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Obama May Be Favored Against McCain, But It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over

Robert, my colleague here at Thomas Jefferson Street, wrote today that Barack Obama has the race sewn up. In my heart of hearts, boss, I've been saying essentially the same thing for a week now. Personally, I agree it sure looks like it's over.

But professionally, I am duty-bound to add there are several game-changer scenarios that still might occur to create a McCain win--none of them good but all of them possible.

Allow me to use the "R" word as diplomatically as I can, in the following phrase: "Race-based decision-making." I have to wonder how many Americans who've been telling pollsters they'll vote for Obama will get into the privacy of the voting booth and fail to push that digital button. Yes, Bush's eight years have been nothing short of disastrous for the nation. I do believe President Bush will go down in history as the worst American president ever. His failed, expensive war in Iraq, his ridiculous penchant for profligate spending, his nasal, hydrocephalic tone of voice--these and many other factors have caused independents and moderate Republicans (are there any left?) to flee the party in droves. But does that mean they'll vote for Barack Obama? Probably, but I'm not yet certain.

Then, there's the possibility of an October surprise. Slim? Yes. Possible? Yes.

Lastly, how can we forget voting issues that have cropped up in the past several elections? Black-dominated areas in Ohio, for example, that were conveniently short on voting machines and kept people in line in the cold rain for 6 hours. Votes placed that never registered. Absentee ballots that were never counted. This type of manipulation could occur again. Not a pretty picture, but one we must consider.

Democratic registration is up, way up. The youth vote is promising to swell this year by large proportions. Democrats are clearly energized and Republicans dispirited. At this point, things look so positive for Senator Obama; his win wouldn't surprise most Americans. But I've worked in the news business long enough to know, it ain't over 'til it's over.

By Bonnie Erbe

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