News Cycle

A look at the news, politics and journalism in today’s 24-hour media.

Is the Fat Lady Singing Yet for McCain? Can McCain Win?

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With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, the Conventional Wisdom in the media, and therefore the country, is that Sen. Barack Obama will not only win the presidency in November, but it will be an electoral map that fundamentally change politics in Washington for years to come.

Almost every pollster is reporting an advantage for the Democrat by about 10 points on average, and it is a lead that is growing every day. Not only is Obama poised to crush Sen. John McCain, but Democrats are predicting a 60-member caucus in the upcoming U.S. Senate. That would give them the majority they need to have a free hand in enacting any law, any policy, and spend any amount of money they wish without being concerned with a pesky Republican filibuster. Over in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is anticipating 250 Democrats, which would be 57 percent of that body.

For Republicans, it would be two years of legislative hell.

But there are some in the media who question whether the Fat Lady is already singing.

For instance, Adam Nagourney of The New York Times (which, by the way, has officially endorsed Obama) wrote yesterday that McCain’s supporters, and even some Democrats, see a possible path for a GOP victory:

“The McCain campaign is roughly in the position where Vice President Gore was running against President Bush one week before the election of 2000,” said Steve Schmidt, Mr. McCain’s chief strategist. “We have ground to make up, but we believe we can make it up.”

… Mr. McCain’s advisers said the key to victory was reeling back those Republican states where Mr. Obama has them on the run: Florida, where Mr. McCain spent Thursday; Indiana; Missouri; North Carolina; Ohio; and Virginia. If he can hang on to all those states as well as others that are reliably red, he would put into his column 260 of the 270 electoral votes necessary to win. Mr. McCain’s advisers said they would look for the additional electoral votes they need either by taking Pennsylvania from the Democrats, or putting together some combination of Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

Mr. McCain’s advisers are most concerned about Virginia, and understandably so. On the other side of the coin, Mr. McCain’s advisers believe that if he wins or comes close in Pennsylvania, he will probably win in Ohio and Florida. Aides to Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama agree that Mr. McCain remains very much in the game in Ohio and Florida. Not easy, but not impossible either.

He goes on to write that GOP insiders are jumping on two recent remarks by the Obama campaign that they see have touched a nerve and can turn the tide. One is Obama’s comment about “spreading the wealth” during his impromptu meeting with the famous “Joe the Plumber.” The second is Sen. Joe Biden’s comment that Obama will be intentionally tested in the first six months in office. Both comments, the GOP insiders say, can spur the base to come out and vote.

Some people in the media look for outside forces to hurt Obama’s chances rather than helping McCain’s. Peggy Noonan, writing in the Wall Street Journal, had this to offer this week:

And yet: It’s not over. For one thing, Mr. McCain has got to be reading Steven Stark’s piece in the Boston Phoenix, which imagines the forces that could produce a McCain upset. What if Mr. Obama underperforms on Election Day, just as he did in the final primaries with Hillary Clinton? What if senior citizens turn out in record numbers and vote for the older guy, and the financial crisis seems to fade, and Mr. McCain finds new grounding on the issue of taxes, and the Obama campaign undermines itself with premature triumphalism . . .

Mr. McCain has endless faith in his ability to come back. He’s been doing it for 40 years, from Vietnam, where, with the injuries he’d sustained and the torture he experienced, he might have died, was likely to die, and yet survived, to exactly a year ago, when he was out of money and out of luck. And then he won New Hampshire. When he says, “We got ’em where we want ’em” he must mean: They think they are looking at a corpse. No one in politics has so repeatedly relished coming back from the dead.”

OK, that might fall under the GOP Wishful Thinking Department. But stranger things have happened in the world of politics.

There is one more thing to consider, and that’s about the polling. Obama is absolutely crushing McCain every which way in the polls. I can’t imagine what it is like to be McCain’s chief pollster as he/she walks into that morning briefing with the boss to deliver more bad news. But polls have been known to be wrong, and they do not count one iota in making the final decision.

Sen. John Kerry was told on Election Day in 2004 that the exit polls gave him a comfortable lead in Ohio, and throughout the afternoon he had thought he had crossed the finish line first. But there was a fatal flaw in the methodology. The pollsters canvassed mostly urban areas, giving Kerry an edge in their calculations.

This year, pollsters’ interviewing samples are predominately Democrats, justifying it as “the makeup of the country.” For instance, this clip from CNN is from its debate roundup in which the sample had 38 percent Democrats and 31 percent Republicans, which is roughly a one-fourth difference.

Surprisingly, Obama came out ahead in that poll. While it gave the country the image that Obama had scored better, the only thing one can really pull from the result is that Obama will win a poll that has more Democrats than Republicans.

The other problem with that is, of course, are whether those people are actually going to vote. Will every Democrat come through on Election night? Traditionally, they don’t. Republicans have been the ones who come out to vote in greater numbers, even though there are more Democrats registered in the country. Kerry was counting on a large youth turnout. It didn’t happen, because young people do not traditionally vote in large numbers. This year, Obama is counting on a large turnout from newly registered people, including youth, and that’s why he is urging them to actually vote and not become complacent with all the news that he has already won.

Once again, it’s up to you, the voter, to decide. The media, the pollsters, and the pundits all individually have the same influence on the election as you do, and that’s one vote. If McCain pulls this out, it’s probably not because of a Bradley Effect, it would be because of apathy on the Democratic side.


Written by newscycle

October 24, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Posted in McCain

One Response

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  1. *Should The top management of the Public listed company be responsible for the company performance, eg company nearly get wind up? you a Partisan?Should they give their view……? If any party did not give their views, send it to their supporter to question them….


    October 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm

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