The underdog

McCain says he’s going to pull the election out “in the last 48 hours.” What’s supposed to happen then?

I see John McCain is casting himself as the underdog and predicting he will pull the election out in “the last 48 hours.” That is, he’s conceding that his current disadvantage in the horserace polls is unlikely to be transient, and that Obama will stay in the lead most of the way.

I suppose that’s one way to keep your troops engaged in the face of bad numbers, but isn’t June a little early for desperation?

I’m also curious about what is supposed to happen in those last 48 hours. Is Senator McCain expecting his friend George Bush to bomb Iran, or is he hoping for the terrorist attack his manager Charlie Black said would be “a big advantage” for the campaign? Or is McCain going to ask one of his crazy preacher friends to work a miracle?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: