Ezra remarks on election outcomes:
...fairly often, "what's going on" is the best explanation of what happened. This is why, in general, the political scientists I've talked to are totally confident Obama will win. Voters don't like the economy and they don't like Iraq. If Bush were running, he'd be slaughtered. The question I've not quite been able to answer is whether McCain's personal brand is so strong, and so distinct, that he'll be evaluated as an individual candidate, or whether he'll be the stand-in for the Republican Party. If the former, he may have a chance. If the latter, he's going to get crushed.
But McCain also needs to get his base motivated. He has an uphill struggle - but he's also up against what is quite a new thing in American politics. Voters might get spooked and return to granddad.