8 Days to Change: Final Arguments
Chuck Todd, the numbers guy at NBC, has been cautious about this election--until recently. His startling impressions of tension and discouragement within the McCain campaign last week have since been verified by full-blown viral stories, with a McCain aide referring to Palin as a "diva." But it's his recent observations about the numbers that are the most remarkable.
For the first time, NBC shows that adding up Obama's likely and "leans" gives him more than enough for an electoral win. But Todd points out something even more devastating. Because of Obama's strength in the West, he conceivably could lose Florida AND Ohio AND Pennsylvania, and still win the election.
Most polls show Obama slightly to moderately ahead in Florida and Ohio, and ahead by double digits in PA, with nothing yet in the daily polls to indicate any trend away from him. But that's not all that Todd said.
I heard Todd observe that early voting numbers, especially in the South, suggest to him that African American turnout may eventually be between 98% and 100%. He notes that Georgia is now in play, and there are other states where no polling has been done recently that could also be moving towards Obama.
Now polls show the race is very close in Arizona, McCain's home state. (My source in Sedona, where McCain has one of his homes--apparently the one he lives in most of the time--says there is Obama enthusiasm there, too.) And it's not just states but areas, such as Florida's Gulf Coast, a GOPer stronghold which may be trending Obama.
Not to jinx it or anything, but unless McCain can find something that resonates in the final week, we could be looking at an epic victory.
There are cautionary voices. Todd's counterpart at CNN, Bill Schneider, points out that in some states (like PA) and some national polls, Obama is only a point or so higher, or dead even, with what John Kerry got in 04. It's just that McCain is 7 points or so lower than GW. But while this may be true in PA, for instance, it doesn't account for red states that Obama could win. Obama is also likely to get more votes than Kerry did in red states he still doesn't win, and pile up the popular vote that way as well.
After crowds totalling 150,000 in Colorado Sunday, Obama makes what his campaign bills as his "final argument" in Pittsburgh, PA and Canton, Ohio on Monday. Tuesday Obama is in PA, at Chester. I can't wait for the photos from the Burgh. Some consolation for the Steelers loss Sunday.
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