November 02, 2008

Obama seems certain winner.

After the American Century

After spending a week in the United States, I am convinced that Obama will win the election unless there is fraud on an unheard of scale. Unhappily, this is a possibility, as the many new voting machines may not prove reliable, though I am reasonably hopeful on that score.

The sense I got while visiting for a week was that the American media are doing all they can to make the result look close, but in fact few now really think McCain has a chance. The Republicans are making a big effort to win Pennsylvania, although Obama is ahead there by c. 7%. Supposing McCain is able to win there, however, he has been losing ground in many other places, so that even Georgia is now considered a swing state. Obama has been focusing efforts on securing the West, notably Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada, with so much success that even McCain's home state of Arizona has slipped into the category of a swing state.

Overall, the displeasure with Palin has intensified, while the sense of comfort with Obama has increased. While the final result may hold some surprises, it seems likely that Obama will win a comfortable victory, large enough to be called a mandate for change.

To my Danish readers, I would warn that the quality of the coverage in the Danish media is mediocre or worse, and it is best to watch the BBC or CNN on election night. All sorts of people now claim to be experts on the US who have never lived there or published a single scholarly article. They are dragged out by the networks as experts, and they repeat what they have read somewhere.

It is a circus of incompetence that is painful to watch. In just one day since returning I have seen botched attempts to explain the electoral college, claims that Obama and McCain have the same foreign policy, and errors of fact or emphasis in every program I have seen.