Dry Your Eyes, Mate

The customary Democratic worry spasms about the prospect of a McCain presidency have kicked into gear, with the Obama campaign being called everything from incompetent to indecisive. Steve Benen says most of what needs saying about this:

Obama has been pacing himself, and the more aggressive tone we’ve seen the past couple of days is pretty new. What’s more, in a trend we’ll talk more about later, Obama’s campaign has been focusing heavily on the ground game, which isn’t reflected in the polls.

It’s not a completely analogous situation, but I can think of plenty of times I heard Obama fans’ handwringing last fall, when it appeared he just wasn’t going to be able to defeat Hillary Clinton. Obama was, however, taking his time, methodically executing a specific strategy. I underestimated him more than a few times before, but he managed to do pretty well, and I’m still inclined to give the campaign team at least some of the benefit of the doubt.

Exactly. David Plouffe really doesn't give a shit if he's down by five or fifteen at this point. All that matters to him is having at least 270 electoral votes in his pocket come November 4. What dips and dives come before that don't especially concern him. Don't believe me? Let's go back to this post I wrote, back in September. Hillary was beating Obama in New Hampshire by 43% to 20%. I was desperately protesting that he could still close the gap (to two points, even), but I was a pretty lonely voice on that. Similarly, Steve and I are pretty much alone in not freaking out this time around.

So let's recap. Obama has an almost unimaginably large field organizing advantage. He's destroying McCain in fundraising. And even though he's slipped, he's still ahead in electoral vote terms, with a lot more possibly win configurations than McCain. Don't panic.

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