Friday, 24 October 2008

McCain Had His Chips?

I've always been fascinated by the US political system. In particular, I wonder how such a sophisticated system of checks and balances can get it so horribly wrong so often.

This year's election has been one of these once in a generation elections. I don't get too hung about wanting the Democrats to win ordinarily as I don't really see too much too choose between them and the GOP on most issues, especially on defence and foreign affairs (defense) which is probably the thing that affects me most as a non-American.

The Democrats are the lesser of two evils though and, although I remain to be convinced that Obama is not just another Tony Blair, the fact that he has steered clear of raising funds from vested interests gives him a real chance to change things.

However, as we have seen in Scotland, an administration's ambition for change can be checked by past decisions and inertia and resistance amongst the civil service and other stakeholders. Change is always so much more difficult than anticipated and I wouldn't be surprised if Obama hits a brick wall should he take office.

Which is to get to the point of this post. I had seen some evidence in the last couple of weeks that although Obama's lead in the national polls was widening, his lead was shortening in the crucial swing states. But today, Ohio has moved firmly into Obama's column.

This is the most high profile movement but there are other signs that Obama's national lead is now starting to manifest itself across the board. Montana and North Dakota are on a knife edge. In some polls, Obama is leading in Indiana, North Carolina and Georgia. These are places that not even Bill Clinton could win at the height of his powers.

Save for some Act of God, it looks over for McCain and that dreadful mistake of a running mate. And, if this trend continues, we may see a despondant Republican vote stay at home and allow Obama to pick up some even more surprising states.

The Big Mo is with Obama and it could lead to the kind of rout not seen since the days of Reagan v Mondale.

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