As Tuesday’s vote looms, all that’s certain is that today’s pollsters and pundits have so far gotten almost everything wrong. Mr. McCain’s campaign had been declared dead. Mrs. Clinton has gone from invincible to near-death to near-invincible again. Mr. Obama was at first not black enough to sweep black votes and then too black to get a sizable white vote in South Carolina.
Richard Goodwin knew in 1960 that all it took was “a single significant failure” by Kennedy or “an act of political daring” by his opponents for his man to lose — especially in the general election, where he faced the vastly more experienced Nixon, the designated heir of a popular president. That’s as good a snapshot as any of where we are right now, while we wait for the voters to decide if they will take what Mrs. Clinton correctly describes as a “leap of faith” and follow another upstart on to a new frontier.