Well how about that? Polling data out this morning indicates that John McCain and Barrack Obama have entered a statistical dead heat headed into the last two months of the campaign. Frankly I never thought that would happen.
I think two things are driving that. One, the recent conventions create a last man out dynamic that influences the polls. I doubt very much that the electorate represents the same numbers. (That's another way of saying I think the poll is wrong - but I think it may be directionally correct. The other piece is clearly the impact of the Vice Presidential candidates.
In a campaign where both candidates are competing on a platform of change, it is harder to accept Joe Biden as a VP candidate than it is to accept John McCain as a President. I honestly can't figure out why Barrack picked Biden. To me it was a horrible choice and it may cost him the election. As much as I hate Hillary, I would rather have seen him choose her. (I think he would have won in a landslide). Biden represents the old guard and has been the democrat's partisan pitbull in congress for years. McCain on the other hand has a history of reaching across the aisle to do the right thing by the electorate. They're the two old white guys. I like McCain more.
That's not to say that my mind is made up. It won't be until the debates. I would like to see a lot more substance from both sides. Obama's speech actually contained more substance than McCain's which was a surprise. Unlike most republicans, I'm not sure I'm such a huge Pallin fan. I think she did an outstanding job at the convention, but there are things about her that I don't like so much. The fact that her family is clearly experiencing some issues is high on that list, and that would be true whether she was a man or a woman.
All of this said, at the moment for me McCain is leading, but by a slim margin and that based more on his record than anything else. There was something about his "stand up America" call at the end of his speech that was really exciting. It didn't come with the emotional X factors that Obama delivered, and those are important, but it came from a man who has fought in congress for an awfully long time for what he believes in, whether his party liked it or not, and that's got to mean something.