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With the automotive industry treading water, voters have turned sharply in favor of Mr. McCain’s push for offshore oil drilling and a near-majority even favors drilling in the Great Lakes. That Mr. McCain and the Republicans have made a Democratic state like Michigan competitive is astounding. That he could win it, would be a stunning rebuke of Mr. Obama’s mercurial candidacy.

The national news media is still in the throes of Obamamania and hasn’t come to grips with the electorate’s growing lack of confidence in a young celebrity who until a few years ago was just another state lawmaker who was hardly qualified to be commander in chief.

Hillary Clinton’s haunting primary debate question that asked if he was ready to handle that 3 a.m. phone call in a national crisis is being echoed in John McCain’s campaign ad that asks “Is he ready to lead?” Now voters are asking themselves the same question.

Donald Lambro, chief political correspondent of The Washington Times, is a nationally syndicated columnist.