April 27, 2008


The Top Ten List of Undisputed Facts Showing Barack Obama's Weakness in the General Election Against John McCain (Lanny Davis, 4/27/08, Real Clear Politics)

6. Barack Obama hasn't won a single major industrial state that historically constitute the key "battleground" states for both parties, i.e., the states in the last three or four presidential elections have switched back and forth between the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

7. The reason that he lost can be found in the demographic data: He lost -- and Senator Clinton won -- by substantial margins blue collar and middle class white voters earning under $50,000 a year, senior citizens, rural voters, Hispanic voters, and women voters -- all core constituencies in the Democratic base that must be won if a Democrat is to win the White House. For example, yesterday in Pennsylvania she won Roman Catholics by 32 percent (66034), union households by 18 percent (59-41), and those most concerned about the economy by 16 points (58-42). Only 60 percent of Democratic Catholic voters said they would vote for Mr. Obama in a general election.

8. Barack Obama has lost these same demographic groups in Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas, California and New Jersey and other major states that Senator Clinton won. There is a factual pattern of his weakness among these demographic groups in virtually every primary state that cannot be disputed.

As God is my witness, as recently as three months ago, Republicans we know were depressed and not looking forward to this election.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2008 5:24 PM

I'll own up - it was about six months ago that I e-mailed you to say that we were probably going to lose in November and you gave me that pep talk about how all the candidates you voted for in '92 lost and the Union survived.
I don't feel nearly so glum these days. I'll save celebrating until after the election, though.

Posted by: Bryan at April 27, 2008 6:13 PM

What's there to be excited about? The GOP has offered up a new Nixon, someone who will implement the Dems programs and give them plausible deniability when they metastasize and/or fail, while at the same time McKeating's "coattails" will be like Nixon's: the Dems will increase their control of Congress.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 27, 2008 8:13 PM

Yeah, Heath Shuler can't wait to run with Obama leading the ticket.

Posted by: oj at April 27, 2008 9:00 PM

I fear Raoul is correct, but elections are always about lesser evils to me. It is fun to watch Hillary and Obama fight, dance and squirm. I'm convinced Obama will eventually crash, with the only questions being when and how hard.

But I still worry about a McCain gaffe or health event, or some economic news that gives Democrats even more of an edge. And in my paranoid moments I wonder if the Dem billionaire club of Soros etc. will try to create/enhance some bad economic news to try to influence the election.

Posted by: PapayaSF at April 27, 2008 10:06 PM

The economy is unlikely to worsen, what with the stimulus money coming out and the prospect of the oil speculation bubble bursting sooner rather than later. I don't think the housing tumble can go much further.

However, structural changes due to all the nonsense about greenhouse emissions and global warming could have an effect that is difficult to recover from (hunger being just one of the unintended consequences). The Democrats will do anything to expand government power in this area, even if it is the equivalent of Smoot-Hawley (i.e., killing the free trade deal with Colombia).

OJ's glib comment about Heath Shuler is just a bit off the mark - in 1972, the Republicans didn't pick up much with McGovern at the top of the Democratic ticket, and in 1984, they actually lost seats in the Senate. If the electorate has decided by Sept. 1 that Obama is a risky radical, then the following two months will be very interesting, because McCain is going to have to something very difficult for him - run against a Democratic Congress, and hang Obama around their necks. Will he do it?

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 27, 2008 10:31 PM

2008 isn't a midterm.

Posted by: oj at April 28, 2008 6:11 AM

Neither were 1972 and 1984. And both times, the Republican candidate refused to run hard for the party. In 2004, George Bush did - and the GOP gained 5 Senate seats and (as I remember, 5 or 6 House seats).

Are you suddenly subscribing to the James Baker school?

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 28, 2008 7:38 AM

RIght now the GOP needs leadership, and being "a maverick" and being a leader are mutually exclusive. He's not even providing any leadership in the Senate, where his opponents have given him the perfect opportunity to put them on the spot, or to highlight their policy differences with him. Just another example of how he only confronts those who could and should be on his side, while letting his real enemies off the hook.

I fear that even after his inauguration, the Senator from Lincoln Savings will be like the ex-jock who hangs around trying to relive the glory years, and sucking up to his old legislatin' buddies still on the team. The only good that could come of that is that he might hate actually having to take responsibility so much that he'll do us the favor of not running for re-election.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 28, 2008 9:54 AM

Raoul, it's sounding like McCain Derangement Syndrome... :-)

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at April 28, 2008 11:14 AM

leadership? the fuhrerprinzip.

they need power and votes in congress. maverick gets them.

Posted by: oj at April 28, 2008 11:38 AM