Can McCain turn the tide?

Thomas Ash
15 October 2008

Ten days ago I described the formidable lead Barack Obama had built up in national and state-by-state polling. Since then, things have only got better for him. He is now eight percentage points ahead in the national polls, with the recent New York Times/CBS poll Kanishk mentioned giving him a staggering fourteen point lead. He is also ahead in virtually every swing state, including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. John Kerry failed to win any of those states; many of them could single-handedly have put him in the White House.

This means that McCain needs a real game-changer to win this election. We shall see soon enough, but I doubt tonight's debate will provide it. He was unable to deliver convincing wins the last two times around, and the topic of the night is domestic policy, which is widely perceived to be his weakest ground. Unless he can deal a true body blow to Barack Obama, he will have to prove that he is the best man to deal with the current economic crisis in way he has been unable to do so far. Anything is possible, but I'm not holding my breath.

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