McCain now leads Obama by 5 points in the polls. Rather than sweeping up the floor with McCain, Obama and McCain have remained close in the polls with McCain gradually closing the gap. This election is the Democrat’s to lose. An unpopular President, high gas prices, and a mortgage crisis should give an overwhelming advantage to a candidate who preaches change. So why has McCain been keeping up and now even surpassing Obama in the polls?
Obama has been a celebrity during this race, but as the graph below shows his numbers have been steadily declining, with many polls currently showing a deadlock between the two candidates. What has happened to the Obama who brought out crowds in the hundreds of thousands? Why aren’t people fainting at the sight of Obama anymore?
The longer the campaign goes on the more it hurts Obama. Gas prices continue to rise and now consumers are beginning to support more drilling because they realize that their survival trumps any reason for not drilling if it will provide relief from high prices; even if only temporarily. The war is not as strong a platform as it was a year ago because the surge that Obama was opposed to has worked as reported by the London Times. A new deal has also just occurred that would have American troops pulling out of cities next summer. His speech in Berlin was received well by the European’s, but not as well by the American electorate.
Obama’s performance in the saddleback forum has not helped him either. He never really answered at what time he felt life began, unlike McCain who answered right away without any hesitation or stuttering. Obama also almost criticized Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for a lack of experience, but caught himself. Had he claimed a lack of experience on the part of the Clarence Thomas then it would have likely raised questions in the minds of the electorate as to whether Obama, who has significantly less experience than Thomas, had enough experience to be President.
Obama is not able to run simply on the platitudes of hope and change anymore, now voters want details about the change. Obama was able to get away with saying a lot without saying anything for a while because of his charisma, his supporters, and a teleprompter, but now he has to step up and show that there is fire and not just smoke.
Once the electorate began to see Obama was nothing but a charismatic empty suit they began to turn away. If Obama does not fill the empty suit and reclaim the celebrity status he held that drew out hundreds of thousands of supporters, had people fainting, and brought in the young vote in record numbers then we may very well witness one of the greatest upsets in the race for the White House.