Electability Again

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

The electability argument rages on. Former Bush pollster Matthew Dowd writes:

[T]here seems to be a concerted effort by the Clinton campaign to point out weakness in the Obama effort related to November electability. . . . One argument being made is that there is a relationship between primary win in states and ability to win those states in the Fall. For example, the Clinton campaign likes to point out they won Ohio and Obama lost it, and that this bodes badly for his chances of winning that state in the Fall. The Obama campaign points out wins in red states in the primary process trying to prove their strength.

To put it bluntly, there is no relationship between primary success in any given state and November success in those states.

Dowd says it so it must be so. Um no. Dowd is wrong and he misdescribes the argument as one expects a politician or political operative to do. More . . .

The advantages Clinton and Obama hold in the electability argument are not difficult to grasp or explain. Dowd plays the simpleton here.

For example, in almost all GE matchup polling, Obama has run better in the states where he won the primary or caucus as has Clinton. Dowd does not mention that. It does not serve his purpose.

Take Dowd's two examples -- Obama's wins in 2004 red states like Iowa and Colorado and Clinton's win in Ohio. Obama is certainly more electable than Clinton in those two states (also in swing states like Wisconsin.) Obama's primary/caucus wins in those states are meaningful and make for an attractive electability argument - to wit, "Obama expands the electoral map." I think he clearly does.

Similarly when Dowd mentions Ohio he pretends that there is not a strong argument that Clinton is more electable there. We all know better. The demographics of Ohio and the GE polling show Clinton running much better than Obama in Ohio (as she has in Florida and Pennsylvania.) Clinton DOES have a big state advantage.

The recent rocky coverage of the Obama campaign has given me pause in my belief that Obama remains the most electable candidate - but I will adhere to it with a close eye on how it all shakes out. But the reason I currently believe him more electable is that Obama's expansion of the electoral map seems real and likely to make a difference in November in states like Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico and Nevada. And this advantage does not negate Obama's ability to compete in the big contested states. To say that Clinton is MORE electable in Ohio is not to say that Obama is UNelectable in Ohio. The reverse is not true. Clinton is pretty much unelectable in say, Colorado.

But winning states is not the point in November. Winning electoral votes is. A Colorado + an Iowa + a New Mexico = an Ohio. 20 EVS. So we have to do all the math to develop these arguments.

Moreover, the question of electability is misunderstood. To argue, as I do, that Obama is more electable is not to say that Clinton is unelectable. In essence we have two competing theories of electability. Of course when you are driven by your agenda of candidate support or candidate hate, you can not recognize or concede the validity of BOTH electability arguments. Dowd makes the curious choice of pretending NEITHER electability argument is valid. But then he is arguing for Obama and taking the electability argument off the table NOW (there was a time when Obama supporters loved the electability argument) is favorable to Obama's chances.

Moral of the story? Beware "expert" political opinions. There is always an axe to grind. Think for yourself.

Note - Comments closed.

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    I love this map as it is updated daily (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by athyrio on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:21:07 AM EST
    and gives a clue as to the electoral winner...Obama was way ahead three months ago but not any longer....Disturbing to me....
    Electoral map

    Evan Bayh is pushing the idea the (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:25:25 AM EST
    Dem. nominee should be the one who wins the most electoral votes in the primaries and caucuses.  Hypothetically.  

    3 months ago? (none / 0) (#78)
    by mindfulmission on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:02:38 AM EST
    So Obama was "way ahead" in December?



    Electoral map. (none / 0) (#176)
    by 0 politico on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:54:36 PM EST

    If McCain runs that strongly against BO... there is trouble ahead.


    How electable are the Obama/clinton or (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:25:47 AM EST
    Clinton/Obama tickets?
    Is there enough polling on that question to make a judgment?

    A Look at Where Electoral College Map Stands Today (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:40:24 AM EST
    Recognizing things could change, this analysis seems to capture where Obama and Clinton are currently doing well (and not so well) - here.  I hadn't focused too much on this before, but it looks like Clinton's big state strategy has paid off for her in terms of where she has GE strength, although we are still a long way out so all of this requires a giant grain of salt.

    the only problem i have with that map for both (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by TheRefugee on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:00:06 AM EST
    Clinton and Obama is that after another four years of GOP in the WH I don't see Kerry's states seeing enough in McCain to not go blue once again, states like MN and WI.  Also, I don't agree with the assessment that "the brouhaha over the words of Reverend Wright has been completely done away with by Barack Obama's speech."  It helped but the GOP is going to be playing those clips over and over again all fall.  Along with select soundbytes from Obama's speech to emphasize the clips, like "endemic white racism", being able to put Obama's denial of hearing remarks next to Obama's admitting that he'd heard such remarks.  Which I think hurts him in IA and especially MO where McCaskill has been singing his praises for months.

    All in all though I think it isn't a bad preliminary take and much the way I see it..Clinton does better.  The biggest thing for Hillary is that she did so well in FL primary that I think she wins FL going away.  The biggest thing against Obama is that in swing states they play to the same voter, independents.


    Hasn't "expansion of electoral map"... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Exeter on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:43:16 AM EST
    ...argument been completely torn apart by the Wright video? And next it will be that that his new reverend addressed the controversy on Easter Sunday by saying "as Ice Cube says, you picked the wrong folks to mess with"-- except what Ice Cube actually says is "Mess wit the cube, you get pump quick Pig, cause Im the wrong *igga to *uck wit." I only elaborate, because this kind of stuff is going to be coming out in a steady stream from now until the general election if Obama is the nominee.

    The other thing, is that none of Obama's policy negatives have really ever been defined. He's not going to be able to paint himself as a moderate in the general. How do you think the whole "Obama wants to charge YOU with a felony if someone breaks into your house, steals your gun, and commits a crime with it, because you didn't have your gun locked up" will play in the western states?  He will be immediately defined as the most liberal democratic nominee since McGovern.

    I agree. The Trinity church has planted (none / 0) (#61)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:53:07 AM EST
    a very large bright red flag in the sand.  They are not going to modify or modulate their message in deference to the Democratic Party's hopes in November.   It is not a great leap from there to conclude that they would be just as happy with a McCain presidency as it does, after all, confirm their worst beliefs about american and gives them plenty of sermon fodder for the next four years.

    Trinity Church non profit status might be revoked (none / 0) (#70)
    by TalkRight on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:58:57 AM EST
    Trinity Church has received a letter from Fed a few weeks back stating that their church had broken federal law by promoting politics in religious place and by taking illegal benefit of the non-profit status..

    I was wondering (none / 0) (#81)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:03:26 AM EST
    about that.  I thought it was odd that he was clearly campaigning for a candidate from the pulpit.  

    WRONG (none / 0) (#164)
    by mindfulmission on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:28:44 PM EST
    UCC (the larger denomination) received a letter and is being investigated for a speech Obama gave at their convention.

    At this point there has been no mention of TUCC being investigated other than by people who don't understand the distinction between the denomination and the church.


    Wright's Lasting Effect (none / 0) (#64)
    by Athena on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:54:49 AM EST
    Please see Michael Goodwin's column yesterday - outlining how Wright is now baggage for either nominee.  Clearly he burdens Obama severely.  This is no longer the Obama that the Dems thought they had even a month ago.

    There seems to be little outrage at Obama covering up the Wright issue and not getting this out sooner - instead letting a firestorm break the issue wide open and putting him on the defensive.  But it shows, I think, how comfortable he has gotten with the free ride from the press - counting on them to underinvestigate his candidacy.


    Michael Goodwin (none / 0) (#67)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:57:06 AM EST
    is a tools tool

    One Statement By Al qaeda Or Hamas (none / 0) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:01:56 AM EST
    using the frame of presidential nominee Barack Obama's spiritual advisor agrees that the U.S. and/or Israel (fill in the blank) as propaganda against the U.S. and Obama will not be electable anywhere in the U.S.

    I'll vote for Obama (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:03:09 PM EST
    even though I am sickened by the way he has painted the Clintons as racists. As petty as it may seem, my biggest disincentive for supporting Obama is his hateful supporters, especially online. The crowing and chest beating when he gets the nomination may just be enough to make me stay home, although I'm hoping my better angels will still propel me to the voting booth.

    As for the GE, I think one big albatross for McCain could be his support for the surge. He's banking his entire foreign policy reputation on the surge, and so far it hasn't hurt him. If things are still the same in November, however, you'll only hear "the surge is working" from those who are ridiculing McCain.

    The  most ridiculous thing about the Dowd article is the first line in the quoted text: "[T]here seems to be a concerted effort by the Clinton campaign to point out weakness in the Obama effort related to November electability." What does he think the Obama camp has been saying about Hillary for months?

    Apparently the U.S. is requesting (none / 0) (#154)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:13:31 PM EST
    the British go back into So. Iraq.  New surge.

    I agree with you about the Obama (none / 0) (#195)
    by kenosharick on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:24:55 PM EST
    supporters- turned me off to him totally. Their chest-beating will stop once Mccain is sworn in-though they will blame Hillary.

    With Wright in the picture (4.75 / 4) (#7)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:14:40 AM EST
    all conventional wisdom can probably be thrown out as polling will not take into account the impact that the inevitable 527 ads will have in the GE.  I can just see the split screen now - Obama without a lapel pin, not holding his hand over his heart as Wright talks about the USKKKA; Michelle talking about being proud to be American for the first time in her adult life, as Wright talks about rich white men running the country and the chickens coming home to roost, etc.

    Regardless of how unseemly it is, we all know it will happen.  Add to that his middle name, the fact that he is an anti-war dove (works for the left...not so much for the swing voters), the lack of foreign policy experience, the fact that he tends to sit out the more controversial votes, the air of superiority/smugness that he exudes (however unintentional - it is what it is).

    I think he and his campaign may have bought into his hype to their own detriment.  They have accused everyone short of the pope of being racist and there will likely be a backlash from middle-class, blue collar dems who are hypersensitive about being accused of racism every time they mention blacks.  Not to mention the fact that those of us who are not college educated are getting a little bit tired of being talked down to by his campaign and the many, many pundits who seem to have fallen head over heels for him.  

    This will be an uphill climb for Obama to say the least.

    When? (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:37:53 AM EST

    They have accused everyone short of the pope of being racist...

    When did "They" give the pope a pass?


    While your concern is valid (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:17:40 AM EST
    and we need to keep a close eye on that, the rest of your comment seems quite incorrect to me.

    More importantly, you need to write with MUCH greater CARE when discussing race at this site.

    Please keep that in mind.

    We are very PC here.


    What on earth (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:28:16 AM EST
    did i write that was not PC?  All I'm pointing out is the likely opposition ad content. I even said it would be unseemly.  How could that be construed as offensive?

    Your comment is exactly what I'm talking about.  When we're looking at the electorate as a whole to determine whether Obama is electable, we have to step outside of our far-left box.  Accusations of insensitivity and/or racism where they're not warranted will turn people away.  


    Find a BETTER way to express your concerns (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:35:42 AM EST
    IF you can not do so, then do not comment.

    I tried to address you respectfully but firmly.

    You take umbrage. I predict an unpleasant end to our dialogue. Prove me wrong.


    I don't get what was so bad (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:50:54 AM EST
    about that person's comment.   Implying that white people "can't talk about race."  That's pretty much true isn't it?   Or was it expressing anger at "being talked down to"?    It would be helpful for me to know, actually, as I am a relative newcomer to the site.

    Gratuitous References (none / 0) (#99)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:14:45 AM EST
    to middle names and other incendiary issues are not allowed here.

    Frankly we do not believe even the fine community we have developed here is able to handle these discussion without severe moderation.

    This is not open for discussion. IF you are uncomfortable with the way we handle this, then you should discuss such issues at another site.


    Whoa now, I'm fine with that. I guess (none / 0) (#126)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:32:50 AM EST
    I missed the "gratuitous use of the middle name" in that note.

    Sometimes people will express Republican talking points in a liberal blog, not because they themselves believe them but because they feel we need to face up to them if we hope to win the GE.

    I can see that that is treading close to the line and I'm guessing it would need to be clearly marked with a disclaimer.   Or ... does that make you a "concern troll" <- I've never really grokked that concept.

    Thanks for your reply.


    Wait now, I object! I went back (none / 0) (#128)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:34:12 AM EST
    and read that comment and it did NOT say "Barack Hussein Obama".  It simply mentioned that the middle name will be a centerpiece of a rightwing hate campaign.  I mean, can anyone disagree with that point?

    Oh well, I'll shut up now and be nice.  :)


    That was exactly what I meant. (none / 0) (#140)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:43:54 AM EST
    I have no problem with his name.  I just know it will be used - as it already has been - by the Republicans in the fall.  

    It was not my intention to offend anyone.  Jeez.


    :) Things are (none / 0) (#160)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:23:21 PM EST
     curiouser and curiouser ...

    I have to weigh in here (none / 0) (#137)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:42:30 AM EST
    The comment was addressing what Republican 527s will do. Saying they will refer to Obama's middle name is just common sense. They're already doing it. I really don't think you read the comment clearly enough. It was not a gratuitous reference, and wasn't insulting.

    And now we can't comment on the impact of race on the campaign? It's illegitimate to discuss what white voters might do? Can we predict that Obama will win the black vote in Pennsylvania, or is that also out of bounds?

    As the poster said, "Regardless of how unseemly it is, we all know it will happen."


    Echoing GOP Hate Mongers (1.00 / 1) (#206)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:48:16 PM EST
    All 13% of them, because you want to put BHO out of the race, makes you or whoever is 'concerned', indistinguishable from the hate mongers.

    Indistinguishable (none / 0) (#207)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:49:32 PM EST
    And much more dishonest.

    I have no issues with (none / 0) (#185)
    by 0 politico on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:09:37 PM EST
    BO's middle name.  It is what it just just as mine is what it is.  But, the poster's point on the name as a negative is not necessarily incorrect.  We have already seen the far right and conservative talking heads use the candidate's middle name as if it were, in itself, some sort of slur.

    The behavior is reprehensible, but it is out there, and not likely to stop if he is the Democratic nominee.  Somehow, the Dems will need to find an effective way to counter this, as they would have to find a way to counter all the sexist remarks that will continue to flow if HC is the candidate.

    How do we do that without disenfranchising Middle American voters, who may nott really have a progressive view?


    hmmm...unpleasant? (none / 0) (#50)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:48:12 AM EST
    perhaps it's best that we agree to disagree.

    a couple things (1.00 / 1) (#54)
    by TheRefugee on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:50:48 AM EST
    1.  I don't think anyone gives McCain a realistic shot of defeating either Dem.

    First, Dems are split and the division is almost as deep as the partisan divide between blue and red.  I could make a strawman argument that, were Clinton to win the nom. via SD swing, Obama might pull Reagan and say, 'well I'm taking my voters with me, see ya in 2012.'  Is that likely?  I don't know.  But if Clinton does win the nom. at the least I think black turnout will be suppressed which hurts her chances.  Conversely if the SDs swing for Obama, then I think there will be a significant suppression of white voters who are alienated from Obama via Wright and women who think that Hillary hit the proverbial glass ceiling.

    2.  McCain is fairly popular as a whole.  He plays well in swing states and regardless of idealogical differences he will have the GOP base show up on election day, cemented by the Wright comments.  At this pt I'd have to give McCain even odds at pulling virtually every state that Bush pulled.  CO is a toss up though I'd give the edge to McCain at this pt.  I think the Wright comments and other gaffes hurt Obama in every state he won pre-gaffe including IA.  I actually think Hillary has a better shot in IA than does Obama.  We know Hillary is going to pull the blue states, she's running great in PA, did well in OH, and probably would do well in MI.  The numbers she pulled in FL are incredible.  If she can take OH it is over.  But she will also win Arkansas which Obama can't win.  She did well enough in TN to make that a definite possibility.  States she would need to work at are WI, MN.  I give Obama LA.  I think that LA would have been motivated to vote Dem regardless but the large black population might be enough to put Obama over the top and I just don't see black turnout being high enough if Hillary is the nominee.  NM, NV, CO  are all toss ups for Obama while NV and NM might be a toss up for Hillary.  

    In other words I think Hillary is far more electable.  I think the novelty of Obama is wearing off as more of his past is actually brought to light.  While I can personally see how Wright's comments aren't as inflammatory as they seem if taken in context...I can see how the GOP is going to play the comments and tie them to Obama's denial of hearing such comments onto Obama admitting he had heard such comments.  (the Wright believes there is endemic white racism line from his speech is not helpful to Obama) All those white majority states that Obama has won in the primary season become less likely in the GE:  IA, MN, WI, MO.  

    Recap.  They both still win the blue states.  Hillary takes FL, MI, OH, PA, AR, WI, MN  with possibility of TN,IA ...outside shot at NM, NV,

    Obama holds WI and MN and OBama possibility in LA, NM, NV, CO, IA, OH,PA outside shot at MI,FL

    So I have Hillary winning Kerry's states plus FL and OH and AR.  I have Obama winning Kerry's states and nothing else.  I would have given him IA as well if not for Wright.  If the MI and FL goes to the convention as is then he doesn't have a chance in hell at either.  If he gets something done he'll at least have a chance.  He may have had better swing vote appeal in states like CO, IA, MO, until he started becoming mortal.  Now that the shine is off the theory that Obama is a "map expander" I think is a bit optimistic.

    shot of defeating either Dem (none / 0) (#71)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:59:45 AM EST
    I do.
    dont kid yourself.
    he has more than a shot.

    honestly, at the very least you'd hope (none / 0) (#117)
    by english teacher on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:27:42 AM EST
    everyone would know that a national election against the republicans is a fight to the finish.  discounting the effort mccain will make invites disaster and should not be encouraged.  it's bad strategy.

    True (none / 0) (#121)
    by ding7777 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:29:56 AM EST
    Even if McCain does poorly in the debates (as did Bush), the MSM pundits will bloviate on how well McCain handled himself against a "superior" opponent, therefore McCain is actually the better candidate.

    Recent Polls Show Obama Losing MO (none / 0) (#151)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:03:32 PM EST
    At best, MO is a purple state and rather conservative except in a few areas. Many of our Dem voters outside of the Dem strongholds are conservative Dems. IMO Obama has little or no chance to win MO especially after Wright.

    4 weeks to Pennsylvania (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:06:16 AM EST
    buckle you seat belts.

    Dowd provides exactly ONE example (none / 0) (#2)
    by frankly0 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:07:26 AM EST
    of a candidate losing a primary and then winning that state in a close election -- George W Bush in NH in 2000.

    But that is hardly a good example of the problem Obama raises. NH is the second primary in the entire nation, and people's opinions are hardly settled and firm at that point.

    Obama's problem is that in large swing states, well into the process, and even when he has a lead every voter likely knows about, he can't convince crucial segments of the voting population that they can rally around him as the presumptive nominee. Instead, a majority of voters steadfastly refuse him their endorsement.

    And when you get into the underlying demographics, and understand who it is that refuses to support him -- the Reagan Democrats -- you realize that the problem is a profound one that is simply not going to fade away.

    The counternarrative (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:13:12 AM EST
    Kerry won NH in 2004 and won it in November.

    It is a silly piece from Dowd. Is he arguing that McCain would NOT have won NH in 2000 and by a much wider margin?

    McCain CLEARLY was more electable than Bush in NH.

    The emptiness of Dowd's analysis is revealed with that little piece. I should have discussed it in my post.

    What a dope.


    Yeah the NH example is especially (none / 0) (#11)
    by frankly0 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    poor because NH in 2000 still pretty well leaned Republican, and would likely have gone to any Republican, most especially McCain -- it's only more recently become something of a potential swing state.

    who is getting the Reagan Dem vote? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:42:23 AM EST
    I know many who have voted for Hillary - but anyone have stats, polls, etc?

    A reverse example re impact of religion (none / 0) (#180)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:04:27 PM EST
    comes from the past but still is studied and  discussed by political scientists and perhaps can be instructive.  

    In 1960, in first primary then -- in Wisconsin -- JFK's surprise victory launched his campaign that would take him to the White House.  But that was without a win in Wisconsin in the general election, even in a very Catholic state, with the impact of the Republican's anti-Catholicism campaign.

    There still is need for study of what happened in Wisconsin in 2004, when it was the closest state and barely went for Kerry -- whether it again was anti-Catholicism, or whether it was loss of some Catholics' votes after threats of excommunication of Kerry by some bishops because of his pro-choice stance . . . or whether it was just his campaign in general that almost lost the general election again.

    I.e., the resounding win for Obama in Wisconsin in  this year's primary, whether complicated by Republican crossover or not, now is complicated by the religious issues that have arisen since -- and this is cause for concern in many states.


    I know it sounds like excuse making (none / 0) (#197)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:28:39 PM EST
    but I think a big part of Obama's win in Wisconsin was the fact that virtually all of the coverage of Hillary at that point was based on when she would drop out. The papers were full of obituaries for her campaign, and "What Went Wrong?" stories. All we heard was "11 in a row."

    I can't say she would have won Wisconsin, but it is interesting to note that Wisconsin was the only primary, as far as I know, where Obama made huge inroads into her base of support.


    I think it was her campaign's upheaval (none / 0) (#204)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:42:54 PM EST
    only a couple of days before, which left her only a couple of days to campaign -- which came down to only one day, essentially, after much had to be canceled because of the horrible weather here in Wisconsin.  (Btw, with more than a foot of snow on the first day of so-called spring, we now have had the second-snowiest winter in Wisconsin history -- and that's saying something.  And the weekend before the primary was one of the worst of the season.)

    Btw, no, it was not "11 in a row" (none / 0) (#205)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:45:28 PM EST
    at the time of the Wisconsin primary -- that was almost the beginning of that series of losses.  The Wisconsin primary was a turning point for this campaign, in many ways.  We will see, and I still hope, that Clinton can keep turning it back.

    Why? (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:11:37 AM EST
    Clinton is pretty much unelectable in say, Colorado.

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:14:24 AM EST
    Why is a good question. The Media hatred of the Clinton for the past 16 years is the answer.

    This is the baggage we have discussed in the past.

    Clinton supporters need to be honest about this too.


    If my brother, who lives in (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:17:33 AM EST
    CO part of the year but votes in FL, is any example, its anybody but Hillary.  But, CO's Latino population has increased over the last few years, not a sizeable AA demographic, neither Dem probably anti-gun control enough for majority of people in CO.  

    The numbers are not there. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:18:21 AM EST
    Maybe it's pipe smoke, but Hillary (none / 0) (#74)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:00:24 AM EST
    has a base (women) that's potentially larger than Obama's African-American plus white liberal base.   He's pretty much mined his in the primaries.  Hers has a chance to grow in the general election among women.    For conservative women she "stood by her man", and she has made women and children a centerpiece of her policy career.  

    I can imagine an ad campaign in Redbook saying basically, "Tell your man what he wants to hear, but when you walk into the voting booth, do what you know is right."   :)

    Of course she'll never get pro-life women, but then no democrat will.


    I really like that tag line. (none / 0) (#212)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:05:57 PM EST
    I love the wink-wink feeling behind it.  

    It takes a lot of Colorados (none / 0) (#156)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:16:45 PM EST
    to make up for Florida.

    Ohio? (none / 0) (#4)
    by white n az on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:12:10 AM EST
    Columbus Dispatch - Signs of Big Trouble for Obama in Ohio which refers to the report that Survey USA released on 3/19.

    Colorado...no recent polling

    report from Survey USA released on 3/19 shows Obama losing but Clinton winning.

    report from Survey USA released on 3/20 shows Obama puts MA in play where Clinton carries it easily

    The road map is becoming very clear...that Obama will get creamed

    Those are arguments (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:16:18 AM EST
    that need a bit more time to settle in. Give it a week or two still to see how these stories play out.

    Pennsylvania will be a good measuring stick. If Obama loses by, say, 15, we may have a problem here.

    If he loses by 6, we might be all right.


    pundits are now saying (none / 0) (#15)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:20:23 AM EST
    that anything less than 10 points is a win for Obama.
    doenst look like that will be a problem.

    Anything less than 10 points is a wind for Obama (none / 0) (#27)
    by TalkRight on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:35:08 AM EST
    that is how Obama himself defined it .. and the pundits take their talking points directly from the Obama camp.. if Hillary can beat Obama by his own defined yardstick.. that would be nice. Personally I think a loss in double digits will not bode well for him and he knows it well.. and that is why he and the pundits want to see Hillary quit.. they don't want to see the "egg on their face" ..

    If Obama is defining more than 10 pts as a loss, (none / 0) (#44)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:43:48 AM EST
    good! Then 15 can be a blowout!

    What the the accidently leaked (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:45:59 AM EST
    attachment say on Ohio?

    Oops. PA. (none / 0) (#83)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:05:25 AM EST
    5 pts (none / 0) (#93)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:10:57 AM EST
    He predicted he would lose PA by 5pts...

    Obama's spreadsheet (none / 0) (#98)
    by waldenpond on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:14:43 AM EST
    Remember Obama's 'leaked' spreadsheet?  I thought that they estimated he would lose by 5. What happened to that yardstick...,.

    We? Who is the "we" you are (none / 0) (#84)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:05:29 AM EST
    referring to?  Obama supporters?  Or the Democratic party if Obama gets nominated?   Not a huge difference, but ... inquiring minds want to know.  :)

    That "we Kemosabe." (none / 0) (#127)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:33:21 AM EST
    I started worring about (none / 0) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:15:33 AM EST
    electability long ago but recently it has become way more up front.
    the mail I am reading from blue collar "Reagan democrats" suggests that not only will they vote against Obama but if he is the nominee they may be so angry at the democrats it could hurt down ticket democrats too.

    What mail (none / 0) (#17)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:22:02 AM EST
    What mail are you reading that gives you this impression? Just curious.

    I have two relatives who are elected (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:28:38 AM EST
    democrats in arkansas.  pretty low level stuff but because of it I am on some mailing lists of democrats who, it seems to me, are pretty "typical white people" to borrow a phrase.
    usually the traffic on these list is usually pretty light but, man, the last few months it has been buzzing.
    this is where I got the bulk of mail about the Pastor weeks (months?) before it broke in the MSM.
    now, granted, these are arkansas democrats mostly so you could expect them to be more upset about the pillorying of HIllary, but it has been pretty clear.
    these folks, pretty much to a person, will not vote for Obama, of anyone who supports him.
    they are pissed.

    "Pilloring of Hillary": (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:34:53 AM EST
    catchy phrase but I guess its too much of a victim card.

    Pillory Hillary. That is the chant (none / 0) (#52)
    by jes on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:49:16 AM EST
    of Obama supporters across the streets of Philly when they find themselves on opposite sides of the street in voter registration drives these past few days.

    wow... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by kredwyn on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:57:42 AM EST
    Given the history of the actual thing called a pillory, that's a pretty icky chant.

    Nothing is too icky for the Obama (none / 0) (#85)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:06:59 AM EST
    people.  That's been proven time and again in this primary season.

    Why would they be angry? (none / 0) (#32)
    by Blue Neponset on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:37:36 AM EST
    What do "Reagan Democrats" have against Obama?

    that would require a longer response (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:42:15 AM EST
    than to say the ones I am mostly talking about are angry about what has been done to Hillary.
    remember these people know her. many know her personally.  they know who she is and what she believes. to see her turned into some neo-con "monster" by the MSM and upstart idiots is more than painful to them.

    and lets be honest (none / 0) (#60)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:52:14 AM EST
    race is now a factor in ways it was not a month ago.
    I wish it was not but it is.  
    I honestly hate the idea of Obama losing for some of the reasons that are emailed to me but there it is.
    along with the other stuff I have been getting some really ugly stuff.
    from democrats.  so I can only imagine what will come from republicans.
    to say, he could have handled this better, is a major understatement.

    Given the source... (none / 0) (#13)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:18:09 AM EST
    Well, given the source, I am quite suspect of his argument...Bush's pollster has every reason in the world to want Obama to be the nominee. I was at dinner with a group and someone who works on the McCain campaign was there and they are HOPING and PRAYING he is the nominee because they feel their path to victory will be much easier now. Clinton has had her share of problems this primary, most notably, her campaign fell apart in Februrary, but I still believe she is the most electable person...part of that is because the people she attracts that Obama does not, working class Democrats and Latinos, in addition to women, are two groups who would not really hesitate to go for McCain, especially if they perceive Obama as being unpatriotic, etc (not saying that is right, but the 527s have their angle with Wright).

    I think the margin in PA is an important indicator of the lasting impact of Wright. If people are going to get over it, they should get over it in a month...

    Also (none / 0) (#19)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:25:25 AM EST
    Clinton will carry all the states Kerry took in 2004 (is this being debated?), possibly with the exception of New Hampshire. But she is also VERY, VERY likely to take Arkansas...so if she can replace NH with something and take Arkansas, we are in winning shape...

    More JMM Agonistes this morning. (none / 0) (#23)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:30:36 AM EST
    In a long, self-important post, he ridicules Hillary's changing rationales for superdelegates, ending with

    But fundamentally, who cares? The system is based on pledged delegates and super-delegates. Period. There's a set of rules everyone agreed on. The wisdom of those rules is irrelevant at this point. The Clinton campaign is entitled to do whatever it wants to get superdelegates to come over to her side to even out the pledged delegate deficit. My take is that whatever the arguments, the superdelegates aren't going to go against a clear pledged delegate leader. And I think they'd be extremely ill-advised to do so. But the superdelegates do have this power under the rules. But these constant efforts to say the rules aren't fair are just silly, and truth be told I think they're more undermining of the Clinton campaign than they realize.

    Repeat after me: Pledged Delegates ROOL.

    WTF? (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:37:33 AM EST
    What you quote is almost parody, to coin a phrase.

    The whining about fairness comes from those who have place the pledged delegate count on an altar.

    The man is now not merely a joke. He is an idiot.


    the one line (none / 0) (#46)
    by english teacher on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:45:25 AM EST
    The wisdom of those rules is irrelevant at this point.

    says it all.


    Well, his conscience is wracked over this (none / 0) (#82)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:04:58 AM EST
    almost as much as it was over the Iraq war.
    Hmm...do you think he will support an invasion of Harlem to depose Hillary?

    What about the Poll last week that Showed (none / 0) (#24)
    by TearDownThisWall on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:32:05 AM EST
    1 in 5 (Obama or Clinton  supporters) will NOT vote for their candidate (if she or he loses nomnation)???

    Would the dem party voters really bite/ spite their noses like this?

    is this poll just reflecting an "emotion" per the passion of support??

    I think that number is conservative (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:33:44 AM EST
    wish I had better news

    Why?...What Possible Logic/ Reason (none / 0) (#29)
    by TearDownThisWall on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:36:23 AM EST
    would a "Loser" have to "sit out" if their nominee doesn't get the nod?

    I don't understand......


    I continue to say I will vote for the nominee (none / 0) (#35)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:38:41 AM EST
    but honestly I am starting to understand the other point of view.

    When the wife of the candidate says she cannot (none / 0) (#62)
    by TalkRight on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:53:49 AM EST
    I wonder how the healing will be done.. I read the transcript where Michael Obama said, she cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, she will have to think about it.. (there were of course statements from Obama himself suggesting he can take Clinton's supporters but not vice versa). That was the defining moment in this race!

    Thanks god Bill or Chelsea did not effuse any of those sentiments.. else they would have been nailed !!

    It came as a shock to Hillary Supporters and to everyone who did think Obama as a bridge but his language was more of a divide!


    Same here, sigh.. (none / 0) (#80)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:02:44 AM EST
    Fortunately, I can vote for the nominee without having to actually check the box next to the name. I can just check the one at the bottom that votes the whole Democratic ticket. So that covers voting for the nominee without the distasteful necessity of actually putting a mark opposite the name of the candidate. If Hillary wins the nomination, I will check each box individually. That is as far as I am willing to go down the "my candidate didn't get it so I am not voting for the other one" road. Because when the chips are down and it's time to call, I am a Democrat.

    Becasue it more like a football game (none / 0) (#66)
    by Saul on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:56:57 AM EST
    now. Extremely personal. Too much passion has been invested to just say ok we lost and now we switch our support to the other side.   The Obama and the Clinton's are on opposite teams. The object of the game is to win the nomination game and nothing else will do.  The Clinton's say the Obama side is the enemy and it must be destroyed or we will not win and the Obama side say the same thing.  The majority on the side that loses  will be just sore loser and they will hold a grudge and not see the big picture in November which is to win the GE.  In this particular Democratic  campaign the candidates have become extremely  personal to the voters and this loyalty is unprecedented from nothing that I have  experienced in my lifetime.  They might see the big picture later but if they do not see it in November then it will be too late and you can say goodbye to the GE. Voters passion with their candidate just might be their Wateerloo.

    One reason (none / 0) (#179)
    by zyx on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    (and I see many)

    I think that many of us see that the Democrats are so dysfunctional that they need a serious smackdown.  The states that get early primaries are not representative of Americans in general (never have been).  The caucus system in many states is pure crap.  The DNC is just about FUBAR.  The leading Democratic bloggers are unfair and not nice.  The Dem-leaning personalities on news channels don't play it like straight journalists with integrity any more.  From where I sit, it seems to me that misogyny is disappointingly rampant.  The party has swooned over Exotic Candidate Boyfriend with a thin resume, when more experienced candidates were in the lineup.  Blech.

    I'll probably vote for Candidate Boyfriend, but I would be tempted to stay home, myself, if I thought it would teach the party a lesson and motivate them to get their house in order for the next big round in four years.


    I also think that number could change (none / 0) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:36:57 AM EST
    depending on how things play out.
    for example if it REALLY becomes clear Obama is unelectable or if something happens (damned if I can  think of an example) to make Hillary clearly unelectable those feelings could change.
    I dont see it happening.

    I don't suppose any Dem. (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:38:23 AM EST
    nominee can afford to blatantly remind Dem. voters that, at a minimum, Roe v. Wade is at stake if they vote for McCain.

    people who spend a lot of time on blogs (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:45:32 AM EST
    like this one tend to forget that Roe V Wade is not as important to everyone as it might be to  us.

    Well, even some HRC (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:48:21 AM EST
    supporters here are stating they won't vote for Obama if he is the nominee.  So, I keep reminding them of one huge, defined difference between Obama and McCain.  Haven't noticed my repeated comments have had any discernible effect, however.

    I don't think Roe v. Wade is (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by Joan in VA on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:02:44 AM EST
    important to Obama anyway. Remember how he almost voted
    for Roberts? And doesn't want his appointments to be voted against for ideological reasons? Has he come out and said it's important to him and I missed it?

    Hey, he voted "present" in (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:15:27 AM EST
    IL state senate.  I have the same question you do.  

    There's more to the SC than Roe (none / 0) (#170)
    by badger on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:43:51 PM EST
    Obama already has a Univ of Chicago economist as his top econ advisor, and I'm no fan of that school's slant on economics.

    I'm not a lawyer, but from the little I know, I'm not enthralled with someone from U of C like Judge Posner - he supports Roe I believe, but from what I know about the way he mixes law and economics, I probably wouldn't be a fan. I picture him asking the kind of question one Justice asked just recently about "What could Exxon have reasonably done to prevent the Valdez oil spill?" But I'm guessing in areas I don't know very well.

    Even without that, if Obama is philosophically in line with his econ advisors and that spills over into SC nominations, it might not be any better than who McCain would appoint.

    Actually, I'd like to see someone who is a lawyer do a post on what kind of SC nominees Obama might pick and if the U of C connection would influence that and how.


    It's more than Roe (none / 0) (#118)
    by riddlerandy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:29:10 AM EST
    it is likely that the next President will have at least two appointments among Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg, and the effects will last for 15-20 years.  One moderate/progressive on the court until 2020 or later is what we are looking at.  I will happily vote for the nominee that at stake.

    Not to mention that the dire consequences a damaged nominee will do downticket, especially in statehouse races that will have a huge impact on redistricting for the next 10 years.

    Once this is over, folks really need to get over it.  

    Unfortunately, I don't think they will


    For me (none / 0) (#139)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:43:08 AM EST
    Roe is a concern, but not my PRIMARY concern.

    My primary concern is healthcare.  Obama threw the issue under the bus.  I think if he's rewarded for this behavior with election, it will set the issue way back.

    I'd rather put up with 4 years of McCain (won't vote for him, will instead vote 'present' if Obama is nominated).  Then, in 4 years, I'll support the candidate who shouts loudly about healthcare.

    My secondary issue is that of not privatizing social security.  Obama has said that privatization is on the table.  Of course, it's on the table with McCain as well, but the Democratic Congress will FIGHT him on it....whereas if Obama is elected, they may kowtow with him on the issue.

    I really think a decent Democratic majority in Congress can fight rabidly right-wing judicial appointments.

    And I actually LIKE divided government (Dem as pres and Republican congress, or the opposite).  That way, neither side gets their way all the time.

    Some may call me petulant.  Too bad.


    The Republicans Have Been Very Good At (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:50:18 AM EST
    educating their supporters about the importance of the SCOTUS and other judiciary appointments. The Dems not so much. If my canvassing in 04 was any example,  the average Dem didn't connect at all when I mentioned the SCOTUS as why the election was so important.

    I have given this one (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:16:20 AM EST
    a lot of thought.  I am pro-choice.  I have donated money to Planned Parenthood.  I have marched on Washington for reproductive rights.  That said, there's a small part of me that no longer cares if Roe is overturned.  Why?  Because I truly believe that young women - especially those who spew misogynistic anti-Hillary remarks and were quick to call Geraldine a racist - have absolutely no appreciation for the freedoms that generations of women before them fought for and won on their behalf.  Maybe losing some of their freedom will open their eyes.

    I am so sad to admit it , but I agree with you. (4.00 / 0) (#158)
    by honora on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:18:59 PM EST
    Roe v. Wade is worthless (4.00 / 0) (#63)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:54:09 AM EST
    The abortion battles have moved on, bypassing Roe v. Wade completely. Between "informed consent", parental-notification, restrictions on abortion providers, and local community activism, most women in America have to travel long distances to get an abortion, if they can. Abortion for many women is impossible even as it technically remains legal.

    I don't want to come across as a McCain defender, but I'm pretty sure that he would be a more competent leader than Obama, even though his competence would be directed toward right-wing causes that I don't support. I'm afraid that a lot of people are going to not worry so much about the right-wing part and focus on the competence.


    Ah. See what happens (none / 0) (#86)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:07:33 AM EST
    with older women low info voters?  Time passes us by.

    You're not going to like this. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:42:50 AM EST
    I am 42 years old and I have never voted for a Republican president; however, I will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee.  I have family living in NYC.  My sister was three blocks from the WTC on 9/11.  For me, it's not about being a Hillary supporter.  It's about wanting someone with foreign policy experience; someone who can be tough and take a stand when necessary.  I just don't see that in Obama.  

    McCain's politics aren't exactly in line with every one of my positions, but on the whole, he doesn't strike me as a misogynist, a homophobe, or even a warmonger.  In spite of his support of the Iraq war, I think his experience as a POW gives him a unique insight of the plight of our soldiers and a respect for the need for diplomacy over war.


    I'm in pretty much the same... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:51:19 AM EST
    ... demographic, and find myself increasingly on the fence about an Obama-McCain matchup. When push comes to shove, I expect I'd go with Obama (usually, any temptation I have to vote for a Republican fades away the more they campaign), but I consider the fact that I'm not sure to be a bad sign for Obama.

    there you go (none / 0) (#49)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:46:09 AM EST
    McCain's age is a problem. He looks so tired, and (none / 0) (#56)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:51:16 AM EST
    it's only March. Can he keep going until November without messing up? I have doubts.

    Do you place more weight (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:51:21 AM EST
    on national security than SCOTUS appointments?  

    P.S.  I was recently told that McCain refused the opportunity to be released from Hanoi prison unless all POWs were released.  They weren't, so he wasn't.  That is pretty impressive.


    national security than SCOTUS appointments (5.00 / 0) (#65)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:55:35 AM EST
    this is what thoughtful democrats should be losing sleep over.
    right there.

    Something tells me I didn't (none / 0) (#88)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:08:16 AM EST
    phrase that quite right.  Faux national security concerns, maybe?

    My problem with McCain is (none / 0) (#92)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:10:04 AM EST
    that he was a POW and was tortured, and then went along with the US torture policy. A man who has been tortured who can aid and abet in the torture of others is not someone I would ever vote for, even if he were a Democrat. That puts McCain beyond the pale for me.

    I think he did that (none / 0) (#109)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:20:57 AM EST
    for political reasons.  Kind of the same as Hillary voting for the war resolution.  She was trying to show she had a set of balls and was willing to fight if necessary (my theory).  He was pandering to his base at a time when Rush & Coulter were throwing their support behind Hillary.  They were necessary political evils.  

    In his heart, I don't think McCain believes torture is ok.  I am very confident that he won't tolerate it as president.  


    The vote on torture wasn't at all close (5.00 / 0) (#153)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:08:21 PM EST
    so McCain could have abstained or voted no and explained that with his personal experiences he just couldn't vote yes. No one would have faulted him for that. When America went to war in 1917, one woman voted against it, Jeannette Rankin the first woman in Congress. She said she was voting no for the mothers of America whose sons would be dying in the war. She knew it would not affect the passage of the bill, but she had to vote no to make the point. It cost her her political career, but she never regretted it. Voting against torture would not have cost McCain his political career, and would have given him the moral high ground. He should have made the gesture. I am sorry he didn't show as much courage in office as he did in uniform.

    Rankin regained her political career (none / 0) (#189)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:15:01 PM EST
    and was back in Congress in time to be the only one to vote against two world wars -- sticking to her pacifism even after Pearl Harbor.

    And thus, the Jeanette Rankin Brigade named in her honor, women against the Vietnam War -- when Rankin marched again with them.  She was Montana's gift to American history for many reasons.:-)


    NJ Also: No to Obama (none / 0) (#87)
    by Athena on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:07:48 AM EST
    I can report the same from a number of people who I talked to in NJ this week - just average folks, not the chattering class.   They are just waiting to defect to McCain if Obama is nominated; the Wright issue blew them away.

    Not surprising... (none / 0) (#191)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:19:18 PM EST
    ... 9/11 is obviously a sensitive subject everywhere, but probably not anywhere moreso than NJ.

    thank you for pointing this out (none / 0) (#91)
    by english teacher on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:09:49 AM EST
    because your comment illustrates the idea that there are two sides to the national security argument.  the way the media and the republicans have framed this issue, there are two criteria any democratic candidate must meet to pass the national security or commander in chief question.

    the first is hawkishness.  in other words, it is clear that no anti war democrat can be elected president.  the candidate obviously need not be needlessly aggressive or work outside existing international agreements.  but neither can she or he be painted as a dove or reflexively anti war.  clinton meets this test while obama has presented himself, albeit tepidly, as the anti war candidate.  this alone might lose him the general election to mccain.

    the second test is the "support our troops" notion which your post points to.  does the candidate identify with the sacrifice our troops go through when they are placed in harms way by the commander in chief?  on this issue, mccain obviously is the strongest candidate in terms of empathy for the suffering of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines during conflict.  but clinton also has a strong record of legislation providing funds for the v.a. and veterans benefits.  obama has no record here and can be painted as showing so little concern with the suffering of our soldiers as to sit in church on sunday and listen to america be cursed.  how close will people like wright be to the president in his new administration?  will he take care of our soldiers when they come home, or applaud a sermon condemning them?  these questions are poison for him in the general election.  


    Plus that "100 years in Iraq" thing (none / 0) (#94)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:12:15 AM EST
    has been way overplayed by both Clinton and Obama.  He was referring to the fact that we have troops in South Korea and probably still troops in Germany for that matter.   Basically we're an empire and we have troops everywhere.  

    My sense is that the minute the GE gets ramped up, McCain will move leftward on the war and start talking about ways to wind it down.  And he's got the military "chops" to do it without sounding like a lefty wooss.  

    Democrat nominee MUST hit on the economy as that's our strong suit.


    Similar (none / 0) (#97)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:14:21 AM EST
    And I can't remember exactly where I saw this, I will try to find it, but this past weekend McPeak, Obama's military adviser, said a VERY similar thing....

    here it is (none / 0) (#108)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:20:37 AM EST
    Quotes McPeak from the Oregonian



    Beware of right wing blogs (none / 0) (#149)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:03:05 PM EST
    those quotes from the Oregonian are from 2003.

    Read it. Good one, although ... (none / 0) (#114)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:23:41 AM EST
    I disagree with the article's point that McPeak is a liability.  McPeak simply reflects the inevitable turning away from primary rhetoric towards moderation.   He's in the wings now, but Barack will trot him out big time in the GE if he's nominated.    Any politician would so I don't fault him on that.  

    Although ... I do fault him on trying to claim he's not just "any politician".


    And McPeak brought us Bush (none / 0) (#194)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:24:20 PM EST
    as Oregon state party chair for Dubya in 2000 -- as the media ought to report; interesting that the Clinton camp must be leaving that alone.  But it's another reason to wonder about Obama's advisors.

    You may want to do some more research (none / 0) (#107)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:19:45 AM EST
    McCain is a hot head and many in his own party are afraid of what he would do if he had his finger on the button.  I was actually in NYC on 9/11 and few things scare me more than the idea of McCain as president.  Some examples here and here

    Then of course there is the fact that he does not know the difference between Sunni and Shia and the fact that he thinks staying in Iraq for a few hundred years is a good idea and that he wants to bomb Iran so bad he sings about it.  But hey, he's not a warmonger, no way. Totally calm rational guy.

    That's without going into the fact that, while he has pissed off the right in a few areas, he is basically a conservative republican.  People here worry so much about Obama's pastor, take a look at the nut jobs that McCain hangs with.  And he defends them.

    I don't really understand what you think Obama might do as president to bring the sky down on us but you seem fundamentally to have been bamboozled by eight years of republican scare tactics, and a few months of the same from Hillary.

    I prefer Obama but its a no brainer that I would never vote for McCain.  Eight years of seeing everyone but the rich get hammered in this country is enough for me.  Eight years of seeing the constitution shredded is enough for me.  Five years of war is enough for me.  Bush has made us less safe since 9/11 and there is no reason to think McCain would be any better.


    Would you really prefer McCain's foreign policy (none / 0) (#146)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:54:38 AM EST
    I fully understand... (none / 0) (#152)
    by alsace on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:04:34 PM EST
    We are heading for the quintessential dilemma: two  equally bad alternatives.  When I faced this in 1980, I went with John B. Anderson.

    I certainly think some poll-ees (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:40:32 AM EST
    ...will answer that question out of spite at this time, but would come around later. OTOH, with race and gender hot-button issues in the campaign, it's also possible that people who would refuse to vote for Obama (or, for that matter, Hillary) might not be willing to admit it, as well.  So it's pretty hard to say for sure.

    Generally Speaking... (none / 0) (#95)
    by Exeter on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:13:34 AM EST
    Obama supporters include some moderate Republicans that would prefer McCain to Hillary, African Americans that would be so dejected by Obama losing the Dem nomination that they would stay home, and sexist Democrats that would stay stay home or vote for McCain.    

    Hillary supporters include Republican women that would prefer McCain to Obama, democratic women that would be so dejected that they would stay home,  and racist Democrats that would stay home or vote for McCain.

    Both appeal to some very different voter universes and its difficult to sort out the full impact in the heat of the primary. My gut feeling -- that like Gore versus Bradly -- alot of the people that are angrily threatening "I'll vote for McCain!" will actually vote for the democratic nominee or stay at home.

    In 2000, almost every Bradly supporter I knew said they were voting for Nader over the evil incarnate Gore. Many obviously did, but most ended up voting for Gore.  

    Still, there will be two kinds of "take my ball and go home" dejected voters that will emerge from whoever wins the democratic nominee: the ones that stay home and the ones that vote for McCain. Obviously the latter is the much more destructive group. I don't have any hard science to back this up, buy my sense is that Obama supporters of this variety would be 3/4 African Americans that would stay home and 1/4 moderates that would vote for McCain. Clinton would be 1/4 Dem women that stay home, 1/2 racist dems that would vote for McCain, and 1/4 racist dems that would stay home.

    So, I think Clinton losing the nominaiton would actually be more harmful, overall, in the general, because more of her dejected supporters would vote for McCain rather than simply stay at home.      


    One caviat (none / 0) (#119)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:29:14 AM EST
    ..if she got the nomination (which she likely will not), she would have the political sense to add him to the ticket.  It would probably turn her stomach, but she would do it because she knows it would be necessary to secure a win in the fall.  

    Unless (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:31:49 AM EST
    the Wright matter is as harmful as I think it is...

    I think the nomination is his at this point, but if she does pull it off, it will likely be because the Wright matter is toxic. Adding that to the ticket without giving him time to distance himself will drag down both of them, and the chance for Dems to capture the White House.


    She would do better with Edwards (none / 0) (#155)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:16:06 PM EST
    than Obama. And so would Obama. Edwards did very well in FL, actually won my county. Hillary won overall, of course, but Edwards did well. People like him. As VP, he would help either one of them. And I don't think Obama would take second place on the ticket anyway. He has indicated that it is all or nothing as far as he is concerned. But we will see. It will be interesting to watch, that's for sure.

    I agree... (none / 0) (#193)
    by Exeter on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:23:57 PM EST
    ...if he would take it, which he probably wouldn't.

    Then, I would probably go with Wes Clark.


    Wes Clark first -- vs. McCain, either Dem (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:27:31 PM EST
    would do well to have military might on the ticket.  And Clark would be far more loyal to a Clinton administration and its work than would Obama.

    Also (none / 0) (#36)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:39:13 AM EST
    electability and getting support from Hillary's supporters will be a HUGE issue if Obama gets the nomination without Florida and Michigan. Though I do wish Clinton had pushed this point harder, I think especially in the case of Michigan, Obama is responsible for stonewalling these efforts. I know I will not see his nomination as legitimate if these two states are not included fairly....

    There is just no excuse for disenfranchising voters whatsoever. It is foolish and short sighted!

    I don't know how much harder... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:44:14 AM EST
    ...she could have pushed it. Short of holding the respective state legislators at gunpoint until a deal was brokered, she did everything she could to encourage a recount, including getting money for the recount. Once the DNC decided that Obama's campaign was going to be able to hold up recount's, they were guaranteed not to happen no matter what Clinton did.

    I believe she did enough to "claim (none / 0) (#96)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:14:14 AM EST
    the moral high ground" on this issue and that could become significant in the final analysis.   Although ... if they seat these delegates with 50-50 splits that will provide plausible deniability on the "disenfranchisement" issue.  

    Not very plausible, in my view, but enough to pull the wool over a lot of people's eyes.


    I see Obama as having to do an awful lot (none / 0) (#112)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:22:57 AM EST
    of work to convince a growing segment of Clinton supporters to get behind him in a general election contest, and I think he is going to have a particularly tough time with voters in Florida and Michigan, who may not be inclined to forgive him for being the major stumbling block in their votes getting to be counted, and voters in the other 48 states, who resent those tactics, as well.  It's going to grate on a lot of ears when he starts giving speeches about the democratic process - and you know he will.

    I know the arguments about what is at stake in this election, and I believe them - I do.  The problem I am having is that I do not remember EVER feeling like I would have to force myself to vote for a Democrat and have to force myself to remember the "big picture" in quite the way I will have to if he is the nominee.  Clearly, others are having that feeling, too, and more than a few will opt to not cast a vote for president, or worse, will vote for McCain.

    Aside from how sad and angry I feel about all of this, I just see Obama's path to electoral victory in November as being steep and covered in potholes.


    They're both red herrings (none / 0) (#39)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:41:26 AM EST
    Dowd is right that winning/losing a state in a primary does not necessarily lead to the same outcome in a general election. That said, winning a solidly red state in a primary means virtually nothing, since those states are not going to go Democratic, while winning a blue state in a primary may or may not mean anything, depending on how many of the loser's supporters are willing to support the eventual winner.

    So far, the results are not looking good for Obama. He seems to be a clear winner in most of the solidly blue states (the ones that he never had to worry about). But he's not exactly a shoe-in in Florida and Michigan and there are other purple states that are marginal for him, but are stronger for Clinton. The swing states tend to vote moderate, and Clinton, rightly or wrongly, has a more moderate reputation than Obama.

    I have a question: (none / 0) (#69)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:58:38 AM EST
    What new campaign theme has Obama brought out: what new aspect of his record has been released that gives one yet another reason to vote for him?
    Haven't we heard all the arguments already? The only information coming out these days is negative.
    Hillary's record is long enough and rich enough that there is always something more to say. For example, how many people know that she took on the Reagan administration and WON in 1981? The budget for the legal services foundation of which she was chair was to be cut, and she stopped the cuts.
    How about Ireland? The current Prime Minister says that Hillary made a huge difference.

    Obama's record is tapped out, and he's obviously not going to be adding to it through Senate actions in the next few months.

    According to a piece on (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:09:45 AM EST
    Huff Post, both Obama and HRC are embellishing their Senate records as we type.

    More (none / 0) (#104)
    by Athena on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:19:02 AM EST
    See the WaPo article today - I was struck by the "audacity" of Obama elbowing his way into Senate press conferences and claiming credit for things he had not done.  I'm surprised that this has not been pointed out more.  And how he avoided the hard bipartisan work in favor of showing up at a press conference, claiming to be part of the group.  It's quite galling.

    Apparently that elbowing bit (none / 0) (#111)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:22:05 AM EST
    isn't uncommon; surprising though.

    As well as (none / 0) (#115)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:24:14 AM EST
    embellishing the dangers and risks of PR trips to eastern European countries.

    Bosnia in March of 1996 (none / 0) (#141)
    by ding7777 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:46:06 AM EST
    was far more dangerous than Springfield or Chicago, IL as evidenced by the complete lack of mandatory "corkscrew" landings Obama experienced.

    So what? (none / 0) (#169)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:40:53 PM EST
    She wasn't landing in a hot LZ as she was trying to depict.  

    Have you got a fresher TP? (none / 0) (#190)
    by Fabian on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:19:13 PM EST
    That one is getting pretty stale.

    LOL (none / 0) (#199)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:31:30 PM EST
    You guys are awesome.  

    How bout we get back to talking about Wright.  That horse hasn't quite been beaten into a bloody pulp yet.


    A 20 year long (none / 0) (#201)
    by Fabian on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:36:47 PM EST
    mutually acceptable relationship.

    What's to talk about?  Wright was certainly no one night stand for Obama, he was a LTR - long term relationship.

    Heck, he was buddies with Wright longer than he was married to Michelle - that's real commitment!


    Really? (none / 0) (#210)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:00:12 PM EST
    I didn't know.  The first 40-50 times I was told about his "20 year relationship" I didn't understand what that meant.

    But now that there is an acronym for it, LTR, that makes it much clearer.  

    Friggin LTR.  They weren't dating.


    So---does your objection count as a new (none / 0) (#145)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:52:03 AM EST
    positive reason to vote for Obama?

    LOL! (none / 0) (#148)
    by Fabian on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:56:55 AM EST
    Good one.

    Nope (none / 0) (#168)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:39:58 PM EST
    although I find it ironic that you speak of positive reasons to vote for someone since the vast majority of your posts are attacks on all things Obama.

    He's not experienced enough---not (none / 0) (#202)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:37:55 PM EST
    qualified. Everything else is secondary.

    Indeed (none / 0) (#147)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:55:25 AM EST
    Politicians embellish. Stop the presses!

    Obama being a pol, also embellishes. Do you REALLY want to go there?

    At least at this site, we have not paid much attention to the "embellishment" issue form either candidate.


    Not buying BTD (none / 0) (#167)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:39:04 PM EST
    Jeralyn started an entire diary about how Obama embellished his involvement in bills passed in Illinois.

    This wasn't an embellishment.  There were no snipers.  There was no threat of snipers.  She kissed a child on the tarmac.  This was a case of straight falsehood.  

    I don't have a problem with embellishments from pols.  But this was a willful attempt to portray that event as something it clearly was not.


    On that trip there were (none / 0) (#184)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:09:08 PM EST
    two side trips to bases that Sinbad and the others didn't go on. That is where the sniping incidents occurred, as has been corroborated by people who were there with Hillary. The initial arrival was without incident, but the trips to the bases were not.

    Do you have a cite for this? (none / 0) (#208)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:55:49 PM EST
    I try not to be a knee jerk Hillary supporter, but I have found it hard to believe that she would tell a lie that could be so easily debunked. However, I have only heard the "Hillary lied" story repeated endlessly. I Googled "Hillary Bosnia" and didn't find anything but negative articles on the first 7 pages.

    If it is a lie I have to admit I will be disappointed in her, if for no other reason than she gives the Obama crowd more ammo. Their favorite word after "smear" is "LIE."


    OK (none / 0) (#209)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:56:19 PM EST
    Who were the people that corroborated this?

    Evidence for this is that Obama (none / 0) (#103)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:17:57 AM EST
    (and the MSM who are biased in his favor) keep hitting on these weak issues:  Hillary's "unseemly whining" over the MI/FL revote, Hillary's First Lady papers (poring over 11,000 pages of which probably rendered a large proportion of Obama's campaign legally blind and netted them nothing that sticks), Hillary's tax returns (that will be another big nothing), and their never-ending race card against Bill ... even the MSM are getting tired of carrying that water bucket for them.

    EXACTLY (none / 0) (#73)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:00:13 AM EST
    what I was trying to say above, but got shot down as being offensive.  

    Don't we all know by now that the Republicans don't exactly play nice?  What Hillary has thrown at Obama is NOTHING compared to what he will face in the fall.  Team Obama's whining about his opponent's tactics aren't going to have the same impact on the general electorate (read: swing voters) as it does on the much more peace-loving left.  

    He will be viewed as wimpy and spineless if he doesn't have the stomach or the will to fight back.  If you look at footage of him over the past week, his body language shows the angst he is feeling over the Wright flap.  He needs to buck up and portray an image of strength if he wants to be president.  

    seems to me (none / 0) (#75)
    by Jgarza on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:01:30 AM EST
    that Clinton's success in places like South Texas Ohio and Penn, comes from a sort of machine politics, where all these big name elected officials line up behind her and bash the other dem candidate.  All that would change in  GE, as the dem leadership would back them Dem.

    Bashing (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:09:08 AM EST
    has come from both sides, and as of late, far more from Obama's campaign. Also, please stop suggesting that the only reason people support Hillary is because they are bashing Obama, etc. People actually support Hillary because they like her, believe in her policies, etc. I was always pro-Hill and felt very positive towards Obama as well. This primary has changed that. I now have more negative feelings towards Obama than I care to admit....

    What about those states where the machine lined up behind Obama, like in Massachusetts? Or Arizona? She still won those states...


    Sadly, I am with you on this one: (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by BlueMerlin on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:19:43 AM EST
    "I was always pro-Hill and felt very positive towards Obama as well. This primary has changed that. I now have more negative feelings towards Obama than I care to admit...."

    Wondering how many like us there are out there.


    I'm sure lots of people do (none / 0) (#113)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:23:09 AM EST
    on both sides.  However that sense of animosity will fade after the primary ends.  

    Not sure (none / 0) (#120)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:29:49 AM EST
    I do not think my intense dislike will fade. Painting Hillary and Bill as racist for his own short term political gain was damaging to democrats and, in my opinion, unforgivable. He has no respect for Hillary or Bill, and the same clearly goes for Michelle. I also think should she be the nominee, he is harming her greatly with his constant attacks about her "character gap." In my view, he is the one with a serious "character gap" and will truly do and say anything to win.

    I may vote for him out of fear in November, but he has lost my respect, and I do not think he will be able to get it back.

    Sorry to be blunt, but I know I am not alone...same goes for everyone in my family. And they are independents who will not hestitate to vote for McCain after this Wright stuff.


    I think (none / 0) (#157)
    by Claw on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:18:30 PM EST
    You underestimate Hillary hate among independents.  I know several folks, some independents, some moderate republicans, who will vote for Obama but never for Hillary.  In fact, the only place I've seen the McCain or Hillary but NEVER Obama opinion frequently expressed is at TL.  
    I'll vote for either dem because (not to mention the many other reasons) if we get another republican in the White House you can kiss the Constitution goodbye.  Courtesy of the Supreme Court.  No one should kid themselves:  McCain will nominate conservative justices and they will be confirmed.  

    Right (none / 0) (#161)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:23:33 PM EST
    So you believe that Hillary should be the nominee and you can't respect Obama because he won't let her be the nominee.

    Obama NEVER painted either Hillary or Bill as racist.  


    of COURSE not (none / 0) (#172)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:48:58 PM EST
    he lets his surrogates to that

    Believe it or not (none / 0) (#182)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:07:21 PM EST
    but the Media is not his surrogate.

    And neither candidate is responsible for every action of their surrogates.  But if you wish to apply that standard we can.  I got some REALLY ugly stuff by Hillary surrogates I can bring up.


    Jesse Jackson Jr. is Obama's cochair (none / 0) (#200)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:36:22 PM EST
    so you can't sluff it off on the media.  JJJ has an official role with the campaign, unlike Bill for Clinton's -- and you can't get higher than JJJ's role.  He speaks for the campaign; he speaks for Obama -- and he played the race card against the Clintons from the start.  

    It depends on what the candidates do (none / 0) (#124)
    by Manuel on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:31:56 AM EST
    Judas and McCarthy comments aren't helping.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#131)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:35:31 AM EST
    Though Wolfson repudiated Carville's comments, while Obama's campaign has chosen to stand by the McCarthy sentiment though in "different terms." On Morning Joe this morning, Woflson was very positive towards Richardson. Also, Carville is not directly involved with the campaign, while McPeak is and Obama was on stage while those comments were made and he still chooses to stand by them.

    not for me... (none / 0) (#129)
    by sickofhypocrisy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:34:15 AM EST
    as the GE draws closer and closer and his candidacy grows weaker and weaker, I can see myself being even more angry that the MSM and the dem electorate backed the wrong horse.

    i have not trusted him (none / 0) (#125)
    by english teacher on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:32:44 AM EST
    since he got in bed with the media by smearing the clinton's as racists before south carolina.  at that point i went from soft edwards to strong hillary.  

    that move blew it for me.  after that i simply do not and will not trust him.  i also fear he may be deeply corrupt.  maybe i'm wrong.


    same here (none / 0) (#162)
    by mexboy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:24:28 PM EST
    Obama lost me (none / 0) (#181)
    by magisterludi on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:05:40 PM EST
    when I read about Austan Goolsbee and David Cutler.

    if you truly believe that then you are in for (none / 0) (#105)
    by athyrio on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:19:38 AM EST
    a whooper of a surprise in the general election..

    Dowd's point is accurate (none / 0) (#110)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:22:03 AM EST
    Primary results are not predictive of general election success or failure.

    The vast majority of both candidate's voters will vote for a Democrat in November.   Voters in primaries are, for the most part, solid partisans that won't be changing tickets.  

    However some may choose not to vote.  So for argument's sake, let's say 15% of the primaries voters are up in the air.  The question is which candidate is more likely to bring them back to the Dems in November?

    Additionally which candidate is more likely to get non-traditional Dems to vote for them?  Independents, moderate Republicans, and traditional detached voters.

    The big state argument has always been flawed, just as the red state argument by Obama is flawed.  

    There are certainly states which Clinton is likely to do better than Obama.  Ohio comes to mind.  Perhaps Florida.  And there are states where Obama is likely to do better than Clinton.  Certainly there is much to discuss in this matter.   But Dem v Dem primary election results don't do much to color that argument.

    My POV (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Fabian on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:31:48 AM EST
    I may not like Hillary, but I trust her - or at least know how much I can trust her.

    I may like Obama, but I don't trust him.  He reminds more and more every passing day of Reagan.  And I'm not a Republican.


    HRC will do far better (none / 0) (#133)
    by smott on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:39:14 AM EST
     in the GE in OH, PA and FL than BO.
    Not to say he might not win 1 or 2 of those. But she has a much better shot.

    My question is - how much is "electability" taken in to account by the supers?

    I think we can all agree that some huge scandal would disqualify either candidate from the nom, regardless of their leads in delegates and/or popular...

    But where is the threshhold? Clearly BO has been hurt by the Wright thing. BUt how much?


    Well (none / 0) (#135)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:39:36 AM EST
    Since you say so, it must be so.

    Actually, no, Dowd is wrong.

    The correlation is NOT one to one - but there CLEARLY is predictive power in primary performance. Only a fool or a shill would deny it.


    Sorry BTD (none / 0) (#166)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:35:32 PM EST
    But I don't think you are right on this at all.

    What is the empirical evidence to support your claim?  What are the past primaries that you are drawing this data from?  

    You have an assertion.  You believe that there is a correlation between primary results and general elections results.  What you don't have is data to support the assertion.  

    When has primary results provided predictive power in the past? 2004? 2000?  1996?  1992?  


    The empirical data? (none / 0) (#177)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:57:05 PM EST
    See you are missing the point. You can not seriously argue as Dowd  apparently did, that John McCain was not more electable than Bush in NH in 2000.

    Common sense is a lovely thing. We need not refrain from using it.


    Where did he do that? (none / 0) (#186)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:12:45 PM EST
    He certainly make that claim in that article.  His only reference to 2000 was this...

    And I can recall in the 2000 presidential campaign, George Bush won Iowa in the primary, then lost it in November. He lost New Hampshire by more than 17 points in the primary, but then carried it in the general election providing his electoral margin of victory.

    That does not suggest that McCain was the better candidate.  It simply points out that primary results are not predictive of general election results.  


    That should say (none / 0) (#187)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:13:57 PM EST
    He certainly did NOT make that claim in that article.

    No matter how the map is drawn (none / 0) (#116)
    by Manuel on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:24:42 AM EST
    The November election is likely to come down to OH.  FL, PA, and MI are also relatively more important than other states.

    To the extent Obama redraws the map, it s looking like he'll have to spend more resources defending home turf (e.g. MA).

    I am basing this on electoral maps based on current polling.  Subject to change but worrisome.

    Vacationing (none / 0) (#130)
    by waldenpond on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:34:17 AM EST
    I look at Clinton as a hard worker.  Obama not so much.  This is reinforced for me knowing Clinton is giving a speech on the economy while Obama is on vacation in the Virgin Islands.  Obama pops back with a letter he wrote a year ago.  Clinton gave a press conference a year ago.... back and forth.  What it comes down to for me is Clinton and McCain are campaigning, Obama is on vacation.  There was some expressing that he could go work on international relations and build up that part of his resume, but he chose not to.

    Why should he care to WORK (none / 0) (#134)
    by nell on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:39:22 AM EST
    when the media lets him get away with anything. Honestly, it sickens me how much crap he has gotten away with. While it may help Dems take the election if he is the nominee, it will NOT help us get this country back on track and that is what is most important to me...I wonder how different Bush's term would have been had the media held him more accountable...I don't want Obama to get us on the wrong track without the media or anyone else holding him accountable and then no one figures it out until it is too late...

    Electibility- Hard Work (none / 0) (#143)
    by nette60 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:47:26 AM EST
    I hope the media doesn't continue to let him off the hook. The country needs people willing to work. I think Obama perpetuates the 'What have you done for me attitude. Bad example for young blacks...He needs to get the message out that hard work and love of country is the way. Of course that's something he doesn't know anything about. It's time to forget about the guilt thing. All races are suffering in this country.By the way I am African American and will never vote for BO.

    Re hard work (none / 0) (#138)
    by smott on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:42:33 AM EST
    My sis-in-law's family are all from NY.
    They absolutely loathed HRC when she first was elected.
    Now they're all voting for her. Say she works extremely hard, has gotten a lot done for the state of NY, esp re the 9-11 workers.

    Anecdotal I know, but I pay attention to stories of how people's minds have changed...


    Contrast that (none / 0) (#142)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:46:39 AM EST
    with Massachusetts where Axelrod's election tactics actually put the state in play for the Republican!  When was the last time that happened!

    For me, the handwriting is there on the wall for anyone who wants to see it.


    I'm one of those NYer's that has flipped (none / 0) (#211)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:05:13 PM EST
    their opinion of her. I wasn't in the 'loathe' camp, but not keen on her passing through on her way to the WH. The only upside was the prospect of her running against Rudy, lol!~ I was pretty over what I called the "Clinton Circus". Not necessarily of their making, but it existed. The "Circus" never came to town as it turns out.

    I do appreciate her post 9-11 work (among other things). For me, she also stands out as one of the few vocal ones early on regarding the air quality and the 'small' designation they gave for the 'area of concern'. She wanted it expanded to cover a large area, including my Brooklyn 'hood (right across the river). If you had been in my 'hood on Sept 13th (and after), you would appreciate this.  


    The irony (none / 0) (#144)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:49:16 AM EST
    is that when Hillary said she was taking Easter weekend off, I saw many comments that it was a sign she's conceding the election.

    I don't fault Obama for taking a family vacation, but I will say, he hasn't impressed me with his desire to put his energy into what Anglachel calls the "fights worth having".

    Take your vacation, Obama, and then come back and actually fight for something other than your election.


    Counting the votes (none / 0) (#132)
    by nette60 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:38:49 AM EST
    AS Jesse Jackson always says "Count every vote and let every vote count"..Why isn't he out marching now?

    Ah yes, electability (none / 0) (#159)
    by faux facsimile on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:23:02 PM EST
    Considering the excitement over March polling, you'd think John Kerry beat Bush in '04.

    Let's be blunt: 8 months is a lifetime politics, and given that 8 months ago, Hillary Clinton had an unbeatable lock on the nomination, it's pretty stupid to argue, based on anecdotes and a couple of polls, who's going to have better luck going head-to-head with John McSame.

    I certainly remember in 2004 when we were all told that for the good of the party, we should find the most 'electable' candidate. Boy did that work out well.

    The 04 problem wasn't the strategy (none / 0) (#165)
    by Manuel on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:28:49 PM EST
    It was the execution (Swiftboats, OH).  And yes, we all know polls can change.  However, I would argue that the volatility in Obama v McCain is greater than in Clinton v McCain.  That is what we mean when we say that Obama is high risk high reward.

    You got some (none / 0) (#163)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:25:47 PM EST
    evidence to support the claim that he is a Muslim sympathizer, whatever that means?

    in fact (none / 0) (#174)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:50:57 PM EST
    truth and evidence hardly matter.
    John Kerry did not shoot himself to get out of the military but many people still believe it.

    Right (none / 0) (#183)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:08:07 PM EST
    So baseless smears against Obama are ok here because that's life.  You holding that same standard for Hillary as well?

    of course I would (none / 0) (#188)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:14:46 PM EST
    but it would not surprise you to know that I think the possibility of them making some bulls**t stick is far greater with Obama.
    in the areas of knowns and unknowns, Hillary is a known known.

    The Hillary supporters keep telling us that (none / 0) (#192)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:23:44 PM EST
    I find it unlikely.  She is more known certainly but smear politics is the art of taking innocuous garbage and making it seem far worse than it really is.  The Clinton's have shown themselves remarkably susceptible to this.

    I'm glad flyerhawk has found a friend (none / 0) (#203)
    by Fabian on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:38:34 PM EST
    on this blog.  

    Ain't love grand?

    Interesting (none / 0) (#213)
    by Raheem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:39:11 PM EST
    Hillary can lie about her role in Northern Ireland and the bullets she ducked in Bosnia, yet that makes her perfectly electable.

    Electability (none / 0) (#214)
    by Alien Abductee on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 06:09:48 PM EST
    Money says it all.

    Obama raised $55 million in February. He has $30 million on hand and has been raising $2 million a day, with no sign of let-up and without maxing out his millions of small donors. In total he's raised $194 million.

    Clinton raised $35 million in February. She has $22 million socked away for the GE, if she has a chance to use it. In total she's raised $156 million.

    McCain, on the other hand, has $8 million in cash on hand, $3 million of which is for the GE. In total he's been able to raise $60 million. And he's in trouble for breaking campaign finance in his attempt to game the public financing system.

    The Republican brand is damaged across the board with scandals and incompetence and even in the reddest states no one wants to contribute to them. Their base has lost faith in their party being true purveyors of conservative values.

    Whichever Dem is nominated is going to win in November, assuming they haven't torn each other to shreds by then, and their supporters the same. Enough with the anguished hand-wringing. Get over yourself and the vanity of ego investment in "your" candidate. Start accustoming yourself to the idea that all Dems should vote for the Dem nominee in November, for the good of the country, and that if you can't or won't do that, you're part of the problem.