Despite polls showing a majority of Americans see Barack Obama as the likely presidential winner, quite a few analysts suspect otherwise. In other words, what people think is going to happen may not actually happen.
A WSJ article examines historical trends and the fact that Obama is not polling above 50 percent in key states. Undecideds, quite simply, may break for the given thing (John McCain) versus the new guy on the political block (Obama). It's not so much about race -- though that may play a small part. Lots of other things going on here, from Rep. John Murtha making an ass of himself with his "redneck" comments to traction from the "socialism" angle to, well, everything. We've become a partisan, volatile electorate.
As I blogged earlier, a huge expectation of an Obama win coupled with a close McCain victory could get ugly. Screams of voter fraud, aka 2000, will certainly be heard, as will the "they stopped him because he's black" foaming-at-the-mouth tirades, and the news media would then begin its every-4-year-tradition of questioning how it did its polling, its stories, its entire existence.
Get it wrong, guys, and that sound you hear is the final nail in our coffin.
Do I think we'll have a Truman moment? Nope, but I do think it'll be closer than the polls suggest. I simply can't see the math for a McCain win, but I'll sure as hell be staying up late next Tuesday night.