Can Obama Win the Red States?

The Washington Post examines Barack Obama's prospects in November of winning the red states.

While Obama has shown an ability to reshape voting patterns, his record in the primaries suggests that he still has a ways to go in making significant inroads in Republican states.

The red states where he has won have tended to be in the Deep South, where victories were based on overwhelming support from African Americans, or in mostly white states in the Midwest and West, where he relied on a core of ardent backers to carry him in caucuses, which favor candidates with enthusiastic supporters. He has not fared as well in areas that fall in between, with populations that are racially diverse but lack a black population large enough to boost Obama to victory.

Tennessee is an example of the possible limits to Obama's broader appeal:

McWherter, the former Tennessee governor, said the results in his state clearly showed the limits of Obama's appeal. Obama won the big cities, where Democrats are mostly African American. He also won Williamson County, an affluent Nashville suburb that has voted heavily Republican in recent years, suggesting that Obama might pick up crossover support from wealthy Southerners in the fall.

But, McWherter noted, Obama lost the rest of the state.

I think it's too early to say how Obama would do in November. Personally, I think his novelty will wear off and people will start looking for substance. If he's the nominee, I hope they find it.

Update: Obama does have some Republican supporters.

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    The Republicans obviously (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by MarkL on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:00:08 PM EST
    consider Obama to be the weaker Democratic candidate, which is why he is getting their votes in the primaries.
    One more piece of evidence: the almost total absence of chatter about Obama's cocaine use. Hello???
    Did you think they forgot?
    Now, personally I think the reason Obama will be crushed by McCain is the experience issue, plus ability to command the military. I only mention the drug use to show how the Republicans must be salivating at the prospect of Obama's candidacy.

    check this out (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by MarkL on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:12:28 PM EST
    Totally delusional (none / 0) (#5)
    by Seneca on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:08:02 PM EST
    Delusional to think that, somehow, republicans and independents are all conspiring to vote for Obama because they think he is the easier out in November. Thousands and thousands of republicans and independents all coordinating to go out of their way to vote for Obama.

    Tell me in your next blog about the Roswell UFOs, and crop patterns...


    Delusional? The Republican party (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by MarkL on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:09:24 PM EST
    is encouraging Republicans to vote for Obama in the primaries. Who's delusional? Not me.

    don't mock (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:09:30 PM EST
    other commenters, you won't last long here. Read the comment rules.

    Unfortunately, (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by hvs on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:23:22 PM EST
    mocking is all too common.

    you also fail to address the point (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by MarkL on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:10:12 PM EST
    I made about drug use. Do you REALLY think Republicans don't care? Obviously they do, and they will hammer Obama about cocaine use 24/7 if he is the nominee.

    Well (none / 0) (#68)
    by marcellus on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 06:15:28 AM EST
    Seeing as they elected a suspected cocaine user the past two elections maybe they don't have a problem with cocaine??  
    Plus our candidate admitted that he made a mistake in  his own book, turned his life around with impressive academic accomplishments, is infinitely more intelligent, is able to speak with coherent sentences(or heck, even words), and didn't get everything handed to him based on name recognition.  So, I think I'll take a chance with Obama.

    <Mark Penn> Cocaine </Mark Penn>


    Look at the negatives (none / 0) (#93)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:28:52 AM EST
    There are high negatives towards H. Clinton. Certainly, not all of them are fair or deserved, but they are there on the conservative side of the ledger. By default that makes Obama a stronger candidate with moderate Republicans and independents.

    H. Clinton's campaign strategy of ignoring red states hasn't helped her either.

    Ultimately, a lot of things will happen between now and November to determine who wins what state, most prominently what happens to the economy. McCain is hopelessly strapped to the mast of the Good Ship Bush and all it brings. There are plenty of unDemocrats ready to leave all that behind. Obama's populism is a better sell than Clinton's competence.


    Obama populist? (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by RalphB on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:07:07 AM EST
    Dude, stop just making stuff up as you go along.  That's ridiculous.

    He's not making stuff up (1.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Mystic55 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:46:57 PM EST
    Let's see if I can get this link thing to work.



    The people that would have cared (none / 0) (#116)
    by MarkL on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:56:57 PM EST
    about bush's drug use didn't know about it.
    His campaign worked very hard to keep that only a rumor. In fact, his story proves my point.

    I read an article in a Wisconsin online paper... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by BrandingIron on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:26:47 PM EST
    ...where they interviewed a Republican woman during the primary day and she said that plainly that she was voting for Obama because she doesn't want the Republicans to face Hillary.  Plain and simple, in black and white.  If you need proof, you'll have to give me a few, because I don't have the link right now (but I did allude to it somewhere in my many blogs).

    Press replete with those interviews here (none / 0) (#43)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:51:36 AM EST
    and comments on jsonline.com, conservative blogs in the "cheddarsphere" (yes, we truly call it that), etc.  I won't go into it all again, but . . . I just hope that we can keep Wisconsin blue in fall.  What we saw this week is no predictor of that at all.

    Cream I wish you would (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 08:56:21 AM EST
    go into "all that" again and again. There are a lot of people that don't understand what happened in Wisconsin and thus will not understand when it happens, and I believe it will, in Texas.

    You and I know that most of those cross-over Republican voters will NEVER vote for Obama in a general. Deluded Obama supporters believe and hope they will. Based on what we know, not what we hope, I fear that our Lively Purple State will go Red in a General Election if Obama is the candidate. Not saying it won't happen with Hillary, just saying that if Obama and his supporters are counting on those cross-overs in a general, they will be excrement out of luck.


    If they crossed over (none / 0) (#94)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:30:34 AM EST
    If they all crossed over to vote for Obama, how will they ever vote for Clinton?

    Point is (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:25:45 PM EST
    That they won't vote for ANY Democrat in a general election.

    Thanks, KMarge -- (none / 0) (#114)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:30:49 PM EST
    I'm just so weary of stating the obvious.  This poster is just not interested in nuance, either.

    there are those who are (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by facta non verba on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:31:23 PM EST
    as evidenced by this mea culpa


    read the comments. more than one in Virginia did in fact vote for Obama with no intention of voting for him in the general. The woman from Virginia Beach is priceless. She thought Obama was a "committed Marxist" but voted for him anyway because this might be her only chance to strike at Hillary.


    no one cares about that (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:23:50 PM EST
    least of all the authors of this site. That is just not a valid reason to oppose him or think he can't win.

    Jeralyn, do you really think (none / 0) (#21)
    by MarkL on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:33:44 PM EST
    Republicans will not play up the drug use ---heavily---if Obama is the nominee?
    Of course they will. The fact they do not mention it now is the dog that doesn't bark.

    I agree with you (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by MMW on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 07:16:43 AM EST
    This is my first time posting though I am an avid reader of this blog. There are many here that represent my views much more adequately than I could, so I don't usually feel the need to post.

    MarkL, I agree with you completely. As a teenager one of my older brothers was heavily addicted to cocaine. He had been the cool one. The one I made sure everyone knew was my brother because that would somehow make me cool.

    The drug use was so transformative that he became unrecognizable. As he descended further into addiction, I personally entered into a fear spiral, fear that he would OD, fear of what he would do next to get drugs, fear of being alone with him and he attacked me for money. It was terrible and all the time remembering who he used to be became harder.

    Thankfully he's turned his life around, and I will be forever grateful to the woman that helped him do it.

    But if he were running for President I could not support him. I would feel like I'm legitimizing what he did because it is inspirational that he turned his life around.

    I keep having visions in my head of speaking to my son about drug use and his rejoinder being "well the President did it, so it can't be as bad as you make it out to be," if Obama becomes President. I can't go through that again. I would not wish it on anyone.

    Besides the fact that I think Hillary Clinton would be the best prepared President to take office, I cannot support Barrack Obama.

    I don't think there should be a glass ceiling for women or African Americans but I believe there should be a ceiling for drug users and dealers.


    Past drug use is irrelevant, of course (none / 0) (#76)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 07:45:27 AM EST

    The Puritanical attitude toward self-medication exhibited in American society is an aberration; all human societies throughout history (and apparently throughout pre-history as well) have engaged in self-medication for a variety of reasons.      Even this society engages in it on a massive scale, but for political reasons attempts to draw a distinction between Cosmopolitans and marijuana, between Prozac and coke, as part of a long-history of fatuous denial extending from "Reefer Madness" through the vile Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" and into the appallingly stupid drug policies still in place today.  (There is, by the way, an excellent article on absolute failure of those policies here.)

    If "no drug use" is going to be used as a litmus test for candidates, then I must report that the available pool is about to shrink drastically, as everyone who's ever been to a college kegger, passed around a joint at a concert, etc. will be eliminated.  This will have the collateral effect of disqualifying most of those who attended colleges and universities -- with the possible exceptions of those who did so at repressive institutions such as Bob Jones "University".

    This approach is, of course, extremely foolish.  It presupposes that those who are sober (or choose your preferred term) will magically turn out to be  better decision makers -- and we have seen, repeatedly, there is no evidence to substantiate that myth.  There is, however, ample evidence to buttress the assertion that entirely (currently) sober leaders have turned out to be imbeciles -- I give you George W. Bush, worst president in the history of the United States.  (I must reluctantly relegate Nixon to the #2 spot.)

    Personally, I don't care if our next President takes a break every afternoon at four, not for tea, but for cocktails and a Roman orgy in the Rose Garden.   I care whether our next President can run the country, and whether he/she has a fighting chance of digging us out of the massive hole the current administration has put us in.  So far from concerning myself with Senator Obama's ancient experimentation, I don't care if he's lighting up before every campaign speech (just as I don't care if Senator Clinton is having a cold one before hers).  This is a non-issue -- mere gossip, unworthy of anyone above the minimal intelligence level of "devoted Fox news viewer".


    A couple points (none / 0) (#80)
    by MMW on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 08:44:07 AM EST
    The predilection for seeing things as either Puritanical behavior or all out extreme acceptance of all else, tends too often to not consider that there are degrees in between. Your supposition and classification of everything as drugs could be extended to self medication with food, exercise, vitamins, over the counter flu medications, allergy drugs, etc. We can and do over do quite a bit.

    To also imply that anything that has been done for centuries is therefore acceptable to continue regardless of the detrimental effects, shows a marked lack of what evolution and civilization entails.

    It is clearly within your right to accept whatever behavior you wish, including your candidate's, offspring's, friend's, boss's "experimentation" with hardcore drugs. I have never done any of those, neither has my husband, neither did the majority of my friends in college. Sorry to disappoint you. Just because you and yours did does not indicate that the same is true of others.  

    George Bush is an addict. My understanding of twelve step programs is once an addict always an addict. Continued vigilance for and against the addictive substance is preached. Yes, he is the worst president in history and he is an addict.


    Good points, but... (none / 0) (#88)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:31:20 AM EST

    ...this hasn't just been the case for centuries, it's been the case for untold millenia.  It will continue, regardless of my views or your views or anyone else's views, most likely for untold millenia to come: any shift in underlying biology that will change that will take a very long time to occur.

    Sure, the chemicals will change, from laudanum to Everclear and peyote to Chardonnay, but self-medication will continue -- in the face of prohibitions and criminalization and everything else that's futilely deployed to stop it.  Mere societal barriers are not going to be effective against something that's wired into our DNA.  (And what's a "hardcore" drug?  Bud Lite? Ambien? tobacco? Advil? or the endorphins that kick in around mile 5?  Personally, I see a continuum, not a sharp dividing line, so I'm very reluctant to draw one and classify those on one side as somehow different from those on the other.)

    As to "twelve-step programs", they're an artificial contrivance -- so any claims they make should be considered specious until/unless backed up with thoroughly peer-reviewed research (which some have, and some haven't).  I remain at this unconvinced of the merits of the assertion that addiction is permanent -- I see evidence on both sides of the argument and consider it an open question.

    As regards personal experience, I've been at several universities as student and staff, and have observed roughly the same kind of experimentation at all of them.  Yes, of course, I  noted some folks who never indulged in anything stronger than apple cider; but they were few and far between.  (Of course, there were folks at the other end of the scale who began their day with bong hits.)  Nearly everyone was somewhere in the middle -- which is one of several reasons why I find this topic unworthy of serious discussion in a presidential campaign...unless someone wants to argue that one of the candidates is currently so stoned/blotto/whatever that it affects their ability to govern.  I don't see any   evidence of that yet.  (And that includes W.  I don't think he's high, I just think he's an idiot.)


    Well some do not agree (none / 0) (#83)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:02:18 AM EST
    "This is a non-issue -- mere gossip, unworthy of anyone above the minimal intelligence level of "devoted Fox news viewer".

    That seems like a pretty vitriolic response to people who simply do not agree with you. But then insulting some-one's intelligence for having other opinions is not something reasonably intelligent people would do.


    You're correct, it is rather harsh (none / 0) (#91)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:55:02 AM EST

    I intended it to be so.  Those who concern themselves with the minutiae of a candidate's persona are best served by watching "Entertainment Tonight" or checking out TMZ.  These are not appropriate topics for serious political debate, most certainly not at a time when we have real problems to deal with.

    That means that I choose to ignore those who rail at Senator Clinton's sharper side or question Chelsea's campaigning just as much as I ignore those who carp about Senator Obama's rhetoric and  dissect Michelle's senior thesis and just as much as I ignore everyone who's caught up in the sublimely ridiculous "plagiarism" non-issue.  I'm far more concerned, for example, about the nuances of their respective health care plans -- something that both of them have clearly put considerable effort into, and something that actually matters.  I'm interested in hearing their proposed approaches to Cuba (now timely), their plans for Iraq withdrawl, their views on taxation, and so on.  These are actual, substantive issues that matter.  And given that we have in front of us something relatively scarce -- two candidates of formidable intelligence -- I don't believe we should squander the opportunity fretting over trivia.

    So yes, if you detect a strong note of contempt in my characterization of those who are focused on gossip, you read me correctly.  I don't suffer fools gladly.


    You (none / 0) (#110)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:27:20 PM EST
    may not suffer fools gladly, arrogance anyone, but politicians rely on them.

    I am focused on reality. (none / 0) (#115)
    by MarkL on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:42:51 PM EST
    The reality is the Obama's admitted cocaine use is a substantial negative, politically speaking.

    No (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by facta non verba on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:16:54 PM EST
    I don't think he can. Can he win Ohio is the better question.

    I don't discount the fact that Obama can win the popular vote, at least a plurality but I doubt a majority. 47% to 49% seems right. But the GOP can win the Electoral College with say 42-44% of the vote?

    Possibly. Richard Nixon did. It was a three person race but it may be possible even if the third party candidate takes votes in some swing states like Ohio and Wisconsin.

    Florida is lost. McCain will take at least 40% of the Hispanic vote. And people seem to overlook the Asian-American vote which while still small will be critical in California. The Vietnamese-American community adores McCain and the larger Chinese-American community finds him more attractive than other GOP hopefuls. Ditto the Korean-American community. Is that enough to put California in play especially if Nader siphons off votes such as mine? I don't think the left is as behind Obama as much as Obama supporters would like to believe.

    Obama's recent comments on Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia might also impact New Jersey and New York though probably not enough to swing those states red. But if Obama is forced to defend NJ that's not a good sign.

    You assume that Hillary supporters (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by seattlegonz on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:34:20 PM EST
    will vote Obama. The most distressing thing to me about BO's campaign is that he has failed to see that the aggressive and hostile tone of the media and his supporters toward Hillary, the GOP Hillary-hate that he's used to garner support is deeply damaging to the party.

    Never before have I heard democrats say, with such conviction, that they will never support the opposing candidate should he win the nomination. The sexism that has gone unchecked through the primary season is rewounding a great majority of democrats and it won't be easily healed.

    I think the only way democrats have chance in November is with a Clinton/Obama ticket.


    Actually I don't make (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by facta non verba on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:45:33 PM EST
    that assumption at all hence my line that Obama supporters believe that the left will fall in line when it is not clearly evident that all will. Lose 10% and you can lose the election.

    I am an Edwards supporter and I am toying with either voting for Nader or writing Edwards in. And I have read more than one assertion on this blog about some who are prepared to write-in Clinton in the general.

    Clearly they have a problem but they refuse to admit any flaws or even concerns. That's why BTD is so refreshing. BTD admits concerns.

    I too feel quite wounded as never before. I can't bring myself to support Obama. Not yet anyway.

    That there is hatred of Hillary, I don't deny but there is also admiration. The SCHIP is her doing and I have long held to change the world starts with women. That's why I can overlook Iraq.


    I see Clinton (none / 0) (#95)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:33:34 AM EST
    I see Clinton as dragging down an Obama ticket. Obama could help a Clinton ticket, but I don't think that he could help her negatives.

    I don't really see either on the other's ticket.


    obama may not (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by sancho on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:47:54 PM EST
    win Pennsylvania, either. Rendell was not just trying to help Hillary when he said a lot of white (den and repub) voters won't vote for Obama there.

    It could be the biggest republican win since '88.

    I hope he wins (if he gets the nomination) but if he does not, I hope the Obama supporters will tell us what happened.

    Somehow, I think they will say it is Hillary's fault.


    I agree (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by facta non verba on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:18:01 AM EST
    PA is on the table. But if you tell Obama supporters that they'll call you a moron or worst. So I tread lightly.

    And people forget about the Bradley Effect which is how we in California ended up with George Deukmejian twice. The Bradley Effect is not operative in Democratic contests but it is in general elections.

    Luckily the Democratic Party has a one and out rule. Witness Gore, Kerry and Dukasis. The GOP resurrects its fallen heroes hence both Nixon and Reagan (I know he never lost the general election but in 76 he came close to unseating Ford).

    It wasn't supposed to be this way. This should have been a hands down mail it in election and suddenly it isn't. I can't vote for him and there so many others who feel the same way. And before January, I didn't dislike him. I thought him naive and full of platitudes. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe there is something there and I am too cynical to see it but then I look at his proposals and finding so wanting and lacking.

    A lot of comments touch on the open primary nature of many contests. We can't change rules mid-stream. That's what the superdelegates are there for. To vote their conscience. For some that may mean voting as their districts but many do not hold elective office. Vote your conscience. What else is there?


    I don't think it's because (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jen on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:37:35 AM EST
    you're too cynical -- obviously I don't know if you are or aren't -- but I'm not a cynical person at all and I feel exactly as you do. I didn't feel one way or the other about him until recently. Now I too am questioning whether I'd vote for him, and I've never not voted Dem in the GE.

    Those who deny the Republics have gamed this primary are going to be in for a shock in Nov. if he's the nominee. And it's not going to feel at all good to be in the position to say "told ya so." I don't want to be right about this, but...


    divisions... (none / 0) (#48)
    by A DC Wonk on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:17:39 AM EST
    the divisions that separate Clinton and Obama are minuscule compared to the divisions between either of them and McCain.

    PA is definitely on the table (none / 0) (#39)
    by muffie on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:28:10 AM EST
    even if Hillary loses TX but wins OH.  (Also, as an Obama supporter, I feel like I'm the one who needs to tread lightly around here.)

    Re: I agree -- and Appalachia (none / 0) (#78)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 08:18:11 AM EST

    Your observations about PA appear to be correct, from where I'm sitting.  Let me try to put them in a broader context based on data noted here (Maryland) during the "Potomac primaries".

    In MD and VA, Senator Obama's numbers were markedly lower in areas to the west -- in Maryland, that means west of Hagerstown (where Maryland gets "skinny" for those of you that don't have a map handy); in Virginia, that means "west of I-81", which runs diagonally NE-SW and separates the flatter part of the state from the mountainous part. (In one county in extreme SW VA, he polled 9%.) I would expect to see roughly the same pattern in PA -- while he will no doubt do well in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, his numbers from the central countries (modulo the one containing Penn State, and possibly York and Harrisburg) are likely to be much lower.

    However...while this will probably make the PA primary interesting, the bigger question is what it portends for the fall.  I've seen many different polls exploring many different possible scenarios; my overall impression is that MD and VA are within the reach of the Democratic nominee, but PA is going to be tough.  The single biggest ally the candidate will have is turnout -- it will be necessary to sustain the momentum seen in the primaries and to get those opposed to a de facto third Bush term to the polls in massive numbers.

    If that candidate is Senator Clinton, then one necessary step in that direction will be to fire Mark Penn, whose dreadful mismanagement of her campaign has served her very poorly.  She should replace him (and associates) with the people running Senator Obama's campaign, who are clearly far more capable.  Of course, in a few weeks this statement may be rendered moot, so perhaps it's not worth indulging in further speculation.


    That story is all ready written. (none / 0) (#70)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 06:39:32 AM EST
    Obama supporters are all ready saying the Hillary Clinton, her supporters and surrogates are giving the Republicans "talking points" to use in the general election.

    Aside from thinking that the Republicans, that have slimed, smeared, spun, and Swiftboated Democrats for years need help, they don't seem at all concerned about the Opposite. Like maybe all their nastiness could be used by Republicans in a general election should Hillary win the nomination.

    Granted that's looking a little dismal right now, but as I've heard many a talking head say, a week is an eternity in an election. And even they have to be right about something, once in a while. Don't they?


    It's crazy ... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 07:25:08 AM EST
    OH is on the table.  PA is on the table.  Even MASS is on the table.

    FL looks like it's already lost.

    NJ, NH, VT, and CT are potential trouble spots.

    If Obama is able to win "red states" it looks like it will be a case of him playing catch-up for all the "blue states" he loses. And catch-up isn't good enough.


    Racism (none / 0) (#96)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:35:42 AM EST
    Racism, like sexism, is always in play in America. But it's not always triumphant. Rendell may believe it trumps all. I don't.

    I cannot believe that Obama's supporters can (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by athyrio on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:23:04 PM EST
    be so blind as to avoid seeing the blatent "gaming" of the democratic election so as to run against the weaker candidate...It is unreal...

    Democrats should pick the democratic nominee (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by seattlegonz on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:37:32 PM EST
    I agree. I will be incredibly angry if republicans and independents end up picking the democratic nominee. How does that make sense? Many years ago I was an independent until I realized it meant I lost by ability to influence the agenda. Why independents are being given so much power over the democratic party I do not understand.

    Thank goodness for automatic delegates or super delegates or the ability for democrats to assess and decide what is the right thing for the party.


    Why? (none / 0) (#71)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 06:44:02 AM EST
    Media selected the candidates.

    And I became an Independent, a liberal Independent simply because the Democratic Party had honked me off so consistently that I didn't want to carry their "Brand".

    Although an Independent I have voted for a Democrat in every election I ever voted in, and that would be all of them, except for a vote for the Green candidate, Rae Vogler, in her attempt to unseat Senator Herb Kohl, who is the 1/2 Democrat in our 1 1/2 Democratic Senators here in Wisconsin.


    Yay, Rae! (none / 0) (#90)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:51:41 AM EST
    I followed her campaign and hope she goes up again.

    Lots of gaming going on (none / 0) (#19)
    by AF on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:30:39 PM EST
    Not only are they gaming open primaries, they're gaming closed primaries, lying about their party affiliation in exit polls, and lying to national polling organization.  It is indeed a diabolical plot.

    I doubt it (none / 0) (#35)
    by muffie on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:16:07 AM EST
    Well, the claim that there are massive numbers of Republicans voting and lying in exit polls is easily testable.  Just compare the actual results to the exit polls and see if they match up.

    But I just don't understand how people think that there are 10's of thousands of Republican's who are voting for one candidate or the other without exhortation from some prominent Republican figure.  I've seen claims from both sides that this bias cuts towards Obama or towards Clinton, so if I'm to believe everything I read on the internet (heh!) the two cancel each other out.


    athyrio (none / 0) (#97)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:39:04 AM EST
    Most Americans, to date, see Obama as the stronger candidate. Count the total votes, count the delegates, count the polls. You see that, don't you?

    And the only time Dems won (none / 0) (#99)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:44:37 AM EST
    the White House in more than thirty years, the winner had not clinched the nomination until June.  I can wait to hear from more states.  Why won't you?

    "most Americans" (none / 0) (#106)
    by Kathy on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:20:10 AM EST
    if you leave out FL and MI and the states that have not voted yet.

    It amazes me that you get away with these blanket opinions you state as facts.

    It's sort of like the "Hillary's high negatives" rhetoric.  If she was so universally reviled, Obama would have the nomination by now and the vote would not be so close.  And, what's more--High negatives among whom?  Republicans?  Do we really expect them to vote for her anyway?  By that same token, you could claim McCain has "high negatives" among democrats.

    To which I would say...duh.


    That update just about says it all. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:30:13 PM EST
    At this point all I can add is ... "we told them so".

    but why won't they listen ?? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by athyrio on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:35:13 PM EST
    That is what is so frustrating to me...

    Because they have HOPE. You can't (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by tigercourse on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:48:28 PM EST
    stop HOPE. Well, not until it's too late anyway.

    "Democrat for a Day" strikes again (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:57:00 PM EST
    These open primaries are such a huge mistake!  And none are more open than Texas.  

    But why (none / 0) (#69)
    by marcellus on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 06:38:11 AM EST
    did they all pick Obama as the weaker candidate?  How many did they manage to organize in this way?  

    The Clinton-bashing media would lose their meal-ticket, so if they were deciding Democrat-for-a-Day they would promote Clinton...and they have, like Ann Coulter.  

    I don't think it has enough effect on the outcome in any case.


    Is that a concession? (none / 0) (#98)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:40:06 AM EST
    Frustrating to us (none / 0) (#73)
    by marcellus on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 06:56:56 AM EST
    Insulting all red states, small states, medium states and "insignificant" states is frustrating to us.  Mark Penn and Howard Wolfson have stated that they are going to concede 246 electoral votes and fight for Ohio and Florida.  This is a frustrating strategy and I don't understand why "they" don't listen either.  There are some very winnable red states--(Virginia, Colorado).  Since the Senate is not proportional representation, it makes sense to campaign in all states; downticket support for Senators helps to pass legislation. Finally, even in the reddest states, urban centers will likely be majority Democratic, and popular big city mayors could potentially become governors or senators.
    Oh yeah, also HOPE/CHANGE/HOPE :)

    Texas voting for Dem is lost vote. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Saul on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:38:37 PM EST
    I try to do my civic duty every presidential election but that is all I am doing in Texas.  Hate to say it but its a wasted vote.  Your almost better off registering and voting in those critical states like Ohio that will make a difference in choosing the president than throwing your vote away in Tx which is fire engine red.

    Perry was beatable in '06 (none / 0) (#32)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:51:30 PM EST
    but Chris Bell split the anti-Perry vote with Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman.  He also didn't have much money ...

    If Obama loses the Hillary voters, it will be (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by athyrio on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:52:07 PM EST
    no ones fault but his own because of his extremely rough and sexist campaign...Women won't forget that anytime soon...

    how has Obama been sexist? (none / 0) (#49)
    by A DC Wonk on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:20:46 AM EST
    Yes, the media has, but you can't attribute that to Obama.

    FWIW, polls show that 80% of Obama's supporters would vote for Clinton, and 80% of Clinton's supporters would vote for Obama.


    Periodically, when she's feeling (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by oculus on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:17:35 AM EST

    or (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 06:48:02 AM EST
    "then the claws come out"

    " she was just drinking tea"

    Or "you're likable enough Hillary", dismissively and arrogantly.

    These aren't media types, these are words right out of the candidate's mouth.

    And it doesn't matter if not everyone sees those remarks as "sexist". What matters is that many of us do. And I personally couldn't vote for anyone that I perceived as a "sexist" after being a feminist, and a woman for all these years.


    yep (none / 0) (#77)
    by A DC Wonk on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 07:51:57 AM EST
    Actions that help McCain will really teach 'em.

    Who cares about Roe v Wade, and the impact of the justices that McCain will appoint upon our daughters and grand-daughters?  Who cares that McCain's OK with staying in Iraq for 100 years.  It's much more important to punish Obama (and by extension, the entire US, and the world) for his inarticulate wording.


    An The Republicans (none / 0) (#86)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:11:42 AM EST
    Will Get Ya If Ya Don't Watch Out

    Now the great orator is "inarticulate"? (none / 0) (#89)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:49:52 AM EST
    It's Sunday, it must be time to turn the page in the Obama Rules.  I didn't get the memo; what page in the playbook are we on now?  

    Lecture? (none / 0) (#92)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:15:32 AM EST
    Okay, I had to go away for a while because I was angry and responding when angry usually means that I say something stupid. At times waiting and responding later doesn't keep that from happening but I'll try.

    First off, I don't allow ANY ONE else to be the keeper of my conscience. I do what I can live with and what I believe to be right.

    I voted for Hubert Humphrey in 1968, McGovern in 1972, Carter in 1976 & 1980, Mondale in 1984, Dukakis in 1988, Clinton in 1992 & 1996, Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. I voted the straight Democratic ticket and called myself a Democrat until the party so disgusted me that I became an Independent who still voted almost exclusively for Democrats except the one time I voted for a Green Party Candidate and AGAINST Democratic Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin.

    I've marched for Civil Rights, Gay Rights and Women's Rights. My only daughter died 20 years ago in a car accident but I am blessed with 7 granddaughters. Two of them are old enough to vote come November and one is supporting Clinton and one is supporting Obama.

    Of all the causes I have championed and been passionate about over the years Women's Rights has meant the most to me. That being so, I cannot and will not vote for someone I perceive to be a sexist. I will not and cannot vote for John McCain.

    I don't need to explain myself to you or to anyone else for the choices I make. I guess I just wanted to get it all clear in my own mind since I suspect, no I know, that I will be lectured and vilified for having the temerity to do what I think is right.


    sexism in the eye of the beholder (none / 0) (#79)
    by A DC Wonk on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 08:34:27 AM EST
    I was thinking about your comment.  I was struck by the following:
    And it doesn't matter if not everyone sees those remarks as "sexist". What matters is that many of us do.

    You seem to be arguing the sexism is in the eye of the beholder.  If I accept that premise, I have to ask: does that apply to racism, too?

    Because if it does, then it's hard to argue that the Clinton campaign was not being racist in S.C.  According to your logic, it doesn't matter if it was meant as racist, but, rather, the simple fact that many AA's took the comments to be racist makes it racist.

    Unless there are different rules for sexism and racism.

    As for me, because I have a lot of respect for both Clintons as well as Obama, I just don't believe that either of them are racist or sexist.


    One step further about perceptions (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:53:11 AM EST
    If perception is reality, and if African Americans in general perceived the Clinton campaign as being racist, then Obama's percentage of AA voters should have gone up.

    And it has.

    If American women in general perceived the Obama campaign as being sexist, then Clinton's percentage of women voters should have gone up.

    But it hasn't. Obama's percentage of women has gone up.

    So if general perception is truth, then the Clinton campaign is racist and the Obama campaign isn't sexist.

    Which would suggest that Clinton supporters here at TalkLeft and elsewhere are out of step with the women of this country.

    Five or six weeks ago I was sure that Clinton was going to win the nomination, but she's just not a particularly appealing candidate for most Americans and her staff has run a terrible campaign. I think a lot of Clinton's true believers, in the panic of watching their candidate lose, are losing touch with the rest of the country.


    she's just not a particularly appealing candidate (none / 0) (#111)
    by A DC Wonk on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:48:42 PM EST
    I beg to differ on that.  Appeal is not a zero-sum game. I think she is a very appealing candidate, even to most Obama supporters.  For Obama supporters, imho, they think that Clinton is appealing and would make a good and solid president, but Obama is more appealing and would make a better president.  But this, again imho, is due to pluses for Obama, not negatives about Clinton.

    Thanks -- these artificial dichotomies (none / 0) (#113)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:28:46 PM EST
    that overstate are so simplistic.  It would be like saying that Clinton has no appeal to any African Americans, any white males -- and thus would ignore my spouse, son, brothers, etc.  They matter, no matter for whom they vote.

    and not only that... (none / 0) (#119)
    by A DC Wonk on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:29:39 PM EST
    but the dichotomies that exist are pretty darn small compared to either of them vs McCain

    Maybe a big surprise (none / 0) (#112)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:01:09 PM EST
    but while I certainly cannot speak for all the Hillary supporters here or elsewhere, I, myself do not vote, think, believe, or feel based on those things in other women. Or other liberal voters. If we agree, well and good, if not, oh well. If I am out of step it is a least my own step and not anyone elses.

    It isn't the first time and certainly won't be the last time I'm "out of step". All anyone can do is what they think is right. I don't join parades or climb on band wagons unless they are going in my direction.


    Perhaps eye of the beholder at times (none / 0) (#85)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:10:46 AM EST
     "You seem to be arguing the sexism is in the eye of the beholder.  If I accept that premise, I have to ask: does that apply to racism, too?"

    I don't know. I know that sometimes what other people think is racist I don't see that way. Probably because I am not black and haven't the "black" life experience that sees a racist remark where others do not.

    However I am a woman, and I do perceive "sexist" remarks from my life experience. That's all I can "know" or "feel". I cannot know or feel for anyone other than myself.

    I confess that I still don't understand why Joe Biden calling Obama "articulate" was a racial slur. I thought being called articulate was a compliment. But I can only address this from my own perspective and must try to understand it from another point of view.


    Primaries are not a good predictor. (5.00 / 6) (#37)
    by Mike Pridmore on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:24:07 AM EST
    Let's talk possibilities here.  First, there is a record turnout year for Dems that wallops the turnout numbers for Republicans.  The Dems have a three way fight that eventually goes to the candidate who has attracted the youth vote, crossover voters and blacks in impressive numbers.  And at the end of the primary season the Democratic nominee is leading the Republican nominee in the polls.  What year am I talking about?  1988.  And I am talking about Michael Dukakis.  (link)  Link to primary turnout numbers since 1972 here. The Democratic primaries have always had higher  turnout, except for 1996 and 2000.  They are a sorry predictor of what will happen in the fall.  Especially so if Republicans have been gaming the system. More on that here and here.

    if you think that Dukakis (none / 0) (#52)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:57:30 AM EST
    and Obama are comparable as candidates, then I really just don't know what to say...

    There are (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Mike Pridmore on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:17:10 AM EST
    obvious differences.  The point is not that the two are identical but that there are enough similarities between this year and 1988 that we should be a whole lot more sober about the fall.  "This isn't 1988" you say?  Well in 1988 they didn't think it would turn out the way it did either.

    They're highly similar. (none / 0) (#117)
    by MarkL on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:00:59 PM EST
    Obama's differences are due to Axelrod's packaging, and not inherent.

    Obama turns off some (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by DaleA on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:35:41 AM EST
    signifigant interest groups in the Democratic Party. In California, Hillary carried Latinos, gays and lesbians, Native Americans and Asians by over 60%. These are groups that do not warm to Obama much. Add in the lack of healing outreach from the Obama camp, can't see how they expect to have support in the fall.

    You are Spot On! (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by facta non verba on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:34:34 AM EST
    I live in California, San Francisco and this is Obama country no doubt but SF is hardly a bell weather for the rest of the state. We voted for Tom Bradley, the rest of state voted for George Deukmejian twice.

    I noted this earlier but it bears repeating. Asian-Americans love McCain especially the Vietnamese. The one solid block he can be assured of are Filipino-Americans. But Koreans, Chinese (many of whom are religious but generally vote Democratic but now they have an option) will go more for McCain. And Hispanics which went 3:1 for Clinton might more go 3:2 or even 55/45 for Obama. That's a huge number that could put California in play, something that hasn't happened since Reagan.

    Among gays, I really don't know. The Donnie McClurkin thing hasn't been forgotten by many even though the leadership has but that I think that is a hope to be on board before we are thrown off the bus completely. Obama won't have his picture taken with Gavin Newsome. That story did not hit the national media but it was in the SF Chronicle and then it was picked up by the national gay media.


    If that's unity, what does disunity look like?

    Gays may come around, we are much more loyal and also because we have no other place to go. Hardly an endorsement.

    Obama is assuming support that may not be there. Maybe I am over-reacting but I am not voting for him so I do think it possible that others feel the way I do. I feel alienated by my own party.


    facta (none / 0) (#102)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:02:57 AM EST
    I live in California too. If the primary were a couple months later Obama would have won. What people have to remember is that Clinton won name recognition in January. Most people didn't know how to spell Obama, much less know anything about him.

    The SF Chronicle is a Hearst paper, so I wouldn't put too much faith in its political reporting.

    As for your breakdown in voting percentages, I don't see it. Of the three Asian women in my family none voted for Clinton. One was a Green, one voted for Edwards (and now supports Obama) and one was an Obama supporter. None like H. Clinton as a candidate. One was particularly offended by one of her triangulations. Granted, three women aren't a whole demographic, but do you actually know 55% of all Hispanics, for example?


    Part of the issue for (none / 0) (#108)
    by DaleA on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:23:08 PM EST
    lesbians and gays is that McCain does not have much of a homophobic record. He is against the marriage amendment, regards it as a state issue just like Hillary and Obama. Beyond that, he seems for DATA, but don't know if he would fight for it. Suppossedly he is not personally anti-gay. Over at IGF, there is some praise for him. McCain has never gotten involved in gay bashing, according to them. He is a libertarian type on some gay issues, and might appeal to more conservative or national security types.

    Washington Post has an agenda (none / 0) (#2)
    by Baal on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:03:25 PM EST
    Moreover, do you think any other Democratic candidate could win those Red states?  Bueller?  Buellere?  Bueller?

    yes (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:05:21 PM EST
    i think Clinton can win Tennessee and Arkansas.

    Can Clinton win Texas? (none / 0) (#4)
    by MarkL on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:07:39 PM EST
    Neither will Obama (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ajain on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:13:48 PM EST
    Esp. when people find out about his mutliple positions on guns.

    No. but then neither can Obama (none / 0) (#12)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:20:28 PM EST
    that's what I figured.. just curious (none / 0) (#15)
    by MarkL on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:23:35 PM EST
    Given time and lots of work I imagine (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:46:13 PM EST
    the Democratic party can make a comeback in Texas.  The Republican governor, Rick Perry, was beatable in 2006.  His popularity rating was in the 30s.  That chance got killed when comptroller Carol Strayhorn left the republican party and ran as an independent, along with Kinky Friedman, thus the anti-Perry vote was split by 3 people.  

    He won with something like 36% of the vote, so he definitely could have been beaten.  Democrats here can't win for losing.  The sad part is the Democratic candidate has less money than the independents.  Go figure?  :-)


    Hold up (none / 0) (#25)
    by Sumofall on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:38:10 PM EST
    Maybe I'm not as political savy or perhaps trash savy as I thought I was? Obama is/was a cocaine user??? In what context? And where is the proof? That is just unacceptable in my book.

    until he was about 20----it's in his (none / 0) (#27)
    by MarkL on Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 11:43:59 PM EST

    Calm Down We are all Progressives (none / 0) (#42)
    by chatters71 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:40:38 AM EST
    Look, if HRC was winning there would be a bunch of Obama backers throwing tantrums about how in November they are going to vote for McCain, or write in Obama, or waste their vote on Nader, or stay home, etc. The bottom line is I would label those juvenile tantrums. And I would be right.

    This has been a tightly fought primary season and Obama supporters looked at HRC as the "enemy" right now, and HRC supporters do the same against Obama. POlitics is a zero sum game. THe fact of the matter is that the general election is not March 10th or in April or this summer but 8 MONTHS after the TX/OH primaries.

    By that time, some of the healing will have occurred and when John McCain spouts off on extending the Bush tax cuts, a 100 military commitment in Iraq, more wars in Iran, nothing to offer on health care, a 0 rating on the environment by the League of Conservation Voters, you CAN NOT tell me that Obama is not going to look extremely appealing at that time.

    Look, I mailed in my Edwards ballot in California. At this point, I can't vote again so I can watch the race from a more detached position. I like HRC on universal healthcare better. But I also don't believe there is an organized conspiracy of Republicans to select Obama. After all, more than 10 million people have voted for him and not all of them are delusional.

    Look the bottom line is that there are more polls out there that show Obama as a stronger matchup to McCain than HRC. HRC would have been OK against Romney or Huckabee.


    And no, no one ever imagines that (none / 0) (#45)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:10:28 AM EST
    Obama is going to win deep red states.

    He will however do very much better than Hillary could in purple states, like IA, NV and VA. Hillary, at least for now, is running behind McCain even in some states we consider pretty solid blue, like MN, or OR. He is even beating her by 2 in PA, while Obama beats Mac by 10.

    Granted that these polls may shift a lot, and may be relatively meaningless 8 months out, but they are the only empirical evidence we have. The rest is speculation.

    MN solid blue? Uh . . . (none / 0) (#100)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:47:52 AM EST
    that would explain its Republican governor, huh?

    would you consider NYC solid blue (none / 0) (#118)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:05:45 PM EST
    despite 16 years of a Republican mayor?

    MN has voted for the Dem president in every election since 1972. It is a necessary part of any winning Dem coalition.


    I would consider MN purple (none / 0) (#122)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:04:18 PM EST
    with little more than a 2% margin in 2000.  It's part of the significant "Superstate of Minnewisowa," comprised of three swing states to watch in 2008 (that together total as many EC votes as big states).  MN has changed a lot in the last 20 years, with its tech revolution, Jesse Ventura, etc.

    How about you wait (none / 0) (#51)
    by rebecca on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:56:54 AM EST
    seem to be a small group of bitter Clinton supporters who seem not to be taking electoral defeat with much grace and dignity.

    until this is decided before declaring that Hillary is defeated?  It doesn't show much grace or dignity to crow over a loss that hasn't happened yet.  

    As for Hillary being ineffective against Obama it's only because the media is following two different sets of rules.  The Clinton rules vs the Obama rules.  Once we get to the GE the Clinton rules will still be in effect if Hillary wins so she will be facing the same ground she's had to fight here without having to worry about hurt feelings on the Democratic side by playing hardball.  

    Obama on the other hand is going to be facing a whole new game.  Suddenly he'll find out if the Obama rules will stay the same against the McCain rules or if they will morph into what has happened for every other Democrat in the last few decades.  He will find himself having to learn how to deal with the media criticizing his every word while praising his opponents.  He will go from media golden boy to media scapegoat.  I'm sure the Republicans would rather fight the person who has learned hard lessons over the last decade and a half over the neophyte who thinks he's been vetted because Hillary has said a few harsh words to him.

    i didn't say it was over (none / 0) (#53)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:16:23 AM EST
    I just noted a difficulty handling electoral defeat - i.e. 11 in a row, 24 out of 35, or whatever it is...

    Sorry, I don't buy into the grand media conspiracy theories. Maybe I have spent too much time rolling my eyes hearing this kinda stuff from Republicans.

    If you think that Hillary is losing because of the media, rather than her inability to persuade enough people to vote for her, then I don't know what to say. You must think the American people are complete idiots, or complete sheep. Well, I don't think they are. I don't understand exactly why they vote for the people they do sometimes, but I do think they are able to make up their own minds, by their own criteria. Hillary may have matched up really well with your criteria, but at least so far, she has not done so with enough people to remain the frontrunner. Thats just the way it goes sometimes in a democracy.


    Oh? (none / 0) (#57)
    by rebecca on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:44:25 AM EST
    Hillary may have matched up really well with your criteria, but at least so far, she has not done so with enough people to remain the frontrunner. Thats just the way it goes sometimes in a democracy.

    LOL Actually she's matching up with quite a few people.  When we look at the Washington race, for instance, we find that in the caucus Obama won by about 30 points while in the primary he only won by a few points.  So we have found by having a primary season that lasts beyond just a few states how undemocratic the whole thing is.  So your statement that Hillary hasn't matched up with enough people to remain the front runner isn't really true.  

    We'll see if Obama can keep the front-runner status he has for now.  He may or he may not.  But it was known before this run of wins that these were Obama's demographics.  This was expected.  I can understand why Obama supporters are trying to end this now but it's better for the party to allow the voters to pick the winner rather than to try and force it.  We'll have enough hard feelings without that type of pressure and triumphalism exacerbating things.  It disgusts people you'll need on your side if your guy manages to win the nomination.  

    As for the media I'm not claiming a conspiracy.  I don't know where you got the idea other than it's an easy way to demean someone else's argument without really having to address it.  It's been known for longer than this primary season that the media follows Clinton rules for the Clintons.  It's been quite obvious that the media has set up the Obama rules for him.  I've never seen a Democrat being treated so amazingly well.  It's been well known that our media isn't a professional group of people.  They behave more like a high school clique than a professional group.  If you haven't looked through the Daily Howler you should.  It will prepare you for the change that more than likely will happen if your guy gets the nomination.  


    huh? you seem to contradict yourself (none / 0) (#58)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:11:52 AM EST
    "So your statement that Hillary hasn't matched up with enough people to remain the front runner isn't really true."

    "We'll see if Obama can keep the front-runner status he has for now"


    You admit Obama is the frontrunner, but you deny that Hillary has failed to get enough votes to remain the front runner? What are you saying?

    Nobody is trying to force anything. Lots of people may think that it is just about over, but the primaries are going to be held, the voters will decide.

    Lots of people were saying very loudly, all last year, that Hillary was inevitable. We didn't see this whining from Obama people just because people were expressing their opinions.

    The elections will be held. Don't worry about what people are saying. If this season has taught us anything, it is that everyone has been wrong about something at least once, if not more.

    I got the impression of a conspiracy because of all this talk of Obama Rules, and Clinton Rules - you act like you take that stuff seriously. If there were a set of rules that people followed for each candidate, and they were consistent enough to dominate the narrative, then that would be some sort of a conspiracy, no? Just like the Republicans talk of the great liberal media conspiracy which has it rules.

    Sorry, but this is just whining. Obama gets trashed as an empty suited, plagiarizing cult-leader, but somehow people like you ignore that and pretend that all his press is good.

    Its classic conformation bias. You support your candidate - and whenever the press says something good about her you barely notice, because to you it is just stating the obvious. When they say something bad, it offends you and you notice. When they say something bad about Obama it barely registers because, once again, they are simply stating what you probably beleive is obvious. And when they say something good, it bothers you, because you think it will indirectly hurt your candidates chances.

    I dont mean that to be insulting - its human nature.


    thats confirmation, not conformation bias (none / 0) (#59)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:17:48 AM EST
    the tendency to filter inputs such that your previously-held beliefs are confirmed.

    LOL (none / 0) (#60)
    by rebecca on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:36:21 AM EST
    You read what you wanted to in my statement.  Your so called contradiction missed the part about how highly undemocratic our primary season has been.  You should remember that it's been discussed here often enough.  It's become very clear that the most votes doesn't matter in this contest.  Especially when whole states that we need in the GE have there voters insulted by the DNC.  But hey that's ok because Obama will win enough of those red states to win the GE even if we lose FL.  

    As for seeing not seeing people whining about Hillary being seen as inevitable earlier I saw quite a few people whining about it on dkos.  I don't know where you get the idea that people weren't upset about that because there was quite a bit of concern about that.  

    I got the impression of a conspiracy because of all this talk of Obama Rules, and Clinton Rules - you act like you take that stuff seriously.

    I take it seriously because it is serious.  You clearly haven't read the Daily Howler.  You obviously haven't paid attention to the media treatment of Democrats.  Otherwise you couldn't seriously say the Clintons aren't treated differently by the media than other people are.  The Clinton rules are shorthand for the way the media looks at anything to do with them.  They are considered to be guilty in advance.  They are criticized in terms no one else is.  The problem about the Clintons rules is that they easily morph into becoming the rules for any Democratic contender arrogant enough to think they can run for the presidency.  I told you to read the Daily Howler so you can prepare for the GE on how they are going to treat our candidate no matter who wins.  

    The 300 journalists in attendance watched on large-screen TVs, penned up in a separate pressroom.

    And in that room, the Washington press corps--your bulwark of democracy--displayed its astonishing lack of professionalism. What happened as Gore and Bradley debated? Howard Mortman, then of the Hotline, appeared on that publication's cable show one week later. Mortman described the remarkable scene inside that Hanover hall.

    How had the press corps acted during the debate? "The media groaned, howled and laughed almost every time Al Gore said something," Mortman reported. "What happened with Bradley?" a panelist asked. "Stone silence. Really," Mortman said. And Mortman--a staffer in the original Bush White House--was not alone in his report. Eric Pooley described a similar scene in the November 8 Time:

        POOLEY: [Gore's attempt to connect with the audience] was unmistakable--and even touching--but the 300 media types watching in the press room at Dartmouth were, to use the appropriate technical term, totally grossed out by it. Whenever Gore came on too strong, the room erupted in a collective jeer, like a gang of 15-year-old Heathers cutting down some hapless nerd.

    That is the behavior of our so-called professional press.  Take a look at that.  Is that how professionals act?  This is not conspiracy stuff this is how our media acts.  Consider that 300 so-called professional media people jeering at a presidential candidate.  You need to study how our media acts before you start talking about conspiracy theories.  


    Latest popular vote summation (none / 0) (#62)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:02:03 AM EST
    Obama - 10,300,410
    Clinton - 9,375,213

    The "most votes" do count.

    And yes, we actually do not need FL. Win the kerry states, and one other medium sized state and we win. Not to say that I am happy with what happened in FL and MI - a real fiasco.

    Pointing to unprofessional behavior by journalists does not make the case that they switch to professionalism as soon as the other candidate takes the stage. Every supporter of every candidate, including republicans, can give you a long list of the instances where they feel their candidate is not given a fair shake.

    Are some candidates better at kissing up to the press, and recieving better treatment? Sure - that is a skill that is important for a politician. But I think you greatly exaggerate the effect that has on voters, especially in a long drawn out campaign, with tons of debates, ads, and plenty of opportunity for the people to make their own judgement.

    Seriously, you seem to think that you are among some elite group that can see through the media incompetence and make an intellegent decision, but that most people cannot. I think they can.


    You clearly don't want to see. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by rebecca on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:27:12 AM EST
    I'm not in some elite group.  I don't think I'm in some elite group.  I have read quite a few things by some very smart people over the years about the media.  You on the other hand seem to only see what you want too.  You don't want to see that your candidate is getting treated very well by the media.  You also don't want to see the treatment the Clintons have gotten from the media over the years.  

    Pointing to unprofessional behavior by journalists does not make the case that they switch to professionalism as soon as the other candidate takes the stage.

    I never said they switch to professional behavior.  I think they are unprofessional no matter who is on the stage.  You seem to read things into my writing I never intended to put there.  Conspiracies and now switching back and forth on professionalism.  Your confirmation bias again?  Look you want your guy to win.  This is obvious.  

    You clearly want to believe that the media hasn't treated him any differently than Hillary.  You also want to think that he can go into the GE and continue to get his message out as easily as he has in the primary.  If he has been helped by the media while Hillary has been hurt it ruins your thinking that he can win the GE because of his ability to control his message.  However, if it isn't his ability and merely the media giving him a pass while attacking Hillary then it's something that can and probably will change if he goes up against McCain who definitely is a long time media favorite.  So it's in your interest to not see the media's bias here.  

    You could of course just take BTD's stance which, as I understand it, is that the media is biased and follows the Clinton rules and Obama rules but he feels the Obama rules will continue into the GE and will give Obama a better chance of winning than Hillary because of that.  I don't agree with him on this point but it is something that could happen.  If indeed the media continues with the Obama rules he will have a definite better chance than Hillary against McCain.  I just don't think they will.  They have a long time relationship with McCain.  

    If it were only about certain candidates being better about kissing up to the press we wouldn't have had a run of Democratic candidates ending up on the bad side of that bargain.  One thing that worries me about Obama is that he has been noted to be standoffish toward the media.  That won't work well if he's going up against a professional media kiss-up like McCain.  

    You keep missing my point about votes.  So I'm not going to try again.  You'll just misread what I'm saying again.  


    well, maybe I am dense (none / 0) (#65)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:57:07 AM EST
    or maybe you dont explain it well, or maybe a little of both.

    But I read you to say that the voters are not controlling this election - the media are. And I don't think that is the case.

    Bill Clinton got terrible press during the nineties, and won two elections and left with a 65% approval rating. Talk to Republicans who are sensitive to this, and they will talk your ear off about how the media have constantly characterized Bush as a bumbling idiot, yet he won two elections (sorta) himself.

    Bob Dole got pretty good press - he was the honorable war hero, and he got creamed. McCain benefits from his schmoozing with the press, but when his campaign was down last year, the press universally wrote him off. Obama gets much worse press than you imagine, but even if it is still much better than Hillary's, that is not what is driving this election.

    Sorry, but I do think that to think it is, is conspiratorial thinking. You object to me saying that you sound like you are part of an elite, but that is the obvious conclusion. The people are not really voting freely, because the media manipulates the message you say. But you can see through it all, and make your own decision. How is that not putting yourself in some elite, specially insightful group?


    Apparently you've come to this conclusion (none / 0) (#66)
    by rebecca on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 05:13:20 AM EST
    rather lately than because I haven't seen you make this conspiratorial accusation before and there has been much discussion of the Clinton rules vs the Obama rules on this blog.  

    Apparently many people on this blog are elitists then because quite a few are of a same mind as me about the media.  But then you'll just say that it's whining because our candidate is losing.  It doesn't really matter what is said you'll turn it into a personal attack on me.  

    I don't care for these personal attacks.  I am not a conspiracy freak nor am I of the opinion that I'm an elite.  I have told you that and I would appreciate your actually addressing the points I made rather than making personal attacks on me.  I have come to the conclusion you can't address these points because you've danced all over the place and tried every time to make me the problem rather than address my points.  I'm tired of trying to address you when you seem to be unable to talk about the points I'm making without attacking me.  

    It's getting very late and I"m off to bed.  If you want to actually address the points I made without accusing me of having confirmation bias for a candidate or being a conspiracy theorist for stating what many people on this blog have stated before me or that I'm an elitist for pointing out that this media bias is and has been a point of discussion for quite some time then go ahead. If however you're just going to continue trying to make the conversation about me instead of the points I'm making don't bother.  I'm not interested in continuing to defend myself to someone who seems to want to demean me rather than discuss with me. It gets old fast trying to keep a courteous conversation when you keep making statements about me rather than my points.  


    I did not intend to make (none / 0) (#67)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 06:09:54 AM EST
    any personal attack on you.

    I have directly addressed the point you have been making - that there are two sets of rules governing how the candidates are treated by the media, and that these rules are what is driving the outcome.

    I think everyone who is pushing this notion that the media is controlling the outcome of this election is simply wrong.

    And I do not see how they can believe it without accepting that there is some conspiracy at work - joint action, by all the media, writing favorably about one candidate and unfavorably about the other - how is that not a conspiracy?

    I did not characterize your attitude as elitist because you point out the role of the media. That charge comes from the simple fact that you and all those who share your attitude, seem to feel that you, personally, are able to make an intellegent decision about which candidate to support, while the masses of people out there cannot - they are being manipulated by the media.

    If everyone is as capable as you are to make their own decision, then the tenor of the media coverage is not what is driving the outcome. If the media coverage is driving the outcome, then the masses of people are not able to make an informed decision. But you are. How does that not add up to you seeing yourself in some special enlightend class?

    You've called this primary season "highly undemocratic". "It's become very clear that the most votes doesn't matter in this contest. "
    Well, that is not clear at all to me. It is very democratic, and the most votes do count.

    What point have you made that I havent addressed?


    Actually I don't so much support Hillary (none / 0) (#61)
    by rebecca on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:45:49 AM EST
    as I ended up with her by default.  She was at the bottom of my personal list when this started.  By the time it came down to the two of them Obama had managed to put himself in last place.  So your idea that I'm some huge Hillary supporter who can't see things clearly is wrong.  I can see very clearly.  If anyone has confirmation bias here it's you because you're the one of us two who is enthusiastically supporting a candidate.  I'm not.  

    As for being insulted I'm not.  You're right it's just human nature.  It's just not me that's affected by it this time.  It's you.  


    The posters here don't ignore (none / 0) (#104)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:17:52 AM EST
    the "empty-suit cult leader" insults. They make them!

    Let me say one thing for the voters of Ohio. NAFTA.

    If the American auto companies had been making hybrids instead of making and marketing two-ton trucks for guys who needed to feel manlier when they sip their lattes, then there wouldn't be so many Priuses on the road. And if the Clinton Administration hadn't betrayed working class Americans with NAFTA, WTO and all the other lousy trade agreements, then the auto factories wouldn't have left the country.

    And maybe if Bill had thought it through before he let all those media mergers happen, maybe we'd be getting better coverage of the primaries.

    Clinton's position in February 2008 may be that she wants to change NAFTA. But up until the primaries she's been pretty happy with it.


    Bill Clinton (none / 0) (#107)
    by Kathy on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:21:46 AM EST
    is not Hillary Clinton.

    Seriously--I've seen pictures of them together.  They are not the same person.


    The posters here don't ignore (none / 0) (#105)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:18:10 AM EST
    the "empty-suit cult leader" insults. They make them!

    Let me say one thing for the voters of Ohio. NAFTA.

    If the American auto companies had been making hybrids instead of making and marketing two-ton trucks for guys who needed to feel manlier when they sip their lattes, then there wouldn't be so many Priuses on the road. And if the Clinton Administration hadn't betrayed working class Americans with NAFTA, WTO and all the other lousy trade agreements, then the auto factories wouldn't have left the country.

    And maybe if Bill had thought it through before he let all those media mergers happen, maybe we'd be getting better coverage of the primaries.

    Clinton's position in February 2008 may be that she wants to change NAFTA. But up until the primaries she's been pretty happy with it.


    the short answer is: (none / 0) (#64)
    by cpinva on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 04:50:46 AM EST
    no, not in this or any other lifetime. the deep south primaries aren't reflective of the total populations of those states; not only will he lose them, he'll get trounced

    i wish it were not so. of course, i wish he showed something more than just "hope and change". yes, i know he has policy platforms, but really not so much. his lack of experience in the big leagues is what will ultimately do him in in the GE.

    i really, really hope i'm wrong, should he be the dem. nominee.

    Biggest concern: Ohio (none / 0) (#81)
    by Lou Grinzo on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 08:48:22 AM EST
    I agree with other comments here that Obama won't win the deep red states.  As others have pointed out, he'll get hammered by the general electorate, which is very different from the primary voters or caucus goers.

    My concern is Ohio.  I remember seeing head-to-head numbers for Ohio showing Obama losing badly to McCain.  Even after McCain winning the Iseman trophy and then all of us enduring a general campaign, I'm not convinced Obama can win Ohio.  If he loses there, where else can get win to offset it?

    Re: Biggest concern: Ohio (none / 0) (#84)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 09:04:10 AM EST

    I share your concern: I'm not sure that any Democratic nominee can beat McCain in Ohio.  Yet.  Keep in mind that the focus has not yet shifted to communicating to voters that a vote for McCain is a vote for a disastrous third Bush term.  Once that message is hammered home, relentlessly, I think opinions may begin to shift.

    I believe that Senator Obama is capable of winning VA, NY, IL (of course), and MI in the general election, which would mitigate a loss in OH.  Polling numbers (see pollster.com) are erratic, so a more specific statement probably isn't warranted.  And as we've seen (as we're seeing) rapid shifts are possible given campaign focus and breaking news.


    Yes he can! (none / 0) (#120)
    by Mystic55 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:41:34 PM EST
    Because if anyone votes for McCain with an even half competent person running a campaign against him, then McCain will come out looking like a total fool.