Part of why the race looks stuck: "Mr. Obama, the first black major party presidential nominee, trails among whites by less than Democratic nominees normally do," John Harwood writes in The New York Times. "Whatever the cause, when combined with his two-to-one edge among Hispanics and his 10-to-1 edge among blacks, it has given him a national election-eve lead."
How Obama is closing: "In this 20-month long campaign I have seldom seen Obama bring the full power of his oratory to the biggest possible crowd his campaign can build. That is, until this week," Time's Jay Newton-Small writes. "As the long campaign nears the end, the campaign has stopped shying away from such huge audiences, and the crowds have been stunning: 100,000 in St. Louis, 75,000 in Kansas City, 100,000 in Denver, 45,000 in Fort Collins, Colorado, 50,000 in Albuquerque."
Bill Kristol writes that it still can come together for McCain: "It's possible. What if the polls, for various reasons, are overstating Obama's support by a couple points? And what if the late deciders break overwhelmingly against Obama, as they did in the Democratic primaries? McCain could then thread the Electoral College needle," Kristol writes in his New York Times column. "It's an inside straight. But I've seen gamblers draw them."
Bloomberg's Al Hunt names some winners (David Axelrod) and losers (Steve Schmidt), and nominates a new figures for loserdom: "Newt Kristorris, a composite of conservative pundits Newt Gingrich, Bill Kristol and Dick Morris. Kristol, the only one with an intellectual and moral compass, has had a tough year."
Is this spreading the wealth? "Senate Democrats were active in nine states where Republicans are running for re-election; House Democrats, meanwhile, bought advertising in 63 districts, twice the number of districts where Republicans bought advertisements and helped candidates," Carl Hulse reports in The New York Times. "House Democrats are taking aim at vacant seats and incumbents in suburban and even more outlying areas -- the traditional foundation of Republican power in the House."
Sais Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va.: "We are playing basketball in our street shoes and long pants, and the Democrats have on their uniforms and Chuck Taylors."
Palin 2012? (What does it say that she's flying home to vote?)
"The absentee ballot that has been on her plane for five days would be easier. Palin prefers to make the long trip home, where television footage at small-town polling place will underscore Palin's appeal as a frontier hockey mom who's revved up Republican conservatives," Bloomberg's Hans Nichols writes. Said Richard Land, of the Southern Baptist Convention: "She has star power. . . . The base identifies with her. That's the harmony. The melody is that she has a gift -- star power."
Romney 2012? (What does it say that he's still flying around for McCain?)
"[Former governor Mitt] Romney has been among the most active foot soldiers" for McCain, writes The Wall Street Journal's Elizabeth Holmes. "Come Tuesday, he will have hit nine states in the final five days of the election on behalf of the Republican presidential nominee. Since April, Mr. Romney has campaigned for candidates in 28 House races, five Senate races and a pair of gubernatorial ones. He has contributed more than $400,000 through his political-action committee, including help for about 80 Republican candidates, said Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom."