But as Obama surged into a more or less permanent lead in October, animated by the financial crisis, he has assumed many of the characteristics of an incumbent. Every voter asks himself one question before he or she casts a ballot: Do I want to vote for Obama? His uniqueness, charisma and assertive program have so dominated the dialogue that the election is now a referendum on Obama.
As Obama has oscillated, moving somewhat above or somewhat below 50 percent in all the October polls, his election likely hangs in the balance. If he falls short of 50 percent in these circumstances, a majority of the voters can be said to have rejected him. Likely a disproportionate number of the undecideds will vote for McCain.
But don’t write Obama off. His candidacy strikes such enthusiasm among young and minority voters that there is still a chance that a massive turnout will deliver the race to the Democrats. None of the polling organizations has any experience with — or model for — so massive a turnout, especially among voters notorious for staying at home. But the primaries proved that these young and minority voters will not stay home this time, but will vote for Obama. The effect of this increased vote is hard to calculate, but it may be enough to offset the undecideds who will vote for McCain.
(Emphasis added.) Via Greenwald, who notes:
Still, it’s just staggering to ponder the amount of reality-denial (or deliberate reality-distortion) needed to urge that Obama, though a real long shot, shouldn’t be “written off,” because there’s still a small chance that he might pull it out. It also enables Morris to claim victory either way — heroically so if McCain wins (“I predicted undecideds would break for him”) and also if Obama wins (“I warned that he shouldn’t be written off”). To a Fox News viewer, that comes from the most insightful and prescient political observer in the country.