It’s Thursday morning, Japan time, Wednesday night, U.S. time, and it’s looking like Obama has closed the deal. By any measure, McCain has not made the breakthrough he needed in either of the first two debates, and the V.P. debate had zero effect on the polls. McCain was said to have an advantage in the first debate, because the focus was foreign policy. He was said to have a chance of “winning” the second, because he is supposedly more comfortable with the town hall meeting format. (I guess he’s more comfortable when they’re packed with his supporters.) Is there a chance he’ll make a comeback in the final debate? No. It’s clear that this is one old dog who cannot learn new tricks. He’s shown us his stuff, and he hasn’t got anything more. McCain’s recent wave of negative attacks–particularly Palin’s performances in front of rabid fans–have backfired. The McCain campaign politely informed us in advance that they were going to go negative, and the Obama campaign responded with a brilliant little documentary that makes a case against McCain without sounding unfair or mean-spirited (unlike McCain’s dishonorable “dishonorable” ad).
And though I was worried a couple of weeks ago about the possibility of an electoral college draw, or even a loss for Obama, that now seems as unlikely as the Dow surging 1000 points tomorrow. The possibility of an anomalous Obama-Palin administration is now essentially zero, though it was amusing to consider for a while.
Here’s how things look right now on RealClearPolitics‘ current electoral map. (Click on the image to see the most current map.)
Here’s their map in “No Toss Up States” mode. (Again, click the image for the most current map.)
And here’s my more pessimistic “No Toss Ups” map, after shaving 3% off Obama’s current numbers. (Where knocking off 3% resulted in a dead heat, e.g. Florida and Nevada, I gave the states to McCain.)
And just for good measure, here’s Pollster.com‘s electoral map. (Once again, click the image for the most current map.)
And if that’s not enough data for you, just take a look at how the gamblers are betting over at Intrade.com.
Seriously. What could possibly happen in the next month to result in McCain garnering 270 electoral votes? Barring Obama’s sudden demise, nothing. The muckrakers have found every bit of dirt on Obama that exists, and it’s all already out there. (McCain, on the other hand, has plenty of dirt that is known of but which is not yet widely known. Just read Rolling Stone‘s devastating exposé here.) Even a new Bin Laden video or a terrorist attack won’t help the Republicans this time. On the contrary, the debates have highlighted that it is Obama who has the steady, firm hand, and McCain who is both erratic and trigger-happy.
I don’t believe in jinxes, but to spare myself some embarrassment should the unthinkable actually occur, I won’t connect the dots here and state the obvious conclusion to be drawn from all this current information.
Don’t forget to vote.