In every political race, there is always a huge segment of the population that will vote Democrat or Republican – no matter what. These are the people who are politically asleep, only waking every four years to cast their ballot for their party’s nominee and then quickly slipping back into slumber. Somewhere along the line they’ve identified themselves as a life long Republican or Democrat and voting is more about verifying their identity then it is about politics. Every Democrat and every Republican candidate starts out with a core base in this demographic that just isn’t going anywhere else. The candidate who wins the election is usually the one who does the best job at scraping the remaining voters from the side of their political barrel and reaching out to the voters of the other party who lie in the middle ground where the parties intersect.

Barak Obama had his fringe vote locked up from the beginning. The hard core Left will not vote for McCain and Palin – ever. Even the feminists who are angry that Hillary is not the nominee are not going to cast their vote for a Pro-Life McCain just because he chose a woman. Abortion will ever be a wedge issue and they will vote Obama or stay home.

From the beginning the question about McCain was whether or not he could pull in the far right. That question has been answered. The love fest that was the RNC this week showed how united and enamored the GOP has become with McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin. Many votes cast in November for McCain will be proxy votes for Palin. Conservatives of every flavor will have visions of a Palin presidency in 2012 when they step into the voting booths of 2008. McCain has proven he has the Republican political barrel all to himself. No way, no how Barak pulls a single Republican vote except possibly in Florida where they can’t read ballots – but then again, that was mostly Democrats who didn’t know how to spell G-O-R-E.

So the final question remains, who will win the race for the middle? The answer: most likely John McCain. He has always been the moderate’s, moderate. The very things about McCain that alienate the Right, will appeal to many in the middle. With Palin watching his back, he is free to swing for the swing vote. And he will get it. Take all the chatter we keep hearing about the Hillary supporters who are thrilled McCain chose a woman. Make no mistake, its not all eighteen million supporters, not all of them were women and as stated before, the hard core feminists will not swing over. But of those that remain, there might be enough votes to make a difference and they are coming straight from the race for the middle. These will be the women who fall into that no-man’s land (pun intended) between the two parties. They will be the moms who lean left and would love to see a woman in the White House – eventually. They will be the women who give lip service to the Pro-Choice movement but are not radical about it. They would prefer a Pro-Choice candidate, but it won’t stop them from voting for a Pro-Lifer, just like many Republicans would still have voted for Rudy Giuliani even though he is Pro-Choice.

The issues that will win the war for the middle will be the economy and national security in that order. McCain has the national security issue all to himself and while it is the second most important issue in the race, it is still a big one. As for the economy, neither candidate has strong economic credibility and we will have to see how this issue plays out over the next few weeks. But for now, its looking more and more to me that the vote from the middle is slipping away to John McCain.