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Victoria is no different than the mood across the nation right now for Republicans.  They're gushing over Governor Sarah Palin; making that their primary reason for voting for John McCain.  Sure, votes are votes but a wonderful speech does not carry the same weight as a televised debate.  The country has made up their mind about Obama in his 22 debate performances.  The Republicans are comparing Sarah Palin to Barack Obama, but the country will not.

I have been saying for months that independents will decide this election.  According to a March 2008 Pew Research poll 37% do not identify with a party.  Of the 37%; 15% lean Democratic, and 12% are Republican. A really large number in a national election considering approximately 140 million people will vote this year.  38% of the country identified with the Democratic Party and 27% with the Republicans in 2004.

According to NBC's political guru Chuck Todd, you have to start with the basic red, blue, and swing states of 2004 to chart this years swing states.  The swing states this year are Colorado, Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. In 2004 Bush won all those states except Michigan and Pennsylvania. Barack is leading or tied in those states right now except for Florida where McCain holds a slight 3 point lead.

When the campaign love fest is over, and reality sets in, the entire nation's attention will be focused on the debates.  Barack Obama will hold his own against John McCain, but I really don't see how the GOP can get Sarah Palin up to speed, to debate the likes of Joe Biden.  The three presidential debates will matter, and the GOP might luck out, because I don't think the bar is set that high for Sarah in the one debate.

John McCain will continue the hold the edge on foreign policy, due to his military experience, but I think it will come down to the candidate that can make the best case for judgment. The Iraq war is unpopular, and I believe this is where Barack Obama will eventually win. Barack Obama should not have any difficulty beating John McCain on the economic issues, because John had admitted it is not his strong suit.  According to recent polls, the Democrats have double-digit lead when it comes to the economic issues.The country is blaming the economic mess on the Bush Republicans and McCain was with them 90% of the time.Barack Obama will be sure to point that out.

The hard core Republicans just don't get it. John McCain is the only Republican with a chance to beat any generic Democrat running for president.Barack Obama is anything but generic. McCain is not comfortable with social issues but he might have to defend the out-of- the mainstream views of Sarah Palin.....She can get away with that in Alaska ,but not on a national ticket. The press will try and goat her,since she threw the first punch the other night and continues to do so.

It might come down to the intangibles such as social issues, which normally turns the independents away.  The independents main concerns are the war, gas prices, and economic problems they are facing.

That’s my case.