Why "Any Democrat Would Win" Is Wrong

(Rewritten from a comment on this diary, and crossposted at The Motley Moose

I've seen people -- including some who really ought to know better -- say that any recent Democrat would be automatically elected in the current climate, with an implication that even the current margin and map are merely to be expected given the fundamentals of the election. I disagree -- strongly. That's exactly what we all thought in 2004 -- that anyone could beat Bush. And what we got was a worse defeat than 2000, even against a wildly unpopular President.

Candidates and campaigns matter, and there are reasons that this particular candidate is in the position that he's in right now. And, yes, the fundamentals of the election are lifting Obama's boat, but to make the mistake that it's merely the fundamentals; that there's no particular strength on Obama's part; that any Dem would be where he is; is in my opinion a major error.

Please note -- I do not want to fight the primaries over. Nothing in here should be viewed as disparaging of any other candidate (in particular, as I state below, I believe Hillary would be doing just fine right now, were she the nominee). This is aimed squarely at the view that Obama is no stronger than "generic Democratic Presidential candidate", it's not saying he's the strongest candidate imaginable, nor that only Obama could be winning right now (which is patently absurd).

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Update: 7 Congressional Races in Ohio in which Democratic Challengers Might Take Republican Seats

Here is an annotated list of the 7 Congressional races in Ohio in which Democrats appear to have a chance at taking seats currently held by Republicans. This update of an earlier (September 7) diary includes total receipts and cash on hand (CoH) figures for the end of the 3rd quarter (September 30) plus independent expenditures on behalf of the candidates.

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FYI: Hofstra Debate Countdown Clock Has Wrong Time

I considered posting this in the live blog, but I think this note is worth its own post simply simply to prevent some folks from missing the debate.

The debate is scheduled to begin at 9pm eastern (8pm central time).  I live in the central time zone.  When I go to Hofstra's debate website, the countdown clock has the wrong time (see screen shot below).  Apparently, whoever set up the website didn't account for anyone living outside the eastern time zone to rely on it.  Anyway, spread the word in case some may be confused.

For me, the countdown clock should read 1 hour, not 2...

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A parliamentary - style majority?

We've seen what's been happening over the past couple of days.  As the gap continues to widen between Obama and McCain, cable news blabbermouths (even the otherwise impressive and insightful Chuck Todd) have compromised their objectivity tweaking the electoral maps to make the battlegrounds look more competitive than they really are.  Clinton-Dole like races are bad for ratings.  What should be more relevant, however, is how the Senate races correlate with the presidential numbers.

Democrats currently hold 50 seats + Lieberman in the Senate (I'm counting Bernie Sanders as a Dem because he's a better Dem than many nominal Dems).

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Bloggers As Troublemakers?

Any other bloggers out there get the feeling that once a politician, campaign, journalist, or others find out that you're a blogger, they have a tendency to treat you as though you are a pariah and/or assume that you're troublemaker?  Throughout this campaign cycle, I have had a few experiences that support this feeling and another one took place earlier today.

On the one hand, I understand why people are wary of bloggers and why the word elicits negative connotations.  Unfortunately, the blogosphere can be a forum for absurd rumors and hateful vitriol.  On the other hand, the blogosphere is a necessary and extremely beneficial component of our political discourse.

I haven't really seen much discussion about this issue in particular, so if you have any thoughts or similar experiences, please share.

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