Congrats to HRC, and Plouffe Makes the Case

Hillary Clinton has been an incredible challenger.  She has fought a very tough race, and she deserves to be congratulated for her win in Indiana last night.  Fair is fair, a win is a win.  She has indicated her campaign will continue to due all it can to secure the nomination.  I am impressed, and look forward to the coming contests.  I wish her the best.

Barack Obama exceeded all expectations yesterday.  In the face of intense competition from HRC, reincarnation of stale "scandals" that have already been intensely overplayed by the media, and what was supposed to be a strong current of momentum for HRC after PA, Obama rose above it all.

He has shown once again, as he has many times before, that he is the  toughest candidate, he can weather all challenges thrown at him by not one but two challengers, he can out due anyone in history with fund raising, he leads in every metric, and I believe he is going to win the nomination and the presidency.

Campaign manager David Plouffe sent out the following memo to superdelegates, making clear how Obama views the race at this point.

I know many here will disagree with just about every part of it. You have that right.  Flames are cheerfully ignored.

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Clinton the Populist Beats McCain [Updated]

[See Update on new national polls from USA Today/Gallup and CBS/NY Times at bottom]

General Election polls continue to demonstrate that Clinton is the far stronger candidate against McCain than Obama.

Real Clear Politics has data from 6 recent national General Election polls.  In a Clinton v. McCain match-up, Clinton beats McCain in FIVE of the 6 polls. In an Obama v. McCain match-up, McCain beats Obama in 3 of the polls and ties him in one.

More importantly, in key battleground states, Clinton beats McCain in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, while Obama loses to McCain in all 3 states. And RCP highlights a recent McClathy article about Obama's likely loss in Indiana to McCain. A new Rasmussen poll for New Hampshire claims "Clinton gains on McCain...Obama heads in opposite direction."

Obama's problems with working class voters have worsened, according to a story posted yesterday by the AP:

In an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll...53 percent of whites who have not completed college viewed Obama unfavorably, up a dozen percentage points from November. During that period, the numbers viewing Clinton and Republican candidate John McCain negatively have stayed about even.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton's strength among seniors, women, and key demographic groups such as Catholics improves with each election, as most recently seen in Pennsylvania.

*CLINTON, THE POPULIST*
Hillary Clinton is a candidate of the people, successfully delivering a populist message across American towns,  cities, and suburbs.  As the Washington Post said recently, "Clinton Is In Her Element:"

Clinton attacks the rope line with more gusto than her husband, who invented the genre in modern campaigns.

~snip~

Clinton has found a home -- and a potentially receptive audience -- among rural Democrats...Small towns. Middle-class and working-class. Older voters. Women.

~snip~

The rope line in Terre Haute late Thursday was dominated by women of all ages, who are as passionate in their support of Clinton as Obama supporters are for their candidate


UPDATE ON TWO NEW POLLS:

A USA Today/Gallup poll released on 5/5/08 gives Clinton a 7 point lead over Obama,"the first time in 3 months she has been ahead." USA Today writes:

Barack Obama's national standing has been significantly damaged by the controversy over his former pastor, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, raising questions for some voters about the Illinois senator's values, credibility and electability.

The USA Today/Gallup poll also demonstrates Clinton's strength on a number of variables:

Clinton Obama Advantage

Is a strong and decisive leader 53 37: Clinton +16

Has the best chance of beating John McCain in November 48 43: Clinton +5

Shares your values 47 42: Clinton +5

Cares about the needs of people like you 47 43: Clinton +4

A CBS/NYT poll released on 5/4/08 is being publicized by many news sources as showing a 12-pt. lead for Obama over Clinton, but this is among those who have voted or plan to vote in a Democratic primary.

However, Clinton actually leads Obama by 1 point when the question is asked of "registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats, regardless of whether they have voted or plan to vote in a Democratic primary".

This means that Obama has lost substantial support among people who have already voted for him.

In other good news for Clinton, the CBS/NYT pollster's report states:

For the first time since October 2007, more registered voters overall have a favorable impression of Clinton than an unfavorable one.

and...

When asked who is "tough enough to make hard choices," Clinton gets 70%, McCain 71%, and Obama 58%.

See related post 2 New Polls: MORE HILLARY MOMENTUM.

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Hillary = McCain

How does Hillary expect to defeat McCain when they have the same voting records? Same positions on Iraq, same on Iran, same on global warming, it goes on. They probably vote the more often than either votes with their party. The difference being McCain votes his (misguided) convictions, while Hillbilly votes her calculations.

If we want a democrat president who has actual convictions and true progressive values Obama is the only one left. That's what Obama is the McCain campaign's greatest  threat, and Hillbilly should be ours.

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Campaigning in a Brave -- Digital -- New World

I never thought I'd say this, but I agree with Karl Rove.

Today, the so-called architect of George W. Bush's re-election penned an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal outlining the new norms as he perceives them in the way politics is practiced. Of course he pointed to several strategic and tactical points relating to money, message, organization, and polling. But this was not all.

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Political McJobs and the State of Young Democratic Professionals

Let me set the stage for you all. I'm a recent graduate of an applied politics master's program, a program designed to train future political orginizers, campaign managers, fundraisers, etc.

Following graduation, I became distressed with the real absense of decent paying work for entry to mid-level political professionals. Far too mant of these jobs are the political "McJobs" (poltiical equivilent of working at McDonald's) that have beed decried by a few prominant bloggers as being truly against the principles that we as progressives are advocating. Even if they pay canvassers 10 to 12 bucks an hour, that's still a far cry from the $30,000 a year a family really needs to make ends meet, especially for these young workers who'll soon be paying off student loans.

I think this is a very urgest crisis in our movement. The absense of well paying jobs with decent benefits with progressive groups. This is what will lead well-education individuals who want to go into campaigning and orginizing to instead move to the private sector and get stuck at desk jobs when they could be out with us, changing the coutry.

What is worse, is many of the perpetrators are groups that we love and respect: Working America (AFL-CIO), Clean Water Action, organizing groups like Grassroots Campaigns and Grassroots Solutions. These groups are exploiting young progressives in my opinion with wages that are decent at 24,000 a year, but insufficient if these young progressives have children or student loans to pay.

I'd love to hear input from the community on this. It is an omportant issue for the progressive movement, we need these kind of jobs to provide a farm team of sorts. To get rid of the Mark Penn's of the world and replace them witha  more optimistic and progressive alternative.

Anyway, thatnks for your thoughts, whoever reads this.

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