by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & A Wild Ride & r & & r & If you think the stock market has been crazy lately, just take a look at the state-by-state polling. While just a week ago it looked as if the fight for the White House would be decided in just a few swing states, the number of states -- big states -- in play has grown. Earlier this week, NBC News moved Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina -- 74 total electoral votes -- into the "toss up" category.
Remember that cute butterfly ballot in Florida -- you know, the one that confused Jewish retirees into voting for Pat Buchanan? Well, Palm Beach County -- ground zero for the 2000 presidential election debacle -- has replaced that outdated system. But they haven't exactly fixed the problem. During the primary election in August, the Palm Beach Post reported that the new optically scanned balloting system "lost" nearly 3,500 votes. Oops! This error was discovered during a recount, when a loser was declared a winner. Barack Obama and John McCain better get some good attorneys.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta points out that both doctors and airline pilots are required to share their medical histories with their employers, but presidential candidates are not. Earlier this year, John McCain let a handful of reporters review some 1,000 pages of his medical history. First of all, McCain has 1,000 pages of medical history?! Yikes! But Gupta, who was among those to review the records, says he had no idea what kind of order the documents were in and what was missing.
The big question -- a question taking on even more importance since the selection of Sarah Palin as president-in-waiting -- is how severe a case of melanoma he survived eight years ago. Gupta says the records indicated it was at stage 2a, but other reports quoted by the Huffington Post put it at stage 3b. "As a dermatologist, if I hear about a stage three melanoma, I say, 'My God, this guy is walking on nails here," Ronald Bronow, former chief of dermatology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A., told Huffington Post. At 72, McCain would be the oldest man to ever become president.
Still, Barack Obama -- who is a quarter-century younger than McCain -- has been even less forthcoming, sharing just a single-page review of his health history.