The cover of Time's election preview issue reads, "How a new breed of Republicans tapped into voter rage and upset the Establishment—but can they govern?" More pertinently, can half of the candidates on Time's cover win their elections?

So of the four candidates that Time grabbed for a photo on their presumed future victory laps — Meg Whitman (California governor), Marco Rubio (Florida Senate), Rand Paul (Kentucky Senate) and Christine O'Donnell (Delaware Senate) — zero of them are without their worries on election day. Rubio is by far the safest and likely to cruise, but if Kendrick Meek suddenly changes his mind again and decides to drop out and endorse Charlie Crist in the next, well, day or so, it could be close. Rand Paul hasn't fully shaken off Jack Conway, but the more recent polls suggest that he's solidifying a comfortable 5-10 point lead.

But Meg Whitman will most likely lose. Christine O'Donnell will lose. Perhaps Time was trying to reference these two candidates' earlier primary triumphs or whatever effect their campaigns have had on political discourse. (Btw, how does corporate billionaire moderate Meg Whitman count as an anti-"Establishment" candidate?) But this, the election preview issue cover, looks a helluva lot more like a post-election issue cover. So these candidates are getting a glowing advertisement on the cover of a major national magazine that midterm voters (old people) read cover-to-cover, days before the election. And it's free! Although Meg Whitman probably cut a $35 million check to Time anyway, just out of muscle memory.

[via Jason Linkins/Huffington Post]