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All the available evidence suggests that Barack Obama should cruise to a comfortable margin of victory tomorrow night. “Based on interviews with political strategists in both parties, election analysts and advisers to both presidential campaigns — including a detailed look at public and private polling data — an Obama victory with well over 300 electoral votes is a more likely outcome than a McCain victory,” Mark Halperin of Time magazine reported today. On the other hand, polls have been wrong before, and there is some evidence that McCain could be closing the gap in a few battleground states.
Early results from just a few states should make it relatively clear whether Obama wins easily or if the polls and pundits are wrong, and the race is going to be closer than expected.
If Obama wins North Carolina, expect him to romp to a huge victory as that would suggest that a number of closely contested red states go Democratic.
An Obama victory in Florida or Virginia would also be fatal to McCain. Victory in both augurs a landslide. If he loses both, it would suggest that the electoral map is reverting to form and we might be in for a long night.
John McCain can’t win unless he takes Pennsylvania, which should be a key early indicator. Because if Obama loses Pennsylvania, it’s hard to see him winning in places like North Carolina or Virginia anyway.
Everyone’s nerves are frayed at this point, but it’s hard to see how McCain wins; signs of the outcome should be abundantly clear by 9 P.M. EDT.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”