Over on www.pollster.com the excitement is palpable. There is near euphoria amongst the mainly Democratic posters. States are being switched from red to yellow and from yellow to blue seemingly by the hour. Florida (!) has gone from Lean McCain to Lean Obama in a matter of days. From a situation a couple of weeks ago where the trend estimates for Electoral College Votes was nearly even, they now show a lead of landslide proportions for Obama – states totalling 320 EVs either Strong or Lean Obama with states totalling 55 votes still marked as toss-up and with Obama gaining in them. The Gallup daily tracker shows Obama finally maintaining a lead.

However, they say a week is a long time in politics and there’s four weeks left to polling day – basically at least half an eon. I went to bed four years ago here in the UK comforted by the sounds of pollsters and pundits acclaiming John Kerry the 44th President of the USA and woke up to Four More Years. It’s a long way to those polling booths and a lot can happen in the next four weeks. Obama will have to survive two more debates (you’re probably already settling in for the first) and more importantly a lot of character assassination-as I said last night the gloves are off.

McCain is probably pretty well down to his base at the moment and Obama isn’t likely to make any more significant gains. So he has to hold onto what I’m going to call the Susceptible Centre. These are the people wooed by George Bush in 2000 with promises of large tax cuts and scared into voting for him in 2004. They may be comfortable telling pollsters how much they like Obama now, but may get cold feet closer to the election.

However I don’t want to be a Merchant of Doom – I just don’t want people who support Obama and Biden to get carried away and presumptive. It is still Obama’s election to lose and so far he hasn’t put a major step wrong. As regards his VP choice Joe Biden may be correct in saying that yes, Hilary Clinton may be better qualified for the office but after the debate Biden v Palin seems like a much more clear-cut option than Hilary v Giuliani, Huckabee or Pawlenty, even if all it means is that the focus stays primarily on Obama and McCain. Obama has successfully managed to swiftly deflect attacks from the Republicans (as opposed to Kerry in 2004) without having to stoop to smearing himself (although I do acknowledge he may have to become more aggressive in the coming weeks). His campaign is very organized on the ground in battleground states. That Susceptible Centre I mentioned hasn’t been quite as susceptible so far this time around – perhaps they’ve become jaded by too many petty Republican tactics.

So the election is still there for the taking for the Democrats – they just have to remain focused because you don’t want to be on the road to Pennsylvania Avenue only to crash in Virginia.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s