McCain has dramatically made up some ground against Obama over these past couple of weeks. The conventions -- specifically the Palin choice and Obama's flubbing the Hillary problem (finessing her out of the Vice-Presidential slot) -- seem to have worked in McCain's favor. This evening, the Real Clear Politics moving average of polls actually gives McCain/Palin a bit of a lead.
It was always on the cards that McCain was going to close the gap some. Obama's been overexposed and oversold by an over-friendly prestige media. Now, McCain (the war hero with an actual record) has finally gotten a little attention, so it was inevitable his numbers would come up a little bit.
We'll have to just wait and see how much this matters. The advantages are mostly still Obama's. On the whole, St. Barack has a better organization, a better voter organizing drive, and a better climate for a Democrat than even Watergate. Don't forget the endless money, and the unified support of the chattering classes. Obama's real weaknesses are in his sparse but liberal record, coupled with occasional verbal slips, and his different past in Kenya, Hawaii and Chicago -- all adding up to making him an unknown and uncertain quantity.
McCain needs to do well with the debates, and I expect him to. But for the moment, we have to hope that Senator McCain and Governor Palin have a second act, a new post-convention theme, to keep the pressure on Obama. They have to keep the initiative, keep moving, and keep the Obamaites on the defensive for a while.
Meanwhile, St. Barack has to get some points on the board. McCain and Palin both had better get ready, because St. Barack and crew are getting ready to go very negative in a very big way. They have to, and they've got the money, the organization and enough support and cover from the big media to be able to make a good job of it. Duck.