It was the economy, stupid
The turning point was the middle of September, coinciding precisely with the sudden intensification of the financial crisis after the failure of Lehman Brothers. But why has the growing financial and economic crisis worked so overwhelmingly to the Democrats’ advantage? ...
I suspect that the main reason for the dramatic swing in the polls is something less concrete and more meta than the fact that events have discredited free-market fundamentalism. As the economic scene has darkened, I’d argue, Americans have rediscovered the virtue of seriousness. ...
In a way, you can’t blame Mr. McCain for campaigning on trivia — after all, it’s worked in the past. Most notably, President Bush got within hanging-chads-and-butterfly-ballot range of the White House only because much of the news media, rather than focusing on the candidates’ policy proposals, focused on their personas: Mr. Bush was an amiable guy you’d like to have a beer with, Al Gore was a stiff know-it-all, and never mind all that hard stuff about taxes and Social Security. And let’s face it: six weeks ago Mr. McCain’s focus on trivia seemed to be paying off handsomely.
But that was before the prospect of a second Great Depression concentrated the public’s mind...
Indeed. And you know what?
If the Democrat Party had nominated the candidate who won the majority of Democratic votes in the primaries, we'd be in exactly the same position today* -- and Hillary would have been working the phones for HOLC as well as Hank Paulson's golfing buddies, unlike The Lightbringer.
Of course, Hillary might not have gotten Colin Powell's endorsement.
But so fucking what?
NOTE * Assuming the crisis wasn't timed, which I don't believe it was.