... and at the rate I am posting these days, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and so on.
Part of it has been the crush of work which has seen my on 11:00 p.m. conference calls twice this week (thanks!). Part of it's family, hobbies, life and laziness.
But part of it has been due to the fact that there are many political sites out - Huffingtonpost, Daily KOS, ThinkProgress, etc. - there that do a fantastic job and which already echo my sentiment. But since I will be in Finland next week for work and unable to closely follow the election coverage next Tuesday, I thought I would throw in my own early prediction.
To respond to Kate's and others' concerns about jinxing the election, let's face it -- this thing is entirely over. Non-partisan polling is leaning decidedly towards Senator Obama. Obama is a lock in the Northeast (PA, NY, NJ, ME, VT, DE, MD, CT, etc.), the West Coast (CA, OR, WA, HI) and the North Central (IL, IA, WI, MN, MI). Those states alone total 257 electoral votes.
This means that if Obama wins any of the following states, he will win: FL, VA, OH, CO, NV, NM, NC, or MO. And Obama has polling leads in each of those states. He has commanding leads (5%+) in OH, CO, NV, NM and narrow leads in former red states like NC and MO.
Will he win all of them? No. I still believe in the closet racist vote. But there's almost no way for McCain to win/cheat in all of those states.
So if they announce next Tuesday that Obama wins either Florida (2% pt lead) or Virginia (6% pt lead) as is currently expected, then the election will be all but over and we're headed towards a landslide. Even if not, Obama would have to lose the entire "middle" and that seems highly, highly unlikely.
I'm personally predicting a pretty sizable victory for Obama. By my calculations, Obama should end up with around 349 electoral votes -- and upwards of 364 or so if everything breaks his way -- which is more than Truman, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, or GWB got in their first term elections. Which is pretty amazing with all of the racism and false information being circulated these days. It's been so bad recently, that I decided to take a huge break from it all, so maybe it's a good thing I'll miss things next week. Anyway, get out and vote (although you probably already have) and watch CNN non-stop on my behalf.