As things wrap up towards election day, both parties have pretty much solidified on their core issues: The GOP is featuring the "Terrorists are bad, h'mkay?" and "Speaker Pelosi!!!!!!" planks in its platform, while Democrats seem to be running the same old "Bush = Hitler" campaign from last election cycle.
While both the Democrats and Republicans have candidates out there playing to the nut-fudge fringe elements of their respective parties, it remains to be seen which way the real swing voters in America are going to go. You know the type: Unashamedly patriotic; loves Jesus in a public, but vague and non-denominational sort of way; afraid of gay cooties, but uncomfortable with blatant bigotry; moderately hawkish on foreign policy, but with a short attention sp... hey, are you done in Iraq yet? 'Cause that Kim guy with the missiles is scaring me; economically xenophobic and protectionist; distrusts big business and hates the rich.
These are the people who got Carter elected because he loved Jesus, and then went and voted for Reagan because Carter was wimpy, and possibly a com-symp. In most parts of the country they've remained with the Republicans ever since Reagan, because their social conservatism has thus far outweighed their populist economic views. (You'll note that Clinton won the first time 'round by playing the role of a centrist-to-moderately-conservative Southern Democrat.) I tend to think that as long as the Dems play too far to the left, these voters are going to stay with the GOP, however reluctantly. Some campaigns, like Harold Ford's, would indicate that there are Democrats who agree with that. The Senate race in Tennessee has mostly been an argument about who has a stronger tie to God, mom, and apple pie, and who hates terrorists more.