The polls give Barack Obama such a big lead that even Republicans are talking about John McCain "in the past tense," said Adam Nagourney in The New York Times. "But is it really over?" GOP strategists, and even some Democrats, say McCain still has "a viable path to victory" if he can reel back Republican states slipping to Obama, including Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina.
"A come-from-behind surge could still propel John McCain to victory," said Kenneth Bunting in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, but that's highly unlikely. It "might take a big event of unimaginable impact, some mysterious phenomenon pollsters can't measure or a suddenly brilliant strategic shift by a Republican campaign that in recent weeks has committed one myopic miscalculation after another."
Actually, there's a "losing scenario" for Obama that doesn't involve game-changing outside events, said Noam Scheiber in The New Republic online. "It goes something like this: Obama wins all the Kerry states plus Iowa and New Mexico, giving him 264 electoral votes, then narrowly loses the rest of the red states where he's currently competitive."
It's not hard to imagine a "McCain upset," said Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal. Senior citizens might turn out in record numbers to "vote for the older guy," or McCain could find traction on the issue of taxes. The "Obama love" out there is deep, but McCain has 43 percent of the country pulling for him, and "nobody in politics has so repeatedly relished coming back from the dead."