John McCain must be one of the most frustrated men on earth these days. In a little more than a week, the country will head to the ballot box and decide who will be its next president. Yet Republicans can’t seem to close this stubborn 5-7 point gap in the polls, let alone in key battleground states. In previous election cycles, Republicans slept a bit easier. Democrats would open into double digit leads through the late summer months, only to see them close to low single digits and even within the margins of error during the final autumn days of October. But the foot-race Senator McCain was banking on hasn’t materialized. Why?
It’s tempting to blame the media. After all, collecting and reporting the news has become an industry in itself. Let’s not forget that. Publishers are in the news business because it yields a profit, and tend to chase stories (and people) who are the most scintillating and provocative. It sells papers, and that grows the bottom line. That’s why Barrack Obama is on the covers of Time, Newsweek and even GQ and Vogue lately. He’s rapidly becoming a cultural icon, and crosses the political bounds that typically confine a pol. And while he may only wear $40 ties from Macy’s, the folks off 5th Avenue know they sell more magazines when he graces their pages.
The disillusioned conservative would say it’s the man himself. No, not THEIR guy, but our guy – John McCain. After all the political enemies he’s made through his tenure in Washington, they postulate, is it any wonder the man even has a dog left as a friend? And while Obama outspends his opponent nearly 4-to-1 these last few weeks, several conservative millionaires who typically bank-roll “Swift-boat” style ads around this time have apparently thrown in the towel. That’s short-sighted on their part, because it hurts all the strong Republican candidates down-ticket who probably deserve to be in the seats they may lose if McCain goes down in flames on Election Day.