Obama-McCain: Who Will Win the Town Hall Debate?

The next debate is tomorrow night, and millions are waiting with baited breath to see what will happen. Will Obama warm to the crowd? Will McCain continue to show disdain for his opponent? Will either make a game-changing gaffe? Behind in the polls, it’s clearly up to McCain to DO something; he’s going to have to do some fancy footwork to leap ahead. But will he be able to do it?

If he’s hopeful of doing so, the stars tell a different story. Right now we are in the middle of a Mercury retrograde period, when Mercury appears to travel backward through the zodiac. In fact, we could call these the “Mercury retrograde debates”, because all of them occur while Mercury is retrograde. What’s more, the first debate occurred as Mercury turned tail and the last debate happens as it returns to forward motion.

Such planetary periods establish a theme that can be detected in the political arena as well — one that colors events from August 28 through the morning of November 4. The key word for this theme is authenticity. Voters (and the candidates) are learning to recognize the difference between truth and appearances, and with the economy in catharsis it’s a steep learning curve.

The Candidates and Mercury Retrograde
It is possible to see how each candidate will fare during this Mercury period by looking at where it falls in their birth charts. In Obama’s chart, it makes no difficult contacts to his natal chart (trining his Aquarius Ascendant), so it should not be greatly troubling. What’s more, on the last two Mercury retrogrades (February and June), he did very well: He overtook Hillary Clinton in the primaries in February, and in June she conceded.

It’s a different story in McCain’s chart. Mercury is making difficult contacts to points that have to do with his identity (Ascendant) and reputation (Midheaven). While stretching the truth is common in political campaigns (and, sadly, so is outright lying), it is worth noting that McCain seems to be more concerned with saying what he wants voters to believe instead of what is true. While the Obama campaign is not innocent of prevarication, the number of falsehoods coming from McCain, Palin, and their surrogates is unusually high. This seems to be backfiring in the media and among the public. In my presentation "Who's Gonna Win," I was off by one (astrologically insignificant) day when I predicted that a critical day for McCain would be the 14th. The 15th is when he said that “the fundamentals of the economy are strong”. These were days when a difficult pattern in his birth chart was being contacted heavily, and he did not handle it well.

Debates #1 and #2
So the context for the debates is the search for authenticity. It is not surprising then that Sarah Palin’s performance was generally viewed with disfavor, since she focused on responses that were high on winks and rehearsed talking points, and low on credibility. The voters are looking desperately for real answers to their real-life problems.

Within the context of authenticity, each debate has its own planetary fingerprint, and its outcome can be discerned by examining it and its connections with the charts of the candidates. In Debate #1, the planets showed favor for both candidates. The Moon represents the public, so its position in early Virgo made contact with both candidates’ birth charts (McCain’s Sun and Obama’s Pluto). This suggested that the focus would initially be on differences in style, but that substantive differences in substance would emerge later. This was in fact the case; McCain was imperious, while Obama’s quiet authority on the facts eventually won the day.

In the vice-presidential debate, the Moon is again important. It was in late Scorpio and void of course, meaning that it was in a “no-man’s land” where it was done making contacts with any planets until it changed signs. However, this Moon made a very harmonious contact with Biden’s birth chart (Sun and Venus) and a difficult contact to Palin’s (Sun-Saturn-Mars). This told me that Biden would win handily, but the polls and public opinion would not be substantially affected. There was a slight up-tick for Obama-Biden after the event, but that could be due to the economy.

The Town Hall Debate
Now, as Debate #3 looms, what can we expect? This time the Moon is in Capricorn, and once again it is void of course। This tells us that the debate will have no affect on the campaign. However, it’s placement in Capricorn does contact the birth chart of each candidate (Obama’s Saturn and McCain’s Moon). In this case, Obama wins again because Saturn is stronger in Capricorn than is the Moon. Obama will present substance, structure, and reassurance. He will show leadership and confidence. McCain may seem defeated, emotional, and pessimistic. With Moon in Capricorn, the mood will be somber and serious. Watch for the media to use these words and their synonyms as they provide post-debate analysis.

The most important debate is the last one on October 15. It has the potential to have the most influence of all the debates. For more on the final debate and other thoughts on the campaign season, stay tuned.