Don't Call It A Comeback. Really. Don't.

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One thing I don't get about McCain pollster Bill McInturff's argument that McCain is poised for a comeback:

[H]aving had the great good fortune of working for John McCain on three Senate campaigns and now two presidential campaigns, here are two things I ALSO know for sure: 1) John McCain is a hard man to kill and I am the least surprised guy in the country that with even the smallest window of opportunity--as the focus on the financial crisis faded a bit--that he could make up ground and 2) the difference between these two candidates in terms of their preparation and capacity to serve as Commander-in-Chief is  profound, to McCain's considerable advantage, and that matters to the remaining voters here in the last few days of this election. [emphasis added.]

Now, it's true that the financial markets had a decent week, all things considered. But the actual economic news, as opposed to just financial news, keeps getting grimmer. The lead story in today's New York Times (sure to have been echoed in news reports around the clock) is the economy's third-quarter shrinkage amid a collapse in consumer spending. I can't imagine that the people who lose their jobs and homes as a result are going to feel so reassured because the Dow didn't crater this week. When discussing the "smallest window of opportunity," I'd put the emphasis on "smallest."

Oh, and by the way, my daily tracking poll average shows Obama ticking up significantly today. Any way you slice it--all eight trackers, all the trackers minus Zogby, all the trackers minus Battleground and IDB, which lag a bit--Obama has his largest margin since Sunday.

Credit where due: Zogby foreshadowed all three major inflection points (with apologies to you math majors) in the past week--the tighening last weekend, the stabilizing in the middle of the week, and the upward surge today.

Another place credit is due: Chicago, where whoever made the decision to air that half-hour infomercial has to feel pretty pleased. (To say nothing of the people who produced it.)

--Noam Scheiber

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