He was only winning after the Palin bounce, so I don't think it's the financial crisis, I think the Palin bounce ran out of helium and came crashing down. America has had a chance to watch & listen and found her unacceptable.
Americans love to rip apart their celebrities and expose all their flaws. We watched as Charlie Gibson tried to corner Palin-- and she did OK. I've watched Katie Couric corner her all this week with "gotcha" questions. How did her staffers get her to agree to the awkward on-the-street interview edited in with the sit-down interview? Worst series of interviews in the whole campaign so far.
I watched McCain visually flinch when Couric told him Palin said America might be on the road to the Great Depression without the bailout. "Well, it's not all that bad..." cringed McCain.
I watched Palin look out-of-place when talking to Hamid Karzai, event the news media was almost barred from by the McCain staffers.
She looks frightened, pressured, and weak.
Apparently, white Democratic women tried Palin out and found her not to their liking. They have returned to the party and will vote for Obama.
The women readership of mine might enjoy reading this Judith Warner op-ed (liberal alert!) where she compares Palin to the lead character in the Legally Blonde movies and concludes:
"Frankly, I’ve come to think, post-Kissinger, post-Katie-Couric, that Palin’s nomination isn’t just an insult to the women (and men) of America. It’s an act of cruelty toward her as well."