WARNING: Political Discussion Ahead
The high percentage of voters out there supporting McCain don't seem to know much about his history or his positions. His nebulous and constantly flip-flopping ways actually help him keep everyone guessing what he's for or against. These people are not willing to spend a lot of time thinking about the man, his positions, or what will happen if he actually is elected.
It is these same people that don't associate bush with McCain as "the same" and they hear rumors and innuendo about Obama on a regular enough basis to actually believe them no matter how ridiculous. I've talked to a few and they honestly tried to argue he's a secret Muslim born in another country that doesn't care about wounded troops and who wants only to be the worlds #1 liberal, raising taxes for all and to turn America into a socialist state. And you know what, if confronted with factual statements and arguments to the contrary they withdrawal but they don't abandon their positions.
Right now it's like arguing to a bunch of people who believe the world is flat (in the days since actually going to the moon), and no matter how much evidence you show them, no matter what you try to argue, nothing gets through.
So are these people acting on blind faith?
Do they actually believe that McCain will be different from Bush in any kind of meaningful way? Do they at least believe in McCain's positions, or him as a person?
If these people ARE acting on blind faith, that poses a big problem. Faith can't be reasoned with. You can't disprove faith. And even when your about to die as a direct consequence of a false belief in something, faith endures to the end. That's a powerful thing, both beautiful and deadly. And if that's why people still support McCain after all of his revealings so-far, that's going to make it hard to win any ground there.
But what I think is actually showing here is that many of the people McCain is calling supporters are simply afraid of Obama, even though many of those would actually stand to benefit from his positions directly and in-directly. These people don't invest time or thought into politics and may nebulously pick-up who's better and who's worse without opening a newspaper or turning on a political show.
They get their opinion by following the pack around them, who are bunches of the same like-minded people. They aren't the type to have a lot to argue about intelligently, and can't defend against the blatantly untrue statements made against Obama. Even if they were leaning toward Obama, the battle is being lost in that fickle group.
I think the debates, and probably most importantly the first one, will make or break that demographic. Right now they don't care so much for their political position. It isn't time to make up their minds and they're not interested in "supporting" any side strongly. The bulk of their political positions are probably coming from short off-hand comments about one candidate or the other.
If Obama wants to rack up poll points from this demographic (which I fear is much larger than I want to admit) before the debates, he needs a simple talking point that can be said in a few short words (even when paraphrased badly) that is recognized as true by just about everyone and that works to his favor. Something like an accomplishment that is uniquely his and puts the throw-down on anything McCain has done before.
You'll have to use your imagination on what that could be. Maybe if Obama brokered an arrangement (acting as a senator) that helped the economy in some way? Perhaps by leveraging his huge support overseas to entice world leaders to make a deal with the US Senate?
Anyhow, I can only hope that these people are not acting on blind faith in the GOP because the only way to win against blind faith is direct and unavoidable exposure to reality. Unfortunately, as it turns out, reality is pretty avoidable.