Carville says Obama will win
by politicsmatters, Thu May 29, 2008 at 02:18:59 PM EDT
James Carville, one of Bill Clinton's top strategists in 1992, an election where Clinton was in third behind Perot and Bush for awhile, says that Obama will win the election.
In an interview with Greg Sargent
http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsm emo.com/2008/05/carville_on_obama_i_thin k_he_w.php
Asked if he thought Obama would beat McCain, Carville said: "I think he will. I think Democrats will win in November...There's a crushing desire for change in this country. No one has seen a party or brand held in such low esteem" than the Republicans.
And what about those working class whites? Well, for one thing, the composition of the electorate won't be the same as it was in 2004.
Asked about claims that Obama has a problem with non-college whites that could hamper his electability, Carville said that thanks to changes in the electorate, to win Obama merely has to match the performance of Kerry, who underperformed with that group.
"I would argue that if he gets what Kerry got he will still win the election, because the dynamics have changed," Carville said, pointing to likely larger turnout among young voters, African Americans and other demographic changes. Carville joked, however, that he'd be loath to see Obama fall below Kerry's performance.
Carville's analysis of the voting preferences of working class whites dovetails with another analysis of that bloc published today.
As Mark Mellman pointed out
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/opinio n/29mellman.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&am p;oref=slogin
Democrats running for president have been losing white, non-college-educated voters since before Mr. Obama was elected to the Illinois legislature. Al Gore and Mr. Kerry each failed to win a majority of this bloc in the general election. With these voters, the size of the losing margin is what matters.
Mr. Gore lost them by 17 percentage points while winning the national popular vote. Mr. Kerry lost them by 23 points and the country by fewer than two and a half points. The last Democrat to win white, non-college voters was Bill Clinton, who carried them by a single point in the three-way races in 1992 and 1996.
By comparison, Mr. Obama is only two percentage points behind John McCain among these voters in the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Another recent survey shows him down seven points.
In other words, Mr. Obama is faring better today with the white working class than did either Mr. Gore or Mr. Kerry.
And what about the argument that losing a state in the primary matters in November? Mellman says
There is no relationship between how candidates perform among any particular group of voters in primaries and how they do with that segment in the general election. In 1992, Bill Clinton lost college-educated voters to Paul Tsongas in the early competitive primaries, but he went on to win that group in November by the largest margin any Democrat ever had. Similarly, John Kerry lost young voters in the competitive primaries in 2004 before going on to win them by a record margin in the general election.
Personally, I think that once Hillary Clinton endorses Obama, his numbers will go up. And with Obama's phenomenal field operation, the turnout will be high among those who want to turn the page on the Bush administration and want to put a Democrat in the White House.