It's been a year since John McCain visited Mike's America and yours truly had the opportunity to spend some quality face time with the eventual GOP nominee. I used that time to ask him some tough questions conservatives had about him and am pleased to report that unlike what happened to Joe the Plumber after asking Obama a tough question, I was not investigated by state agencies nor was I smeared in the press.
This meeting was by no means the happiest of occasions. McCain's campaign had suffered layoffs, lack of funding and been declared all but dead by the "news" media. But McCain didn't accept defeatism from the pundits and bravely declared he was going to win the New Hampshire primary and that would be the springboard to winning the South Carolina primary and the nomination. At the end of our time together I wished Senator McCain "good luck" thinking that his plan was forlorn of hope.
Two months later John McCain had turned forlorn hopes into reality and he can do it again on Tuesday, November 4th.
Granted, the hill is much higher to climb this time around. States that were key to President Bush's victory in 2004 seem to be in danger of slipping away. But McCain is also gambling on taking Pennsylvania, with it's 21 electoral votes, to help him close the gap.
A number of analysts suggest that McCain can win if a "perfect storm" shifts independent and undecided voters his way in the closing hours of this campaign. In many polls, Obama still can't break much above 50% and yet his closing strategy seems to be to coast on that slim lead.
That could be his mistake as this article points out:
Five things that keep Democrats up at nightFor those who need some extra encouragement, Obama's running mate Joe Biden (the gift that keeps on giving) is always willing to lend a hand with his latest slip of the brain:
By Tim Harper
Nov. 2, 2008
• Auntie Zeituni: The Obama campaign said yesterday it would return $260 in campaign donations from Zeituni Onyango, his Kenyan-born aunt who is living illegally in this country.
Obama said he had no idea the woman he refers affectionately to as "Auntie Zeituni" in his memoir had been ordered out of the country four years ago by an immigration judge but said he believed all U.S. laws should be followed.
She lives in public housing in Boston and attended Obama's swearing-in as a U.S. senator in 2004 and, according to Obama, last talked to him about two years ago.
• Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida (click for latest polls): All are still in the Obama column, but all are tightening in the final days.
"It's time for a reality check," Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Ed Rendell said Friday. "We've got our work cut out for us."
His state looks solidly behind Obama, but what's with this NBC/Mason Dixon poll suddenly showing his lead at only four points, within the margin of error?
RealClearPolitics, which collects and averages major polls, shows McCain has whittled six points off Obama's once 14-point lead in Pennsylvania in three weeks.
• Investor's Business Daily poll: It has become the Republican equivalent of comfort food, the most accurate poll in 2004 has consistently put the national race closer than most other polls do.
Yesterday, it had Obama up only 4.5 points nationally, but with 8.7 per cent still saying they were unsure. And while Democrats are worrying, what about this nugget in yesterday's Hotline Diageo tracking poll putting McCain and Obama tied among independent voters? A week ago, Obama led by five points.
• Where is the youth vote? There is evidence that in the midst of record early voting, the one missing component is the youth vote, those who have turned out in the tens of thousands to cheer Obama at rallies.
In Florida, where 3.4 million people have already voted, an Orlando Sentinel study found only 15 per cent of them were under age 35.
• The Bradley Effect: This phenomenon – named after black candidate Tom Bradley, who unexpectedly lost to the 1982 California gubernatorial election to the white Republican challenger, George Deukmejian, may be myth or at least outdated.
There is no reputable polling data available in 2008 that indicates voters are telling pollsters they will vote for Obama while actually planning to vote for McCain.
More often than not, Obama outperformed his polling numbers in the primaries.
But it would be naïve to discount race in places like Pennsylvania and Ohio, states where Hillary Clinton easily beat Obama in the primaries, and it is more likely that many people who tell pollsters they are undecided have really decided to vote for McCain.
That means there could be 6 per cent of Americans listed as "undecided" who are actually McCain backers hiding their intentions.
But an expected record black vote for Obama will overwhelm any latent racist effect.
"I felt awful good about this time in the (John) Kerry campaign and I felt good in the(Al) Gore campaign and so, so, this, that old joke, you know, it ain't over till it's over," --Joe Biden