Is “Joe the Plumber’s” story starting to unravel?

Is “Joe the Plumber’s” story starting to unravel?

    Should the McCain team have vetted their new star?

In the tough world of the American election only eighteen days before polling anything that might be seen to give an advantage to one candidate or another is immediately picked over and studied to the nth degree to see if it is what it says it is.

Twenty four hours ago the big plus for the Republicans in the final presidential debate was “Joe the Plumber” who had confronted Obama last week on the campaign trial and whose name was mentioned more than 20 times by McCain in his effort to get a foothold on taxation and the economy. This was the high spot for the Republicans and one that challenged Obama.

Now the story about Joe has been put under the microscope by the New York Times and all might not be what it appears.

The paper notes: “..Turns out that “Joe the Plumber,” as he became nationally known when Senator John McCain made him a theme at Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate, may run a plumbing business but he is not a licensed plumber. His full name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. And he owes a bit in back taxes..An official at Local 50 of the plumber’s union, based in Toledo, said Mr. Wurzelbacher does not hold a license. He also has never served an apprenticeship and does not belong to the union.”

So what you might ask? Well if the McCain campaign is to regain traction then it needs something on which to base it. The fact that McCain mentioned Joe so often suggests that he was investing a lot in Joe’s story. Now its not so clear and the New York Times piece could just take away some of its potency.

With the overall outcome appearing more and more a forgone conclusion the betting focus is turning to individual states. Full state betting round-up here.

I am waiting until the post-debate voting intention polls start to appear before making any further moves. There might still be a McCain come-back and this needs to be watched.

Mike Smithson

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