It’s going to be a tough week. McCain is going to pull ahead in almost all the polls, like the 10-point lead he has amongst likely voters now at USA Today. It’s clear he’s gotten a strong bounce out of his convention. A few reasons:
1) More viewed it…more people are around the first week in September than the last in August.
2) Expectations were lowered, particularly for Palin, like crazy. And when she came out and performed well, everyone went ballistic. Combined with fawning press coverage from the likes of People Magazine, it’s clear that Palin is the fascinating new phenomenon of the fall.
3) Let’s be honest, the Obama campaign has not figured out how to handle her or the new McCain campaign. They were caught by surprise and they haven’t framed the convention properly. Once again, they are more concerned with ground-game efforts in individual states (of crucial importance) than they are with changing the direction of the national conversation. This is a mistake. They need to be concerned with both, and the latter moves more votes.
I’ve been accused of being a chicken little before, but had been told it’s only summer, wait until VP choices and conventions. Well, we’re less than 60 days away now and I’m worried. McCain at 50% amongst registered voters worries me. Yes, it’s a convention bounce, but I’m worried because for all the money and confidence and ground game, the Obama camp has not yet figure out the key to unlocking the electoral landslide that is hidden somewhere this year. It’s there, waiting for us.
I no longer claim to know the answer, and at this point, engaging in “Obama needs to…” speculation isn’t going to cut it. I’m going to work harder, donate more, and hit the road for the guy.
But I’d love to see the blogosphere move away from discussions about what a total failure the Republican convention was, how poorly Palin is playing with swing voters, and other such echo-chamber high-five-ism, when scientific numbers tell us something else. Deep breath, Dan, deep breath.