Ramesh Ponnuru is:

I would not at all be surprised if Bush gains a lead on Kerry soon — and the Dowd line is abandoned. The country is pretty evenly divided on a lot of questions, but that fact does not preclude an election being essentially decided early (as the 1996 election was).

If a Bush lead opens, expect another piece of conventional wisdom to come under scrutiny: the notion that this election will necessarily “be close” as well as “go down to the wire.” I see no reason in principle to rule out the possibility that Bush will win with 53 to 54 percent of the vote. Since nobody has won an absolute majority of the popular vote for president since 1988, that would be a landslide.