Hot on the heels of my prediction that the post-convention numbers were a bounce, I double down with these:
Amorphous preamble: I think the next few weeks will be bad for McCain/Palin. Palin's already starting to be the butt of jokes, McCain doesn't know where Spain is, and the economy is reshuffling the deck again--and firmly away from the GOP. I expect Obama to do pretty well in the debates, and once people see him on an equal footing with McCain, the election will be decided. Palin's selection was a good call only as long as the ticket was leading in the polls. Once the novelty of the pick has passed and people get to know (and not love) Palin, the negates will swamp the campaign.
1. Obama will win the election by a comfortable popular vote (+5%), and an even more comfortable electoral college outcome. Current guess (to be revised later): 294-244. This includes a sweep of the Western swing states, Virginia, and Iowa, but neither FL or OH.
2. If he wins North Carolina, he will win in a landslide (upper limit, 340-198).
3. There's no way in hell Obama loses Michigan--I don't care what the polls say.
4. Obama will scrap hard in Florida to keep McCain honest, but it's pure defense--Florida's not in the cards.
5. Palin was the moment McCain lost the election, a view that will solidify within days following the election. History will record it as a massive gaffe. It will probably destroy Palin's future as a serious national player.
6. Dems will control the Senate 56-44 (no filibuster-proof majority) before dropping Lieberman like a sack of dirt, retaining a ten-vote majority.