The $700 billion bailout plan for imperiled financial institutions was defeated in the House this afternoon, sending stock markets plunging.

The impact on the campaign remains to be seen, but it is unlikely to be good news for the McCain campaign, who’s poll numbers have taken a considerable hit in the days since the first cracks in the dam started appearing two weeks ago.

Look for the Obama campaign to continue to paint the current economic mess on the policies of the Bush Administration, and then make the link that a vote for McCain is a vote for those policies.

McCain needs to tighten up his economic message, and try to bring Obama into the mess with him to keep the crack of daylight that has opened between them in this race from widening into full blown landslide mode.