08 reasons Barack Obama will win next Tuesday
On Tuesday I offered 08 reasons why John McCain might still pull off an upset in next week’s `08 presidential election.
Today I offer 08 reasons why Barack Obama will nevertheless win handily:
1. Obama’s supporters are more energized.
Obama draws enormous crowds wherever he goes and has energized young and first-time voters in a way that will surprise pollsters relying on traditional turn-out models. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll found 74 percent of Obama voters saying they are more enthusiastic about voting this time than in previous elections. Only 48 percent of McCain voters said the same.
These jazzed Obama supporters don’t see their vote as the weary, defensive choice of the lesser of two evils, but as an exciting chance to create a brighter future.
2. Obama has a superior ground game.
In part because Sen. Hillary Clinton challenged him deep into the primary season, Obama is better organized at the neighborhood level than any Democratic presidential candidate in history. His campaign is also making landmark use of technology –– using e-mail, text messages and social networking sites to keep in touch with supporters and urge them to the polls.
3. Obama has a superior air game.
Obama is so flush with cash he’s able to saturate TV and radio in key markets at the end of the campaign with ads that counter McCain’s criticisms of him and launch attacks on McCain. It’s not just the money – which he was able to raise oodles of after opting out of the public financing system— but the determination to respond rapidly and vehemently inside the space of a single news cycle.
4. McCain has lost his brand
Yes, he’s a volatile man running in sensitive times under the banner of troubled party. But he started off with the image of a bi-partisan straight-shooter with a clear, selfless sense of proportion.
Yet he’s campaigned like a crank.
His scattershot, over-the-top assaults on Obama’s character (or, rather, the character of Obama’s associates) have seemed like an effort to change the subject from important issues. And now that McCain’s finally settled on conservative tax policy as his theme down the stretch, his campaign is so desperate for traction that it’s going schoolyard – channeling Joe McCarthy and calling Obama a socialist, a Marxist and even a communist.
5. Sarah Palin is turning out to be the disasta’ from Alaska.
I’m confident historians will rank McCain’s decision to choose a rookie governor from a low-population state to be his running mate as his biggest miscalculation.
Palin’s youth, spunkiness and conservative bona fides fired up the Republican base, sure.
But her ignorance, on display in early TV interviews, mortified the rest of us, and polls now show her as a distinct drag on the ticket.
McCain’s appalling judgment in selecting Palin has been cited by Colin Powell, several high-profile conservative intellectuals and scores of newspaper editorial boards as a reason to support Obama. (Obama leads 231-102 in the endorsement derby)
6. Obama hasn’t lost his cool.
Historians will also note the textbook discipline of the Obama campaign, which stuck to a set of fairly simple “change” messages while the McCain campaign kept trying out new themes.
This steadiness has been mirrored by Obama’s own equanimity, particularly during the debates in which he looked and sounded far more presidential than the twitchy, simpering McCain.
The more people saw of Obama, the less he seemed like the frightening, radical, terrorist sympathizer in McCain’s cartoonish rhetoric.
7. McCain hasn’t been able to fight the Bush headwinds.
No matter how many times McCain said “maverick,” he still couldn’t create enough distance from the deeply unpopular president to make the sale to voters hungering for new leadership.
8. Obama’s been lucky
Things have been relatively quiet all year on the terror and national security fronts – McCain’s strengths. And the major crisis of the campaign season – the economic meltdown – not only played into one of Obama’s perceived strong suits, it also caused McCain to appear impulsive and indecisive in the face of a sudden challenge.
This is not a taunt or a guarantee, but I expect that luck to hold at least through Tuesday night.