For months and months now, the feeling has been that Pennsylvania would be a primary battleground state in the November election, more a few experts suggesting it would be THE battleground state.
As of today, the people who do whatever it is that these people do, have taken us off the board (McCain has never shown a lead in the state and Obama seems safe with a 5% or higher advantage) and are saying that the key states will be Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia and New Hampshire. They are the true tossup states and the GOP must take all five to win, so theirs is the harder task but either candidate can still get to the presidency as things stand.
One presumes the debates will change things, that the bloom will wear off the new GOP vice-presidential candidate (not that she will falter or fail necessarily, but “new” eventually wears thin for any candidate) and that events here and abroad will take their toll or provide their boost to the fortunes of one side or the other.
The picture is becoming clearer but, as I been saying privately all along, it will be another week or so, say September 15, before it’s time to either rejoice or panic on either side at what the underlying trends seem to indicate.
I don’t know if anyone agrees with me, but I see one major thing-we-don’t-know which is of major importance. Throughout the whole process, the Obama campaign has had a master plan from which they have not really deviated. They seem thrown off their game by the surprise Palin nomination at present, but they will surely find their footing again and be back on track. They have always played with an endgame mentality that has sometimes not been clear and visible to the rest of us (until the day he accepted the nomination, all the pundits thought the candidate would give an overreaching “vision” speech instead of the more nuts and bolts laden with lots of attack points speech that he offered) and have tons of money to spend over the coming weeks. It would not surprise me to see something massive and quite unexpected from that side.
And, of course, the unexpected is a hallmark, except in terms of policy, on the GOP side.
On a personal note, if not being a battleground means less political blather and advertising in these parts, I’m all for it.