Could we have another 1948 Dewey-Truman voter swing? Sure we could, but, with Senator Barack Obama's lead in the polls widening rather than narrowing, the odds of it happening seem remote.
Support Senator John McCain was counting on from Latino and Jewish voters now seems to be favouring Mr. Obama. Rural voters—the traditional conservative core of the Republican Party—also seem to abandoning Mr. McCain. The Denver Post published a poll last week that declared Mr. Obama had 46 per cent of the rural vote in 13 battleground states surveyed, to 45 per cent for Mr. McCain.
Even Mr. McCain's choice of running mate, Sarah Palin, ended up shooting him in the foot. In an ABC News poll last week, 52 per cent of likely voters said they were less likely to vote for Mr. McCain because of his choice of Ms. Palin.
So what would it take to turn Mr. McCain's campaign around in the last week? Something has to happen before Nov. 4 that causes tens of millions of voters to shift away from Mr. Obama. A new war, perhaps, or a major scandal involving Mr. Obama.
There is another scenario, of course, that is somewhat painful to contemplate: a substantial swing among white voters who discover they can't vote for an African American. (In a New York Times/CBS poll last week, one-third of likely voters said they knew someone who would not vote for Mr. Obama because he is black.) However, such racism would have to defeat Senator Obama in virtually every battleground state.
I believe that for better or worse Senator Obama is most likely to hang on to his lead and win on Nov. 4. The Democratic machine is more sophisticated than the GOP's and is fueled by $600 million plus that Mr. Obama has raised to date, and by several thousand volunteers.