If the “Near Dead Heat” election in the US can teach Non-Tory politicians anything, it’s that the facts don’t really matter to the electorate. Anyone with a bit of sense can look at John McCain and say “cor, he looks old and he sounds a whole hell of a lot like Pres. Bush, I hate that guy!”
Let me elucidate, I know at least one HARD CORE Bush lover, by hard core, I mean he chose his friends using Love of Bush as a measure. He HATED John McCain until about 2007, when he suddenly gave up on his Bush Bro-mance and took on McCainiacism. The justification being that he finally noticed how awesome John McCain was.
John McCain has always been John McCain, he’s only more OBVIOUSLY John McCain these days and that seems to translate into “Totally Awesome” in the mind of many of the electorate. I do suspect that there is a good 15-20 percent “I’m not voting for a black guy” thing going on, which may have jumped to 25% after Palin was disgorged from the womb of Alaska, but a race this close doesn’t really make any sense.
Pres. Bush is polling somewhere in Reformed Child Molestor range; McCain is pretty much the Daddy of the party that birthed Bush, why do people believe that “more of the same” is really “change”? Because the McCain camp simply says it is so. Whatever the McCain camp says, they say it over and over and never waver, true or not.
That is the lesson the Non-Tory parties need to take; go hard, go again, and again and again. Keep it simple like “Free Health Care and Education” and “Even Lower Taxes” and so on.
Don’t bother with nuance or long term care, the majority of the electorate doesn’t look anywhere beyond Christmas in planning, why should the Election be about the future when all that matters to the electorate is how they are going to feed and clothe themselves next week.