Today is the day when all those "undecideds" can either break right or break left or just stay home. Today is the day that everyone will see how how poorly (or how well) the polls have performed. Today is the day that the media can stop campaigning and get back to reporting. I'll have a post or two running today, then some sort of liveblogging going on this evening. Win, lose, or draw, tonight's the night.
In "Reasons for Optimism," Michael Medved gives some reasons McCain may do much better than the polls and the media have been predicting: the race is closer in battleground states than in the other states; the turnout assumptions that pollsters have been using may turn out to be quite wrong; there have been more "undecided" voters than usual this year, and if they haven't been converted by the Obama media onslaught by now, there's a good chance they'll punch the chad for McCain today.
I'm not making a case for McCain, just suggesting this will be a close race, not a landslide. To supplement yesterday's notes on which states to watch tonight, here is a paragraph from Medved's post:
McCain faces the prospect of losing badly in two “red” states, New Mexico and Iowa, but if he holds everything else Bush carried four years ago (and gains no new Democratic territory) he’s still president. There’s also a chance that he loses Virginia or Colorado, but he could lose both and still win the election by carrying Pennsylvania – where two of the most recent polls show him within four points, and Joe Biden will arrive for last-minute campaigning. The Democrats also stand a strong chance of turning Nevada from red to blue, winning its crucial five electoral votes, but the chances of sweeping all three of the hotly disputed, highly doubtful states (Virginia, Colorado and Nevada) are small—which means that Pennsylvania still could deliver victory for McCain. This assumes, of course, his successful defense in Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Arkansas, Montana and North Dakota, where recent polls show slightly improved GOP prospects.
That last line shows it's still quite a stretch for McCain -- assuming that Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina will go for McCain is asking a lot. We'll find out tonight.