"Comeback": Thoughtful analysis or wishful thinking?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

CF has mentioned how it's in the press' best interest to see the campaign tighten up in the final weeks. And look for lots of pre-debate chatter about how tonight's debate might just do that.

The problem is the comeback talk is often bereft of any substance. It seems to be built on just a hunch, or a wish, from the press corps which wants badly for some drama to be injected back into the story.

Take Politico on Tuesday, which declared that McCain had won the day, in terms of Politico's dreadful, daily who won/who lost tabulation. Read this part of the explanation as to why McCain won the day and see if Politico's forward-looking analysis doesn't strike you as leaning heavily on the what-if:

All the public polling data – from Politico's battleground-county poll, to today's Quinnipiac swing-state polling, to the Los Angeles/Times Bloomberg poll that showed Obama up 9 points nationwide at the end of the day – still shows the Democrats with a very comfortable advantage. But as McCain-Palin gets its sea legs back, Obama-Biden may have to be a little tougher and a little more vigilant about protecting their lead in the days to come – starting at tomorrow's debate.

See, the facts tell us there has been no change in the state of the race. (Although frankly, the NYT/CBS poll released yesterday suggested the race has opened even wider for Obama.) But according to Politico, McCain could make the race closer in coming days. It's possible.

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