The story (or non-story) for Jack Layton the last few days has been that he's "having trouble getting his message out." Of course, the media wastes time telling us this rather than, God forbid, delivering the message.
Part of the problem, it seems to me, is that a 3-way race (or 4 way or 5 way if you include the Bloc and Greens) makes for a less straightforward narrative than Red Vs. Blue. It reminds me of when I was a kid, sometimes in gym class we would play 3-way soccer. It was a novelty, but it never really worked that well. I think a lot of people who are tuned in to politics, particularly the papers and the TV stations, feel the the NDP is kind of just in the way of a good juicy two-side battle.
People prefer 2 choices to three. The challenge for Jack is to lump the other guys together as one choice, and him as the other.
As an aside, it kind of sucks that the power colours are taken, and we've got orange. Didn't green also used to be an NDP colour? You can't have it, Green Party. Orange AND green are ours. You can have Yellow!
Bring on the friggin' debates already!