reply to post by Animal
I think he's definitely the favorite at this point and I'd probably give him about a 65% chance of
winning this election.
However, its not all sunshine and clear skies. There are several potential pitfalls for Barack Obama between now and election day. The most
obvious is all of the media attention. The Dems are loving it, but in one clear way, it is backfiring on them. It has turned this election into a
referendum on Barack Obama instead of George W. Bush. I'd give them a 90% chance of winning the latter and I think most would, so its already
obvious how this change in focus has weighed against him. It is also insulating John McCain, simply because no one is paying attention to him, or
his mistakes or attacks against him. As such, Obama will be increasingly under the microscope for the next few months, even more than the
frontrunner is typically subjected to, while McCain will probably fly under the radar in the low 40s and stay well within striking distance until
November. Note also that his ‘favorability’ ratings are virtually identical to those of Barack Obama. Clearly, McCain is not suffering from the
ties to the GOP.
The next thing that could present a potential problem is the mood of the electorate. I know that sounds odd, but hear me out. We all know that
there has been a huge liberal anti-Bush, anti-Republican tide out there. That seems to favor the Dems, but don't be so sure. Look at the polls...as
is historically the case, up to 20% are still undecided. That's bad for Barack Obama. Very bad. Why? Every self-described liberal Democrat
knows who they are voting for in this election. All of the liberal/Dem leaners, party affiliated or not, know who they're voting for. In both
cases, it ain't John McCain! They're sick of Bush and the Republican party. The result? Its very likely that the undecided pool has already
largely been drained of liberals and those who identify more with that ideology. Again, they know they’re voting for Obama. The remaining group is
very likely to be mildly conservative (they tend to be anyway; it'll likely be more so this year) and to identify more with the Republican party.
Now that does not mean that Obama can't win that group, simply that on ideology, McCain will have a significant built-in advantage. However, this
is why some commentators have said that if Obama can’t break into something resembling a significant lead, John McCain may very well
win this election. There's a good chance that they will break 55-60% for John McCain.
In a related fashion, this is also why high spring turnout can be misleading. The Dems turned out over 35 million primary voters. That's good
because it shows their enthusiasm both for their candidates and against the sitting administration. However, it comes with a downside.
Considering how contentious it has been, one has to wonder: Is that all they've got??? In other words, have they already burned through all of
the anti-Bush and anti-Republican sentiment in the country? Obama still likely has to come up with at least
30 million more votes, and
that's assuming he can keep Hillary's voters in his column, which is looking increasingly problematic. Speaking of which, could the vote drive
backfire, given the mass of Hillary supporters now angry and vowing to vote McCain? Is the longstanding ideological divide between traditional
'Reagan' Democrats in the heartland and the liberal wing of the party found mostly in the cities finally going to erupt in a party civil war?
And finally, can he weather the storm of 527 attacks that will occur in the final 6-8 weeks? John Kerry, the leader all through July and August of
‘04, failed to do so. Those who think thatMcCain has been harsh and unfair...you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Fair? No. Reality? Yes.
Again, none of this is to say that he *won’t* win, but that its far from a done-deal and he also faces a tough challenge over the next few months.