If Ross Perot hadn't run in 1992 and '96 it's possible the Dems would have lost both times. And if that sounds like a knock against Bill Clinton, think again. He saw his opportunity and took it. Played the Perot card so well most people today think he won states like Nevada, Georgia, and Montana off of his popularity. Would you rather the Dems have lost? Of course not!
What I got from the election results is that the broad segment of the electorate which elected George Bush twice hasn't changed all that much. Got this sense during the past few weeks while I was canvassing that many "undecided" voters were Republican leaners who were upset with McCain and the economy but would vote GOP in the end. If Obama only got 43% of the white vote suspect this is what happened.
Obama still one because young voters (18-29) backed him in such huge numbers. Don't think their support for him was based upon the recent worsening of the economy. One could debate whether this was the result of Obama's personality, what these voters perceive he stands for, or reflects some general tilt towards the Democratic party.
W/o this enthusiasm among younger voters, though, "Obama's army" (the organizers) wouldn't have been the force it was and he might have lost. This is probably what made the difference in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, etc. If this group turns out to be loyal, the map is indeed different (esp. since the GOP will start losing the 65+ voters who backed them this year).
We'll never know. Clinton's biggest advantage, I think, is that she would have nailed McCain to a wall on the economy. She might have done a better job of articulating the public's disgust on this topic than Obama has done, if you think about it. Think it's possible she still might have run into problem with indies, though, strictly for reasons of personality. Hillary Clinton is a great blue state candidate. Where she would have been vulnerable is in the upper Midwest (the WI + MN + IA triangle).
Still, have great expectations for her in 2016. While it might not seem obvious now, she'll benefit the most at this point if Obama wins a landslide. Once the Dems cross the color line the glass ceiling is clearly the next target (and many who backed Obama this year, I think, will back her with equal intensity if she runs again, as discordant as this might sound think the campaign she ran this year was just a bit too early).
The problem with this claim is that the public has now seen Palin speak about issues in a variety of situations, and her "word salads" don't suggest she has much understanding of issues beyond those associated with her duties as Governor of Alaska.
The usual challenge politicians face is to discuss issues in such a way that someone with only a lay person's understanding can follow the conversation (get too specialized and he or she will lose the audience). Palin faces a wholly different challenge, in that the layperson, hearing her speak, often comes away feeling that he or she is better informed about the issue.
That plenty of Republicans have noted this says all one needs to know. It's as if many of Palin's backers are arguing, "Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?"
I won't go the easy route and bring up the Wooten thing. Will just say that observers have called Alaska the GOP's Louisiana, plenty of high-ranking politicians have gone down in recent years, and I think there's a pretty good chance the same will happen to Palin after this election is over (but not for anything which happened when she was governor, more small-town stuff).
Hey Nancy, do you think the fundies, neocons, etc., have all backed Palin because they happen to be less sexist than others in society? Or do they see her as a great opportunity to advance their respective agendas? Have you become a Republican now?
I voted in Orange county, CA, yesterday, and there weren't many people there (which I consider to be good news for our side). Heading up to Las Vegas to help with GOTV (and got a similar speech about how important it was to be there on election day).
Would like to make a pitch for anyone who lives in So Cal and speaks Spanish to consider coming to Nevada. That's going to be a close race, but it's one we can win even if McCain pulls off some miracle back East.
It's not a trap because the Iraqis almost certainly won't do anything with this agreement until after the election. Once completed, all sides will have to adjust to the new reality. Won't even predict what that will be, but my sense all along has been that the Iraqis are stalling and this SOF agreement will never be approved.
The Democrats, fortunately, have the precedent of Clinton's first two years to serve as a cautionary tale. I don't think the Dems are going to be as unruly or undisciplined as some suspect because they understand the GOP can (and almost certainly will) stage a counter attack.
Obama has three other advantages. First, he's steadier than Clinton and not an easy target. The meme that many voters didn't trust Clinton got started before he won the '92 election (and was based in some aspects of personality and history which Obama doesn't share).
Second, Clinton won a 3-way race with 43%. If Obama wins he'll definitely score over 50%. That matters. Even if he doesn't win in a blowout and take all of the swing states, it will still be the case that a majority of the electorate voted for him once (and he'd only be the second Dem who could say that in 40 years, btw).
Third, the Dems got spanked in '94 because the Republican base was energized but the Democratic base wasn't. I don't think that will be true in 2010. The internet has changed political campaigning on the Democratic side. Think many who support Obama are in it for the long haul.
None of this is to diminish the talents and accomplishments of Pres. Clinton. Just think Obama is in a much stronger position and would have some better cards to play.
I hope you're right, but an Obama victory still depends upon his turning states blue which haven't gone Dem for some time (esp. if one acknowledges the role which Perot played in putting some states into the Clinton column in '92 and '96).
Not being a defeatist. Think Obama is running an incredible campaign. But let's not go crazy. We won't know how this will play out until election day (we might have much less slack than now seems to be the case--or much more--but to play it safe we should assume it's less).
Someone has to lay out a more pessimistic scenario. What if it turns out that the numbers Obama is getting now represent his ceiling? (and most of the undecideds just can't bring themselves to vote for him). And suppose youth turnout is on par with what happened in 2004 (because Kerry didn't do badly in this area, it might be the case that many young people just can't drag themselves to the polls).
Obama could still win in this situation but it would be a knuckle biter. He could lose Virginia, Florida, and Ohio by narrow margins. Even New Hampshire. Forget North Carolina. Georgia would be a pipe dream. He'd still probably win Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado, though (which would give him a tie).
Just saying we haven't won yet. I'm going to spend the next ten days in Nevada helping to get out the vote. If the worst happens think this is the state which could push him over (and fortunately I live in So Cal). Hoping for a blowout, of course, but this worst-case scenario doesn't strike me as beyond the realm of possibility.
The decision by Gallup to go to two numbers (which reflect different likely voter screens) captures the difference between the optimists and pessimists. It's not the case that the pessimists are recording some recent surge by McCain. What they're doing is going with a model which assumes that turnout will be very similar to what it was in 2004 (and a lot of people who are expressing support for Obama, and who show up in the optimistic polls, won't turn out to vote).
If McCain was surging (ie. voters were actually changing their minds) Dems would have cause to worry. Because this comes down to a difference in methodology, though, what can one say? If the Battleground poll is right the energy Obama has put into improving the Dem's ground game will turn out to have been wasted effort (which doesn't seem likely but that's really the disparity, the extra 3-5 points come from optimists' projections that turnout by young people, African Americans, Latinos, etc., will go up, the pessimists don't think so).
Each of these three pessimistic polls contains some info, btw, which strikes me as dubious. Is it really the case, for instance, that close to 60% of voters now describe themselves as conservative? (because only 34% did in 2004). This is another poll which projects that 21% of voters will be 65+ (in 2004 this was 16%).
Still, it's not worth arguing with (or about) pollsters. Much.
I don't know if this has been brought up by previous posters, but according to her twitter page she was looking for a BoA ATM for 2-3 hours (ostensibly to avoid the $2 fee). That's barely plausible. But who announces on their twitter page that they're in search of an ATM? That's on par with twittering every time you go to the bathroom (w/ maybe a follow up about what happened). Can I bet on intrade that this is a hoax?
Yes, it's possible the polls might turn out to be wrong. Don't think it's likely, but we'll only know on November 5. For what it's worth, I decided just yesterday to spend the last ten days working in a battleground state.
If Obama wins handily I'll be there for a great party. If it's close I can fool myself into thinking my extra effort made the difference. And if we lose I'll know it wasn't because of me.
Can I make a common fear explicit? We both know the Republicans are great at mobilizing their base, getting them to the polls, and pulling off election day shenanigans. They stole victory from the jaws of defeat during the past two elections (and arguably in '88 as well).
Have you been following the diary about the McCain campaign worker who claims she was beaten up in PA? Maybe she was. Don't we both know, though, that if she fabricated the whole thing this is the sort of thing Republicans do? Not saying she did. I'm saying they're capable of this.
So don't be a spectator. Worry is for chumps. The only reason the Dems are where they are now is because they have millions of foot soldiers now who are playing to win. Let the Republicans grind their teeth for once.
I think Jerome's skepticism should be welcomed, but there's a bigger wildcard out there than the Latino vote (and one which explains part how the AP got their numbers). They assume that voters between the ages of 18-29 will make up a smaller % of the electorate this year than they did in 2000 and 2004. Young voter apathy makes the race competitive.
In the previous two cycles the 18-29 vote made up 17% of the electorate (in 2000 they split evenly, in 2004 they went for Kerry 54/45). AP's projection is that they'll make up 15% (and if you do the math they're actually dropping the majority of young voters who responded, 133 out of 254, and assuming they won't turn out). This is almost 1/2 of the 301 voters who didn't make it through their likely voter screen, btw.
So who thinks they'll be right? I think this is nutty. 1/2 of new registrations are from voters in this age group. This is the group which Obama is winning 2 to 1. Thing is, one can't say the AP is wrong because they're using historical numbers to make their projection.
A lot will turn on this. If the youth vote turns out Obama will probably win in a landslide (and that'll have implications for the future, most of these voters, I predict, will stick with the Dems). If AP turns out to be correct, though, we might be in for a long night (though Obama, clearly, could still win).
My hunch,btw, is that youth turnout will go up significantly, but it's anyone's guess whether they'll vote in the same numbers as those who are 20 or even 40 years older (another fudge by AP is that they're assuming 20% of the electorate will be 65+, in 2000 it was 14%).
I've stayed away from Palin news lately, but there were two new stories today which in my opinion are far more significant and revealing than this one. The first is news that the RNC seems to have spent in excess of $150,000 to cloth and groom the Palin family during what...seven weeks?
And the second is the interview the Daily Show did with the current Mayor of Wassila, AK. This is must see tv. Being the head of an Elks Lodge would give someone more executive experience.