The Mason-Dixon poll has the race down to three points with 9% undecided. The margin of error is four points. That’s a long way of saying it is a dead heat. George Allen lost his race in 2006, losing the population-rich D.C. suburb of Fairfax county by some 65,000 votes. That doesn’t seem to be insurmountable, but it won’t be the same electorate on Tuesday as the one that turned out in 2006.
The trick here for McCain: some 200,000 new registered voters, many in Democratic strongholds, and expected high turnout in the Richmond area with a high concentration of African American voters. On McCain’s side: a large military population, a last minute push with some effective radio ads by retiring Sen. John Warner on the potential for defense budget cuts in an Obama administration, and a very robust get out the vote effort. McCain turned out a large crowd on Saturday, as he and Palin have in earlier appearances, and gave one of his better performances.
Like so many other Red states — Indiana, Ohio, Florida and Missouri — that George Bush won in 2004, Florida is now a struggle. But it doesn’t mean it is not a winnable struggle. And McCain, who has never been known for doing things the easy way, isn’t quite out of it yet.