Well, predictably, the crowing has started here at Daily Kos as if the election were already a done deal. But the left is completely missing the fact that McCain still has a clear path to victory in November. While it does require coordinated action, and a bit of luck, the danger to the Obama campaign is severe.
Normally, I wouldn't want to tip off the enemy to the kind of complex and brilliant electoral strategy that I intend to set forth in this essay. I think, however, it's safe to say that no one from the McCain campaign is likely to read it here. Those with any time for the internet are probably too busy scanning the help wanted ads on Craig's List.
Read on for McCain's Path to Victory. . .
1. Promote overconfidence. McCain already has a big leg up in this area. With some polls showing him as much as fourteen points behind and below 40%, Obama voters are probably beginning to think about skipping the vote entirely.
What McCain needs to do is push his numbers down further. If he can get his percentage of the vote, according to polls, below 25% in the week before election day it's likely to provoke massive vote failure by Democrats and Independents. Really, how many Californians are going to go to the trouble of getting out of the hot tub, putting down their mock vegan pot roast, getting dressed, and going to the polls when the Republican is polling 50% behind?
2. Increase rural vs urban voting. While McCain is losing voters in all demographic categories, it's a truism that Republican support is still higher outside of urban areas. While he's probably at, or somewhat above, his eventual ceiling of rural support he can still work to increase the percentage of rural voters to urban voters. This is because urban voting blocks are particularly susceptible to meteor strikes.
Now, it's probably too much for McCain to hope that, say, 250 metropolitan areas will be hit by meteors between now and election day based on chance alone. But this is where the brilliance of his running mate selection comes into play. By working day and night with the Wasilla Assembly of God and Pastor Murthee there's every hope that the paths of several hundred meteors can be prayed into the right trajectories to substantially rearrange the urban / rural vote percentages.
3. The electoral college. The candidates need 270 votes in the electoral college to win the Presidency. Even if McCain is able to get his numbers down low enough and successfully launch "Operation Pat Robertson" he's still unlikely to get that many electoral votes. But there's a loophole here. 270 votes is the required number only as long as the electoral college has a total of 538 votes.
The solution is clear. Between now and election day, McCain needs to accomplish the expulsion of the New York and California from the electoral college. There are a number of ways he might go about this. He could, for instance, approach the Dean of the electoral college with information that New York played a critical role in Weather Underground's bombing attacks in the early 1970s -- indeed, even providing a venue for many of the bombings to take place. Or he could gin up the rumors about California's drug use in the bathrooms before class.
With New York and California sent down, the necessary electoral vote barrier becomes 227. That ought to be doable. Although, come to think of it, McCain may also want to let the Dean know that Illinois cheats at cards and Pennsylvania has been buying vodka at the off-campus liquor store using fake ID.
Here, then, is McCain's clear path to victory -- getting his poll numbers down to 25%, coordinated meteor strikes on major metropolitan areas across the country, and the expulsion of two to four major Democratic states from the electoral college. Perhaps not the easiest path, but John McCain is not the kind of man who takes the easy way out! Most navy pilots choose to land their planes. Not McCain, who'd always rather crash. With that kind of spirit McCain should have no trouble turning the election around in the next 18 days.