10 Days--Numbers

Things could not look worse for McCain.  I've been trolling RealClearPolitics.com for any sign of life in his campaign and I do not see it.  Of the 2000/2004 Bush states, 6 (with 72 electoral votes) are toss-ups; and 6 (with 58 electoral votes) are leaning or solid Obama.  Of the 2000/2004 Kerry/Gore States, 0 are toss-ups and 0 are leaning or solid McCain.  So that makes 130 electoral votes McCain has to somehow salvage between now and next Tuesday.  All Obama has to do is pull out perhaps 2 of those states and protect the remaining Kerry/Gore states and he will have won. 

A closer look makes the numbers even more grim.  McCain hasn't led in Virginia since October 1st.  He has led only once in a poll in North Carolina since October 7th (the good news here is that the single poll was this week).  He hasn't led in Pennsylvania since April.  He hasn't led in Iowa ever.  He hasn't led in Michigan since September 20th.  He hasn't led in Wisconsin since May.  He hasn't led in Minnesota since October 1st.  He hasn't led in Colorado since September 14th.  He hasn't led in New Hampshire since September 23rd.  He hasn't led in New Mexico since September 8th.  He hasn't led in Nevada since September 29th.  That leaves Missouri, Ohio and Florida as the only remaining swing states in which he is competitive.  That's not enough.  All told, Including the last three states, he's only had a statewide lead in 17 polls since October 1st.

It also seems as though the gods of politics are conspiring against the Senator from Arizona.  When every hour of every news cycle is critical for him, "shopping gate" knocked them off message for days and was even brought up this morning on Meet the Press by Brokaw.  Perhaps a bigger sign of the desperation in the McCain camp was the bizarre story of Ashley Todd.  She had claimed that a big, black man had beaten her, called her a bitch and carved a "B" for "Barack" on her face because she was a McCain supporter.  As soon as I heard it, I thought "Bullshit." (And that was before I saw the picture of the backward "B"--backwards, like it was carved in a mirror).  It sounded completely bogus and lo and behold, it was.  The real headline is that McCain and Palin both personally called her.  They are so desperate to win Pennsylvania, they leaped at what they saw as a chance to go on the offensive and now, no doubt, feel like idiots.

Right now, Joe Hubris' satellite dish is pointed at MSNBC, where Elizabeth Hasselbeck is speaking at a rally in Tampa.  I don't know what her intent is, but she doesn't so much come across as "sassy" as... "smarmy(?)"  She's just decried the sexism that the media shows in the shopping gate coverage.  She also claims that McCain/Palin is for equal pay--a position that appears at odds with 50 years of Republican policy.  Piper Palin is sitting in a big black-leather high-backed chair with baby Trig on her lap.  Palin's continued use of her pre-teen children as props is downright creepy.  I mean, Halloween creepy...

Now Palin took the mic and what is she talking about?  Shopping gate.  She's claiming that she's wearing "her own clothes" from her "favorite consignment shop."  She just said she "doesn't want to waste her time..." on this, and yet... there she goes again.  She's offf message and losing precious time between now and November 4th.

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