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With the fundamentals so favorable to Barack Obama, why can't he crack open a bigger lead against John McCain? What's wrong with him? Does he need to change tactics? Or is it, as Andrew Gelman explains, that what the fundamentals predict is a modest victory with Obama getting about 53 percent of the vote. Right now, that's exactly what he's in line for and I expect it's what he'll get.

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Note that close-ish elections are probably how the world should be. A lot of people are conservative Republicans. Barack Obama is not a conservative Republican. There's really no reason for those people to vote for Obama, no more how badly the economy may be doing. I think the only scenario in which Obama could really win in a landslide would be one in which Bob Barr starts eating away at McCain's base vote.

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

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