There has been much ballyhoo from the right wing blogosphere (including this one) regarding a number of issues that seem material to the assessment of Barack Obama including: his birth certificate; his connection to voter fraud organisations such as ACORN; his associations with a veritable Rogues' Gallery of unsavoury characters including Rezko, Ayers, Wright and others; and, recently, the possibility that he had an affair with some woman who has been paid to 'disappear' to the Bahamas.
Much as I agree that Obama is an unknown entity and therefore it is quite legitimate to investigate his acquaintances in order to better understand who he is the problem is that the mainstream media, for the most part, is not interested in upsetting the Obama apple cart having abrogated their journalist integrity through the Democratic primary phase, and Joe and Jill Public simply aren't interested in hearing negatives about the candidates. Instead, they are looking for a candidate with the best sounding answers to the current issues facing the country.
I have said it before and I'll repeat it again now - the public opinion polls are not reflecting the size of the lead that Obama actually enjoys. Current polls are showing that he has an advantage in the 4-7 point range.
I'd suggest that it's much higher than that and I'll tell you why.
Consider the following graph from Betfair's next president market:
With nearly $17 million in matched bets Obama is $1.21 to win, which is an implied chance of around 81% to McCain's 19%.
I have spent many years looking at the correlation between opinion polling and betting markets.
In my opinion, if Obama's lead is really the 51-45 that Rasmussen gives him or the 50-43 from Gallup then the prices would look more like: Obama $1.45 (implied chance around 70%) to McCain $3.30 (30%), especially given that McCain will do well with independents.
That's still a healthy gap so why do I believe that there is more support for Obama than being reflected in the polls?
Because, in my experience, a price of around $1.20 indicates a significant component of 'insider trading'.
That is, people with access to internal polling data are betting on the outcome of the election and are confident enough to have backed Obama in from $1.30 to $1.20 at the same time as the mainstream media started to ask questions about his association with Bill Ayers.
That sort of confidence can only come from people in the know.
Which is why I think that the opinion polls are wrong, that Obama's lead is probably more like 12-15% and that McCain needs to pull a huge rabbit out of his hat in order to win this election.