[Read also, by Rick Moran: Ten Reasons Why McCain Doesn’t Have a Prayer]
The media is telling voters, especially Republican voters, that the presidential race is over. The handwriting is on the wall. The fat lady is singing. Don’t even bother to vote.
But wait, isn’t there an election next week? After all this, don’t voters have a choice?
Well, the MSM would like us to believe that no, a threshold has been crossed and Barack Obama already has those electoral votes. Not quite, though. Not yet.
Sure, there is less than a week to go and, as of this writing, there is not a single national poll showing John McCain in the lead. But the race isn’t over. And there are some pretty good reasons, ten that come to mind actually, as to why the contest is not a foregone conclusion.
First, the daily tracking polls are tightening. You see lots more “4s” and “5s” and many fewer “8s,” “9s,” and “10s.” That means voters aren’t yet fixed on a choice. It also means Obama hasn’t closed the sale.
Second, some polls show that seven to ten percent of the voters are still undecided. Even Obama partisans (like the MSNBC analysts) concede that the vast majority of these voters could well be McCain supporters, or at least “No-Bama” voters. If Obama is below 50% going into the election, that may signal a late breaking surge for McCain, much the same way Al Gore in 2000 enjoyed a final weekend tilt (largely because of breaking news about George W. Bush’s past DUI).
Third, no one really has a clue as to who is going to show up to vote. Gallup threw in the towel and has three turnout models. If those college kids all turn out it may be a short and sad evening for McCain. But if they decide to go partying instead, and/or if Sarah Palin has tapped into the conservative base (like Bush did in 2004) it will be a long and hopeful night for McCain.
Fourth, Joe the Plumber and Barack the Radio Show Guest gave McCain his strongest argument, or rather proof for his argument, that Obama is an ultra-liberal bent on redistributing the wealth, not creating it. Barney Frank did his part too, hinting at a big tax hike to come. In fact he’s so bent on his “fairness” scheme, he’ll even try it in a recession. That’s the best argument yet as to why, of all times, now is not the moment for a very liberal Democrat in the White House.
Fifth, Joe Biden did his best to scare the dickens out of his own donors and became fodder for a Saturday Night Live skit when he warned Obama would be tested by an international crisis and wouldn’t be likely to pass the test. So much for the Colin Powell seal of national security approval. (That Ted Stevens jury didn’t think much of Powell’s character assessment skills, by the way.) Even French President Nicholas Sarkozy chimed in, dubbing Obama’s Iran policy “utterly immature.”
Sixth, Sarah Palin is going “rogue” — telling off her handlers, talking to the media, and making the case before tens of thousands of cheering fans. No, Peggy Noonan doesn’t like her and David Frum is appalled, but thankfully for McCain their barbs have likely only endeared her further to the conservative base.
Seventh, Americans have pretty much figured out that one way or another, Bush is leaving office. They don’t need to vote for Obama to see Bush go. And McCain has done a good a job as possible explaining how he agrees that the last eight years have been a bust (economic and otherwise). In short, the “McCain=Bush” pitch is wearing thin.
Eighth, the stories of the ACORN voter registration scandal and the “thugocracy” of the Obama camp have percolated up through the blogosphere and talk radio and into MSM coverage. If the Obama camp is acting that way now — even going after Joe the Plumber — what will it be like with the full power of the federal government behind them? Suddenly the “Chicago Way” sounds a bit ominous.
Ninth, voters have figured out that an Obama presidency would mean an end to divided government. That realization caused Nancy Pelosi to go on the defensive with the bizarre claim that Democrats would be more bipartisan if they won everything. No, really. They promise.
Tenth, John McCain may not be raising the issue, but Reverend Wright is back in independent ads. Voters are getting one last reminder that for twenty years Barack Obama had the closest of relationships with Wright and sought inspiration and political support from the hate-spewing pastor. That message resonates with some segment of voters who simply can’t understand how Obama would tolerate, let alone embrace, such a figure. (And they aren’t buying that Obama was ignorant as to Wright’s real views.)
So we’re being told that it’s over. And McCain certainly has his work cut out for him. But voters always get the last say. Come to think of it, that’s probably why the media is so anxious to tell us that this one is in the bag.