So it’s another day and for Barack Obama and John McCain there are just five weeks more left before Americans vote to decide the next occupant of the White House.
The chart, based on the judgement of punters on the Betfair betting exchange says it all. Two weeks ago McCain’s chances of success based on his betting price were put at 45%. This morning they are about 28% – which is quite a drop.
However you look at it, by the polls or the betting prices, time is fast running out for the 72 year old senator from Arizona. Economics and business matters have never been his strong point and it’s his bad luck that a crisis on an unprecedented scale should have happened in this most crucial period.
But what if a deal is done when Congress resumes on Thursday? What if there’s a big bounce back on the markets? What if something else comes to dominate the campaign agenda? Could McCain still be in with a shout? Could his current price of 5/2 start to look like a bargain?
For the consequences of a global collapse are so dire that it’s hard to envisage the dissenting Republican congressmen continuing to hold out against voting for a solution, however unpalatable it might be to them. My guess is that they’ve gone to the brink and will return later in the week to support a re-packaged set of proposals.
And if that happens, and the markets soar once again that might just be the moment for McCain.
It’s going to be a nail-biting week and nail-biting month.