the surge is having a huge success in iraq and the iraqi and US gov'ts are talking about timetables for withdrawal.
that takes the iraq issue off the table for mccain and obama. no more talk of 100 years of war in iraq (this hurts mccain). and the fear that obama might screw up the progress we are seeing in iraq by prematurely pulling the troops out regardless of consequences is also diminished by the iraqi government's confidence in it's ability to govern the country and provide security for it's people that it is now openly talking of US troop withdrawal.
the issues now that will dominate in this election are the economy and gas prices (energy independence).
that's why mccain doubled down on being an outsider/reformer in his own party by picking sarah palin.