Obama could still lose, despite the formidable lead he’s building up in electoral votes. His lead in many of states is not huge. And a month’s a long time in politics…
McCain’s campaign director Steve Schmidt learnt his dark arts at the feet of the evil Karl Rove. He’s a believer in the Boyd Cycle (hat-tip: William Bradley), an approach to military engagement that seeks to overcome a superior opponent by means of rapid movements that surprise and befuddle. Expect to overdose on fear and smear in the coming weeks. The celebrity ad worked a treat, and there’s plenty more negative ads where that came from.
Election fraud in the swing states. They did it before and… hey, they’re doing it again. For example in Colorado students have been erroneously told that if they depend on out-of-state parents, they’re not eligible to vote in Colorado. (The Fox News report linked to doesn’t mention that the Recorder was a delegate to the Republican Convention). Likewise students in Virginia are being disenfranshised. Tougher ID matches for would-be voters in Florida with vast numbers of Democrats’ voter registrations held up in Florida. And so on. (One could dwell on the irony that the perpetrators of these outrages like to lecture the rest of the world on the superior nature of their democracy…)
And, then, there could be a big October surprise. Especially in the foreign policy arena. Let’s face it, these Republicans won’t go down without trying every trick in the book, legal or not.
But it’s going to take a really big October surprise to get McCain back in the running. And, while I can’t see Obama stumbling in the remaining debates, I can see him needling McCain enough to get the old goat blowing his stack. If McCain loses his cool, it’s game over. I can also see the financial crisis continuing to overshadow everything, and I can’t see any good news on that front. Oh, did someone mention Troopergate?
Most importantly, most voters are pretty decided now, and the independents are making up their minds (in Obama’s favour). Obama supporters are more enthusiastic than McCain’s, and McCain is badly out-organised on the ground. He’s limited in how much he can spend. He’s now on the defensive, having just withdrawn from Michigan.
So, at the end of the day, I’m inclined to agree with Charles Krauthammer’s conclusion on this one:
“Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously said of Franklin Roosevelt that he had a “second-class intellect, but a first-class temperament.” Obama has shown that he is a man of limited experience, [blah, blah. Overdoes this bit, but it is Krauthammer after all.]… Nonetheless, he’s got both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament. That will likely be enough to make him president.”