Rasmussen’s latest Virginia poll should put an end to any doubts about the outcome we are going to see in a couple of weeks. Obama has a 10-point overall lead in the Old Dominion, which has not voted Democratic for President since 1964. Pfotenhauer’s “real” Virginia is getting smaller all the time. His Democratic support in the state has always been much stronger than it has been in some of the old Border states, but now it is at an enviable 96%. More important, he leads among independents by 16. He enjoys a large advantage in fav ratings (64%) over McCain (53%) among independents. Obama is winning men by three and women by 15. He barely edges out McCain among married respondents, but then racks up a 39-point lead among singles. Perhaps we should call it the non-marriage gap instead.
Even 11% of Republicans and 19% of conservatives back Obama. Perhaps Ken Adelman (yes, that Ken Adelman) speaks for some of them:
Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.
That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign—Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.
What is most telling about this sizeable lead in Virginia is that Obama does not need Virginia to win. So long as he takes Iowa, Colorado and New Mexico and holds the Kerry states, he could lose every other toss-up state and still prevail. McCain must come back, in some cases very dramatically, in all of them. McCain’s task is virtually impossible. Perhaps the campaign knows and accepts this, which is why Palin was on SNL over the weekend being made to serve as something of a prop in her own mocking.
Obviously, if the voting nationwide is anything like this we can expect a result similar to that of ’96. I will readily admit that I didn’t think this would happen as recently as six weeks ago, and kept expecting Obama to implode or lose ground, and in this I was quite wrong.
Update: CNN reports that McCain is giving up on Colorado, and New Mexico and Iowa are essentially out of reach. The campaign’s focus on Pennsylvania is, it seems to me, not nearly enough in light of the numbers from Virginia and Missouri. Even if they could win it, which seems unlikely, Pennsylvania wouldn’t get them enough votes on its own unless they could hold all of the toss-ups.