Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Big Picture

The polls are back where they were before the conventions. McCain and Obama are in a statistical tie. Even when the polls show Obama up by 2 or 3 points, I'm not worried. Why? Because all indications should have him up by 15 points at least and he can't break that 50% mark and stay there.

Let's look at the last few months. Obama was the man of change, the man of a new kind of politics. His base is not only enthusiastic about him, they are crazy in love with him. He is running a polished campaign with no big gaffes. He held his own at the Saddleback forum and Europe practically fell at his feet in worship. The media have acted more like groupies than journalists. T.V. Shows like SNL and "The View" and other talk shows have practically kissed his feet in all of his appearances. And let's not forget the endorsement of the richest and most popular personality on TV...Oprah.

Let's be honest here. Obama has had a sweet ride.

In the aftermath of the Democratic National Convention Michael Dukakis took a 17 point lead over George W. Bush in 1988, and he LOST. Obama got a 6 point bump after the convention. Obama's best lead was one Newsweek poll taken in June with a 17 point lead and that was when he was the most exciting thing since i-phones with his base and the Republican base was still trying to summon up something to like about McCain.

Let's not forget the over the top extravaganza that was Obama's convention either. The hundreds of movie stars, TV actors, and musicians that attended and performed. The state of the art video set of patriotic design and finally the move to the stadium performance with the greek columns and a crowd in the throes of ecstasy.

All that and the grand historical speech and he can't beat Dukakis in a post convention bump? You can blame it on his newcomer status, but there was another newcomer in 1992. His name was Bill Clinton and he got 13 point bump from the convention and never looked back.

Add to this that the Republican Convention this year was much less grand, not nearly as celebrity laden, and they had a hurricane to deal with to boot. Yet it still brought McCain a bigger bump than Obama, a 10 point bump.

I think you see what I'm saying here. Obama is running on the Democratic ticket with an unpopular Republican administration in power, gas prices out of control, and the economy in trouble. He should be riding the polls at 17 points at least.

And don't think the Obama people don't know this. That is why they have gotten a bit uglier of late. And that is why it will get uglier still.

This is going to be crazy close and we all know that. It will come down to those who decide at the last minute. It will come down to battleground states. But I just keep thinking that if Obama can't get a substantial lead with ALL he has going for him, and God knows no other candidate has ever had the media support he has enjoyed, then I feel pretty good about a victory on election day.