It has to be fiction. As if the OBL tape wasn't a blatant attempt to ratchet up the tension, Rehnquist's fatal illness is the last straw.
And it's not just fiction: the scriptwriter is a formula hack who is blatantly pulling the strings, which means that the underdog is going to win and the good guys will pull it out in the end.
Kerry, in the mud, by three lengths or more and going away.
(Y'all remember how well my Derby predictions usually pan out, dontcha?)