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Pwned
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, May 13, 2008

As we expeced, Barack Obama is getting a severe whuppin' in West Virginia. It's defininitely Clinton country there.

As Jay Cost wrote last week:
The conventional wisdom has it that Clinton did herself major damage Tuesday night by getting blown out in North Carolina. I completely agree. This hurt her with the pledged delegate count. Much more important, I think, is that it hurt her with the popular vote count, which she must win to press an argument with the superdelegates.

However, it is possible that she could counter Tuesday's blowout with two big blowouts of her own in the next two weeks. This could undo most of the damage done by her big loss in North Carolina, and put her back on track.

West Virginia is 95% white, and one of the poorest states in the nation. Demographically, Pennsylvania's twelfth congressional district is a decent proxy of it. Clinton won Pennsylvania's twelfth by 46 points. A recent Rasmussen survey put her up 29 points in the Mountaineer State, with 17% undecided. Another poll had her up 40 points, with Obama under 25%.
He illustrates how deeply into Clinton Country WV and KY are via this graphic:

Clinton counties are in blue, Obama Counties are in green. The black bordered area? Well, that, my friends, is Clinton Country.

White, rural, blue-collar Democrats.

Obama is an Urban, progressive candidate, essentially, and he doesn't resonate with blue collar Democrats.

So, the real question as we move towards the preidential election, is whether those blue counties will stay with Obama in November, should he become the nominee, or whether they will go for McCain, instead.

If I was making predictions, I'd think that an Obama candidacy, if the voting were being held today, would look like this:



Somehow, in a year where the Democrats were going to run away with everything, according to conventional wisdom, it looks as if the Republicans have selected the only candidate that can possibly win the presidency, and the Democrats are choosing between two candidates with an excellent chance of losing.
 
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Can you please explain your thinking for this map? Some of these states - VA for example- are at least trending blue and are no lock for McCain.

I’d like your thinking on PA as well.

Thanks!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Also, what possible states could Veep candidates bring to the ticket? I mean, Obama certainly has potential candidates that could put OH in play I believe yes?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
NH: For whatever reason, McCain is beloved there.

VA: Military. Northern VA is trending blue. The rest of it...not so much. VA Dems tend to be a bit more pragmatic and conservative than Yankee dems. See: Jim Webb.

PA: Essentially, the Deep South with hoagies and cheesesteak.

VP Candidates: Who knows? Who cares? There aren’t any at the moment.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Oh sure. Now Jay Cost gets credited with my chart. ;-)

I largely agree with your EC map, though I’d switch IA and WI.

But SC???
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://
If Obama is the candidate he will definitely have problems in New York and New Jersey, meaning that they will come into play.

Remember that New York City stopped electing far left liberal mayors 15 years ago. Giuliani beat Dinkins and Ruth Messinger, and Bloomberg beat Mark Green. I don’t even recall who he beat for re-election: Fernando Ferrer, maybe? Upstate is fairly moderate.

Clinton would win NY easily. Obama could easily lose it. McCain would be O.K. with New Yorkers.

A similar situation applies in New Jersey, where that state has about maxed out its liberal inclinations. McCain would not be a hard choice there against Obama. Clinton would take the state easily.

And I keep waiting for California to flip over on the cot in its padded cell. Remember that Clinton easily beat Obama there. California did not go for the New Messiah. Brand Obama as the exact most liberal member of the Senate that he is, and keep hanging Rev. Wright around his neck, and California could become competitive, too. As much as a scam as Arnold is, he does represent a change in attitude there, however hard it is to discern in that state’s hairball politics.

Again, McCain could be O.K. with Californians.

What you saw in West Virginia yesterday was a preliminary report on Obama’s false representation of himself to white voters as a post-racial candidate. That will not be getting better for him.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Remember that New York City stopped electing far left liberal mayors 15 years ago. Giuliani beat Dinkins and Ruth Messinger, and Bloomberg beat Mark Green. I don’t even recall who he beat for re-election: Fernando Ferrer, maybe? Upstate is fairly moderate.

Clinton would win NY easily. Obama could easily lose it. McCain would be O.K. with New Yorkers.

A similar situation applies in New Jersey, where that state has about maxed out its liberal inclinations. McCain would not be a hard choice there against Obama. Clinton would take the state easily.
No way. Never EVER underestimate the northeastern libs dedication to toeing the party line. They’ll tie Bush to McCain and that will be enough to keep those 2 states solidly Dem.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
shark:
Never EVER underestimate the northeastern libs dedication to toeing the party line.
I gave you an illustration of NYC liberals decidedly not toeing the party line. Dinkins, Messinger, and Green were the party line: they went down handily.

Remember that NYC was on the brink of catastrophe — with 2200 murders a year — when the northeastern libs turned to Giuliani to bail them out.

Recall, as well, that just before the unlamented Spitzer was elected in ’06, New York State had a moderate Republican governor for 12 years.

If McCain can keep it close in the big city, upstate voters will give him a win.

Giuliani is actually very popular upstate, and he’ll be a huge help there against Obama.

If Hillary is the candidate, it wouldn’t be close.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Rudy might be a smart choice for VP.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
Arch:
Rudy might be a smart choice for VP.
I don’t think so. Rudy was rejected by conservatives for very specific reasons. When McCain picks a running mate he’ll be choosing an heir apparent for the Republican nomination. It’s crucial that he take someone without Rudy’s baggage.

There is slim pickens out there, so I’d urge McCain to go outside the political world. I don’t know anything about David Petraeus (e.g. his economic and social views) other than that he is extremely bright and a great military leader. If by convention time he can be spared from Central Command (where he’s headed now), he might be the one. Although I hate to see a good military man ruined by becoming a politician.

I also like Judge Janice Rogers Brown. She’s a helluva lady. I think voters would really take to her.

What would these names being thrown around right now do for the future of the party? Rob Portman? Tim Pawlenty? Who the hell are they? Bobby Jindal is ten years old.

McCain is actually the last of the good candidates that the GOP has, with name recognition and wide appeal, and he’s 71. And he’ll make a terrible president.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
"If McCain can keep it close in the big city, upstate voters will give him a win."
This is plausible, but I’d have to believe it to see it.

Buffalo. Rochester. Syracuse. (Think McAullife has that wired?) Tompkins County (Ithaca: "fourteen square miles surrounded by reality" — it’s cute, but I don’t think it’s as true as some people think...) Cortland Country: upstate welfare central. It only gets worse as one goes east, from the industrial disasters in the west. Utica: about half mobbed-up.

I dunno, Martin. I think this is all extrememly sketchy for McCain.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Lemme put it this way: I could imagine a way through for McCain in New York state, but he’d have to do a lot bidding toward his left. Not that he’d have a serious problem with that, of course.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
McCain is more of what upstaters are used to than Uncle Jeremiah’s nephew.

He’s an easy pick for them. And I don’t think that they are as necessarily craven as you do, where they would have to be substantially bid up. I think that Clinton clearly got her fastball by them, but I don’t see that happening with Obama.

In the Big City, those people can get awfully sensible when faced with the far left. Giuliani showed them how it’s done, after they learned what happens when the place is thrown to the wolves.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Martin-

Living here in NYC, I know all about what you cited.

As you noted, NYC has no problem voting for moderate Repubs on the state/local level.....when things are on the brink of collapse from decades of 1-party rule by the other party.

If you honestly think that NYC will allow the more GOP-leaning upstate to swing the state to a Rethuglican who supports Bush on Iraq and away from a minority doctrinnaire liberal, I have several bridges you may want to purchase.

In addition, the NY State GOP is a pathetic shell. McCain can expect little to no local help here.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
One of the things here is that the Dem primary is awarding according to proportion. That’s not how the EC works in most states.

It’s as if they were preparing for an election in some parellel universe.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
shark, there’s one thing that doesn’t sell in NYC: Farrakhan or anyone who has anything to do with him, like Jeremiah Wright. Note that Obama has not only appeared solo on the cover of Wright’s Trumpet magazine, as did Farrakhan, he has also appeared on the cover in a group of faces that included Farrakhan.

Also, by November voters will have things other than Iraq on their minds. It’s not even clear what those things will be yet. But they will still have Wright on their minds. Obama is not that good a sell in NYC. He’s too Chicago.

Now, you can legitimately ask me, "do you actually think that a city and state that keeps on electing a loathsome, reprehensible swine like Chuck Schumer, will not come out for Obama?" and my answer is yes. I think that the presidential question is approached in a different light than the senator question.

 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Martin-

I like your optimism but IMO you’re really blue-skying it here.

As currently stands, I’ll predict that NY goes comfortably for Obama- one of those deals where the networks are able to put the state electoral votes in Obama’s column 5 minutes following the close of the polls.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
In 1972 Nixon took New York by 17 points against McGovern, the only presidential candidate arguably as far to the left as Obama. Dukakis won New York in 1988 by about 4 points. That’s a 21 point spread between the ultra-liberal McGovern (counseling surrender in Vietnam as Obama counsels in Iraq) and the very liberal Dukakis. If he is the candidate, Obama will, by my estimation, finish somewhere between Dukakis and McGovern. Worse than Dukakis, better than McGovern. He has to do only five points worse than Dukakis in New York to lose that state. That would still put him five points above the mean between McGovern and Dukakis.

McCain is a better candidate for New York than Bush ’41 was in 1988. New York, by its choices in the City and statewide over the past decade and a half is not as liberal as it once was. It talks liberal, but it doesn’t necessarily vote that way (Giuliani, Pataki, Bloomberg were liberal Republicans, which is the best way to describe McCain).

My contention is not that McCain will win New York, but that a McCain-Obama match-up makes it competitive, and that McCain has a very good shot at it.

Liberals can have their intellectual vanity put off by the very idea that they could be voting for a racialist candidate. Pataki got elected to three terms; Giuliani to two (and would have won a third easily if he hadn’t been term limited). Bloomberg, despite the fact that he’s an awful slob, is not a product of the City’s liberal machine; he first ran as a Republican, before running as a slob for re-election.

Also, Obama is an extremely vulnerable candidate, which is why I still believe that Clinton will pull it out and be the nominee. She would win New York by at least ten points. I think that New Yorkers’ preferences will be Clinton, McCain, Obama by the fall.

If Giuliani humps it for McCain in New York, he could be very influential, and he also might well run for governor in 2010. Clinton controls the Democratic Party in New York, and might well have it offer a confusing campaign for Obama.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
If it was true in Indiana, why isn’t it true in West Virginia ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I still believe that Clinton will pull it out and be the nominee.
Martin — I still believe it’s possible for Clinton to be the nominee, but I was struck by the deafening silence among Democrat leaders and the media that greeted her 41 point avalanche over Obama in West Virginia. No matter what Hillary does between here and Denver, it looks to me like Obama’s nomination has been decided in the back rooms,

Obama is just going to run out the clock with his delegate lead, and the supers will give it to him. Between their desire not to mortally offend the black bloc, and their animosity towards the Clintons, I think the deal is done. It’s too late to turn back now. They are going to cross their fingers and hope that Obama is the yellow dog that Democrats will vote for instead of a Republican no matter what.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
huxley:
Obama is just going to run out the clock with his delegate lead, and the supers will give it to him. Between their desire not to mortally offend the black bloc, and their animosity towards the Clintons, I think the deal is done.
I’m actually impressed by the Democrats animosity towards the Clintons. Too bad it’s 15 years late. But the Party is so filled with multiculturalists (i.e., white liberals terrified of race) and so hyped for their new Prince of Liberals that they’re like the driveling dons and crazed school marms who Malcom Muggeridge described visiting the Soviet Union circa 1930 and declaring it Heaven on Earth. Or as Robert Conquest described it, people who declared every ungly, crumbling building an architectural masterpiece.

As for the certainty of Obama’s nomination: it doesn’t exist. Why? Because he does not have a majority and cannot get a majority of committed delegates. He needs superdelegates. Superdelegates can say that they are switching or throwing their support or ready to get down on their knees and fellate Obama, but their votes are not committed until they cast them on the floor of the convention.

So, will the Democrats have to swallow it one more time for the Clintons and take them back? They might not have any choice. Unless, if the Obama candidacy falls apart, they go for an open convention and find a couple of reasonably normal people to run. If they did that and came up with an Evan Bayh/Harold Ford ticket, I might actually vote for them out of sheer astonishment.

But it’s a long angry road for Obama to travel to the convention from that blow-out on Tuesday, which is indicative of where the Party moderates and Reagan Democrats are headed, to what the Party elites think they’ve accomplished.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I’m still missing the logic on why the supers won’t go for Obama. Unless it becomes absolutely clear that Obama will be demolished in November, what stops the supers from going with Obama? He will still have the delegate lead going to the convention.

Currently Obama’s numbers look good against McCain.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
huxley:
I’m still missing the logic on why the supers won’t go for Obama. Unless it becomes absolutely clear that Obama will be demolished in November, what stops the supers from going with Obama? He will still have the delegate lead going to the convention.

Currently Obama’s numbers look good against McCain.
Well, taking things in reverse order: there’s polling and there’s polling. Unless McCain doesn’t want to win, against Obama he has a 10 point victory waiting for him. All he needs to do is make sure voters see what the choice is.

The logic on the superdelegates is that they have a veto power on Obama’s nomination. Here’s one way for the Clintons to play that:

On June 3rd, when the primaries are all over, the media is going to declare Obama the nominee. So, the Clintons need only start feeding conservatives more of what they already have on Obama. If it’s candidacy killing stuff (like the "holy grail" video of Obama jumping up in Trinity church to applaud some incredibly racist or anti-American outburst by Wright), it drives Obama’s numbers through the floor and then you get the Clinton people who switched to Obama (as superdelegates) leading the charge back in the other direction. You will suddenly hear less and less about the decision of the primary voters and the obligation of the supers to follow the sacred democratic mandate for Obama and more about how the superdelegates were created for situations just like this, where a candidate has been discredited between the end of the primaries and the convention.

Now, is that going to happen?

I think that it was probably the Clintons’ Plan B all along. Just like the Pentagon always has invasion plans for different geopolitical scenarios on the shelf, the Clintons will use the conservative blogosphere and talk radio to push the case, if there is indeed more of a case than is already apparent, and then without a beat pick up their lost nomination in Denver and then start attacking the Right-Wing smear machine!

In theory, this is not a difficult scenario to pull off, but it will depend on the material that’s available, its factual veracity, its graspability, and how damaging it is.

Now, is there an advantage in this for the Clintons, for it to finally come out this way? There sure is, for two reasons: they’ll have the conservative media after Obama for the summer instead of them, and if and when Obama’s campaign is dead, the Clintons will say "the American people have had enough of this politics of personal destruction," and Hillary will run like she was Betty Crocker or something. If she takes Harold Ford as her running mate, then she’ll get most of the black vote back, and she’ll probably beat McCain.

The Clintons were the very masters of policing scandalous and sordid stuff about them, but that was 1992. This is now, with the internet, and blogs, and YouTube.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Martin — Yes, I understand that neither Obama nor Clinton can win on their primary results alone. The supers’ votes will make the difference.

However, there is great pressure on the supers to give the nomination to Obama because he has the lead in delegates and popular votes, and if Obama is passed over, the black bloc goes nuts, as well as other Obama supporters. Running Obama against McCain has definite risks, but the supers may be willing to take those risks rather than risk the chaos that erupts if they back out on Obama.

Your scenario requires that the Clintons have some explosive material against Obama in reserve. It’s possible, but I don’t think it’s guaranteed and I wonder why the Clintons didn’t use it earlier in the race or why other investigators didn’t get to it as well.

The anti-Obama stuff we’ve seen thus far has been pretty damning and has hurt Obama, but it hasn’t crippled his campaign. His ratings took a hit but largely—not entirely, but largely—recovered.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
huxley:
Your scenario requires that the Clintons have some explosive material against Obama in reserve. It’s possible, but I don’t think it’s guaranteed and I wonder why the Clintons didn’t use it earlier in the race or why other investigators didn’t get to it as well.
Well, just a few days ago, Stanely Kurtz did a report on Wright’s Trumpet magazine in the Weekly Standard, and lo and behold he finds that Wright didn’t have just a few outbursts in the pulpit but that his radical political views are dripping from every page, photograph, and highlighted quote in the magazine. Kurtz concludes that Obama knew every aspect of Wright’s racist and anti-American views.

Then Kurtz says that he asked the publisher for but could not get the issues of Trumpet where Obama appeared on the cover. Next day a blogger comes up with three issues with Obama on the cover (one solo appearance, one side-by-side with Wright, one in a group of vignettes that include Farrakhan and Elija Mohammed). Kurtz says he can’t get hold of Obama’s interview in Trumpet either, from the issue where he’s solo on the cover. We’re still waiting for that, neither Trumpet nor the Obama campaign will make it available.

Do you think that the Clintons did not and do not have this stuff? I think that they probably had a copy of that issue of Trumpet with Obama on the cover before Obama himself had a copy of it.

Why didn’t they use it? Well, who knows what really goes on in the Clinton mind, but if you realized that you were running against a fatally flawed candidate but that you had enough baggage of your own to fill the cargo hold of the Titanic, wouldn’t you prefer that your opponent suffer the ravages of close scrutiny while you kept searching for that heroic Betty Crocker image for the swing voters?
The anti-Obama stuff we’ve seen thus far has been pretty damning and has hurt Obama, but it hasn’t crippled his campaign. His ratings took a hit but largely—not entirely, but largely—recovered.
First of all, it’s important to distinguish between anti-Obama stuff like the "he’s a Muslim" trope, and the factual stuff that’s precisely and exactly true, like his 100% liberal rating as a senator and his 20-year membership in that church. The latter is not "anti-Obama," it’s the truth: it’s as true as saying that he’s a U.S. Senator from Illinois.

As for his ratings: Obama just lost the presidential primary in a swing state by 40 points. He got clobbered in every imaginable demographic category, including those that he’s been walking out the door with. That is a rating from a place where the voters were focused and voting, not from a whole bunch of places where attention is not focused.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
The problem with your analysis, Dale, is the gleaming assumption that all those blue-collar voters who prefer Hilary Clinton to Barack Obama, also prefer John McCain to Barack Obama.

I doubt it.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
The problem with your analysis, Dale, is the gleaming assumption that all those blue-collar voters who prefer Hilary Clinton to Barack Obama, also prefer John McCain to Barack Obama.

I doubt it.
It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that McCain is an easy choice vis a vis Obama’s radicalism.

Obama’s train stopped a few weeks ago now. It didn’t make it into the station. The superdelegates might walk back down the tracks to give him the nomination, but he hit his peak in national politics two months ago.

He’s only been pinged with what’s waiting out there for him in a general election, with the added hurt that no one has to use anything but the stuff that’s true.

And Reichsfuhrer Olbermann will not be of any help to him.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
P.S. to all this:

I can’t stand McCain for the very reasons that moderate and Reagan Democrats will like him.

I view McCain as a disaster waiting to happen who happens to be the best of the three candidates. And as far as I can see, the only thing that makes Obama a worse choice than Hillary Clinton is that Obama is by every indication but his evasive words a racialist who would cause, even by his candidacy in the general election, race relations to go back to the stone age.

It won’t be the first time that Americans are forced to chose the lesser of evils, but McCain’s evil is so much lesser than Obamas that voters will be very happy to settle for him.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I’m not so sure of Obama’s inherent unelectability. If the election were held today, I think it would be a coin toss between him and McCain. Luckily the election is six months off. In that time it’s up to Obama’s opponents to make sure Americans see underneath all the high-flying rhetoric and calm assurance.

I think it will be like striking a stone repeatedly with little effect before it finally shatters.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
I think that if the election were held today, and people were forced to decide on the dime, McCain would win by ten points. I don’t think it would be a toss-up.

But given that there’s six months to go, Obama will get to swing the hypnotic pocket watch for that long, so the outline of who he is needs to be fleshed out.

Obama is inherently unelectable as long as Americans believe in America. No matter what they think about "Bush," right now, Americans will not elect someone as President of the United States who is a 20 year and counting member of a racist, black supremacist church. It is not going to happen.

And Obama can say "my former pastor" until his lips fall off and that will not change.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I think that if the election were held today, and people were forced to decide on the dime, McCain would win by ten points.
I realize that’s an opinion but I’m not aware of any polls remotely to that effect. I share your assessment that Obama is outside the bounds of normal American politics, but I don’t think the majority of Americans have come to that awareness yet. In addition to blacks and the young who are in Obama’s back pocket, there are still a lot of yellow dog Democrats who won’t vote Republican this year without a gun to their head.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
huxley:
I realize that’s an opinion but I’m not aware of any polls remotely to that effect. I share your assessment that Obama is outside the bounds of normal American politics, but I don’t think the majority of Americans have come to that awareness yet.
They were certainly wise to Obama in West Virginia. His supporters can call those people hillbillies and racists, but if they hadn’t seen right through him it wouldn’t have gone to 40 points.

What I’m saying is that if forced to choose a president today, as you proposed, that voters would shift sufficiently to give McCain a 10 point win.

Yes, that’s my opinion, based on my perception that the majority of Americans do have sufficient information about Obama to reject him. They’ll still listen, but if forced to vote on a dime, they reject him.

As they should.

They know that line "who are you going to believe, me or your lyin’ eyes" down there in WV. And I think that the Obama con has fallen apart nationally. I know that there are a lot of stupid people at universities, and places like that, who take easily to the trance, but there’s not enough of them.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/

 
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