Commentary: Some candidates are crowd magnets, while others ...

Some questions, and attempts at answers, as the biggest, baddest Election Day ever draws near:

Q: Why doesn't John McCain draw crowds as big as Barack Obama's crowds?

A: For starters, Barack Obama is Barack Obama. He's popular. Not unlike Sarah Palin, who drew at least 10,000 in Springfield, Mo., on Friday. As for McCain...

So yeah, Obama's supporters turn out in droves. It's not a Democrat thing. John Kerry and Al Gore never drew his crowds.

Still, don't let the Obama crowds fool you: Missouri remains a coin flip.

Q: What's the big issue going to be on Nov. 5, the day after the election?

A: Man, I ask easy questions: Why doesn't Missouri have advance voting?

Folks, I've said it before: The lines on Nov. 4 are going to be breathtakingly long not only because of interest, but because of the long and complicated nature of the Missouri ballot this year. Lots of confusing ballot issues. And lawmakers eliminated one timesaver - straight-ticket voting.

Get this: 31 states (Kansas is one of them) allow no-excuse, in-person voting prior to Election Day, according to the Pew Center on the States.

Turnouts in states offering advance voting, including Colorado, Texas and Florida, have been enormous.

To read this complete column, visit The Kansas City Star.