Politics: Jonathan Alter (MSNBC/Newsweek)'s Scenario of How McCain Wins
Alter's key paragraph raises racism and tosses in stupidity.
In the end, the problem was the LIVs. That's short for "low-information voters," the three fifths of the electorate that shows up once every four years to vote for president but mostly hates politics. These are the 75 million folks who didn't vote in the primaries. They don't read newsmagazines or newspapers, don't watch any cable news and don't cast their ballots early. Their allegiance to a candidate is as easily shed as a T shirt. Several million moved to Obama through September and October; they'd heard he handled himself well in the debates. Then, in the last week, the LIVs swung back to the default choice: John McCain. Some had good reasons other than the color of Obama's skin to desert him; many more did not. In October, a study by the Associated Press estimated that Obama's race would cost him 6 percent. The percentage was smaller, but still enough to give the presidency to McCain.
Alter goes on to provide some state-by-state aspects to how McCain could win.
Obama could carry Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) in Ohio but lose the state because McCain does well everywhere else in the state.
Discussing Florida, Alter says: It was erosion in the critical I-4 corridor near Tampa and in the Panhandle, where the astonishing Republican margins among whites could be attributed only to race.
Regarding Virginia, Alter tosses out this idea: The transformation of the northern part of the state couldn't overcome a huge McCain margin among whites farther south. They weren't the racists of their parents' generation, but they weren't quite ready to vote for the unthinkable, either.
Alter doesn't toss the race card in explaining why New Hampshire (they have an independent streak) and Colorado (enough of the frontier minded are swayed by Palin's Alaska connection) goes to McCain.
Alter points out that the youth vote might not turn out: History held: young people once again voted in lower percentages than their elders. Waiting for them turned out to be like waiting for Godot.
My belief is that in the end the number of people who vote against Obama for race reasons will be cancelled out by those who vote for him for race reasons.
In end, some swing voters might conclude that Obama gives a good speech but they want something more tangible.
Some swing voters might think about the world situation and decide that it is better to go with the tested warrior as commander-in-chief. Thanks, Joe the Veep nominee for wondering aloud that the world would "test" President Obama with a crisis.
Some swing voters might be concerned at how the Obama people scoffed at Joe the Plumber while the McCain people embraced him.
In other words, McCain could win on the merits of the case.
Not in the mind of so many in the media ... Obama can only lose because of racism.