Obama chided by nervous supporters to “get tough”

Obama may appear to be cool and collected on his feet, however, some of his more avid supporters are now going on the offense trying to persuade him to get tougher on McCain and take the fight through to the end.

Report from Yahoo News:

ELKO, Nev. – Worried Democrats want Barack Obama to get tougher, show more passion. Why is he so calm, supporters ask, so close to an election that looks so tight?

“Just keep steady,” Obama tells the nervous Nellies. “I’m skinny but I’m tough. I’m from Chicago.”

Obama hears the concern, from senior Democrats and big-money contributors, from columnists and supporters along the rope lines at campaign events. He heard it again as he stood in an hourlong receiving line in Hollywood to pose for pictures with donors who paid $28,500 to be with him Tuesday night.

“I know that a lot of you, just in conversations while we were in the photo lines, had all sorts of suggestions,” Obama said. “And a lot of people have gotten nervous and concerned. `Why is this as close as it is? And what’s going on?'”

“We always knew this was going to be hard, and this is a leap for the American people,” Obama said. “And we’re running against somebody who has a formidable biography, a compelling biography. He’s a genuine American hero, somebody who served in uniform and suffered through some things that very few of us can imagine.”

Urging Democrats not to worry about his cool demeanor, Obama said, “The reason I’m calm is I have confidence in the American people.”

But many of his supporters are upset that polls show the race is pretty much even, even with Obama running against a Republican who used to brag that he voted 90 percent of the time with the unpopular President Bush. The economy is teetering, and the country is still at war, but seven weeks from Election Day the race is far from the slam-dunk Democrats dreamed about.

And there does seem to be more bite in Obama’s daily remarks.

With unemployment rising and big financial firms failing, Obama and Republican rival John McCain both have pushed the economy to the front of their speeches. “The entire campaign has shifted,” Obama said.

He bought a two-minute television commercial to speak to voters on Wednesday, attempting to empathize with people struggling to pay for groceries, gas and health insurance. Taped in a living-room-like setting, Obama spoke directly to the camera and did not mention McCain.

This line is key: “The economy is teetering, and the country is still at war, but seven weeks from Election Day the race is far from the slam-dunk Democrats dreamed about

This campaign is close, much closer than Democrats predicted it would be based on the current issues facing Americans. So my exit question here is: Why?

Why is the race so close? What is McCain doing to keep it close? What is Obama not doing which would let me pull ahead?