Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Grand Old Panic

It can't possibly get any worse for the McCain campaign. Makes you almost want to feel bad for them. Almost. I was in London visiting some friends over the weekend and fell out of touch with the news for a little while. Now that I am back, I can't believe what I am reading.

I felt pretty sure that Obama couldn't do better than the 5-6% average advantage he had in the national polls up to last week. That fraction represents a lot of people, and I thought this country was so partisan that it was something of a ceiling for any candidate, of either party. Well, the Times and CBS just released a poll showing Obama with a fourteen-point lead. That represents nearly 48 million people if applied to the country at large. What is McCain to do? William Kristol, one of the conservative columnists for the Times, opened his piece this week with, "It’s time for John McCain to fire his campaign." Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley Jr., whose writings are the intellectual foundation of the modern conservative movement, has endorsed Obama. He has never voted for a Democrat in his life. EV now has Obama with 357 votes, 538.com with 361.4, and a share worth $100 if McCain wins can be bought for $21.10 at intrade.com. If you really think McCain will win, you could quintuple your money.

Meanwhile, the RNC might borrow $5 million to try and save some Senate seats. The idea of 60 seats for Democrats is getting less far fetched every day. This may be the last straw before they have to pull resources from McCain, rendering him even more unable to compete with Obama's astronomical fund raising. Aides hinted that September's haul was bigger than the record $66 million in August, which would make sense considering the fusion of Clinton supporters. Politico says Obama is outspending McCain 8-1 in some places. And yet for some reason Steve Schmidt thinks character assassination is the way to succeed? As the last week has shown, the rhetoric about Ayres has only frothed up the hardliners, and has driven independents away and McCain's unfavorable ratings up. Don't they get it that getting nutjobs excited at staged events and getting average voters excited in their living rooms aren't the same thing?

I can't remember the last time I was this excited, and I haven't even mentioned Sarah Palin.

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