Legitimizing The Nominee

By Big Tent Democrat

For all the wailing and moaning from NBC, especially Punchline Olbermann, host of the Obama News Hour, and some of the Left blogs about Hillary Clinton staying in the race, one has to wonder what they think of Barack Obama's failure to win either Ohio or Texas. The desperate ones have now learned the virtue of closed primaries, arguing the Rush Limbaugh tipped Republicans to Clinton in Texas. Todd Beeton points out, apparently Limbaugh holds great sway over Independents as well, who also moved strongly to Clinton. Of course they won't like my solution, let's have closed primaries.

I have said this since Super Tuesday - Barack Obama needs to demonstrate he can win a big contested state important in the general election. He has won his home state. He has won heavily African American Georgia. That's it. It is true he won Wisconsin convincingly and seems to have electoral advantages in Colorado, Nevada (which he lost) and New Mexico. But this election will be won or lost in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida. If Obama can not perform well in these states, it will be extremely difficult for him in November. Luckily, 3 of these 4 states may have contests to allow Obama to prove his mettle and put a stamp of legitimacy on his potential nomination. I'll explain what I mean by legitimacy on the flip.

Do you know when the pledged delegate count became the single criteria by which a nominee could be crowned? When Obama's spin about it, which started in Nevada, was swallowed wholesale. Look at this post by Chris Bowers:

On at least three occasions, Clinton had a chance to finish Obama off: Iowa, South Carolina and Super Tuesday. Every time, the voters decided otherwise. On two occasions, Obama had a chance to finish Clinton off: New Hampshire and March 4th. Once again, the voters said "not yet." On every occasion, the frontrunner failed to finish the job, and the nomination campaign lurched forward

I mostly agree with Chris but I think he misses the fact that Obama had the chance to knock out Clinton on Super Tuesday too. But he lost Massachusetts, New Jersey and California.

But consider what Chris is saying - it would not be because the pledged delegate count that either Clinton or Obama would have knocked the other out - my gawd, they were basically tied after New Hampshire no matter what. It would have been because of the legitimacy winning both Iowa and New Hampshire would have conferred on Obama after Clinton came into the campaign as the perceived fsvorite.

Similarly, a decisive win on Super Tuesday by either Obama or Clinton would have knocked one or the other out because it would have conferred all the legitimacy on a big winner of the contests that day. Would the pledged delegate counts have reflected that it was over? Of course not.

Indeed, what is conclusive that the pledged delegate count has never been viewed as the decisive factor is the utter lack of care for democracy that is employed in the delegate allotment and selection system. Some defend the system as part building boons. But the defense itself undermines the system as a critical nomination criteria. You would not undermine the democratic elements of the selection process just for party building purposes if you REALLY believed it was the decisive factor in choosing the nominee. The nominee selection is too important for that. Think about it. Under the Democratic system, because of the fact that Super Delegates make up 25% of all delegates, it is virtually impossible for a nominee to go over the top with just pledged delegates. If the delegate count was the decisive criteria it is now painted as, how could we possibly have accepted having so many super delegates?

No, it is clear that the process is set up with the idea that the ACTUAL pledged delegate count is sort of a lagging indicator that catches up ONCE THE NOMINEE IS SELECTED! Consider every pledged delegate count in every Democratic nomination contest, well, ever. The pledged delegate counts did not determine when the race was over. The nominee was selected by gaining legitimacy by other means. The other mean was winning states. Key states.

This year the flawed delegate selection system has run into a very close race with two very viable candidates with plenty of money. The usual process by which we select our nominee has been utterly shortcircuited. So we are presented with a brave new world for determining who our nominee will be and how that nominee achieves legitimacy.

After Super Tuesday, I identified Barack Obama's key failing for gaining legitimacy as his failure to win key large contested states. On March 4, that failing became magnified.

Obama has at least another chance to legitimize himself as the nominee - Pennsylvania. But he can also have two other chances - if he, Clinton and Howard Dean have a lick of sense - revote Florida and Michigan. That this will also have a very beneficial effect for the Democrats in November is no small issue.

As for Clinton, right now the only way she has of legitimizing herself as the nominee is to win all the big states, perform well in other states not perceived as favorable to her AND select Barack Obama as her running mate.

Let's be clear, Obama has the easier road and is more likely to emerge as a legitimate nominee than Clinton. But both have paths to do it. There is work to be done and decisions to be made. Ending the campaign now would be disastrous.

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    Been waiting all morning for you (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:47:22 AM EST
    Only got to read half though and must return later since my husband bought me a latte but it looks like a paintbrush is attached to it :(

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:48:35 AM EST
    Sorry. I am slowing down my postings here so many will be longer form.  

    I have been checking since early this AM too. (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Boston Boomer on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:09:55 AM EST
    BTD, I hope you don't mind me saying this, but you are the greatest.  I should have come over here a long time ago when you first left the big place.  It is a pleasure to read your writing.  Your analyses are always interesting and fair.  Thank you for being here.

    I do hope Dean will be more proactive soon about helping MI and FLA have a revote.  I wonder if the problem is that Obama really doesn't want it to happen?  Or is it that the party leadership wants him to maintain his pledged delegate lead for now?


    why (none / 0) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:51:03 AM EST
    sorry to hear that

    Can't be helped (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:56:49 AM EST
    I was wondering how you were (none / 0) (#60)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:32:57 AM EST
    getting the lawyering done. Heh. Billable blogging hours = $$$ zero  zilch.

    A latte? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:49:18 AM EST
    You're an Obama voter?

    Ha! (none / 0) (#175)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:39:09 PM EST
    Not in overalls holding a True Value Hardware paintbrush ;)  I'm just a Clinton flunky being bribed.  I am having wine tonight too with my cheese fondue, don't get excited though because every Obama supporter knows that whine and cheese are symptoms of Clintonianism.

    Ending the would be disastrous. (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:50:18 AM EST
    David Greenberg over at Slate puts the "the race must end!!" stuff in some context:

    It's too early to talk about Hillary's withdrawal.

    The calls to wrap up the Democratic primary race show a similar amnesia. To suggest that March 5 marks a late date in the calendar ignores the duration of primary seasons past. Indeed, were Hillary Clinton to have pulled out of the race this week, Obama would have actually clinched a contested race for the party's nomination earlier than almost any other Democrat since the current primary system took shape--the sole exception being John Kerry four years ago. Fighting all the way through the primaries, in other words, is perfectly normal.
    We should also bear in mind that Obama holds a much slimmer lead over Clinton than McGovern, Carter, and Mondale held over their closest challengers--or, for that matter, than any of the nomination-bound front-runners in the elections since. As of this writing, Clinton is actually tied with Obama among Democratic voters nationally in the Gallup daily tracking poll.

    As long as this primary season has lasted, it's still--amazing to say--relatively early in the calendar. In all likelihood, the Democrats will arrive at a nominee by June. But even if it takes a convention to settle the race, there will still be more than 10 weeks until Election Day--a span, we would do well to recall, that is a mite longer than the veritable lifetime that has already seemed to have elapsed since this year's Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.

    This is not what I would have chosen for us (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:56:08 AM EST
    But it is what it is.

    more good advise from TPM (none / 0) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:01:01 AM EST
    I think one thing is clear this far into the Democratic primary race: Both Obama's and Clinton's supporters must now drop out of the race.

    Hillary Clinton's supporters have gotten incredibly annoying, with their chants of "Yes She Can," and charges of cultism and their desperate yelps of schadenfreude every time Clinton looks like she might actually be "recapturing the lead" that she never had.

    And Obama's supporters, yes, you too are incredibly annoying, with your accusations of Clintonian Republicanism and your whiny little cries about how you're going to take your ball and run home if your candidate doesn't win the primary.

    Supporters of both candidates, please listen closely. For the good of the Party -- no, for the good of the Nation! -- the time has come for you to leave this race.


    Not so. (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by tek on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:52:21 AM EST
    Who needs to get out of the race is the D. C. politicians.  They should have stayed out of it from the get-go so we could have had a truly democratic process.  Do we need Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Tom Daschle and Dick Durbin to decide who the Democratic nominee will be?  Do we need a bunch of male senators to pick the candidate for us?  No these people should shut up and stay out of it until the candidate is nominated.  Then get in and support that candidate.

    I find it interesting that all four of these men who "drafted" Obama had presidential aspirations that came to naught.  Not one of them could begin to wage a campaign the calibre of Hillary Clinton's, but in spite of that they insert themselves into the process and try to take the American People's choice away from them.

    The Good Old Boys Club--Kingmakers all...and thoroughly disgusting.

    And for that matter, do we really need Keith Olbermann and a bunch of self-important, misogynistic bloggers to dictate the candidate to us?  Arianna Huffington's All Obama All the Time blog is especially ironic.  Too bad so many people in this country have lost all understanding of democracy.


    Um, you're not listening (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Cream City on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:56:21 AM EST
    as that's not what Clinton supporters "chant."

    And your line is clever, about supporters dropping out, but silly.  It is silly season, but -- well, again, this shows in several ways that you're not listening closely and actually are insulting to both camps here.  

    So what we may need most is for pundits to drop out.


    Lousy Advice for candidate.Good for supporters. (none / 0) (#48)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:27:20 AM EST
    To end it now without a clear winner? I think if Hillary dropped out right now, woman actually would feel cheated. Not that she had to drop out and the man stayed, but more that a woman gave up when she is this <> close to being our leader. This <> close to breaking the ultimate glass ceiling. The Hillary/Obama ticket would give her 8 years and him 16 and a world of experience for both. The best of all worlds. Yep, that is the ticket.

    It really is a Dream Ticket... (none / 0) (#84)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:48:56 AM EST
    And it's just as imaginary.

    Does anyone seriously believe this whole 16-year meme? When was the last time that happened? How can it ever happen in the media culture we live in? We Americans demand a new house every 5 years...does anyone seriously think we're going to be happy with the same leaders for 16?

    Which is not to say that Hillary/Obama or Obama/Hillary won't happen. It very well may. But it won't give us 16 years in the White House no matter which way it goes. We'll be lucky if it gives us 8.


    right now (none / 0) (#89)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:56:05 AM EST
    I will happily settle for 4

    As will I. (none / 0) (#93)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:58:21 AM EST
    I'm not against the Dream Ticket...heck, it may be the only way out of our current mess. But let's not pretend it gives Obama 8 years of training to President. It gives him 4-8 years as VP and a ticket to the lecture circuit.

    And GW can't wait to get out of the WH (none / 0) (#104)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:10:11 AM EST
    He is planning his lecture circuit right now. He thought this WH thing would be fun and he could run it from Texas. Well, no, like he said, it is hard workkkk............

    Or a ticket to (none / 0) (#138)
    by oldpro on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:07:36 AM EST
    the Supreme Court.

    i love that people are calling for her to drop out (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Turkana on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:52:07 AM EST
    because her big night, tuesday, will extend the process. i guess she should have lost; then, maybe people would let her continue...

    once again, i agree with you. as i wrote yesterday, the race now comes down to who can make the best argument to the super delegates. that's now very much up in the air.

    The die was cast. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:54:53 AM EST
    Folks were expecting Clinton to fall further behind on Tuesday.  You already saw the "Surrender, Hillary" idea spreading last weekend.  When it didn't go the way people expected they either couldn't switch gears fast enough or else figure "why not give it a try anyway"?

    I read (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by tek on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:57:18 AM EST
    that Nancy Pelosi has told the Superdelegates to stay out of the election, i.e., no more jumping or endorsing.  She told them it's not their role, it's not determined yet whether or not they will be needed, and they should stay in the background until the convention at which time the Party will know if the Supers will have a role.  A surprising display of backbone from our Follow-the-Boys Speaker of the House.

    Obama out spent Clinton in Ohio and Texas, (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:11:57 AM EST
    maybe even in Rhode Island, by 2 or 3 or 4 to 1 (depending on who's writing the news), but at LEAST by 2 to 1, and he still lost Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island.

    Ok, ok, 76,000 people in Vermont voted and he won the majority of those. Not all. But a good majority. Enough said.

    The point is, if you have the most money and the biggest momentum and still lose, talking about delegate numbers doesn't wash until ALL the states have voted.

    Hillary may need 60% of those, but as long as the voters are given the opportunity, she could easily get 60%. Perhaps more.

    Until they vote, we won't know.

    Does this remind any of you of Al Gore and him being a good guy and conceding the election before all the votes were counted and the people spoke? "For the good of the country."

    Well, it didn't do the country much good, did it?

    So, for Dean and Donna to decide this before ALL the votes are counted is to once again disenfranchise the voters.

    Isn't that what we complain Republicans do, and maintain Democrats don't do? Won't do?

    As far as the polls telling us who is more likely to beat McCain -- Clinton or Obama?

    Face it. Polls can be askewed SO easily to reflect whomever the Republicans want to run against McCain. They do NOT reflect who has the best chance of beating him.

    Because as long as the Democrats don't disenfranchise Florida and Michigan, EITHER candidate will beat McCain in a landslide.

    But if you disenfranchise Florida and Michigan?

    Kiss it goodbye.

    Just looked at Hillary's website (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by dk on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:12:36 AM EST
    and she has apparently brought in around $3.6 million in the last 24 hours or so.  Not bad, I'd say.

    Yep, it has been announced on CNN (none / 0) (#113)
    by Cream City on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:18:16 AM EST
    and elsewhere -- and a proven fundraiser is a crucial argument for a candidate, too.  

    And weren't we supposed to hear yesterday about Obama having a bigger month and about 50 new super-delegates for him?  Hmmmm.


    Another Blogger on Legitimacy (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by BDB on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:12:43 AM EST
    Anglachel is here.  A pro-Clinton blogger to be sure, but I think some of what she writes about the current tendency to fetishize the pledged delegate count, like your post on the subject BTD, is dead on.

    The swipes at bama mar the post (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:18:57 AM EST

    It's a fine line (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:12:55 AM EST
    between presenting spin about who ought to be considered "the choice of the people," and making reckless arguments that actually undermine the nominee of the party.

    Clinton can argue that she ought to be the nominee because she has won the big states, she has won the most important swing states, she has won the popular vote (maybe), or whatever other argument she chooses to advance.  Maybe people will buy it, and maybe they won't, but either way our nominee will be just fine.  If the superdelegates reject those arguments and decide that Obama's ability to bring in new voters is more important, Clinton's argument will simply become irrelevant.

    Obama's argument, on the other hand, has the potential to hurt the party because he is actually claiming that it would be illegitimate for the superdelegates to crown anyone other than the pledged delegate leader.  Every day on the blogs, you see threats that the party will be torn apart, there will be blood in the streets at the convention, and so forth, if the superdelegates don't behave as the Obama campaign wants them to.  This is a direct result of supporters taking their cues from the campaign.  And if the superdelegates ultimately accept the Clinton argument, and give her the nomination despite a thin lead in pledged delegates by Obama, some number of Obama supporters will inevitably decide this amounts to election theft and refuse to support the party in November.  Thus Obama's fallacious argument ends up hurting us all.

    I understand that Obama is basically doing what he's got to do in making this argument, but he's certainly walking a fine line.

    Meh (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:18:02 AM EST
    The problem is not the spin, it is the wholesale swallowing of it.

    I do not blame Obama for that.

    I will say this, he has no choice but to accept the VP slot if it comes down to that.


    Does that explain the seeming (none / 0) (#42)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:23:10 AM EST
    advantage Obama is having in convincing SDs to support him? The wholesale swallowing of his spin?

    I think they supported him (none / 0) (#159)
    by ChrisO on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:41:59 PM EST
    because they thought he was going to be the winner, and wanted to get on board. They just forgot the part about the voters putting a crimp in his plans. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who got on board after Wisconsin did so out of expediency, and not because they thought he was the best person to be President.

    What? (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by tek on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:42:38 AM EST
    You don't think California is important?

    I worry about new contests in MI and FL because of all the violations I've read about from the Obama camp.  I have no confidence that this man will not do everything he can to steal new primaries.  Don't ya know, that's the trademark of politics in Chicago?

    Why (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Sunshine on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:08:48 AM EST
    Why should Florida and Michigan be redone, the people there have already voted..  There was a very high turnout, so they took it serious and knew it might be counted later.. The people there knew what was going on, they don't live in a vacuum.. You don't have to be in Florida to campaign in Florida, they have access to national TV, in fact the only person who had a national TV ad on at the time was Obama and they were watching other primaries..  Now that Obama supporters think he would have done better if it had been held later want a re-do.. There is a lot of things Hillary would re-do if she knew then what she knows now....

    Because some FL & MI people didn't assume that (none / 0) (#153)
    by ItsGreg on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 12:08:25 PM EST
    You say "There was a very high turnout, so they took it serious and knew it might be counted later."

    Yes, there WAS a record turnout. But we don't know how many people did NOT vote because they'd already been informed their delegates would NOT be seated.

    This isn't just an Obama issue. Of the four people I know in Florida who stayed home because they knew the primary wasn't going to count, three are women who support of Hillary.

    A re-vote would be a true test of support for both candidates. The voters would know how important their votes were, and we'd see an even greater response than before. And there's no reason to think Hillary wouldn't win for real the next time.


    Sorry, BTD, he is not going to win PA (5.00 / 3) (#132)
    by goldberry on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:53:55 AM EST
    No way, no how.  If my mother, the 2 time Bush voter in Central PA tells me that she is an enthusiastic supporter of Clinton, it bodes very ill indeed for Obama.  
    Seriously.  After OH and TX, the mind naturally starts to accept Clinton as the nominee.  Everyone knows that Obama has failed to win any of the big states outside of Illinois and Georgia.  As the Big Dawg said, if she won OH and TX, she will be the nominee and I believe it.  She is passing all of the  "hard" tests while Obama is picking the low hanging fruit.  
    The perception is getting fixed, BTD.  Obama can not win.  

    As the popular vote now stands, (5.00 / 3) (#137)
    by ChrisO on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:05:20 AM EST
    Obama has a lead in the popular vote of about half of a percentage point. If the delegates were assigned by the same ratio, he would have a 15 delegate lead. All of the puffery from the Obama camp is just that. They want the nomination? Win 2,025 delegates. Short of that, you didn't get the job done, and the nomination doesn't just get handed to you like all of your legislative "victories" in Illinois, or your house purchase.

    The caucuses are what they are, and Obama won most of them. I would never argue that they shouldn't count. But I fail to see how an ability to get a small core of dedicated supporters to overwhelm a caucus translates to "the will of the people."  

    Insisting that your opponent should drop out in the middle of a close race is really weak. If Obama's the nominee, and he has a half-point lead in the polls in October, will he start demanding that McCain drop out, because a contentious election will "wreck the country"?

    I agree that Obama's camp has done a good job of framing the story so that the candidate with the most pledged delegates automatically deserves the nomination, the rules be damned. I was going to say they did a masterful job, but it's not hard to spin when the press is sitting there with steno pads, waiting to take down your every word. Thank God the worm seems to be turning on that one, and thnak God for Tina Fey. I was in love with her before all this, but now I'm like a schoolboy.

    Don't you know Obama won. . . (none / 0) (#3)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:48:38 AM EST
    Texas?  At least according to Kos.  (And it's not ridiculous in a delegate contest to consider the delegate leader the winner notwithstanding the extreme weirdness of the electoral system).

    You continue assert that Obama has not shown he can win any of the "big" states that are important in the general election.  But you confound winning the primary in those states with winning the general.

    In most states both Clinton and Obama have soundly thrashed the Republicans in absolute primary votes cast.  Additionally, polling shows that the vast majority of voters supporting the candidates would happily vote for the other in the general election (although I can see this possibly changing if things get really uqly).  The fact that Clinton or Obama may have won a particular state is in no way evidence that the other wouldn't carry the state in the general.  I simply don't understand this part of your argument.

    Did you enjoy the Dukakis Presidency? (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:53:40 AM EST
    1988 was the highwater year for turnout in Democratic primaries.

    But to answer you in a more serious vein - because this contest has very definable demographic trends.

    Obama's weaknesses are the most vulnerable for a Dem in a general election. If he is having trouble with Latinos, Seniors, white women and working class men, he puts key states in jeopardy.

    I think you have read me on this subject.

    BTW, how does Kos know what the delegate breakdown was in the Texas caucus? The results were not reported.  


    Now you're putting. . . (none / 0) (#30)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:14:10 AM EST
    Obama's weaknesses are the most vulnerable for a Dem in a general election. If he is having trouble with Latinos, Seniors, white women and working class men, he puts key states in jeopardy.

    some meat on the bones of your argument.

    You name four groups Obama has demographic difficulties with.  Of the four, I think Democratic seniors and white women would largely go with him over McCain -- his problems there are only in the context of a Clinton/Obama intra-party contest.  Saying Obama has a problem with white women is like saying Clinton has a problem with African American voters.

    Working class men I'm unsure of.

    Latinos is where I think there's a real problem.  Because McCain isn't bad on those issues which are widely believed to be of particular interest to the Latino community I think there's a real argument to be made that Clinton would have an edge in those states in which Latino participation could affect the outcome.  Your argument then rests on how many such states are actually in play in the general election.  The two biggest prizes where I think it might be an issue are Texas and California -- do you believe either are up for grabs?


    Clinton does NOW have (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:22:43 AM EST
    a problem with A-As. As Obama does NOW have a problem with white women.

    IT is one of the main reasons I think they have to run together no matter who is the nominee.

    The problem is not that they will vote for McCain in great numbers, though white women are certainly more gettable for McCain than A-As, but that they will not vote in the numbers we need.


    This is something that upsets me (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by zyx on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:36:48 AM EST
    about Obama supporters.

    The ones I talk to cannot admit that Obama has problems with any key states, such as Ohio or Pennsylvania or perhaps New Mexico.  And they cannot admit that he has problems with key voter segments.  They are just incredibly impatient that everyone doesn't shut up and see that Obama can beat McCain and why don't we stop this nonsense.

    And these are some of the more RATIONAL Obama people I have tried to talk to.


    Honestly speaking. (none / 0) (#134)
    by Arbitrarity on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:56:07 AM EST
    Both candidates have problems with key demographics.

    A supporter of either candidate who denies this is being silly at best.


    Don't Forget The Soccer Moms (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:32:59 AM EST
    that helped defeat Kerry. Not to mention the fact that many women are extremely ticked at what they consider double standards that have occurred at all levels in this campaign. Calls for her to drop out of the campaign by Dems after her big win will only make this worse IMO.

    Gore and Kerry both lost (none / 0) (#55)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:31:05 AM EST
    because of base supporters staying home.  When I see Obama, I see the same sort of intellectual elitism that pushed voters away from Kerry.

    Say what you will about Clinton, but she has rallied the base and made them feel like they are part of the process again.  That is key to winning.  And she gets some independents and republicans, too.


    Gore lost for a variety of reasons (none / 0) (#61)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:35:11 AM EST
    not withstanding voter disenfranchisement by the SCOTUS.

    But one big reason is his taking things for granted...ie. Tenn.


    Point being (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:36:15 AM EST
    Obama taking Democrats for granted...it is dangerous to make assumptions...he needs to sure up the base to make a legitimacy arguement

    true (none / 0) (#67)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:38:23 AM EST
    but if the base dems had not stayed home-especially in TN-then Florida would have been a non-issue.

    Specifically in Tenn (none / 0) (#77)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:44:04 AM EST
    Gore took 51% of the popular vote...Obama or Clinton aren't going to have a 55%-45% split in the GE, it will probably be 51-49 again or something close to it.

    Gore performed well, lets not take anything away from him. But he did take Tenn for granted, and had he not, he would have won Tenn, and FL would not have mattered. Mehlman saw that Gore wasn't campaigning there and though of it as an opportunity to make a steal (and he boasted about it too) but Brazile thought it would be in the bag regardless of Mehlman's $$$s spent there...she was wrong (surprising right? /snark)


    I don't know. (none / 0) (#125)
    by Arbitrarity on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:36:37 AM EST
    I'd say the AA vote is a pretty strong base that she hasn't made a single inroad into.

    Gore lost? (none / 0) (#139)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:08:04 AM EST
    Gore won the nation's popular vote by over 1 million American ballots.

    He conceded Florida, and stepped aside for the "good of the country."

    If you're going to rewrite history, at least give Gore the credit he's due.


    Now Kerry.

    Kerry lost.


    Empircal evidence. . . (none / 0) (#56)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:31:12 AM EST
    that white women will stay home if Obama is the nominee while african american voters will turn out for Clinton in the same numbers as for Obama?

    The closest I have is the Pew Poll (none / 0) (#76)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:43:34 AM EST
    where 22% of Dems defect from Obama to McCain.

    I assume they are not A-As.


    it doesn't seem to me that (none / 0) (#94)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:58:37 AM EST
    obama's advisors think that way. i am supposing here, but what they see is winner take all. they see themselves winning and kicking hillary to the curb. maybe that works in chicago, but it won't work in the ge.

    Sadly, I agree. nt (none / 0) (#122)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:30:41 AM EST
    I disagree (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:25:06 AM EST
    as strenuously as possible with the idea that Democratic seniors will all come home to Obama in the end.  I have seen more counterexamples than I can count.  My 92-year old grandfather who has voted for every Dem since FDR absolutely can't stand Obama, for one, and I've never seen him this way regarding a Dem before.  The way I think of it is that if you can't at least hold Mondale's base, you have a GE problem.

    Some Latinos may stay home if Clinton isn't the nominee, but McCain will probably get far more crossovers among the senior population than from any of these other groups we're talking about.


    I'm with you (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:35:52 AM EST
    on the seniors.  Anyone who has talked to their grandparents (or elderly parents) know that this generation values safety first and foremost.  They think that Obama is too wet behind the ears to keep them safe.

    (haha, as does Obama's own foreign policy advisor admits that he's not prepared.  LINK)


    In the end (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:41:57 AM EST
    if Obama is the nominee, I'm probably going to have to guilt Grandpa into voting for him by pointing out that it is my daughter, and not him, who is going to get stuck fighting in John McCain's wars.

    The problem the seniors tend to have with Obama is not so much that he's a rookie but that he comes across as a very disrespectful one.  The way he trashes the 90s and basically the whole Democratic Party legacy as if he's the first good thing to happen to the party in a generation doesn't sit well with these folks.


    anecdotal, for sure, (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by OldCoastie on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:45:42 AM EST
    but I find myself in a similar position with my very old mother... has always voted democratic but just doesn't like Obama... I think he comes across as a smart-alecky kid to her and it really rubs her the wrong way...

    Same with my dad (none / 0) (#141)
    by jen on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:27:18 AM EST
    Always voted Dem. Says if O's the nominee he will leave that part of the ballot blank.

    same with my mom and aunt (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:32:08 PM EST
    My mother and my aunt,both of whom live in Illinois, have always voted dem., straight ticket every time. They cannot stand Obama. Say he hasn't done one single thing for Illinois, acts like a" know-it-all", is bad on the safety net issues, and is disrespectful to voters. By the way, this is my first post ever. So relieved to find this site.

    Welcome, Casey (none / 0) (#166)
    by plf1953 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:24:20 PM EST
    The folks here just seem to have a nice, civil conversation going on most of the time.

    obama seems to make a lot of (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:55:31 AM EST
    assumptions that aren't accurate. he thinks going negative will get him the nomination? no! he thinks that the hillary voters are his in the ge? no! he thinks the media will be his in the ge? no! he thinks that the rezko mess won't follow him? no!

    i personally don't see how obama can even imagine winning the general election if he brings the race card back out. i assume that is what he means about the negative campaigning. take a look at the dog whistle and the kos bruhaha. personally for me, i can't vote for obama. i'll write hillary's name in, but i can't cast a vote for him even holding my nose. i didn't come here with that idea. i was an edwards supporter when i arrived. but obama's pandering to the dark side with the homophobic preacher, the race card, the gender card, division between the generations, dissing the clinton presidency, lack of real policies that appeal to me, and now the wink, wink, hint, hint, chuckle, chuckle about nafta says to me, no, heck no!


    Another HUGE Obama blunder (none / 0) (#69)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:39:47 AM EST
    that goes to electability.



    Agree, Seniors Are Going To Be A Real Problem (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:26:47 AM EST
    for Obama. IMO, he added to his already existing problem by stating that there was a crisis on Social Security. Social Security is the one thing that people expect the Democrats to defend at all costs and now he is putting that in doubt.

    So you are not familiar (none / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:21:02 AM EST
    with my posts on the subject.

    I have written a side of beef on the demographic issue.


    I'm not familar with. . . (none / 0) (#53)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:29:33 AM EST
    any posts of yours that demonstrate that Obama will not get the votes of Clinton supporters who are white women, seniors, or working class men.  Or any posts in which you argue that he won't get Clinton-supporting hispanics (although I think that's a danger myself).

    If you'd be kind enough to point me to the posts in which you make that argument I'd be happy to do my homework on the issue.


    I now have a project (none / 0) (#78)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:44:17 AM EST
    I'll gather the evidence.

    Latinos are important in Florida as well (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:23:41 AM EST
    Can McCain make a run at Cali? Probably not.

    But he can make Obama work hard for it.


    I agree with all the points. . . (none / 0) (#59)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:32:49 AM EST
    in this comment.  As for Texas and California, I was  not making a rhetorical point -- based on the primary results, I could foresee Clinton at least making McCain work for Texas.  I do wonder if either state might be in play this year.

    I think neither is in play (none / 0) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:42:42 AM EST
    Texas will be RED. (none / 0) (#81)
    by Angel on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:45:29 AM EST
    They are two of the best. . . (none / 0) (#86)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:52:52 AM EST
    arguments for your thesis that Obama needs to prove he can win states in which he might face demographic challenges.

    Florida is another excellent example.

    What other states are you worried about Obama in?

    And if you think he's really in danger of losing important battleground states do you believe that's a more important factor than his media status in choosing who to support?


    New Jersey (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Lou Grinzo on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:24:36 AM EST
    The latest polling I've seen says Clinton beats McCain in NJ, but Obama loses to McCain (or is within the MOE).

    I think we have to consider NJ not just a pivotal state, but a harbinger.  If a lot of middle aged white voters decide, "OK, the rock concert was fun, we had our one night stand with the star, but now it's time to settle down and vote for the adult", then NJ could be just the beginning of the Dem problems in an Obama/McCain match up.

    Sadly, we live in a country that's still riddled with racism and misogyny, sometimes in very subtle ways.  A black man running against a white woman largely cancels out those disgusting traits in the American voters.  A black man, and one new to the national scene, running against a very well known white man opens new challenges.

    I'm not saying this is a reason to shun Obama, nor am I saying that he'd lose to McCain.  But I think we must recognize that if the race is Obama vs. McCain that it could be tougher in some ways than many are expecting.  That's particularly true when the Republicans, aided by their fairly unbalanced friends at FOX and 501(c)4's and 527's, get as dirty and as racial as they think they can get away with in their attacks.


    Talk of "Minnewisowa" has died down (none / 0) (#100)
    by Cream City on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:08:59 AM EST
    since before this primary season, when it was identified as the "Superstate" of three swing states with combined delegates that add up to match some of the big states.  But some were close states -- one of them THE closest state -- last time and so were identified as what could be a crucial area this year.

    And I'm not convinced that they are ours now -- as the combination of two caucus states and huge crossover in the third one confounds the evidence for us.  We will have to watch polling down the line, although of course, polling also is problematic this year -- and that may be so for more states that we just won't know about for a while.


    imo. But my concerns are the states I have mentioned -FL, OH, MI and PA.

    Unlike most folks, I expect a map similar to 2004 - we ain't winning Georgia.

    If Obama can hold MI and PA - there is math that get him the win - CO, NM, IA and NV are probably wins for him - 26 EVS plus Kerry's 252 gives him 288.


    You make a key observation (none / 0) (#146)
    by miked on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:40:58 AM EST
    Obviously the election is not all about demographics, but you make a critical observation that I think has gotten insufficient attention from many Democrats. Latinos and seniors are widely acknowledged swing constituencies that McCain has important advantages with. AA's are not - McCain will get the same 8% that Republicans always get (where are they anyway? The armed forces?).

    Latinos: McCain is nearly the least tainted of any Republican on immigration issues - although he may have to change his tune on that a bit to solidify his base support.

    Seniors: He's ONE of them!


    This is the big overall problem for Obama (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:03:56 AM EST
    But you confound winning the primary in those states with winning the general.

    Wins in Wyoming, and Utah, etc...are not a winning GE map.

    The fact that Clinton or Obama may have won a particular state is in no way evidence that the other wouldn't carry the state in the general.

    And nor is it evidence that EITHER would win the state...I think one can fairly argue that Obama may have an easier road to the nomination, but a much harder road to the White House using an electoral map.

    Primary and Caucus turnout and wins or losses do not add up to a hill of beans...they don't count in Novemeber.

    Both candidates are using the Gore 2000 electoral map strategy...the big what ifs are going to be FL, OH, and PA...and there are serious doubts about Obama being able to win those 3 states (which he will have to do).


    i think with obama's card playing (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:04:46 AM EST
    with race and gender he has set himself up to lose in november if he gets the nod. i think btd and others mentioned that earlier. now here we go again with more negative campaigning. i am sick of it. i am sick of the blogs and their ugly comments. frankly, some of them remind of the worst right wing blogs now. i see playing to the selfish, dark side of voters. the repubs did that with the tax cuts. yeah, folks, vote for us and have money in your pockets. we'll take care of those welfare cheats for you. only to turn around and give it to big corporations. duh! i saw a young blogger on here yesterday all ablaze with righeous anger about the never do well older generation's going to take his money for social security, etc. it is the older generations' fault. it is uppity women! it is that 60's 70's crowd that is the problem, not saint ronnie. now tell me that will win in november! no, it won't.

    I think there may be some truth to this (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:13:24 AM EST
    i think with obama's card playing with race and gender he has set himself up to lose in november if he gets the nod.

    Mainly since it divided the base...


    bingo! a divided base with (none / 0) (#129)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:42:20 AM EST
    their fair share of anger and frustration! that doesn't fit well with a successful november.

    I agree that there is a path for Obama, (none / 0) (#31)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:17:14 AM EST
    but but I am not convinced he's on it.  If you look at the demographics of Florida and Michigan, should there be a do-over there, he loses.  I do not see him with a credible chance of winning Pennsylvania, either.  Losing all of these states makes it hard for me to imagine him having what it takes to win in November.  I think it is also worth mentioning the apparently wildly different results in the Texas primary and the Texas caucus.  As I understand it, those who show up to caucus must have also voted in the primary - so how is it that Hillary wins the primary by 3%, but loses the caucus big with presumably the same voters?  Are people splitting their votes, and if so, why the big swing to Obama in a caucus?  Am I missing something in the way I am thinking about this?

    Sure, I suppose that if you took the total votes cast for Democrats so far, with total votes cast for Republicans so far, you could make the argument that there's no way the Democrat loses in November, no matter which one it is.  But that's too simplistic - the general election is wide open, people will vote in it who did not vote in primaries and there is no guarantee that those who voted D in primaries will vote D in the general.

    The Republicans are not going to roll over and play dead, either.  However bad we think they are, and as bad as things have been the last two Bush terms, they still want to win, and will do whatever it takes; remember that these people still have the Justice Department and the power to screw around with voters and elections, and I have no doubt some of that will be present in this election, as well.

    My feeling all along was that Obama needed to be in the VP spot; 8 years as VP is not bad training for 8 years as president - I just don't see how that hurts him, or the party, or the country.


    Easy.... (none / 0) (#82)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:45:31 AM EST
    As I understand it, those who show up to caucus must have also voted in the primary - so how is it that Hillary wins the primary by 3%, but loses the caucus big with presumably the same voters?  Are people splitting their votes, and if so, why the big swing to Obama in a caucus?  Am I missing something in the way I am thinking about this?
    Possibly. It's actually very easy to see why there could be a large difference in the primary and caucus votes.

    It takes only a few minutes to vote, especially if you vote early. By contrast, it takes hours to caucus. Which means only those with both the means and the will are going to do it. Some would argue that this is undemocratic - I know BTD feels strongly about this, but there's a reason we do it - it's a vital tool in building party infrastructure, because it brings Democrats who are willing to devote extra time and resources to the party together and forces them to talk to each other. This is especially important in a state with open primaries, like Texas. This year, Republicans crossed the isle in record numbers. Rush will claim that they did so to support Hillary - others will dispute that, but while we don't know exactly who they voted for we do know that they crossed in huge numbers. However, while many Republicans are willing to cross over into Democrat land for a few minutes to vote, significantly fewer are willing to wait around for hours in a room full of liberals in order to caucus.

    Hillary won the primary, but by a pretty slim margin. If, for whatever reason, Obama's supporters are more able or more willing to hang out for 4-5 hours to caucus, then it's pretty easy to swing that number pretty strongly. But I think it's worth noting that Clinton actually did fairly well caucus-wise relative to how she's done in the past. Remember that Clinton apparently didn't know that Texas even had a caucus until a few weeks ago, and Obama's organization is a caucusing machine. For Clinton to only lose the caucus by 12 points under those conditions indicates that she has seriously upgraded her ground game.


    Thanks for the info (none / 0) (#91)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:56:35 AM EST
    As I understood it, for a caucus vote to count, one had to also vote in the primary, but primary votes counted regardless of whether one showed up later to caucus, correct?

    From what I had heard, people were not so much hanging out for hours after casting their primary vote, but casting it, leaving, and then returning at the appointed caucus time.  

    Regardless of the mechanics or logistics, I think Texas stays red in the general election, so I think the win for Clinton was about bragging rights and momentum - she was outspent, out-advertised, etc. and still managed to win.


    No Problem. (none / 0) (#106)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:11:31 AM EST
    As I understood it, for a caucus vote to count, one had to also vote in the primary, but primary votes counted regardless of whether one showed up later to caucus, correct?


    From what I had heard, people were not so much hanging out for hours after casting their primary vote, but casting it, leaving, and then returning at the appointed caucus time.

    Depends on when you voted. I voted early, so obviously I didn't wait around for days to caucus. But if you were voting late on Primary day, you probably would have waited around.

    By party rules, the caucus must start at 7:15 or whenever the last person in line at the precinct has voted...whichever comes later. (voting closes at 7:00, but everyone who is in line at 7:00 must be allowed to vote, which meant that at my precinct things didn't get started until almost 8:00) Everyone who is present at that time (who can demonstrate that they voted in the primary) must be allowed to participate, but the doors close at that point, which is why both campaigns were urging their supporters to be there early.


    go to the taylor marsh blog (none / 0) (#102)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:09:42 AM EST
    and view some of the videos of the caucuses in texas. they are a sad pathetic joke and an insult to what is supposed to be the right to vote and be heard. there was a woman complaining because the so called people running the caucus weren't even checking id or asking for it. the woman behind the table supposedly running this show was yelling and screaming at her to shut up. she yelled at the person running the camera to shut it off. yeah, right and the dnc is thinking about holding caucuses in florida. if they go there, they can kiss the general election off. they'll lose worse than kerry.

    I imagine it depends on who was running things... (none / 0) (#111)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:14:37 AM EST
    I was lucky to be at a caucus that was excellently run, despite having a 7000% increase in attendance from last time. Everything was organized, everyone was well-behaved, we had plenty of all required materials, and despite there being two obvious camps, we all got along.

    But yes, if the organizers are unprepared, things can go south in a hurry. The same is true of almost any election mechanism.


    yup, i remember the horror in ohio in 04. (none / 0) (#128)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:39:38 AM EST
    i think that voting in the primary system is more fair and allows the older, sick, infirm to vote and not be crowded out in a caucus. also they have the whole day to vote versus the set times of a caucus.

    i know for sure that floria doesn't have the caucus system and maybe michigan too. so if they have no background or organization, the chances of a valid, successful caucus in short order isn't good.


    Link for 12 pt margin in TX caucuses? (none / 0) (#108)
    by Cream City on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:12:33 AM EST
    As I'm not finding that on any sites, and as two-thirds have not reported even to the state party, it seems.

    I was using CNN's election center.... (none / 0) (#112)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:16:58 AM EST

    And yes, these results are not final and won't be final for some time. But if you read BTD's post from last night, you'll find that these are supposed to be a 'good guess' from the Texas Democratic Party.

    Given Clinton's disadvantages going into this primary, I can't imagine she's all that displeased at this result, assuming it holds.


    4-5 Hours to Caucus? (none / 0) (#168)
    by plf1953 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:45:12 PM EST
    Not here in Nevada.  At least not in my precinct.

    1 1/2 hours max .. and the only meaningful activity was voting ..

    After that there was a mad dash for the door ...

    Caucuses may be good for somethings, but they are not the right mechanism for picking a nominee for the GE.


    Obama "winning" Texas (none / 0) (#116)
    by Manuel on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:23:53 AM EST
    provides the best argument for the superdelegates to ignore caucus states.  Since no one has an overwhelming pledged delegate lead, other factors should be considered like the popular vote, FL and MI, and the GE strategy.

    I've got an idea.  Let's wait for every state to vote.  At the convention, hold a first ballot with supers abstaining.  Release all the delegates from their pledges including superdelagtes.  Give each campaign an hour or so to present their case.  Hold another round of voting.  Declare a winner.


    Someone can check this math... (none / 0) (#158)
    by cmugirl on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:36:12 PM EST
    And it's a post within a comment from taylormarsh.com, but it's an interesting mind exercise:

    ergus, that was a great post by Anglachel and brought up all the reasons why the legitimacy of Hillary's candidacy and standings should never be questioned. In fact, I would say she has more of a legitimate claim on the nomination than Obama does, as Anglachel enumerates in her post. There are 2 other reasons:

    1-She is now leading in the popular vote count. The Obamabots keep yelling that the people should be the ones to choose, not SD's. Well, it is pretty obvious who the people are choosing, if you go by vote count. If you go by DEMOCRATIC votes only, her lead is even bigger.

    2-Another thing the Obamabots keep screaming is that SD's should vote the same as their state. In other words, Kansas SD's should all vote for Obama. NY SD's should all vote for Hillary. Well, it seems as though they started screaming before doing their homework. I just read a wonderful post by Jayling over at a forum that shows very clearly that Hillary would be several hundred delegates ahead in every case if that's how the SD's were to vote. I thought it would be great to share, so here it is:

    Too often we've heard the cries of Obama supporters angrily stating that Super-Delegates should follow the wishes of the popular vote in their states. Well, that would be fine with me. In a winner-take-all (no proportional):

    As of March 5th, if Supers followed their state's wishes (w/o FL & MI):
    Clinton - 1746 Total Delegates
    Obama - 1551 Total Delegates

    2025 Delegates needed to win the nomination:
    Clinton would only need 279 more / Obama would need 474.


    As of March 5th, if Supers followed their state's wishes (with FL, w/o MI):
    Clinton - 1956 Total Delegates
    Obama - 1551 Total Delegates

    (2208 needed with both FL & MI being counted, unsure the breakdown for just one)

    As of March 5th, if Supers followed their state's wishes (with FL & MI):
    Clinton - 2112 Total Delegates
    Obama - 1551 Total Delegates

    2208 need if both FL & MI were counted:
    Clinton would need only 96 Delegates / Obama would need 657.



    Thanks for posting that. (none / 0) (#173)
    by tree on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:29:47 PM EST
    I was wondering about the same issue just this morning but had a hard time finding the superdelegate counts by state. It would behoove Clinton's campaign to start promoting this view.
    Trust me though, many Obama supporters have already moved the goalposts. Even though the first cry was for state's superdelegates to honor the "will" of the state's voters, lately I've noticed that the "will of the people" argument has morphed into the superdelegates-should-vote-the-same-as-the-majority-
    of-pledged-delegates argument. Said morphing is happening, of course, because its starting to look like Obama might lead the pledged delegate count, but lose on the popular vote count.

    Doesn't it come down to a difference in strategy? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Arbitrarity on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:53:15 AM EST
    How does Hillary end up with a more legitimate claim than him?

    Greater popular vote?  

    Greater popular vote with Florida and Michigan counted?

    Greater popular vote with just Florida?

    The underlying problem with every single scenario of either candidate winning is that the other candidate is going to have legitimate claims to make as well.  

    And, more importantly, no matter who wins, the vitriol that each side has for the other is going to be damaging in the GE.  

    For all the pundits who say they love this, I don't.  It scares the hell out of me.

    My view of Clinton's path is (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:55:08 AM EST
    in her best scenario, win the popular vote, get close on the pledged delegates, win all the key big states AND choose Obama as her VP.

    A tie in the popular vote might be good enough too.

    That's it.


    particularly (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Turkana on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:03:59 AM EST
    if she's seen to have big momentum, and he's seen to be stumbling. the late deciders, and the national trackers, definitely show a major shift in momentum. if that continues, she has a strong case.

    He'll win some states (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:20:13 AM EST
    I hate Mark Penn as much as anyone but his point about which states are more significant is sound when understood properly.

    agreed (none / 0) (#79)
    by Turkana on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:44:59 AM EST
    i don't know why some people don't understand that, in purely electoral terms, mi and fl and pa are more important than ms or wy. some obama supporters keep talking about him having won more states than hillary, as if a democrat could ever get elected president if it was determined by the number of states won.

    New electoral survey out from SUSA (none / 0) (#160)
    by cmugirl on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:42:32 PM EST

    Don't knwo if I buy it (based on 600 votes), but it's early and it's interesting to ponder.


    I think serious enough doubts (none / 0) (#18)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:03:28 AM EST
    about Obama may have been raised by the end that she could get away with being within a percentage point or two in the popular and still make it work.  particularly if he continues to lose the big states.

    well what you say makes a lot (none / 0) (#105)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:10:55 AM EST
    of sense to you, me and probably most of the bloggers here. but does it make sense to obama and his supporters. i don't think so. of course, i might be pleasantly surprised.

    MI/FL. (none / 0) (#115)
    by Arbitrarity on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:21:33 AM EST
    With the current votes of Michigan and Florida?  Or with revotes in either?

    Honestly, I don't see a reason to revote FL, but I don't see a reason not to revote MI.

    It's true, he didn't have to take his name off the ballot.  But giving her the votes of a state where his name wasn't on the ballot, and 40% of the people who voted voted for NOBODY over HRC is hardly a ringing endorsement of the state or the voters within the state.  

    As of right now, I'm more worried about the General Election than who wins the nomination.  Both candidates have a good chance to do so.  But not unless supporters of the other candidate feel like it was won fairly.


    I assure you. (none / 0) (#120)
    by Arbitrarity on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:28:39 AM EST
    95% of the country feels the same way about Mark Penn, if not worse.

    95% of the country (none / 0) (#127)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:38:56 AM EST
    have absolutely no idea who Axelrod and Penn are.

    Bingo (none / 0) (#123)
    by Lou Grinzo on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:35:01 AM EST
    I think this is precisely their strategy at this point.

    I would add these details:

    Assume that FL and MI hold do-overs (which I think is highly likely), and Clinton wins both.  This give her a very strong argument for being the nominee, even if she's slightly behind in delegates.

    How to get Obama on the ticket?  Give him a sizable chunk of policy, large enough that he's much more than a figurehead, and just as important, enough that his supporters will see the arrangement as nearly a "co-presidency".

    With that deal in place, I think the supers heavily shift to Clinton, we have a pair of nominees, and it's game on for November, with the rabid supporters of both candidates on board.


    Governor of Illinois (none / 0) (#145)
    by MKS on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:39:45 AM EST
    is supposedly Obama's fall-back plan, not VP....The problem is Bill.  Any VP would be third banana behind Bill.   And the history of VPs is not good:  Mondale, Bush I and Gore.....

    Obama doesn't need to be VP to get more experience....

    If Hillary wins, she will have a difficult time getting Obama to be VP....Plus, the symbolism to the AA community of the candidate with the most pledged delegates getting outmanuevered at the convention by party insiders, and their votes being discounted and thus becoming disenfranchised...is not pretty at all.  For Obama to roll over and take a subservient role to a white candidate, after having "won" in a lot of people's eyes, would be very problematic.....


    Michelle Obama (none / 0) (#147)
    by MKS on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:43:21 AM EST
    doesn't like Washington D.C. and still lives in Chicago....I assume she would prefer to live in Chicago as the Governor's wife.

    Clinton's path (none / 0) (#154)
    by MKS on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 12:20:00 PM EST
    If she beats Obama in North Carolina, and Obama's head-to-head polling vis-a-vis McCain collapses, then Hillary could be seen as having legitimacy....

    I actually think this is likely....A tie is hard to maintain for a long period of time....


    I think Michigan and Florida (none / 0) (#10)
    by Saul on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:54:14 AM EST
    will put her over the top if they redo the primaries there.  I also think that there should be a moratorium on all super delegates choosing anybody until all the primaries and the decision of Michigan and Florida are over. The rules say the primaries end in June so why does Obama want to break the rules and disenfranchise those voters who have not participated yet. Moreover it would be hypocritical to his campaign rhetoric that every votes count and this election is all about you.

    Not likely (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:58:33 AM EST
    She is almost certain to be behind in pledged delegates. The question is the margin. In my view, anything under 100, which is basically nothing, makes it a tie, given the absolutely outrageous system we have for choosing pledged delegates.

    Her best data point would be a popular vote lead.


    How about the Edwards delegates (none / 0) (#22)
    by Saul on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:04:43 AM EST
    If she got those where is she then?

    I think Edwards (none / 0) (#43)
    by Kathy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:23:28 AM EST
    only had 25 or so delegates?  And he doesn't "own" them-they can go where they like.  He can, however, make a suggestion that they might follow.  My thinking is that they have split either Obama or Clinton on their own, and they won't care what he says at this point.

    Another Fl and Mi proposal (none / 0) (#23)
    by herb the verb on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:05:21 AM EST
    It would really end the arithmatic game if Michigan and Florida made their revotes (should they happen) winner take all.



    DNC... (none / 0) (#25)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:10:13 AM EST
    ... doesn't allow winner take all states.

    heh heh (none / 0) (#39)
    by herb the verb on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:20:44 AM EST
    More's the pity....

    I like the point about running mate and legitimacy (none / 0) (#17)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:01:06 AM EST
    I think if Hillary makes the case to the supers that she would offer the VP slot to Obama first, that would be a very powerful argument. Whereas if Obama continues his "it's too early" statements about running mate, the supers should take that into consideration.

    Obama and HIllary both are playing for keep (none / 0) (#37)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:20:02 AM EST
    I don't think a "unity ticket" would work or legitimize the nomination.

    First Obama is not working towards a Democratic unification; his campaign is most specifically about splitting the party and picking up enough independents  and Republican crossovers to make up a large enough difference to take the primary. Because of this, including HRC as a VP on his ticket damages his chances.

    Hillary on the other hand, is playing directly to the base, and specific demographic groups (women and Latinos). For her, an Obama joint ticket would enhance her chances. Her campaign is more of a traditional Democratic campaign; primary is about securing the base, GE is about gaining traction with the rest of the electorate. BO would help her there.

    In a nutshell, BO is doing his campaign backwards...he is banking on Dems supporting him just because he is a Dem. It is slightly offensive  actually. But in terms of politics it makes his picking of a traditional Dem for VP next to impossible. He is saying to the Dem base "I don't care how much of a difficult pill I am to swallow, you're going to have to swallow it! Get over it!"


    Interesting (none / 0) (#45)
    by herb the verb on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:25:04 AM EST
    I hadn't really thought about it but in a lot of ways Obama is to many traditional Democrats what McCain is to many traditional Republicans. It looks like this is the year of candidates which are not all that attractive to the traditional bases (should Obama squeek it out).

    No no... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:29:13 AM EST
    Obama has a core of base voters...but he is actively trying to "divide" the base and unite the "outsiders"

    It is a reverse primary.

    Normally we work to unite the base, and peel off enough outsiders. He is doing the opposite.


    Well (none / 0) (#51)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:28:34 AM EST
    I seem to remember that in other elections the blogosphere used to deplore the strategy of taking the base for granted and seeing how many votes you can grab with a campaign aimed at the center.

    Suddenly this year the sole measure of success has become how many I's and R's you can pick up.  Democratic votes have become largely irrelevant because "they'll all vote for the nominee anyhow."  It's like determining the agenda of the Democratic Party by taking a poll of non-Democrats.  I don't really recognize the blogosphere any more.


    Well it has worked (none / 0) (#58)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:32:39 AM EST
    with a degree of success in this nomination contest. I wonder if it has to do with the current political enviroment. I seriously doubt it would have worked in 2004 and I have serious doubts that it would work to this degree of success down the road.


    It's like determining the agenda of the Democratic Party by taking a poll of non-Democrats.  I don't really recognize the blogosphere any more.

    This is a problem, and one Obama does not seem to care to address. I think this is what makes many base voters uneasy about him; is he going to sell out the Democratic party? I don't think so...but I also don't know that and have no evidence to back up my gut (but there is some evidence to the contrary of my belief)


    This is why (none / 0) (#162)
    by ChrisO on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:58:07 PM EST
    I don't get the argument from Obama supporters that he will have longer coattails in the GE. To me, getting out the base, which is more likely to vote a straight ticket, is more effective than depending on crossover voters. I think it's a mistake to assume that independents and Republicans drawn to Obama's charisma, or whatever, will be similarly drawn to Dem candidates down the ballot.

    Excellent point (none / 0) (#170)
    by cmugirl on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:18:30 PM EST
    yup, he is playing the race and gender (none / 0) (#109)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:12:35 AM EST
    cards with the expectation that down the road it won't matter. hmmm, the republicans are watching all this and taking notes. it will matter!

    Please stop... (none / 0) (#155)
    by CST on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 12:29:14 PM EST
    First off, neither candidate has "played the race or gender card".  Yes it is brought up, but guess what, that's cuz he's black and she's female.  The media has played this card repeatedly.  They both have played into it to some effect but not in a negative way.  Example, Hillary often talks about the change of having a woman's perspective in the white house.  This isn't playing the gender card, it's making a point about her candidacy.  Also, to suggest that Obama is playing the "race card" is rediculous.  How does that benefit him in any way????  There was a poll of Ohio voters where about 20% said race matters and almost all of them went for Clinton.  I am not saying she is "playing the race card either".  I think the media drums anything up that the two say that might have something to do with race or gender and twists it.

    he did, does and will again. (none / 0) (#169)
    by hellothere on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:49:00 PM EST
    please write him asking him not to. ok!

    likely scenario (none / 0) (#21)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:04:05 AM EST
    is that Hillary has the rest of the big states including PA, but also FL and MI whether they revote or they are forced to be accepted as they are, and that she says she'll offer the VP slot to Obama. But she'll be in the hole by 100 dels and 100k or 200k pop votes. Maybe less on both fronts. But the combination of the big states, new momentum, closing the gap in the pop and dels, and the VP offer, would be very compelling indeed.

    Participation of Primary vs GE (none / 0) (#24)
    by Saul on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:09:46 AM EST
    Hilary won the big states and Ohio is one that is critical to the winning the GE.  If Obama could not win them in the primary where the passion was at its peak how can you win them in the GE.  I honestly believe that the passion to turn out the voters will not be as great in the GE as it was in the primaries. So if Obama is betting that the same level of passion will be there to win Ohio I think he is assuming a lot.

    With you on most points (none / 0) (#32)
    by Claw on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:17:18 AM EST
    I agree that HRC dropping out would be insane and anyone calling for her to do so has had too much kool-aid.  I also agree that it's okay for the race to continue even though I hope BO and HRC can band together in bashing McCain...and can avoid giving the RNC too many ideas about how to attack our eventual nominee.  
    The Dukakis comparison isn't fair because we were running against a VP and we also, in hindsight, ran an awful politician.  This time around people are voting in record numbers because they're excited, passionate, and genuinely unhappy with the repubs.  The trick is going to be not alienating our voters.  I'm speaking of FLA and MI, young/new voters, AA's, etc.  Neither side can feel like their nominee was taken from them.  
    And I completely agree: HRC either has to be ahead in the popular vote or within 100 delegates of BO. Otherwise his supporters will feel (and this is kind of a knock on them) that the race has been stolen.  

    BTD, I hope this isn't off topic but it's (none / 0) (#33)
    by Angel on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:17:52 AM EST
    something I think we need an answer to, and you're the one who can give us the answer.  Here goes.  

    Can you give us a breakdown of the constituencies in the Democratic party?  What percentages are African American, Latino, White Women, White Men, Asian, etc.  The reason I ask is that there is talk of African Americans bolting the party and not voting if Hillary is the nominee.  Thanks.  

    Chris Bowers has it (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:25:05 AM EST

    It is what you would expect.

    One thing (none / 0) (#62)
    by Claw on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:35:12 AM EST
    I've liked about this process is that it's done a lot to do away with what was a growing feeling among AA voters that they were being taken for granted.  The media loves this story (dems only care about AA's every 4 years) almost as much as the repubs do.  If it seems like HRC really is the strongest candidate--she's "legitimized"--I don't think there'll be much resentment.  If she isn't, I think a lot of people will stay home.  Another problem with Obama's voting bloc is that many are switch voters; independents, young people, new voters.  As long as most people feel like everything was fair, we'll be alright.  If not, we may be in trouble.

    Hillary/Obama (none / 0) (#83)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:45:48 AM EST
    Another reason for keeping them together. Women and AA votes. Sounds soft I know, but important. If McCain choose Powell as his VP, you might lose many AA voters anyway. And then there is the fact that a lot of new AA voters signed up who never were in the voter equation before. Are those the voters who would leave? I hope not just for the sake that they should be voting no matter who the candidate would be at any given time.

    I really doubt that Powell (none / 0) (#164)
    by ChrisO on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:03:23 PM EST
    would be his pick for VP. He has no real constituency, except for soft AA support, and his strength is national security, where McCain doesn't need his help. He was also in an active role at the beginning of the war, which McCain is so critical of.

    I know it's conventional wisdon, but my money's still on Charlie Crist. There were many rumors that a guarantee of the VP slot was a big part of his endorsement.


    Are we talking about legitimacy (none / 0) (#36)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:19:28 AM EST
    only within the Dem party?

    How does this legitimacy work to win the GE? In other words, even if the Dem party is able to create the conditions for Clinton to become the legitimate nominee, how does this translate into a significant advantage over McCain in the key states?

    An important part of Obama's pitch is that he can be the president of "the UNITED States of America." This pitch (whether you buy it or not) has worked to legitimize him with independent voters and a large number of Democrats. Isn't it precisely this legitimacy which has led to a number of superDs switching? Moreover, isn't the potential damage to this legitimacy by a long, ugly battle what is vexing so many who are working very hard to bring a Democratic majority in November?

    Even taking into account that Obama's legitimacy as a post-partisan Democrat rests largely on good media and good faith, it can hardly be dismissed as negligible given how certain it is that Clinton's nomination will unify and mobilize  Republicans, especially in those key states.

    Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Virginian on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:27:32 AM EST
    Obama's legitimacy as a post-partisan Democrat rests largely on good media and good faith

    His claim to legitimacy based on this, started well before he had a pledge delegate lead. It is mythic...completely unsubstantiated. I am sure that on day 100 of an Obama presidency, we'll see a very different political calculus from his administration that the "unification theory" they promote. Human beings don't work the way Obama suggests (its called self-interest)


    different but good point - electability (none / 0) (#57)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:31:56 AM EST
    That's a very important point about who should be picked as the nominee. Electability should be important. One problem with that notion though is it's very hard to understand which candidate will really be more electable. The dem party doesn't have the best track record on that front.

    So your best guess at electability will of course be a big factor. And wrapped up in that is who is more legitimate in the eyes of dems.

    The arguments seem to be delegate count vs. popular vote and big purple states. Or maybe it's del/pop count vs. big purple states. And mix in with that VP choice and other issues that are important to individual supers whatever that might be.

    I think a point brought up here is very valid too, that is character. E.g., when one candidate seems to be threatening that if the del count isn't the determining factor, that should be taken into account as well. Both if the threat is real, and the character of someone making it.


    I agree that threats reflect on character (none / 0) (#80)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:45:06 AM EST
    But isn't part of HRC's path to the nomination based on de-legitimizing Obama as a Democrat? Not sure how anyone gets out of this without "character" problems. (check the ongoing "NAFTAgate" flailing)

    The issue for me is whether this process (which is likely to get more viciously inquisitorial, not less, especially among each candidate's supporters) will help Dems win key states and bring a Dem majority to power, in order to get universal health care or driver's licenses for undocumented workers, etc.


    everything always cuts both ways (none / 0) (#144)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:38:28 AM EST
    to be sure. If Hillary is doing threats or is crossing the line with negative, then that should reflect on her. If Obama is doing threats or crossing the line that should reflect on him. Of course where that line is and how you interpret things is tricky. In the end, it's politics and politicians will sling mud. That's the way it is.

    In addition to all of that, if new stuff comes out that reflects poorly on someone, then that will be considered. So Obama and/or his surrogates getting caught in the lie regarding NAFTA and Canada is a zinger. But minor in my opinion. And I think the Rezko trial will not result in anything in the end, but it still could be embarrassing. Sometimes how the candidates handle those tricky bits can be more informative than the actual issue. As Steve Jobs just said in an interview about evaluating people for jobs, usually it's not the data (the answer to the question) but it's the meta data (getting at who they are).


    I think we agree (none / 0) (#165)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:03:42 PM EST
    but just to be clear, NAFTAgate is not about catching Obama in a lie. It was a manufactured scandal. As is now coming to light through Canadian press, it was the Clinton campaign that told Canadians not to worry about their own anti-NAFTA rhetoric. What was initially reported and then repeated by Clinton herself was a distortion, which she must have known was such.

    No, it really wasn't (none / 0) (#171)
    by cmugirl on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:21:31 PM EST
    There's a memo to prove that a conversation took place between the Consulate and Obama's senior economic advisor.

    The Clinton camp has denied any such thing and told the Canadian government they are allowed to tell the world every and all names of people from their camp who had spoken to them about this.  It still hasn't happened.


    Yes, the memo proves a (none / 0) (#176)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 07:20:45 PM EST
    conversation took place.

    The same leaker, Mr Brodie, the Canadian PM's chief of staff,  said Clinton had told the Canadians to take her NAFTA comments with a grain of salt. Several witnesses heard him say this. Does this prove another conversation also took place? Or was the Chief of Staff just  trying to sound important?


    because, of course, (none / 0) (#174)
    by tree on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:43:58 PM EST
    Hilary secretly rules the world. CTV is merely a clever front organization rather than a legitimate Canadian news organization with access to Canadian officials and a sourced story on what Goolsbee did. And likewise the Canadian government dashed off an interdepartmental memo confirming Goolsbee's contact on NAFTA, just because they too are simply a front organization for the Clinton campaign./snark

    Its POSSIBLE that someone on Clinton's campaign talked to someone in the Canadian government on NAFTA but there's no proof of it as yet. For the Obama campaign, there is both proof of the contact and of Obama lying about it. Why is it that so many people can get sucked into making such a non-rational argument: that because Clinton MAY have done a similar thing, that therefore PROVES the Obama didn't? It seem to be the latest talking point and it is totally illogical.  2 + 2 = 0?


    I think we have to be careful (none / 0) (#50)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:28:12 AM EST
    about telling the super delegates what they "should or should not" do.
    they were conceived to save us from ourselves if there was a need to do that.  I think we should fight hard to allow them to do that without anyone saying anything to tarnish their motives.
    if they dont do the right thing, or dont save us, we can talk about changing the rules. right now the rules are the rules and we should stick up for the rules because, among other things, I seriously believe that, as a Hillary supporter, they could ulitmately help my candidate.  and even if they did not we can not change the rules in the middle of the game.  the supers know what their job is supposed to be.
    just my 2 cents.

    In my view (none / 0) (#54)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:30:50 AM EST
    if this thing comes down to basically a coin flip, with both candidates having reasonable arguments as to why they can claim the mandate of the people, then I feel it's my duty as a good Democrat to accept either outcome.  Threatening to walk out unless the coin turns up the way you want is nothing more than cheap blackmail.

    if it feels fair, I think most will be happy (none / 0) (#66)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:36:45 AM EST
    with either candidate. So the big question is, what will feel fair. Leaving FL and MI out will not. Ignoring either del winner, pop vote winner, or big purple state winner will cause problems. So all these things will have to be taken into account. If a super is voting against their constituents (e.g., Kennedy and Kerry), then they need to have a good reason and we need to feel good about it. Same for supers in that same situation going for Hillary. But in the end, each super only needs to justify it enough for their own politics. If they say, look, Hillary can win Obama can't, if you don't like it and vote me out next time, that's cool. Etc.

    fair? (none / 0) (#70)
    by deminma on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:41:02 AM EST
    purple state wins,  popular vote totals,   hard to believe that an Obama supoorter would find those as fair measures (  if he wins pledged delegates by more than 50).

    I would be ok with... (none / 0) (#136)
    by CST on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:59:14 AM EST
    Popular vote, as an Obama supporter, I am ok with.  I don't like the "purple state" factor.  I think that is saying that some states are more important than others.  Which, many people here seem to believe, but I don't think you will win that argument with Obama supporters.  However, popular vote is hard to argue with.  Frankly, I think that should be the number 1 determining factor.

    Darn Right (none / 0) (#68)
    by Claw on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:38:31 AM EST
    Dukakis was awesome... (none / 0) (#64)
    by mike in dc on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:36:04 AM EST
    ...at winning big states in the primaries, too.

    He was (none / 0) (#71)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:41:15 AM EST
    Hillary may very well lose like Dukakis.

    But you want to be careful with this argument - because someone might then say Obama is the Jesse Jackson of this race.


    Not funny (none / 0) (#87)
    by cannondaddy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:53:45 AM EST
    Indeed (none / 0) (#97)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:05:03 AM EST
    Not funny at all.

    It is why I warned the commenter about his analogy.


    His analogy (none / 0) (#99)
    by cannondaddy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:08:53 AM EST
    did not reference something that has already set off racial tensions in this primary.  There was no need for your comment.  

    Of course it referenced it (none / 0) (#124)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:35:46 AM EST
    Who do you think Dukakis won those big states against?

    the serious content in the analogy to (none / 0) (#133)
    by frankly0 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:55:51 AM EST
    Jesse Jackson isn't about race, it's about electability.

    Does anyone think that Jesse Jackson, with all of his vulnerabilities in a general election, might have had an easier time winning than did Dukakis?

    How could you possibly make out that argument?


    I actually thought so at the time (none / 0) (#148)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:43:59 AM EST
    when I voted for Jackson over others in the primary. Yep, very idealistic to be sure. And I supported helmut head when he won the nomination. Sad wasn't that. I support Hillary now, but will support the nominee when this is done. So I think the analogy is fine since those were two of the contenders.

    Another good analogy (none / 0) (#130)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:45:03 AM EST
    This one about why the lesser finessed candidate as president might not be so hot with the greater finessed candidate as VP:

    (regarding Bentsen as Dukakis' runningmate)

    Bentsen was selected in large part to secure the state of Texas and its large electoral vote for the Democrats. Because of Bentsen's status as something of an elder statesman who was more experienced in electoral politics, many believed Dukakis' selection of Bentsen as his running mate was a mistake in that Bentsen, number two on the ticket, appeared more "presidential" than did Dukakis.



    Irrelevant (none / 0) (#107)
    by frankly0 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:12:06 AM EST
    Just about every Dem nominee in the past would have won the big states, not least because they would have won the greatest number of states altogether -- typically, the overall races were not very close.

    Since many of these nominees were often in unpromising political environments, and/or up against Republican candidates who had real advantages, it's hardly evidence that winning big swing states is not important for the general.

    What you need at minimum is the following sort of example: a Democratic nominee who lost primaries in big swing states who went on nonetheless to win the GE in those very states. Failing that, your argument is vacuous. What you need to show is that even though Obama loses by, say, 10% in Ohio, he can nonetheless win it in the general.


    In California (none / 0) (#114)
    by cannondaddy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:19:12 AM EST
    where Obama lost, he does better than Clinton vs. McCain. Other polls have them both losing Ohio and Florida.

    I'm not talking about polls (none / 0) (#121)
    by frankly0 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:30:32 AM EST
    I'm talking about actual election results.

    I repeat my point: find a Democratic nominee who lost, by a sizable percentage (10% or more), a primary in a major swing state, and yet won that very state in the general.

    Failing that, you've got no point.


    very good point. OK, ready, set, google.... (none / 0) (#150)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:46:08 AM EST
    California is not a swing state (none / 0) (#135)
    by Manuel on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:58:27 AM EST
    In California (none / 0) (#152)
    by DaleA on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:56:34 AM EST
    Obama did poorly among four major demographics: Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Lesbians and Gays. Clinton carried all these groups by over 60%, Asians over 70%. These are groups where a genuine war hero like McCain can make inroads.

    LGBT? (none / 0) (#161)
    by Fultron on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:49:04 PM EST
    I'm not sure see a "genuine war hero like McCain" making inroads into this group.

    McCain has never joined in (none / 0) (#163)
    by DaleA on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:03:13 PM EST
    the gay bashing the right wing runs. Over at IGF he has supporters who point out is a western libertarian type. There are conservative and moderate gays who can fall for this appeal.

    Then there is the argument that the Dems take us for granted. Maybe sitting out one election or shifting somewhat would deliver a message to the Dems. I do hear that argument from time to time.


    Um... (none / 0) (#172)
    by cmugirl on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:27:36 PM EST
    This survey is like, almost a month old.  Doesn't mean a thing.

    Chris Bowers (none / 0) (#72)
    by Doc Rock on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:41:47 AM EST
    Prior to Bowers' making that determination in re earned delegate totals, he had previously spoken of "popular will."  

    This all changed when a number of folks such as I kept pointing out that Clinton had a slim lead in total votes at the time and the Obama camp moved to the new spin line.  

    Before the Wisconsin primary, the Governor of Wisconsin, Jim Doyle, became the first Obama interlocutor, whom I heard, who artfully articulated this new spin over "popular will."  The media, of course, ignored/was too dumb to tumble to this ploy.  

    On the other hand, if Clinton had taken such a tack, I believe, it would have immediately been cast in the light of a dirty trick!

    MI and FL (none / 0) (#95)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:04:08 AM EST
    have changed that a fair amount.

    You are hearing more about the popular vote now.


    Word from Wisconsin (none / 0) (#119)
    by Cream City on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 10:25:36 AM EST
    . . . don't listen to Doyle. (I think you're correct that he was early, if not first, with this spin.)

    I've noticed that (none / 0) (#156)
    by tree on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 12:40:39 PM EST
    "Popular will" now equals "pledged delegates", not popular vote totals, according to the new spin.

    amazing changes in the Dem party (none / 0) (#143)
    by Miss Devore on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:37:09 AM EST
    they've gone from you must have a southern white male as a presidential nominee to you must win the big states. states with big machinery.

    I've been wondering (none / 0) (#149)
    by ChrisO on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:45:03 AM EST
    does anyone have any concrete examples where a GE candidate used as ammunition against his opponent comments from primary opponents? Every time Hillary says something negative about Obama, I hear his supporters saying "we'll be seeing that in McCain's ads." I'm only working from memory here, but has any candidate really gotten a demonstrable benefit from using this kind of stuff? My sense is that most voters know what primaries are all about, and saying "even people in your own party think you're wrong on this issue" has never been particularly effective. I know it's been thrown out there, but has it ever mattered?

    not sure it matters (none / 0) (#151)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:49:44 AM EST
    because I think even if an opponent came up with an argument, that's a big leap to say the opposing party couldn't have come up with it too. I don't think I buy the argument that dems are better at researching and constructing slim than repugs.

    Good post BTD (none / 0) (#167)
    by Korha on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:34:52 PM EST