There Is A Problem If Obama Can Not Win The Key Big States

By Big Tent Democrat

Matt Yglesias, quoting a Clinton campaign memo, misunderstands this point:

The Obama campaign and its allies are outspending us two to one in paid media and have sent more staff into the March 4 states. . . . If he cannot win all of these states with all this effort, there's a problem.

Matt seems to think the Clinton campaign is alluding to a nomination problem. No, the reference is to the general election. I think it is clear that if Obama wins Ohio OR Texas, he will be the nominee. But if he fails to win both, the Clinton campaign is raising legitimate questions about what this means in a general election, especially in Ohio. I know the Left blogs get their jollies from ridiculing Hillary Clinton and her campaign, but sometimes they DO raise a legitimate issue. It might be nice to think about this one.

NOTE - Comments are closed.

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    two questions on this: (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:10:56 PM EST
    • one: does anyone really think that no matter who the Dem candidate is, that NY/Calif will go red or that Texas will go blue?

    • aren't we comparing apples and oranges here?  If the overwhelming majority (polls say 80%) of HRC and Obama supporters will support the other candidate, doesn't that tell us it that the more important factor is how many vote?  As another reader commented a while back on this: if there are two primaries, one is between two flavors of ice cream, and the other is about cake, that doesn't tell me a whole lot about what happens when the vote is one of those ice creams vs the cake.  In other words: if Dem-X gets 2.2 million votes, and Dem-Y gets 2.1 million votes, and McCain is getting 2.5 million votes (as a made up example), then either Dem candidate is in pretty good shape, no matter if it is Dem-X or Dem-Y

    Review my posts on the subject (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:12:23 PM EST
    I want to make an announcement - I will not repeat all my previous posts on the subject of a post.

    You need to do your own background work.


    yeah, I read it the last time (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:16:06 PM EST
    and I don't think you adequately answered me.

    So, we happen to disagree.  Can we disagree in a way that's not disagreeable?


    No you rread one post (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:17:33 PM EST
    As I said, I will not do your background work for you.

    Carry on.


    no matter.... (none / 0) (#71)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:33:12 PM EST
    while I try to understand the issues here from give and take, I'm not going to put too much effort into "what happens if..." when the primary is just a few days away.

    I'm content to be patient, let the voters speak, and see what the political landscape looks like the next morning.  Because I'm sure it'll be significantly different than it is today.

    FWIW, I think Clinton will win Ohio by a small margin, and Obama will win Texas by a big margin.  Will that change anyone's view on anything here?


    yes, I agree (none / 0) (#161)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:06:37 PM EST
    this line of argument is so tiresome, given that it is so empty.

    I mean really people...

    Is it not fair to say that almost all rational Dem voters list their preferences this way:

    Dem candidate 1
    Dem candidate 2
    maybe greenies
    maybe McCain

    The propensity of one of our candidates to defeat the other in a particular state has NO relevance whatsoever to the propensity of either to win the state in November.


    If Obama had lost 11 in a row (1.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:27:20 PM EST
    don't you think the media (the big party members) would have forced him out, heck wouldn't he have been forced out by just losing the 8 in a row?

    not if he had won (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:30:14 PM EST
    all the big states on Super Tuesday.  He would be touted as the comeback kid and they would be worshipping at his feet and saying, "it's not over!"

    question (none / 0) (#1)
    by Turkana on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:56:36 AM EST
    if she's on pace to raise $35 million, this month, why is she not matching him on tv?

    I was wondering that yesterday too (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:58:31 AM EST
    after seeing her fund raising figures on yahoo.

    Hey, this is no tax and spend (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:00:19 PM EST
    Dem.  She's frugal.  Of course, she can't take it with her after she loses the primary race.

    Good One! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:02:20 PM EST
    She's frugal?! She was what 9mil in debt after Jan. despite having 100mil + in the War Chest?

    And borrowing 5 mil from herself (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:04:58 PM EST
    So maybe she's really got 20-25 million after paying off the bills. I think Obama raised something like 50 million, which would precisely equal a two to one margin.

    Obma has not reported yet (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:14:46 PM EST
    But Clinton camp says of the 35MM, 30 was for the primary.

    She will not pay herself back until the end of the campaign.

    But facts rarely matter to you bob.

    Here's the point, she SHOULD have enough to compete. Moeny is no excuse for her.


    considering the fact (none / 0) (#20)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:07:55 PM EST
    that she had 5mm of her own personal money to loan the campaign in the first place, I think that speaks to her being pretty darn good with her finances.

    This conversation... (none / 0) (#27)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:10:35 PM EST
    ... has nothing to do with personal wealth or finances.

    oh....I didn't realize you were the boss (none / 0) (#34)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:13:45 PM EST
    of the conversation.

    I think it has everything to do with her ability to manage finances.  As there is nothing else to make a comparison with OTHER than her personal finances, it's fair to use that as an example.

    Just because you don't like the comparison doesn't mean it doesn't matter.


    First... (none / 0) (#49)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:19:08 PM EST
    ... no, I really don't get how her having $5 million is relevant to how/what she is spending her money on in the campaign.

    Second, it seems pretty clear that the Clinton campaign did not manage their money very well, at least through Super Tuesday.  They ran out of money.  

    I think that is a bigger deal than whether or not she has $5 million in personal wealth.


    I agree with this comment (none / 0) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:23:05 PM EST
    obviously (none / 0) (#61)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:24:52 PM EST
    I disagree.

    No... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:03:03 PM EST
    ... but she can pay herself back for that $5 million.

    I prefered yesterday to think she had (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:03:22 PM EST
    a streak gleefully to the finish line strategy about to be deployed.  You are blowing my high ;)

    We're in trouble, as BTD says (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:05:04 PM EST
    Obama's NAFTA/Canada wink isn't even a blip on the screen.

    Is it my imagination or am I really (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:09:48 PM EST
    always hanging out with the bunch that is in trouble?    sigh.......where's my Eeyore sweatshirt?  My Edwards for President sweatshirt just not cutting it either.

    Speaking of sweatshirts, I was going (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:11:35 PM EST
    to suggest to Jeralyn that the campaign for contributions should maybe add premiums like NPR.  

    Yeah, maybe I could get some winners (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:13:58 PM EST
    sweatshirt then or something winnerish ;)

    Maybe we should snap up some (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:15:36 PM EST
    Obama gear.  It is bound to be a collector's item when McCain tromps him in Nov.

    I like Clinton gear (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:19:36 PM EST
    You can pretend its retro, and you backed a winner.

    There's always an upside baby (none / 0) (#173)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:51:43 PM EST
    Look out for those upsides

    I've yet to be convinced of that (none / 0) (#89)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:46:41 PM EST
    by a long shot. Nor am I convinced of BTD's premise here. Unless he thinks that very few HRC primary voters will turnout for Obama in the GE, I expect he will take Illinois, NY, CA, possibly FL and/or Ohio.

    I can't see any Republican winning, McCain included, if Obama takes NY, CA and Florida.  

    The GOP will take Texas. They have to take Florida to win. Ca would be their next best shot, and I don't think they will take it. Conversely a Democrat can win without taking Florida, but it would help to do so.


    I would take Fl out of the equation but (none / 0) (#96)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:52:42 PM EST
    then I'm sort of pessimistic about things here.

    The GOP will lose CA (none / 0) (#119)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:11:59 PM EST
    even if Kucinich were the nominee.....Boxer won by 20 points in the tough environment of 2004.

    McCain is pro-life; Obama is pro-choice....End of story....

    Neither Gore nor Kerry ran a single commerical here.  In 2004, Bush ran a lot of commercials and did a ton of direct mail here....I assume in an effort to boost his national popular vote....Kerry did nothing here.   Bush lost by only 9%, as opposed  to 11% in 2000....The last polls I saw showed Obama up by 20 over McCain.

    The last time a Republican won California was in 1988 when Bush I won by 2%.  

    Obama should spend $0 here--let the Republicans spend their hearts out in a losing cause.



    I would agree w/you about CA if (none / 0) (#149)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:41:58 PM EST
    if Obama forcefully and w/o qualifiers stated he will work to keep Roe v. Wade in place and for gay/lesbian equality.  

    Neither Gore nor Kerry (none / 0) (#160)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:02:03 PM EST
    did that other than reaffirm they are pro-choice.....

    Sometimes people project Bill's parsing onto Obama too much.


    Will Obama make such (none / 0) (#171)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:32:01 PM EST
    an unconditional statement?

    He already (none / 0) (#172)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:46:07 PM EST
    has--you just want him to say it a certain way.....

    You Are A Winner (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:46:18 PM EST
    In my book. Besides, as my tai chi teacher often said, it can be a good thing to invest in loss.

    Man I hope so cuz I'm heavily invested ;) (none / 0) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:36:23 PM EST
    HAhahahahaha (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:39:15 PM EST
    If that is true you are bound to wind up on top, as long as you keep paying attention, which, as far as I can tell, is a given.

    I know how you feel (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Nasarius on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:14:10 PM EST
    I was with Edwards from the beginning 'til the end. I promised myself I wouldn't get emotionally invested in another candidate. Now, just as I'm starting to like Clinton...

    Yeah, I picked the wrong candidate too (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:21:44 PM EST
    My personal choice is busy trying to hang onto his seat in Ohio.  But I hope everyone recognizes that the most important thing is not the choice between the two remaining candidates -- in the big picture, that means very little.  The most important thing is to retake the White House and, if at all possible, to take as many seats at the national, state and local levels as possible.  I will be perfectly happy to see either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama as the nominee and will enthusiastically support either.  I'd hope that everyone "on our side" would feel the same way -- to do otherwise is to facilitate a de facto third Bush term, and we simply can't have that.

    Hairdos for campaign consultants? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:00:13 PM EST
    Mark Penn (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:03:28 PM EST
    Not just cash money, but I'm guessing the man likes his Party Platters (do it in Mayor Quimby voice).

    Great question (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:01:21 PM EST
    This weekend could be different. Maybe a blitz coming?

    Note to Oculus (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:04:18 PM EST
    BTD NOT blowing my high ;)

    Cynical answer (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:03:10 PM EST
    As Jerome said a few months ago: Obama's people are getting a cut, and Hillary's aren't.

    The air war isn't everything.


    What are they spending it on then? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:04:01 PM EST
    If I had to guess (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:05:08 PM EST
    street money in south Texas.

    Good investment (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:08:38 PM EST
    For the caucuses especially.

    Absolutely (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:14:28 PM EST
    Whenever the disbursements come out, we can look for $50 gas and grocery cards times 20,000. At least, that's how it works in Philly.

    Everywhere (none / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:15:31 PM EST
    And donuts too . . .

    Yup (none / 0) (#53)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:20:42 PM EST
    If Hillary wins, expect TINS to have a conniption about it.

    Heh (none / 0) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:22:21 PM EST
    getting a cut? (none / 0) (#33)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:13:37 PM EST
    What are you implying?

    Traditionally, Democratic media buys (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:17:20 PM EST
    send a percentage to the consultant. That means they get paid more if they buy more ads.

    Supposedly, Hillary has a better--more Republican--arrangement with her people.


    why? (none / 0) (#75)
    by Nasarius on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:35:21 PM EST
    I've heard of this before, but never understood the motivation for the candidate to have such a deal. Or is it just a roundabout way of paying them in proportion with how well the campaign is doing?

    I guess it works better (none / 0) (#79)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:39:33 PM EST
    if you don't plan to spend much on ads. I guess it's sorta the same thing as lawyers billing by the hour. (wink, wink lawyer people. . .)

    taking a cut of the ad buy (none / 0) (#138)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:29:13 PM EST
    is a holdover from pr firms.  Procter & Gamble, Toyota, etc--they all get the same deal.  The ad firm comes up with the campaign, they shoot the commercial and they buy the media.  They get paid every step of the way, including getting a cut of the media buy.  It's pretty standard when you are selling a...product.

    Better? (none / 0) (#120)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:12:10 PM EST
    She seems to being paying Penn an exorbiant sum, unless you think Axelrod et al are getting 5mil + per month I seriously doubt she has that much of a better deal.

    Axelrod, et al., may be getting (none / 0) (#153)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:50:08 PM EST
    as much as you say, dependent upon their percentage of the ad buys -- again, with Obama at 4:1 to 5:1 in ad buys. Do you see how that works for them?

    there is no implication (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:19:11 PM EST
    it is a statement of fact: they get a cut of all media buys.

    I think the campaign budgets carefully (none / 0) (#65)
    by goldberry on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:28:05 PM EST
    From my limited experience in NJ, I think they budget a certain amount of money per state.  It might be better if they built in a little leeway as I know they ran out of yard signs in NJ.  And they were clearly worried that Obama was flooding the state all over the place with cash for canvassers, etc.  
    But it DOES go to show you that there is a limit to what money can buy.  
    I think after Iowa, they were more careful and spent money more judiciously.  
    Now, why is it we don't hear about the gobs and gobs of cash in the big states that Obama has wasted?  He makes Marie Antoinette look like a Scrooge.  

    shhh... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:33:56 PM EST
    Obama doesn't lose.  He just has a win deficit that was orchestrated by the Clinton Machine and was probably stolen anyway and hey, did you see he tromped her in Alaska?!

    Let PA Vote (none / 0) (#94)
    by Athena on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:51:55 PM EST
    The contest must continue so that Obama remains under scrutiny for the next 6-7 weeks - through the Rezko trial, the mounting record of flip-flops, etc.

    Why would the party want a nominee crowned just when his political sidekick is going on trial in federal court?  Makes no sense.

    So - let PA vote.  More time, more scrutiny.


    Well (none / 0) (#131)
    by muffie on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:20:46 PM EST
    Figure that at the start of February, she had $29 million cash on hand, minus a reported $20 million slated for the general.  There's also $7.5 million debt, of which $5 million in her personal loan to the campaign.  There's no reason for her to repay the loan until after the primary, so let's say about $7 million cash on hand for the primaries.  So if she brought in another $35 million, of which, supposedly $30 million is for the primaries, we get $37 million on hand.

    Now Hillary spent $28 million in January.  I'm going to guess that the amount in higher for February, as there were more states to compete in.   (One can make the counterargument that her expenditures in Iowa were atypically high, but I would guess that the number of states voting on Feb 5th more than balances this out.)  So I think it's believable that she's running low on cash.

    On the other hand, aside from the negative publicity, there's nothing to prevent her from loaning her campaign another 5 million.  So it's certainly not crippling.


    I don't see. . . (none / 0) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:01:39 PM EST
    why this is a concern. If Obama finishes second, with a near record response and more votes than the essentially unopposed Republican candidate, why does that bode ill for him?  Even the losing Democrat in the remaining race is going to rack up an incredible primary election performance.

    I don't think either candidate holds out any hope of winning Texas in the general.  Obama does very well broadly speaking across the Midwest.  Even if he doesn't win the Ohio outright (which is increasingly likely, I think) he's not going to get blown out there.

    Because of the demographic breakdown (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:03:40 PM EST
    I wonder at your wonder.

    I don't see. . . (none / 0) (#62)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:25:09 PM EST
    why a result in which Obama gets 47% of the primary vote places him in a dangerously worse situation than one in which he gets 53%.

    If he got wiped out, showing that he is unable to attract white voters, or any particular Democratic demographic, maybe.  But we're likely talking about a single-digit difference.  And Obama has clearly been making up his demographic deficits.

    And how does getting 47% of Democrats in a hotly contested Democratic primary indicate a problem with  getting Democrats in a general election contest against a Republican?

    If Obama were running unopposed and got the numbers he's getting and none of Clinton's voters we'd still be darn happy with his results.


    That's funny (none / 0) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:41:55 PM EST
    And you from NYC.

    If he loses whites by 17 and Latinos by 30, that does NOT concern you?


    Well. . . (none / 0) (#98)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:55:22 PM EST
    does it concern you that Clinton loses blacks by 60%?  Men by 20%?  That's the nature of affinity politics, bless us all.

    I am somewhat concerned about the Hispanic vote since 1) speaking broadly (not necessarily a great idea with a group this heterogeneous) I think they have as much natural affiliation with Republicans as with Democrats and 2) I believe in the existence of a racial divide between blacks and Hispanics that I have the distinct impression the left simply doesn't want to think or talk about.

    That said, you need to consider what states you're talking about.  In what actual in-play states could a difference in the Hispanic vote overcome the increase in, say, the black vote that you would expect to see with Obama?  If you're suggesting that Texas is in play with Clinton, I don't think that's realistic.  If you're suggesting that the Hispanic vote is going to decide Ohio in the GE, I don't think that's right.

    If you want to clarify your argument to say "If Obama can't win Hispanics and Whites, there's a big problem" then I think we actually have a debatable subject to discuss.


    Not A-As (none / 0) (#109)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:02:05 PM EST
    Two reasons. One, she will pick Obama as her running mate.

    Two, A-As have voted for white Democrats at a 90% clip forever.

    Whites and Latinos have not been reliable Dem voters. Indeed, white are majority GOP voters.

    Men are a serious concern about Hillary. No doubt about it.


    Latinos (none / 0) (#122)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:14:15 PM EST
    I actually agree to a certain extent, its unfortunate the GOP picked McCain, literally any other canidate would be hard pressed to crack 35% of the Latino vote after the immigration debacle.

    I'm wondering if Nader selecting (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:44:43 PM EST
    a Latino as running mate may siphon off a sign. percentage of Latino voters.

    Cool! (none / 0) (#163)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:10:50 PM EST
    You figured out a way to use "Nader" and "significant" in the same sentence!

    So what's your answer? (none / 0) (#170)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:30:12 PM EST
    Two problems. . . (none / 0) (#146)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:37:40 PM EST
    first off, you're right that historically speaking African Americans have voted 90% for Dems.  But 90% of ten voters and 90% of ten million voters can mean the difference in an election.  A turnout difference among black voters of, say, thirty percent (something easy to imagine) might well turn the election.

    Secondly, that historic tendency has been loosening recently, at least if New York is anything to go by.  Remember that a billionaire Jewish Republican media mogul got forty-eight percent of the black vote recently against a candidate of color.

    Finally, you're not taking into account the special dynamics of this election.  If Clinton were to win a strong victory over Obama I don't think there would be a problem -- we'd fail to see the enormous Obama turnout among African American voters we'd see with Obama but we'd still get a standard, solid turnout.

    But if Clinton winds up taking the nomination in a hotly contested situation with a floor fight and backroom deals I think all bets are off in terms of both turnout and voting preference in November.


    I think you should also take into account (none / 0) (#150)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:44:32 PM EST
    the many women in this country on both the dem and repub side who will sit out or vote McCain should it appear that Obama has "stolen" the nomination.

    I am not saying I am one of these women, but I am saying that a simple check of the last census (or, indeed, the last exit polls) will show that we are a far more powerful voting bloc.


    Imagine if 1% more of women (none / 0) (#155)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:55:05 PM EST
    in Florida had voted . . . and voted Dem. Conversely, imagine if even 1% less of women who already have voted for Clinton this year do not vote -- that could translate (since women vote more than men, and vote even more Dem) to well more than a 1% drop in some states, and if they're close states. . . . (Recall that in my state in 2004, Kerry won by less than four-tenths of 1%).

    From the polls (none / 0) (#19)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:07:12 PM EST
    It looks like Obama will win Texas and is closing in Ohio. Which means that Wednesday Texas wouldn't be winnable for a Dem anyway and maybe Ohio isn't a big state anymore.

    Yes, I tend to think. . . (none / 0) (#63)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:27:10 PM EST
    this argument is going to be moot after the 4th.

    Agree on TX (none / 0) (#67)
    by Lou Grinzo on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:30:49 PM EST
    I couldn't agree more on Texas.  The only way any Democrat wins that state in November is if the GE is a massive blowout, and it would take a very extreme set of circumstances for that to happen.  (A major McCain temper tantrum just days before the election, an enormous Republican scandal erupts, etc.)

    OH is the state that worries me.  The last numbers I saw in head-to-heads, probably a couple of months (and therefore several lifetimes) ago had McCain handily beating Obama in OH.  I'm sure those numbers have shifted since in Obama's favor, but I think OH could be a real nail biter this time around, even without polling place shenanigans.


    Obama outperforming Clinton in polls (none / 0) (#18)
    by magster on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:05:57 PM EST
    head to head against McCain:

    in CA, IL, WA, NJ, PA, OR, MI, MN, WI, NM, IA, CO, VA, MT.

    Clinton outperforming Obama in NY (safely blue anyway), AZ, FL.

    Overall, Obama projected, based on current polling, to win with 289 electoral votes.  Clinton projected, based on current votes, to lose with 233 electoral votes.

    Shall I list ther polls (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:08:04 PM EST
    where he is being outperformed by Clinton now in MI, PA and FL?

    I do not need to find it for you for OH. You could not find one for Obama.

    The other concern is is this Obama's highwater mark?

    The Media Darling issue is a BIG concern for me. If he does not keep it, he will lose. I am sure of that.


    The "highwater mark" (none / 0) (#51)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:20:26 PM EST
    I don't expect that this is either candidate's highwater mark.  I expect that to be reached when one or the other concedes and throws their full support behind the other.

    We'll see (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:22:03 PM EST
    If Obama holds his Media Darling status,, he can hold his position.

    This is certainly his MEDIA highwater mark because he is running against Hillary now. It is definitely going to get worse for him when Hillary is not his opponent.


    I hear you....but I disagree (none / 0) (#69)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:31:06 PM EST
    I don't believe we've seen the full Senator Obama unleashed yet.  I think (like Senator Clinton) he's held back because he's competing, for the most part, against a fellow Democrat.  Once that's done...the gloves will come off.

    And since both of them will be campaigning on behalf of the Democratic ticket, I don't give McCain much of a chance.  He's a doddering, tired, stupid, senile old coward -- a mere shell of what he once was.  I look forward to his political destruction.

    (Yeah, I'm a little angry with him.  The vote in favor of torture is completely inexcusable for someone who was a POW.  It was an act of craven political cowardice.)


    You disagree on the MEDIA? (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:40:53 PM EST
    Well, ok. I am not sure I have much more to add to your thinking if you disagree on that.

    Yeah, I really do disagree (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:52:23 PM EST
    But that could be a function of which media I'm paying attention to vs. which media you're paying attention to vs. which media most of the country is paying attention to.   Or maybe it's just a function of how we perceive the media's attitude.  Without sitting down with you and debating this for a few hours, I suppose it's hard to say.

    But I think both our candidates have done quite well for themselves to this point -- and I think they'll do even better when they're both rowing in the same direction.  Sure, I'm aware of the attacks that are waiting in the wings -- but I rather suspect that most of the ones in the Republican's arsenal are likely to only reinforce their base...and those people weren't going to vote for Senator Clinton or Senator Obama or anybody else with a "D" after their name.  So while those attacks might be quite effective in terms of communicating their message: they're not going to swing votes.

    The attacks that will swing votes, that will induce thoughtful Americans to really think about their choice, are going to come from our people.  And I have every confidence in them.

    Oh, and keep in mind that a number of prominent Democrats now on the sidelines (e.g., Gore, Edwards, Richardson, etc.) will get off the bench and into the game once the nominee is chosen.  I would not be surprised if the right wing of the Republican party has already conceded the election and is perfectly willing to let McCain walk into the buzz saw just so they can be rid of him.


    If the gloves come off (none / 0) (#87)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:46:19 PM EST
    How does he keep the independents and Republicans who are voting for him because he's such a nice, transformative guy?  It doesn't make any sense to me.

    Further, if this is a ploy just to win the primary and then we'll see the real bad-a** Obama in the general, what does tht say about his integrity? Your hypothetical is completely at odds with what he says his campaign is about, who he says he is. I think a lot of people are going to be very disappointed/disillusioned if he were to take this tack, and they might stay home in November.

    Most importantly, don't talk about John McCain like that. It's fine to criticize him for what he has done, but you shouldn't insult the man like you did.  That is completely uncalled for.


    Let me clarify -- and reiterate (none / 0) (#114)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:08:01 PM EST
    Re: your first two paragraphs: excellent comment, and I completely agree.  So to clarify: I don't mean that he will use divisive tactics or anything like that -- as you astutely point out, that would run the risk of alienating voters.  What I mean is that he's quite capable of sharpening his rhetoric in order to deal with the same from the other side.  I think he (and Senator Clinton) have been relatively gentle with each other because they recognize that they really are on the same team and that they have the same goal -- not so with McCain.  This isn't duplicitous behavior, it's standard inter-party vs. cross-party politics, and I would expect either of our good senators to do the same should they be the nominee.

    As to my comments about McCain: those who will not live up their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution deserve only my contempt.  I can abide policy differences, philosophy differences, political differences, etc. even though I sharply disagree -- I don't like it, but I recognize that's part of our system of government.  I can even grudgingly forgive or forget or understand or tolerate or (pick your term) those who break laws -- that is, statutes.  But there is a special place in hell reserved for those who betray our Constitution.  And McCain has done precisely that.


    What I objected to (none / 0) (#129)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:16:48 PM EST
    Was the characterization of Sen. McCain as "doddering, tired, stupid, senile old."

    Although I still disagree with your comments re Obama in the general, you are thoughtful and have a nice command of the language; I thought the McCain comment was beneath you.


    Thanks, and you're probably right (none / 0) (#144)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:36:01 PM EST
    Well, I had enough coffee today, so my vocabulary seems to be operational.  (Yesterday...not so good. ;-) )  So thank you, that's really kind of you to say.

    And you're probably right that the comment is beneath me, but I really am furious over the torture issue.  I can't believe that we (our nation) are actually having this debate: it shouldn't even be on the table for discussion, especially among our leaders -- who are supposed to be sufficiently mindful of their duties in re the Constitution to know that it's wrong.  (And that's without even getting into the violation of international law; people who torture should wind up in front of the ICC at the Hague.)

    But my...annoyance...with McCain in particular stems from this: he was a POW.  He should know better than everyone who wasn't just what the implications of this are for our troops, viz.: the US can no longer demand that its captured soldiers be treated per the Geneva Conventions with any authority because now the entire world knows that the US doesn't do that.  So, Constitutional, moral, legal, etc. issues aside for a moment, the immediate practical impact of this is that our military personnel are now at significantly greater risk if/when they're captured.  (I'm not under the illusion that they're exactly guaranteed humane treatment anyway, but there's no reason to actively increase the chances they'll be abused.)

    So I find it excruciating that at the same time he's verbally committing our brave troops to open-ended war, that he's removing one of the few (albeit tenuous) safety nets that protects them.


    Surrogates (none / 0) (#175)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:54:30 PM EST
    VoteVets has a great commercial out.....MoveOn can run a commerical of the Cochran statement that he believes McCian is psychologically unfit for commander-in-chief....That's coming from a fellow Republican Senator.....

    A good VP choice like Clark to articulate foreign policy......

    Right now, it is Obama v. Hillary and McCain and Bush and SNL...And what is Angelina Jolie doing???


    Ditto your last sentence, big time. (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:22:59 PM EST
    I forgot where I read it yesterday (none / 0) (#60)
    by magster on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:23:57 PM EST
    but in the states where Clinton and Obama were fairly equal against McCain, Clinton did it by doing better with Dems, and Obama did it by doing better with independents.

    So the question is whether Obama would have an easier time winning back Dems to beat McCain, or whether Hillary would have a better time gaining with Independents to beat McCain.


    Agree -- this is THE question (nt) (none / 0) (#74)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:34:21 PM EST
    Florida (none / 0) (#126)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:16:35 PM EST
    No dem is going to win Florida, no Dem was going to win Florida before the Primary thing either, Florida's gone red, I'm afraid and with Crist as the Gov. I just don't think we can take it (its like Arnold in Cali, only we don't have the massive built advantage that we have in FL).

    Gee (none / 0) (#22)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:08:18 PM EST
    that would seem to suggest that Obama is the stronger candidate.

    spin (none / 0) (#23)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:08:32 PM EST
    I think that this is pretty clear spin from the Clinton camp.  Sure... Obama may be outspending Clinton, and could still lose one of both of the states.  

    But that completely ignores the fact that Obama was trailing in both states by significant margins just a couple of weeks ago.

    Obama has taken a 17-18% gap in Ohio and turned it into a 5% gap.  He has taken an 10+% gap in Texas and turned it into a 2-3% lead.

    In both states Obama has turned large Clinton leads into winnable states, in a span of about two weeks.  

    your argument (none / 0) (#26)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:10:28 PM EST
    seems to imply that the more money Obama spends in any given market, the better he polls.

    Ah, votes for sale.  He IS just like Kennedy.


    Or... (none / 0) (#31)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:12:43 PM EST
    ... it implies that the momentum is clearly moving in Obama's directions in both of these states.

    You know... I hate the role that money plays in elections.  But there is no way around it, and the Clinton camp isn't exactly in a place to criticize spending, as they are on track to spend record amounts of money also.


    despite the fact (none / 0) (#37)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:14:21 PM EST
    that most of us know the candidates' positions backwards and forwards . . . many many voters, until it's a week or two the primary, do not.

    HLC has a huge name-recognition advantage.  She still does in those state that have not yet had a primary.  It takes money to overcome that.

    Let's also remember that, here, the money is mostly coming from grass-roots support (that goes for both candidates).  I don't have a big problem with that.


    HAD (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:16:19 PM EST
    a huge name recognition factor.

    Besides, I thought that was anegative?
    Obama supporters flip and flop on that one.


    HAS (none / 0) (#64)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:27:28 PM EST
    a huge name recognition factor in those states that have not yet had primary races

    Besides, I thought that was anegative?
    Obama supporters flip and flop on that one.

    Well, gee, I can find contradictory quotes from HRC's supporters, too.  Is it then legitimate for me to claim that, therefore, they flip and flop on that one?


    False (none / 0) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:29:22 PM EST
    there is no name recognition difference between them now.

    are we allowed to disagree? (none / 0) (#76)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:37:32 PM EST
    Yes, people in non-primary states have heard of him, but many haven't focused on what he does or doesn't stand for yet.

    I notice that neither of us bring any proof on this, so please don't bite my head off.


    Not when the facts say o0therwise (none / 0) (#80)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:39:51 PM EST
    Obama has 99% name recognition in the entire country.

    is there a source for this? (none / 0) (#97)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:53:54 PM EST
    were you responding to (none / 0) (#112)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:05:49 PM EST
    my comment?

    I said:

    • people in non-primary states have heard of him, but many haven't focused on what he does or doesn't stand for yet; and
    • neither of us brought proof

    So, you responded by asserting "name recognition" only (which is not what I was contending), and you brought no proof.

    And apparently also amongst (none / 0) (#152)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:46:50 PM EST
    Americans living abroad.

    Many (none / 0) (#91)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:49:34 PM EST
    Never focus on what a Pol does or doesn't do. IOW Clinton in in the same boat on that count.

    Hillary is also like JFK (none / 0) (#90)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:47:21 PM EST
    in that she's got dead people supporting her, apparently.

    Please be sure voters (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:55:24 PM EST
    all over Texas see this little comment.  It'll help Obama a lot to see his supporters making fun of Ann Richards.

    How is it making fun of Ann Richards (none / 0) (#107)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:01:05 PM EST
    to mock this inappropriate and disrespectful appropriation of her when she isn't around to weigh in?  She was pretty independent-minded and probably wouldn't want a candidate claiming that a vote for them was a vote for Ann Richards.

    would you be complaining (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:03:38 PM EST
    if Obama was doing this?

    something tells me, not.


    maybe because her (none / 0) (#162)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:08:54 PM EST
    daughter approved it.  if you want to find dispectful, look in the mirror.

    Um (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:13:06 PM EST
    That is not the Clinton spin. I just explained the Clinton spin to you.

    You and Matt Yglesias simply do not understand the point.


    It is spin (none / 0) (#43)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:16:14 PM EST
    First, regardless of how you interpret it, it is spin.

    Second, to respond to your GE argument.  I don't think it will make much of a difference in the GE if Obama ends up losing Ohio for 5% to Clinton in the primary.

    I have said this before - just because Dem primary voters choose Clinton, that does not mean that they will not vote for Obama in the GE.


    Dems in the GE (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by wasabi on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:30:57 PM EST
    NPR came out with a poll yesterday that showed 20% of Dems would vote for McCain if the nominee was Obama.  Hispanics do not have an unfavorable view of McCain due to his immigration stance.  The fight will be over the independents, where for now, Obama has an edge.  The surge of new voters need to actually vote this fall, and those new voters who came out specifically for Clinton also need to vote Obama.

    Why do I keep hearing (none / 0) (#137)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:29:01 PM EST
    admonishments that Obama shouldn't take Clinton voters for granted but everyone basically assumes that African Americans would vote for Clinton?

    Maybe you're hearing what you want to hear (none / 0) (#164)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:16:14 PM EST
    Most people here don't assume that whoever wins the nomination is going to need the support of the other to win. Most recognize that a divided party will lose in November. Sen. Obama should not assume that I and other Clinton supporters are going to vote for him, and Sen. Clinton should not assume that African Americans or others who voted for Obama will vote for her.

    This is a good point (none / 0) (#159)
    by ChrisO on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:59:48 PM EST
    We seem to forget that Hillary was trying to become the first woman President, which to many Obama supporters seems to be a walk in the park, like how could she blow such an obvious advantage? But the fact is, many new voters have come to the process because of the opportunity to support a female candidate, or just as a general revulsion to the Bush administration. It's another aspect of the media's spin that all of the new voters somehow belong to Obama.

    Did you read my comment? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:16:53 PM EST
    Try reading it again.

    You wrote... (none / 0) (#54)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:20:51 PM EST
    ... that if Obama can't win Ohio, it raised concerns about winning Ohio in the GE.

    And I responded to that saying I don't think it matters.  Not sure what else you want me to read.


    You said it was spin (none / 0) (#78)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:39:23 PM EST
    as if I argued it was not.

    but never mind. Responding to substance is not what I expect from Obama supporters anymore.

    I am short on patience today.


    BS (none / 0) (#158)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:58:26 PM EST
    Responding to substance is not what I expect from Obama supporters anymore.
    BTD... this is BS, and you know it.

    First, I looked back at your comment and realized that I misread what you wrote about the spin.  I apologize.  I thought you had said it was not spin, but said it was not the Clinton spin.  

    Second, you yourself have said that I respond to substance and I respond with substance.  

    Don't make attacks on an entire group of people.  You are better than that.  


    It is new BTD (none / 0) (#102)
    by dwightkschrute on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:56:34 PM EST
    It might not fit the spin you're explaining but it's new spin. Your contention has always been Obama needs to prove he can win a big state. It's actually a very fair and reasonable one. But that's not what the Clinton camp is trying to say here. The key word is "all"...

    If he cannot win all of these states

    It's clear Obama has a shot of taking Texas. The Clinton camp wants wiggle room for moving on if they take Ohio but lose Texas. They're saying anything less than Obama running the table on March 4 is a defeat for him.


    It is NOT new (none / 0) (#106)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:59:46 PM EST
    If you have read this blog, you will have read me say this very thing for weeks now. Since Super Tuesday.

    I have no patience with some of you today.


    Yes you've always said that (none / 0) (#116)
    by dwightkschrute on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:09:40 PM EST
    You've been very clear with your stance. You've said it numerous times past and present. And if you read my previous post I recognize that and even agree it's a very valid point.

    The Clinton campaign is the one that I was saying has not been as consistent. First it was the firewall of OH and TX that had to hold up or else. Now they're saying (and it's not just in this release but also in the phone conferences) that anything short of Obama taking both OH and TX is a failure on his part and reason for her to continue on to PA.

    That goalpost moving from her just needing to hold both, to him needing to win all 4 contests that day is what Yglesias, among others, is commenting on. Complaining about the Clinton goalpost moving in and of itself does not compete with or ignore your "prove he can win a big state" contention.


    Where does Clinton mention GE? (none / 0) (#136)
    by dwightkschrute on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:27:45 PM EST
    I seem to be missing the part where Clinton makes any case regarding the general election. I know needing to win a big state is key to the GE has long been your contention, but in reading the release over and over, as well as looking at other statements from the Clinton camp I don't see anything where they directly mention the GE.

    This morning's poll numbers in Ohio (none / 0) (#48)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:18:14 PM EST
    Of course these are all just polls and as such are subject to sampling error, statistical error, and many other kinds of error.  So what's probably more meaningful than these numbers is the difference in these numbers from 1 week ago, 2 weeks ago, etc.

    Zogby: Senator Clinton 44, Senator Obama 42.
    ARG: Senator Clinton 50, Senator Obama 45.
    Reuters: Senator Clinton 44, Senator Obama 42.

    Given the Keith numbers for each of these, it's awfully close.  (Excellent discussion of the Keith number here.)


    A few points (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:20:37 PM EST
    One. Zogby stinks. He is a charlatan.

    Two. Reuter is Zogby.

    Three. ARG stinks.

    In essence, we have no polls today.


    Agreed n/t (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:22:03 PM EST
    We know they all stink... (none / 0) (#81)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:40:42 PM EST
    ...which is why I pointed out that changes were probably more relevant to the discussion than current values.  (And why carefully-composed composite might, in some circumstances, be even more relevant -- one reason why I've been following pollster.com's methods quite carefully and evaluating them on a mean-squared error basis against actual results.)

    I think the takeaway from these (as well as other recent ones that I haven't cited) is that the races in both TX and OH are likely to be close -- and that turnout will be huge even if external factors (e.g., weather) intervene.


    Nooo (none / 0) (#93)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:51:29 PM EST
    Some stink more than others.

    you chose two of the stinkiest.


    We didn't have any polls yesterday either (none / 0) (#141)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:33:24 PM EST
    IA, and Rass. are even worse than Zogby according to the SUSA scorecard.

    That's a good trend to keep in mind (none / 0) (#123)
    by sancho on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:14:22 PM EST
    b/c it may well be similar to what happens to Obama's poll numbers vs. McCain once McCain starts campaigning against Obama. In other words, Obama's numbers may shrink like Hillary's. Remember, the media is going to portray MCain as the feisty, crusty, war-hero underdog against the rich (campaign money), liberal, Harvard grad, Obama. And you know how America loves an underdog. Every advantage Obama enjoys now against Hillary will disappear.

    If he loses Ohio and Pennyslvania he should give the nom. to Hillary. Then he would be a uniter and Dem party hero. Otherwise, he risks being remembered as the Dem who blew the '08 election.


    That would be foolish (none / 0) (#142)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:34:23 PM EST
    Wouldn't that kill him in any future election, I mean it'd just reinforce the he's not a fighter meme.

    Unless the plan is to do this and wait for 12 (none / 0) (#143)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:35:52 PM EST
    After Hill gets crushed, which may in fact not be a bad idea, I get the feeling that Bush has pretty much booby  trapped America, and doesn't care if we get caught in the crossfire.

    Pure spin (none / 0) (#70)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:31:30 PM EST
    Campaigns against Democrats have no bearing in relation to campaigns against Republicans.  

    I am not spinning (none / 0) (#77)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:37:53 PM EST
    Indeed, I thought that Obama would do BETTER than Hillary in the big contested states.

    UNTIL Super Tuesday. The demographoic breakdowns have come to scare me.

    If Obama can replicate a Wisconsin performance demographically in Ohio for instance, even if he does not win, I will feel a lot better.

    Now, if you have something meaningful to say in response I would welcome it.

    But more pure spin from you you can keep to yourself.


    what if.... (none / 0) (#82)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:40:45 PM EST
    "Obama can replicate a Wisconsin performance demographically" in Texas, but not Ohio?

    Just asking your thoughts on this?


    He can't (none / 0) (#92)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:50:55 PM EST
    as they have very little demographic similarity.

    It just feels like a trainwreck is coming (none / 0) (#72)
    by Dadler on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:33:49 PM EST
    I just have this bad feeling about how this nomination is going to play out in the fourth quarter.  That the party is going to divide and conquer ITSELF.  How I wish both would simply focus on how bad the current administration is, how either of them is infinitely better, and just talk about the issues, their positions and plans.  Call me a dreamer.

    It had to devolve (none / 0) (#85)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:45:06 PM EST
    In order for Obama to catch up.

    I hear Obama's a uniter.  He'll work his "magic" on the Democratic party.

    You have nothing to fear.


    Big State (none / 0) (#100)
    by mouth of the south on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:55:51 PM EST
    Have you seen the head to head polls showing how Clinton or Obama would do against McCain?  Obama beats McCain by a wider margin than Clinton in both New York and California.  Now these are both states that she won in the primaries.  These polls seem to show that in spite of what Clinton is saying about his inability to win the big states that he would do better in these states than she would in the general election.

    NY and CA (none / 0) (#105)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:58:45 PM EST
    are not the issue. Does anyone read posts anymore before commenting?

    OH, PA, MI, FL.


    It's simply breathtaking... (none / 0) (#101)
    by sar75 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:55:55 PM EST
    ...how the goalposts keep moving here. This comment from the Clinton campaign strikes me as a pathetic piece of spin.

    Why on earth does he need to win both now to be a viable general election candidate?  If he wins Texas, he will have won the 2nd (, 5th (Illinois) and 10th (Georgia) largest states.  The chances will be quite good that he will then win Pennsylvania (#6), where the most recent polling suggests a massive Obama surge.  We have no idea what would have happened in Florida and Michigan if they had been fully contested, so lets not include them in the mix.  He'll then win North Carolina (#11) and has already won Virginia (#12).

    Perhaps Clinton supporters (and I'm not labeling BTD one) ought to be asking whether or not the fact that Obama beats Clinton in almost every head-to-head poll with McCain, national and in most states, the fact that Clinton has much higher negatives, and that Clinton has lost the last 11 contests might say something about her GE viability?

    Sorry, but I just don't buy it.  I think Obama is fine if he wins Texas and misses Ohio by a few points, and certainly better than Clinton in the general election.  

    B/c Texas is (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by sancho on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:20:22 PM EST
    irrelevant. The Dems can't win Texas unless LBJ rises from the dead and personally stuffs every ballot box, reroutes every computer voting chip, between Dallas and Laredo. Winnng Texas now means nothing. All those Dallas and North Dallas Republican men who will turn out for Obama wont be there in Nov. But they will be laughing from this Tuesday to Xmas about the joke they pulled.

    Nobody harbors any illusions I think... (none / 0) (#133)
    by sar75 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:25:38 PM EST
    ...that a Democrat will carry Texas.  It would be nice, though, for total popular vote totals if the margin were not as big.  I think that Obama has a better chance of reducing that margin in some of these unwinnable red states.

    I harbor that illusion ;-) (none / 0) (#148)
    by RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:39:43 PM EST
    I think that it's marginally possible to win it -- and definitely possible to make it enough of a contest to force the GOP to expend resources there.
    See Political Tectonics in Texas Should Worry GOP.

    Well, I have no problem with optimism! (none / 0) (#166)
    by sar75 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:21:58 PM EST
    I see it on TalkLeft everyday in the face of some pretty dismal news! :)

    I hope you're right - it would be great for Clinton or Obama to turn Texas or any other number of deep or fairly red states blue.  I just don't see it happening.


    If TX is irrelevant.... (none / 0) (#134)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:27:01 PM EST
    then why did Bill Clinton (and, for that matter BTD) say that Hillary has to win both?

    Do you see why some people think the Clinton campaign and/or their supporters keeps moving the goalposts?

    Secondly, if you think Texas has no chance of going blue in Nov and therefore the primary is irrelevant, then why can't I counter with: NY/Calf have no chance of going red in Nov and therefore the primary is irrelevant?


    Agreed... (none / 0) (#139)
    by sar75 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:29:40 PM EST
    ...Ohio, though, is clearly relevant, although I think that Obama's can find a path to 270 without it and without Florida.  I'm talking Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, and Nevada - small states that together do the job.

    California (none / 0) (#157)
    by sancho on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:57:40 PM EST
    could be close in an Obama-McCain contest. Close enough to cost a lot of time and resources to keep. Bill was wrong to say Hillary has to win Texas. I wish Obama had won California, Michigan, or Florida. Two of those were taken out of play--one of them arguably by Obama (hmmm). A few years back Texas had Dallas-popular African American Ron Kirk and a Laredo Latino rich businessman Tony Sanchez on the senater-gov. ticket, respectively. They got creamed, despite my vote. Texas may flip dem. some day--but not in John McCain's lifetime.

    Obama is just a much riskier GE candidate than his supporters realize. During nomination processes past, most of the other Dem nominees and eventual GE losers looked good to.

    It is not clear when America will elect a president who cant be passed off as "responsible" (moderate) white man. I think Hillary runs better as a moderate white man than Obama does--in the GE. If Pennsylvania and Ohio had voted a week after Super Tuesday, Hillary would be the nominee now. Past history shows the dems have no good idea how to pick and make a winner. Obama, despite the change meme, looks like a lot of past GE losers (noble candidates, many) to me. Hillary doesn't.



    I agree - Obama's a risk... (none / 0) (#167)
    by sar75 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:25:45 PM EST
    ...I just think he's less of a risk than Clinton.  This is what most polling seems to suggest, but also Clinton's negatives and the intense hatred she generates (no matter how irrational and undeserved) among Republicans.  It is now conventional wisdom (I'll probably get hit by someone for being uncreative now!), but I really do think that she would be absolutely crucial in uniting and energizing a demoralized and divided Republicans this year and get them to the polls.

    Excuse me (none / 0) (#104)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:58:02 PM EST
    I find your comment quite offensive.

    That your comment is a nonsequitor to my post is the least of it.

    I am not spinning. Keep it civil or take it elsewhere.


    How did I offend you now? (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by sar75 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:08:01 PM EST
    Seriously, I was commenting on the Clinton campaign's comment, which I consider spin.  Read my post.  I specifically did not label you a Clinton supporter.  I responded directly to the question of big states. How is that a non-sequitor.

    You are constantly claiming people are offending you.  What would you have said if I just said "that's ridiculous" (not you, of course, but your comment, because people, you know, aren't ridiculous, but it's only human to say things from time to time that are, and I'm calling it as I see it...)  Of course, I didn't say that, because I don't think your comments are ridiculous.  They are entirely plausible, but I disagree with them.

    Please, not everyone - including me - is out to offend you all the time.  It's like walking on egg shells sometimes...


    Excuse me (none / 0) (#117)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:10:40 PM EST
    Since this has been my analysis for a month, I find it hard to believe you would think it was not offensive.

    Do not do it again. Comment on the substance of the argument. Save the insults for other sites.

    Consider yourself warned.


    I commented on the substance of the memo... (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by sar75 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:12:55 PM EST
    ...and then went on to discuss big states that Obama has won.

    I did not attack you personally in any way, shape, or form.  

    May we or may we not claim that statements made by campaigns are "pathetic spin" or not?  I stand by that statement.  I think that the campaign memo that you cite (not you, and not your comment) is a "pathetic spin."  


    Would it have been okay.... (none / 0) (#125)
    by sar75 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:16:15 PM EST
    ...if I just called your analysis "ridiculous" and been done with it?

    I said, of course, no such thing, but commented on the Clinton campaign's rhetoric.


    work his "magic" on the Democrats (none / 0) (#103)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:57:53 PM EST
    seems to have already done that.
    the next question is will it work on the republicans.
    and the post is so right on.  they keep talking about how he is "winning elections in red states".
    he is not.  he is winning democratic primaries in red states that we probably will not carry in the best of times.
    and often not even that.  democratic caucuses.

    JJE (none / 0) (#113)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:06:29 PM EST
    You are suspended for the day.

    Comment no further today.

    Oh so true ChrisO, I completely agree (none / 0) (#118)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:10:52 PM EST
    If Obama gets the nomination, McCain will beat him in the GE like a red headed stepchild....

    name recognition (none / 0) (#124)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:15:44 PM EST
    You wrote:
    How long will Obama supporters try to play the name rcognition game? Do you think he'll be caught up to her by the end if his first term? It's silly to think that Obama only has name recognition in states where he's campaigned.

    I was the one who started this part of the thread, and I was the one who introduced the phrase "name recognition".

    I made a mistake and I apologize.  That's not what I meant.

    As I said further in the thread, I wasn't trying to argue that many people haven't heard of his name, but that many people had no idea what he stood for.  Many people think he's just some AA liberal, and don't know his position on any issues.

    I think you, yourself, noted this in the rest of your first paragraph:

    I suspect one reason his margins improve is because voters don't pay much attention to who they'll vote for until close to the election.

    Exactly.  We agree.  That's my point.  Just like you, I believe that many "voters don't pay much attention to who they'll vote for until close to the election.".

    And my further point is that, therefore, voters in states that haven't had a primary yet haven't paid enough attention yet.

    Among many factors, it takes money and time to overcome that.  And that's what he's been doing in the states that have had primaries.

    With money and time, it seems that Obama is beginning to overcome that.  But, the work is not done.  He still needs more money and more time.

    But, if he is the nominee, he will get plenty more of each.

    And if he is the nominee, I expect trends will go up before November 4 -- just like trends for almost every primary has been going up for him in the few weeks before each primary election day -- as more and more people listen to what he has to say, and compare it to where McCain stands.

    You're narroly reading my point. (none / 0) (#156)
    by ChrisO on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:55:48 PM EST
    I didn't say voters don't pay attention to the campaigns. However, what I did say wasn't as clear as it could have been, so I'll restate. Many voters don't seriously contemplate who their vote will go to until close to the election. This does not translate to them needing more information. I found in talking to voters in New Hampshire and Massachusetts that many didn't make up their minds until the day of the election. It wasn't that they needed to be subjected to more campaigning. It was that they just hadn't made a decision yet. And I would argue that voters in primary states going forward have even less of a need to be subjected to more campaigning in order to establish a preference.

    However, GE voters are not necessarily the same. Primary voters in general tend to be more involved. McCain and Clinton are relatively known quantities, while Obama's national image, thanks largely to a compliant press, is that of an inspirational winner. Despite the fever dreams of many Obama supporters, Hillary Clinton has run an above board campaign, and those who claim that the Republicans can't throw any more against him than Hillary has already done are hopelessly naive. Do people really think the Republicans will be hyper senssitive to charges of racism, or reluctant to play the Muslim smears for all their worth? It's possible that Obama may wow the general electorate and cruise to victory. My point is simply that it's not realistic at this point to compare Clinton-McCain matchups with Obama-McCain matchups.

    However, that's in part because Clinton and Obama have been opposing each other for some time now. McCain and Clinton are so


    Clinton (none / 0) (#127)
    by arnoud on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:16:36 PM EST
    I wonder what the Clinton campaign is saying about the states she has lost in already. Isn´t there a problem?

    That would be true if Hillary was a weak candidate (none / 0) (#128)
    by Baal on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:16:44 PM EST
    like, say Mike Huckabee.  But in our party we have the luxury of two very good candidates.

    So it is nonsense to think that if Obama does not sweep Hillary in every state he is somehow a weak candidate.


    Still seems strange to me (none / 0) (#154)
    by Maggie on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:52:39 PM EST
    to put all the weight on this one criterion.

    If I were a democrat, I'd be worried about a candidate who came into the nominating process as a clear front-runner, ahead in the polls everywhere by double digits, but who spectacularly failed to close the deal, and ended up on an 11-event losing streak, in which she failed to even once make the contest close.  I'd be worried about a candidate who blew through $100 million dollars while running up to this collapse.  I'd be worried about a candidate who is reduced to the spin that if she hasn't been decisively defeated everywhere the party should go with her.

    I can understand the argument that she should stay in the race at least through March 4.  But I really fail to understand the argument that absent significant wins in her two 'firewall' states that she should continue.

    the memo was obiviously absurd (none / 0) (#168)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:29:08 PM EST
    on its face.
    The question is, what is it driving at.

    Is Clinton trying to send a message that she is staying in the race, hoping for some superdel magic, unless Obama wins all four states decisively?
    Is she going to have to be laughed off the stage?

    I saw a survey the other day (none / 0) (#169)
    by K Lynne on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:29:09 PM EST
    I thought it was a SUSA, but can't find it now to double-check.

    In a nutshell, one question asked of Hillary and Obama supporters was who would you vote for if your first choice was NOT the nominee.

    If I recall correctly, a significantly higher number of Hillary supporters were likely to cross over and vote for McCain than Obama supporters were.  

    I don't know how that trues up with the head-to-head numbers, though.  

    Anyone else see this?  I Gotta go find that survey!

    Comments are closed (none / 0) (#174)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:52:24 PM EST
    I can not monitor the thread and I think the comments are devolving into ridiculous attacks.