Democratic Socialists of America:

The breeders of overconfidence are at it again. In 2000 at about this time of the year, Al Gore had an eight-point lead in the polls. In 2004 the polls said that John Kerry had won the last debate.

The campaign has 18 more days to run, and progressives have to continue to work hard to elect the Obama/Biden ticket along with as many progressive Democrats as possible. We say this not because we think Obama is particularly progressive. We don't. But Obama in office will have to respond to the pressure of progressive constituencies while McCain in office will not. The goals that progressives are fighting for - passage of national health care legislation, passage of the Employee Free Choice Act - can only be achieved if a president is elected who will sign them into law.
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Overconfidence can manifest itself in many ways. Volunteers who ease up because "it's in the bag." Contributors who decide that the contribution they had been planning to send isn't necessary, because "he must have enough money by now." The swing-state voter who thinks that he or she can vote for a third party candidate now because everybody says "he is in." And of course the first time voter who ends up not voting because "we have already won the election."

The polls will tighten between now and the election. They always do and so far in this election cycle the late deciders have not gone Obama's way. And we know that there are some voters who simply will not vote for an African-American candidate. A McCain victory remains a frightening possibility in what has been an extraordinarily unpredictable year.

~ Frank Llewellyn

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