Sen. John McCain refused to answer questions from NBC's Tom Brokaw on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning about national polls that show the GOP candidate far behind his Democratic opponent on every major issue but the war in Iraq.
An accurate outcome is essential in 2008. It's all about an election outcome that's consistent with the votes cast. That's a starting point to restore popular control of the government. Despite growing leads and consistent polling, there are elements of the media trying to create the notion of a tightening race and a "too close to call election." Why?
John Zogby put it more succinctly than I, "The AP poll is not only an outlier, it's just preposterous!"
There are too many votes to hide in order to steal this one but where there's a will, there's a way. It's vital to have truly honest and provable elections in order to address the pressing cancers of every citizen.
Not so much.
"We have polls showing us three or four points behind," McCain said. "I'm sure we don't want to spend the morning arguing about polls that are accurate or inaccurate."
The Republican candidate told Brokaw that he can "guarantee" victory come election night in what he claims will be a tight race that will keep Americans "up late."
McCain referred to a Zogby poll that places Obama in a less commanding, 5-point lead and said Americans "just figured out" that Obama's platform isn't what they want.
"He wants to spread the wealth around and every time there's a poll, there's a different tax plan," McCain said. "He wants to raise taxes, in a time of economic difficulties. The last time a president of the United States did that was a guy name Herbert Hoover."
But a pollster explained why he thinks polls that continue to show a close presidential should be treated with skepticism in an article on Salon.com.
By every metric, Barack Obama's presidential campaign appears headed for the upper deck. Polls (both national and state-by-state), organization, money, and momentum are all running strongly in Obama's favor. At this point, one wonders whether Obama's winning margin could be greater than Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton's 5.6-point win over President George H.W. Bush in 1992, more than Bush's 7.7-point win over Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988, or more than Clinton's 8.5-point win over Sen. Bob Dole in 1996. Even higher on the landslide roster is California Gov. Ronald Reagan's 9.7-point victory over President Carter in 1980 and Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's 10.9-point win over Adlai Stevenson in 1952.
Certainly, the 2008 presidential contest could reverse direction and result in victory for John McCain. But at this point, he would have to be the beneficiary of something quite dramatic for that to happen.
As this campaign has shifted from a surprise-around-every-corner situation to one more akin to watching concrete set, many observers have begun playing "What if?" If McCain had picked someone other than Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, would he now be higher in the polls? If the senator from Arizona had waged this battle more as John McCain 1.0, the 2000-vintage candidate who was more of a maverick and less of a partisan than the 2008 version, could he have succeeded because he was less tied to his Republican Party and less joined at the hip with President Bush?
These are interesting questions, but they avoid one unmistakable fact: This is a toxic political environment for Republicans. That's why they will probably lose at least seven seats in the Senate and at least 20 in the House.