According to everything I have read and everything the talking heads on my television have said, last night was John McCain’s best performance, but that Obama committed no gaffes, held his own, and then finished strong. I have to say at that I am relieved that McCain had a better night, as there is still a chance that he could pull it out and win. Anything can happen, and it would be nice to think that if Obama does lose, the next administration would not be a total disaster.
On the other hand, I think this take on things is probably delusional:
Tonight we finally saw what so many of us have been waiting for. John McCain mopped the floor with Barack Obama.
Throughout the night, Barack Obama looked distant, like he did not want to be there, like he was annoyed. He really looked annoyed all night.
McCain on the other hand looked like the comeback kid — the guy who knew he had to do well. And he did.
Here is why it mattered.
Between October 24th and 27th of 1980, Jimmy Carter was ahead of Ronald Reagan by six points. Obama is up three in the traditional Gallup poll and up eight in the expanded Gallup poll.
This becomes very doable for John McCain tonight. It becomes very doable.
Doable and plausible are two different things, and we need to square this “mopped the floor with him” rhetoric with the polls:
CNN poll of debate viewers: Obama 58%, McCain 31%
CBS poll of uncommitted voters: Obama 53%, McCain 22%
Still making their own reality over at Red State.