Landslide ahead but winner unknown

Sunday, September 28, 2008

One of the nation's leading experts in political polling dropped a bomb this week when he predicted that the presidential election would end in a landslide. Trouble is, he said the landslide could go either way!

John Zogby, of Zogby International Polling, told reporters this week that this upcoming presidential election will be decided the weekend before Election Day. He said voters will either find comfort in the little known Barack Obama or will return to the conventional wisdom of John McCain's experience.

Zogby said his polling shows that voters still know little about Obama but, at the same time, lack confidence in McCain's ability to bring change. He said information and events that occur between now and the weekend before the election will determine the outcome. And, he predicted, that although the popular vote will remain close, the electoral vote will swing strongly in favor of one candidate.

If Zogby is even remotely accurate, what does that say about the electoral process? This current presidential campaign has been in full force for nearly two years. And yet it will likely be decided in the closing days of the campaign, according to Zogby.

Two important changes are clouding this presidential election. First, experts on both sides of the political spectrum are in agreement that the Obama campaign is getting soft and highly favorable coverage from the national media. One leading journalist this week said that for the first time - in a widespread fashion - the national media is showing strong bias toward one candidate - Barack Obama.

The other change that is equally frightening is the prospect of widespread voter fraud in this election. No less that Missouri's own John Danforth this week expressed concern that groups like ACORN would fraudulently impact this presidential election. ACORN is a highly partisan Democrat get-out-the-vote group that has run afoul of the law in past elections, including charges filed in Missouri. The group works the inner cities to register voters. Some members of ACORN have been convicted in the past of illegally registering voters. Obama is a former community organizer and is closely aligned with ACORN.

To win, Obama must have a strong turnout in the urban centers where the bulk of his support is found. And you can bet there will be some close monitoring of those votes come Election Day.

Zogby's prediction is a sad commentary on this election in so many ways. I would have thought by now that virtually every voter would have decided on their preference for the direction of this country. But apparently, I'm dead wrong.

The only prediction that is guaranteed in this election cycle is that the national media will come out as the biggest loser. Trust in the national media has eroded to such a low level that is will take a generation for its reputation to return to the levels once found in this country. The truth is that the public may never again fully trust the national media to be accurate, honest and unbiased.

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