A couple of days ago, Sean Oxendine explained at TheNextRight why historical precedent indicates a John McCain victory is still possible. Oxendine pointed out that in close-fought change vs. the steady-old-hand elections, voters tend to either break heavily for change and turn the election into a rout (i.e. 1980) or they get nervous at the last moment and flood toward the steady-old-hand, which is what happened in 1996 when Bob Dole made a late rally (sad that the challenger ran the steady-old-hand campaign, but true) and again in 2000 when Al Gore made up more than five points in the electionâ€™s closing moments.
So, can we expect a late surge for McCain? Itâ€™s possible, particularly with the new Associated Press-GfK poll showing Barack Obama with just a 44% to 43% lead among likely voters. Obviously other polls report wider margins, but there is not yet an indication that Obama is about to stage a rout.
Of course, the real problem for McCain might not be in closing the popular vote gap but in accumulating enough electoral votes. Note that neither Doleâ€™s nor Goreâ€™s late rallies resulted in a win.
Still, Iâ€™m not convinced we wonâ€™t have a close election on our hands. Weâ€™ll just have to see what happens.