I’m glad Steve was the first to notice the big lead Obama now has in the ABC/CBS poll, and I’m going to add that it is quite rare to have a lead that big this late and lose. Now that poll certainly has its flaws, and we can take some comfort in not seeing the same sort of margin yet in the others. But Steve is right also to notice pro-O changes in the state polls too.
The reason for these changes is the economy and the natural tendency of people to look for paternalistic competence in a very uncertain and threatening environment. Republicans can shout that this ain’t like the Great Depression, and in any case the New Deal policies did nothing but prolong that economic crisis. But more and more people do fear that something like a depression is just around the corner, and their fears seem to be confirmed by the experts who say there’s no time to waste when it comes to the big, big, big bailout and unprecedented empowerment of the executive branch.
So when people see Obama they think FDR. Meanwhile, McCain seems to be doing is best to imitate TR’s angry demands that the evildoers be punshed and the trusts be busted etc. FDR will always be more popular than TR, and I fear people don’t think that they need a warrior to make them safe in a crisis of this kind. The challenge to McCain right now is huge.