There are six days left until the election. Tomorrow, Barack Obama tries to own the headlines with a 30-minute 8 p.m. ad/address/fireside chat/colon cleansing commercial. (We don't know what's in it yet.) We don't know what happens on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, but we know that they're the last days we have to listen to Obama and McCain before we spend four (or eight!) years listening to just one of them.
Marc Ambinder sums up the current McCain message—He can still win!—and provides some contrary evidence. I'll simply note again that this stuff happens every year. From November 2, 1988, in the Boston Globe:
Dukakis, accompanied by daughter Andrea yesterday because his wife is holed up in a Minneapolis hotel with the flu, delivered a highly charged speech at San Jose State.
From October 28, 1992, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
The CNN-USA Today poll of 1,217 likely voters showed Clinton at 40 percent, Bush at 38 percent and Perot at 16 percent. With a margin of error plus or minus 3 percentage points, that added up to a dead heat. … Bush was greeted by thousands of people at a rally in Strongsville, near Cleveland.
"You know what's happening?" Bush asked. "These guys feel it slipping away from them. They know we're on the move. They know we're going forward. I feel sorry for them."
There's not an infinite supply of this stuff, but it's close. Really, only once in a generation (1984, 1972, 1964, 1936) do you have an election where the losing party doesn't bother claiming that it can still win this thing.