All is not lost

Forget the polls and the media obsession with “momentum.” Forget his [inconceivably stupid] mishandling of the economic crisis. Forget his choice of a running-mate whose experience makes Barack Obama’s look like Al Gore’s. Forget it all. The American people will come to their senses, and John McCain will close the gap and go on to win.
Hugh Hewitt, ladies and gentlemen. He’ll be here all week.
In all seriousness, when parsed of its charming left-bashing, Hewitt’s point is that if, somehow, the election gets turned around to “war on terror” issues, as happened in ’02 and ’04, rather than “we’re sick of your fearmongering” issues as happened in ’06, McCain actually has a chance, as he could argue that he would be the steadier hand in handling such a national security crisis, and if there is a closing of present momentum (Obama now has a statistically significant overall lead as well as leads in a number of key battleground states), McCain may be close enough for a late charge. I would say that’s not all that unreasonable a proposition, particularly as “the Bradley effect” has never been tested in a national election before either.
To be sure, we are now up to 4 October; that’s 27 days left for an “October surprise,” and indeed, 31 days until the election itself (not counting a number of states, including Ohio and Virginia, where the voting has already started). It’s certainly possible that some kind of crisis of a military nature could occur during that time, and it could “be a game-changer.” The thing is, such a potentially catastrophic event would also be weighed against it occurring simultaneously with a financial crisis that many, if not most voters attribute to Bush and the Republicans, and believe Obama-Biden may be better able to handle… and of course, while McCain (compared to Obama) may well be perceived as a “steadier hand” (despite his reckless gambling streak)… picturing Sarah Palin in a crisis might not be a comfort to many voters– even to some of those otherwise predisposed to support her.
And so… there we have it. We go into the next (and last two) debates with things breaking Obama’s way, so far, with Palin having met the shockingly low expectations set for her in her debate, and with a financial meltdown unfolding… where will this end, in this, the Greatest Election Ever? Stay tuned…