February 23, 2010

THE FINAL NAIL IN THE YELLOW DOG COFFIN:

Cook: Health Care Is Obama's Iraq (Theresa Poulson , 2/18/10, National Journal)

NJ: Name some places where Democrats should be focusing their energy, states or districts where it's really going to be a tough sell but you think that its worth making.

Cook: Well when a Democratic Senate candidates loses Barney Frank's district and loses Massachusetts, I think it raises a legitimate question of what is safe -- not what's in danger, but what is safe.

But if you were going to build a profile of where is it going to be absolutely the worst for Democrats, I would say the Deep South, Old South, the border south, states and districts with large small-town and rural populations, maybe lower percentages of college graduates -- in other words, sort of yuppie types. I would say fewer transplants from the north. Places where Obama did worse than John Kerry did in the general election.

And there's sort of like a Nike swoosh, eastern Ohio, West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, down and across Tennessee, across the south and all the way to Oklahoma that Obama -- I mean, 70 percent of the counties in America, Barack Obama did much better than John Kerry, but there is a sort of a swoosh of counties where Obama underperformed John Kerry -- and let's face it, John Kerry wasn't exactly a son of the South -- so that was like particularly bad.

Or you could look at, where did Obama lose to Hillary Clinton. A lot of working class white areas, that sort of thing. I mean I think those are going to be sort of the ground zero states and districts where it's going to be bad. But I don't know that there are many places that aren't going to be bad, I mean, that are going to be good....

The thing that I think a lot of Democratic strategists are really concerned about is that some of these districts are going to be gone for a generation or more. I mean, they're not coming back. They're ones that had somehow managed to hang on in Democratic hands even after the Democratic Party fell out of favor in a lot of the South. But once they slip away, I'm not sure they're coming back.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 23, 2010 6:03 PM
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