The choice of voters

Gallup has a chart that breaks it down real simple:




With such a huge sample, taken over a month, it presents the stark truths:

Clinton and Obama get the same numbers of support from those who are Liberal Democrats. They both also lack more than a little support from Conservative Republicans. It's in the middle four groups that they differ in their support, and where they have soft support that winds up going with McCain.

For Obama, he brings more support among moderate Republicans and pure Independents.

For Clinton, she brings more support among moderate Democrats and Conservative Democrats.

After further breaking it down (see the link above for charts), here's Gallup's take:

The two Democratic candidates offer different profiles of strengths and weaknesses when pitted against Republican McCain in the general election. Obama's strength is his appeal to black voters, and his somewhat greater appeal than Clinton's to independents and Republicans. On the other hand, although Clinton attracts the support of a lower percentage of blacks than Obama, she has a stronger appeal to white Democrats, particularly white conservative Democrats, only half of whom at this point say they would vote for Obama if he were the nominee pitted against McCain. Clinton has a very slight advantage over Obama in the matchup with McCain among Hispanics.

When the votes of all registered voters are averaged, as noted previously, the two Democratic candidates end up performing about the same against McCain. Clinton appears better able to gain the support of the Democratic base, particularly Democrats more on the fringe of the party (conservatives), while Obama builds his coalition with a stronger appeal to independents, Republicans, and black voters.

There's also an age and gender divide, which Gallup covers today:

Obama's strength in a general-election matchup against McCain would be his appeal to young voters. Obama maintains a 20-point lead over McCain among 18- to 29-year-old registered voters, 57% to 37%, while McCain has nearly as large a lead among those 65 and older, 51% to 35%. The two are closely matched among the two middle age groups.

...McCain has a 9-point advantage over Obama among male voters while Obama leads him by 5 points among women, for a total gender gap of 14 points. But if Clinton is the Democratic nominee, the gender gap expands to 22 points, with men going for McCain by 52% to 40% and women for Clinton by 51% to 41%.... a Clinton-McCain contest would primarily divide Americans according to gender, with age having far less of an impact.

Anyone can make arguments for both sides, like this: Will Black voters come back to Clinton; will Obama keep McCain under 40 percent among Latinos; will conservative Democrats stay aligned with McCain instead of Obama; will Clinton drive away Independents; will Clinton drive up turnout among Republican males; will younger voters show up to vote in large enough numbers for Obama; will young voters show up at all for Clinton; will Obama lose the gender gap due to older white women?

Tags: 2008 election (all tags)

Comments

101 Comments

Obama's biggest strength

against McCain will be the age gap between the two; Obama's 46, McCain roughly three centuries old.

From a branding perspective, coupled with the change election dynamic, that's really strong positioning. Obama literally embodies change in a way that neither of the two others do; in terms of brand value, that's an inestimable asset.

by MBNYC 2008-04-03 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's biggest strength

Did you see TDS last night? ... they hammered McCain about his age .... in a hilarious way of course

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-04-03 06:34AM | 0 recs
Didn't see that :-)

...but McCain on Letterman had basically the same narrative.

One thing about McCain, though, he is funny. He's horrible on policy, but a funny guy; hand it to the republicans, he really is their most popular spokesman right now.

:-(

by MBNYC 2008-04-03 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Didn't see that :-)

Yeah .. cause McCain knows how to play the media .. he plays them like Bonham played the drums

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-04-03 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Didn't see that :-)

A rec for Bonzo!

by zep93 2008-04-03 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's biggest strength

...except that this isn't a movie or other commodity mainly purchased by the young...older people tend to vote consistently, young people tend not to...Obama has done an amazing job of bringing young people out to vote in primaries and caucuses, but the general election is a different animal, with a far larger electorate.

Ultimately, what we have in terms of current polling is a toss-up. This will probably have to be decided on some other basis that "who can beat McCain".

by Alice in Florida 2008-04-03 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's biggest strength

The primary season thus far--in terms of registrations, individual donations to Democrats, higher voting percentages and participation in primaries and caucuses--is raising serious questions as to old assumptions.

Yes, the youth vote in the past has not turned out.  But I would bet cash money that the assumption will not prove true this year.  Jerome and Markos have a little book on the changing face and form of elections and electoral drivers.

by LarsThorwald 2008-04-03 06:44AM | 0 recs
Well, if

we stick in the branding frame for a moment, that's not strictly true.

Hillary Clinton probably has the most damaged brand of any major Democrat right now, when you look at attributes like honesty, likability, and other emotive factors. John McCain is probably the strongest of all republicans on the very same issues. Obama is even or ahead with McCain on that.

I'm probably biased because that's part of what I do for a living, but I find brand analysis to be a more accurate political forecasting tool than polling snapshots.

That said, I agree that both Democrats are likely to win in November, because the issues landscape favors us so heavily. People will vote for someone they dislike if they think that person is going to help them keep their job better than the other guy. The deeper the, what, third or fourth, Bush recession goes, the more people will focus on kitchen table issues that help Democrats.

by MBNYC 2008-04-03 06:52AM | 0 recs
moderate Dems
will support Obama if he is the nominee;
and the Clinton supporters ( unless they are in the 1% wealthy index ) will too; do you expect moderate Dems to volunteer/with McCain vote to get castrated by GOPeconomy because they might not get Hillary as nominee;
by dearreader 2008-04-03 12:33PM | 0 recs
swing and independents

EXCERPT

Swing voters and independents dissatisfied with the recent Bush family hegemony might not be ready to reenlist for the Clinton family redux.

http://thehill.com/david-hill/symbolic-a ppeal-must-be-unraveled-2007-09-05.html

by dearreader 2008-04-03 12:41PM | 0 recs
Myth of Independent Voter

The Myth of the Independent Voter
by Bruce E. Keith (Author), David B. Magleby (Author), Candice J. Nelson (Author), Elizabeth Orr (Author), Mark C. Westlye (Author)

From Library Journal
In the tradition of the best social science survey research, typified by Angus Campbell and others' The American Voter (1966; Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1980. reprint), Keith and five other respected political scientists scrutinize nearly 40 years of data on individuals' psychological attachment to political parties. The result of their thorough and painstaking analysis is aptly summarized in the title of this compact volume. They concisely deflate accumulated conventional wisdom that party identification has lost importance as a predictor of voter behavior. Rather than the two-fifths of the electorate found by previous studies to be Independents, the authors convincingly demonstrate that only 11 percent of the electorate are genuine political neutrals. Succinct, lucid, and coherent, this volume deserves a place on every political science bookshelf. Highly recommended.

- Grace Franklin, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., Ohio
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Independent-V oter-Bruce-Keith/dp/0520077202

by dearreader 2008-04-03 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Myth of Independent Voter

The American Voter served as the first text of really, really good political science scholarship on the combination of voting behavior and party identification/partisanship.  Since then, 40 years of topsy turvey realignments and new trends in research have shown much of their original work to hold today.

One piece: the independent voter is not particularly 'independent.'  

More to the point, and not necessarily from Campbell et al, independent can mean a lot - from someone who is a party-switcher to someone who is genuinely undecisive to someone who is a swing voter in the sense of whether or not they'll vote.

Don't conflate "moderate" with "independent."  Right now, on ideology, independents are much more liberal in their ID and in terms of policy preferences, much much more liberal than is consistently (mis)construed in the media.  Even among the "true" independents (as opposed to the party leaners).

by Peter from WI 2008-04-03 01:57PM | 0 recs
Credentials Committee DNC

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/arch ives/2008/04/in_the_weeds_the_politico_v _th.php

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/mich ael_tomasky/2008/04/seating_arrangements .html

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/18 6374.php

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/200 8/04/01/clintons-credentials/?ref=opinio n

EXCERPT

In The Weeds: The Politico V. The DNC, Part I
03 Apr 2008

The Politico says X, the DNC says Y -- and the Politico says it's right.

Here's the crux of the dispute, per the Politico:

The DNC interpretation is that there are 186 members of the Credentials Committee and both states are seated on the standing committees, said DNC spokeswoman Stacie Paxton.
Senior advisers to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as several party rules experts with experience from prior presidential campaigns, expressed surprise when informed of the DNC s stance.

Now -- the Politico points to this DNC rule:

Standing committee members selected pursuant to a Plan found in non-compliance by the RBC shall not be included on the membership roster by the DNC Secretary nor shall those individuals be allowed to participate as members at the standing committee meeting The Politico notes that the DNCs' interpretation ostensibly gives Hillary Clinton more of a voice on the credentials committee.

James Roosevelt, Jr., a co-chair of the party's rules committee, said last night that "[i]n accordance with DNC's Delegate Rule 20.c.6; the Rules and Bylaws committee did not exercise its authority to deny Michigan and Florida their seats on the Standing Committees."

"Therefore at this time the number of members of the Standing committees including Credentials remains at 186. If any action is necessary, the Rules and Bylaws Committee will take action when they meet to adopt its final report to the Credentials and Rules committees prior to June 29th."

by dearreader 2008-04-03 02:39PM | 0 recs
that age crackmay seem funny now
maybe you don't remember Reagan's victory?
Older voters are more dependable and age will kill Obama in the GE. Those Reagan democrats Obama is losing will not be brought back by Obama's relative youth and inexperience.
by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-04-08 05:48AM | 0 recs
Clinton/Obama '08 would resolve

all of those questions....

by Rumarhazzit 2008-04-03 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton/Obama '08 would resolve

...and present entirely new, unresolvable ones.

by Addison 2008-04-03 06:22AM | 0 recs
So would...

an Obama/Clinton '08 ticket.

But I expect that right now with McCain getting a free pass from his own party now he's their nominee and from the media as they focus on the Obama Clinton contest that this is as good as it gets for McCain. The numbers, once the Democratic nomination is resolved, will shift back to the Democrats. It will take time for us to get back together - so many people are emotionally invested in their candidate. Let's hope we all have enough time between then and November to pull ahead.

by CapTim 2008-04-03 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Good analysis.  Like the list of arguments for both sides at the end of the essay.  Those are the questions for sure.

by snarbagel 2008-04-03 06:17AM | 0 recs
This can go two ways

Either Obama's path is easier because he has to up his margins with democratic voters... while playing defense with his indi vote

Or, Clinton's path is easier because she has to win-over indi's... a group where he fav/unfav's are in the low 30s.

I think Obama's task is easier, overall, to win-over people who are prone to support you policies.  And it gets easier the more people see John McCain's Policies.

by CardBoard 2008-04-03 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: This can go two ways

I think that's oversimplifying it a bit.  It assumes the concept of a "core", which I strongly disagree on.

Rather, for Obama, the question is if he can win the blue collar voters, the rural voters, areas that Clinton have done well in, areas that on many issues, don't necessarily always agree with Democrats.  Short of it comes down to whether or not he can sell the economic vision to these voters and prevent them from voting on other issues.

by toonsterwu 2008-04-03 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: This can go two ways

I agree, there, I don't think McCain has the Bush Abortion-Gay Marriage machine that hurt us among these voters in recent years.

by CardBoard 2008-04-03 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: This can go two ways

I tend to think we project too much the voting behaviors in the primaries on voting behaviors in the general.  It is simply not true that Clinton would not be able to get the black vote in significant numbers.  Nor do I believe it is true that Obama will somehow lose all these blue collar union workers.

by LarsThorwald 2008-04-03 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: This can go two ways

The Black Vote may be more of a turnout issues than a not-getting issues.  Especially considering Clinton's path to the nomination.  To have the AA constituency denied 'their' first nominee on the convention floor would not go over well.

by CardBoard 2008-04-03 06:54AM | 0 recs
Clinton has a much better chance of

getting the black vote than Obama has of getting the Regan democrats vote. Reagan democrats have a pattern of crossing over to vote for republicans, African Americans do not.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-04-08 05:56AM | 0 recs
This can go two ways

Either Obama's path is easier because he has to up his margins with democratic voters... while playing defense with his indi vote

Or, Clinton's path is easier because she has to win-over indi's... a group where he fav/unfav's are in the low 30s.

I think Obama's task is easier, overall, to win-over people who are prone to support you policies.  And it gets easier the more people see John McCain's Policies.

by CardBoard 2008-04-03 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Clinton and Obama appeal to very different groups of Democrats, so the "bottom line" questions are:

1.  Will a joint ticket draw both candidates' supporters or will it lose the supporters of the candidate who ends up in the second spot?

2.  What other Democrats would draw the same groups if he/she was the Veep candidate in place of the candidate who finishes second.

3.  How much of the "defection" from both candidates evident in current polling is merely primary season bluster, and how much of it will really happen in the fall?

by KTinOhio 2008-04-03 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

I don't think I've seen anyone else present the real questions so succinctly. Well done.

by noop 2008-04-03 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters
We can be even more succinct than that.  How much of each candidate's support is due to their positions on the issues (which don't differ all that much), their demographics (gender, race, age, etc.), or their identity?  In other words, do HRC's supporters want a candidate like HRC, or do they want HRC herself?  (Of course the same can be said of Obama.)
 
by KTinOhio 2008-04-03 09:30AM | 0 recs
It will be different once the Primary is over

Such comparisons at this point although interesting do not really give a clear picture of what will happen. Once the Dem-primary is over and we have a clear nominee things will look vastly different. The big question is who that nominee is and if the nomination is seen as fair.

I firmly believe once its over and BO is the nominee, his advantages over McCain will become clear and will be much greater than seen right now in this gallup poll. Woman voters will come out and support him after a brief mourning period, it will be BO's, his campaign and his supportes task to respect Clinton's supporters and bring them back to the fold so that we can all be behind the nominee.

If by some sort of way Clinton comes from behind and takes the nomination and its seen as unfair or stolen then her current minimal advantages over McCain will become even less. Black voters and young voters will stay home and most middle other voters will also stay home and it will ensure her losing at the GE

by jax8 2008-04-03 06:21AM | 0 recs
nonsense
the polls numbers do not support your comment in any way shape or form.  Clinton's voters are more angry and less likely to vote for Obama than the other way around.  There is a reason for that. I am not going to explain it again and again.  But I will promise you that between the women who stay home and those like me who will vote for McCain, Obama is in big trouble.  We don't like bullies and sexists and many of us will NOT vote for one.
Then you have the Swing voters who are Reagan democrats.  They are going to like McCain a lot more than they like Obama in states like PA, OH, FL, IN, NJ and MI.
by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-04-08 06:02AM | 0 recs
Unity Ticket
The idea of a unity ticket just won't die, not with numbers like this. We could blow McCain's doors in and send him back to the senate with his tail between his legs. If only...
by Bella 2008-04-03 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Unity Ticket

I think Obama does better with someone like Jim Webb as VP, but the attractiveness of a unity ticket is undeniable given these numbers.  But would Clinton ever stand as VP?  Look, Johnson and Kennedy hammered out their differences enough for a ticket to be formed.  The question is whether it is advantageous for Obama over another choice, or whether they can put past into the past and forge a ticket that would be very appealing to Democrats.

I suggest polling firms hired by campaigns will be busier than they are now through the summer.  

by LarsThorwald 2008-04-03 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Unity Ticket

Once upon a time, George H.W. Bush was a moderate pro-choice northeastern Republican who derided his primary rival's fiscal strategy as "voodoo economics."  We all remember how that turned out.

by KTinOhio 2008-04-03 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Unity Ticket

Landslide.  

by LarsThorwald 2008-04-03 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Unity Ticket

Don't forget that GWB's approval ratings are at least as bad as Jimmy Carter's were in 1980.  (Yes, I realize Carter was running for re-election and GWB isn't, but he may as well be.)

by KTinOhio 2008-04-03 07:53AM | 0 recs
while It makes sense for Obama to

take the VP slot, it makes no sense at all for Clinton to do so and I would advise her against it.  She would be better off and more powerful as majority leader.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-04-08 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

At this point you can make a case for either Democrat's electability. There is no evidence however from any poll that either candidate would be unelectable or that one has some measurable advantage over the other.

McCain though not under pressure from the press or the Democrats has been fumbling his way through the Mid East blowing easy photo ops, one after the other. He's followed that up by setting himself up on the wrong side of all the important economic issues. Whoever the Democratic nominee is they will shred McCain once they can give him their full attention.

by hankg 2008-04-03 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Those numbers are a gift from a contentious Democratic primary and a complete lack pressure from media or opponents on his gaffes and bumbling in public. He won't have that working for him in the general.

by hankg 2008-04-03 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

What McCain is doing is hanging out and talking with reporters...he has them eating out of his hand. Unfortunately our candidates have been closer to the Bush style in press relations, only talking when they have to...it's understandable but ultimately puts them at a disadvantage. If Obama wants to be like JFK, maybe he should study JFK's approach to reporters and try setting aside time every week for a wide-ranging press availability...try to cultivate reporters more. Having media on your side (for reasons other than novelty...that's over) is an advantage we can't afford to cede to McCain.

by Alice in Florida 2008-04-03 06:49AM | 0 recs
Independents...

The message I take away from this is that "independents" aren't. Independents are just those who are conservative, but for various reasons don't want to acknowledge this to pollsters.

This also means that, despite the rise in political involvement that is seen by the blogosphere and in Dem primaries, the national election is going to be close.

I think it would be prudent if the Dems started to make plans to deal with this now instead of becoming overconfident. There is a large reserve of discrimination in this country against anyone who doesn't fit the historical standard for a candidate (white, male, Protestant) and overcoming this will take a great deal of effort. Minimizing its existence and claiming that those who are worried about it are dealing in sexism or racism is missing the underlying problem.

Are those who are enthusiastic about the chances for the Dems prepared to deal with a split government headed by McCain? Where is the contingency planning?

by rdf 2008-04-03 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Should Win the White House

With Clinton/Obama in '08--if they are smart--that is what superdelegates will do. But, barring that winning team, if it isn't Hillary Clinton as the nominee, it will be John McCain as President.

Even Bill Richardson said he didn't think Obama would win--"too inexperienced."

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/ 2008/04/candidate-clint.html

I doubt seriously that Obama can bring enough young voters to the polls to put him over the top. Moderate/Conservative Democrats won't come out to vote for Obama and neither will independents and Republicans, neither will the Latino/Hispanic voters, and neither will older Democrats or women. This will be McGovern, all over again.

Clinton can beat John McCain in November, as even Chris Matthews admitted, in a recent chat with Pat Buchanan, when he said, Obama as the nominee was a much riskier scenario.

by Tennessean 2008-04-03 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Should Win the White House

Why would Obama take second fiddle?  He's winning.  And you can be assured that a lot of Obama's base would stay home if what you say comes true.  And you are taking Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan's word for things?  That's hilarious.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-04-03 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Should Win the White House

This is not about winning a primary anymore, it is far beyond the nomination.

Just because Obama can win the nimination of people who hate the Clintons does not mean he can win the general among the larger electorate. if he could he would have put Hillary away by now and it seems he can't do that.

Primary turnout if vastly different than GE turnout. Get it through your heads...it does no good to have Obama as the nominee or at the top of a joint ticket...if he can't win.

by americanincanada 2008-04-03 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Should Win the White House

And you know he can't win how?  Kerry was nominated because he was seen as the more electable and we know how that turned out.  And how can Hillary win the GE when she can't even win the primary?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-04-03 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Should Win the White House

Whatever.

by interestedbystander 2008-04-03 09:47AM | 0 recs
Unfounded speculation

There is nothing in the results or polls up until now to support what you say.

He has already proven he can bring voting blocks that normally vote in lower numbers, young prople and African Americans to the polls in historically high percentages. That is why he is ahead. We don't need to speculate about it. He has already done it.

None of your other contentions are supported by any poling data or any other objective measures. In fact recent polls find a majority of both Democrats and Republicans think Obama is the stronger candidate and he has consistently done better against McCain then Hillary in national polls.

Hillary would have as many problems as Obama should she win the nomination. Without the Obama engine driving them young voters, African Americans and new voter participation would revert to the mean. Worse if they percieved that the Clinton campaign unfairly took down thier hero and that he was cheated out of a nomination that he earned that could severely suppress turnout with these groups affecting not just Hillary but also down ticket races.

Seniors and older white woman can be counted on to show up at the polls consistent with past patterns of high participation. They may not pull the lever for Obama but even if they vote for McCain they will vote Democrat down ticket.

by hankg 2008-04-03 06:54AM | 0 recs
Two things:

a) He's ahead because of caucuses in red states.  Caucuses sample a tiny percentage of the democratic population, and democrats in red states are also a relatively small percentage of the population in red states.  So that's a tiny percentage times a small percentage, which gives you zero predictive power.

b) Before you make too much of the youth vote, recall George McGovern in 1972.   Same thing, 1 state (his own).

by mnicholson0220 2008-04-03 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Two things:

He is ahead in the popular vote by 800,000. He has beat Hillary not just in the Caucus states but in the primary states as well. He is ahead in national polls and he polls stronger against McCain then Hillary. He is crushing Clinton in number of donors and money raised. By every metric he is stronger.

by hankg 2008-04-03 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Two things:

I'd add one more thing. This is not the 70's and it's not the 90's. Obama would not have stood a chance in the 70's. Times have changed, voters have changed and generational shifts as well as the experience of the Bush years has changed everything.

You can't win this battle fighting the last war.

by hankg 2008-04-03 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Should Win the White House

See, I know its fun to play the "McGovern all over again" panic card, but there is nothing to corrolate the 2008 map with the 1972 map. A little quality time on Wikipedia could go a long way. But that's been said by others, better than I could. My point:

I think McCain loses to any Democrat. Or Green should a Democrat not be available. Or a Whig. Or a Federalist. Obama, Clinton -- heck, they could have a reality show where they pick an American at random, and that random American would beat John McCain. He'd lose to well-pruned bonzai plant. He'd lose to a goldfish with the clap. Hell, if there was somewhere in the constitution for the actual herpes virus to become President, I think McCain loses to herpes.

Moderate Democrats and Conservative Democrats and Conservative Republicans and even the aforementioned VD-addled goldfish will come out for Obama. Because the economy is in the shitter, the President has an approval rating lower than John Wayne Gacy, and the more Americans lose their homes, insurance, retirement, health care and general dignity -- while a war they were lied to about, hate, an which seems to have no possible victory continues to drain lives and money -- no one is going to vote for 4 more years of that.

Especially not any Democratic group. Especially not Latinos once they see how McCain panders to the Lou Dobbs crowd. Especially once they see that McCain, for all his service during the Spanish-American war, doesn't seem to grasp the basics of the Iraq conflict.

Nah gonna happen. McCain's ship has sailed, and that ship is one of those 19th century frigates that gets lost in the fog and becomes some late-night Sci-Fi Channel occult mystery movie.

And, Chris "blacks aren't normal" Matthews and Pat "blacks should be grateful" Buchanan are not the experts in anything other than thier own, wrinkly, sphincter muscles. Anything that comes out of their mouth has no more worth than what comes out of the other part.

Seriously, a box full of monkey parts, kept on dry ice for medical purposes, would beat McCain. The polls, plus a dollar, will get you 50 cents.

by Lettuce 2008-04-03 06:55AM | 0 recs
I suspect that you have not lived

through many election cycles.   When you write:

"Moderate Democrats and Conservative Democrats and Conservative Republicans and even the aforementioned VD-addled goldfish will come out for Obama. Because the economy is in the shitter, the President has an approval rating lower than John Wayne Gacy, and the more Americans lose their homes, insurance, retirement, health care and general dignity -- while a war they were lied to about, hate, an which seems to have no possible victory continues to drain lives and money -- no one is going to vote for 4 more years of that."

you are neglecting the power of an incumbent president to turn things around.   Just wait, come October Iraq will be looking better and there will be ticker tape parades for returning soldiers.  The economy and the stock market will have received a sudden mysterious boost, and if Obama is the nominee the endless tape loops of Rev. Wright will  have worked their way into the consciousness of not just 65% of the electorate (approximmately what it is now), but 99% of the electorate.

The issues will be the ones that are resistant to short-term fixes:  healthcare reform, long-range middle-east diplomacy including Iran,  and the environment.  

by mnicholson0220 2008-04-03 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect that you have not lived

Been around for many elections. Sat on the press busses for three of 'em. Was impressed that John McCain remembered my wife's name. He truly owns the press with that sort of skill.

But seriously, if Bush had the mysterious ability to turn things around, think that might have happened in 04? Or 06? Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt his capacity for mischief, but there are no "sudden" positive surprises with economics. The Bush Sr. economy was turning around before the election, but once people get it in their head that the economy is in the crapper and that a candidate or party is to blame, it's game over.

No one cares about the Stock Market when they or their friends are on food stamps. Don't underestimate the damage that's going on in America right now. Even people that don't feel it personally, see it in their friends. Everyone is getting touched by this... you don't get right track/wrong track polls like this without that.

It's what wiped Bush Sr. and Carter. Heck, the only real "October Surprise" in our lifetimes was the Iranian hostages thing, and that was coordinated by the party out-of-power.

I don't doubt you believe that Wright is fatally damaging to Obama, but like most commentators here, I read a bit of wish-fullfillment in your comment. It's not Obama making those comments, and in a time in which middle class Americans are truly fearful of losing their homes -- its effect will most likely be negligable.

by Lettuce 2008-04-03 07:59AM | 0 recs
I can't really rebutt your points because

the answer to them lies as much in the future as in the past.  How bad WILL the economy be in 6 months' time?  No one seems to know!  That alone is scarey, eh?

As for Wright, same thing.   It will either fester in the hearts of a lot of white people and alchemize to poison, or not.  

Generally, in times of trouble people tend to grow more cautious, more conservative.   They become afraid of change.   They might long for some old daddy figure like McCain who smiles and tells them everything will be ok, rather than the young super-charged radical who tells them stuff has gotta change.

Or they might go for the mommy figure.  Someone who offers a sympathetic ear, a track record hard work on their behalf, and a resilience beyond all understanding.

Time will tell.  

by mnicholson0220 2008-04-03 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: I can't really rebutt your points because

I love your options. Wright will either fester and lead to numerous strokes -- or it won't. Hard to argue that.

Some young, super-charded radical who tells them stuff has to change vs... a sympathetic ear, track record and "resiliance beyond all understanding."

Just guessing here, but I think you are not able to see the forest for the trees here... well, the one "mommy figure" tree you're happily resting within the branches of.

Most likely Wright will become a footnote -- people will be affected, but it's not Obama. And I feel a little more optimistic that "white people" aen't going to see a couple youtube clips of an angry black man, and suddenly become a poison balloon. I know racism is an issue, but I can't share in your daydream that it will lead to President Hillary.

And, in times of trouble people do NOT grow more cautious. FDR in the depression. JFK in the cold war. Clinton in the Reagan/Bush recession.

In times of trouble, people vote for the candidate offering less trouble. That is Generic Democrat X vs McCain.

by Lettuce 2008-04-03 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats Should Win the White House

Your Richardson "quote" is an anonymous, uncorroborated, third-hand account with no context. I'm sorry, but no reasonable person would use that to support an argument. Honestly though, I'm not sure if that's better or worse than the rest of your sweeping statements, which you don't even try to support.

by noop 2008-04-03 07:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

What I would like to see are additional studies to either encourage or kill speculation about the unity ticket idea.  Many people assume that it would be a net positive, but I wonder about that.

by rfahey22 2008-04-03 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Thank you Jerome. I used the link and went to the Gallup site, but have a few questions.  I'm not a quantitative analyst, my forte is qualitative research, but I have worked in the past with survey researchers.  I couldn't find much information on the Gallup site with much detail on their survey methods/samples - other than they are using the phones - but am interested in their sampling.  Would like more detail on categories like "Hispanic" and how that breaks down (Puerto Rican, Mexican-American, Cuban-American etc.) ethnically and by region.

Would also know if they are cellphone sampling rather than just landline, since many of the new registrants (young people) don't have landlines.

Does the category Independent have any indicators whether these are Indies who have a pattern of voting with Repubs, Indies who tend to go Dem or Indies who have opted for other party choices?

And would be curious to see a breakdown of how the variable of women breaks down across racial/ethnic cats.  

by NeciVelez 2008-04-03 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

As it turns out, I am a quantitative analyst.  We'll make a good pair here.

But actually, you're right on things you pointed out.  Especially geography.  I'm in the middle of using Pew data from 2007 for a research project on partisan ID and the oversampling of the south biases upward the Republican ID.  Same deal with Hispanics - undersampling increases Republican ID.  The external validity of surveys like this suffer.  Again, same deal with cell phones - but there's no good way around that right now for most survey outfits.  

Also, the internal validity is questionable.  The categories are limited and the leaners are not clearly delineated.  In my research, I've noticed a very clear trend that those that lean Democratic are much more like strong or weak partisanal Democrats than what Republican leaners are like compared to their partisan analogue.  And Democratic leaners - independents upon the top level of most ID surveys - actually exhibit more liberal tendencies in their ideology than weak Democrats.  Weird!  

But here's the biggest threat to external validity with this survey - it is a model based upon history only.  Which is usually the right way to do things - but in politics, models based upon history don't always work out so well.  This model makes assumptions about voter engagement and turnout that I find spurious.  

I don't particularly care for Obama - and really not particularly Clinton either.  But it's fairly safe to say that the contours of the electorate's turnout will change with him as the nominee.  Same deal with Clinton actually.

The composition of the electorate, even using Gallup's foolish categories, will be the crux of this.  Sure, either candidate might lose pure independents.  But if that category is only 11% of the electorate while leaning Dems are 24% and one candidate wins decisively in that category, they're a 'better' candidate.  

Using statistics is not as easy as reading numbers.

by Peter from WI 2008-04-03 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Thank you Peter.
I am in complete agreement that survey data based solely on historical performance cannot take temporal change into consideration, unless some type of adjustments are built in.  I seem to remember some data analyists I worked with in the past doing projections that did take shifts into consideration.  Was never clear how they did it however, I tended to glaze over after 3 or 4 hours in meetings discussing multivariate analyses and logistical regressions (grin).  

But both approaches are necessary to come away with a better understanding of the data, and even before collecting it, it is useful to have qualitative researchers contribute to the framing of the questions asked, and the teasing out of demographic subsets.

by NeciVelez 2008-04-03 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Peter, forgot to ask a question.

Could you also tease out the demographic I hear cited now daily on the news - "the white male" vote.  Some have referred to it as the "white working class male", but again
I am confused by the category, since region and occupation must affect these categories.  How is the "white male" being defined differently in places like Maine, Iowa, Kansas, CA, Florida, Ohio, PA.  

Grrr...I hate oversimplification.  If I were a white male (which I'm not) I'd probably have some problems with constantly being lumped into some monolithic category .  What also throws me off also is fuzzy uses and conflations of working class/middle or lower middle class.  I never know which social theory is being used to define these categories.  Farmer versus steel worker, auto mechanic versus pizza shop worker.  

Guess I'm asking too much here, but these are the ponderings that float through my mind when I read poll results, and responses to them.

by NeciVelez 2008-04-03 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

They are totally different.

"Class" is a fungible thing.  Take two people that both earn the same amount, have roughly the same job, have roughly the same household income.  If one identifies as "working class" and the other as "middle class," guess which way they're more likely to vote?  Working > Democrat, Middle > Republican.  Although that seems to be changing.

Variations by region are incredible.  Not just by region, but also by community type (suburban, rural, urban).  And by which community.  Is the white working class male in Milwaukee, WI different from the one in the Fox Valley?  We Wisconsinites know this to be true.  

Pollsters aren't identifying differences largely because polling is done with samples of around 500.  At this point, you can't parse narrowly enough to have statistically significant results.  If you look at a cross sectional study like Pew or ANES, you get 2000+ in the sample, and you can parse.  Without that ability, it's easier to generalize and say "white working class male" and wave your hand to get homogeneity.

There are reasons why pollsters don't release their numbers very much - someone with a stats background might just call them on their BS.

I'm a white male, and I hate being lumped.  So it's not just you. :)

by Peter from WI 2008-04-03 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Hmmm, didn't realize many were working with such small samples. How in the heck do they purport to have any statistical significance?  Sounds like I could come up with the same projections using a crystal ball. :)

by NeciVelez 2008-04-03 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

As it turns out, you just qualified to be a pollster.

At least in my opinion.

It's EXPENSIVE to do the surveying needed to get decent data.  That's why the sub-samples get awful small - and awfully statistically insignificant.  Just think about the residuals for a sub-sample of 20 people...now think of the standard error...

As an aside, I hope to have, by the end of May, a paper to share with folks here on MyDD about partisan identification and some trends, based upon some quantitative analysis I'm doing right now using numbers from 2007.

by Peter from WI 2008-04-03 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Good questions - I don't think the more specific cross-tabs are available, but this election could use them more than most. Older African-American women have been better for Clinton than other African-American subgroups, for example, and African-American Hispanics may identify more with other African-Americans than with other Hispanics. Hard to find these details unless you have access to the raw data.

On the cell phone question, I think Gallup is making a point of including cell-only respondents.

And your Indy question points out the reason I don't ask about this category. Too fuzzy. Asking about Bush v Kerry is a better metric for me.

by IVR Polls 2008-04-03 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Thanks for responding IVR Polls.

I'd love to see the data on older AA women, and any shifts.  Since my qualitative research has shown that it is older AA women who are the strongest church goers; and stauch supporters of both their pastors and congregations, it will be interesting to see how this plays out re the recent calls for BO to throw his former pastor under a bus.

The other sub-set of voters that interests me the most are Puerto Ricans; not the largest, but the second largest Latino voting group.  Most of my years of research in the PR community have looked at racial identification and variation (mainland versus the island) as one independent variable.  Puerto Rican families and genealogies are complex, and though there are at times racial frictions, there are also many historic alliances between and among PR's, AA's (here on the mainland) and also within PR families that run the gamut in phenotype.  

One example in the NY, NJ area is the powerful alliance between AA's and PR's in unions like 1199 (hospital workers).  A long history of working and fighting for social change, and for getting out the vote - together.  

by NeciVelez 2008-04-03 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Most of my polling has been in Texas, where African-American women over 60 were still giving Clinton competitive support until the last week. Democratic primary makeup tilts towards women and seniors in general, but this is even more pronounced in the AA population. Obama was very efficient at converting unlikely AA voters into voters, while Clinton focused elsewhere, so the AA 60+ F Clinton block became a tiny percentage of the voting population.

Unfortunately, my Texas data is all pre-Wright, so I can't help you on that question. And Puerto Ricans are such a small fraction of Texas Hispanics, I can't shed any light there either.

by IVR Polls 2008-04-03 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters
Gracias.  I've been paying attention to Texas polling, but am not very knowledgable about the Mexican-American community of Texas and its subsets.
 Texas must present a lot of difficulty - almost like dealing with 5 different states.
by NeciVelez 2008-04-03 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Good anaysis Jerome.

I appreciate the even handedness.  

by TomP 2008-04-03 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Agreed.  

by LarsThorwald 2008-04-03 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters
Obama raises $40 million in March...
If folks think those who are SuperDel's
don't pay attention to this...
well dream on
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2008/0 4/obama_raises_40_million_in_mar.php
by nogo war 2008-04-03 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Again, let me remind you, raising money for the primary is totally different than raising it for the general. How much ofthe 40 million that Obama raised is for the GE? he should certainly be thinking that far ahead if he truly believes he is the presumptive nominee. Hell, Hillary has been ear marking large sums for the GE for quite awhile now. Obama has not.

Don't you think the SDs watch THAT too?!

by americanincanada 2008-04-03 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

What is a pure independent? Seems to me that independents would herd like cats, and not vote in a block like shown above.

If the fact that McCain is not a liberal republican was in the news night after night, I wonder how these numbers would change.

by nellre 2008-04-03 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

The real question is whose numbers are more moveable.
For Clinton, her negatives are just too high and thus these numbers are likely fixed so its likely we will have a McSame presidency wither her as the nominee.
For the Big O his negatives are much lower and thus his numbers are less fixed.

From my novice reading of these numbers coupled with other polls highlighting candidate's negatives, we have only one chance, and that is Obama.

by gil 2008-04-03 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Obama's negatives have no place to go but up. Hilary's are only liable to go down.

by americanincanada 2008-04-03 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

I disagree.  Obama's negatives can still decline as the Wright controversy fades from view, and there's no reason to think Hillary's can't go higher.  Either way, it's too soon to tell.

by KTinOhio 2008-04-03 07:25AM | 0 recs
Thanks for this contribution:

Gil opines:

" ... her negatives are just too high ..."

Just too high.  WAY too high.  WAY WAY WAY too high.

Well I guess that's it.   Everyone, we have our nominee.

by mnicholson0220 2008-04-03 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for this contribution:

Look:
HRC is well-known with high negatives.
That is well established reality.
Negatives are difficult to bring down, especially once you are that well known.  
Thus her high negatives make her unelectable in the GE.

So perhaps we can start talking about the naïve, mind washed, fantasyland livin' HRC supporters who think she can win it all.  When as this poll clearly shows, she can't.

by gil 2008-04-03 08:08AM | 0 recs
Tell you what, if Obama disappeared

tomorrow, along with his mainstream media hate campaign against Hillary, her negatives would drop precipitously.   Among rank and file Americans, people who see her in debates and people who see her in rallies, her negatives are low.  

But Obama has deliberately forged an alliance with the MSM who have various grudges against both Clintons, to keep her negatives high.   It has been relentless stream of character assassination based on lies and innuendo.  

Lou Dobbs the other night said it well.  Just taking the constant drumbeat of calls for her to leave the race, over the past 2 weeks, she never gets a sliver of attention for her own policies and strong points.

YOU are being disingenuous (to borrow Obama's oft-used description of Hillary) to keep harping on her negative, when it's your own candidate who is keeping them high.

Now that's some loyal democrat, isn't it?

by mnicholson0220 2008-04-03 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Tell you what, if Obama disappeared

????
Have the supporters of HRC become completely unhinged?
Blame the Media, Blame White Guilt, Blame the Niave, Blame ANYTHING except their candidate for her own personal shortcomings.
She has gone from inevitable to almost no chance because she had a bad strategy, with a bad staff and ran a horrible campaign.
There is no one to blame but herself.

Geez.

by gil 2008-04-03 08:49AM | 0 recs
keep denying reality

when Obama is no longer the darling of the media and McCain is, don't cry to me about it.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-04-08 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

March 7th? When did Snipergate come to light?

by kitebro 2008-04-03 07:26AM | 0 recs
These are percentages ... to get the

actual vote tallies, you would need to multiply each % by the number of voters in the population corresponding to each group (whether political spectrum group such as "moderate democrat" or demographic group such as "white males").  

That is, knowing that Hillary gets x% of the black vote is not useful until we know the BASE RATE of black voters.  And if Obama gets y% of the independent vote, the we need to know how many independent voters there are in the population.

Stated another way, a huge percentage of a small number is still small, whereas a small percentage of a huge number is huge.  

Hope this makes sense ...

by mnicholson0220 2008-04-03 07:27AM | 0 recs
you make perfect sense

maybe one of the number crunchers here will do that work.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-04-08 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

I think the age versus gender splits are the most interesting part of the Gallup analysis. I don't exactly know what it all means but I would guess that if Obama can really turn out the youth vote the way that he seems to be able to this is the piece of the puzzle that puts him ahead of Clinton as the stronger candidate versus McCain.

by wasder 2008-04-03 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Women will come out in much higher than usual numbers with a woman on the ballot. Will young people come out in much higher than usual numbers for Obama? Historically, Democratic candidates who enjoyed success in the primaries with young voters have not seen that participation maintained in the general election. I have also read that participation by young voters in the primaries has been falling off consistently since Iowa. I just don't trust a strategy based on young people and independents -- the most undependable voters of all.

by esmense 2008-04-03 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

This is an arguable point...I think that women will come out with particular enthusiasm if Clinton is the nominee, but I find it hard to believe that Obama's overall support among women would be that much lower given the stark choice they would face between Obama and McCain. In re the youth vote, yes this is always a dicy proposition to hang your hat on but Obama does seem to have a way of tossing many of the old assumptions about electoral politics on their head. I am curious to see the numbers for youth turnout in the primaries to see if they really have been coming out less and less since Iowa. Do you have any links for this?

by wasder 2008-04-03 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

young people tend to be idealists and band wagon jumpers.  Nothing wrong with saying that, it's true and  was the same. Older voters and women voters are more dependable.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-04-08 06:25AM | 0 recs
Silly Gallup folks

It's about time Gallup caught on to what I was describing a week ago. ;-)

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/21/2010 40/276

I have been saying for some time now that both candidates have similar degrees of cross-over appeal, but that they draw that appeal from different groups.  Barack is more appealing to Independents, but Hillary is the one who brings the Reagan Democrats home.

I believe that is exactly what this survey confirms.

Here's something to consider: We know that we will have at least one Independent candidate this election cycle.  Given the strengths of the three candidates, who is likely to be hurt the most by the so-called Nader effect?  Admittedly, that is a speculative question.

by bobbank 2008-04-03 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

I'd like to add something here; I have always suspected that the establishment Democrats -- the old Bulls like Kennedy, Kerry and Leahy and the mushy Midwesterners like Daschle and Gephart -- who were most behind pushing Obama to run this early in his career, against the first serious female contender, weren't afraid that she would lose as much as they were afraid of how she would win -- with, most likely, the biggest gender gap we have ever seen. I think they fear that her win would cement the image of the Democratic party as "The Mommy Party" and make it even more difficult for male Democrats to get votes from male voters in the future.

I think their fears are exaggerated, but not unfounded. Hillary would win, the first time around at least, with unusually strong support from women, and most likely even weaker support from men than Democrats normally get, especially with McCain as her opponent. But, I think once that barrier is broken, and the unprecedented (and therefore feared) has become a reality, cultural attitudes will relax and change -- and fears about the Democrats as a "Mommy" party will subside. I think, by changing the way we view leadership and putting to rest the last 50 years of "mine is bigger than yours" politicking, it will actually benefit male Democratic candidates, and lessen the gender gap, in the future.    

by esmense 2008-04-03 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

The key difference between Obama and Hillary is that Obama can't appeal to the experience/Knows what they are doing crowd with a VP.

Hillary on the other hand can get a lot of the AA vote by having an AA VP.

As such a Hillary/Obama ticket is our best ticket to run.

As we enter a recession the fact that Hillary is married to the most successful president in our lifetime with regards to the economy would increasingly be factored in.  Many GOP conservatives who HATE HATE HATE Hillary may vote for her over McCain if economic situations were bleak enough.

Politics is often more about respect than it is about liking someone and keep down I don't think Obama's support is about respect I think its about like.

The democratic primary makes it difficult for Hillary to really hammer Obama on the you are not qualified you are an afirmative action candidate because she needs AA votes if she wins.  But McCain doesn't need AA votes and will HAMMER on the not qualified theme, note not inexperienced, not qualified.

So to sum it up.

Hillary wins over McCain on Economy/security/healthcare

McCain wins over Obama on security/terrorism/experience

Obama wins over McCain on Iraq?

by DTaylor 2008-04-03 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

One Last note.

The above information is very interesting but the key information is missing.

Because the general election is a electoral college the most important information is the composition of the states that will be close.

My perception is that Hillary is stronger in Ohio, Pa, Florida, NJ, Arkansas than Obama

Obama is stronger in Colorado

The people who will make the decision will make it with an electoral college map with states mapped out both on current popularity but also on composition of state into groups that match the above to see if anyone is being sampled wrong.

If Obama really does have the same chance that Hillary does maybe its best he runs...

Personally having the dean wing crash the party may be a good thing in the long run.

by DTaylor 2008-04-03 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

DTaylor --

I've been voting since '72 through various wars, military crisis and actions -- and, regretfully, I've never seen the American electorate choose the anti-war candidate, even when the war was extremely unpopular.

They'll choose a candidate who claims to have a plan to end the war, but only if he is someone who is also perceived as, and has some record that indicates, he is nonetheless "strong on defense."

Obama's problem is that even if people agree that his speech a few years ago showed good "judgement" in terms of the war (many, of course, won't even care about the speech this long after the fact) he still presents too little history for voters to use to judge his commitment to "keeping the country strong." That lack of resume will allow McCain and the Republicans to paint him almost anyway they want -- not simply as someone who smartly objected to the mistake this war turned out to be, but someone who is anti-war, perhaps even anti-military, in general, and who perhaps can't be counted on to stand up and defend America when necessary.

by esmense 2008-04-03 09:21AM | 0 recs
yup

and worse than that they will paint his as anti-american, anti-christian and corrupt because of his Rezko problem.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-04-08 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

I don't think Obama represents the Dean wing of the party. Dean drew in a much broader group of young people, not so elite class specific.

I'm a precinct captain in a working class Seattle neighborhood. Dean won our precinct in 2004 because lots of young people showed up, most of them working class people living in the neighborhood's many new, large scale apartment complexes, all of them having never participated before. (My husband and I run a company that manufactures after-market auto parts. We first learned about Dean, and became supporters, at the urging of our youthful employees -- working class men and women mostly under 25 who had never before expressed anything but cynicism about politics.)

Obama won our precinct this year with an entirely different Demographic -- a large group of middle-aged white men, new voters, who were mostly voting againt Clinton. We had almost no turnout among the under 30 crowd in our neighborhood).

by esmense 2008-04-03 09:37AM | 0 recs
Thoughts on why Karl Rove wants Clinton

First off, I think this post and poll confirms what a lot of people already suspected.  That is, that Senator Clinton and Senator Obama are equally electable at this point.  The problem for Senator Clinton is that she needs a compelling reason to convince super delegates to overturn the elected delegate lead.  It's become clear that arguments about which states matter never really gained traction not only in the media, but also among the super delegates.  I still remain convinced that if she does not gain the popular vote lead sans Michigan and Florida by June 3rd, the super delegates will ratify the primary results in favor of Senator Obama, seeing as she is clearly not going to take the lead in elected delegates.

But, what I've been trying to think about a lot recently is why Karl Rove wants Hillary Clinton to be the nominee.  Mr. Rove doesn't have an honest bone in his body, so the argument that it's because he thinks Senator Clinton would be a better president doesn't fly with me.  What I've finally settled on is that Mr. Rove, being politically very capable and calculating, is convinced that November will be a change election as most people would agree.  Across the board, regardless of party affiliation, people are disenchanted with politics as usual.  So, the question becomes in the two theoretical matchups, who gets to wear the change mantle?  I think it's pretty clear that in a matchup between Senator Obama and Senator McCain, Obama will be seen as the change candidate, a statement I don't think even Clinton supporters would deny.  But, I'm not sure how the media narrative would play out in a matchup between Senator Clinton and Senator McCain.  My fear, and what I believe Rove is hoping for, is that Senator Clinton is still seen as highly partisan because of her husband's time in office.  That just might allow Senator McCain an opening to treat Clinton as the incumbent and run his campaign as the outsider.  Certainly, the media's embrace of the "maverick" meme will not hurt him in this regard.  Additionally, the fact that the media narrative has been so negative for Senator Clinton thus far, a fact that her supporters often point to, also does not bode well for November.  If McCain is able to mold the narrative as the "outsider", against Senator Clinton, the "incumbent", in a change election I think we could be in big trouble.  This obviously isn't the media narrative today, but my guess is that, if they're smart, this is what the McCain campaign would try to shape for November.  It's certainly a lot better than running as the experience candidate in a change election, which is the campaign he would be forced to run against Senator Obama.

by Fearing Blue 2008-04-03 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts

I agree that both are equally electable- I would not try to guess what's in Rove's mind- it could be reverse psychology or reverse reverse psychology. Finally, I commend Jerome in posting on what he does best-poll analysis, though relying on that Electoral College map that gave PA to Rs when polls show otherwise represented a lapse.  

by RAULC 2008-04-03 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughts

That's a fair point.  Rove's evil genius is likely well beyond my comprehension. :-)  It's just something I've been pondering recently and decided to share.  Certainly to be taken with a heavy dose of salt.

by Fearing Blue 2008-04-03 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

It's really very simple.

Young voters will not vote.  Never have.  Never will.    Forget counting on them in November.  They wiull make no difference.

by krj47 2008-04-03 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

Young voters always vote, the only question is how many.  For example, youth voter participation was up 11% in 2004 after declining 16% from 1972 to 2000.  Can youth voters alone determine the outcome of an election?  Obviously not.  But, that doesn't mean that ignoring them is a good idea.  If there's one thing we should have learned from the Republicans over the last two elections is that you can win elections by energizing your demographic base.  Youth voters certainly fall into this category for the Democrats.

by Fearing Blue 2008-04-03 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: The choice of voters

This poll is missing the point.  Almost all of the Democrats, regardless of what they say now, will end up voting for whoever the Democratic Party candidate is to regain the White House after being "Bushed" for the last 8 years.  The real question is how many Indies and Repubs will vote for a particular Democratic candidate over McCain, and what states they live in.  Although this poll does not break it down in terms of states of residence, Obama generally has the clear advantage among those groups.

As I said in a previous entry, only certain states are going to count in the GE, namely those states that went for Bush by under 5% or so in 2004.  The rest of the vote doesn't matter. With an honest vote in Ohio this time around, plus the economy issue, the election should go to the Democrats unless they screw it up. The only way I see them  doing that is if the convention overrides the will of the primary voters as expressed in elected delegates resulting in many Democrats sitting out the GE in protest.    

by MikeWalk 2008-04-03 02:20PM | 0 recs
you are denying reality
Kerry lost OH in 2004.  Obama lost OH in the primary.  Obama will NOT win OH.  Young voters are less reliable than any other group, they are already dropping out of participation.  Women are the party base.  
When you have a choice between pissing off young people or the base of the party chose loosing young people.
by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-04-08 06:39AM | 0 recs

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