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They asked us last night to offer election predictions, which I was hesitant to do because I'm always wrong. That said, I can see about a million ways in which Barack Obama is vulnerable and a million ways advantages John McCain has. But on another level, it's just really difficult for me to imagine the incumbent party holding onto power in the face of an unpopular war and a bad economy. Count the fact that 81 percent of voters think the country is on the wrong track as further evidence along those lines.

Given the prevailing mood, it seems obvious that the average voter is going to want to vote for a candidate who can credibly promise that he'll pursue substantially different policies from those of George W. Bush. But McCain has promised to follow Bush on Iraq, promised to follow Bush on taxes, promised to follow Bush on housing issues, and shows no sign whatsoever of even understanding why people are frustrated with Bush. So how's he going to win?

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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