It was mid-October 1992, and Bill Clinton led George HW Bush with 16 points in the polls. In the end, Clinton won the elections by 6 points. In 1999, Al Gore led George W Bush 51 to 40 points in at least one poll. In 1973, Jimmy Carter led Gerald Ford in one poll by 13 points; Carter finally won by just 2.
All this is meant to convey one message: Democrats, don’t you get your hopes up too much just yet.
John McCain is slipping fast in the polls. As he senses that he has nothing to lose, the gloves are off. Team Obama will now face one mother of a nasty Republican fighting machine. They will give Obama no quarter, not one inch, and each and every moral objection will be thrown aside. And it started today.
A number of McCain campaign aides, close associates and anonymous sources from within the GOP machine have in the past 48 hours confirmed that the war is on. There won’t be any backing down; anything they can find or make up to hurt Obama, will be used. That strategy holds a big risk for the 72 year old.
When he tried the same approach, about three weeks ago, he got chastised for spouting discredited lies by not only the Obama campaign, but also the press. But it worked; Obama’s numbers started going down, McCain’s went up – and then the financial meltdown happened, upsetting the McCain game plan.
So now he’s going to go back on the attack, but with a true vengeance. Palin started today, raking up Obama’s old connections to some people. Except for Jeremiah Wright, no subjects are off-limits. But McCain had better be careful still, because there’s a new risk involved.
So The New York Times accused senior John McCain campaign aide Rick Davis of being a paid lobbyist for a company, and still being on the payroll on the company’s Freddie Mac account, right up to last month, just before the mortgage lender was nationalised. The Grey Lady, on who the McCain campaign declared war on Tuesday, based its accusation on oral information it got from sources who remained anonymous.
John McCain is desparately trying to neutralize the economy as the dominant issue in the presidential election campaign. To that end, he changes tack whenever the winds of opportunity demand it.
Two weeks ago on Monday, he said that the government should not bail out AIG. But Wednesday, after Barack Obama more or less came out in support of the bailout, McCain suddenly supported it.
Many a time have I been scolded for assuming publicly that the colour of Barack Obama’s skin would play its part in the upcoming election. Many a times have I been warned that racism in America is on the wane. Many a times have I been scolded for being prejudiced about Americans.
Well, they were right: not all Americans are prejudiced towards black people. Not all, just many.
A hundred to one says that John McCain will immediately voice his support for this emergency reform plan, proposed by the Bush administration. The reason: McCain can hide behind it, while at the same time silencing Barack Obama’s most effective artillery barrage, which had succesfully been aiming at McCain’s biggest vulnerability – the economy.
As said before here: if McCain can disarm Obama on the economy front, it’s back to the subjects of Character, Experience and Leadership. Those three subjects headlined the campaign for almost two weeks, until last Friday, and Obama suffered while McCain gained.
They failed in their quest to attack one of Barack Obama’s strong suit — his image — and so they’re trying something else: Team McCain is now attacking Obama’s signature issue, his strongest, er, strong suit, which is the economy. It’s the single main issue on which Americans trust Obama more than McCain.
I don’t believe the guys over at Fivethirtyeight.com, the people who say that they “do polls right”. I also don’t believe the aggregate of the polls at Realclearpolitics.com. Or Pollster.com. I don’t think neither of those companies or websites is correct, due to the Big Black Holes in this particular election.