seems to have the Hollywood crowd under his wing, there are definitely some McCain supporters speaking out (with Chuck Norris leading the way).

How are the candidates faring with an often-forgotten part of the electorate: Asian Americans? Obama is ahead with a caveat, according to a new study:

Asian-American voters support Barack Obama over John McCain by a substantial margin, but as many as a third are still undecided and could have an impact on the race in swing states, says the largest survey of Asian ethnic groups conducted this year. The study, conducted by four universities and released Monday, found that 41 percent of Asian- Americans support Obama and 24 percent McCain, with 34 percent undecided. In breakdowns by country of origin, all groups favored Obama except Vietnamese, a traditionally Republican community that backs McCain over Obama 51 percent to 24 percent. Asian-Americans "are the quintessential swing vote, and a large chunk of them have not made up their minds," said Karthick Ramakrishnan, who studies immigration at the University of California-Riverside.

--Shelby Grad

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times file photo