Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in presidential politics for Wednesday, October 8:
Watch to see what kind of message the McCain campaign chooses to drive today as the senator travels through Pennsylvania and Ohio with Palin by his side. At last night’s debate in Nashville, Sen. McCain chose not to engage on William Ayers or any of the other personal attacks that his campaign had started lobbing before the debate, particularly coming from Palin. Do they return to Ayers and other issues or do they move on in trying to cast Obama in negative terms?
Watch the financial markets — there’s a lot of turmoil out there, with the Dow down more than 500 points yesterday and the Fed announcing early today that it would lower a key interest rate by half a point in an unprecedented coordinated move with markets overseas. Watch to see how much that blots out news about the presidential campaign and how the two campaigns and candidates react. It’s very difficult for Sen. McCain to stage a comeback as long as financial news dominates over coverage of the presidential campaign.
Watch for evidence of how the presidential campaign is going, including more state polls, national polls or polls about the debate to see just how things are being framed. Certainly, the conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama is in a commanding position and there’s lots of data to support that. Watch to see if there’s more support for that theory and how the press treats it — particularly whether the press is open to this race being fluid or whether they starts to settle on a narrative that Obama has the race very much at hand.