Recently, Obama has opted out of public finance, and significantly shifted on just about every important issue. His policy shifts, to a certain extent, inundate him against the claim that he's an out of the mainstream left-winger. But they open him up to the claim that we still don't even know who he is. He barely has a record, including in the Illinois legislature where he voted 'present', and the short record he has now contradicts itself. Certainly he has gone a long way to prove that he is a 'typical politician' after all, something John Stewart has duly noted and begun to ridicule.
Today's The Note anticipates John McCain running a Bush-like campaign in that it will focus on national security. But that's clearly not John McCain's style, as his style is to do what seems to be the most illogical thing possible. John McCain is not the typical politician which is why he ends up confusing so many people with his trips to foreign countries instead of to swing states and with his economic policies that get bashed by Karl Rove in the WSJ.
A number of commentators, and Obama's strategists, have mentioned higher turnout as a key Obama strength to put certain states into play. Nobody mentions that it's possible the anti-Obama vote will also make a strong showing. I assumed as far back as New Hampshire that a significant portion of the Hillary vote was actually an anti-Obama vote. If it had been a weaker politician than Hillary we would have assumed this automatically but her stature masked it. Do you really think that Hillary became a working class hero overnight because people just fell in love with her? One explanation for those skewed polls involving black politicians in the 80s could be that the polls did not accurately reflect the animosity of those not supporting the candidate which causes their turnout rate to be higher. (Move Virginia and Missouri to the McCain column.) This is one reason why Hispanics might turn out for McCain by a lopsided margin. (Move Colorado and New Mexico to the McCain column.)
It is still true that Obama has gotten this far via cakewalk. Getting his senate seat was a cakewalk, and the majority of the states he won for the nomination were basically uncontested. In terms of tough victories all he can point to is Iowa.