[Apologies for the delayed posting of this. A technical glitch. As if MobileMe weren't enough to contend with...]

Head-to-head polls show McCain in with a fair chance of winning--despite a political and economic context which is about as unfavorable to Republicans as it could be. How come? The simplest explanation may be that the head-to-head polls (especially with more than three months to go) tell you very little, and are best ignored. According to political scientist Alan Abramowitz, the broader political climate tells you much more about what will happen in November.

My Monday column for the FT explains. Go here and here for two recent pieces by Abramowitz (thanks to Larry Sabato's site).