"How McCain Won" - a hypothetical Newsweek article...

… by Jonathan Alter.

What do you think of his speculation? Could what he discusses be a major factor in what happens on Tuesday? If McCain DOES win, will/would the reasons be anything close to what he thinks?

Dramatic speculation sells magazines, it generates clicks for web pages, so it’s not surprising to see lots and lots of articles with this general theme. There’s not much story left to tell, there’s not much of a horse race at this point.

That being said, he’s basically saying a little Bradley effect plus independents breaking 70% for McCain. Either candidate would be extremely lucky to get 60% of the remaining undecideds, 70% is almost preposterous. If there were factors that would lead to either candidate sweeping 70% of the undecideds, they wouldn’t be undecided. And the Bradley effect part of the article seems rather half-hearted, and rightly so, since there’s so very, very little historical evidence for the Bradley effect. Even Bradley probably wasn’t a victim of the Bradley effect.

Anyway, there’s not much to do in the next few days, liberals like to fret and social conservatives seem to think it shows weakness to admit they’re going to lose, so articles like these get a decent amount of attention. (I think it’s interesting that fiscal conservatives seem the most likely to say, “yeah, this one is over”).

It’s speculation, but it doesn’t particularly bother me because it doesn’t deal with what I have found is a convincing response to the notion that there is a large hidden corps of racist voters who SAY they’ll vote for Obama, but will secretly vote for McCain.

The thing is, everybody who doesn’t want to vote for Obama can say they will vote for McCain without being perceived as racist, so why should they lie about it? I think the bulk of racist voters are going to vote for McCain, and have said so to the pollsters. They may not admit to the racism that is their core reason for voting McCain, but they can certainly announce that they’ll vote McCain. So I don’t see a big hidden vote for McCain out there, independent or otherwise.

(PS, I am not saying that all or even most McCain voters are racists, only that McCain already has the racist vote, not because he has necessarily courted it, but because he’s the only white guy who has any kind of chance of beating Obama.)

Actually, I’m not so sure about that. I’ve heard anecdotal evidence about Obama canvassers encountering people who cheerfully tell them “we’re voting for the n----r.” I’ve also heard that the actual white supremacist community is divided. Sure, some of them will never vote for a black man, but some of them are certain that Obama will provoke the race war they’ve been dreaming of, or think that McCain is the pro-Israel candidate (which isn’t a good thing in those quarters).