A day before the presidential election there are very few metrics from which the McCain campaign can take encouragement. The Republican is down in every national poll, and most polls in battleground states have Democrat Barack Obama ahead as well. So where are Republicans taking solace? I scoured the conservative blogs and news sites to find out.

 

“For many conservatives, the central question about Election Day is: How bad will it be?” That’s from the editors at National Review, who encourage conservatives to look for upsides “down the ballot” Tuesday.

And by down the ballot they don’t even mean Senate and Congressional contests, they’re talking about ballot initiatives. Conservatives hold out some hope for ballot questions on issues like gay marriage, stem cell research and abortion.

 

RedState’s Erick Erickson noted that he was shellacked by some of his conservative friends for predicting a narrow Electoral College win for Barack Obama in the Washington Post on Sunday. So, he reassessed his prediction slightly, positing that the race hinges on Pennsylvania..

“Here is where I stand two days before the election: if McCain wins Pennsylvania, he's the President. If McCain loses Pennsylvania, he is not the President. It's that simple.”


Elsewhere on RedState, there’s not much in the way of Election Day predictions, but Dan McLaughlin does predict that if Obama makes it to the White House, he will be haunted by his early years in Chicago politics.


On The Next Right, Patrick Ruffini leaves the door open for McCain to pull “out a miracle” Tuesday. But he already seems to be turning his focus to the future…


“Win or lose, Tuesday will be an opportunity to gauge which states are moving in and out of our orbit. And thanks to the plethora of state polling, we have a better idea in advance of which states are becoming more or less Republican relative to the rest of the country.”


And the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes already appears to be explaining away a McCain defeat

“Yet when the [economic] crisis began, McCain was 2,3,4, or 5 points ahead of Obama, depending on the poll. Within weeks, he was 4,5,6, or 7 points behind. This is proof that politics is unfair. But politics, like life, has always been unfair. The point to consider is whether a presidential race so affected, even decided, by an outside event should be considered great. Answer: It shouldn't.”

 

So are there any bold predictions of a McCain upset Tuesday? Rush Limbaugh was the only one I could find.

Shane D'Aprile is web editor at Politics magazine. sdaprile@politicsmagazine.com