Campaigns Temper Expectations

Update (9:50 am MT): George Stephanopoulous on the campaigns' predictions:

Obama's supporters suggested to Stephanopoulos that Clinton would win in Indiana by as much as eight points, and Clinton's camp hinted that Obama would win by as much as 10 points in North Carolina. If either of those margins are trimmed, the loser will likely claim some sort of upset victory.


Terry McCauliffe was on Fox News this morning with Bill Hemmer. Hemmer said word is from Drudge that Clinton advisors say Obama will take N.C. by 15 points. He asked Terry if he's hearing those numbers and if he thinks Hillary can win that state. McCauliffe said he's never spoken to Drudge in his life and he hasn't heard those numbers.


But, McCauliffe wouldn't answer if he agreed with the predicton and instead started talking about Kentucky, W. Va. and Puerto Rico.

Hemmer tried to pin him down three times on N.C. and then Indiana. McCauliffe finally ended by saying he thinks she'll win Indiana. When asked the margin, he said "a win by one vote is a win."

It's very early but he sure didn't inspire confidence.

Next segment: Major Garrett says the Clinton campaign thinks she'll win Indiana by about 5 points. He says the Clinton campaign wouldn't have invested so many resources in North Carolina if they thought they were looking at a double digit loss. He said while the demographics overwhelmingly favor Obama, a five to 10 point loss in North Carolina is what they are hoping for.

< Obama Can End The Race Today By Wins In IN and NC | Morning Predictions: Thread One >
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    maybe he was just trying to manage expectations (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 06, 2008 at 08:59:47 AM EST
    and overconfidence.
    the polls look good.

    I understand (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cmugirl on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:02:26 AM EST
    If he came out and said big wins for Hillary (or pulling with 2-3 in NC) then a) maybe people watching TV in those states won't go vote and / or b) the media will declare her a loser if those expectations aren't met.

    TMcA is not going to give the MSM the satisfaction.

    hes a pretty smart guy (none / 0) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:04:25 AM EST
    Interestingly Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:05:19 AM EST
    Whether he was speaking truthfully or not, that is EXACTLY what he was supposed to do.

    If Clinton keeps it close in NC and wins Indiana, she will "shock the world!"

    Managing expectations is the job early today.

    Did the same on Morning Joe (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Grey on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:24:20 AM EST
    Terry spent a lot of time talking about the fact that Obama predicted huge victories in both IN and NC as late as Sunday night.  He would not predict, then finally said he thought she'd take Indiana.

    I, too, think he's managing expectations and setting tonight up as a significant victory no matter what, so job well done on that score.


    I was wondering if (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:06:36 AM EST
    it was an attempt to get Hillary's voters out, making them think she might lose. Then I remembered the source was Drudge and it's a very suspect story.

    I'll have my predictions later (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:10:20 AM EST
    But Obama COULD win NC by 15. the demographics certainly allow for that.

    The ONLY way Clinton keeps it close is if she wins whites 2-1.

    My own view is that the performances to watch tonight are with white voters. If you are wondering about Obama's electability, you have to see if the Wright thing has destroyed him with white voters.

    If he loses whites 60-40 in Indiana, his neighboring state with a quarter of the electorate in the Chicago area, then he has serious problems and needs to win Oregon to dispell the doubts.

    you know what, I am gonna write a post on this.


    BTD (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by DJ on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:37:05 AM EST
    Can the white voters just decide he's not the best choice, Hillary has better ideas, etc. and it not be about the Wright thing?

    I know you don't think Poblano is any good (none / 0) (#17)
    by magster on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:16:02 AM EST
    but he had a theory as to why all the pollsters are blowing the A-A vote in the southern states.  It's hard to follow, but I think I understand.

    Anyway, using a different model, he said A-A turnout should be at least 40%.


    To me (none / 0) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:43:10 AM EST
    that is irrelevant to Obama's electability. Heck, it hurts it to some degree. He is fast becoming the "black" candidate.

    as Stella pointed out yesterday (none / 0) (#53)
    by Kathy on Tue May 06, 2008 at 10:31:07 AM EST
    via a link to an Australian news story, 90% of Obama's popular lead vote comes from IL.  By that account, he should wipe the floor in IN.

    I'm not seeing that happen.


    I agree. (none / 0) (#14)
    by madamab on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:11:58 AM EST
    As we all know, Drudge is a rightwing hack.

    I wouldn't read anything into his nonsense. It's all mindgames.

    As was Terry McAuliffe's appearance this morning, I'm sure.


    I am pretty sure they said almost the same thing (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Marvin42 on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:05:34 AM EST
    morning of PA primary. I wouldn't read anything into it.

    Voter turnout (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Emma on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:07:46 AM EST
    It's all about voter turnout.  And Hillary being on the brink of being out of the race works to get her voters out.  People don't want her to be out of the race.

    It's killing me, since I voted in MI and I've been going through this for months, living and dying by election night results.  But, so-so news now and good news later is better than great news now and bad news later.

    Governor Easley (none / 0) (#50)
    by delacarpa on Tue May 06, 2008 at 10:23:19 AM EST
    He said today that Hillary will win the Conservative Democrats today and that will be big in NC. This will be a big plus for Hillary plus her white vote. It is not if she wins NC but how she wins is the game changer.

    I was getting a little nervous about (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by BarnBabe on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:11:32 AM EST
    Overconfidence. So downplaying is fine. I just Hillary does well.

    Well, that is not good! (none / 0) (#2)
    by AnninCA on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:00:10 AM EST
    I was going to predict Obama by 6 in NC and Hillary by 10 in Indiana.

    I'm going to stick to my optimism.  :)

    Obama has to win NC by 20 (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by myiq2xu on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:18:22 AM EST
    or it's a loss.

    If he doesn't win Indy and win NC by 15 pts he should quit.


    If She Wins By Singles (none / 0) (#15)
    by flashman on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:12:15 AM EST
    and He wins by doubles, I'll start my 4 stages of grief.  IMO, that will pretty much seal the deal.

    Why? (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Davidson on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:42:26 AM EST
    IN has always been a state where there would be an even playing field, a tie-breaker, while NC was always supposed to be heavily stacked in Obama's favor.  If she wins IN by 9 and he wins NC by 12, it'll be a loss for him in the eyes of right-thinking superdelegates (Yes, I realize many people think they're all hopeless, but I don't).  And this is before she heads towards KY and WV where she's heavily favored down the stretch.

    Let it go to OR before you start going all grief mode.


    Well... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by flashman on Tue May 06, 2008 at 10:05:38 AM EST
    Believe me, my opinion on the outcome is not because I think Hillary isn't a viable candidate.  It's mostly about how the party has organized the primaries, and how she needs to "come from behind" to get the nomination.  Also, she has to silence all the Dean's, Pelosi's and Reid's.  The threshold is higher for her than him.  He can win by basically tying, IMO.

    As I stated downthread, the SD's need political cover before then announce for her.  That means she has to manage, not only the expectations, but also the psychology.  She has to convince them, as well as the electorate, that Obama star is fading, that early voters are having second thoughts and that opinions of her are surging.  Her electoral philosophy is less about delegates and math than it is about perception.  The important fact is that the Clinton's have pretty much run out of options, and must now rely on closing out strong.  That's why I think she has to win better.

    My heart will be in my throat all day.


    OK (none / 0) (#48)
    by AnninCA on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:56:05 AM EST
    I'm easy on this one.  :)

    I agree (none / 0) (#22)
    by ruffian on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:18:06 AM EST
    That would about seal it.

    But I don't think it will happen. I share Anna's optimism and prediction.


    Yeah..... (none / 0) (#24)
    by AnninCA on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:19:36 AM EST
    I would agree on that.

    Depends on How He Wins By Doubles (none / 0) (#42)
    by BDB on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:42:38 AM EST
    If he wins NC by a big margin because 40% of the electorate is African American, but he still only less than 40% of the white vote, that's no different than him winning by less than 10% if the black vote is smaller, IMO.  Automatic delegates can read an exit poll.

    morning Joe was morning Obama this morning (none / 0) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:07:30 AM EST
    MSNBC is going to pull out the stops.
    I heard no less than 5 times before I left for work that Obamas nomination was a foregone conclusion.

    Maybe it is a foregone conclusion, but (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jim J on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:11:44 AM EST
    it's about a unified ticket at this point. Hillary's playing a double game: Be there in case Obama implodes, while simultaneously making the case for a joint ticket if he doesn't.

    I know it's the hipster thing to do to scoff at a unity ticket, but I still think, as I always have, that that's how this is going to shake down. Contrary to BTD's (tongue-in-cheek?) assertions, he is far from the only one on that bandwagon.


    God - if I heard that 5 times (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:15:25 AM EST
    before I left for work I'd never make it out of the house - I'd go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. Even though I kind of secretly believe it, results today notwithstanding.

    I have a feeling that even if she unexpectedly wins both states tday, the SDs will just come out en masse and say "Look, we just don't like her, OK?  That polarizing, unlikeable thing? It was US we were talking about that feels that way, not the voters."


    Buck up, man (or woman) (none / 0) (#20)
    by Lil on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:16:44 AM EST
    I think you are wrong (none / 0) (#21)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:17:07 AM EST
    the CLintons have much support among supers.

    Yea, Actually (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by flashman on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:23:19 AM EST
    My take is that many of the 'uncommitted' SD's are waiting for HRC to give them some political cover to announce for her.  She can do that by winning big today.  She needs doubles in IN and to hold Mr. O to singles in NC.

    yep (none / 0) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:50:53 AM EST
    I think so too.

    if the SD's are that lame (none / 0) (#32)
    by Kensdad on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:28:27 AM EST
    to endorse obama after double victories today for Hillary, then they are risking the same backlash that the obama crowd keeps talking about should the SD's back Hillary when he's winning the other metrics...

    No way (none / 0) (#39)
    by AnninCA on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:40:00 AM EST
    This crud about the SDs not liking her is all about PR.  You don't think those SDs would have already jumped if that were the case?

    Enough have jumped already to make it "ok" to jump.

    Plenty of people like Hillary.  Look at her endorsements.  Frankly, her endorsers actually work their tails off for her, as opposed to his who mainly use him to smear the Clintons and promote themselves.

    So I'm not buying that song and dance about SD's lined up in the wings waiting.


    I thought we were all savvy enough at this point (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jim J on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:07:35 AM EST
    to discount this kind of talk either way right before voting begins. It's just noise.

    In any case, HRC's campaign has generally played the expectations game masterfully. Sadly, one of the few things that campaign has done masterfully.

    He's managing expectations (none / 0) (#18)
    by AF on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:16:09 AM EST
    No question about it.

    Anyway, since when are candidates' internal polls better than the published polls?

    My baseline: Clinton wins Indiana by the same margin Obama wins NC.  Whoever wins their state by a larger margin wins the night.

    I think he was trying to counter Obama's (none / 0) (#19)
    by Joan in VA on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:16:21 AM EST
    new talking points that he was never going to win IN and NC was always close. I have heard these may times in the last few days.

    She has thrown us policy wonks under the bus (none / 0) (#26)
    by dotcommodity on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:24:18 AM EST
    She has pandered for the first time (with this not-gonna-happen gastax holiday) to try for the political neophyte vote.

    By contrast, Obamas entire candidacy has been based on the also not-gonna-happen pandering of somehow "changing Washington" appeal to that political simpleton.

    But, since it has been precisely our confidence in her judgement that propels her voters, I sure hope this crazy emphasis on this pie-in-the-sky idea does not drive more of her own voters away, than she picks up of his.

    Hers are practical voters, his are not. Whether by age, suffering or class, hers know better. This grab for his pie in the sky voter-base could seriously backfire by undermining her base.

    dotcommodity (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by kmblue on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:26:31 AM EST
    what you just wrote makes no sense to me.
    But I may be a low information voter.

    You couldn't be more wrong (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by angie on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:27:33 AM EST
    people who are committed to Hillary are not going to dump her because of a slight disagreement about one issue. Furthermore, the policy wonks know contrary to Obama and the msm, the gas tax holiday is only one tiny part of a larger, long-term plan.

    yeah, I know it - YOU know it, but (none / 0) (#35)
    by dotcommodity on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:36:14 AM EST
    I thought she would use the furor over this to get out in front of the media bigtime (as Obama did with The Race Speech) and put out some of her great longterm clean energy plans like her idea for $10,000 subsidies to trade in for PHEVs which follows how the Japanes govt started the Prius, and we know how that worked out for them!

    She has some of the best clean energy advisors in the world on her staff, and they are not thrilled with this gastax holiday idea.


    she got some " intensive policy wonking" (none / 0) (#63)
    by dotcommodity on Tue May 06, 2008 at 03:56:43 PM EST
    (great phrase!) in on O'Reilly and her other debate substitutes - even the Faith 'debate' - true it does establish the emotional connection

    It's not neophytes (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Emma on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:35:29 AM EST
    She has pandered for the first time (with this not-gonna-happen gastax holiday) to try for the political neophyte vote.

    It's not "neophytes" reacting to it.  It's people who are paying lots of money to drive to work.  I talked to a number of them in IN.  Gas prices are killing folks, and response to that goes a long way with them.  I don't understand this obsession some have with talking down to voters.


    well, I hope so. (none / 0) (#45)
    by dotcommodity on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:45:40 AM EST
    It just has me spooked. It is not going to happen or quick. My long familiarity with trying to push the congress on clean energy legislation has taught me that it can take a year for anything to get through both houses and fail.

    Think of how long it has taken to repeal the subsidies for the oil companies that Obama voted for as an impressionable newbie trying to curry favour with Republicans back in 2005.

    Repeal 13 billion in oil company subsidies (just till they get on their feet, right?)
    Jan 2007: Pelosi puts it in her 100 days agenda: HR6, passes House.
    Dec 2007 (in Baucus amendment) McCain kills it by not showing up for cloture on two thirds of Energy Bill that it funds, ie extending the PTC.


    Oh (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Emma on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:53:55 AM EST
    I think you're right about its chances of passing.  I just think people are glad somebody is noticing how badly they're getting hurt by gas prices.

    Obama is running an ad in IN bashing Clinton's gas tax holiday but promising a $1,000 tax cut.  A woman I canvassed wouldn't tell me how she was going to vote, but did say to tell Hillary to run another commercial about how that $1,000 tax cut was about 1/2 a tank of gas.  

    People have had their fill of Bush-style "tax rebates", which is what the little tax looks like to them.  People know the rebates don't help: the money goes out to the bill collector, or now into the gas tank, as fast as it comes in.  He's promising a $1,000 tax cut when people just got $600 back from Bush, and it didn't do sh*t for them?  Yeah, that's real great politicking right there.  They'd much rather hear about paying less at the pump than another "tax rebate".


    $1K tax cut - for whom? Hillary got excess profits (none / 0) (#54)
    by jawbone on Tue May 06, 2008 at 10:48:09 AM EST
    tax concept "out there," into the public's mind. It's being discussed as a serious issue, which is a far cry from Repub talking points.

    Won't help the lower earners who pay little to no Federal taxes!

    Has he mentioned Earned Income Tax Credit revisions to cover more workers?

    And, Hillary has said the Fed gas tax holiday is a short term relief, not long term solution.  She wants to do both. Now, Obama did say the money from taxing Big Oil then isn't available for the long term proposal payments, but it is a short time -- and, again, she has put windfall tax (excess profits tax) into the public discussion.

    I would love, however, for her to give some details of her longterm programs. Not just go to my website.  Now, maybe she has discussed them, but the MCM hasn't reported those boring old issue/proposal things all that much. Won't fit sound bite parameters. Gas tax holiday is all they could, seemingly, comprehend, and then ost of them get the details of that wrong (possilby deliberately, in saying Hillary's idea is just like McSame's. Oh, yeah, that's Obama....).


    I don't know for whom (none / 0) (#58)
    by Emma on Tue May 06, 2008 at 11:16:23 AM EST
    His ad just says "$1,000 tax cut" IIRC.  I think the ad has been posted here.

    (Assuming that wasn't a totally rhetorical question used to make your point with which I completely agree.)


    Check out the stories (none / 0) (#44)
    by AnninCA on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:45:20 AM EST
    today about Obama and the Teamster endorsement.  Talk about getting ripped for pandering.

    He's getting BLISTERED for playing "old-style politics," which is opposite of his message.  

    It cheered me up considerably.


    Also check out Krugman's angry demand that Obama retract his ad about the gas tax.  He clearly states that there is no harm to Hillary's plan, contrary to Obama's MISLEADING AD.

    He was on fire!

    Hence, she's doing just fine.  I know it pandered.  Everyone knows it pandered.  But she found a way to lasso in those all-important working class into this election.  That alone is fabulous for America, nevermind the election results.

    We sure don't need 2 elitists running.


    Another version of WORM (none / 0) (#55)
    by jawbone on Tue May 06, 2008 at 10:53:02 AM EST
    And, again, seemingly, another round of say one thing in private (or say it so loosely that it's misinterpreted) and another in public.


    How will this play with Teamsters' members, present and retired?


    They denied it (none / 0) (#61)
    by AnninCA on Tue May 06, 2008 at 11:49:43 AM EST
    but he's on tape.  :)

    And I don't think those endorsements matter.

    The union vote in Nevada, etc., convinced me that they can't dictate to their workers these days.

    I believe she has the voters in that group convinced.

    So this is a "beauty" endorsement.

    Just my 2 cents.


    Who is Major Garrett? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Lil on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:25:43 AM EST
    Keeping up with all the players has been quite a task for me. I am wondering if he is fairly neutral or does he have a horse in the race?

    Garrett used (none / 0) (#30)
    by kmblue on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:27:07 AM EST
    to be a CNN reporter back in the day
    now a Fox reporter.

    If your parents named you "major" (none / 0) (#38)
    by Exeter on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:37:40 AM EST
    then you probably should work at Fox. Same goes if your first name is Britt or Shepard.

    Heh (none / 0) (#51)
    by Steve M on Tue May 06, 2008 at 10:25:21 AM EST
    He's from Fox, so he has an elephant and not a horse.

    I recall he did the "big" interview of Obama on Fox after the Wright thing broke.  Very hostile interview, as I recollect.


    The most troubling aspect of the Clinton campaign (none / 0) (#33)
    by Exeter on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:31:51 AM EST
    is all the nimwits that keep leaking stuff to the press. What was the objective of saying that their internal polling revealed Clinton would win PA by 12 points?  All that did was set in stone the ridiculous "double digit" meme.

    The campaign (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by nell on Tue May 06, 2008 at 12:05:12 PM EST
    totally denied those numbers and said again and again that they never leaked anything to drudge. I would never take drudge at his word.

    Roland Martin Spin (none / 0) (#37)
    by Jeralyn on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:37:12 AM EST
    Someone e-mailed me a post by Obama surrogate and pundit Roland Martin on a site named 360. He's saying only delegates matter, and then says:

    Now, what will both states mean for the Democrats in November? Not a thing. President George W. Bush beat Sen. John Kerry by 510,000 votes in Indiana, and beat him by 435,000 votes in North Carolina.

    Well (none / 0) (#52)
    by Steve M on Tue May 06, 2008 at 10:26:14 AM EST
    I assume all the Obama supporters who deplore similar spin when it comes from the Clinton camp will immediately denounce and reject.

    Head spinning column (none / 0) (#41)
    by Stellaaa on Tue May 06, 2008 at 09:42:31 AM EST
    If you want to read an example of full on set CDS read Brooks today.  

    Thanks, but (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Nadai on Tue May 06, 2008 at 10:56:01 AM EST
    my ulcer is coming along just fine using my current regimen.

    Chuck Todd was on Charlie Rose last night, and (none / 0) (#57)
    by jawbone on Tue May 06, 2008 at 10:58:22 AM EST
    said, iirc, that if the NC primary had been held last Friday, Hillary probably would have won, but that Obama has stabilized his losses since then.
    Charlie said timing is everything, or something like that.

    Video not up yet, but should be here.

    Pretty interesting--about 10 minutes long.

    Have to agree about Charlie Rose (none / 0) (#64)
    by jawbone on Wed May 07, 2008 at 12:46:36 PM EST
    And the NBC family of reporters and analysts -- now for Obama, but where will they land in the general?

    It's so scary that our elections are so influenced by the MCM (because its middle name is "Corporate").

    I think the general comes down to whether the Corporatists want another round of a R controlled WH -- if they do, the MCM will be fluffing, protecting, promoting McSame.  If they think things have gone too far, they may act more neutral.  

    Think how different this primary would have been in the MCM had not 1) moved to smear and take out Edwards and 2) had not been working actively against Hillary.

    But we won't know, bcz the MCM does its thing no matter how much the blogopsphere points out their biases, omissions, and lies.