On Sunday I head to Denver to attend the Democratic National Convention, but if Obama picks his VP as expected on Saturday, the convention begins on Saturday. Hence it is time to begin blogging the convention.
Provided the Clinton's don't engineer an overthrow on the floor of the convention, Obama will be the first nominee of the Democratic Party to be elected via a coalition of elite progressives and African-Americans. Moreover, he will be the first nominee of the elite wing of the party since George McGovern.
So what plan does he have for avoiding the fate of McGovern (which in 2008 means not winning)?
By almost every historical reference point, the Democrats ought to win in November. Given the economy, the war, and Bush's approval rating, 2008 should be to the Democrats what 1980 was to the Republicans.
Accordingly, Obama ought to have a double-digit lead in the polls.
But he doesn't. Statistically it is a dead heat, even though Obama also has a huge advantage in money and received enormous publicity during his recent tour of Europe.
His problem may not lie with winning independents, but with winning the white working class voters that have been part of any winning Democratic Presidential coalition in recent history.
There is little statistical evidence to suggest he has made any headway in "closing the deal" with this heavily Catholic group ever since the media declared him the nominee.
This is a group that are loyal to Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Does he believe he can win this group without Hillary as the VP?
We will find out Saturday.
Dale Kuehne, Ph.D., is executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.