But What About The Republican Defectors?

Funny how, at a time when things really couldn't be worse for Republicans, we've allowed a narrative to develop (in fact, we've fueled it) about how divided the Democratic Party is and how damaged the eventual nominee will be as a result of the fractured bases of the two candidates. The fact is, Republicans are loving it and, yes, are using it to prop up John McCain.

From Tim Russert on Sunday's Meet The Press:

The campaign manager for John McCain sent this memo out on Wednesday: "If and when Senator Barack Obama becomes the official nominee, Democratic primary voters may not form a tight coalition immediately. Data to date suggests Democratic primary voters will not blindly support Senator Obama. ... Among North Carolina Democratic primary voters interviewed in exit polls, 18 percent of the Democrats surveyed said they would vote for John McCain in a race against""Obama. ... Among Indiana Democratic primary voters ... 18 percent" said "they'd vote for John McCain against Senator Obama. Among Pennsylvania Democratic Primary voters, 15 percent said they would vote for John McCain."

What's left out of the conversation, however -- conveniently for John McCain -- is not only the number of Republicans voting against the presumptive nominee in primary after primary, which, as Chris Dodd pointed out on Meet The Press, is usually in the 20-25% range, but also the number of Republicans likely to vote Democratic in the general election.

The new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that, as other polls have before it, the level of defection to McCain among the Democratic candidates' supporters is disturbingly high, in the 20s:

About a quarter of Clinton supporters (26 percent) say they'd favor John McCain over Obama, and about as many Obama supporters (22 percent) say they'd take McCain over Clinton.

But think for a second about what is partially accounting for the incredible turnout nationwide: the unprecedented number of non-Democrats voting in our primary, voters who actually would be at least just as likely to vote Republican as they would be to vote Democratic in a general election. So, as you might expect, when ABC/WaPo broke down the defectors to just Democrats, the number lowered quite a bit:

Indeed, relatively few mainstream Democrats (as opposed to independents) say they'd cross over (13 and 10 percent, respectively).

And in fact is no greater than the defection rate among Republicans from McCain to the Democrats.

And as many Republicans say they'd defect the other way - 10 percent for Clinton if she faced McCain; 15 percent for Obama vs. McCain.

Just something to think about next time Timmeh or Tweety tells you how divided the Democrats are.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama, Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, John McCain (all tags)



Ive said it before

and I'll say it again, the republicans are toast this year.  Thats why I expect Clinton to fight all the way to the final chance is closed (and I would expect Obama to do the same if the roles were reversed).

The republicans are in crisis mode and McCain is just the guy to fracture it further.

The sane part of the republican party is cleaving from the psychos at an alarming rate.  And yes, there is a sane, moderate part to the republican party.  They are tired of the fiscal mismanagement, the theocracy pandering, the continuous war footing, the incompetent governing and the secrecy and loyalty to cult of personality, etc.

This is all anecdotal so take it for what its worth.

I grew up next door to one of my 2 US senators (long retired) who is a republican and is completely shattered at what his party has become (he talks to my mom quite often at church so she gives me the summary).  He was one of the middle of the road kind of people.  He said the mood in the republican party is that the crazies have taken over and veered so far away from what it was built on that the democrats have taken the lead on what is important to them (fiscal management).  He is committed to trying to work from the inside to bring it back but he doesnt think it is going to happen for a long time and he feels the moderates are going to run like crazy from the republicans for years to come.

These republicans might not feel a great kinship with the democrats but they like both our candidates (Obama more) and hate McCain as they cant trust him.  Plus they fear that the psycho side of their party which has been mostly kept under wraps will come out in full on frothing at the mouth hysteria during this campaign and paint the republican party even more like rabid taliban-esque throw backs.  And thus pushing more moderates away from them.

They fear how low the 527's will go and they think McCain is a disaster and nowhere near what they believed he used to be in the 90's.

So many are going to be crossing over to the D side this year.

So I think this is going to be a watershed year for democrats and why I want to get a nominee sooner rather than later so we can start to build that crushing momentum.

by pattonbt 2008-05-13 01:58AM | 0 recs
If you look at a map, you'll see Hillary has an

advantage as to where those Republican defectors are coming from. Unless we are able to change the electoral vote system, I think Hillary is a FAR more electable candidate.

I hate to say it but Obama is also inflexible when it comes to solutions for all of us. He seems beholden to a number of corporate interests. We've seen it with the nuclear power industry, with healthcare interests, etc.

Hillary is PRAGMATIC and SHE is fighting for ALL of us.

by architek 2008-05-13 03:44AM | 0 recs
Re: If you look at a map, you'll see Hillary has a

Same tired talking points from archi...

by JDF 2008-05-13 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: If you look at a map, you'll see Hillary has a

"Same tired talking point from archi..."

From JDF

You know JDF. Keep it up. I can guarantee an attitude of disregard for the opinions of others is not going to win votes.

It's just going to run the Republicans willing to concider voting for a Democrat off.

Sigh, You know when Sen. Kerry said he didn't need the South to win?

Well it's NOT President John Kerry.

Besides Sen. Obama is saying run an inclusive campaign. A campaign of positive change including all Americans. Even Republicans. :D

Seems like being nice is a good idea.

But ya'll can continue being dissmissive. It's a free country. You can say what you will (and run folks off in the process).

This is for both Sen. Clinton and Sen Obama' supporters by the way. Before someone jumps in a accuses me of being a partisan. :D

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-05-13 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: If you look at a map, you'll see Hillary has a
Ya know what?
I am sick of Archi saying the same thing over and over again. It adds nothing to the conversation. If he wants an echo chamber it is called hillaryis44.org
by JDF 2008-05-13 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: If you look at a map, you'll see Hillary has a

Hey ya JDF

But here's the thing. Somethings are the same over and over and over.

I can understand if it's agrivating to you hear but that doesn't go to the validity of what's been said. It just goes to your state of agrivation.

That last statement will probably agrivate and not make sense to you. I started to rephrase but then I thought naw. I like it. So I left it. I'll try to clarify later but right now don't have the time.

(((hugs to you)))) For the agrivation. :)

BBL 12 dogs.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-05-13 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: If you look at a map, you'll see Hillary has a

Seriously not trying to be a jerk.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-05-13 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: If you look at a map, you'll see Hillary has a

I don't think you are trying to be a jerk. And I would not argue the validity of what he is saying. What I would argue is that he is adding nothing to the conversation; which was my point to begin with.

Archi does not come here to discuss or even respond to what people say he just responds over and over with the same basic commentary regardless of what the topic actually is.

What you and I are doing is having a conversation we are communicating. He on the other hand is pontificating...

(And I am not trying to be a jerk either and I do appreciate your points a great deal.)

by JDF 2008-05-14 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: If you look at a map, you'll see Hillary has a


What would you do to change the situation to a positive for both of you?

Just wondering.

Hugs again. I'm a bit cranky this evening for personal reasons.

Not trying to be short.

12 dogs.

by 12 dogs and a blog 2008-05-16 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Well I guess Obama will be the great uniter in one sense.

Very few GOP voters will find McCain too liberal but Obama more desirable...

by DTaylor 2008-05-13 02:22AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Its not an issue of whether they find him to liberal, they do, but that is not their real problem with him. The real problem he faces from inside his party is that they just don't trust him.

by JDF 2008-05-13 05:46AM | 0 recs
Can you read?

15% of Republicans cross over to Obama. 13% of Democrats cross over to McCain. Considering there are more Democrats in this country than Republicans, and Obama runs even at worst with McCain among Independents, Obama is in position to blow McCain out.  And then there's Bob Barr, ready to suck up disaffected Republicans.

by elrod 2008-05-13 05:49AM | 0 recs
You forgot to factor in HRC supporters

who won't vote for POTUS at all.

That's been running about 25%.

Obama loses with that "metric" factored in.

by CoyoteCreek 2008-05-13 06:31AM | 0 recs
If you think that April/May Polls

of fervent candidate-voters is any indication of how many people will actively vote against their party in Nov, you are misinformed.


by chrisblask 2008-05-13 06:51AM | 0 recs
You're ignoring the fervor with which

we feel this.

It's not going to go away.  Maybe it will drop to 18% but it's still going to be there.

Many of us will actively campaign against BO.  I already have my NObama o8 and Anyone But Obama bumpers stickers on our cars.

by CoyoteCreek 2008-05-13 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: You're ignoring the fervor with which

Good for you. Now run along.

by brimur 2008-05-13 08:44AM | 0 recs
And you are boasting about this?

I guess all good democrats must work against the party. Bit childish.

by temptxan 2008-05-13 08:46AM | 0 recs
You're losing sight of the big picture.

The fervor you speak of belongs to people who spend too much time on the 'net arguing politics and, over time, find that their ego is tied to their candidate of choice.  In other words, much less than 1% of the population.  And even many of those will be able to disentangle their egos from their values.  Many already have.  Your emotions seem big to you when they consume you, but they are pretty small on the large scale.

by walterg 2008-05-13 10:28AM | 0 recs
This is not about your emotional state

If you are going to campaign for McCain, you need to consciously and publicly state - to yourself, your family, your friends - may as well do it here:

"I (insert name) firmly support all of the policies of John McCain."

You could go on to say, for example, to your children:

"Kids, I am doing all I can to reinstitute the draft so you can be forced into the armed service."


"Honey, I promise I will do all I can to make the rest of the world hate our country."

I dunno, pick a topic...

No sense deluding yourself - or anyone else.

Honesty is the best policy.


by chrisblask 2008-05-13 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Not to mention, who is Russert? Who is Mathews? How the Republicans have been able to game our Primaries and Caucus' so that we really don't know. Are Republicans smarter  than Democrats after all?

by glennmcgahee 2008-05-13 03:29AM | 0 recs
If we nominate Obama, we are going to have a harde

If we nominate Obama, we are going to have a harder time differentiating ourselves on things like healthcare. The pull of Hillary's truly universal healthcare is huge when you consider that poor people will pay almost nothing for coverage that would cost them hundreds or thousands of dollars under Obama (The rates for ALL of us will go up dramatically if they make it so health insurers cannot price by risk, so many people may lose insurance, those who cant pay the rates that we have here in my state, where we already have that. -Its very expensive to buy individual insurance here, I can't afford it myself. Its also like that in the Seattle area, and many insurers have stopped writing individual policies.)

by architek 2008-05-13 03:49AM | 0 recs
Obama & Healthcare

I have absolutely no proof, but my guess. Should Obama get the nomination and whether Hillary is or is not on the ticket. He will look to her to lead on the healthcare front. He may be many things in your eyes, but stupid shouldn't be one of them. So my sense is he would seek out the advice and counsel from someone who has more knowledge around this issue than almost anybody in the political sphere today.  I also think she will push him hard on this.

by jsfox 2008-05-13 05:14AM | 0 recs
Re: If we nominate Obama, we are going to have a h

The Obama and Clinton health care plans are 95% identical. Both require community rating, which prevents insurance companies from cherry-picking only the healthiest people. Both open up a government-sponsored option to compete with private companies. Both offer to subsidize insurance for people who truly cannot afford it.

The only substantial difference between their two plans is the issue of mandates. I personally think Clinton's right on this issue, as without them there's nothing to prevent people from opting out and then opting in again only when they get sick. It's a meaningful difference, but it's not a critical one.

McCain's plan does not prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. He doesn't offer any government-run alternative to private companies. He offers tax credits to help people pay for insurance, which don't help the people who can least afford insurance because they have the smallest tax burden.

Obama will have little difficulty distinguishing the Democratic plan for health care reform from the Republican one.

by DesideriusErasmus 2008-05-13 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

McCain should be worried about getting Democrats from PA. He might need them. He only got something like 72 percent of the republican vote in PA, losing 16 percent of the republican vote to Ron Paul who has been dead in the water for a long time.  Ron Paul followers aren't likely to go to McCain, in my mind since RP represents about the opposite of McCain in a lot of areas.  I would suspect they will go to Bob Barr who doesn't believe in preemptive strikes such as in Iraq.  Who of Ron Pauls people would vote for Mccain when they have another choice similar to Ron himself?

by Scotch 2008-05-13 03:52AM | 0 recs
Mojo with pleasure, Scotch!

You are a serious knife-fighter, happy to see you stabbing the Reps!

I'm right-center (never gone as far as registering R) Indie, so my view of the R-Party might be somewhat acute.

It's hosed beyond description.

Reagan put it together as we know it by bringing in the Religious Right.  Every R since then as taken that as a cue to paddle further and further into the weeds on the Right Bank.

But Reagan himself was not a Far Right whackjob, and virtually every major R politician since has missed that and most every other point.

Now, to be a viable Rep politician you have to free-fall into the swampwater of the Religious Right, and that incrementally disgusts more centrist Republicans and variable Indies like myself.  McCain has already shed what moderate mantle he had - and simultaneously tries to put it back on - while doing cartwheels to distract the Limbaugh Nation.

It's a freakin' zoo.

Personally I like the (in my life, mostly theoretical) idea of two healthy and arguably sane parties in the US.  I think the coming thorough trouncing in the WH and, I believe, subsequently across most levels of gov't, will be good for the Republican party.  After eight years of getting their asses kicked they will probably reform into something less offensive athan they have become.


by chrisblask 2008-05-13 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

AND add to that that Barr is now running for president, so those Republicans who were going to vote for him because there was no one else now have a choice,

if he takes even 1-2% in some of those really close states that could really make a difference.

by TruthMatters 2008-05-13 04:05AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

I just hope that he doesn't pull in Ron Paul as a running mate.

by vcalzone 2008-05-13 04:22AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?


That will enliven the people who liked Ron Paul what if Barr was able to pull 5-7% with most of that coming from R's and I's? Wouldn't that be a good thing?

by JDF 2008-05-13 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

You're assuming that all the Ron Paul voters went to McCain. How many of them are actually some of the Republicans who are now for Obama?

by vcalzone 2008-05-13 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

When have voter turnout/registration numbers ever been this lopsided towards Democrats in the past?  In some elections, Obama or Clinton had more votes than the entire Republican field combined.  Also, Democrats are winning special election after special election in districts that went for Bush by a large margin in 2004.  

The stage is set for a landslide victory.

by agpc 2008-05-13 04:23AM | 0 recs
The coal states are the ones to look at

If you go back to 1952, every president has won the electoral vote in the tri-state coal region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with one exception.  Bush won twice narrowly.  Clinton won twice handily -- the EV proportion often mirrors the national contest.  You can see the stats at a diary I published at
 http://rezkowatch.blogspot.com/2008/05/r ezkowatch-electability-2008-coal.html

The one exception was 1968, when Humphrey carried a majority of those EVs, but lost the traditionally Solid  South because of George Wallace's third party candidacy.  

The current averages of state head-to-head polls comes from RealClearPolitics. In Pennsylvania, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) beats Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by 6.8%, while Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) leads Sen. McCain by 1.2%.

In Ohio, Sen. Clinton beats Sen. McCain by 5.4%, while Sen. McCain beats Sen. Obama by 3.4%. I have seen no WV head to head polls, but Sen. Clinton presently leads Sen. Obama among polled Democrats by 30+ points.

If one throws Florida into head-to-head results, Sen. McCain defeats Sen. Obama by 9.0%, while Sen. Clinton defeats Sen. McCain by 1.7%.

Also, KY, where Obama is not popular, generally picks the winner.  Are readers aware that Clinton won it twice?

by katmandu1 2008-05-13 04:28AM | 0 recs
Re: The coal states are the ones to look at

rezkowatch.blogspot.com?  I bet your buddies at redstate were impressed with that one.

by proseandpromise 2008-05-13 04:38AM | 0 recs
You noticed?

Now that a certain blog has been outed, HHs looking for a sympathetic home.

by GFORD 2008-05-13 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: The coal states are the ones to look at

Obama will win PA and OH and lose WV and KY. If Clinton were the nominee she'd also win PA and OH and lose WV and KY.

The "coal states" metric is no more telling than the "last home Redskins game" predictor. Or Missouri.

This country has changed demographically over the last few decades. There are fewer people living in the Ohio Valley than decades ago.

by elrod 2008-05-13 05:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The coal states are the ones to look at

To be fair, she might win WV (but not KY).

by edparrot 2008-05-13 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: But

Both parties are imploding right now. Tons of democrats aren't going to vote for Obama and there are republicans that don't want McCain.

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: But

Tons of Democrats?

Let me outline this for you. McCain's problem with Republicans is a symptom of who he is as a person and as a politician.

Obama's problem with Democrats is that he ran against Hillary Clinton and the campaign got ugly. These wounds can, and likely will, be healed to a great extent (although I imagine here on the blogs we will be hearing a lot of Obama hatred until after election day (and maybe even beyond.)

The Democrats are going to be just fine in the long run, even if the blogs aren't (and shouldn't be.) But the Republicans don't have it so easy... they don't trust the guy and many don't really feel he is a Republican.

The evangelicals are splitting off because they remembered that they care about things like poverty and the environment. The Economic conservatives don't trust McCain. He has a much longer road to healing his party than we do ours.

by JDF 2008-05-13 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: But

At least 25% of Democrats are going to abandon the party with Obama. Obama's problems are the same as McCains. It has nothing to do with Hillary no matter how much Obama supporters want to blame her. They don't like the "movement". They don't like his supporters. They don't like the condescending way that he talks.

It's odd that lots of Dems don't trust Obama either. Of course, the fact that he hasn't been honest with us about a host of things doesn't help.

It's not just the blogs. Get off the blogs and talk to some voters. Many have huge problems with Obama due to his lack of experience and other issues.

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 06:12AM | 0 recs
You seem to have a marvelously

clear crystal ball.

You can see inside people's heads, forecast the future with definitiveness, dismiss thoughts and arguments out of hand.

Why haven't you used your incomparable powers of insight and played the stock market, rendering yourself fabulously wealthy, and moved to a private tropical island somewhere?

-snark :~)


by chrisblask 2008-05-13 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: You seem to have a marvelously

Have you been paying attention to politics for the last 20 years. The handwriting is on the wall for Obama in the general election. It's the demographics that tell the story. Obama has losing demographics. Sorry but it's true.

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: You seem to have a marvelously

First of all, you saying its true doesn't make it true.

Secondly, I "go out and talk to voters" almost every day. This isn't just a hobby or an obsession for me; it is also my job.

There is very little reason to believe he has "losing" demographics. Right now, the people who say they won't vote for him are die hard Hillary supporters. They will, mostly, come around though; especially when McCain starts getting hit from all sides.

Maybe in Georgia Democrats aren't going to vote for him; but in places like Pennsylvania, and even Virginia, the party is going to come around and give its full throated support.  

by JDF 2008-05-13 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: You seem to have a marvelously

You aren't paying attention to the demographics from the exit polls then. Even the AP did a story on how working class whites won't vote for him for several reasons.

Gallup did a poll that showed he has the same demographic problems that Kerry had at the end.

Talking to voters is anecdotal.

Don't bet on those voters coming around. A lot of people just don't see Obama as qualified.

I'm sure that the party will give him their support but you can't make people vote for him.

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: You seem to have a marvelously

As someone who was born and raised in Georgia and still has a lot of family and friends there, I can tell you that it's like the twilight zone compared to Virginia and other parts of the country. In the last few years since Barnes destroyed our party by pissing off teachers like my mom, Georgia has been bucking the strong national trend toward Democrats. And conservative Democrats there don't like Obama, and they were more troubled by the Wright stuff than voters elsewhere. But don't think this experience is in any way similar to what's happening in the competitive states. Georgia is just making up for lost time in becoming a GOP bastion.

by brimur 2008-05-13 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: You seem to have a marvelously

I'm not talking about GA. Neither Hillary nor Obama will carry GA. I'm talking about places like OH, PA etc where large swaths of voters won't vote for him.

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: You seem to have a marvelously

I'm not yet convinced that he is more hurt by votes against him than he is helped by suburban independents and moderate Republicans who will vote for him but wouldn't vote for a partisan figure like Hillary Clinton. People like my in-laws who happen to live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio (a Cleveland suburb).

by brimur 2008-05-13 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: But

So you're saying 50% of Clinton's supporters won't vote for Obama? Do you have any numbers to back up that claim?

The ABC/WaPo poll Todd just quoted say 26% of Clinton supporters will vote for McCain. It says only 13% of Clinton supporters who call themselves Democrats will vote for McCain.

Since Clinton won roughly 50% of Democrats, that suggests about 7% of the Democratic Party will vote for McCain over Obama, not the 25% you assert without evidence.

For reference, CNN exit polls say that 11% of Democrats voted for Bush over Kerry in 2004. Given that Dems have a huge advantage in party ID this cycle, if only 7% defect to McCain, we wipe the floor with him (and that doesn't even include the 15% of Republicans who say they'll defect).

Look, this is just one poll taken six months before the election, but there isn't evidence that a huge swathe of the Democratic Party will give McCain a victory in November.

by DesideriusErasmus 2008-05-13 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

The writer's of letters 2 and 4 have it exactly right. I fear Dems may have blown it, again.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/13/opinio n/l13elect.html?_r=1&ref=opinion& ;oref=slogin

by Juno 2008-05-13 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Letter #4 is right in that Clinton made Obama a stronger candidate. But couple that with letter #3 and you have a great candidate - strong but graceful under fire.

Letter #2 completely misses the point of the controversy. It isn't that Clinton is winning white blue-collar workers. It's that she called them "working people, hard working Americans, white Americans," in a way that implied non-whits (or non college educated) don't work hard. She may not have intended it that way but there is a whole political tradition of equating "hard working" with "white" and it's an ugly one.

by elrod 2008-05-13 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

That is a created controversy.

Calling one group "hard workers" does not in any way imply that another group is not hard working.  She doesn't equate "hard working" with "white", she was merely saying that she is getting this crucial vote and Obama is not.  If he were to say that he is getting the "hard working black vote", would he be saying that whites do not work hard?

No, of course not.

We know she was also talking about working class white males.  I don't hear women standing up and hollering about her saying women don't work hard.

This is just an example of how the Obamans have injected race into the campaign, yet again, where it simply did not exist.  Hence my post above this one.

Clinton knew what it'd take to win the general, which is that Democrats HAVE to take back that white, blue collar vote.  It goes without saying that black Americans voter overwhelmingly Democratic. That cannot be said of the blue collar white male vote, and she was doing nothing more than addressing that bloc of voters.

To make that about race is not only ridiculous, but it harms the Democratic chances in November by changing the issue from getting that much needed vote to being about race.  Dems get the black vote.  90% in fact.

Get off the race thing.  It's a distraction.

by Juno 2008-05-13 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

You are correct here. I do not for a moment think that she meant to imply that blacks do not work hard.

But - she did mean to imply that many white people would not vote for a black, so therefor she is the better candidate. At that moment she had the opportunity to say something along the lines of "many white people would not vote for a black, and that we should try to reject that type of thinking."  But of course she did not.

by danfromny 2008-05-13 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Many white people won't vote for a black candidate.

And many men won't vote for a woman (many women too!).

Dems can't have it both ways.  On the one hand, we want to gnash our teeth and express all kinds of frustration over the "What's the Matter with Kansas?" thing, why Dems have lost that white, blue collar, male vote.

But then a candidate manages to GET that vote, and we can't talk about it because it's injecting race!

Typical Dems doing themselves in.

by Juno 2008-05-13 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Hypothetical Obama quote - "I am more electable because Senator Clinton's support among working, hard-working men is weakening again, and more men are supporting me."

That OK with you?

by danfromny 2008-05-13 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?
Oh, Juno ...
Logic does not explain: If Obama is not a fighter, then how is he winning?
And if all people wanted in a president was a "fighter", then Hil would be fine. The country wants more than that one characteristic. It is not useful to take this country where it needs to go.
by danfromny 2008-05-13 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

He's not a fighter. He's been able to divide the party to his benefit and get people to caucuses. Everytime he goes up against McCain he has lost. The Hamas endorsement for one thing.

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

So he has been winning by not fighting, and she is fighting, but not winning. Super!

by danfromny 2008-05-13 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Obama has run a nastier campaign than is in the consciousness of many, esp. his supporters (referring back to the letter in which someone notes that Clinton has been more honest in this respect).

But here is the main difference: Clinton understood the dynamics of the American electorate and ran her primary campaign based on the dynamics needed to win the General election, and she was wise to do so, IMO.

Obama ran his campaign based on winning the Democratic nomination, and but for the disenchantment with Republicans so prevalent right now, he would lose the General as a result, so let's hope that disenchantment is enough.

Obama has been a phenomenon, and I happen to think one not based in reality (as is proven by the weird deification of Obama).  I think there is evidence now that many are having buyer's remorse, but it is likely too late.

Ergo, it was a bandwagon sort of thing.

by Juno 2008-05-13 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Buyer's remorse?  I would be interested to see the evidence.  The only recent actual evidence I've seen shows that California would now go for Obama by 5 over Clinton if they voted today.  Seems like the opposite of buyer's remorse.

by edparrot 2008-05-13 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

The irony here, and misfortune, is that it's Clinton who knew this campaign was about winning the General and Obamans who made it about race by using the Karl Rove tactic of turning an asset - the Clintons have been a racism antidote (read "The Clinton Wars" and the role racism played in the GOP's relentless assaults on Bill Clinton) at risk to themselves politically - into a liability.  How perverted that they would accuse them of race baiting and racism.  How sad that it worked!

Very unfortunate.

by Juno 2008-05-13 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

It is simple. She should have not felt entitled then been surprised when it was not handed to her. She should have worked harder. She should have worked smarter.  She should have picked better people to run the campaign.

by danfromny 2008-05-13 06:13AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

She didn't feel entitled because people say she did.

I've never understood that claim.  She's been campaigning hard from the beginning. She raised a ton of money to run.

How is that her having an attitude of entitlement?  there is no way Hillary Clinton wasn't aware that, as the first woman running for president, she'd run up against serious obstacles.  And she did.

It's a bogus charge.

by Juno 2008-05-13 06:39AM | 0 recs
She has been campaigning hard since the


I can understand how that happened - most of us assumed she would be the nominee a year ago - but when she writes her memoirs I would not be surprised to hear her admit that error.

Remember: "This will be all over on Feb fifth."?

I think if she had really put the foot to the floor early she probably would have closed the current gap, but unfortunately she did not.


by chrisblask 2008-05-13 06:47AM | 0 recs
I never listen to local talk radio -

- but today is election day in West Virginia, so as I was driving from early morning campaign activities to work (or, well, I suppose to goofing off on the internets?  Nah: I'll go work in a half second), random local talk radio dude sent all his random local Rethug listeners to vote for Ron Paul, proclaiming that he would never ever vote for that Democrat in Republican clothing, John McCain.  I dunno what that means - I mean, some of the criticism from the wacko fringe might help McCain hold onto that "I hate your candidate, why did he/she win" vote that shows up in Democratic primary exit polling, but the wackos are passionate enough usually to donate money and put up signs, so maybe it's a net positive.

For whatever it's worth.

by mgee 2008-05-13 05:18AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

OT, but I've been wondering about this:

Does anyone know how Matthews came to be called "Tweety"?

by Juno 2008-05-13 05:33AM | 0 recs
Didn't know that, but

he does have the yellow look and the smile is kinda birdlike...


by chrisblask 2008-05-13 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

The next President will not get a honeymoon, and will be saddled with the debacles of the Bush dynasty to boot. The cynical part of me would be just fine with a McCain win in November, since the probability of success for anyone holding the office is very low.

If a McCain victory is in the cards, then I'd prefer that he win running against Hillary in order to maximize the likelihood that the Clinton-Bush choke hold on American politics is broken forever.

As for Republicans, they won't defect, imho.

by xdem 2008-05-13 05:35AM | 0 recs
But they may stay home

The right wing blogs (or at least the few I scan) are having a collective fit over McCain's global warming proposal. "McCain confirms our worst fears" and the like. And that is just to take one example.

Remember, the reason McCain polls reasonably well is that he has a reputation for not being a "real" Republican. Obama will have a far easier time bringing the democratic base on board and picking up independents than McCain will in trying to do the same thing on the Republican side. The hard core Republican base despises the positions that make McCain appealing to independents.

by Purplepeople 2008-05-13 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: But they may stay home

Obama is hemorraghing independents according to the latest poll. Wright damaged him here.

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 06:15AM | 0 recs
Which poll is that?

If you have a poll showing he is losing independents to McCain at a large rate I will be quite surprised.

by Purplepeople 2008-05-13 06:22AM | 0 recs
You're Right On!

How are both Dems slightly but clearly ahead in polling over McCain if all of these voters in the Democratic primary are going to vote for him?  Either, 1) They are telling exit pollsters one thing and regular pollsters something different (unlikely because what's the point), 2)  They are being offset by non-participants who will switch over the the Dem in the GE, or 3)  A lot more Dems than Repubs right now.

I think most of us agree that 2 and 3 are in play.

by sasatlanta 2008-05-13 05:46AM | 0 recs
Is the MSM even going to cover tonight's


I mean, last week, CNN was all primed to do a countdown to the minute the polls closed in NC so they could all scream "Obama wins" (kind of like watching the new year's ball drop in Times Square).

I assume tonight the returns will just be an aside in their normal "shows".

by CoyoteCreek 2008-05-13 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Is the MSM even going to cover tonight's

How about they gave last week coverage because it mattered? What is WV going to change? I'll bet you my life savings that the answer is nothing.

by JDF 2008-05-13 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Is the MSM even going to cover tonight's

The reaction to WV will be jubilation from the Hillary camp, followed shortly by outrage that it changes nothing about how the Math refuses to succumb to overwhelming emotion.

It's Mars vs Venus, and somebody's gonna be sleeping on the couch for a while.

by xdem 2008-05-13 06:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Is the MSM even going to cover tonight's

As an Obama supporter I don't appreciate the thinly veiled sexist comment... just sayin'

by JDF 2008-05-13 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Is the MSM even going to cover tonight's

I'm more interested in the MS-01 race than WV.  The only thing that MIGHT matter in WV is turnout. A HUGE turnout could affect the popular vote margin. The delegate count will be a net +12 at best for Clinton - easily erased by superdelegates.

by elrod 2008-05-13 06:01AM | 0 recs
Just sitting here thinking...

I can't see how the WV primary could change anything, if only because WV, unfairly, is a state looked down on by the rest of the country.  

If anything, I'd expect the average person not emotionally involved in either candidacy to look at a headline about Hillary winning WV, chuckle to themselves, and then move on.  

If anything, I'd say it will give Hillary negative momentum going into Oregon.  

by telephasic 2008-05-13 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Just sitting here thinking...

WV is looked down upon by Obama and his elitist supporters.

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 06:16AM | 0 recs
Speak for yourself

you don't know anyone else's mind but your own - assuming you know that much.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/12/ 114237/630


by chrisblask 2008-05-13 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Speak for yourself

More condescending elitism from an Obama supporter. So what else is new? And you wonder why so many are going to not vote for Obama.

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Just sitting here thinking...

No, you don't understand what I'm saying.  

I'm not saying Obama supporters look down on WV, and I'm not saying I do, I'm saying most Americans do.  

Like it or not, people outside of Appalachia (both those on the left and those on the right) are generally very ignorant about the area and look down on it.  I don't think the opinion of the voters of WV would really sway anyone outside of the Appalachian region, unless it was included in some sort of wider narrative.  

by telephasic 2008-05-13 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Just sitting here thinking...

The narrative that WV is part of is that Obama can't win working class white voters. Of course, the media will gloss over this fact until Nov. and then they'll be in shock as to how Obama lost.

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Is the MSM even going to cover tonight's

They'll give similar coverage as they did to other small states where Obama opened up wide margins- Wyoming, Mississippi, etc. If she had realized the value of small states three months ago, she might have had a shot. But she played where the "big media" wanted to play, a value your comment reflects.

by brimur 2008-05-13 08:53AM | 0 recs
And in the news today...

ABC/Washington Post Poll

Who would you like to see win the Democratic nomination for president this year? (5/11/08)

Obama 53
Clinton 41

If the 2008 presidential election were being held today and the candidates were (John McCain, the Republican) and (Barack Obama, the Democrat), for whom would you vote?  (5/11/08)

Obama  51
McCain  44

So, the sky isn't falling.  Chill out Chicken Littles and let the GE campaign get started before you write off our man.  Seems the electorate isn't with you "Hillary or Bust" folks.  Heck, Obama beats Hillary in this poll more soundly than he beats McCain and she's been running against him for a year, using all the same tactics McCain will use.

Still room on the bandwagon.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/pol itics/documents/postpoll_051208.html

by crackerdog 2008-05-13 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: And in the news today...

Impossible. Obama isn't electable. Hillary wins all the white people. Hillary is a fighter! Florida and Michegan! Aaaarrggh! Does not compute, does not compute ....

by danfromny 2008-05-13 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: And in the news today...

Obama is unelectable. Of course, that's never stopped Dems from putting forth those candidates before has it?

by Ga6thDem 2008-05-13 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: And in the news today...

And the earth is flat and fish fly and birds swim.

by danfromny 2008-05-13 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: And in the news today...

That is correct. Obama isn't electable. Hillary wins all the white people. Hillary is a fighter! Florida and Michegan! Aaaarrggh! Does not compute, does not compute ....

by walterg 2008-05-13 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: And in the news today...

These poor Hillary folks don't seem to ever take into account the fact that she's drawing Republican support in these recent primary elections because they want her to win.  Or the fact that she's got the highest negatives of anyone who ever ran for President.

Obama will do fine.

by crackerdog 2008-05-13 06:33AM | 0 recs
This poll is one national poll

subject to all the errors such polls always introduce. The polling of this sort has been all over the place this year. This particular poll happens to have come up with some very favorable numbers for Democrats, nationally -- far more so than other polls. Such polls will always have pretty positive underlying numbers, but they can scarcely be believed if their samples are to begin with far too favorable.

But the real polls to pay attention to are the exit polls in particular key states. It's in those states that the election is won or lost, and the exit polls are by far the most reliable: not only are they far more likely to get representative samples, they also tend to have far larger numbers in their samples.

And that's where a very different picture emerges: namely of a very large number of Democrats who, at least at this stage, say they won't support the Democratic candidate if their favored candidate is not the nominee--especially if they are Clinton supporters (in NC, for instance, essentially half of Clinton supporters said that, and, as I recollect, the same was true for IN -- neither of them may be swing states, but they do have large segments of the white working class bloc shared across many states).

by frankly0 2008-05-13 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: This poll is one national poll

He's beating McCain by 7 and Hillary by 12.  I don't care if it's national or state by state.  And the campaign hasn't even started yet.

The point is, given time, people will see their interests don't align with another 4 years of George W. Bush policy.  And McCain has tied himself to that legacy.  It's over before it even started.  And if Barr can take a few critical vovtes from McCain in key states... well damn, Obama may even win Florida.

by crackerdog 2008-05-13 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Let's not Blame Obama or Clinton for this, let's blame the geniuses that decided that the best plan to take back the White House after the failed Bush Administration was this:

2008 Plan:

1. Anoint a baggage-laden ex-First Lady as the inevitable candidate years ahead of the race.

2. Vote (in strangely large numbers) for the token "Black" candidate among the 27 original contenders and screw up Step 1 of the Plan unmercifully.

3. Generate huge animosity between the supporters of your 2 remaining candidates.

4. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

by xdem 2008-05-13 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

True.  But if Hillary's team would've done the work Obama's did in the February contests, she'd be at least tied with him now and these remaining contests would be meaningful.  The fact remains, Hillary's campaign strategy is to blame for this situation.  She's got only her own arrogance to point a finger at.

by crackerdog 2008-05-13 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

But when you are anointed, you don't have to work.

by danfromny 2008-05-13 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Is that why Obama basically ignored WV?

Why is he ignoring a state Dems need in the General?

by Juno 2008-05-13 07:54AM | 0 recs
One word: "REVOLTING"

Vote (in strangely large numbers) for the token "Black" candidate

Does that make Hillary the "token female candidate?"

And let's not forgot, when trying slur Obama because of skin pigmentation, that he's really a Euro-Afro-American (and some bigots might not like the "Euro" part.)

by Kobi 2008-05-13 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: One word: "REVOLTING"

Sorry, I thought the snark was obvious from the context. That having been cleared up, perhaps I need to expound on the entire argument:

The pride, elation, and disappointment of Hillary supporters has been explained to me in person. I think I understand the emotions - however, I don't think the animosity toward Obama is justified.

The pride, elation, and relief of the Obama supporters is perfectly understandable - I really hope that Hillary's supporters can join the fun once they digest their candidate's loss.

Obama has broad appeal to those of us who want a President who speaks English, didn't need a legacy to get into the Ivy League, and whose name isn't Bush or Clinton.

by xdem 2008-05-13 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: One word: "REVOLTING"

"Sorry, I thought the snark was obvious from the context."

It was. I was talking to the people who actually believe it (they're closer than you might think.)

I should have made that obvious.

by Kobi 2008-05-13 07:45AM | 0 recs
And some more news...

Hillary just lost a PLEDGED delegate.  If you recall, this was HER argument.  And now it's working against her.  Wow!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2008/05/12/AR2008051202554. html

Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson, a Democratic convention delegate pledged to support Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, said yesterday that he thinks Sen. Barack Obama has "in a real sense" won the Democratic nomination and that he now plans to support Obama at the August convention.

by crackerdog 2008-05-13 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: And some more news...

Must have consulted with his 12 year old, or believes Obama can unite the country despite the fact that he's divided even the Democratic party like it's never been divided.

Go figure.

by Juno 2008-05-13 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: 12 Year old Electability Math

2 Three-Year-Olds, 1 Four-Year-Old, and a 6 month old puppy. (.5 times 7 Years = 3.5)

6 + 4 + 3.5 = 2209!

by xdem 2008-05-13 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: 12 Year old Electability Math


I know I want my nominee to be the one my 12 yr. old tells me to vote for.


by Juno 2008-05-13 07:52AM | 0 recs
Point gun at foot.

Pull trigger.

by Kobi 2008-05-13 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Point gun at foot.

I want to go on record that I don't like this sort of thing.  I didn't like it when Hillary was suggesting it and I still don't.  I believe he was appointed by his district to vote for her and he should.  I understand this isn't how the rules work and he's able to vote his conscience now.  But when he was picked as her delegate, I'm sure he told them he was with them all the way.  Seems shameful to Judas someone like this, even if it's Hillary Clinton and she was the one making the play for Obama's pledged delegates.

by crackerdog 2008-05-13 07:16AM | 0 recs
Welcome aboard!

Obama's supporters have been pointing out that many if not most of these so called "defectors" were really Republicans who weren't going to vote Democratic in November anyway if their fave didn't get nominated (in response to claims that Obama was unelectable because of them.)

by Kobi 2008-05-13 07:04AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

I'm increasingly convinced that most, if not all, of the 'I'll never vote for that incompetent nasty doomed loser Obama who stole the nomination and hates fair elections' crowd here are Republicans trying to sow dissent and continuing acrimony as we move into the General Election campaign.

As many have said, it's one thing to support your candidate and criticize your opponent.  It's quite another, on a site devoted to electing Democrats and promoting progressive values and policies, to threaten to vote for the Republican and/or undermine the obvious (for math aficionados) Democratic nominee.  And frankly, I personally have little respect for those who will write in a name or who will not vote at all in November, though that doesn't piss me off quite as much as those threatening to directly (rather than indirectly) vote for a continuation of the ruinous policies of the last 8 years.

My first choice presidential candidate isn't the nominee, but I like Democrats and Democratic policies.  Hopefully in a few weeks things will have toned down in here and we can share a collective goal of electing Democrats at all levels in November.  Our country's future depends on it.

by travelerkaty 2008-05-13 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

They are using it as some kind of blackmail. Passive-aggressive, emotional blackmail, whiny bullshit.

You won't give me what I want??! I won't give you what you want. How do you like that?

by danfromny 2008-05-13 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

That's funny because that's how I feel about the calls for Clinton to drop out, which have been going on since April.

Obama should just be anointed and the woman should shut up and go away and everyone should shut up and fall into line and love him like we do.


by Juno 2008-05-13 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Who called for her to drop out?

by danfromny 2008-05-13 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

You haven't heard the calls for her to drop out????

You're kidding.

by Juno 2008-05-13 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

But he was "anointed" by winning in the primaries. You know, the way it is supposed to be done ...

by danfromny 2008-05-13 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

No, he was anointed by people demanding his opponent step down, by disenfranchising millions of voters, and by running a vapid, substanceless campaign filled with happy sounding rhetoric.

by Juno 2008-05-13 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: "Happy sounding rhetoric."

 I long for the days when Hope and Happy were considered good things....

by xdem 2008-05-13 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Nope - winning the primaries.

by danfromny 2008-05-13 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

Yup - winning the primaries and the caucuses according to the rules set up in each State, and winning the most delegates in the process set by the Party and agreed to in advance. And then, hopefully, everyone will be happy at the end of the process.

by xdem 2008-05-13 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

But that's the problem with attacking Clinton over the blue collar, white male thing.

She was able to reel in that very important vote, which Democrats have been ruing for years over having lost ("What's the Matter with Kansas?").

So to say that there are people who will vote for McCain over Clinton is not all that unreasonable.  o one is saying it's logical (if this electorate were logical, this fool would not have been president the last eight years), but it is what it is.

by Juno 2008-05-13 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: But What About The Republican Defectors?

I'm not saying there aren't a fair number of Hillary primary voters who will vote for McCain over Clinton in the general - I'm saying that  those voters aren't the sort of Democrats who hang out on lefty blogs whose central purpose is to elect Democrats.  That's why I think that the ones pushing that line here are disingenuous, and probably have another agenda.    

Only a very small subset of voters post on political blogs, and these are people (myself included) who are pretty high information, if not obsessed with political minutiae.  Maybe I'm wrong - maybe lots of rabid Democratic activists really do plan to torpedo the best chance in 10 years to restore sanity to American politics (even if not with the exact candidate they want), but to me it seems highly unlikely.  

High information, devoted advocates of progressive values just don't seem like the kind of voters who would willingly vote for McCain in the fall.  Again, this is my opinion only, but to me it seems like those who are advocating such a course, or are planning to sit the election out, are not the sort of progressive Democrats who would frequent the comment threads of a political blog.  Hence my conclusion that most, if not all, of those posters are aiming more to stir up trouble for Democrats in November than in turning the tide of American politics.

Just my opinion.

by travelerkaty 2008-05-13 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: "Just my opinion"

 No, it isn't. A lot of us agree with you.

by xdem 2008-05-13 08:29AM | 0 recs


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