McCain, Despite Deep Flaws, Has a Chance... Thank Nixon

Election '08

Reading the blogosphere these days, I get the feeling that a lot of people think the election is over. Obama's withdrawal plans have been seconded by Maliki; he's being cheered by GIs in Iraq; McCain looks old and tired and cranky. Here's Michael Crowley of The New Republic:

...I can hardly believe how badly John McCain is getting routed in the television-imagery game. As Obama saunters through the Middle East, looking cool and relaxed, McCain has been holding events where he looks stiff, uncomfortable, and, in his bracing claim today that Obama would lose a war to win an election, sounding bitter to the point of nasty. (McCain flashed another bizarre forced smile after his scathing shot at Obama tonight, but it didn't prevent him from coming across as whiny and petulant.)...

And look, there's Obama in a helicopter with General Petraeus while McCain sits in a golf cart with Poppy Bush! McCain has really lousy optics these days, right?

And yet:

For the first time since shortly after clinching the Democratic nomination, we now have Barack Obama as less than a 60 percent favorite to win the election. Our simulations presently project Obama to win the election 58.4 percent of the time, with McCain winning the remaining 41.6 percent.

The main culprit for the decline are the new numbers out of Ohio, where Rasmussen shows John McCain jumping into a 10-point lead.... Obama's numbers had declined among Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike....

There is also new polling out from American Research Group, which has Florida and New Hampshire moving in John McCain's direction. In Florida, Obama now trails by 2 after having led by 5 points, and in New Hampshire, he leads by 2 after having led by 12....

And Gallup still sees a close race -- Obama's up by 3.

What's going on here?

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