PA, OH, MI and FL

By Big Tent Democrat

Josh Marshall notes the obvious point to be drawn from these Survey USA polls:

The answers? Shockingly obvious: McCain crushes both (Hillary by 20%, Barack by 24%) Democrats in Alabama, while both crush him in California. To add another layer of symmetry, Clinton does 4 points better in losing in Alabama. And Obama does 4 points better in winning California.

For all the talk of 50 state strategies, this general election will be won or lost in the same states as in 2000 and 2004 - Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. While Obama may win Virginia and Iowa, that equals 19 electoral votes. He ain't winning in the South. Neither is Hillary, except for Arkansas.

It is great that Obama has energized Dems in Utah, Idaho and Alabama, but that is not going to be where he will be fighting in a general election. Which is why it would be nice if Obama could demonstrate an ability to win a big contested state like Ohio or Pennsylvania in the primaries. This is still where Presidential elections are won or lost.

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    I am really shocked (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Kathy on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:25:36 AM EST
    that Josh actually admitted this.

    Which is why (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by david mizner on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:33:27 AM EST
    I don't think it'd be a bad thing if the Democratic contest continued through Pennsylvania; having a contested primaries in big states helps the party. It's not surprise that Obama is crushing McCain in Iowa but getting crushed in Florida. I haven't seen Michigan numbers but wouldn't be surprised if McCain is over performing there.

    And yes Obama won't win any Southern States, not even Virginia. Maybe Arkansas but I doubt it. Because the states with huge black populations are also the most conservative states. Obama might--might--be able to lose Ohio if he wins Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia--you know, all the other purple states. It'll be a narrow victory in any case.

    To realign the map, we needed Edwards.

    States (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by liminal on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:53:16 AM EST
    Clinton can pick off West Virginia, Arkansas, and other purplish border states with large working class white populations.  I don't think that Obama can.  (Look at the rural vote in Missouri or Virginia - all the mountain Virginia counties went overwhelmingly for Clinton, though turnout was quite low.)  I suspect that Obama could pick off Colorado, perhaps, or Nevada - some of the mountain libertarian west.  

    But yes, it will come down to big swing states.  It always does.

    Winning the south will take more than any single candidate.  It will take a generation or more, and we just have to understand that.  The 50 state strategy is not a short-term strategy (though I think that many netroots expect IMMEDIATE!!!1!1!! wins), it's a long-term, lifetime strategy that is and should be only minimally dependent on the Democratic nominee.


    Potential Obama pickups (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:00:59 AM EST
    and states where he has an advantage of Clinton include

    Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota and ORegon.

    About 50 EVs.

    State where Clinton has an advantage in my opinion -

    OH, PA, FL, MI and AR.

    About 100 EVs.


    Wis, Minn, and Oregon are "pickups?" (none / 0) (#35)
    by kenosharick on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:08:37 AM EST
    I think all 3 have gone with the Dems for at least the last 4 elections.

    AND (none / 0) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:17:31 AM EST
    states where Obama has an advantage.

    To wit, even though the states have been Dem, they are more at risk with Clinton than with Obama.


    I do not agree- (none / 0) (#87)
    by kenosharick on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:56:46 PM EST
    Hillary would beat mccain easily in all three. She also could bring Florida into play which he does not.

    I have (none / 0) (#55)
    by sas on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:27:41 AM EST
    written this before.

    I live in PA.  Clinton is more popular here and would probably beat McCain.  Could Obama beat McCain here?  Maybe - it'll be very tough.


    Yeah, what is it about PA voters (none / 0) (#78)
    by lilburro on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:01:49 PM EST
    I lived in PA almost all my life and I also think PA would go for Hillary rather than Obama.  PA isn't that progressive a state and is politically very cynical...or maybe it's just that Eagles fans have a hard time with unbridled optimism? ;)

    I don't know about Philly but (none / 0) (#81)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:07:39 PM EST
    when I lived in the NW part of the state I found them to be middle class hard working and definitely cynical about political promises.

    Obama in the Mountain West? (none / 0) (#56)
    by esmense on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:28:40 AM EST
    Both Obama and Clinton are likely to have difficulty in the Mountain West against McCain because it is his home region. But two things give her, I think, an edge over Obama in the region; 1) her greater popularity with Hispanics, 2) the region's longer history of women's sufferage (compared with other parts of the country)and greater openness to, and history of successful, female candidates. If she can bring women and hispanics out in larger than usual numbers, she may be able to overcome McCain's advantage with white men.

    Obama, on the other hand, can only win if he is able to take those white male voters away from McCain. Something that will be extremely hard for any Democrat to do.


    I think that is true (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:34:57 AM EST
    In terms of electability, Edwards was clearly the best choice.

    I just do not agree with him on trade.

    By I support NAFTA.


    why? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Nasarius on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:54:36 AM EST
    I've seen you mention this a couple times, though none of the three candidates are particularly radical on trade. Even Edwards was only really talking about renegotiating trade deals to include labor and environmental standards.

    I believe Edwards is not a free trader (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:58:45 AM EST
    I think it is a big issue.

    but that is water under the bridge now.


    Well (none / 0) (#46)
    by david mizner on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:15:13 AM EST
    I think you're wrong on trade. In any case, Edwards's stance on trade is connected to his electability, since even a majority of Republicans oppose our trade policies. The quintessential econoic populist issue, and the more effectively Dems draw a distinction on trade, the better their chances of winning Ohio, Michigan, and, well, everywhere else.

    I accept that (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:17:59 AM EST
    I am on the wrong side of the popularity of the trade issue.

    Off topic but I'm curious (none / 0) (#76)
    by Dadler on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:48:04 PM EST
    Why should some worker in Ohio, or Panama, Or Chad, or wherever, be FORCED to compete with people around the globe just to be able to work their hard and honest 40, and have enough to be marginally prosperous?  

    "Free" trade is only free for those who already control the till.

    Forcing workers to destroy each other is no answer.  And until we can all agree on some basic standard for humanity, then all this competition is in the sercice of the same power structure, enriches the same folks, while giving some workers just enough to keep the rigged game going.  


    why not VA? (none / 0) (#64)
    by tsackton on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:21:57 PM EST
    Sure, no Dem is going to win Alabama this cycle or anything soon. But Virgina has been trending seriously blue, why do think the Dems (Obama or Clinton) don't have a chance there?

    The salve to this (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:38:34 AM EST
    may be that Obama would have an overwhelming cash advantage. I wouldn't want to count on that, though.

    And yes, it's clear that Obama will not be a map changer. People who think he will do anything but trim around the edges don't really understand how this works.

    ISSUES can change maps when used by the right candidate.

    I still expect Iraq to come back (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:44:12 AM EST
    like Bernie.

    Hard to gin it up now (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:46:40 AM EST
    after a Dem Congress funded it.

    IT will be a "reasoned debate" about what to do going forward now that the "surge is working."

    It helps Dems but it is not a map changer anymore.

    Dems pi**ed it away.


    I disagree. (none / 0) (#20)
    by liminal on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:55:35 AM EST
    The war in Iraq was never a map-changer.  Had the Democrats refused to fund the war - well, you can't offer the Republicans a better issue.  

    Uh oh, you just picked a scab (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:56:51 AM EST
    You're wrong, BTW.

    Well (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:01:52 AM EST
    WE disagree.

    As for the why, read my posts on Iraq for the past year and a half.


    And Al Sadr extending his cease fire again. (none / 0) (#25)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:58:43 AM EST
    I think he is just waiting and watching. If they are in action and big numbers being killed, it brings Iraq back into focus. While it seems quiet there, it takes a back burner.

    Issues, indeed (none / 0) (#41)
    by lambert on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:12:00 AM EST
    Like, say, Universal Health Care. Some people I know were counting on the Democrats for help on this.

    Apparently, it is not to be -- that's the message of Obama's "Harry & Louise" ad, as well as the Ohio flyer (which is, naturallly, being covered as Hillary being shrill).

    I'm not sure what the appropriate response here is. Anger? Despair? Hillary? Quiet acceptance?


    Florida is probably dead to us, it's (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by tigercourse on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:30:04 AM EST
    certainly dead to Obama. He will probably win Michigan. His current lead in Ohio is negligible and it's the first time he's ever lead there in a poll. He's on the cusp in Penn. Obama is going to get absolutely hammered by the gun lobby in those and other states. He could win Nevada, Missouri, Colorado, Iowa and New Mexico and still not get it if he can't take Penn. His leads in Missouri, Colorado and Virginia are not large. Given that Udall is currently breaking even with his opponent there, I'm not sure Colorado is so fertile. His Oregon and Mass numbers are poor. Everyone who said that with Obama we have the potential of a blowout is, I think, mistaken. It's going to be close.

    see my post above (none / 0) (#70)
    by tsackton on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:05:33 PM EST
    The Dems don't need to win any of OH/FL/PA if they can win Missouri, Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia.

    Dems do need to hold Michigan, but I haven't really seen a serious case that McCain could take Michigan against either Dem (whereas the arguments for McCain taking PA/OH/FL are quite realistic and worrisome).

    But also, it is a long campaign, and Dem energy is way, way up, so poll numbers right now aren't destiny.


    It's always worthwhile to take a look at the size (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by frankly0 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:52:28 AM EST
    of the various states.

    Wikipedia has a table of populations of states.

    What's noteworthy is that if, indeed, Hillary wins TX, OH, and PA, then she will have won in all of the top 8 states in population with the single exception of Obama's home state of Illinois. Those 8 states together comprise 47.3% of the entire population of the US. Obviously, OH, FL, MI, and PA are major swing states, all in the top 8.

    The largest potential swing state that I can make out that Obama might win is Virginia, which clocks in at number 12.

    If Obama wins the nomination while not winning any of the top 8 states outside of Illinois, which is certainly quite possible, it can hardly be a good thing come November. My guess is that he's going to lose a great many of the blue collar Democrats in major swing states, who are likely to become McCain Democrats.

    The question is the correlation (4.00 / 1) (#29)
    by riddlerandy on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:01:49 AM EST
    between being able to win a state in the Democratic primary, and the ability to win it in the general.  Does the fact that Obama won WI, MN, IA, MO, IL etc. mean that Clinton could not beat McCain in those states?  A dem would have to win at some of those to win as well.  I don't pretend to know the answer, it is just not self-evident to me how significant one is to the other.  Unless lurking back there is some assumption that many of the folks who vote for Clinton in the OH or PA wont vote for him in the general.

    As for MI, having his name on the ballot will immeasurably increase his chances there.

    I think it is fair to say (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:08:47 AM EST
    that winning a primary means you have a better chance in a state than the person who lost the primary.

    In some states, like CA and AL, that does not matter.

    In FL, MI, OH and PA, I think it does.

    As it does in WI and MN and IA.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#51)
    by riddlerandy on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:20:50 AM EST
    but it also depends on how likely it is that you are going to do well enough with 2/3 of voters from that state who did not vote in the Dem primary.  Which of course it does not matter for the general election who wins TX

    Do you understand what high turnout is? (none / 0) (#71)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:17:08 PM EST
    Most of those who will vote in November in Wisconsin voted this week as well.  More than a third of voters don't vote -- even in Wisconsin, traditionally one of the highest-turnout states.  

    And one of the states where women's turnout is highest traditionally, too.  So it even could be lower than usual.


    WI will go Dem (none / 0) (#53)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:26:54 AM EST
    and not as close as last time, no matter the candidate -- as long as there is not more voter suppression in Milwaukee again.  Either Dem candidate will win it, because of the economy and health care -- see the issues polling in Wisconsin this week.  The state has been in the recession for some time, and health care costs are some of the highest in the country.  These will bring out the anti-Bush vote with most voters, older ones.

    The crossover vote this week was confusing, confounding -- but the anti-Bush vote will be there about the other leading issue in Wisconsin, the war.  That will work against  McCain with the youth vote in Wisconsin that cares less about the economy and health care -- but Wisconsin had the highest youth vote in the country in 2006.


    I know a number (none / 0) (#59)
    by sas on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:33:21 AM EST
    of Clinton supporters here in PA that will not vote for Obama in the General.  Will they vote for McCain, is the question.  I can't predict that.  They are undecided.

    I don't think the problem will be (none / 0) (#66)
    by Kathy on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:42:47 PM EST
    folks crossing over to vote for McCain, rather, the problem will be folks who feel so apathetic that they stay home.

    Same thing with Gore.  He was so emasculated by the media that people stayed home.


    OH (3.00 / 1) (#33)
    by hvs on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:07:59 AM EST
    I just did a little homework and found that here in OH districts are apportioned delegates based on Democratic turnout in 2004 and 2006. The most populous district, mine, the 11th, receives eight delegates and the smallest districts get four. Shoot. That reduces the power of an urban/high-population thrashing by Obama and boosts the effectiveness of rural/low-population districts. Of course, it's dangerous to make assumptions about which demographics vote for whom, since Obama's been raiding formerly secure HRC demographics.

    I think Virginia will go BHO in Nov.

    I want Edwards for Veep or Cleland for Veep/(and Czar of taking care of Iraq war vets) or Gregoire.

    Well (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:10:07 AM EST
    That's nice but this post is more about Novemebr than MArch 4.

    "That's nice" (none / 0) (#43)
    by hvs on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:12:30 AM EST
    Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.

    I think you missed my point (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:14:28 AM EST
    Keep your comment ON topic.

    I guess deleting off topic comments is the only message some of you will understand.


    Because VP selection has nothing to do with Nov. (none / 0) (#50)
    by hvs on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:18:21 AM EST
    You did not write very much on VP selection (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:24:01 AM EST
    You wrote about delegate counts in Ohio.

    Look, I am not going to argue with you any further on this point.

    Either you understand it or you do not.

    I will delete off topic comments.


    I think Virginia and Colorada will go for Obama (none / 0) (#39)
    by zyx on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:11:15 AM EST
    in '08.

    VA=13 electoral votes



    We think a lot of things (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:13:23 AM EST
    and polling certainly supports your view.

    But by the same token, polling leads to the view that Obama loses OH, PA, FL and MI.


    Don't forget that these poll numbers (3.00 / 1) (#83)
    by athyrio on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:21:10 PM EST
    are with Obama getting mostly favorable press up to this point...You add in the searing press and he will drop badly IMO...Buchanan predicts it will take about two weeks of the GOP onslaught to finish him off...that is scary indeed....

    Hmmm Utube has crashed (1.00 / 1) (#80)
    by athyrio on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:04:51 PM EST
    maybe someone doesn't want that SNL video to be seen too much...

    I would add TN (none / 0) (#5)
    by Mike Pridmore on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:38:52 AM EST
    to the possible win places for Hillary.  There is a Democratic governor and there would have been a new Democratic Senator if Harold Ford had campaigned better.  He lost that one at the very end.  The trick in TN is to get really high turnout in the west, focusing on African American votes in and around Memphis, to balance out the eastern part of the state.  It is definitely a doable win for Dems.

    No chance (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:41:15 AM EST

    Bill Clinton won it by 2pts in 1996 (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:42:47 AM EST
    when he was the incumbent. I think you're right--it's off the table.

    And it was Clinton, Dole and 1996 (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:45:03 AM EST
    Tennesseee is more GOP now than then.

    No chance.


    Gore didn't even get (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:46:23 AM EST
    a favorite son advantage. Or worse, he did, but it still wasn't enough. Deep red.

    Gore did not spend one day (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by RalphB on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:57:24 AM EST
    campaigning in TN in 2000.  I presume he thought he would win anyway.  I think he could have won his home state with some campaigning, but NO he bet it all on FL.  TN was still close.

    Gore didn't campaign there. (none / 0) (#24)
    by liminal on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:57:34 AM EST
     - and, the NRA was actively campaigning against him in the middle south.  Gore should've run a better campaign in Tennessee, and defused the gun issue.  He should've won Tennessee in 2000.  (Still: I agree, HRC can't win Tennessee this cycle.  Maybe as an incumbent, though, were she elected and if she governed well.)

    Two of three! (none / 0) (#12)
    by zyx on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:46:35 AM EST
    Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania!

    That was true in '04.

    I've been looking at the '04 maps and worrying since Wisconsin, because Obama's win was so big that I have conceded that he'll get the nomination (I want Clinton, so that hurts).  I don't see that him winning Colorado and Nevada and maybe a couple of other little states--maybe Missouri (that's always a maybe for Dems) can make up those states, which are huge.

    Hard to say (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:47:34 AM EST
    but if he loses FL, OH, MI and PA, it does not matter if he does or does not.

    As to PA, (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:52:01 AM EST
    TV time is like gold. I'll be happy if the primary goes on there, because then Obama will be able to introduce himself to western PA before the GOP gets a first shot.

    electoral math (none / 0) (#68)
    by tsackton on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:52:52 PM EST
    If you concede that Obama will hold every Kerry state (with the possible exception of PA), he starts off with 239. That assumes Obama can hold MI, but I think that is a safe assumption, as recent polls show both Dems doing well there despite no campaigning.

    Add Iowa and Colorado, you get to 247. Kerry didn't win either, but both were close, and have been trending Democratic since 2004. Obama is up considerably over McCain in recent polling, and Colorado has the advantage of the Dem convention in Denver generating lots of local press.

    From there, there are a number of scenarios to get to 270. Winning Florida does it in one go, but I think Obama is going to have trouble with Florida. PA or OH plus one of New Mexico, Nevada, Missouri, or Virginia gets to 270. Obviously PA+OH does the job. Even without either PA or OH, NM+NV+VA gets you to exactly 270, or VA+MO.

    So there are a lot of plausible ways to get to 270 that don't require PA/OH/FL (although it is much, much harder without MI). Although personally I think that Obama will easily win PA -- there are many, many more votes in Philly and its suburbs (which are very anti-war, at least based on the 2006 elections) than in the middle of state, so even if McCain does very well in Pennsyltucky, he won't survive getting crushed in the Philly area.


    I don't think (none / 0) (#15)
    by zyx on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:49:28 AM EST
    any Dem will lose Michigan.  And maybe not Ohio.  But it will be hard to win without PA AND Florida.  I saw a scenario that had him do it on a blog...but I dunno.

    Obanma loses to McCain in Ohio now (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:51:35 AM EST
    and in PA according to SUSA polls.

    In Florida, Obama is down 16 in a Ras poll.

    Obama's polling in these 4 states is not good at all.

    Hillary's is only somewhat better.


    It's scary (none / 0) (#22)
    by zyx on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:56:58 AM EST
    and we've been sold on his electability all this time.  I am pretty worried.  I want my ponies and sparkles, even if I'm not so very pro-Obama.

    Here are some sites I've looked at recently that think he can win...I'm not so sure, though.




    Ohio (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:04:11 AM EST
    is included in their list.

    That's 20 right off the bat that are iffy at best.


    Ohio, Missouri, Iowa... (none / 0) (#34)
    by zyx on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:08:02 AM EST
    Election night is gonna be tense, no matter what side you are on, isn't it?

    Missouri (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:09:19 AM EST
    Hard to say.

    OH is going to be close (none / 0) (#42)
    by riddlerandy on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:12:18 AM EST
    no matter what.  Although the possibility of Hillary choosing Strickland as her running mate is, I think, one of the best arguments for why she may be more electable.

    Hillary is up 10 (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:16:32 AM EST
    over McCain.

    Obama is losing to McCain.

    According to the polls of course.

    Either we are gong to engage this issue or not.

    For example, I think it is clear that Obama does better in Iowa, MN, WI, CO, NV and VA.

    A little honest discussion please.


    Dont think I was being (none / 0) (#54)
    by riddlerandy on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:27:09 AM EST
    dishonest at all, but to each his own.  Polls in February dont mean much as to either candidate's in the general election before the GOP/talk radio death star takes aim.  But if she were to pick Strickland, that could make all the difference

    Let me put it this way (none / 0) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:38:40 AM EST
    My apologies to you, I am sick and tired of the Obama is going to win 40 states post that dismiss the fact that he is doing poorly right now in OH, FL, PA and MI.

    That is the key point (none / 0) (#61)
    by andgarden on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:40:58 AM EST
    kos's post about 55% was really ridiculous.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#62)
    by riddlerandy on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:43:28 AM EST
    those electoral-vote blogs (none / 0) (#27)
    by zyx on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 10:59:48 AM EST
    I may have picked up those links here, originally, to begin with.

    Anyway, the General is a long way off.  Maybe Ohio and Pennsylvania will feel the Obamagic by November.  Maybe, as someone said somewhere, a Pringles can with a (D) by it would win.  

    But I think a strong candidate in PA and OH and FL RIGHT NOW would make me more comfy.


    Be good if we could see it before (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:03:07 AM EST
    we hand him the nomination.

    PA Repubicans will vote McCain (none / 0) (#40)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:11:23 AM EST
    Kerry won PA last time but there was a lot of unhappiness with GW. My Republicans friends vote every election, small or large. They will not vote for Hillary or Obama or any Democrat. I live in the country now and our side of the road in '04 was Kerry/Edwards signs in each yard.(2-5 acres a lot) The other side of the road were the Bush/Cheney signs. We did not get into arguments, we didn't even discuss the difference in opinions. There were more houses on our side of the road.Heh. No loss of friendships. The sign was the statement. Our primary is one or the other. This is where we will see a true opinion without the Indy or GOP vote. If it is for Obama, his win is true. If Hillary, we know that the open primaries were not true. Then on to the GE and the real fight.

    Polls can change greatly over (none / 0) (#58)
    by my opinion on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:32:15 AM EST
    time. You really can't predict the future based on current polls. Especially, since the GE is so far away and it is not completely certain who is running.

    Forget Florida (none / 0) (#65)
    by sar75 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:38:19 PM EST
    I would argue that if Florida doesn't look good, the Democratic candidate should forget it altogether. Don't waste money or time there. I wonder what would have happened if Kerry hadn't bothered at all with Florida and instead spent all the time and money he did there on Ohio alone.

    Instead, I think the Democratic candidate should keep everything that was blue in 2004 (and here Pennsylvania will be toughest, but entirely doable; Michigan I think will be safely Democratic) and add Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada - all very winnable states.  If Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio can be added to that mix, great.  

    I do expect that Obama's polling in Ohio and Pennsylvania will go up if he wins those states or just by becoming the nominee. Moreover, we've yet to feel the full brunt of the economic downturn. I expect that any Democrats chances are going to increase as the year goes on, unemployment ticks up, gas prices stay high, etc. This will be a huge factor in Ohio.

    But really, these are all just guesses!  This season has been too full of surprises to make any really confident predictions on battleground states. I'm feeling optimistic though that both Clinton and Obama can get the job done in these states.

    Why Obama Is Winning (none / 0) (#67)
    by OxyCon on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 12:46:59 PM EST
    One reason I think Obama is winning is because he is actively courting Repubs to vote in the Democratic primary, something many Repubs are more than willing to do in order to torpedo Hillary's campaign.
    (see here: http://republicansforobama.org/?q=node/359)
    They do not want to face Hillary in the general election.
    Call me crazy, but I don't think letting Repubs chose our candidate is such a great idea for the Democratic party.
    Another reason why Obama is winning is because he uses a racist, anti-white "dog whistle" (you've been bamboozled...hoodwinked" to monopolize the black vote.
    (see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuB_W8o_UsU)
    Again, this is good for the Democratic party, how?
    These two things I mention are the margin of Obama's victories.

    Isn't this why Superdelegates exist? (none / 0) (#69)
    by K Lynne on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:02:42 PM EST
    Wasn't the whole purpose of the Superdelegate concept to potentially override the popular vote in order to nominate someone who may have come close but lost in the regular delegate count, but is deemed to be more electable in the GE?  

    If this analysis is correct (and I have no faith in polls this far out - where were Hillary and McCain in the polls last summer?) wouldn't it make sense for the Superdelegates to select Hillary over Obama?  Of course, that would risk a huge battle at the convention...

    K Lynne

    I hope not (none / 0) (#73)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:22:52 PM EST
    I think they are tiebreakers.

    Super Delegates as Firewall (1.00 / 1) (#79)
    by pluege on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:04:46 PM EST
    I understood super delegates to be a kind of firewall against nominating irrational exuberance candidates that could have difficulty winning in the general election, e.g., McGovern. If so, it would seem that they should be playing a rather large roll this year...not saying they shouldn't pick Obama, but just that they ought to be taking a pretty hard look at who best represents the democratic party.

    Regardless, with a choice only of a non-white male, democrats need to be very cold and calculating  about who represents them in the general election. Success in US politics favors practicality and reality over what allegedly are American ideals. For my money, America is more racist and sexist than not.


    Superdelegates as a firewall (none / 0) (#85)
    by K Lynne on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:42:24 PM EST
    That was my understanding as well.  I've seen numerous articles discussing Superdelegates as a response to the nomination of McGovern.

    As a moderate, I've always found the whole primary thing somewhat perplexing.  On both sides, the 'bases' tend to dominate the discussions - and primaries USUALLY seem to result in a nominee who "excites the base".  Which would tend to mean that each side would tend to nominate someone further left or further right than the moderates / independents might like.  

    That's partly why I'm finding this year more interesting than most.  The fact that Rush and Ann Coulter are apoplectic about McCain as the nominee seems to be a plus for McCain in the GE...

    Based on those 'liberal' vs 'conservative' ratings alone, I would imagine that McCain with a recent rating of 62?% in the past few years (80% lifetime - which is the number that is touted to conservatives who are nervous about McCain) seems like it would be closer to representative of the middle than Obama's 100% liberal rating.

    I know, the 'base' is what turns out in elections, and what drives the GOTV campaigns.  But I would expect that the moderate would be more likely to turn a red state blue, or vice versa...

    -K Lynne


    FWIW (apologies if this is not considered OT) (none / 0) (#72)
    by NJDem on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:21:08 PM EST
    I read that in 2000, after Gore had been running from the Clinton record, that Bill called him about 2 weeks before the election and suggested Gore go to Tenn. and he offered to go to Ark.--but Gore declined the offer.  Personally, I think BC had the correct strategy.

    Saying this, I think HRC has a good chance to carry Ark and possibly Tenn (considering her big win there).  

    I could be wrong, but thought I'd but this out there...

    The primary results are misleading (none / 0) (#75)
    by pedagog on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:46:48 PM EST
    You are all making assumptions about BO's or HRC's electability based on today's polls and the MSM love-fest over Obama. So far, they have given him a BIG PASS.

    Wait until they turn on him [and there is some of that subtly taking place already] and the Repub and RW 527s start pounding him.  He's barely holding his own in some of the big states against McCain NOW.  Don't be delusional--he's no slam dunk by any means.

    Dems continually forget the power of a Navy war hero [forget Kerry who couldn't defend a ham sandwich, never mind himself], especially in places like VA!

    Some Eyes on The Wrong Ball (none / 0) (#77)
    by pluege on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 01:50:55 PM EST
    Since Super Tuesday, the blind Obamamania has been all about a great, great victory over... Hillary Clinton. Actually seating a democrat as POTUS, not so much. Come 05-Nov-08, the great victory over HRC could be one more empty near-sighted lefty demise.

    I still don't fully understand (none / 0) (#82)
    by Tano on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:16:32 PM EST
    the underlying assumption here.

    That somehow the strength of Barack and Hillary relative to each other in some partiuclar state, is any indication of how either one would do in that state against McCain in the general.

    Almost everyone who votes for Barack in a primary will vote for Hillary if she is the nominee, except perhaps some of those independents. Almost everyone who votes for Hillary will support Barack, except for a few TL commenters.

    There seems to be some assumption that significant numbers of people who vote for one in the primary, would not vote for the other in the general, and I just don't see it. Excpet, again, for those independents and Republicans that Barack has attracted.

    Too bad the polling does not support you (none / 0) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 02:41:18 PM EST
    BTW, your comment is borderline offensive. Watch your self please.

    BTD (none / 0) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 03:34:33 PM EST
    great post and great discussion!

    BTW, my first time posting here. Been lurking a while though.