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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

It’s important to reinforce what Nate wrote Sunday night. Not gonna happen. It would be overt surrender. As most of you know, I’ve been on the road for the past three weeks, so far visiting at least a dozen McCain campaign offices in six battleground states as well as Palin’s first solo rally in Carson City, Nevada. If McCain dumps Palin, it is over.

In the Colorado Springs volunteer office, “you could hear a pin drop” in the days before Palin was picked. In Reno, the volunteering had been anemic; the Saturday morning after the Palin pick, organizers arrived to an early morning volunteer line waiting at the door.

Our direct observation shows McCain is being overwhelmingly outworked on the ground as it is; take Palin away and you can add 2-5% to Obama’s total in every close state due to ground game. As Bill Paxton once said, “Game over, man, game over!”

There really isn’t much more to say. It’s already the Obama v. Nobama election – you overhear it in all the volunteer-to-volunteer discussions. “Obama Scares Me” is not just the unofficial motto, it’s actually a button we’ve seen sported.

But that’s not good enough to win. Bush v. Not Bush didn’t turn out well for Democrats, and Obama v. Nobama in a huge partisan ID switching and massive new voter reg year isn’t going to get the job done for Republicans.

Taking away Sarah Palin is not an option – it would be worse than having never put her on the ticket in the first place. This ticket is soldiering on til the bitter end, or else they’re giving up.

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