What to Make of It All
Posted by Steven Hayward
I start off nearly every morning thinking that John McCain has little chance of winning the election, for all of the conventional reasons summarized today by The Politico. But if Noemie Emery is right, the long-running split in the American electorate works against Obama nonetheless. We’ll see: I’m more inclined to think the perfect storm of problems facing the GOP are sufficient to overwhelm the advantages the party has enjoyed for the last several presidential election.
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Steve, take a look at the numbers. Be mindful of the unpopularity of Bush, and then ask yourself, why isn't Obama blowing out his opponent by 20 points.
Seems to me that Obama may have already peaked. He's effectively gotten no bounce, at least none with any genuine traction.
Pat Buchanan said the other day that McCain could blow Obama out of the water, what with all the "exotic and strange" people and things surrounding Obama. I think that's an accurate take. Doesn't mean it's a guarantee. But it's a possibility.
Obama is a new face, which brings political minuses in addition to the pluses. He had an extremely serious primary opponent, whose campaign ended only a week ago. Many Democrats, for a variety of reasons, some of which are not substantive (he beat the first woman), are naturally disappointed that he won the nomination. Such emotions don't necessarily last, especially in the face of powerful pressures for party unity and for "history-making" with the black JFK. McCain has much pre-existing good will among moderates. The media, and a shrewd and tough ("gun to a knife fight") Obama campaign, will peel many of those people away. As George Will points out, how many moderates know McCain is pro-life? They all will before the campaign is over. Now, many don't. At this time, it would be quite surprising -- even in such a bad climate for the GOP -- if Obama were to lead by, say, 15. There is every possibility that he could end up winning by 15. The race is certainly winnable for us. But don't let the close poll numbers fool you. We are the underdogs, my friends.