Why do you think people support Obama?
You assert that there is essentially no difference in qualification for the presidency between Obama and Palin.
To support this assertion, you further assert that only "hardcore leftists" view Obama as "an extraordinary statesman and intellectual".
Therefore, you must either believe that most Obama supporters are "hardcore leftists," or you must believe that most Obama supporters do not view Obama as "an extraordinary statesman and intellectual."
Furthermore, the former case must not be true, as you draw a distinction between "hardcore leftists" and "the general population," and as Obama is polling over 40% most of this support must be coming from "general population" if there is to be a meaningful distinction between them and "hardcore leftists."
Therefore, you must believe that most Obama supporters do not view Obama as "an extraordinary statesman and intellectual."
So, what I'm asking you, is why do you think they support him? Why did he win the Democratic Party nomination from Hillary Clinton?
This is a rhetorical question of course. I submit that they, and by definition, the general population, do, in fact, think Obama is "an extraordinary statesman and intellectual" and that is precisely why they support him, and I further assert that Palin is not reasonably viewed in the same light, but if you can provide an alternate explanation for why a significant percentage of the general population supports Obama, I'm all ears. Bonus points if you can demonstrate that Palin shares equivalent qualities.
RE: The election is basically over.