It’s the day before Election Day here in the US, time for every pundit, would-be pundit, and sidewalk Solon to make his or her predictions about the outcome.
As I expected, the race has just become too close to call. Look at these final survey numbers from battleground states via the Mason-Dixon Poll:
Colorado: Obama 49, McCain 44, Undecided 4
Florida: Obama 47, McCain 45, Undecided 7
Nevada: Obama 47, McCain 43, Undecided 8
Pennsylvania: Obama 47, McCain 43, Undecided 9
Virginia: Obama 47, McCain 44, Undecided 9
Ohio: McCain 47, Obama 45, Undecided 6
Missouri: McCain 47, Obama 46, Undecided 5
North Carolina: McCain 49, Obama 46, Undecided 5
As Brad Coker, who runs the Mason-Dixon poll, notes, the vast majority of the undecided voters in these states are whites.
(Courtesy Hot Air.)
That last reference to Whites makes me uncomfortable, since it’s practically an invitation to invoke the misunderstood Bradley Effect and claim racism if Obama loses.
There are two points to take from these numbers: first, they are all within the statistical margin of error, and thus reflect a toss-up. Second, the percentage of Undecideds is unusually large for this late in an election cycle, meaning the results could swing wildly from what we see here. Some theorize that late deciders will break for McCain, feeling that he’s the "safer" choice, but it’s also possible they could split down the middle — or not vote at all.
And there are so many "X factors" this year: how many disaffected Hillary voters will punch the card for McCain this year — the so-called PUMA vote? Will the late-breaking news of Obama’s hostility toward the coal industry and his promise of higher electricity prices be the deal-breaker for him in the key states of Ohio and Pennsylvania? Will voters, who, up to now, haven’t seemed to care about his associations with racist, anti-American preachers and unrepentant former communist terrorists, suddenly decide there’s something they don’t like about so many hateful people liking Obama?
What about McCain and Palin? Will voters overcome initial concerns about her experience (which is greater than that of the Democrats’ number one)? Will the middle classes rally to a woman who is so obviously one of them? Will the voter, having been swamped by economic news for two months, return to national security as a key issue and decide that, in a dangerous world, McCain is the best choice?
Thus, I make no predictions.
But I do have hope.