It would be remarkable, in any year, for a black Democratic candidate for president to be ahead in polls one week before Election Day. Even more remarkable is that it’s happening this year.
In 2004, after President Bush won re-election with expanded Republican majorities in Congress, academics, journalists and party strategists wondered whether his blend of free-market economics, cultural conservatism and hawkishness on national security might create long-lasting Republican rule.
“Something fundamental and significant happened,” said Ken Mehlman, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. On the eve of a second Bush term, he said, the Republican Party was “in a stronger position than at any time since the Great Depression.”