Monday, October 13, 2008

"We have 22 days to go. We’re six points down"

It is now or never for John McCain. The final debate on Wednesday. When the dust settles, a two- week sprint to November 4 where Obama's cash-heavy coffers will be unleashed and exhausted.

The following figures come courtesy of Real Clear Politics ("RCP").

National polls still show Obama leading outside the 3% margin of error as of October 12:

RCP Average: Obama +6.8

Rasmussen Tracking: Obama +5

Zogby Tracking: Obama +4

Hotline/FD Tracking: Obama +6

ABC/Washington Post: Obama +10

More significant, Obama is trending upwards in the hotly contested, big electoral prize battleground states, the key to winning this election:

Ohio (20 electoral votes): Obama +2.9 (RCP average)

Pennsylvania (17 electoral votes): Obama +13.4 (RCP average)

Florida (27 electoral votes): Obama +3.8 (RCP average)

If Obama carries Florida, then the only thing Sarah Palin will be "shaking up" come inauguration day will be Trig's formula. Florida is ball game.

Even more ominous for the McCain faithful are Obama's inroads in states traditionally viewed as Republican bastions:

Virginia (17 electoral votes): Obama +6.3 (RCP average)

North Carolina (15 electoral votes): Obama +1.2 (RCP average)

Indiana (11 electoral votes): McCain +3.8 (RCP average)

Indiana is the most alarming example of Obama's momentum over the past month. Keep in mind that Bush easily carried Indiana in both 2000 (by a landslide 16%) and again in 2004 (by a whopping 20%). The fact that the Democrats have thrown Indiana into play speaks volumes to McCain's predicament with three weeks to go. He is running out of electoral map permutations to claim victory.

And an African-American candidate with a Muslim father leading in a "Deep South" state like North Carolina. Pretty remarkable.

Unveiling a new comeback speech this week, McCain now attempts to cast himself as the scrappy, pugnacious underdog looking for a back-alley brawl against insurmountable odds:

"Let me give you the state of the race today. We have 22 days to go. We’re six points down . . . What America needs in this hour is a fighter; someone who puts all his cards on the table and trusts the judgment of the American people. I come from a long line of McCains who believed that to love America is to fight for her. I have fought for you most of my life. There are other ways to love this country, but I’ve never been the kind to do it from the sidelines.”

To arms then, John. You're on the clock. See you Wednesday night at Hofstra.

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