The Year of the Underdog

It is really an interesting phenomenon that I’ve been observing for a while now. It started last fall with the most unusual of college football seasons because of all the upsets. Then it extended to the NFL where the New York Giants pulled one of the biggest upsets of Super Bowl history. How big was that upset? Vegas lost $40 million on that game alone.

It didn’t stop at football though–it extended into politics. Six months ago both Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton were the inevitable candidates for the parties. We all know what happened to Rudy—he won a whole zero delegates before dropping out. Just las summer, John McCain was seen getting on a Southwest flight to a campaign rally by himself with no staff, no rally, and no supporters. He was out of money and his campaign was written off by the media, the other candidates, and just about anyone except McCain himself. Now of course, he’s going to be the Republican nominee. The Democratic primaries were supposed to be a coronation for Hillary Clinton, but now she’s in the battle for her political life.


It seems that whenever a candidate is considered unbeatable, it is just at that precise moment that the candidate is quickly knocked back to earth. Just this week we noticed the same phenomenon happened to Barack Obama. Obamamania has been dominating the left. I haven’t seen this kind of bandwagon fanaticism since the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. But right when Obama won twelve straight contests, Hillary comes back and wins three of four in one day! This underdog phenomenon continues to go on and is hard to explain.

Whoever the Democratic nominee is will be considered inevitable by most to win the election in November. I also think that this presidential election is likely a win for the Democrats, but if there is anything that this year has taught us about the inevitable winners, nothing is a lock. As soon as anyone is considered inevitable is just the time when they are the most vulnerable.

McCain is likely going to fly under the radar for the next few months and will have the luxury of sitting back and enjoying watching Hillary and Obama lob political grenades at each other. The country is obsessed with the Democratic race and both candidates will be receiving intense media scrutiny for at least the next three months. McCain will largely be ignored until convention time when the attacks will expeditiously increase. This may lead to a certain amount of public sympathy for him as the underdog against an inevitable opponent, and there is a good chance we’re going to observe another colossal upset that has become so commonplace in the “Year of the Underdog”.


2 Responses

  1. McCain seems comfortable as the underdog. But Obama is going to have to convince a majority of us in November that we were better off in a world with Saddam Hussein. That’s a tall order. And that’s when McCain is at his best.

  2. I think that’s true, but McCain is also going to have to convince the Republican base that he is carrying the banner of conservatives. He can’t win this election by continuing to kick sand in the eyes of the base…he has to backtrack at some point. He can’t rely on our fear of Obama or Hillary to get him elected because it won’t work.

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