He has had the discipline to stay on message and performs very well in front of a teleprompter. Obama's campaign is better organized and the candidate has looked very "Presidential" in all of the debates.
In general, McCain has suffered from the timing of the financial crisis and the unpopularity of the current Administration. The truth is that McCain has more than a 20% higher approval rating than George W. Bush. The fact that this is still a fairly close election in a Democratic year seems hard to believe, but that is what the pollsters say.
However, there has not been one public opinion tracking poll since early September that has indicated that Barack Obama has trailed in this election. Current polls in the major battleground states show Obama tied or slightly in the lead. In western states that usually vote Republican like New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado, Obama looks like he is well ahead and will probably win.
There is little doubt that if the election were held today, Barack Obama would become the next President of the United States in 2009. He will win next week if nothing changes between now and then. However, there is still one week to go in election 2008 and the last week of any Presidential Election can be the most volatile.
Remember in 2000, George Bush had his college record of DUI appear in the major media markets across the country. This revelation evaporated his four point lead in the polls over the last few days before the election and led to a surge by Al Gore that almost cost Bush the Presidency.
What can happen in the final days to change the outcome in election 2008? It probably would be an external event to the campaign. A foreign policy crisis or a national security event. A new revelation about Barack Obama, his background, his ideas or even dubious comments from his wife. There are certainly many different rumors in the blogosphere of damaging tapes containing information that will soon be released that could alter this race.
Indeed, we have entered the final days of the Election of 2008. So, bring a healthy dose of skepticism, and hold on tight because it may be a wild ride. In politics, it even has a name, its often called the October surprise.