National tracking polls range from two to seven points as of Sunday morning. Why is the race as close as it is and why is it getting closer?
You have your pick of explanations. John McCain finally got some traction at the last debate. Joe the Plumber reminded voters why they don’t trust liberals with the economy. Barack Obama never answered the “spread the wealth” concern. Americans are getting used to the “new normal” — a recession. Non-urban, non-elites have had it with Democrats and the MSM dumping on little guys. Voters are getting nervous about undivided government. Discussion about some of the Obama associations (e.g. Bill Ayers, ACORN) has actually penetrated through the media’s filter and raised questions anew about who Obama is and whether his judgment is sound.
It may be some or all of these. Or it maybe that the race was always going to be close and was momentarily distorted by the shock of the financial meltdown. What is clear is that McCain has some momentum. Whether this is 1948 all over again remains far from certain. Bottom line: the outcome is not determined and, pardon the cliché, but it all depends on who shows up at the polls on Election Day.