While the McCain campaign says its candidate can still pull out a win, two prominent Democratic strategists â€“ James Carville and Stanley Greenberg â€“ say Democratic victories in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections could be so significant that they lead to a â€ślost generationâ€ť among Republicans.
But at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters on Friday, Mr. Greenberg said that Sen. Barack Obamaâ€™s 12-point lead among independents in the National Public Radio Poll â€śputs this election well in the position to be an earthquake.â€ť Greenberg was President Clintonâ€™s pollster and his firm helps conduct the NPR poll.
Mr. Carville, who managed Mr. Clintonâ€™s 1992 election campaign, said, â€śwhat you should do before you vote Tuesday morning is kind of look around and try to record in your mind what everything here looks like. Because Wednesday, it ainâ€™t going to look like that.... There is basically going to be nothing left standing.â€ť
Carville argued that if Democrats make strong gains in both the House and Senate, as appears likely, â€śthere is not going to be a Republican Party infrastructure in place. The congressional leadership will not even run, probably wonâ€™t run,â€ť for reelection to their posts.
Senator McCainâ€™s economic argument featuring Joe the plumber and charges that Senator Obama will raise taxes on the middle class does not seem to be working with independent voters, Greenberg said. â€śThey are losing the argument. Our poll as of last night shows Obama with a rising lead ... a plus-12 advantage on taxes.... They are losing on the central argument of their approach to the economy.â€ť He argued that was â€ścreating a mandate for their loss.â€ť
In addition to faulting the McCain campaign for sticking with a losing economic argument, Carville said that the campaignâ€™s biggest mistake was selecting Sarah Palin as its vice presidential candidate. â€śObviously the Palin thing looked good for what 48 hours, 72 hours, a week, something. But when it went bad â€¦ it just went awful. I think that when the whole thing is written that is going to be the biggest mistake they made by far,â€ť he said.