The only message coming out of the Obama campaign for the next six days is “One Week.” The mantra of his closing argument is clear: don’t count chickens and push every down. Good stuff for campaign messaging, but the statistics are becoming stark for John McCain.
Source: Electoral Vote Predictor
Today’s report from EVP has Barack Obama at 260 electoral votes in states which his polling is averaging greater than 10%. As we enter the final sprint, EVP’s poll averaging carries greater and greater weight as it collects as many as 25 polls each day in the last week of the campaign. With 260 in the bag, Obama must only nab 10 of the 104 EVs that are out there where he maintains a lead. 10 out of 136 – that is 9.6% of the EVs where Obama is leading. Include the 32 electoral votes that are statistically tossup and that must-win magic drops to 7%. The election isn’t over yet, but the fat lady is warming up and on in six days.
Just 45 days ago last month, national tracking had Obama and McCain in a statistical deadheat. A few interviews, a couple shopping sprees, and a historically unprecedented economic meltdown later, by all accounts John McCain is looking to have a lousy night 4 November. Even his running mate is going to be running back home on the big day. By the time she gets to Wasilla to cast her vote, there may be no reason to head back.
So where did McCain go wrong? Obviously a whole shitload of things. Our gonzo roundtable from (d)N0t weighs in on this week’s query for the crew: what single decision is going to cost John McCain this election?
McCain seemed to admanatly resist modernization. Dude admitted he didn’t use email, the internet, etc. Not for nothing? 21st century. ‘Change’ does not jive, if you’re not even sure how to look up the many references of the word on Wikipedia. I’m the last person to criticsize someone else for being a bit of a curmudgeon. I happily and largely ignore the latest trends in social networking, have no problem with IM being ‘after my time’ (raw telnet was where all the cool kids hung out, anyway), and have never, ever, asked somebody: A/S/L? I ‘text’ as clumsily as Hellen Keller learning how to play Guitar Hero. But that’s a far cry different then adamantly remaining ignorant of a technology that has not only reshaped in the word in a scant 15 or so years, but opened up resources to both find and share information that had previously been unheard of. Obama, I believe, is working/has worked on putting a system together, that will post all proposed bills on the web, complete with a break down of what’s being asked for, what it all means, and to a degree most importantly, who the hell is trying to sneak what under the radar. I’ve wanted to see somebody do this for a long time, but on a more abstract scale, it’s a candidate wanting to use modern tools, to help effectively address two very serious problems. Government spending, and accountability. McCain doesn’t have this ability. It’s a major weakness.
Hala V. Furst
Are you trying to tempt the thing from high a-top the hill? STOP IT!!!!!!
I refuse to participate in this symposium until after the votes have beencounted and Obama is the victor. However. If we were to couch this in hypothetical terms, I would say thething that put McCain’s campaign the most on the skids was one Ms. Sarah Palin, moose-killer. It was almost like someone dared him to put her on the ticket. She is the candidate that you joke about putting up there when you are running out of options and really want a game changer. But then dawn approaches, and you realize how silly it sounds out loud, and you pick someone who is actually qualified in the face of your eventual mortality. So, agreeing with Colin Powell, picking Palin made many people question the seriousness and sanity with which McCain was approaching his campaign. By using her, he was almost trying to promise us that he would not die in the next 8 years. And that kind of hubris is dangerous.
But this is all hypothetical. I’m going outside now to turn around three times, throw some salt over my shoulder, and repeat Insh’allah like it is a fucking mantra.
The McCain campaign is, in fact, one of those rare course of events in human history that can be traced back to very few root causes. Though calamity dogged John McCain every step of the way in the general election, he got to clinch his nomination months before his opponent. He inherited a well-organized Republican ground game, a Caesarian army of volunteers and the singular advantage of having run for president before. It was a set up absolutely unheard of in national politics. He had a calendar full of head start and an organization pre-built to win.
With all this stacked in his favor, walking back where the McCain campaign got fucked into a cocked hat is pretty easy. It was on 2 July when he dethroned Rick Davis, and put Steve Schmidt in charge of his campaign.
All the biggest McCain fuckups originated from Karl Rove’s padawan. The attack ads, the campaign suspension, the debate tactics, the daily news cycle chasing, the late entry into the Virginia battleground, the continued campaigning Pennsylvania, and, of course, Fuckup Prime Sarah Palin were all Steve Schmidt’s ideas. Bowling over the campaign corps that had served McCain for years, all Schmidt had to do to win consensus for his ideas was utter one year in American history: 2000.
McCain was so afraid of losing again, he picked someone he thought knew how to win. And, in another time, Steve Schmidt could have. But in so doing John McCain sacrificed all his strengths to play a game he has never been good at. It’s true John McCain used to be a maverick, a fiercely independent and fair-minded statesmen with an iron sense of duty. But Steve Schmidt made McCain “the maverick,” a disingenious, unauthentic curmudgeon – a cartoon of his real self.
The biggest mistake John McCain made was to bring in a Bush operative. Steve Schmidt turned what he once was and made him something complete different: an ordinary politician.
And in these times, an ordinary leader just won’t do.
It’ll be a question Republicans ask themselves for the next four years. If forced to name a single thing, what made John McCain lose?