It is hard to believe that after what has seemed like an eternity, by Tuesday night, we will finally know who our next president will be, a man with the unenviable task of cleaning up 8 years of horrific and outright delusional leadership from the Bush administration.
The polls, and many pundits (including Pat Buchanan), are predicting that Barack Obama will come away the victor on Novemeber 4th. The only question seems to be what the margin of victory will be. Personally, I will believe it when I see. I am certainly hopeful that Obama pulls it off as I, and millions of other Americans, truly believe that he can be the transformational figure that we need right now to right the ship that Bush and Cheney have steered drastically off course.
I am somewhat concerned about what may be happening in Pennsylvania right now. Several polls are showing a tightening there that may be too close for comfort. Two polls out today show Obama with a 4 point lead, one shows a 6 point lead, and another shows an 8 point advantage. Considering that Obama has been showing healthy double digit leads as early as Wednesday, it makes me think that Pennsylvanians are starting to buy some of the McCain/Palin mud.
A lot of people are bringing up the “Bradley Effect” and how it may relate to Obama’s chances. What this so-called “Bradley Effect” really demonstrates is that the polling numbers for black candidates is typically what they will get come election day, and it is the white candidate who is shown to underperfom in polling with undecided voters typically going for the white candidate when forced to make their decision in the booth. That said, it is vital for Obama to be polling over 50% in order to have some sort of comfort level. Anything below 50% shows the race could still be too volatile.
So, if we look at the latest Pennsylvania polls – Rasmussen has Obama at +4 (51-47), ARG has Obama at +6 (51-45), and Morning Call has Obama +8 (52-44). Only the Mason-Dixon poll from Thursday, which shows Obama at +4 (47-43) has him below 50%. So, it is reasonable to assume at this point that Obama is polling above 50% in the Keystone State – a state that has voted Democratic for the last 20 years. However, what concerns me is the amount of time McCain is spending in the state along with the effect of Rep. Jack Murtha’s comments about Western PA being racist. Murtha is probably right. There are several accounts of Obama volunteers who have canvassed neighborhoods in that part of the state who have heard the n word used to describe Senator Obama. Still, I am not sure it was the best tactic on Murtha’s part, especially since he is up for re-election himself. However, in a state which has the second oldest population, it would strike me as bizarre if Pennsylvania turned Red this year considering if nothing else, McCain’s plan to tax healthcare benefits and potentially make big cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. If Pennsylvania wasn’t going to re-elect Bush in 2004, I just don’t see how they will come out for McCain in 2008, unless there is a significant racial component at play.
Another piece of troubling news is the business with Obama’s aunt being in the U.S. illegally. It really does seem like some sort of Republican parlor trick just days before the election – meant to serve as yet another distracting reason why Obama is dangerous. Obama has come out and said he did not know about her status and promptly returned the $265 donations his aunt had made, and further went on to say that he respects the law and will ensure that the law is followed. To me, this all seems a lot like the Valerie Plame CIA leak. And not one who is into conspiracy theories, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Dick Cheney is at the center of this. Read the book “Angler” and you will get a sense for why that wouldn’t surprise me.
And what is to make of the prank phone call Gov. Palin received the other day from a Montreal radio station pretending to be French president Nickolas Sarkozy? It sure seemed based on the conversation that Palin believed she was talking to Sarkozy – and how did her staff allow such a call to take place at all? Palin just gets scarier each day. What’s more – it seems that at rallies in which Palin speaks alone, most, if not all of the signage is about Palin, with no mention of McCain. You gotta wonder if people are only going to vote for McCain in hopes that he dies so she can take over. Imagine that world. Yikes.
So there are three days left – and a lot can still happen. After 20+ months it’s hard to believe it will be over in less than 72 hours. Come Novemeber 5th, I have no idea what I will use to fill up my day. I guess I could consider doing some actual work.