Monday, October 27, 2008

One More Week

One week. Eight more days. This time, next Tuesday, the voting will have begun and this excruciatingly long election season will be over. Of course, this election has been over for a while now, with the actually voting merely a formality. Ever since the early voting started and the returns started pouring in, it was clear that the Obama was going to win. Too many people voting based on circumstances too unfavorable to McCain gave Obama a commanding lead that he's only going to add to on election day.

Of course, as the saying goes, a week is a long time in politics. There's always that last-second October surprise lurking in the wings like, say, a meteor striking the earth. Or the long-awaited Zombie Apocalypse. That's about what it's going to take at this point, if you ask me. Still, there's always that chance, that one lingering fear, that some how it's all going to fall apart. And, so, like many I seek comfort in the increasingly erotic pornography of the polls.

I'm not one to automatically believe that what the polls are saying is right. I understand about things like margin of error, for one, and I've been burned before by the false hope of believing in some outlying results. Especially this year when a tide of new registrations (98% in my home state of Michigan!) make any likely voter models suspect. But, still, news like this can't help but be encouraging.

At least one major news network considers Obama to have already captured the 270 electoral votes he needs to win. McCain who already had a narrow path to victory can now secure the biggest prizes left in the undecided column, the moderate-to-large states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and even Florida. And still lose.

That was one of the reasons why people pulled for Obama in the primary campaign. They said he could change the board. They said that he could alter the electoral map. That, unlike so many Democrats in recent years, he had multiple paths through the electoral college. It turns out that might have been right. But, more importantly, it turns out it might not even matter. Because McCain could grab those 20+ vote states. And he even still might. But he's sure not likely to.

Perhaps it's time to start feeling some carefully guarded optimism.

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