April 25, 2008


Media Jump Ship From Obama To Clinton (Thomas Edsall, 4/25/08, Real Clear Politics)

In a blink of an eye, the media has jumped ship from the Obama campaign and become a crucial Clinton ally, pressing just the message -- that Obama is a likely loser in the general election -- that Hillary and her allies have been promoting for the past six weeks.

The new tenor of media coverage is visible almost everywhere, from Politico, Time and The New Republic to The Washington Post and The New York Times.

There are two dynamics at work here: first, contrary to rightwing paranoids, the media was always going to go after Senator Obama eventually--he's a target-rich environment and their job is blowing such up; second, while everyone gets that the Senator isn't like (and doesn't like) middle America, he isn't like these journalists either, but Ms Clinton is. There's a great bit from 30 Rock, after Tina Fey has pretended to be a drunk so she can listen in on a boyfriend's confessions at AA, where she reveals the deeper truths about herself, one of which is "I'm going to spend months pretending to support Barack Obama and then go into the booth and vote for Hillary." They like the idea that they're the kind of folks who would vote for a black guy in the abstract. They have little interest in the reality of this particular candidate, who none of them knew anything about until roughly six weeks go.

-Political Wisdom: Obama Confronts His Weaknesses: Here’s a summary of the smartest new political analysis on the Web (Sara Murray and Gerald F. Seib, 4/25/08, WSJ: Political Perceptions)
-The Next McGovern?: Obama may still get the nomination, but his loss tonight deals a harsh blow to his electibility arguments (John B. Judis, April 23, 2008, New Republic)

f you look at Obama's vote in Pennsylvania, you begin to see the outlines of the old George McGovern coalition that haunted the Democrats during the '70s and '80s, led by college students and minorities. In Pennsylvania, Obama did best in college towns (60 to 40 percent in Penn State's Centre County) and in heavily black areas like Philadelphia.

Its ideology is very liberal. Whereas in the first primaries and caucuses, Obama benefited from being seen as middle-of-the-road or even conservative, he is now receiving his strongest support from voters who see themselves as "very liberal." In Pennsylvania, he defeated Clinton among "very liberal" voters by 55 to 45 percent, but lost "somewhat conservative" voters by 53 to 47 percent and moderates by 60 to 40 percent. In Wisconsin and Virginia, by contrast, he had done best against Clinton among voters who saw themselves as moderate or somewhat conservative.

Obama even seems to be acquiring the religious profile of the old McGovern coalition. In the early primaries and caucuses, Obama did very well among the observant. In Maryland, he defeated Clinton among those who attended religious services weekly by 61 to 31 percent. By contrast, in Pennsylvania, he lost to Clinton among these voters by 58 to 42 percent and did best among voters who never attend religious services, winning them by 56 to 44 percent. There is nothing wrong with winning over voters who are very liberal and who never attend religious services; but if they begin to become Obama's most fervent base of support, he will have trouble (to say the least) in November.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 25, 2008 8:59 AM

Actually, Liz Lemon says that she'll tell people she's voting for Obama, but then vote for McCain, for which I have an unimpeachable source.

Posted by: Ibid at April 25, 2008 5:04 PM

Even better!

Posted by: oj at April 25, 2008 6:16 PM