Obama: Deal closed?

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.)

RealClearPolitics' electoral map, 10 p.m. E.S.T., October 8

RealClearPolitics' Electoral Map, 10 p.m. E.S.T., October 8

Here’s their map in “No Toss Up States” mode. (Again, click the image for the most current map.)

RealClearPolitics' "No Toss Ups" Map, 10 p.m. E.S.T., October 8

RealClearPolitics' "No Toss Ups" Map, 10 p.m. E.S.T., October 8

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.)

Matt's more pessimistic map

Matt's more pessimistic map

And just for good measure, here’s Pollster.com‘s electoral map. (Once again, click the image for the most current map.)


Pollster.com's Electoral Map, 10 p.m. E.S.T., October 8

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.

  1. Clarissa’s avatar

    I really, really, really want you to be right… (I am deeply afraid that you’re wrong, but I WANT you to be right.)

  2. Matt’s avatar

    Thanks, Clarissa! I didn’t think anyone read any of my political entries. (haha) I am not beyond worrying, by any means, but I am hopeful. Everyday (literally), Obama’s numbers get better, and McCain’s get worse. Obama has run probably the most carefully planned and brilliant campaign in modern American history, and McCain, well, hasn’t. McCain claims to have rebooted his campaign and promised to kick Obama’s “you know what” in the debate, but seriously, does anybody, right left or center, believe that? If he suddenly starts a new tactic, it will look to the electorate like more erratic flailing around. Serious-minded conservatives are endorsing Obama (or at least rejecting McCain) all over the place. White protestants are moving into the Obama column. Florida, Ohio, Virginia…they’re all looking real good right now. None of McCain’s punches–Ayers! ACORN!–have landed, and in fact have turned off everyone except the lunatic fringe that shows up at his campaign events with torches and pitchforks (not to mention stuffed monkeys sporting Obama stickers).

    I know it’s not over, and I know the Democrats have a mind-boggling talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but I think this year–and this candidate–are different. And I agree with one recent headline: “The Fat Lady Has Entered the Building.”

  3. Helen McCarthy’s avatar

    Matt, I do hope things work out as you want. Ever since Blair followed Bush into Iraq, I’ve been hoping that Americans (most of whom I believe to be sincere, honest and wellmeaning people) will choose a President who doesn’t think that bombing people into submission is the only way to make the world agree.

    However, if I look at the example of my own country, I can see that we continually elect and re-elect discredited politicians with dishonest records based on almost totemic tribal loyalties that have nothing to do with the good of our country or our fellow humans. So I’m not quite as hopeful as you are. People are strange.

  4. Matt’s avatar

    Hi, Helen. Thanks for the comment. I generally agree with you, but once in a while, as if by mistake, voters make a right choice. The numbers are looking good for Obama at the moment, and the increasingly desperate attacks from the right are 1) either failing or backfiring, and 2) indicative that they have no Plan B, no October Surprise. Right now the Republicans seem to be putting their last hopes on what is shaping up to be the most unabashed and organized voter-suppression effort since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. (They’re paying 3,500 people to challenge the eligibility of “certain voters” at Ohio polling places.) Fortunately, the Democrats are prepared with their own well-organized voter protection effort. (The Obama campaign has so far gotten 2000 volunteers–mostly lawyers and law students–to defend voters in those same Ohio polling places.)

    People are indeed strange, but in this case they don’t seem to be buying the same old B.S.. As our sitting president once said, “Fool me once…shame on…shame on you……you fool me…you can’t get fooled again.”


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