After what seems like an eternity, this is the last weekend before Americans go to the polls on Tuesday to choose the 44th President of the United States. Sarah Palin falls foul to a Canadian comedian’s prank call as the French President, and Obama asks to be left alone by a camera crew that get too close while walking his daughter to a Halloween party. Every second is being scrutinized to see if it will effect the election.
Soon it will all be over. Yet the nomination process and Presidential campaign has allowed us to evaluate thecandidates, rather than just go on their past record. We have been able to judge them as who is the most statesman like, withthe bearing to be President. We may say that policies and issues are what matter, but with the financial crisis and recession, vision and ideology matter far more than policy promises that already seem out of date in 2008, let alone in 2009 when the President elect assumes office on a crisp cold January morning.
Russell Brand, who knows a thing or to about prank calls, called on America to vote for Barack Obama at the MTV video awards. The interest this election generates is as much a testament to the character of McCain and the charisma of Obama as it is to the end of the Bush Presidency. When it comes to youth culture the one thing that seems apparent is that the under 35 year olds are underrepresented in the states where people can vote early, though hopefully not often.
On average the polls have Obamaleading by 6.8%, withFox News at 3% and Gallup at 10%. When it comes to McCain’s home state of Arizona McCain leads by 3.5%, with the spread being from 1% to 4%. The Democrats starting to spend aggressively in that State has the kind of publicity money cannot buy – that a Presedential Candidate is in the margin of error of loosing his own state.
McCain has to hope that in the leaning/toss up states there is a margin of error of at least 3.5% for him to win the White House. That is not outside the realms of possibility, and as he joked at a foundation dinner it will be a long night for him to carry this off. The Bradley factor is mentioned, and that undecideds will break unevenly for McCain – though Democrats claim undecideds are 2% of the electorate while Republicans that the figure is 10%.
Right now we need to take deep breaths with anything reported – time to analyise anything will be short. This election is Obama’s to loose, as one chapter of American history closes and a new one begins. Hubris, whether for Obama’s camp or his supporters, is the real thing to fear; the vote needs to turn out. Numbers and not enthusiasm count.