The election for the American presidency does take place in the US. And it actually hasn’t been decided yet.

With the nominations of both parties effectively settled
for more than a month, the key question in the contest isn’t over any
single issue being debated between the Democrats’ Sen. Obama or the
Republicans’ Sen. John McCain. The focus has turned to the Democratic
candidate himself: Can Americans get comfortable with the background
and experience level of Sen. Obama?

Is he in for a surprise when he returns to that kind of scrutiny after his victory tour.

This dynamic is underscored in a new Wall Street
Journal/NBC News poll. The survey’s most striking finding: Fully half
of all voters say they are focused on what kind of president Sen. Obama
would be as they decide how they will vote, while only a quarter say
they are focused on what kind of president Sen. McCain would be…

The campaign’s unusual dynamic appears to be the result of an
anxious nation now sizing up an unconventional candidate who presents
himself as the agent for change, which voters say they want. The
contest thus parallels in some ways the 1980 race, when voters seemed
ready for a change away from Jimmy Carter and the Democrats, but
weren’t persuaded until late in the race that they could be comfortable
with a former actor and unabashed conservative, Ronald Reagan, as
commander in chief.

After the distraction of the global swing this week, this is the key
distinction back on home turf, nuanced by Republican pollster Neil
Newhouse:

“This is not Obama’s race to lose. It’s his to win”…

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....