As I've been following the poll tracking as Obama's momentum carries him forward, and McCain continues to trip over his own feet and Sarah Palin's tongue (stay clean, folks), it seems I was being a tad, um, conservative in my initial prediction. I foresaw a range for an Obama win from 296 to 343 Electoral votes. Five days ago, I considered an Obama win with 343 Electoral College votes to be "wistful".
Using the current polling data, and assuming all things will continue as they have been (always dangerous, I know), I am now pretty comfortable predicting the possibility of Obama winning 378 Electoral College votes. Such a victory would not only be stunning, considering the relative closeness of our most recent Presidential elections (in 20 years, we've only had one President elected with a majority of the popular vote, George W. Bush in 2004 with barely over 51%, and only enough Electoral votes to carry him across the 270 threshold). I will hedge my bets - always an important thing to do - and stand by my earlier low-ball figure of 296 Electoral College votes for Barack Obama. I am just widening the range of possibility here.
Unlike two of our recent Electoral landslides - 1972 and 1984 - and like the 1980 Electoral College landslide (but not popular landslide) for Ronald Reagan, this will be a stunning repudiation of the party in power. While I do not believe it to be an endorsement of all sorts of progressive politics, it certainly indicates the intellectual, political, and moral bankruptcy of our current version of right-wing ideology. I believe that liberals should seize the moment, carpe the diem with both hands.