Sunday, September 07, 2008

Carnac-like analysis

Today is Sunday, September 7th. The day the NFL regular season kicks off in full force.

And, if you believe Rasmussen and Barack Obama, the day the rise of the oceans continued unabated and the planet's healing was put off for at least another 4 years.

Or something like that.

Because today, Rasmussen says that things are all even. And we have every reason to believe that by mid-week, Rasmussen might be telling us that McCain-Palin is in the lead ever-so-slightly.

Zogby (I know, Zogby!) has McCain-Palin up 4. Gallup still has Obama with a lead, but that is with a poll that hasn't taken full account of Palin's performance and McCain's speech yet. And lest ye wonder if McCain hurt himself with his rather dreary oratory the other day, the answer appears to be "no".

Now, I fall back on my all-time disclaimer: these polls mean nothing. McCain taking even a 5-point lead at this stage of the game--which he won't, but for the sake of argument let's use this number--does NOT mean that we should all start breathing a sigh of relief.

When we start getting some state-by-state polling that shows a consistent trend, THEN we can see a better picture developing. But even those polls won't matter much.

It's all about election day.

Pardon me, let me rephrase that: experienced hands know that it's ALL ABOUT election day.

Which leads me to the point of today's post: Obama WILL start panicking.

He has plenty of money. He has plenty of popularity. He has every reason to believe that this is his year.

But if these polls show it to be anything but, I think he is going to have an awfully hard time keeping a reign on his machine.

We'll know better in a couple days if McCain's speaking tendencies are off-putting. To put it honestly, it's hard to imagine any politician doing worse in delivering that speech on Thursday than did McCain.

But if McCain sees polls in his favor this week, that means that America is looking past his delivery and is looking directly at his words. And they're liking what they see.

I'm going to assume that we will see some positive trend in McCain's direction out of the convention. With that as the foundation, here goes my prognosticating:

The Presidential debates have no up-side for Obama. McCain is unlikely to lose voters there, but Obama may very well lose some if he stutters too much (as he's been known to do) or if he says something remarkably off-message or easily fact-checked to be incorrect (which he's also been known to do).

And as the debates pass by, I think Obama will start looking for some way to seize the advantage.

Enter Michelle.

She's already been declared off-limits for "attacks", which makes her the perfect vehicle for Obama's camp to get out some ridiculous message that can't be tied to the candidate himself.

Never mind that even Michelle's appearance on the stump totally invalidates the left's arguing that Palin is an unfit mother if she continues on her quest for the Vice Presidency. At least Palin is leaving her kids in the care of their father--who's watching Obama's kids when he and she are both on the stump? But I digress--I just gave the left's talking points entirely more attention than they are worth.

So I think long about mid-October Mrs. Obama's going to say something . . .classless. Something that has as much truth in its fiber as all the truther conspiracies circling out there. Something that takes the rhetorical level of this election to new lows.

And the media "may" just report it. They won't investigate it, of course--they'll just report it.

And suddenly the "issue" that springs to the front of the media isn't about "reform", or "change", or "experience"--it's about this ridiculous innuendo that just so happened to enter the political landscape via the wife of the Democrat's nominee.

By then, we have no idea of knowing how much credibility the media will have in mainstream America. But they will do their best to put it all on the line in the name of getting their One across the finish line.

Will it work? Nationwide, my guess is no, it won't work.

But "nationwide" doesn't matter. What matters is Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida.

McCain needs 3 of 'em in his column to have a chance on election night. A well-placed attack may just tip the scales against him.

And we all know by now: don't put dirty fighting beyond the capability of the Obama camp.

They've got the medi--I mean, they've got the messengers. And even if all the polls start leaning McCain, Obama will still have enough follwers to be close enough to take advantage of a slip.

They will not be above trying to manufacture that slip themselves.

No matter what the polls start saying, this thing isn't done until after sundown, Hollywood time, on November 4th. Period.

Or so goes my prediction du jour.


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