In part because the McCain campaign is enjoying, according to some (but not all) polls, a "slight drift" in their direction.
In part because we on the left are still walking wounded thanks to Florida/Supreme Court 2000.
Stan Greenberg, noted Democratic strategist, takes up the subject of Republican confidence in a win on Tuesday with his old friend, Bill McInturff, Republican pollster. McInturff has written a scary memo showing how and why the election will be an upset and how McCain has nailed it. Strategist Greenberg takes on Pollster McInturff point by point and comes to the conclusion that his old Republican pal is off his game.
"In our regression modeling for the presidential battleground states, the two biggest drivers of the vote are who 'brings the right kind of change' and who is 'on your side.' Obama enjoys double-digit advantages over McCain on both - with about 53 percent of likely voters choosing him, creating an upward pressure on the vote. The structure of this race just has not changed as we have moved to the finish line."
So that takes care of the Republican rationale that McCain will win. Ed Kilgore, editor of Democratic Strategist says the anxiety we are feeling is due to new factors altogether.
"I'd argue that aside from congenital and well-earned Democratic pessimism based on past close elections, there may be two factor underlying this anxiety. The first is obvious enough: race. With the McCain campaign heavily relying on submerged and not-so-submerged racial appeals, old fears about the willingness of white Americans to elect an African-American president have bubbled up.
"The second factor is more subtle: personal emotional investment in Obama. Some Democrats have long considered Obama a phenomenal, once-in-a-generation leader who can be 'transformational;' others have reached this conclusion more recently. Still others simply think it's imperative, in an unprecedented way, that the GOP lock on the White House is terminated this year, for reasons ranging from Supreme Court appointments to foreign policy."
I'm not sure about you, but that "second factor" sure describes this voter. I'm about halfway between a huge victory party and a one-way ticket to New Zealand.