Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I really don't know, do you?

I'm not talking about the national polls either, but how does Barack Obama put together a winning electoral advantage over John McCain?

I have heard Clinton's many times, and its been played out in the Democratic nomination battle. She'll take an unprecedented high level of women and Latino majorities into winning all (or nearly all) the states that John Kerry (and/or Al Gore) won, and add in: Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Florida. Maybe there are some other states, but if we just add those 42 electoral votes to the Democratic column, Clinton would win.

I really only have a single issue: winning. I believe that if more Democrats win, a more progressive agenda will be enacted, and we can make democratic-stronghold challenges in primaries with more progressive candidates (Donna Edwards is gonna beat Wynn, for example).

But what is Barack Obama's winning coalition of states that puts him over 270 electoral votes?

The Obama campaign makes the case:

On Super Tuesday, in six red states that had primaries or caucuses for both Republicans and Democrats, Obama won and got more votes than the top two Republicans combined. These states - Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota and South Carolina - account for a total of 53 Electoral College votes. In Idaho and Kansas, where there was no Republican primary, Obama won at least a three-to-one victory over Clinton.

That's not serious. To quote North Dakota, where a total of 18,000 or so voted in the Democratic caucus, as proof that Obama could win the state is laughable. That sort of logic puts Nebraska, which had a similar total, and voted for Obama, also in the Democratic column for Obama in November.

Seriously, how does Obama get past 270, state by state? Independents you say, then where, which state?

Tags: 2008 election (all tags)

Comments

287 Comments

Obama has shown the ability to draw indies...

...and even some Republicans that Clinton simply hasn't, and to bring out African-Americans in numbers not seen before.

I don't think he can win Georgia, South Carolina, or Kansas in the general election. But Iowa, Missouri, and Colorado? Absolutely.

by MeanBoneII 2008-02-11 12:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has shown the ability to draw indies...

i'd like to know how hillary is gonna win against McCain without being able to draw the large quantity of indies that he will get?

especially since drawing more female vote isn't as relevant since half the countries women are republican.
primary demographics aren't that relevant to the general election, since only one side is going to bat per race.
 but half the country hates hillary and the indies have really made it clear they hate her as well.

by Soltare 2008-02-11 12:46AM | 0 recs
I've seen this first-hand as well.

Among the GOP'ers and right-leaners that I know: Open contempt for Hillary, respect for Obama. Maybe they just don't want to appear racist, but frankly it doesn't matter to me, because their reluctance to attack him is real. The radio nutjobs and Fake News already have their ducks in a row against Hillary, but Obama makes their lives much more difficult.

by MeanBoneII 2008-02-11 12:52AM | 0 recs
I'm seeing the same thing you are

at this momemt, they have nothing against him.

Probably the best thing that could happen is that our nominee is "unknown" till the last minute - we will have run out the clock on the "long game" the Republicans use to "brand" our candidate - then it would simply be a matter of withstanding a 6 week onslaught - more like  dealing with a 2 minute offense.

The benefits of a tough primary will become apparent then for either Hillary or Obama

by merbex 2008-02-11 01:03AM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen this first-hand as well.

Yeah, I know a number of people who'd vote for Obama but not Hillary. Who even after 8 years of crap still have some hate for her for things she never did.

I question this topic. To say that Hillary's plan is to take all these states plus X, Y, and Z for the win sounds nice. But, I think with the the turnout there's not going to be much need for anything. I know it seems naive to not have a plan. But, isn't overwhelming numbers kind of a plan?

I have no objections to the idea that Hillary would win. I'm fairly certain she would. However, I don't see the base not backing Barack if push comes to shove. Which states is Barack going to lose that Hillary would win?

by Tatarize 2008-02-11 02:24AM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen this first-hand as well.

well, for starters, states where there is a large Latino population. Clinton generally inspires Latinos, Obama does not. Also, McCain does better against Obama than Clinton in Minnesota and Conneticut and a few other states including even Massachusetts.

In most polls, Clinton is stronger in the south and Northeast while Obama is stronger in the west.

by PassionateJus 2008-02-11 07:28AM | 0 recs
Obama Will Win Colorado For Instance!

Kerry won 252 electoral votes in 2004 to Bush's 286, so Obama can easily win if he simply adds 3 states to the ones Kerry won in 2004: Iowa (7), New Mexico (5) and Colorado (9). Those three alone add 21 electoral votes, so Obama would win 273 electoral votes to McCain's 265.

Throw in Nevada (5) and Obama wins 278 to McCain's 260.

Colorado will certainly be in play for any Democrat, Iowa voted for Gore in 2000 and Bush only won by 10,000 votes in 2004. New Mexico has been very close in both elections and Bush only won by fewer than 6,000 votes. Bush won Nevada by 21,500 votes (51%-48%) out of about 820,000 votes cast.

Since 2004, all these states have tended more Democratic and all should be winnable in 2008.

Obviously, Obama needs to focus on more states to have a fall back position in case he loses one of those three. Adding Nevada's (5) electoral votes brings him up to 277. That way, he could lose either New Mexico, or Iowa (but not both) and still win the Presidency.

But the big prize will be Ohio and Florida again. Florida is probably out of reach, but Obama could do very well in Ohio, and now there's no fascist Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell to suppress Democratic turnout in that state, which will give any Democrat a big boost.

If Obama can win Ohio, he'd pick-up 20 votes and win the Presidency going away. This election could very well turn out much like the 1996 victory of Clinton over Dole.

McCain will have a tough time turning out the 4 million evangelicals Karl Rove mobilized for Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections, even if McCain nominates Huckabee.

by Cugel 2008-02-11 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen this first-hand as well.

The idea that right wing talking heads and the other Republican shills are afraid to attack Obama is just laughable.  If they have no qualms about attacking Max Cleland, a man who truly sacrificed for his country, then they won't even blink at coming after Obama.

Do you really think they're just going to lie down and do nothing?

by Denny Crane 2008-02-11 03:47AM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen this first-hand as well.

No but they haven't had the chance to dig for dirt for 16 years when it comes to Obama.

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 04:12AM | 0 recs
indeed...

hillary's still recycling blair hull's oppo; that's how hard it is to develop a decent or credible attack against him...

by bored now 2008-02-11 04:55AM | 0 recs
well, maybe...

let's see if john mccain starts racking in the dough as long as hillary isn't the designated democratic nominee.  i don't know why you would dismiss the historical example of 1992, where a large part of the republican base stayed home because they couldn't get excited about the candidates (either pro-bush or anti-clinton).

the other problem that this thought has is, will the media play it?  sure, i don't doubt they will play t once, but will they repeat it over and over until it's part of the american consciousness like they did with the swiftboat attacks?  hillary's supporters seem to ignore the positive effects of the media liking barack.  if rezko is any example, the media will air the charge and then return to obamarama the next day.

there's no question that whatever attacks conservatives air against hillary will get plenty of coverage.  the media likes the psychodrama...

by bored now 2008-02-11 04:54AM | 0 recs
nice try...

but running the numbers has long been a part of my practice.  the drop off among what was called the religious right was evidenced all the way down to the precinct level in the presidential race.  perot may have had appeal to economic conservatives, but i'm aware of no appeal to social conservatives...

by bored now 2008-02-11 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: well, maybe...

Who's revising history now?

http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh062905.shtm l

To quote from the article:

"The analysis, based on exit polls conducted by Voter Research & Surveys (VRS) for the major news organizations, indicated that in Perot's absence, only Ohio would have have shifted from the Clinton column to the Bush column. This would still have left Clinton with a healthy 349-to-189 majority in the electoral college.

And even in Ohio, the hypothetical Bush "margin" without Perot in the race was so small that given the normal margin of error in polls, the state still might have stuck with Clinton absent the Texas billionaire."

Perot didn't effect the election.  Not even sure why this is relevant, though. =)

by leshrac55 2008-02-11 08:34AM | 0 recs
exit polls don't speak to a depressed turnout...

which is what i was talking about...

by bored now 2008-02-11 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: well, maybe...

It's not if he splits the votes evenly between Clinton and Bush.  Conservatives like to point to Perot as a spoiler in much the same way Nader was for Gore in 2000, but the truth of the matter is that it was completely different.  Perot's 2nd choicers split almost evenly between Clinton and Bush while Nader's were very disproportionately Gore voters.

But hey, if you say it must be so despite evidence to the contrary, clearly it must be so.

by leshrac55 2008-02-11 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen this first-hand as well.

They are apparently going to throw limp noodles at him, if the Nomination of McCain is any indication.

by Tatarize 2008-02-11 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen this first-hand as well.

Republican are not attacking Obama because they want to make it easy for him to get the nomination.Once he gets the nomination it would be different story. If he gets the nomination Obama would loose:

CA,OH,FL and PA.

He would not win any of the red states he won in the prmaries/caucuses

by indydem99 2008-02-11 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen this first-hand as well.

Saying Obama would lose California is just ridiculous.  

by fbihop 2008-02-11 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: I've seen this first-hand as well.

He would loose Latinos and Asians to Mccain.Perhaps you do not know how popular Mccain is in CA. He is known as 3rd senator from CA. If Hillary does not get the nomination I would enjoy watching Obama get simply destroyed by Repugs. It would be fun watching the kossacs squirm.

Boy would they vett him?????? LOL

by indydem99 2008-02-12 04:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has shown the ability to draw indies...

The sub-question is whether he can win states that Hillary cannot.  Hillary could also win at least two that you mention.  Colorado has been trending blue for years.  It was on the brink in 2004, when I lived there. Any Dem will take it this year, especially if the religious right is not enthusastic about McCain.  And Hillary did just as good in Missouri as Obama last week.  Also, she has a better shot at New Mexico, Florida, and maybe Ohio (We'll see about that Mar. 4).

by ocli 2008-02-11 01:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has shown the ability to draw indies...

Hillary can win state that Obama can't.  She has more base in her supporters, the vast middle class who are in seriously need for help to improve their condition. Healthcare,  job lost, education loan, mortgage foreclosure.   McCain doesn't have anything to address these kitchen top issue.

And A lot of Indies I know think Obama will be worse for the country that McCain.  Seriously, if they have to choose between the two, they will choose McCain.

by JoeySky18 2008-02-11 03:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has shown the ability to draw indies...

What states can she win that he can't?

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 04:21AM | 0 recs
i'd be interested in knowing what states...

hillary can win that barack can't.  from what i can tell, all of hillary's supporters will back barack, while many of barack's supporters are anti-hillary.  we don't even talk about what would probably be the dominant theme if hillary's the nominee: the political dynasties of the bushes and clintons and whether the country wants to change from that status quo.

don't underestimate mccain's ability to derive message from his contact with voters.  he has credibly positioned himself as the reform or change candidate on the republican side and he would be formidable against hillary.  there's substantial polling out there on independents and they show a favorable position for barack over mccain...

by bored now 2008-02-11 04:40AM | 0 recs
HRC's base

Hillary supporters ON BLOGS have mentioned that they would support Obama. Like myself. I will support whoever the nominee is. However, how many middle-class, not political nuts, Union job, not exactly as obsessed with this stuff as we are, McCain respecting Dems WON'T? That's the question. Yes, we will all support Obama from what you've read on blogs. Nurses, union workers, Hispanics, etc.  They like and respect McCain.  You ignore this issue at your peril. 16000 Dems in North Dakota does not translate to a win of those states in November. Not at all.

by Mar154 2008-02-11 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, you're becoming repetitive

Are you saying that hispanics will only vote for Hillary, and if she's not the nominee they'll vote for McCain? By the way, outside of middle class white women Hillary has no real constituency. And by the way, African Americans, who may hold the key to any democratic victory in states such as PA, OH, GA, VA, DE, and and many others, may not be so inclined to vote for the Billary duo after their racial shenigans on Obama.

by AnthonyMason 2008-02-11 03:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, you're becoming repetitive

Alternatively, Obama's racial shenanigans would hurt him with the General Election electorate.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 03:04AM | 0 recs
how so?

i see lots of evidence of blacks being alienated by bill and hill's crap on the subject, but i haven't seen much suggesting that barack has alienated whites.  are we now saying that hillary's supporters won't support barack if he were to beat her???

if barack can't unite democrats then the democratic party is dead...

by bored now 2008-02-11 03:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, you're becoming repetitive

As the Obama camp has tried to avoid race in just about every instance you'd be hard pressed to prove that comment but I'm going to ask you to anyway.

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 04:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, you're becoming repetitive

If you are still interested in this, there is a great diary on the issue on the recommended list just now, here:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/2/11/8334 7/3351

by mgee 2008-02-11 04:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, you're becoming repetitive

Yeah I saw that but unfortunately Wilder doesn't say anything about race so the diary is lacking in proof for its assertion.

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 04:58AM | 0 recs
making race the issue

After NH the Obama campaign made race part of their media strategy:

Campaign spokesman Jesse Jackson Jr. and the tears of Katrina.

"People in different campaigns" and crypto-surrogate Donna Brazile on the Tom Bradley effect.

SC press secretary Amaya Smith's memo.

This was a coordinated effort to blunt the Clinton campaign's criticism of Obama on Iraq and experience. It had the added bonus of neutralizing Bill Clinton as a surrogate.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: making race the issue

Um. Other than JJjr you are talking about people pointing out that the Clinton camp was using race.

That doesn't seem to be great evidence to present.

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: making race the issue

You asked for examples to prove Obama used race to attack the Clinton campaign, I gave them. You may think he was justified, I disagree. Implying that the Clintons are racists and that NH Democrats are racists is deeply divisive to this party, and will not help Obama in the general election. As bored now points out it helped him solidify the African American vote before SC, which he desperately had to do to have any chance of beating Clinton, but at what cost to the party?

by souvarine 2008-02-11 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: making race the issue

Again. Saying that a candidate is using race isn't using race yourself.

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 05:56AM | 0 recs
for me...

the problem is that both sides can easily be charged with "using race as an issue."  and i agree that it's divisive.  now i happen to think that 'bill started it,' being a little too clever this past summer.  but if hillary's supporters feel chagrined by how this turned out, then obama has some 'splaining to do, too.  i'd bet that he's got an easier road to uniting the party than hillary, but i'm biased...

by bored now 2008-02-11 06:58AM | 0 recs
i don't see jackson as a campaign...

spokesman for the dean or the obama campaigns.  surrogate, sure.  spokesman, nope.

the smith memo is a great repetition of what was already out there.  like i said, barack was a late adopter.  if anything, barack was almost forced to act on the increasing resentment against the clinton's racial overtones because so many african americans were incensed by it.  one thing that i heard before this was, "if he wouldn't act on jena, and won't act here, when will he?" or something.  i just see this so differently and maybe it's something that the democrats will never resolve...

by bored now 2008-02-11 05:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerome, you're becoming repetitive

Obama WILL NOT carry GA in a general election. He will lose by probably thirty points.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 03:17AM | 0 recs
I wouldn't be too sure

The Christian right hates McCain, so that is likely to suppress turnout among conservative Southern whites. Really, the only reason that Democrats lose in Georgia (at least as far as I can tell based on exit polls from 2004) is that African-Americans are underrepresented among voters relative to their population in the state.

If AAs were slightly overrepresented among Georgia voters, the state would be competitive.

So in an Obama-McCain matchup, you have the perfect storm to boost AA turnout and suppress white turnout. I'm not saying it is likely, but it could happen.

by TimSackton 2008-02-11 04:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has shown the ability to draw indies...

McCain will not have fervent support in the deep south, while states with a large percentage of black voters make Obama a threat in traditionally Republican areas.

Obama wins Virginia and Georgia and puts Alabama and Mississippi in play.

With Seibilus campaigning for him and a connection to the state, Obama can win Kansas.

He is also popular in the west, and has a better shot then Clinton in Colorado.

Obama has a chance not just to win but to be unbeatable by McCain because without Georgia and Virginia, Republicans simply do not have a credible way to win.

by alchemi 2008-02-11 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

goergia, kansas, colorado, missouri, north dakota.
 All of these are red states that had more democratic primary voters then republicans, and they're all states won by obama.

I'd say all of them are in play for obama.

regardless, this post once again shows just how much of a clinton shill you've become.
 Jerome.

by Soltare 2008-02-11 12:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Delusional.

We lost North Dakota by TWENTY-SEVEN PERCENT in 2000 and 2004.  Obama has ZERO chance of winning North Dakota.

We lost Kansas by 20% in 2000 and 15% in 2004.  Not gonna happen.

We lost George by 12% in 2000, and the losing percentage went UP in 2004, to 17%.  Nope.  No way.

What Obama supporters seem to forget is that Obama is the most virulently anti-gun candidate we have EVER put forward.  He CAN NOT WIN IN THE SOUTH.  He also can't possibly win Florida.

Missouri?  Yeah, maybe.  But the race was so close there that you could say the same for Hillary.  Either could also be competitive in Colorado, which is trending blue.

To call Jerome a Clinton shill because he can actually look at numbers and recognize fantasy is absurd.

by dhonig 2008-02-11 03:03AM | 0 recs
An Anti-Obama Shrill Maybe...

Ok, I agree with you about the said states, although I do believe that Kansas has had an anti-conservative backlash (due to going too damn far on evolution, etc.) and will be closer than anyone thinks...still means either Obama or Clinton loses by 10 or so.

However, if you're going to cite the numbers, well then two different polls have Obama well farther ahead in the general, due to his luring independents into his wiles.  There's valid reasons to believe Clinton is significantly more likely to win Florida (and the forgotten arkansas); however, there's little reason to believe Ohio favors either in the general, nor New Mexico, nor Nevada, nor Missouri and plenty reason to believe that Iowa, Virginia, Colorado all favor Obama and that he's more likely to deliver red states which surprise...or to get senate hopefuls like Larry LoRocco extra votes.

Look, people aren't calling Mr. Armstrong a shill because they don't like the truth he's presenting.  It's been painful to watch this site's descent into irrational bashing....with one of the best writers on the internet leading the charge.  Armstrong's bashes on Obama have become predictable and are bordering on the pathetic and have hit the point where their effect is blunted.  Personally, I favor Obama, but don't love either candidate and both of them curry up qualms in my soul; however, I also think we have two pretty damn good candidates in the general election who could whip the pants off of McCain and two candidates who have the ability to govern effectively in the office with innovative plans to revive a nation which has fallen into a venerable shitstorm.  Ok, maybe the latter part is just my hope, but it's certainly my intuition.  Go Obama!  Go Clinton!  I gotta get to work/a drink/both.  

by thurst 2008-02-11 04:00AM | 0 recs
Re: An Anti-Obama Shrill Maybe...

I think this thread demonstrates why due diligence discussions have declined across the liberal blogosphere generally. Posters are much more interested in attacking Clinton than making a strategic case for Obama, and even when they try they use empty arguments like "30% are independents!" It is hard to critically examine Obama in that environment, and that has made it hard to critically examine the race for the past year.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 04:07AM | 0 recs
Re: An Anti-Obama Shrill Maybe...

He will win every state Clinton will win and a few more like VA, MO, & IA. If he can't win then how can she win?

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 04:15AM | 0 recs
i think that this is as much as result...

of the fact that hillary and penn have been very open about what they are trying to do in their strategic memos while barack's campaign has been more more opaque.  barack has tapped into the american psyche; i have no idea how you critically examine that.  i'm fairly certain that the clinton campaign doesn't know how, either...

by bored now 2008-02-11 05:00AM | 0 recs
Re: i think that this is as much as result...

Interesting point, and I agree Obama has tapped into something. But I'm talking about the level of discussion on this and other blogs, rather than that coming out of the campaigns. You are the rare Obama supporter who takes a critical look at what his campaign does.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Incredible.  I can't believe you really think Obama can win some of these super-red states because he won the Democratic primary there.  Either Clinton or Obama has an excellent chance in Colorado and Missouri, but Kansas, North Dakota and Georgia? Please.  Georgia is trending to be the reddest state in the country, and Kansas and ND aren't far behind.

by Denny Crane 2008-02-11 03:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Here is my question. So what if Obama won deep red states in the democratic primary? Really? So what?!? We have a democratic primary in those deep red states EVERY ELECTION and a democrat always wins.

That does not mean the states ever have or ever will go blue.

by americanincanada 2008-02-11 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Exactly.

by Denny Crane 2008-02-12 03:16AM | 0 recs
One other point: Already buyer's remorse for GOP?

McCain is not merely disliked, but outright despised, by the GOP base. Huckabee's little rally won't be enough to stop McCain from winning the nomination, but it does demonstrate how half-hearted Republicans are about McCain. Romney's supporters immediately ran to Huckabee.

There was a reason McCain was left for dead last summer -- he's got Bob Dole syndrome. He's been around way too long and made way too many enemies in his own party. Frankly, the only way to encourage a lot of those people to show up next November would be a chance to vote against Hillary.

by MeanBoneII 2008-02-11 12:46AM | 0 recs
North dakota is in play

8000 republicans voted in the north dakota caucus.
 18 thousand demnocrats voted.
 i'd say north dakota is in play.

to that vein comparing it to Nebraska is irrelevant, because we don't know the republican numbers for Nebraska.

by Soltare 2008-02-11 12:49AM | 0 recs
Re: North dakota is in play

I hate these comparisons of turnout in primaries in deep red states.  People in the deep red states are going to vote for the Republican no matter who he is - that's why they don't care that much about the primary.

It is really a mistake to be putting so much stock in those turnout numbers.

by ocli 2008-02-11 01:54AM | 0 recs
Re: North dakota is in play
agree.  caucus do not give a correct picture of the GE.  Obama team need to do some reality check on their trump on caucus success.
It's ok to celebrate the win, but it's not ok to lose sight of the reality.  If that happen, we will lost the GE again.
by JoeySky18 2008-02-11 03:32AM | 0 recs
Re: North dakota is in play

That's just silly.  18,000 in a primary means nothing.  196,000 people in North Dakota voted for Bush in 2004.  Primaries mean nothing in relation to GE votes.

by dhonig 2008-02-11 03:08AM | 0 recs
Re: North dakota is in play--countered by evidence

ND results in 2004:
196,000 for Bush
111,000 for Kerry

Compare that to the 8000 GOP and 18000 Dems in the caucus, and it is clear there in NO EVIDENCE that North Dakota is in play for the Presidential race.  Oh, wait!  Are you talking about North Dakota vast, untapped population of African American voters suddenly being mobilized?  Well, then...

If you want to be serious about winning the Presidency, you should go to the results, state by state, at CNN.com and start reading actual numbers.

That's what Jerome is talking about.

by joeltpatterson 2008-02-11 04:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

How about, all of Kerry's states (252 electoral votes, 270 needed to win) plus:
NH (4)
Iowa! (7)

and then any one of:
Ohio (20)
Virginia (13)
Indiana (11)
Missouri (11)

And even if Clinton did better in the non-standard FL primary so far, there's no reason to think the state wouldn't be in play with either candidate. NM's 5 votes are also clearly in the mix, with either candidate.
And these are all scenarios in which Obama doesn't pull out any more surprising red-state wins (CO, e.g.).
Is either Clinton or Obama likely to lose any state Kerry won, in a much more adverse political climate?
There's a very high chance for Obama to take all the key swing midwestern states listed above.
With Clinton, on the other hand, everything may well ride on FL. I see fewer alternate routes for her, since neither AZ, NM, NV, AK have more than 6 votes apiece!

by troubleshooter 2008-02-11 12:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

This is exactly what I was going to write, troubleshooter. nice work. He also puts southern states in play with his ability to turn out the black vote and would theoretically draw republican cash and candidate time that would otherwise be used elsewhere. Obama's candidacy is the realization of the fifty-state strategy, and it opens up the whole board, forcing the repubs to defend everywhere.  

by IsaacGol 2008-02-11 12:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

He is terribly weak in the southern states.  People are making two mistakes here.  First, overestimating the African American effect- that community was already very energized in '04. Second, GROSSLY underestimating the effect of Obama's very strong anti-gun position.  Obama can't win south of the Mason Dixon line, INCLUDING FLORIDA.

by dhonig 2008-02-11 03:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

McCain has an extremely long anti-gun record himself. That won't be an issue.

by vcalzone 2008-02-11 03:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Huh? Looks like a solid enough NRA record, they will have no problem standing behind McCain.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 04:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

The NRA completely demonized him in 2000 because of his position on campaign finance reform. Probably why a LOT of GOP groups don't like him.

by vcalzone 2008-02-11 04:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

That makes a lot of sense. But Obama is if anything much worse on that score.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 05:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

True, but he's also a Democrat. I'm not certain we can fully write off the potential of sabotaging the party to try and get a better candidate in the next cycle. They all see Obama/Clinton as being the next Carter. A one-term president followed by the most revolutionary conservative in the last 80 years. Do they want to risk all that by voting in someone who is almost guaranteed to ignore them?

What I'm hoping they don't understand is that the next President will be OUR Reagan.

by vcalzone 2008-02-11 05:52AM | 0 recs
Obama will win Maryland of course

which just proves that you don't know where the Mason-Dixon line is.  Also both Hillary and Barack would be competitive in Virginia.  

No Democrat will win Florida.  Seriously.  Just give it up.

by moreaxe 2008-02-11 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

That's really not a very strong strategy. Polls already show him losing IN. It proves that his coalition just isn't strong enough.

Plus it's unlikely that he would win PA. And if he plans not to seat MI at the convention he can write off that state too requiring him to struggle to find even more states.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 01:08AM | 0 recs
i don't think obama wins indiana...

but he probably does put it in play.  obama forces republicans to defend states and even regions that they normally can take for granted.  and to think that any democrat would lose michigan or pennsylvania shows how far afield you are.  you know, not every state is chuck full of rednecks...

by bored now 2008-02-11 01:29AM | 0 recs
Re: i don't think obama wins indiana...

No he doesn't. Clinton polls better in IN than Obama. The reason why Obama would lose PA is because working class white catholics won't vote for him.

Regions they normally take for granted? Like the south and border states? Yeah, SUSA has Obama losing KY by 30 pts. I really don't think they'll have to worry about lots of states with Obama on the ticket. Getting activists to show up at a caucus means nothing when it comes to the general election.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 01:46AM | 0 recs
Re: i don't think obama wins indiana...

"Clinton polls better in IN than Obama."

Source?

by BBCWatcher 2008-02-11 01:58AM | 0 recs
Re: i don't think obama wins indiana...

SUSA.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 01:58AM | 0 recs
OK, Looking....

On February 5, 2008, SurveyUSA released a poll conducted for WHAS-TV Louisville.  They have McCain running 9 points ahead of Clinton and 10 points ahead of Obama....

....But the margin of error is +/- 4.5 points.  It cannot be inferred that either candidate runs stronger.

Is this the polling data you were referring to?

by BBCWatcher 2008-02-11 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: i don't think obama wins indiana...

I'm in Indiana.  In the latest fund raising report, Clinton has the most money raised of any candidate.

Also, you're out of your mind if you think Indiana will go Dem this year.  Since 1960 we have only gone Dem once and that was for LBJ.

In the lastest SUSA poll, McCain trounces Clinton (51-42) and Obama (50-40).  In fact, they both lost to a hypothetical Romney.  

by FitnessNerd 2008-02-11 02:41AM | 0 recs
Re: i don't think obama wins indiana...

Yup.

by dhonig 2008-02-11 03:12AM | 0 recs
obama wouldn't win white catholics???

have you actually ever heard of chicago?  are you under some illusion that all the catholics in illinois are black?

pennsylvania will vote democratic regardless.  your arguments always come down to name recognition and impression ratings, with the assumption that if obama is the nominee, no one will pay attention.  iow, extraordinarily flawed assumptions...

by bored now 2008-02-11 02:48AM | 0 recs
Re: obama wouldn't win white catholics???

Kerry almost didn't carry PA right? I would not rely on PA voting for Obama because the demographics are just not there for him to win.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 03:24AM | 0 recs
There's that fallacy again

Obama's coalition in the general (=The Democratic Party, plus R's and I's that like him, minus D's that really don't) will not be identical to his coalition in the primary; nor will he win all of the states he won in the primary, or lose all of the states he didn't.  The electability arguments based on primary results, from both sides, are silly, it seems to me.

by seand 2008-02-11 04:13AM | 0 recs
pennsylvania traditionally flirts with republicans

ala 2004 and then vote for democratic presidential candidates.  democrats are probably in a stronger position this year than in the past, regardless of the nominee.  the belief that reagan democrats and independents would flee barack for mccain seems like wishful thinking, given what i've seen.  both hillary and mccain have an advantage over barack at this moment in the state, but i'd wait until after their primary before you can see a realistic prediction of how the relative unknown will fare against mccain...

by bored now 2008-02-11 04:48AM | 0 recs
Why not?

For Donahue Catholics, sure, but they are note voting for Sen. Clinton either.

So, why is that "working class Catholics won't vote for him".  

Surely it is not merely because they have a relative preference  for his opponent?

Anecdotal in the extreme, but my working class Catholic family spread across three states (OR, MN, CA) don't seem to have a problem with him, though we prefer Clinton.

by Trond Jacobsen 2008-02-11 03:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Kerry won NH

by BENAWU 2008-02-11 01:23AM | 0 recs
but Obama could lose PA

against McCain. Then he has a much bigger hill to climb.

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-11 03:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

The biggest problem Obama has is that he can't bring out the blue collar vote IN BLUE STATES.  These are exactly the voters that McCain will target, a la Ronald Reagan.

If he can't win over Hispanics/Latinos in places like California, and CA goes Red, it's over.  Period.  Over.  Obama has not demonstrated his ability to win over CORE Democrats that Clinton has.  And there's this cocky attitude that he and his followers are espousing that they'll automatically vote for him.  Newsflash:  There's a reason McCain is going to be the Republican nominee; his ability to snag these Reagan Dems.

And by the way, Soltare...why is it when someone brings up legitimate points about Obama, it gets nasty?  Pretty pathetic, dude.  Living in your state known as "Denial" isn't going to change the fact that there needs to be a coherent strategy to win 270 electoral votes.  

by DaTruth 2008-02-11 12:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Uh, do you really think that in this climate that Democrats will vote for a Republican? Republicans have zero crossover ability this time around. We're the ones with the crossover ability (if obama gets the nod).

All Dems have to do is run an ad with that picutre of McCain hugging Bush and quotes of McCain's support of Bush flash across the screen and california, illinois, mass, and other solidly democratic / working class states are locked up. You may have been right if we had a popular republican president, but no way no how is that going to happen in this cycle baring something unforeseen and catastrophic.

by IsaacGol 2008-02-11 01:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

CA goes red? Um. Back in 2000 we had a zillion Bush Ads 24/7 for months. You know what happened. We voted for the Gore. The idea of California going red  for anybody other than a charismatic actor governor is a joke. Arnold Schwarzenegger could take California in a presidential. Nobody else stands a chance in hell.

by Tatarize 2008-02-11 02:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Again, Obama is running against Hillary Clinton. No small player politico last time I checked. the fact that he's wrestling the nomination away from her "inevitable" hands speaks volume of what Obama can accomplish.  Now, Hillary may have a bigger name recognition than Obama for the GE, but if there's one thing I do know is this: As much as the republicans hate McCain, the prospects of Clintons: The sequence, will unite the Republican party. I hope you arent stupid enough to bet against that idea.

BTW, this aint 1992 either.

by AnthonyMason 2008-02-11 03:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

You can't compare a DEM/DEM race to a DEM/GOP race.

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 04:18AM | 0 recs
CA is NOT going red

Anyone who even considers the possibility that CA might vote Republican in November instantly loses all credibility. There is just no chance.

by TimSackton 2008-02-11 04:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?
He'll have to give Ohio independents who haven't been assimilated by the Obama Borg a good reason to vote for him.  "Yes We Can" isn't going to work on them, especially after the Republican
attack machine starts filling in the gaps between his pretty words.
by Upstate Dem 2008-02-11 01:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Republican attack machine? Hmm. Assuming they have any energy/credibility left after eating one of their own, McCain, who, by the way, failed to get a majority of the Republican vote in Arizona. And assuming that Obama won't respond in kind and in time to their attacks a la Kerry. I don't think he will.

by jsedlock 2008-02-11 02:10AM | 0 recs
Clinton would win Arizona against McCain?

As for the battleground states in a McCain and Obama general election, it's a fair question.  

First, Iowa is in the bag.  It went for Bush in 2004.  Take a look at recent poll numbers there for McCain v. Obama.

Then, beyond the usual suspects, I would start with Missouri, Virginia, New Mexico (where Obama tied despite 43% of the state being Latino, he won lots of their votes), Nevada (strong inroads upstate at the caucus), and Colorado.  Those would be my candidates for early attention from Obama.  But it's hard to say where the battlegrounds will be.  I think it's safe to say that we'll be looking at a different map this year.

Plus, I don't think Obama should concede Latinos for a second, and even as the primaries go on, I expect Clinton's lead here to start to erode.  I think he has a great chance of getting those votes against McCain, since they're breaking so heavily Democratic.

Lastly, we need Obama's crossover power in those states you mentioned where there are crucial downticket races.

by psericks 2008-02-11 01:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

The West offers fruitful pickings

Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado. I might note that Montana went for Clinton in 92, that North Dakota was close in 92 and 96. These places are not hot places of reaction as some suppose and they have recently elected some good democrats or already them (Dorgan is a hero of mine). My assumption is that Hillary or Obama will try to get some of those states in play.

by universalist 2008-02-11 01:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I can tell you from the ground in Ohio that Hillary WILL NOT win here. Of everyone I regularly discuss politics with, only one person said that they would vote for her over McCain. I think Missouri holds a much better opportunity for either candidate than Ohio, which is in my eyes not really a swing state (because neither candidate has positioned themselves as a centrist as Bill successfully did). Consider that it was thought to be a swing state in 2000 and 2004 and the Democratic Party wasted millions here. They should invest that money in Florida or Missouri for a better return.

by OTurner 2008-02-11 01:12AM | 0 recs
It was a swing state

in 2004, and it came surprisingly close in 2000 despite Gore not really contesting it.  It's certainly been much closer than Missouri, and the demographics are better.

by jlk7e 2008-02-11 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Jerome,
I don't think he has one. He's running a chicago style machine campaign where winning the primary means that you automatically win the election.

Looking at the electoral college, I don't see how he puts together a winning coalition. SUSA had him tied in MA so he could be running a campaign where he's desperately trying to keep the blue states. And he can't assume that he's going to keep the Kerry states. He probably won't win PA in a general election.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 01:13AM | 0 recs
that was dan hynes argument in 2004...

obama can't win outside of chicago!

that would be senator dan hynes, right?  didn't he beat obama in 2004?  some people just never learn...

by bored now 2008-02-11 01:32AM | 0 recs
Re: that was dan hynes argument in 2004...

I never said he wouldn't carry Il did I? He has some very big demographic problems that would come into play in the general election.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 01:50AM | 0 recs
no, you just repeated the machines argument...

from 4 years ago.  i'm not criticizing your lack of originality, merely the fact that it holds as much water now as it did then.  obama only lost five counties in the state...

by bored now 2008-02-11 02:51AM | 0 recs
Re: no, you just repeated the machines argument...

Against Alan Keyes? LOL.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 03:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

You clearly know nothing about PA, so you should probably just shut up about that because you are embarassing yourself.  PA will vote Democratic this year, period.  Rendell controls the state.  He will deliver PA for either Dem candidate.  Obama will get unprecedented turnout in Philadelphia AND the Philly suburbs, which are quickly trending young, upscale, moderate, and ANTI-war, all of which are right in Obama's demographics.  Did you see all of the suburban House districts that flipped at once last year?  Even a lightwieght milquetoast like Casey won by 20 points over a sitting incumbent Senator.  Neither Obama nor Clinton will struggle with PA.

I won't try to predict what will happen in GA, and you should probably ease off on the PA doom-and-gloom as well.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 04:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Rendell controls Philly as I understand it. The problem Obama is going to have is with the rest of the state. I agree that Philly isn't going to be a problem for him.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 04:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

No, Rendell controls the whole state now.  Besides, half the population is in Philly and the Philly suburbs, which ANY Democrat will win at least 2/3 of.  Again, stick to GA, dude.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 04:52AM | 0 recs
Spin

That's a nice piece of spin from the Obama camp, but of course it has no relation to the general election.

If you think that a Democrat will win Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, Georgia or South Carolina, I've got a bridge in Manhattan you might be interested in.

Realistic swing states are Iowa, Ohio, Florida. With Colorado, Missouri and Virginia as a possible 2nd tier of swing states.

So if Obama wants to make the case that he has a better chance of winning, he'll have to show that he can do better in those states. I'm certainly open to that argument, but so far I don't see it.

In any case, though, any Democrat has a good base to work from: Democrats are fired up and will go out and vote. Republicans aren't enthusiastic at all currently.

by Frank 2008-02-11 01:14AM | 0 recs
florida is not realistic...

it is an expensive media state that is difficult to organize and in which you have a democratic party that is not only deeply divided but actually self-destructive.  write off florida, folks, it's not gonna happen (how many people from that state say that?)...

by bored now 2008-02-11 01:37AM | 0 recs
Re: florida is not realistic...

So much for the 50 state strategy eh? Obama's already writing off swing states?

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 01:54AM | 0 recs
nice strawman.,..

feel free to show where i've said that obama can or should compete in all 50 states.  florida isn't a swing state right now.  fools may rush in, but only because they don't know what they are getting into.

if you're actually interested in honesty, try arguig with what i write (or have written) instead of the stuff you make up...

by bored now 2008-02-11 02:54AM | 0 recs
Re: nice strawman.,..

As someone who votes in, grew up in, family lives in Florida, I can tell you it is the perfect swing state. You are right about one thing though, Obama can write it off. From his stances on gun control to Cuba to seating their delegates he has killed his chances in the GE.

Hillary Clinton however, runs very strong here. If clinton is our nominee, Florida is in play; as is Michigan. Together they hold 210 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

by americanincanada 2008-02-11 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: nice strawman.,..

210?  LOL.  Try 44.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: nice strawman.,..

Sorry about that...I as adding more of her big states together on another board. 44 is correct.

by americanincanada 2008-02-11 09:22AM | 0 recs
you must be from dade, broward or hillsborough...

because you are completely clueless.  i keep coming back to that poll done by wesh that showed that sam brownback could beat hillary in the i-4 corridor.  yeah, she's oh so strong in florida.  does anybody even remember when sam brownback was in the race?

so i'm sure you're right, for the counties that democrats -- any democrat -- win.  hillary probably is stronger there, especially given the fact that floridians don't really know barack.

but hillary has the highest negatives in the key part of the state, the i-4 corridor and her hand-picked candidates have won a whooping 1 out of 5 in the state.  maybe you were thinking of canada?

by bored now 2008-02-11 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: hillsborough...

Hillsborough is correct, Tampa to be specific. Last time I checked we were part of the I-4.

by americanincanada 2008-02-11 09:18AM | 0 recs
it's also a clinton stronghold...

no question about it.  alex and her husband (two of the candidates the clintons backed) both hail from there (as does another one of their backed candidates).  you are spot on about hillary's strength there.  and, yes, you do have i-4 going through your area, but hillsborough is less connected politically to the swing nature of what is called the i-4 corridor (politically).  it's a reliably democratic area, with the only republican office holders i can think of closer to polk county than to tampa.  but, again, you are spot on about hillary's strength there...

by bored now 2008-02-11 10:00AM | 0 recs
Ummmmm

He's already won 3 of the states you listed.

by moreaxe 2008-02-11 07:17PM | 0 recs
Another biased post, but I will bite....

Obama will win the exact same way he is winning the Democratic primaries/caucuses.  He will bring out a lot fo first time voters and win over independants.

Fact is, the democratic party is pissed at the Republicans.  I don't think there will be a single problem motivating the base to vote against him.  Kerry was able to motivate the base in 2004, getting the second most votes in the history of the United States.  Unfortunately, he lost the independants to Bush.

Obama has brought out tons of first time voters, specifically in colleges.  I remember going into Iowa everybody was saying he couldn't win because it was Jan 3rd and all the students were not in class yet.  Well, he still won with the help of a TON of young voters.  Fact is, Obama inspires them while Clinton doesn't.

Not to mention the fact that Clinton doesn't have high approval numbers with independants.  In all of the open primaries Barack beats her by like 20% among independants.  Barack has a good shot at winning these people compared to Hilary.

Not to mention, if Hillary is the nominee, whe will be the biggest motivation for the Republican base to turn out, more than McCain ever could be.  Barack doesn't get the hatred and I have a hard time seeing James Dobson emphatically saying McCain would be a great president.  I can see him telling his flock that they need to vote against the antichrist Hillary.

So in closing, I think Barack can bring out more than enough new voters and winning independants to win the Kerry states along with Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia and Florida.  I think it will be a landslide.  Just look at whom the senators from red states are endorsing??  Who do they want at the top of thier ticket??

by jalby 2008-02-11 01:16AM | 0 recs
Polls...

Usefull when you want statistics to prove your point.  

Dems versus McCain
7 poll average

McCain 46.6%  Clinton 45.0%
McCain 43.7%  Obama 47.0%

In EVERY SINGLE POLL, Obama does better against McCain the Clinton.

by jalby 2008-02-11 01:21AM | 0 recs
but in many key states

he does worse than Clinton against McCain:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/2/8/16244 4/6623

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-11 03:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Polls...

Exactly. For quite some time the numbers have shown McCain as the strongest Republican candidate in a general election and Obama as the strongest Democratic opponent against McCain. As long as those numbers hold true I will leave the rest up to the wonks and the hacks...

by jim in austin 2008-02-11 04:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, North Dakota, Missouri, Virginia.  That's for starters.

And given the way Dems have been turning out this year, and the hatred of McCain by the Republican base, you could see Obama take a lot more than that.

As for Hispanics?  They're sure as hell not going to vote for McCain over Obama.

by thereisnospoon 2008-02-11 01:17AM | 0 recs
I'll give you Iowa

Iowans like Obama, and McCain has hardly ever campaigned here.

But give me a break. Once the hate machine stars educating people about Obama's voting record on gun control and other divisive issues, do you really think he has a chance in those states?

OH will be a steep climb for him. More worrisome for me is PA.

We need to write off FL if we put up Obama against McCain. Obama runs behind Clinton among seniors, Latinos, and Jews.

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-11 03:49AM | 0 recs
you need to write off florida regardless...

barack won't win the gun vote, but what democrat would?  and barack has been much more successful at minimizing wedge issues than any other democrat in this century.  i see no reason (yet) why this won't continue...

by bored now 2008-02-11 05:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

With McCain as the nominee you can forget about AZ turning blue for either Dem candidate.

Some company needs to conduct state by state GE match up polling like Rasmussen was last year. Those polls showed that while Hillary wasn't the strongest in national polling she was the candidate most likely to win 270+ electoral votes because she would flip Arkansas and Ohio and put a few other red states in play. Everyone needs to stop paying attention to the national GE polling as long as we still have an electoral college.

I have yet to see anything that suggests Obama can break 270. Dem primary vote turnout in some red states looks good, but they will still be red in November.

by Mr Man 2008-02-11 01:18AM | 0 recs
clinton thinks she can win...

arizona and florida against mccain?  is it possible to find out what she was smoking, because it must have been some great stuff?

the folly on arizona should be obvious.  sure, democrats are doing better there in recent years, but clinton's vaunted political machine can't even take out lil ole obama, let alone arizona's favorite son.  this is a senator who has consistently had had one of the highest job approval ratings among senators in his (or her) state.

the clintons have been trying to organize florida forever.  well, they (finally) elected alex.  but that was for a seat no one cares about and for which she was perfectly qualified.  1 out of 5 ain't bad, right?  anybody want to ask how many republicans and democrats took ballots in the state?  like i said, clinton must have some great shit!

i don't have a clue what obama's general election strategy is.  the one thing about obama is that he doesn't look past the next election.  strangely, though, he was asked about how he could win "downstate" illinois when he came before the ivi-ipo endorsement session.  he said then that he would "run everywhere" -- which isn't the same as running everywhere in the electoral college -- and earn people's votes in the red counties.  my relations in rock hard republican taylorville said they saw and heard more from obama than they did of any of the republican candidates.

part of obama's strategy in 2004 was stretching the field.  another part of it was dominating the message and coverage of the race.  obama used his friendships in the state senate as local reconnaissance for media and issues quite successfully.  he had a rather interesting ability to pull information out of them and then conjure up their voices when talking to local media about local issues.  needless to say, this went over quite well with the downstate press that feels neglected in illinois politics.

another oft-overlooked strength was the obama campaign's successful use of oppo to, well, destroy the opposition in 2004.  in his u.s. senate race, he used oppo successfully against his four main opponents (two democrats and two republicans) that left those campaigns confused, off message and disoriented.  not only was the obama himself successful in "pulling the trigger" (something the clintons refused to do against gingrich, if i understand their knowledge of gingrich's affair correctly), but he continually did so without leaving his fingerprints on it.  yep, the media loves obama, and he's not afraid to use that power for his own (or, quite frankly, other's) electoral success.

hailing from florida, i'm not so stupid as to think that any democrat is likely to win the state without a massive infusion of resources into it.  but i would imagine that obama takes the kerry states plus iowa, new mexico, maine, ohio, missouri, colorado and stretches the field in mississippi, alabama and montana.  obama actually adds votes to hillary's coalition.  women won't be lost to democrats because of the threat of the supreme court hanging over their heads.  electing a women, in that sense, is only an extra.  and latinos just don't know barack yet; when they do, they will be as excited as the rest of party.  add to that a much greater turnout among young people, african americans and independents (that hillary is destined to lose to mccain).  it's a much broader, stronger and more appealing coalition of voters that again stretches the map and wins for democrats...

by bored now 2008-02-11 01:20AM | 0 recs
Re: clinton thinks she can win...

Obama's '04 election teaches nothing.  That is, unless McCain has been frequenting french sex clubs with his wife.

by dhonig 2008-02-11 03:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

He stands next to McCain in a debate.

by beanbagz 2008-02-11 01:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

It would be ageist to suggest that voters won't vote for the ole windbag if they see him next to Obama. But it is fair to suggest that the taller candidate usually wins.

by Woody 2008-02-11 07:37PM | 0 recs
Worst case minimalist victory

Obama takes NJ, NY, and all of New England. DE, MD, DC, and Virginia. Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin. Out west he takes California, Oregon, and Washington. And Hawaii. Add Missouri, Colorado, and Virginia.

Total: 271 delegates

That's losing Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida and not winning a single mountain or southwest state other than Colorado.

by joejoejoe 2008-02-11 01:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Worst case minimalist victory

Oops...I wrote Virginia twice but only counted it once for electoral votes so the scenario above is accurate.

by joejoejoe 2008-02-11 01:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Worst case minimalist victory

there is almost no doubt colorado will turn blue if obama's the nominee

by Soltare 2008-02-11 01:35AM | 0 recs
Big resources in Senate races

I'm sure whoever the nominee is they will pour big resources into NM, CO, and VA because they have GOP Senate seats in play in winnable states. I also think SD and MT will are targets of opportunity because of Tim Johnson's recovery (a good story, voters lap that up) and MT has a Democratic Governor and two Dem Sens (Baucus up for re-election) -- no reason it shouldn't be in play for President.

by joejoejoe 2008-02-11 01:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

bullshit, the evidence that they will turn blue is that democratic turnout in a lot of them is 2-1 in favor of the democrats.

the repubs have no excitement and a dissatisfied base.
 the democrats have a charismatic leader in obama who turns out the base like no other, and pulls in moderates and indies.

not to mention he seems made of teflon, what scandal is gonna stick on him? rezko? how long has that been out and nothing.

rezko is a joke.

by Soltare 2008-02-11 01:34AM | 0 recs
republicans will be very excited if hillary...

is the nominee.  hillary hatred, as her supporters love to point out, is rampant not only in the democratic party, but even stronger among independents and the gop!  nothing energizes the conservative base like running against a clinton...

by bored now 2008-02-11 01:40AM | 0 recs
Re: republicans will be very excited if hillary...

nothing energizes the conservative base like running against a clinton...
except running against a Gore or a Kerry.  C'mon!  You know GWB got the #1 and #4 popular vote totals in history.  They know how to raise their base, period.  No matter who the Dem is.

BTW, bored now, I like your choice of screen id.

by joeltpatterson 2008-02-11 04:16AM | 0 recs
States off the table

Obama won't have to spend any money in a lot of the swing states where Kerry had to work: WA, OR, WI, MN, Maybe NH as well. The only big defense is PA.

That means he can concentrate his resources on OH, IA, MO, VA, FL, CO, and NV. Maybe NC, GA, and SC if he has the resources. We don't have enough polling to know how this will shake out; I think there was one that showed IA big for Obama, so maybe MO is his next best bet.

by niq 2008-02-11 01:35AM | 0 recs
Obama would win...

because of the unprecedented number of under 50 year olds and African Americans who will Crash the Gate.  Republican turnout will be depressed.  Obama will eat into suburban and Midwest small town/rural evangelicals.  

In States: Iowa, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado.  If things start to landslide, then fantasies include Georgia, Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina and Louisana.

Why would someone under 50 years old vote for McCain?  

by mboehm 2008-02-11 01:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama would win...

It also helps that McCain has pulled so far to the right in the primary. He is VERY easy to paint as Bush's third term. Couple that with his youth, freshness, energy, and charisma, his voting record and stance against Iraq from the beginning, and you will see a crushing defeat for the Republicans.

Obama wins this by winning big. By the time this thing is over Clinton will have lost at least 3/5ths of the United States to Obama. That doesn't really bode well for her.

by beanbagz 2008-02-11 01:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama would win...

i'd say georgia, and lousiani are in play do to blacks, and Kansas gets a favored sone mention.

at the very least oabam can keep it very competative in these states and it clearly looks like obama's gonna have the money advantage, his fundraising is through the roof

moreover, with teh clintons at his back doing bundlers...

by Soltare 2008-02-11 01:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama would win...

Blacks are 1/3 of the population here in GA. It is not in play for Obama. He'd be lucky to get Kerry's numbers down here and the last poll I saw had him down by 30 pts to McCain.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 01:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I have to say I'm disappointed in this site's bias in favor of Clinton. It's become clear in diary after diary (particularly you and Beeton) that you are shilling for Clinton. It's not really even subtle anymore.

Through the years I have come to this site for unbiased assessments of political situations. - Numbers and analysis of those numbers. Kos is repetitive in shilling for Obama and pointing out how republicans suck. MYDD used to be the oasis away from that. Not really anymore.

You guys are biased and backing the wrong horse. He can win the general election through the reasons listed above by previous posters, chiefly: he will grab independents wanting something new, the repubs don't know how to attack him, and conservatives would come out in droves to vote against Clinton.  

by thirdeye99 2008-02-11 01:39AM | 0 recs
Everyone's biased

That's the point of political discussions such as we have here.  

Beeton and Armstrong have viewpoints they tend to defend with credible evidence.  That you don't like their stances is no sign of bias to the point of dissembling.  If the site is not giving you what you want, contribute more or move on.

by Trond Jacobsen 2008-02-11 04:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Seriously. I used to make this my de facto site to study the numbers and see good analysis. Even in the primaries when there was a great deal of individual candidate diaries, it was at least balanced. Not anymore. It's difficult to read it now, knowing that every poll has to be filtered through the lens of NOT assuming Obama will lose.

by vcalzone 2008-02-11 04:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I came to MyDD for two years its even analyses until December, when Jerome started writing shit piece after shit piece after shit piece on Obama. It died down recently but is starting up, again.

If you look at the rec list here, you'll find that pretty much everything is about how Obama is a faux liberal.

Take a look at what he was writing in December and January, Kos was NOT shilling for Obama. He's supporting Obama now, but he's relatively evenhanded about it.

by Nautilator 2008-02-11 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

The idea that Obama is less electable than Hillary in the general is not well-founded. From where I sit it is quite apparent that Obama attracts a diverse following that crosses demographic lines, including red/blue and ethnic lines. I see it in my family, my friends, and it's apparent at his rallies and in the broad base of his political and financial support. A majority of this country is not rabidly partisan, even in the present red states (some of which weren't red as recently as the '90s).

Hillary, on the other hand, mobilizes the red base to vote against her, and I fail to see how she sees any greater demographic advantage over McCain than does Obama. Republicans (many of whom would vote for Obama over McCain) will come out in droves to vote against Hillary, and at the same time will lend their support to local candidates. If you want to see bigger Republican numbers in the legislatures (state and national), vote for Hillary.

Obama's coalition? How about the unprecedented number of individual donors? How about the enthusiastic support of individual voters, which quite clearly is far beyond any other candidate in either party, with standing-room only crowds at every rally, in every state he visits.

I get a bit weary of poorly-conceived arguments against Obama, eg., he's a good talker with no policy or real plans, he's not progressive enough, his followers are a cult, etc. I say take the time to read and understand his policies. To me they appear for the most part to be progressive and pragmatic. And as far as questioning whether he has a plan, give him at least a little credit for performance to date. Seems like his plans are working out pretty well. And as for the "cult-of-personality" complaint, I think people are justifiably enthusiastic about an excellent candidate. There will always be a few bad apples, flamers, etc. in any group.

I also agree with a poster above that this blog doesn't seem even-handed in it's treatment of Clinton vs Obama. Always excellent coverage of the electoral mechanics, but seems like Hillary is always being promoted.

by tractor 2008-02-11 01:45AM | 0 recs
The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'

From where I sit it is quite apparent that Obama attracts a diverse following that crosses demographic lines, including red/blue and ethnic lines. I see it in my family, my friends, and it's apparent at his rallies and in the broad base of his political and financial support.

tractor, I seriously doubt your friends and family are the perfect sample, demographically, for the universe of American voters.

Get some polling data to make your argument.  Otherwise you're like New York Times film critic Pauline Kael in 1972:  "How could Nixon have won?  Nobody I know voted for him!"

by joeltpatterson 2008-02-11 04:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Let's start with Obama holding the states that John Kerry won in 2004, which is 251 electoral votes.

Obama made an impression in Iowa and I believe he can turn it back blue. A Democratic governor and his  bordering state connection helps here.  Add 7 electoral votes, now at 258

Obama has done well in New Mexico without a Richardson endorsement.  Richardson will certainly campaign heavily for Obama whether or not he (Richardson) is on the ticket and with heavy turnout for Senate and House vacancies, I think it turns blue again.  Add 5 electoral votes, now at 263

Obama narrowly won Missouri, which raises the question of whose endorsement meant more:  Kennedy or McCaskill?  (I think the latter.)  With incumbent Republican governor not seeking re-election and Democratic candidate doing well, African-American and college town support and same neighboring state connection, I think Obama can squeeze out a victory here.  Add 11 electoral votes, now at 274 and he is the 44th president.

Beyond this scenario, there is no question that Colorado and my state, Virginia, will be in play.  He will have won both primaries and with Mark Warner running for Senate here (and winning big I might add) and Tim Kaine and Jim Webb behind him, I see a good chance that Virginia turns blue.

The scenario for Obama's election is alot clearer to me than a scenario for Hillary Clinton.  Not only do I think she will have trouble holding all of Kerry's states, but she would not be able to turn Iowa and she would probably lose Missouri.  

Obama's the man to win...no question about it!

by Blue Va Jeff 2008-02-11 01:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Jerome's calculations and predictions have been wrong (and in favor of clinton) so often that they have nbo credibility whatsoever.

after all she won maine, amirite?

by Soltare 2008-02-11 01:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Yeah, but he's not calculating anything. He's just parroting today's article by liberal columnist Robert Novak.

by beanbagz 2008-02-11 01:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Yes  asking about the GE strategy of our candidates is a well known right wing frame.

by bruh21 2008-02-11 04:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?
Oh puuuuleeeezzze! Even a couple of triangulating lightweights like Obama & Clinton can beat McCain. McCain is boring, creepy, and just horrid on the stump.
It's funny, no matter how many states Obama keeps winning in the primary, no matter how many different demographics he keeps winning over...there are always some Clinton supporters to say his wins haven't been "serious" enough.
I'm not even a huge Obama fan, but the guy is bringing voters out by the droves, he draws tens of thousands to almost every campaign stop. Gimmie a break.
by astronautagogo 2008-02-11 01:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?
Here's the problem many have with Obama:
He has yet to prove that he can win a demographically diverse state in a primary outside his home state.
by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 02:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Clinton has also failed to prove that she can win such a state, in an election in which both Republicans and Democrats all vote.

by seand 2008-02-11 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Um, yeah she had a lot of Republicans vote for her in 2000. I'll concede that her 2006 reelection was a joke much like Obama's 2004 senate campaign.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 04:37AM | 0 recs
she underperformed in 2004...

that rock ribbed republican al gore got more votes than her.  now, i don't know about you, but if you voted for gore and hillary, i wouldn't count you as a republican...

by bored now 2008-02-11 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

All due respect Jerome, but you're being disingenuous. Obama is going to get the same votes Hillary does (except, apparently, yours) and he'll get the votes of Independents and Republicans that she will not get. The Latino vote? That's not the key to winning. But even if it would, I have a hard time believing that they'll vote for the party of Tom Tancredo.

I have heard Clinton's [strategy] many times, and its been played out in the Democratic nomination battle...

Yes. Well. How's that working out for her?

I really only have a single issue: winning.

Obama, from here, looks like a winner. Hillary, from here, looks like a loser. Things can happen, but cut the guy some slack, OK? What does he have to do to impress you, anyway?

by arubyan 2008-02-11 02:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I'm not sure he can do anything to impress them. Their opinions are based on demographic information, and how do you argue with that?

by vcalzone 2008-02-11 04:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

It is worth noting that this is the same losing strategy that was followed ever since Bill Clinton won office. Up until Howard Dean and the netroots changed it and won in 2006. Obama is using that WINNING strategy.

by vcalzone 2008-02-11 04:18AM | 0 recs
ohio

ohio is for the dems to lose in '08. I don't think hrc has a distinct advantage over obama here. the economy has been shattered and distrust of the gop is very high. one ad showing mccain admit that he knows nothing about the economy should close the deal.

by highgrade 2008-02-11 02:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?
Barak's appeal becomes broader as people get to know him.
Hill's becomes more tepid as people listen to her.
The premise of this post is a flawed exercise in the anger stage of acceptance. Barak is simply the more appealing progressive candidate and, really, isn't it time we begin to embrace this?
by throco 2008-02-11 02:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

The Republican "respect" for Obama will not preclude them from eviscerating him with 527 ads, however.

The word of the year 2008 will be "Obamamania".

After Obamamania fades after the Democratic convention, the word of 2009 will be "Gerontocracy".

by Bob H 2008-02-11 02:33AM | 0 recs
yeah, talking about that strip of property...

sure will turn off those high-fallutin republican voters!  or maybe they'll talk about barack's church some more; that will sure turn off social conservatives!

oh, wait -- i know!  they'll criticize barack for being against the war before he was for it!  right.  we ought to be afraid of nominating barack as opposed to nominating the most polarizing politician in the country today who offers a target rich environment that not only makes democrats appear corrupt but reinforces public impressions of hillary.  maybe hillary has some more pink dresses that she can pull out to concede the white house to mccain...

by bored now 2008-02-11 03:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Every state.  

Obama has shown a grassroots ability to organize in every state.  Republicans will target 10 states and Obama will target some states as well while hitting everywhere else with his grassroots ability.

Much like Feb 5th where he was way behind and yet managed to win based on superior volunteer organizing.

The question of "Where, which state?" is a question from democrats who have repeatedly lost elections which they should have won easily because they are massively out of touch with the American public (especially in red states).

by TerraFF 2008-02-11 02:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

in short the strategy is:

Target More States and run a true national campaign.  Not a 50 state strategy, but a national campaign.

by howardpark 2008-02-11 02:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Yes, we can carry Virginia.  

Are you one of the people who thinks the Jim Webb or Tim Kaine campaign was a waste of time?

by howardpark 2008-02-11 02:43AM | 0 recs
Webb and Obama

Webb is a conservative with deep military ties (former Secretary of Navy). He was running against a guy, Allen, who made an overtly racist remark, tried to cover it up, and then had it come out on video tape.

Obama would have none of that in his favor running against McCain.

In addition, with all that he had that Obama won't have, Webb won by so few votes that the Republicans had the right to ask for a recount.

I think VA would be very tough for Obama (or Clinton, for that matter, to win).

by freemansfarm 2008-02-11 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Webb and Obama

And Governor Kaine of Virginia, who endorsed Obama, why did he win? Oh and Senator Warner. This is nonsense about Obama not winning states he is crushing in really is old.

by inexile 2008-02-11 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

100 years in Iraq is soooo independent. More more wars is so much change I can hardly stand it. "Bomb Bomb Bomb - Bomb Bomb Iran" is a policy Indies can get behind.

McCain's Surge is working I tell you!!! Working! So is his election surge. Republicans so dont want this man, because Independents want more war, a lot more war! War on their Wheaties, war on the phone, war in the halftime show!

BTW, cough, this is sarcasm.

The polls all show Obama beating McCain ---Already!

70 to 30 folks -- Clinton is going to be a great Senator, the Senator of Universal HealthCare - Obama is going to wrap this and drive drive drive to a January 20th swearing in.

The 'attempt' to create an issue around the man ahead in the polls is silly.

by inexile 2008-02-11 02:43AM | 0 recs
Pretty obvious...

I mean he has no chance in a place like Montana, where we have a Democratic Senator and a Democratic governor.  So he has no chance in North Dakota, where he may be the only candidate to campaign.

Everyone was wondering how in the heck Obama was going to put together any sort of strategy to beat Clinton.  He's ahead in pledged delegates (I still can't figure out why CNN manages to allocate all of the California delegates but only 1/3 of the Colorado ones, but maybe I'm a moron).  He will still carry all the states Kerry carried - California, Mass, New York, New Jersey - those states aren't suddenly going to become Red states because they liked Clinton marginally better.

But look at Kansas.  Democratic Governor, Republican party in Disarray, McCain gets slammed by the locals, and Obama crushes Clinton.  Hillary would never campaign there; Obama has.

South Carolina?  Combine a Republican electorate that flat-out doesn't care with a super-energized Democratic base.  Is it a shoo-in for Obama?  No.  But is it within the realm of possibility?  Sure.

Virginia?  Obama appeals much more to the Kaine/Webb supporters than Hillary.  Plus in a 50%+1 strategy like Clinton has, she'll never set foot here.

This ignores states like Iowa or Ohio who could flip as well just because they're swing states.

If It's Obama vs. McCain, the question isn't whether Obama wins, it's whether he breaks 400 EV's.

-Fred

by FredFred 2008-02-11 02:46AM | 0 recs
Oh and Hill fired her campaign manager.

by inexile 2008-02-11 02:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh and Hill fired her campaign manager.

Her campaign manager stepped down, she was not fired. That is media spin. Patti will remain with the campaign as a senior advisor and will be traveling with Hillary.

by americanincanada 2008-02-11 09:24AM | 0 recs
The polls of Obama v. McCain right now mean zero..

I have to laugh when I see the polls recited about how well Obama will do against McCain in a general.  Let's have some facts here:

1.  Obama's had a pretty easy ride so far in the press.  By and large, there's been no real vetting of him. A lot of cheerleading (e.g. MSNBC), but that won't last.  He will be heavily scrutinized if he becomes the nominee.  

2.  There's been NO defining him by the GOP yet.  McCain is a known quantity.  Clinton is a known quantity.  Obama can (and will) be negatively defined by the GOP.

3.  Despite the naivete that is suggesting that Americans hate the war so much that they'll never elect a Republican president, here's another flash:  MOST Americans are not ideologues.  And they still want someone who can be considered competent on matters of national defense.  Obama's at a very serious disadvantage here.  Simply saying "I was against the war" isn't going to cut it against McCain.   McCain has supported the war, but he was very critical early on about Rumsfeld's failure to adequately bring enough troops into the theater.  Given that it's been demonstrated that superior numbers of troops can have a positive impact on the war effort, many people will see his criticism and judgment as correct.  Additionally, the economy is now eclipsing the war as the topmost issue on voters' minds.  When money is already tight, no one wants to hear about higher taxes to push progressive causes.  It's a losing argument right now.    

It's pretty amazing that Clinton, for all the so-called negatives against her, does just about as well as Obama vs. McCain, and she's had TONS of dirt thrown at her over the years.  He's had zip.  That free ride is going to end quickly once the GE campaigning starts.  

by DaTruth 2008-02-11 02:48AM | 0 recs
some good points

but:
do u honestly believe that the hrc campaign didn't try their best to uncover any negative info there may be on obama? maybe rezko is it?

second, I keep hearing about being able to define your opponent, but it seems to me that you're only "defining" what his/her opponents probably already believe. a lot of people had already believed, before 2000 that gore was a socially inept, robotic exaggerator - whether it was true or not. kerry was considered a bit of a flake, and a bit pedantic. the swiftboating worked only because of his team's inept response. right now the narrative is that obama is a decent and even inspiring guy that doesn't engender hatred even from those that oppose him politically. n the other hand the dems are already branding mccain as bush redux. its not a bad position to be in right now.

on the economy, I think that mccain is on the shakiest of ground. simply put, the gop will go into this election having been at the helm of an economy in recession and in the middle of a terrible housing crisis. best of all, mccain pretty much admitted he lnows nothing about economic matters.

war: even if conditions do improve, I don't think that it will cause the people to think that 1) it was right to go in there at the first place and 2) that we need to be gearing up for another new war in Iran. there is polling data out that suggests many people in the country believe that our recession is directly tied to the war in iraq.    

by highgrade 2008-02-11 04:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

There is no plan.  Please pass the Obama Kool-Aid.  I'm thirsty.

by krj47 2008-02-11 02:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

A lot of optimism from the Obama supporters, but not as much analysis. I've long thought VA was a GE possibility for Obama, but against McCain he will have a real problem with voters aligned with the military. This is true across the south, but particularly in VA. I'm not sure why MO is a favorite target, Kerry lost by over 200k votes and Obama relied on urban St. Louis to win the primary, does not bode well for the general.

Iowa I can see, he's got anti-war Dems and he may win some Republican evangelicals from McCain, especially if he keeps de-emphasizing culture issues like choice. I suspect softer stances on culture issues are key to his strategy, just as religious imagery is key to his appeal in the primary. With women's and gay rights taking a lower profile in his campaign he may be able to erode theocon support for McCain nationwide, while helping him with socially conservative African Americans and Latinos. That kind of coalition would put Ohio and maybe Colorado in play. This would be an interesting reversal for Republicans; racism, specifically evangelical universities losing tax exempt status because of segregation, created the theocon movement.

Obama can't afford to explain this strategy in the primary, it would look like a betrayal of Democratic base groups.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 02:53AM | 0 recs
i wrote an entry longer than the original post...

but there's not much analysis?  obama can't explain it in the primary because i seriously doubt they have formulated a general election strategy.  i would think you would know better than to look past the next election.  barack certainly has learned this lesson.

if obama beats hillary, he's the giant killer.  hillary has yet to live up to expectations -- expectations she and her campaign created.  i'm pretty sure i'd rather be barack than hillary right now...

by bored now 2008-02-11 03:03AM | 0 recs
Re: i wrote an entry longer than the original post

Not much does not mean none. Blue Va Jeff made a case, you and Fred Fred give it a try. But your analysis is more retrospective, you don't engage Jerome's question about an electoral vote strategy. For the most part the remaining Obama posts attack Jerome for asking and attack Hillary rather than attempt to make any electoral vote case for Obama.

I am absolutely certain Obama has a GE strategy, he himself stated that he did not enter the contest until he had a plan to win. What I've proposed is speculation based on Obama's statements and campaign themes.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 03:17AM | 0 recs
Re: i wrote an entry longer than the original post

I think he meant he had a plan to win the primary not the general election. I'm not seeing anything that he's doing playing out well in the general.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 03:35AM | 0 recs
Re: i wrote an entry longer than the original post

I think he meant a plan to win the presidency. Hence  Obama's tacking to the right in the primaries.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 03:40AM | 0 recs
well i couldn't tell what his primary strategy was

so i sure can't say what his general election strategy is.  i do think they want to stretch the electoral map -- and good oppo invariably tells us that candidates run the same campaign over and over -- but until we know if barack will stick to the pledge to take public monies, i would be loath to guess at what states he would go after.  it would be a lot easier for barack to stretch the map with unlimited funds than the pittance we designate for presidential elections...

by bored now 2008-02-11 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

From a national popular vote perspective, Obama could win 52 percent of thevote with 45 percent of the white vote.  He could get there, Hillary could not.  I would say 42-43 percent tops, putting the election on a Gore Versus Bush razor's edge.  So that is the metric I am working with, and keep in mind that number has to be higher in Ohio, as it is more white than the nation as a whole.

by Todd Bennett 2008-02-11 03:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I had to scroll all the way down here to see an attempt at answering the question. I wonder if in the GE the answer to every question will be "well Hillary would have been worse" as it is now to the questions one has about Obama? I am really starting to get annoyed with this approach to analysis. It answers nothing and stirs up al ot of heat for no good reason.

by bruh21 2008-02-11 04:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

How has Obama divided the Party? because he stood in the way of the "inevitable" Hillary?

by AnthonyMason 2008-02-11 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Sure seems that way to me. How dare he draw votes in an election!

by Mullibok 2008-02-11 04:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

He has divided the party by having his campaign imply that Bill and Hillary Clinton are racists.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 04:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

When did his campaign do that? I'm sure you have a quote right?

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

see here.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Yeah. I've dealt with that already but I'll say it one more time. Pointing out the racially-tinged attacks by the HRC campaign does not mean that the BHO campaign was using race. It means that they were responding to race attacks.

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 05:58AM | 0 recs
barack's a late adopter on that one...

as much as whites may not want to deal with it, bill opened that wound, and blaming barack isn't going to change it or make it better.  the offense that some african americans took to their words was real, and long before barack acknowledged it.  quite frankly, it is bill's job to heal the wounds he's caused here, on both sides of the racial divide.  no one can convince me that he was that stupid to not understand how or why his words would play in the black community.  jack and jill have made a strong case for too many coincidences.  democrats have to stop taking the black vote for granted...

by bored now 2008-02-11 05:10AM | 0 recs
For chrissakes Jerome...

A few weeks ago you had no idea how he was going to knock off Clinton, and even an objective observer should be able to tell he now has a 60%-65% chance to win the nomination at least

I see a few scenarios which could happen.

1.  Obama versus McCain puts a lot of the south in play - if only because a fair number of wingnuts won't turn out for McCain.  I'd say Virginia and North Carolina might actually swing our way this time.

2.  He could have great appeal to moderate republicans and conservatives in the plains states and out west.  

What ever happened to the 50-state strategy?  Obama has a message that finds some level of resonance throughout the country.  I don't think he needs to micro-target the states, just be potentially competitive with McCain everywhere and see what happens.  

Honestly, your posting this seems incredibly irresponsible at this point in time.  Like it or not, Obama is slightly favored to win the election (though I don't count Clinton out just yet).  It's one thing to criticize someone on policy, but do you really want to help build the meme that the likely nominee "just can't win?"  How does that help to elect more and better democrats?  Shouldn't you be building up Clinton instead?  

by telephasic 2008-02-11 03:14AM | 0 recs
Re: For chrissakes Jerome...

No way in the south.  You overestimate the effect of African American voters (they were already VERY motivated in '04) and overestimate the effect of Obama's virulent anti-gun stance.

by dhonig 2008-02-11 03:26AM | 0 recs
McCain isn't exactly trusted...

by the gun-nut contingent.  

by telephasic 2008-02-11 04:07AM | 0 recs
AA turnout

If you look at exit polls, AAs turned out at a much lower rate than whites in 2004. If Obama drives turnout to parity, that makes much of the south competitive. I did some quick analysis based on Georgia (where Kerry won 23% of the white vote): assuming that Obama holds Kerry's margin with the white vote, and wins 95% of the AA vote, then all he needs to do to make GA competitive is turn out the AA vote at the same rate as the white vote (38% of whites and 30% of AA voted in 2004; if turnout where 38%/38%, it would be something like 51-49 McCain, clearly competitive, even without taking into account that McCain is pretty unpopular in the South).

by TimSackton 2008-02-11 05:00AM | 0 recs
Just substitute a few words

She'll take an unprecedented high level of MEN, YOUNG PEOPLE, INDEPENDENT VOTERS and AFRICAN AMERICAN SUPER(DUPER)-majorities (BECAUSE OF INCREASED TURNOUT), not to mention winning almost all (or nearly all) the states that John Kerry or Al Gore won, and add in: Georgia, Virginia, Missouri, Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado.

GThe idea that Clinton is going to easily win Florida or Arizona is no more of a joke than the idea that Obama is going to easily win Georgia or Virginia. All four would be hard-fought battles.

by thenew 2008-02-11 03:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Just substitute a few words

Obviously, should be "he'll take"

by thenew 2008-02-11 03:16AM | 0 recs
I don't believe anything Jerome says anymore

He was wrong on many of his previous points.

by puma 2008-02-11 03:17AM | 0 recs
I quit reading

about the time you listed John McCain's home state as one Clinton would win.

Tell me again who's smoking something?

by zonk 2008-02-11 03:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I think the strategy is obvious.  The point about citing these large red state victories by Obama is not to argue that those particular states will vote Democratic in the fall - they won't.  The point is that Obama is getting Independents to vote for him all over the country, and is also generating enthusiastic turnout levels.  There are a number of important swing states in this election, as there were in 2000 and 2004, and the results in those states will be determined by how Independents vote, and by turnout.  Democrats will vote for him enthusiastically, but these crossover votes will put him over the top in the key swing states.

Clinton has shown no such ability to collect Independent voters.  And she can't get her supporters to turn out and support her publicly in caucus states.  One gathers her support beyond a limited hard core is weak and unenthusiastic.  Polls also show she hits a very firm electoral ceiling, a ceiling which is not going to go away due to the fact that she is already very well-known to the public.  She also doesn't poll as doing well in a head-to-head with McCain.

by Dan Kervick 2008-02-11 03:25AM | 0 recs
The poll as well and the media

have lost their objectivity.  The poll in CA came to mind.  I don't trust the poll anymore.

by JoeySky18 2008-02-11 03:35AM | 0 recs
Re: The poll as well and the media

No they haven't... most of the CA polls didn't take early voting numbers into account and had a LV model with less latinos.  That's not losing objectivity, thats using a bad polling model.

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-11 03:44AM | 0 recs
Ugly fight would sap all the momentum out of the

Democratic Party


And create the largest generation of turned off voters in the history of the Party.

Please think about what you are doing. Clinton has no path to the nomination that doesn't go through a breaking of the rules and a crisis of validity.

Think about what you are doing. If it is really your intent to bring HRC almost to the nomination where it will create this crisis, your loyalty is not to the poor, to the environment, to ending war, providing healthcare or rescuing democracy.

Your loyalty is to a person, at all costs, and it must not be.

Please come out for Obama now. Save the country.
by: HousesofProgress [[at openleft.com]]
Edwards rumour growing -Endorsing Obama  (0.00 / 0)
To Opinion makers across America!

The time is now to rally and build to a general election win. Do not allow the Democratic Party to be destroyed by Shakespearian folly.

Exactly, a Shakespearian Tragedy. In three acts. Bill S. couldn't have written it any more poignantly.

The drive to serve is admirable, to serve now is to rally around Obama.

by inexile 2008-02-11 03:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugly fight would sap all the momentum out of

This kind of crap makes me want Hillary to fight Obama to the death. The race is 50/50, both sides have a legitimate case. But to parrot your point of view Barack Obama has no path to the nomination that does not involve ignoring the voters and a crisis of legitimacy. Clinton has won the support of the majority of Democrats, and an ugly fight by Obama would sap the support of the base.

Please come out for Hillary now and save democracy.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 03:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugly fight would sap all the momentum out of

Obama didn't say that.  An idiot said that.  I know its tough not to associate everything a moron who supports a canidate with said candidate, but these are supporters, not affiliated staffers.  Its hard I know..

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-11 03:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugly fight would sap all the momentum out of

I take your point, hence my pointing out that they both have a case. However these moron supporters are taking their cue from Donna "quit the party" Brazile, Michelle "I have to think about supporting her" Obama and Barack "my voters may not vote Democratic" Obama.

That makes it much harder, and convinces me that if Hillary Clinton keeps it close she cannot concede anything to a man who hints at blackmail.

by souvarine 2008-02-11 03:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugly fight would sap all the momentum out of

There is no easy answer to this. I don't like super delegates, but also don't know how you deal with a situation where the vote is so evenly divided.

by bruh21 2008-02-11 04:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugly fight would sap all the momentum out of

Thank you, thank you so much.

Remember you are not trying to convince me or your friends, you are trying to convince all the people that gave up their Republican party registration to vote for Obama. You are trying to convince all the idealists that worked their asses off in states we will have to win, not states we will win anyway.

But I am not convinced, and you have already listed others that are not convinced.

If Hill turns this around and wins convincing victories in lots of states so she can win without needing to break the rules to seat M/FL in order to win, good.

I'm ok with that. Go Hill!

If she can't do it without breaking rules, it will be ugly ugly ugly. HRC already has high negatives, already is close to even with McCain.

You are not trying to convince me, I don't matter. When you write your riposte, remember, you aren't trying to convince me. You are trying to convince a lot of twenty-somethings who are giving everything they have to work in every state, that normally don't do squat in an election, even vote.

So be nice, they are looking for leadership and change.

I don't care if you endorse Obama, yitboss, I care if opinion makers endorse, I'm not trying to convince you.

You and me, we dont matter a spit.

by inexile 2008-02-11 04:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Ugly fight would sap all the momentum out of
Breaking news:
Iowa Governor Chet Culver Endorses Barack Obama
by inexile 2008-02-11 04:48AM | 0 recs
Obama's strategy

Let's think about the overall context here:

1) The country hates the Republican Party right now.

  1. The economy is in recession and it will be worse by November.
  2. Independents will lean Democratic this year.
  3. These factors affect the entire country.

Obama will have no problem getting blue collar white Democrats in PA, OH, MI or elsewhere. Their preference for Clinton over Obama to this point is more an indication of nostalgia for the Clinton years than a rejection of Obama. Plus, with the economy in the toilet, no way do these blue collar voters go to McCain. This is no 1980 where blue collar Dems could blame the Democrats for the economy. McCain's appeal among these voters is overstated.

Obama will have higher black turnout than even Kerry and Gore had. Whether that puts him over the edge in the Deep South is hard to say. Obama was very impressive win in Georgia, and that state's GOP may have peaked there already. But I doubt SC, LA, AL or MS will be as close as GA.

Obama wins the Independents. Every poll shows Obama taking Independents from John McCain. These are voters McCain needs with a depressed base on his side. We all agree on this. So where do they come from? Where will the contest be decided?

Virginia
Colorado
Iowa
New Mexico
Nevada
Ohio
Missouri
North Carolina

The most natural pickups for Obama are Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and North Carolina. Those are perfect Obama states in many ways - lots of Indies, "authenticity voters," blacks (NC and VA at least), white collar Democrats, trending Democratic.

OH and MO will go to Obama on the strength of the black vote in cities and the Indies and disaffected blue collars angry at the GOP. Also, Obama neutralizes some of the religious right appeal in these state with his comfort in discussing Jesus. That will matter a great deal.

Nevada and New Mexico sided with Clinton in the primaries but are trending Democratic overall. I firmly believe that Obama will work for and attain Latino support by November. Obama will also cut into a portion of the rural white vote in these states.

Wildcard? Someone mentioned gun control. But McCain is distrusted by hardcore gunners, and Obama won't even bring it up. Like hardcore antiabortionists, gun nuts are a factor. But they won't be as big a factor in the South as racism. That's why the only Southern states Obama will win are the states that don't look so southern anymore - Virginia and possibly NC. Florida is tough because of McCain's appeal to retirees.

So, what can Clinton get among these states? She might get OH, NV and NM. And maybe IA. But she loses VA and CO, and she might even lose WA, MN, WI and OR to McCain.

by elrod 2008-02-11 03:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Obama has beat Clinton in organization, strategy, enthusiasm and analysis.  Clinton's campaign strategy seems to have been, "Lets win some big states and knock everyone out."  Obama's strategy was "Let's compete everywhere, keep the Clinton favored races close and win the others handily.  Let's compete in every congressional district, to earn delegates where Clinton thinks she is going to sweep a state."  I mean, the stark difference between the skill of the Obama team and the Clinton team is striking.  You ask what his general election strategy is?  I ask, is Clinton's general election strategy anything more than spin and hot air?  Does she believe that she can win on her name recognition without competing?  I don't want her campaign team anywhere near the general election.  In fact, if she wins the nomination, I really hope she fires them all and hires Obama's.

by Tantris 2008-02-11 03:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

There is NO WAY Hillary wins Arizona against McCain.  He will get enough of the Home State boost to rally behind him before its all done.  As for Florida, yes she has an advantage, but I wouldn't say its a slam dunk either espcially if McCain adds Crist to the ticket.  Same with Nevada.  McCain doesn't exactly have the typical GOP immigration record here.

As for Obama, He will run a 50 state campaign most likely rather than 50% +1 Hillary will run.  I have a feeling that you might be able to turn a few states by ACTUALLY paying attention to them in the GE.  I think he has a shot in the Midwest and West especially if Richardson is his VP.

by yitbos96bb 2008-02-11 03:39AM | 0 recs
BULL!

McCain couldn't reach 50%!!

In his own party -in his own state, in the primary after he had all but locked up the nomination, he still couldn't reach 50%!

John (The Hundred Years War) McCain is is going to mondale this election.

The Democratic Party is going to sweep the next election, with Obama, and there isn't a damn thing Republicans can do about it.

by inexile 2008-02-11 04:01AM | 0 recs
Re: BULL!

Good point how McCain couldn't break 50% with his own GOoPers in Arizona.  If Hillary can sway women voters and Hispanics in Arizona, she can do to McCain what Bush did to Gore:  take away the home state.

by joeltpatterson 2008-02-11 08:53AM | 0 recs
Defeating Bush III

Either Clinton or Obama will paint McCain as the continuation of Bush policies, and it is a charge that will stick (because, conveniently, it is true).  McCain is also not terribly savvy -- look at his bonehead remark the other day about not knowing much about the economy.  

The most recent numbers (e.g. Rasmussen) have independents as about 30% of the population.  This is the key demographic to win, not black/white/latino/asian/male/female.  Independents are almost by definition not ideologues.  They will let slide a candidate who disagrees with them on a few issues that are not terribly important to them (e.g. guns) so long as they agree on the main things (e.g. Iraq was a bad idea) AND so long as that candidate makes them feel good.  I know that sounds fuzzy, but that appeal to the heart instead of the head is how a heck of a lot of voters make up their mind.  Sure, they later tell pollsters that they voted for candidate X for reason Y, but that is only their brains trying to come up with a logical justification because someone asked.

So, the question then becomes who can win the independents, and I think it is hard to argue for Clinton instead of Obama.  National polls show Obama winning independents from McCain, while the reverse is true for Clinton.  Also, Clinton is likely to increase turn-out among Republicans.  

That said, I don't think there are enough data to determine with any accuracy which states Obama is more likely to win than Clinton or vice versa.  A decent metric might be to take the results of the 2004 election and reconfigure the math based on how Clinton/Obama would do.  I guess that Clinton supporters would argue that she would increase Dem turnout while Obama supporters would argue that he would get a higher share of the independent vote.  Is that a fair assumption?

by alydar 2008-02-11 03:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Defeating Bush III

Very wrong.  Independents are made up of the demographics.  The key metric is the percentage of white vote.  42-narrow popular vote loss.  45 or more-Obama landslide.

by Todd Bennett 2008-02-11 04:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Defeating Bush III

Obviously the Venn diagram of independents and [pick your race/gender] is overlapping, and I don't think I implied otherwise.  Perhaps what I failed to articulate properly is that independents don't vote a given way BECAUSE they are [pick your race/gender].

by alydar 2008-02-11 04:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Defeating Bush III

It is just that these percentages swing very little from election to election.  Polls aside, there are certain aspects of the race that rarely change, and that is percentages of vote relative to race.  When they do change, you get large victories, but mainly Democrats are in good position long term because the percentage of white vote in national election will continue to decrease, not to say Obama can't move a large percentage of white voters, I think he will, it is just that established voting patterns are fairly strong over the past 20 years, but demographically, the nation is shifting to Democrats anyway and if trends hold, in another few decades there will be no viable conservative party in this country, thus following the trends in Europe and putting in place a permanent progressive government.

by Todd Bennett 2008-02-11 04:23AM | 0 recs
Time to Endorse Jerome

I know one thing, you dont like Obama. Who will you vote in VA.

by jasmine 2008-02-11 03:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Isn't this the same line of reasoning that got us John Kerry in '04? Who wasn't as electable as we thought?

We've shown that we can't predict what voters are going to do the night before a primary (see NH, etc), the idea of trying to predict who will win in hypothetical matchups nine months in advance and basing our nominee on that is laughable.

Both Clinton and Obama are competitive with McCain in current polls, which is good enough for me to resolve any electability concerns. Those polls are going to change or may stay the same, but I'm not going and try to predict it.

This isn't 2004 - Democrats have majorities in the House and Senate, and this country has seen four more years of Bush's incompetence in the White House. I don't think we have to settle for second-best this time.

by quotison 2008-02-11 03:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Judging from the comments, Obama's GE strategy is to talk a lot about all the states Hillary wouldn't win.

by Steve M 2008-02-11 03:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Or say that he'll win all the states that HRC would win plus a few more like CO, VA, MO, IA.

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 04:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Right, except that's a pretty useless sort of answer since there's no consensus on which states Hillary would win.  It's an argument of the type "anything you can do, I can do better."

Just because Obama says "I'll get all the people who voted for Hillary" doesn't make it true.  In fact, it's quite obviously false, and I'd hope any rational political observer would recognize that.

by Steve M 2008-02-11 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Obama is making a case that he has the potential for  a real mandate and to stop this 50% plus one strategy.  Reagan after all won what, 40 plus states?  So to sit and say it's "laughable" that Obama might win certain red states is acting like the last 8 years of narrow electoral differences is the way it always works.

It doesn't take a huge national popular vote win to get to a win in the huge majority of states.  in that sense the red state/blue state divide is overblown.  So Obama is rhetorically speaking about the possibility to make a big wave election rather than trying to target and pick off 4 or 6 swing states.

I find that rhetoric and indeed that possibility attractive.  That's not to say that swing state targetting won't be part of this campaign.  But to pretend that Obama's rhetoric somehow demonstrates his inability to understand swing states and the electoral college is a bit silly, no?

by snaktime 2008-02-11 04:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

>Of everyone I regularly discuss politics with, only one person said that they would vote for her over McCain.

Yes, that's convincing.

by tdraicer 2008-02-11 04:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Maybe you need to get out more....

by wasabi 2008-02-11 05:04AM | 0 recs
Right.. But what is the strategy?
Lots of Obama supporters are pointing out that Independents like him, etc. (Remember they like McCain too....) And that he'll possibily pull more of them than Hillary might, and so forth.

But remember even if Obama wins 40% of a state, if McCain wins 41%, McCain wins the state and gets the electoral votes. So, what is Obama's strategy actually win?

Please answer the question. A strategy isn't just winning as many votes as possible. We all know that a candidate can win the most votes but still lose the presidency. Obviously we want our nominee to win the most votes. But we have to be realistic and have a winning strategy in place.

I saw this comment from David Seaton today via James Wolcott's blog.

Right now I think the Democratic nomination is down to two horrible phonies. One an experienced and capable phony and the other a phony of unmitigated chutzpah and cynicism and totally unqualified for the job. If backed into a corner, holding my nose and gagging and retching, I will vote for the candidate that has some chance to heal the sick, not the one that promises to walk upon the water.

Like Mr. Wolcott, I disagree with the Phonies characterization. I think both our candidates are top notch. However, I do think that Hillary Clinton is the better of the two. And she has a strategy too.
by carrieboberry 2008-02-11 04:09AM | 0 recs
Re: So

You can maybe when a primary season with this defensiveness but it wont pass muster in a GE- why? Because unlike now, there won't be a lot of people who will naturally because of party affiliation who will forgive your tantrums. I can only hope many of you realize one day.

by bruh21 2008-02-11 04:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

My theory is that people in the red states are crossing over to vote AGAINST Hillary.  Obama isn't going to win any of the red states.

It's like someone else said, when they hear that Obama was endorsed by Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Moveon.org and wants driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, they'll go RUNNING into McCain's arms.

And they don't like Hillary either, mind you.  However, Hillary strongly wins our blue states, and some swing states (Florida) will likely have sour grapes unless she wins and will go home.

So I don't really believe either candidate will win, however, I think Hillary has a better chance.

And BTW, Obama largely wins undemocratic caucuses.  If all states held primaries, I don't believe he'd even be in the game.

by Sensible 2008-02-11 04:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Actually, conservatives hate McCain's stances on illegal immigration.

by Nautilator 2008-02-11 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Are you saying they won't hold their noses and vote for him anyway?  If so, that's somewhat naive.

--sam

by samizdat 2008-02-11 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Jerome,

You're embarassing yourself.  Are you seriously shilling for the corporatist neocon DLC candidate over the grassroots movement progressive based on some specious "electability" argument?  Isn't that exactly what you started this site to put an end to?

As for electability, here's your argument.  Based on the 06 results and the fact that the mood of the country hasn't changed since then, I'd say ALL Dems have a structural advantage to start in all of Kerry's states plus IA, NM, OH, and CO.  That's plenty to win.  Even if you accept your questionable racist argument about Latinos, only NM from that list is emperiled for Obama.  Second, there are more independents than Latinos in almost every state in the nation, and (check the polls), they are generally close to as anti-war as Democrats.  Why again are they going to vote for Mr. "100 more years of Iraq" over Obama again?  I think Obama will put some "purpling" red states in play this year moreso than Clinton, including Virginia, Missouri, and Montana (to be fair, Hillary would likely do well in at least VA and MO from this list, too).

Honestly, I don't think that either Hillary or Obama has an "electability" problem this fall.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 04:27AM | 0 recs
'Which states' only matters if it's close

And while that may come to pass, the best reason to nominate Obama is the possibility of winning big (55-57%) with coattails that pick up a few more Senate seats than Clinton would.

It's all about closing in on 60.  If we can get there by 2010, anything's possible in 2011.

But if it should be close, the answer would be: Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, Florida.

by RT 2008-02-11 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Obama is likely to lose New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Michigan, and Ohio if he runs against McCain. He won't be able to make it up anywhere else because he will lose all of the southern states including Arkansas, Tennessee, and Florida which Hillary is likely to win.  Hispanics will split between him and McCain and in fact McCain might win a majority of hispanics. He is the weakest GE candidate we can put up against McCain. He will lose in a landslide to McCain and is likely to take a number of congressional candidates with him.

Can any of the Obama supporters put together a plausible (not pie in the sky) scenario for him to win the GE against McCain?

by BigB 2008-02-11 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

NJ, NY, WI, CT, MI, and OH?  Based on what?  That's rediculous.  All of those states are soldi blue and anti-war.  There's zero chance ANY Dem loses any of those states against Mr. "100 more years of Iraq".

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 04:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

You are putting out a theory that hasn't even proven true in the primaries. Being against an unpopular war doesn't necessarily translate into many votes in the general election when the number one concern right now is the economy.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-11 04:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Right, and do you think that Mr "I really don't understand the economy" is going to play well in the NE?  Maybe Georgians are stupid and will buy that, but not us.  The economy and the war are the top two issues, and Dems own both in the entire Northeast.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Have you checked any recent polls?  At least 2/3 of the whole population thinks the war was a bad idea (and about 2/3 of independents, with more Dems and less Repubs).  Iraq is currently the #2 issue for independents behind the economy.  McCain is Mr. "100 more years of Iraq" on the war and Mr. "I really don't udnerstand the economy" on the economy.  Neither of those positions are going to play well ANYWEHRE in the Northeast.  NJ, PA, NY, CT, and NH are NOT swing states with McCain.  They are as deep blue as a state can be, regardless of the Dem nominee.

I am not a Democratic activist.  I AM an independent.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 05:10AM | 0 recs
sorry, thanks for playing

I like a good debate as much as anyone, but the premise that Obama would lose NY automatically disqualifies your analysis. It is just utterly crazy. NY is going democratic, probably by a 20 point margin. 2008 is not 2002. Democrats everywhere HATE republicans, especially in the deep blue Northeast.

Trust me, I live in upstate NY, and even here there is way more Democratic energy than Republican energy. Seriously, it is crazy talk to think that NY is not going blue. Democrats would probably have to nominate Kucinich to put NY in play, and even then it might still go blue.

by TimSackton 2008-02-11 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Sorry but if its McCain vs Clinton, NV is off the map by October.

Clinton on the ticket costs us almost all of the approx 15% of registered Dems who identify as "conservative". Obama did very well with these voters in the caucus.

As for women, we've tried in 2 cycles (02 and 06) to win statewide races based on pulling over ind and gop women in Clark and it just hasn't worked.

What we need is  a candidate who can both build on the gains we've made in Washoe and Nye among independents (Kerry ran almost even in both in 04). Obama polls best among independents by a wide margins.

Moreover we need a candidate who will commit to the expensive, time consuming work of building a large enough field program to mobilize less=likely voting Democrats in CD1. Obama is already well along that path.

by desmoulins 2008-02-11 04:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

But, but, but the racist Latinos on NV won't vote for a Black man, and that will cost the Dems NV.  At least, that's the currently fashionable argument around these parts.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 04:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

This is brilliant analysis, Jerome.  Thanks for bolstering the oh-so-democratic HRC campaign to convince supedelegates.  

But seriously, aside from the essentially ridiculous inference from primary victories in a state to GE wins in that state, FL in particular wasn't even contested! Hillary's done nothing at all, even granting the primary-GE connection, to show that she can win a contested election in FL.

by seand 2008-02-11 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Breaking news

He isn't a Senator.  He is a Representative from the 12th Congressional district in California.

by Tantris 2008-02-11 04:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

My prediction is Kerry states + Iowa, Colorado, Missouri, Virginia, New Mexico, and possibly Nevada and Ohio. Obama's not as strong in Nevada or Ohio as Clinton is, but I think he's a stronger candidate than Kerry and draws more turnout than Kerry, so since Kerry came so close in those two states, I think Obama can win 'em.

No way will Obama win all those Southern and Western red states he performs well in, but it will make Republicans waste their resources putting out all those fires and will help us downticket, so it's all good.

They're both totally viable. The extra turnout Obama's been driving will make every swing state on the map a nightmare for Republicans-- they'll probably still win FL for example but it'll cost 'em the big bucks. If Democratic turnout is up by anywhere near as much as it's been in the primary this thing is over.

by tjekanefir 2008-02-11 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy

Thank God we still have a chance for an Obama candidacy, which doesn't have to draw to an inside straight in order to win the Presidency.

Jonathan was spot on when he said Obama had the better chance of getting a "realignment" victory.  IMHO, Clinton's ceiling is 51%.  I also think Obama has a better shot against McCain b/c of his appeal to independents, ability to turn out more voters (yes, I can still remember how this was mocked pre-Iowa), and CLEAR CONTRAST from John McCain.

I don't think electoral chess matters if a candidate can get 53-55% of the popular vote.  But if you insist on analysis based on the old way of thinking, I think Obama holds all of the Kerry states and adds CO, IA, VA, and MO.  This is a very conservative projection.

More importantly, every single Democrat running for Congress, Governor, or the state legislature will be proud to share the ticket with him - in every region and across the idelogical spectrum of our "big tent."  THIS is how you bring real progressive change.

by NC State Dem 2008-02-11 04:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

This is a pretty silly post. Hillary's going to have to win some of the red/purple states that Obama has beaten her in to win the general. The real question is whether Hillary's plan makes sense!

She's only running strong in Democratic strongholds. Tell me how a person wins the General with only the states that Gore/Kerry won? Dukakis did great in Massachusetts too, didn't he?

His plan? Win the blue states, win the purple states, make McCain spend money in the red states! Hillary's plan...win the blue states...and? Arizona? Against the sitting senator of the state? Please!

How about this. Before we get into whether Obama's strategy is winnable, find me a SINGLE poll that suggests Hillary could do better against McCain than Obama!

by Loreg 2008-02-11 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Find me some polls that show a couple of thousand democrats in red states will overwhelm the Republicans to turn that state blue. Obama won states that will remain red. No matter how popular he is. Idaho, Georgia, Nebraska, Utah...they will ALL stay red.  A couple of thousand democrats and college kids in a caucus does not a win make. He WILL lose lower to middle class Democrats that respect and LIKE McCain. You know, the ones that helped Hillary win in NY, MA, and CA. Those.

by Mar154 2008-02-11 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Idaho might stay red, but Bush won Colorado by less than 5%. He won Iowa by less than 1% (10,000 votes). Kerry won Minnesota by less than 3.5%.

In the face of overwhelming evidence that Obama is more electable (more states won, more caucuses, tied in primaries, more popular vote, more delegates) you guys are forced to resort to counter-factual nonsense. Lower to middle class Democrats would defect to McCain? You'd think a SINGLE poll would show that! You'd think a SINGLE exit poll would show McCain as the second choice of Hillary voters, and not 0.00% the exit polls are showing now!

He WILL lose lower to middle class Democrats? Pretend I'm from Missouri and SHOW ME!

by Loreg 2008-02-11 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: THANK YOU Jerome! REPEAT of 2004

So, Obama will lose because White voters are racist?  Good argument.  Again, you people really have no clue about PA or NJ.  These states are simply NOT going Republican this year, period.  Especially PA, and especially with Obama.  Philadelphia and Philly suburbs are perfect demographics for Obama. He specifically will get record turnout in both areas and win 2/3 to 3/4 of the total vote there (probably >90% in Philly and around 60% in the burbs).  That is half the state population, and half of the rest of the population is Pittsburgh.  Tell me McCain is going to carry 3/4 of the vote in the city of Pittsburgh to win the state.  I dare you.  McCain will win 80% in Pennsyltucky, but it's not enough, not even close.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: wow

You even left off the nastiest attacks I've seen here, like:

He is mentally ill (thanks to the armchair psychiatrists...).
He was doing coke with gay prostitutes.
He is a drug dealer (oh wait, that was the Clinton campaign...).

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 05:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Obama was also mocked for "running a general election campaign in a primary."  Now, he doesn't have a general election strategy?

Hard to square the circle on that one.

by NC State Dem 2008-02-11 05:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

When was he EVER accused of running a GE in the primary? Never. That was always something thrown at Hillary.

by Mar154 2008-02-11 05:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Funny. I've seen it many times over the months. He's not partisan enough. He's running a GE campaign so he's losing the partisans. Blah blah blah.

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Okay, here's another problem you guys also are failing to address. By using caucus data as support of your theory that Obama will win handily, you are ignoring the fact that only 10-15% of the population came out to vote in the caucus. Karl Rove pointed out that in Nebraska there are 375,000 registered Dems and only 36,000 came out to vote? You guys are dreaming if you think this is representative....

Republicans: 572,869

Democrats: 370,600

In Nebraska.

http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2007 /12/30/news/politics/doc4776dd0caea8b171 580917.txt

So okay, Obama won 9 out 10 caucus that favor people who can leisurly come out on a Saturday and not blow off work.

This is dangerous water we're swimming in.

Also, 2.8 million registered voters in Louisiana.

How many came out? Oh yeah, about less than half of that.

Please, stop drinking the Kool-Aid, we will lose another election.

by jackfkntwist 2008-02-11 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

HRC can't win any states that Obama can't win. So then either they'll both lose or Obama has a chance of picking up states (CO, MO, VA) that HRC can't win and he wins.

by illlaw1 2008-02-11 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

That makes no sense.

by jackfkntwist 2008-02-11 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Touche, dude.  These people citing the turnout at caucuses as some harbinger of a Dem winning a red state are naive to say the least.  Make inroads?  Sure.  Win outright?  Why would Republicans crossover to vote for Obama or stay home?  It makes Zero sense.  

by DaTruth 2008-02-11 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will win

Kerry 2004, IA, MO, OH, CO, NM, VA, thats a 317-221 win

by WellstoneDem 2008-02-11 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

What I see in this thread is that all of the cynical, pro-Clinton arguments revolve around demographics and comparisons between now and what happened to Kerry, or Gore, or even Dukakis. None of these candidates had the grassroots and financial support that Obama has, nor do they any of them have a fraction of his charisma. I even see some people saying he was the weakest of the three main candidates, even after Edwards' weak-ass showing in the polls and Clinton's underhanded, dying-a-slow-death campaign. Obama's a winner, and he's showing all of you cynics up, day by day.

Besides, McCain's old, and doesn't even have the support of his base. What a bunch of hand-wringing over the electability of a candidate who has set records for individual donors and has truly energized the Democratic party. It will be a pleasure to see the cynics proven wrong.

by tractor 2008-02-11 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

That's all very nice, and if he becomes president even the cynics here will be overjoyed, but since we are on a blog with the stated purpose of analyzing elections and how to win them can't we engage in some analysis? The question is "given Obama as the nominee how does he win the electoral college?" not "is Obama electable?"

by souvarine 2008-02-11 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Sure we can engage in analysis, and electoral math is important. This particular blog just has a pattern of underestimating Obama while pumping up or defending Clinton, at least in my opinion.

Moreover, I think Democrats have some sort of paranoia because of the last two elections, where the popular vote was so close, and the electoral votes went to the wrong party. Personally I think Obama is going to mop the floor with McCain. Kerry and Gore failed to appeal to broad section of the middle. For all the Gore adulation these days, in the 2000 election he was dreary. Kerry is a blowhard, and people plain didn't like him.

Specifically, my prediction is that Obama will carry CA, OR, WA, NV, NM, CO, WI, MN, IL, MI, OH, PA, NY, SC, VA, VT, NH, MA, nearly all the rest of the northeast states, and has good chance in MT, KY, FL, LA, AK. I think that will be enough.

by tractor 2008-02-11 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Actually, the pro-Obama arguements seem to be revolving around demographics and comparisons. And actually, yes Clinton has more money than Obama. And she actually raised 10 million dollars in three days.

First rule of war, never underestimate your enemy. It's pretty clear that both sides have done that.

And Clinton's "dying a slow death" is only media spin and not reality.

But the truth of the matter is his election startegy which he as none. You all forget, Hillary has been through two elections where the person she was helping to run, won President of the United States.

Republicans are afraid of Clinton because they know she knows what it takes to win. The last time that happened was Carter and since then...

by jackfkntwist 2008-02-11 06:47AM | 0 recs
didn't she just pay herself back?

which means she had a net gain of $5M...

by bored now 2008-02-11 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?
Arizona is part of Clinton's winning electoral against McCain (R-AZ)?!?
Ummmmm, I dont think so Jerome.
by AC4508 2008-02-11 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I see an excellent opportunity for Obama to simply destroy McCain in the general election. Here's how:

1. He will split the evangelical vote 50/50 with McCain. Evangelicals are almost 50% of the G.W. Bush electoral coalition. Bold prediction, but here's the evidence:

a. It's obvious that they hate McCain, otherwise why would they still be overwhelmingly breaking for Huckabee, who's not even conservative otherwise, and who has no chance of securing the nomination? As a group, they're definitely "in play," and the most conservative ones will likely sit this one out as long as they're not unnecessarily antagonized by the Democratic nominee (i.e. they will turn out to vote against Hillary).

b. Even without Obama in the picture, there has been a movement amongst evangelicals away from partisan, moralizing conservativism toward the "other" side of Christian teachings, i.e. concerns for the poor, justice, peace, etc. See organizations such as Sojourners for more on that.

c. Obama has already built inroads into this group through black evangelicals who usually make it the vast majority of the 10-20% of blacks who do vote Republican. He has a Reagan-like personal story of conversion later in life that has a great appeal and his rhetoric definitely incorporates some religious allusions.

d. The younger progressive evangelicals will be drawn by the opportunity to partially redeem America's racist past through the election of our nation's first black President.

2. Independents, which has already been covered.

3. Massive increase in turnout from blacks and younger voters, which has already been covered but should not be underestimated. 40% of the electorate tends not to vote, but that will not be the case this time.

So, McCain will be decimated from the right with the Republican religio-conservative base (again almost half of GW's winning coalition) either staying home or splitting their votes between him and Obama, and with Obama taking the independents based on the war issue, and with record turnout amongst the heavily Democratic base groups of young voters, and African-Americans, I see Obama putting a whole host of traditionally red states throughout the South and the West into play.

Latino will come around to Obama. They are not voting against Obama, as much as for Hillary. McCain has already been forced to back off of his liberal stand on immigration and if he tried to tack back to the center, Obama will pillory him for flip=flopping.

The rest of Hillary's primary coalition consists of the Democratic base and they will be enthusiastic about the chance for our Party to make history and Obama is a solid liberal/progressive by any measure. There is no reason why Hillary's voters will not come over to Obama.

by dmc2 2008-02-11 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I don't think 50% of evangelicals is going to happen.  To evangelicals, it's all about judges.  They may not like McCain but they know that's their only hope to get the wingnut judges they so desire.

I think the "progressive" evangelical movement you speak of is a very small slice of the pie.  The vast majority of evangelicals are going to do what they're told and pull the lever for McCain.

by JK47 2008-02-11 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

The interesting thing to me is that (IMO) both Clinton and Obama win or lose different states.  Overall I think either has a strong chance to win in November.  But where there is a strong blue collar white population I see Clinton doing better than Obama up against McCain (ex: Arkansas, Tennessee, West Virginia).  On the other hand, clearly Obama will carry some indies/mods that Clinton won't.

Besides the Kerry states I think Clinton will win AR, IA, NM, maybe NV, maybe VA, maybe MO, maybe OH

Besides the Kerry states I think Obama will win IA, OH, CO, VA, maybe MO, maybe NM, maybe NV

I don't think either will win AZ with McCain as the nominee.  I never count on FL; too many vote counting shenanigans there.

by tabruns 2008-02-11 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

You have to remember, we're running against a very weak candidate.  McCain's "Straight Talk Express" nonsense is going to get ripped to shreds in the GE.  He's going to have to flip-flop all over the place to placate Wingnut Nation, and he's going to look like a fool.  He's already having to answer questions like "Would you have voted for your own bill?"  And as an added bonus, it's very easy to tie McCain to Bush Administration policies.  I can see why the real hardcore conservatives are pissed that McCain is the nominee.  Unless the D nominee stumbles badly, McCain is going down.  He's painted himself into all sorts of corners.

All of this "Obama can't win" and "Hillary can't win" stuff is pretty ridiculous, shameless shilling one's own candidate of choice.  I'm an Obama supporter but I will proudly support Hillary Clinton if she wins the nomination.  When November rolls around we are going to be running against pure evil, and all of this primary stuff will be forgotten.  

by JK47 2008-02-11 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I've been following this thread with fascination. As an Obama-leaning voter in Maryland, I could be persuaded to switch if I thought there was a really solid argument for Clinton's greater electability--but I'm not seeing the evidence.

Jerome says that the primaries are playing out in a way that demonstrates Hillary's ability demonstrates her ability to win in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Florida. How so? Surely the Florida primary doesn't demonstrate much, given the absence of campaigning there. New Mexico was a virtual tie--if anything, I thought it demonstrated that Clinton's edge among Latinos is only an edge, not an overwhelming advantage. And Clinton's margins in Arizona and Nevada weren't wide enough to convince me that she has a much better chance of beating the Arizonan Senator there.

Moreover, Jerome and those who agree with him are asserting that Obama will lose Ohio and Pennsylvania, and perhaps some large states that are bluer than Pennsylvania--but I'm not finding their evidence for this. Maybe this will be clearer after the Pennsylvania and Ohio primaries.

by slvn 2008-02-11 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

The National Journal just ranked Obama as the Senator with the most liberal voting record. Getting the Kennedy and Kerry endorsement is great for a primary but not that helpful for a general. We can quibble at the votes that NJ used but that was the same line that was used against Kerry in 2004. Obama is no John Kerry and hopefully he will respond to the incoming attacks but the ads are there to attack Obama and the Republicans are waiting to use them i.e. guns, gays and God in the South and Midwest. I think the Democrats need a serious debate without all the media  cheerleading about the electoral potential of each candidate and what they can bring to the table.

by gomer 2008-02-11 07:27AM | 0 recs
are you kidding me?

The man has been running a General Election strategy since day 1! Going into deep GOP strongholds and campaigning there.

Your candidate of choice does fantastic in areas that nearly always vote for Democrats (New York, my home state of California), you can't really say the same thing for Kansas, Alaska, etc.

This post is shameful Jerome, and I would expect it coming from an old style party regular who believed "crashing the gates" is a fairy tale.

Obama is about expanding the playing field, and he's doing it!

He's not going for 270+1, he's going bigger then that, and he can do it.

If Hillary were to try, she might be able to pull it off too (to a lesser extant), but it's not the strategy.

Interesting that the Clinton campaign's new talking about is exactly this though, strange co-incidence.

-C.

by neutron 2008-02-11 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Well since people are smart enough to use the internet to post on a blog but not smart enough to use the internet to do some quick math based on a map, I will do that for you guys.

I am going with the assumption that ALL blue states in 2004 sans PA and NH are automatic Dem wins.  The only one that doesn't automatically play out in my mind that way is MN and only if T-Paw is the Veep candidate.  So that said both candidates start out with 227 EV and need 44 to win.

First, Hillary's GE scenarios.

She is a big state contender, I think we can all agree on that.  High unfavorables in the rural areas make smaller community based states hard for her but she could do very well in states with large urban population.  I would consider her strong in 1st and 2nd ring suburbs but getting exponentially weaker in the outlying areas.

(With PA and NH)

CO is a very strong possibility of pickup with Democratic wins in 2006, same with OH.

That alone is a win.

Keeping CO and giving her AR, where the Clintons are still pretty popular puts her over the top as well.

FL alone does it.

(Without PA and NH)

A run of OH and FL would barely squeak out a win.

Either FL or OH along with CO, AR, and NM could do if she can carry any number of small states.

MO, CO, and FL would be a winning combination even if she loses PA, OH, and NH

Obama map.

Obama has a better chance of taking some midwest states where the Clinton is a four letter word in a lot of households.  (please Under, Ga6th, linsam don't attack me out of hand because I stated something that while true, is not what you agree with)  He doesn't play as well in the steel belt states because Hill is just more popular with low-middle income blue collar dems.  Higher income indys would gravitate towards him as well.

(With PA and NH)

NC becomes winnable in this scenario.  The high tech cooridor plays well to Obama's strengths as well as the demos in general.  This was a 10% loss in 2004 but has a 21% indy break.  High turnout among the neuvo rich and AA gives him 15 of the 19 he needs.  Any small pickup works here.  NE, NM, NV, etc.

A run of IA, NV, NM, and CO.  All closely won Bush states that are trending heavily blue in the last couple of years.

Another "small state" strategy that would work would be going heavily in the mountain west and midwest.  These are small states where a really fired up base could make the difference against a slightly indifferent GOP base.

A run of something like MT, ND, SD, WY, NE would put you just an LA, NM, or NV from winning.  Don't tell me it is impossible either.  Every single one of these states elected a democratic Gov, Senator, or Rep in 2006 and Reps might as well be Senators there.

The standard 1 states win would would too.  OH or FL.

Another would be LA, CO, and any other state.

Where I will concede the electoral math gets trickier is if he cannot carry PA and NH.  It requires an OH or FL win along with a combination of states above.

The point is, anyone with any desire whatsoever to do the electoral math and theorycrafting can figure out decent GE strategy for both.

This was also leaving out of the equation states I really believe are in play for both candidates this year like VA and MO.

Can we stop the "my dad can beat your dad" sniping about who is more electable?  They are both electable, they just won't be able to use each other's playbooks.

by kasjogren 2008-02-11 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Don't worry about PA.  That will be a minimum 10 point Democratic victory (probably closer to 15, especially with Obama).

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

And what is Clinton's strategy?  Campaign in NY, MA, and CA, and nowhere else?  Wait for those magical demographics to carry her to victory?  That's been such a winning strategy for us in the past.

by rfahey22 2008-02-11 07:37AM | 0 recs
What happened to the 50 state strategy?

From the looks of it Jerome it advocating eking out a win by getting Kerry's states plus one or two more.  I don't think that strategy has served us well in the past two elections.

Obama's strategy isn't to aim for 271 electoral college votes.  It's to aim for a landslide.  If he falls a bit short he'll still win the election.  

Sure North Dakota may not be the most likely candidate, but Iowa, Colorado, Missouri, (Virginia, Ohio, ....) why not?  

And how are Arizona and New Mexico likely states for Hillary when Arizona is John McCain's home state?

by geothenes 2008-02-11 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

There are two main reasons Obama will lose in the GE:

a) He will not take the latino vote with the kind of margins Hillary can take. Read today's Chicago Sun Times article about how Obama lost Latino vote to Hillary in Mayor Daley's own wards in spite of aldermen there asking them to vote for him. If McCain merely breaks even with Obama on this critical demographic it will hurt Obama significantly everywhere.

b) Most of the working class, culturally conservative, white democrats (the Reagan democrats) are not voting for him in the primaries and will not vote for him in the GE given his far left liberal record and pro-gun and soft-on-crime positions. Republicans will make sure that everyone of these voters find out about every one of his controversial votes in Illinois state senate including his controversial votes on partial birth abortion.

These two factors alone will be enough to bury him in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

He is not going to win any of the red states in the west or in the south. He will not win Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, Arkansasn, Tennessee, or Georgia all states Bill Clinton carried in 1992.

Obama is a disaster waiting to happen in the GE.

The wealthy and educated liberasl who are voting for him in droves are most ignorant when it comes to what the heartland likes. They liked McGovern, Ted Kennedy, Paul Tsongas, Jerry Brown and Howard Dean. And now Obama. After their selfish choice they will go back to living their lives just fine while the rest of us get another eight years of Republicans: no universal health care, continuing war in Iraq and so on.

by BigB 2008-02-11 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

But somehow those Middle American Reagan Democrats who won't vote for Obama will overwhelmingly support Hillary over John McCain?

You think its latte-sipping limousine liberals propelling Obama to victories in Iowa, Nebraska, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, and North Dakota?

by keithdarlingbrekhus 2008-02-11 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I can't speak to the other states as I don't know them well enough to comment but you don't have a good beat on NJ.  Obama's stance on gun control and crime are not at all out of step with it.  

Jim Florio almost saved his governorship in 1993 solely on his veto of a bill loosening the state laws prohibiting purchase of assault riffles.  He came back almost 20 pts based on that decision.  Additionally, NJ just became the first state in decades to repeal the death penalty.

NJ is a solidly blue state which Clinton or Obama should have no problem carrying in Nov.

by John Mills 2008-02-11 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I agree.  It's funny that all of these people who are clearly from other parts of the country are writing off NJ and PA as unwinnable for Obama and really hae no clue about regional politics here.  Neither NJ nor PA are even swing states anymore.  Independents in the Northeast are anti-war, anti-theocracy, and hardened anti-Bush.  They will NOT vote for any GOP candidate in this election, period.  This is enough advantage to carry those two states by at least 10 points.

Claiming PA is in play for McCain against any Dem is even more rediculous than NJ.  Philly and Philly suburbs are as good demographically for Obama as anywhere in the whole country.  Philly is obviously AA that will turn out in record numbers.  The Philly suburbs are quickly bluing with the exact type of young, rich, anti-war "limousine liberals" that are a key part of Obama's base.  Additionally, Philly has no less than FIVE major universities (Penn, Drexel, La Salle, Temple, and St Joes) that will also vote overwhelmingly for Obama (even moreso than Clinton, although Clinton will not have any trouble carrying PA, either).  That's half the population of the state that Obama will carry by at least 2/3 (and maybe closer to 3/4).  Add in metropolitan Pittsburgh on the other side of the state, and there are simply not enough votes in Pennsyltucky for any GOP candidate to make up the difference.  This is the state that flipped 4 Congressional districts in 2006 and voted out an incumbent Senator for a milquetoast like bob Casey by a 20 piont landslide.  

Thanks to GWB, the entire Northeast is very different now than 2004, and PA and NJ (PA especially) are a microcosm of that.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

I don't know as much about PA but considering the 2006 Dem victories in the Philly suburbs and Bob Casey's thrashing of Rick Santorum it would appear the state is also moving left.  Below is a link to NY Times article from this weekend showing how the NJ legislature has become one of the most progressive in the nation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/weekin review/10peters.html?_r=1&scp=1& sq=new+jersey+legislature&st=nyt& ;oref=slogin

by John Mills 2008-02-11 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

For starters, there's no way McCain is going to be able to get high percentages of Latino voters and keep his base satisfied at the same time.  Anti-immigration is wingnut pet issue #1.  It's the dominant issue on wingnut radio and it's the main reason why McCain is loathed by so many conservatives.  Either McCain will tack right on immigration and alienate Latinos, or he will stay moderate and alienate his base.  It's a lose-lose proposition.

by JK47 2008-02-11 08:40AM | 0 recs
you haven't been paying attention...

latino voters aren't surging because they love hillary, they are surging because they've come of age.  they just so happen to be familiar with the clintons and have no trouble voting for hillary.

to think that latinos won't turn out in the same numbers for obama (or whoever) is pretty weird.  latinos are taking the reins of their ethnic voting block and demonstrating that they are a force to be reckoned with.  the threat of continued republican rule affecting us immigration and bilateral relations with latin american countries doesn't go away with obama on the ticket.  latinos are voting their interests, and voting for their brethren who can't vote for themselves.

i don't know what the sun-times said (without a link), but i wouldn't exactly call the numbers from the latino wards frightening:

ward/alderman    obamavote    %
1st (flores):     7,337    67.13%
2nd (daley's):    13,094    83.43%
12th (cardenas):    1,522    37.52%
22nd (munoz):    2,244    42.95%
25th (solis):    3,956    47.86%
26th (ocasio):    5,186    59.91%
30th (reboyras):    3,091    45.08%
31st (suarez):    3,030    43.27%
35th (colon):    5,416    59.31%

danny solis publicly endorsed and campaigned for hillary, and barack got 48% of the vote in his dominantly mexican-american ward.  oh, yeah, his sister was hillary's campaign manager.  cardenas had the lowest vote for barack -- and he was a delegate to the convention for hillary.  ricky munoz has a small organization, so it's no surprise that he couldn't pull in the vote for obama.  organizations in the 1st, 26th and 35th did (colon faced bitter opposition last year, so his organization was enhanced).

all in all, i don't think obama did that badly in the latino wards.  he won the latino 4th congressional district, although by a smaller margin than in other congressional districts.

i'll wait to see this terrific opposition campaign against barack mounted by the demoralized republicans.  if hillary can't do it, why should i think republicans can?  because that's your talking points?

obama has a much better chance of defeating mccain than hillary because hillary energizes the right far more than she energizes democrats.  hell, she can't even beat a skinny freshman senator from her birthstate!  no way she can beat real opposition...

by bored now 2008-02-11 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: you haven't been paying attention...

No, no, no, the Latinos will never vote for Obama because they're racist.  That's why Clinton HAS to be the nominee.  That is the ugly undertone underlying this whole discussion of Obama's Latino "problem" from the Clintonistas.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Frankly, Jerome, after prematurely forecasting Obama's demise at least a half dozen times I thought you'd know better than to pretend an ability to divine election outcomes still 9 months away.  I won't do a state-by-state analysis because I can't, but the truth is you can't either.  All I know is that any candidate who has squandered as many institutional and popular advantages as Hillary Clinton has only to start losing pretty badly to a man who is 4 years removed from the Illinois State Senate can not be considered a shoe-in for any national election ever, not the least a contest against one of the few remaining popular figures in the entire Republican Party.

Scratch that, I also know that Obama has already demonstrated an ability to increase black turnout and youth turnout while at the same time attracting crossover support from Republicans and Independents.  Certainly that can't hurt.  Right here in Omaha, NE, we saw turnout for the caucus in heavily African American North O simply explode on Saturday.  North Omaha is the only thing you could seriously call a Democratic stronghold in this state, and turnout in many precincts is a pathetic mid-to-high 20s even in presidential elections.  If Obama continues his political alchemy in the general election, turning these non-voters into activists, then we will see Democratic prospects improve fantastically in our races for House and Senate.  Hell, we might even see NE-02 come into play on the presidential level.  

I know that's some pretty fancy dreaming, but I can guarantee you that there is plenty of blood,sweat and tears to back it up.  Obama has a core of activist support here that is dedicated to working for him in a coordinated campaign with our local and federal candidates.  And if that's the story here in Omaha, I can only imagine what's going on in the rest of the country.

by Ryan Anderson 2008-02-11 08:05AM | 0 recs
The Electoral math is pretty simple....

Right now Obama is running about 5 points better than Hillary Clinton versus McCain

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/ 2008/president/national.html

A five point advantage translates into a clear advantage in most states.

One example is Survey USA has Obama up 13 on Mccain in Iowa, while Hillary trails McCain in Iowa.

Now that poll may overstate the difference but I will make my point simple.

If Obama has a 52-48 advantage over McCain he will win the election. If Hillary trails McCain 52-48 she will lose the election. Right now that is roughly how the votes breakdown.

In this scenario Obama would carry pure swing states like Wisconisn and Iowa by a safe byut slight margin (say 4-5 points) whereas Hillary would conceivably lose those states by a comparable margin.

Also in this scenario Obama would put Republican leaning swing states like Ohio, Florida and Missouri into play while Hillary would lose those states.

So Obama's path to victory is really simple. Carry the Kerry states and add Ohio

Then ice the victory with narrow wins in additional states including perhaps: CO, NM, MO, VA.

Incidentally, versus McCain neither candidate wins Arizona. You can't give Hillary Arkansas by default and then say she beats Mccain in Arizona...each probably carries there swing state.

Ultimately, Hillary can pick up Arkansas and Obama won't. Aside from that state I don't see where she has a significant electoral advantage over Obama in any other state. Sure she might not lose Tennesssee by as much and she might carry California by an extra point or two and she might ride a bigger victory in New York, but in terms of electoral math the candidate who is polling 5 points better in the popular vote comparison is also likely to fare better in the electoral college...its really simple math at that level.

Also, people are way too focused on primary results in this thread. Just because Clinton beat Obama among hispanics by 2 to 1, does not mean most hispanics will jump ship and vote GOP if Obama is the nominee. And just beacuse more Democrats cauacused in North Dakota than Republicans, doesn't mean Obama has a chance in North Dakota.

Everybody take a deep breath...reality checks will come again and again this election season, and as long as Obama keeps winning states by 20 points any claim that he is less electable than the candidate he is soundly defeating is sheer silliness. However, if Clinton trounces Barack in Ohio and Texas then perhaps Jerome has a point. We shall see.

by keithdarlingbrekhus 2008-02-11 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The Electoral math is pretty simple....

There you go again.  Everybody knows that real head-to-head polls with McCain are invalid because they're nine months removed from the general election.  The imaginary state-by-state polls that everyone's talking about, where Hillary wins a narrow electoral victory over McCain due to her perceived strength among Latinos and women, are the only valid and credible rubrics on this site.  

by rfahey22 2008-02-11 09:01AM | 0 recs
Jerome

Jerome you read my mind.

Thank you for bringing up this point that everyone glosses over.

by GregNYC 2008-02-11 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

The problem with Obama is that he may win a lot of independents from McCain but he will lose a significant number of Reagan Democrats in the Midwest, a significant number of Latinos in the West.

He can expect to carry most states in New England and Mid Atlantic.  He may carry one or two states in the South (also AA votes will not be a big factor considering they vote for Democrats anyway).  He will have significant trouble in the Midwest (except his home state).  He will also have significant trouble in the West as well.

Kerry's state that Obama will have trouble with: MI, PA, WI, MN, CA (17+21+10+9+54=111).  He can expect to lose the first two (38).

Bush's state that Obama will have a chance: VA, MO, OH, CO, IO (13+11+20+9+7=60).  He can expect gain al of them except OH (40).

So he will perform similar to Kerry.

GE is so far away.  Polls don't mean much.

by gort256 2008-02-11 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

Ugh.  There is ZERO chance that Obama (or any Dem) will lose PA.  People who even float that idea as a possiblity simply have no idea what they are talking about.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-11 09:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

So far Obama's ground game has been stellar, while Hillary's has been lackluster.  Terry McAuliffe and Mark Penn are not exactly a dream team.  The main reason I voted for Obama is because I don't want either of those guys and their proven failure of a strategy anywhere near the general election.  

by JK47 2008-02-11 09:16AM | 0 recs
which, quite frankly, has shocked the hell out...

of me...

by bored now 2008-02-11 10:01AM | 0 recs
silly silly silly

Are you even trying anymore.  This is like calling WA and LA for huckabee before they are done.  It's just lazy thinking.  I know you're smart, but you seem incapable of seeing outside of your box.  This diary doesn't even merit response it's so slow.

by responsible 2008-02-11 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

This is laughable in oh so many ways:

1.  Arizona is John McCain's home state.  The snickers should be enveloping the site.

2.  New Mexico's votes are still being counted.  Assuming she does win, Hillary Clinton could barely beat Barack Obama in the Dem. Primary in N. Mexico;  Now you have her down as beating John McCain in the general without difficulty?  Who's drinking Kool-Aid?

3.  Hillary Clinton did not win Women in Missouri --  Barack did.  In our nation's pre-eminent swing State she couldn't win amongst Women.  Putrid data for your core argument (she'll win women everywhere in the country!! Or something)

4.  You can't "give" Florida to any candidate at this point in the cycle.  Too much time, too difficult a State to predict.

5.  You forgot Arkansas, the only actual State where Hillary can legitimately switch Kerry's numbers.  More snickers should envelop the site.

Obama is leading the woman who shares a name with Bill Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President, in votes and delegates.   Obama is killing Clinton among Independents, and attracting more GOP cross-over voters.   And your question is how he can be viable in November?  You're clearly not being serious.

by miguelpakalns 2008-02-11 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

gort256 "will lose a significant number of Reagan Democrats in the Midwest,"

Gort, Hillary didn't win Iowa (IA, btw) or Missouri.  She didn't win among women in Iowa or Missouri either.

Furthermore, we'll see next week, but she's about to lose Wisconsin by double-digits.  Barack can saturate Milwaukee with his Chicago volunteers, the two cities are quite closely connected (culturally & historically & ethnically), and Barack is also likely to win in Madison which is extremely liberal.

And sure, Caucuses only mean what they mean -- who has really enthusiastic support.  So we know there are a whole lot more very enthusiastic Obama supporters in Minnesota than very enthusiastic Hillary supporters.

by miguelpakalns 2008-02-11 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's General Election strategy is... ?

This is such a tired issue, and honestly, I can't believe that Clinton supporters are still making it.

File this under: the meme that won't die, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Clinton supporters were told, by their candidate, that she is the most "electable" Democrat running. There were always a large number of people who took that statement as somewhat bizarre and diametrically opposed to what their own judgement was telling them. However, Hillary's strongest supporters believe her when she said this.

Next to Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton is a profoundly divisive figure. While she wins a large number of women voters (nothing too Earth shattering to be honest with you), so do ALL DEMOCRATS WHO RUN. I fully expect the majority of women to support EITHER Obama or Hillary. There simply is absolutely NO EVIDENCE to contradict this. Hillary may be more popular in the Democratic primaries with women against Obama, but that doesn't mean that if Hillary should lose suddenly Obama will lose that traditional Democratic advantage.

The same goes for Hispanics. Contrary to earlier reports out of the CLinton campaign, history is replete with African American candidates who have done well among Hispanic Americans. SO the idea that Hispanics are SO RACIST that they could never bring themselves to vote for an African American is patently untrue AND, quite frankly, an insult against Hispanic Americans.

This article, and others like it, demonstrate what Hillary's real problem is; and ultimately that problem contradicts the findings of this editorial by Jerome Armstrong. Hillary does well among the traditionally Democratic base. She does well among women, hispanics, and for a time, African Americans. But she only goes so far, and then no further.

What Jerome fails to mention is how poorly Hillary does among male voters matched up against McCain. How poorly she does among white voters matched up against McCain. How poorly she does among independent and disaffected Republican voters matched up against McCain.

This is why she is the weakest candidate of the two.

She has lost the independent vote against Barack Obama in EVERY SINGLE CONTEST so far, save Massachusettes. Obama is winning the support of Democrats in the REDEST OF RED states.

That is ultimately why Obama polls better nationally against McCain than Hillary does. This has been shown in the last seven or eight polls. There is no denying this anymore. This is EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE, not some hunch or regurgitation of a Clinton meme that has long since been discredited but her supporters seem content in dispersing despite its fallacious conclusions.

Saying something over and over again doesn't make it any more true. There is NO EVIDENCE showing Hillary doing better than Obama, and plenty of evidence to the contrary.

This is just something her supporters have to come to grips with.

by obamania 2008-02-11 01:42PM | 0 recs

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