The Electability Question

Why do Clintonites keep talking about electability?

As one contributor, who has made a habit of bashing both Obama and what they refer to as "ultra-liberals" put it "Obama is unelectable".  This is patently untrue.

What is true is that if the election were held today, Obama may very well lose. As may Edwards.  But what this person (and many others) fail to note is that these head to head match-ups do not take the electoral college into account.  Also Obama and Edwards only lose marginally.

As I said before these polls mean very little right now since party affiliation is in such flux.  Today I read that the DLC of all people are mentioning a "Hoover moment", which I mentioned in my post about a 60-seat majority.  But also these head to head matches mean even less for two reasons:

1.  In a recent Rasmussen poll Dennis Kucinich loses to Rudy by a margin of 34-48 and to Freddy 34-43.  This is sad yes, but the same poll mentions that 40 percent do not know enough about Kucinich to vote for him.  These head to head matches (like many polls) are based on name recognition.

2.  These polls are before any general election campaigning, during which the Blue team would mention Rudy's fascist police techniques and lack of success as mayor.  The people of New York did not even like Rudy that much before 9/11, people forget that he was on his way out before 9/11 because he was unpopular.  This doesn't even take into account his lack of drills at WTC from 1993-2001 or his "I was basically a rescue worker" gaff.

Why do Clinton's supporters always fall back on these electability numbers when people stop caring about her "experience".  She has FOUR more years in the senate than Obama, his Illinois service notwithstanding.  Name a major legislative success of Hillary's.  Obama has the internet campaign finance database (done during republican control of the senate), Edwards has more experience, and Kucinich saved City water and power in Cleveland (on top of his 20 years), and Richardson has a resume a mile long. Clinton has "I saw Bill do it, so I know how it works."

Electability IS NOT an issue since 80 percent of Dems and about 40 percent of Republicans believe that the White House will be painted blue in 2009.  

Lastly to the person that referred to my prediction about Ron Paul's performance (I was expecting 15 percent, but I was not expecting Tancredo's support) as an "ultra-liberal pipe dream".  I am not "ultra-liberal", I do not even consider myself to be liberal. I am frugal and somewhat modest in my personal life, the only thing I do "liberally" is maybe put too much salt on mashed potatoes.  I am a proud progressive.  

True I do support Dennis Kucinich, but why is peace considered an "ultra-liberal" idea? Everyone wants it, but people are afraid to talk about wanting it.  Being for peace has this kind of stigma associated with it even amongst many on the left.  Peace activists are not all hippies, and not all are pacifists.

Besides, watch a speech that he gives, by himself, and tell me that you are not struck by how knowledgeable he is.  He can cite bills and numbers and his website has his plans/ideas for (by my count) 88 items with an average of 3-5 paragraphs each.  Furthermore so of what he says may sound strange, but the fact is he has been right on USA PATRIOT and the Iraq war from the start.  Also, his ideas may sound strange, but that does not mean they are not as good because they sound strange.  He is in my opinion by far the most honest and down to earth of all the candidates.

A parting note: I work overnight and write these at work and that is why many of my posts do not have hyperlinks.

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Ames Straw Poll, Ron Paul suprise?

I found this while looking for info on the voting results (I couldn't find any yet), from a link on the Iowa GOP website.

http://cycloneconservatives.blogspot.com /

This is the official liveblogger for the straw poll, with some short analysis of crowd reactions to speeches.  The thing that interested me the most is that there are so many Ron Paul supporters there.  The guy said that the person doing introductions was having a hard time because his supporters were "everywhere" and really loud.  The liveblogger said that Ron Paul got the biggest reaction of everyone except Romney, but it was just about as loud, and the only thing the crowd did not like was him saying "the national ID was is mistake".

Second, apparently the Huckabee guys showed up strong as well, and they were chanting "I like Mike" He did a lot of Clinton bashing, basically saying that good things can come from Arkansas as well.

Based on this, I stand by my earlier comments of a possible Ron Paul surge or even a Huckabee or Brownback one.  I think that the first two COULD compete with a democrat, but it wont matter.  I say this because Huckabee may be a wingnut and may not believe in evolution, but when he talks about why he doesn't sound crazy.  There is a rationale for him, and with evolution he brings in science and says basically "God started it, whether we evolved I don't know" And Ron Paul is more liberal (although more crazy, since he wants to get rid of I think 5 departments, the IRS, Social Security and some other things.)

I guess we will see over the next few days/weeks.

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Quick note on GOP Straw Poll

I just thought I would let people know that I have seen a bunch of Ron Paul ads over the last couple of days, mentioning his pro-life credentials.  This combined with reports of Ron Paul supporters using guerrilla tactics to hitch a ride/ticket on Romney's dime.  I think this could set the stage for a strong showing of Ron Paul. Even though Romney is expected to get 80 percent of the vote

Second, I wonder if McCain/Guiliani's decisions to skip the straw poll have in any way influenced their lack of support in the state.

Last, I wonder how many of the candidates will drop out by the end of next week.  My money is on 3. (Thompson, Brownback, and Huckabee)

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Why presidential polls don't matter

Presidential polls of the democratic candidates do not matter right now because the Democratic Party is in such a flux right now.  According to
rasmussen
Republican affiliation has decreased about 4 points since 2004 and I would presume it has decreased further since February (the last date polled)  There are a great deal of new democrats that have fled the Republican Party as well as a presumed increase in youth turnout (like in 2004) make accurate polling difficult.  This is because these poll "likely democrats" and people who have voted for the red team for so long, but left would not be included.

Also note that in
this poll
KUCINICH holds Giuliani to 48 percent (vs. 34) and Fred Thompson to 43 percent (vs. 34 again) and this with Rasmussen's well known conservative bias. Also consider that Kucinich has much less name recognition than Rudy and that may be a factor.  If KUCINICH with almost no fundraising (250K I think in Q2) can hold Giuliani to under 50 percent it does not bode well for Republicans. And does anyone think that Giuliani would maintain a lead on Kucinich, who would certainly mention his fascist police techniques, and would demolish him in debates (those would be great wouldn't they?).  And Kucinich who has by far the most in depth
websites
of anyone in the campaign with many paragraphs about  to my count 88 issues against Fred "I don't think we should have a platform" Thompson would be hilarious.

Finally,
again from rasmussen
, Democrats hold a 47-37 advantage in a generic congressional ballot.  And that is without presidential modifiers and further Republican disillusionment.

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Response to "60-seats possible"

I think these seats are really possible:

Wyoming (special election) AND regular
Colorado
Idaho
New Mexico
Minnesota
North Carolina
Kentucky
Virginia
Maine
New Hampshire
Oregon

That is 12. People forgot both seats in WY are up in 2008. Add in these new fights:

Alaska
Texas
Mississippi
Nebraska (if Hagel retires)
Oklahoma

If the right people run in these states these are too:

Georgia (Chambliss is at 50 approval)
Kansas (approval 52)

That totals 19 possible races out of 22. Subtract only losing LA, considering Iowa is trending blue  (first control of house and senate in I think about 15 years) and you cannot really attack a guy who is recovering from brain surgery (if he runs).

And remember Republicans usually dump money into the presidential race and are being out raised 2-1 in both houses.  I think this could be an electoral shift on the scale of 1932 or 1980 (since 1958 was an off year) if we get a movement building presidential candidate (Obama or Edwards)

Finally the increase in young voter turnout, and call me crazy I think that a plus-12 in the senate and and 50-60 in the house are possible, given the right conditions--which are shaping up (we are now trusted more on just about everything and evangelicals have taken up enviroment and poverty as moral issues)

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2008 Congress

This is not about the presidential race. This is mainly about the Senate and House.

I think that the Dems may pick up the following seats: Colorado, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Maine, Oregon, Virginia, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Oklahoma. With possibilities of losses in Louisiana and South Dakota. That is 14 and 2.

I think there is a serious chance of pickups of at least 6, with 8-10 being more likely. This is because of the more blue trend that is happening in the Mountain West (CO, WY, ID, NM) along with the more libertarian feel of this area. Add in the seats in South, which are put into play by corruption and the new evangelical church, which has taken environmentalism and poverty as moral issues and has begun to focus on these instead of abortion and gay marriage. Additionally, there is the influence of Republican money, which for years has allowed them to compete and manipulate the debate and frame issues in their favor. With the money advantage now in favor of Dems almost 2-1 and the RNC only leading the DNC by 20% this does not bode well for 2008, especially when the Dems have a 21(+1) to 12 advantage in seats up. The money, seats, and frame of debate all combine to put things in play that shouldn't be could make 2008 an even more landmark election than 2006 or 1994 on a Senate level, possibly equal to the elections of 1980( or 1958). This would depend on the coattails of Obama or Edwards, as Hillary would have negative coattails.

On the house side, it could be another 30-45 seat pickup for the Dems. Again this is partly an effect of coattails, but also because of the effect of Iraq, Health Care, and "obstructionism". I can see it possibly being as high as 50 seats but that would require an aligning of stars so to speak. It is however not beyond the pale. Iraq, Health Care, Coattails, Corruption, Hypocrisy, Civil Liberties violations, Attorneys scandal, Katrina, Immigration, and the mishandling of just about everything all add to this happening, but gerrymandering severely dampens any underlying currents of change.

Finally adding to the overall effect is the major shift in party alignment, a plus-5 for the Dems in the past year alone, that currently puts them near 40 percent registered, if this continues it could be closer to 45 percent by November 2008, which alone would spell disaster for any party. The recent Immigration debacle could easly lead to an exodus of latinos and make them the "new blacks" in that they vote en masse for the Democrats. Finally there is the politicization of the youth, which although they do not vote in the traditionally large numbers as other demographics, but a 5 percent increase in turnout like seen in 2004 (of which 55 percent voted for Kerry) gives a further advantage.

There is one thing that cannot be underestimated, for the first time in a long time Dems sense blood in the water and are ready to strike hard and fast. Denouncing propaganda outlets like Fox News, and going on the offensive for DailyKos, liberals and progressives alike are ready to stand their ground. They no longer wish to acquiesce to the right, but are out lies at every turn, which bodes well for the party. With the recent emergence of PACs for the countering of the NRA, among others, this allows some distance from issues as well

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Diaries

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