Is it new direction and new ideas (change) or is it strength and experience?
Well, look at this pie chart based on the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. Lots of people want something new but "new" is still not able to claim a majority. "Strength and experience" wins by double digits.
Now, suppose the choice comes down to McCain v. Obama.
Obama seems to have cliamed the "new" mantle but it's doubtful that voters would pick him on the baisis on strength and experience. On the other hand, when people are asked about McCain, "strength and experience" are often the first two things they mention.
Now, look at the percentage of people (7%) who say they want both - new ideas and strength and experience.
That seven percent could be critical.
If a candidate has the strength and experience and he's able to convince voters that he could bring about the changes that they seem to want, then he's on his way.