With Election Day just 9 days out and early voting already under way, things are looking great for Obama and it is becoming more and more difficult for McCain to turn it around. His "kitchen sink" strategy has failed to gain any traction, especially as campaign embarrassments and bad economic news keep piling up. Obama has had a solid and stable lead for about a month now, leading nationally by 8 points according to the current RealClearPolitics poll average (of course, in some polls he has double-digit leads but that matches what the daily tracking polls usually have). Obama is gaining in all demographic groups (he is now winning more white voters than any Democrat has since LBJ), McCain's and Palin's favorables continue to increase, and more voters say they are committed to voting for Obama than McCain.
But it is the electoral map that is most encouraging: Obama now leads in states adding up to a 375 electoral vote landslide (this includes Missouri, which has voted for the winner of every presidential race since 1904 with just one exception). He is leading in Indiana where Dems haven't won since 1964. He is tied is North Dakota and Montana, and gaining in Georgia and even McCain's home state of Arizona!
Charlie Cook laid out the other metrics that point to an Obama victory:
-"No candidate behind this far in the national polls, this late in the campaign has come back to win."
-Early voting has started (and, I'll add, turnout is great for Obama groups)
-The unprecedented surge of Democratic registrations this year
-"With Obama now outspending McCain routinely by margins of 3- and 4-to-1 in advertising in so many states, it's hard to see how the Arizonan's campaign can drive a message." And his organization is just fuckin' awesome.
-The "Bradley effect" happened a long time ago and may not even be real, and increased turnout from African Americans and the youth should be sufficient to offset it
Now with all that said, Dems still don't want to get cocky or complacent and I'm glad the Obama campaign is not. Even though Obama's big lead should help mitigate the effects of an "October surprise," 10 days is a long time in politics. As good as early voting has been so far, a lot of people still have yet to vote. Oh hell, and the Republicans could just plain damn try to steal the election like they did the last two times (I mean, West Virginia electronic voting machines are changing Obama votes to McCain votes for god's sake!). We're just lucky our electoral hopes don't hinge on one state where a Republican secretary of state resides!
But as cautiously optimistic as I want to be, these good signs are damn exciting. There's nothing I want more than an Obama landslide. And to see a Sen. Al Franken and the defeat of Saby Chambliss when the Obama wave carries Dems to a 60-seat majority in the Senate and a greater majority in the House. And to see that wave give Texas Dems control of the state legislature. These things can all happen. They all SHOULD happen. This country needs nothing less a solid public mandate for change from the last 8 years.
Let's make sure Obama gets it.