Posts Tagged ‘2008 election’

Playing Down the White Gap

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

A new WaPo poll shows the problem with the idea that Obama can’t win working class white voters…namely that Democrats never win working class white voters.

Much of the focus in the Democratic race has been on Obama’s difficulty in winning the votes of working-class whites. Against Obama, McCain is ahead among whites without college degrees by 52 percent to 40 percent, not that different from McCain’s advantage over Clinton in this new poll.

These sort of historical contexts seem completely lost on stuck-in-the-moment television pundits.

Bob Barr

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

I feel slightly compelled to devote at least a blurb to former Congressman Bob Barr, who has apparently parted ways with the Republican Party and will be seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for President.

The most obvious question is one of where he could have an impact. While we get caught up in margins and popular votes, the election is decided by state to state by electoral votes, and to have an impact a candidate must have an effect on at least one state count. Ralph Nader, for example, wasn’t relevant to the 2000 election because he captured 2.5% of the national popular vote, he was relevant because he got 97,000 votes in Florida and Gore lost the state by 537 votes. Barr could possibly run competitively in Georgia, but not many other places. The question then becomes whether or not he’d really hurt McCain substantially more than Obama, and whether Georgia would wind up making a difference to the electoral college vote count.

And of course this is all predicated on the idea that Barr will actually win the nomination. He’s a social conservative well out of step with Libertarian views on many issues, and it seems the one area he has chosen to focus on is civil liberties (i.e. opposition the Patriot Act and such). It remains to be seen whether that will be enough to endear him to Libertarians who disagree with him on as many things as they agree with him.

For what it’s worth, my money is on Wayne Allyn Root.

Carville; “I’ll send him a check”

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

So sayeth the bald headed pitbull.

“I still hear some dogs barking,” Carville said, according to The State newspaper. “I’m for Senator Clinton, but I think the great likelihood is that Obama will be the nominee.”

“As soon as I determine when that is, I’ll send him a check,” he added.

I’m glad he’s not stuck in Lanny mode.

Reagan Democrats

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

For all the talk I’m hearing from Hillary Clinton about West Virginia’s penultimate importance in Presidential elections, and the media’s fixation on “Reagan Democrats,” I feel compelled to note one thing for posterity; Reagan lost West Virginia in 1980. As did Eisenhower in 1952, Richard Nixon in 1968, and Michael Dukakis in 1988. In fact, George W. Bush in 2000 became the first non-incumbent Republican to win West Virginia since Hoover carried it in 1928. 1928 was also the last time ANY Republican candidate running after 2 consecutive Republican terms was able to carry West Virginia.

So could we maybe stop playing make believe?

Pledged Delegate Jumps to Obama

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008


And Obama picks up another superdelegate, Joe Donnelly of Indiana.


Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

I’m finally up with my piece on the role of gender, or more precisely sexism, and the Democratic campaign.

While I would certainly cede that Sen. Clinton has lost a few votes on the basis of some voters being unwilling to vote for a woman (although Obama has undeniably lost some voters on the basis of race), and wouldn’t argue that there are blatant sexists like Chris Matthews in media, that is hardly the same as saying that there is a grand, sexist, design that doomed Hillary. What doomed Hillary is simple; bad campaigning. Her campaign was ill prepared for the race that emerged, they were out of step with what voters wanted, and they had no answer to Obama’s skill and appeal. And not even loyalty to the Clinton brand, nor deference from a media loathe to bet against the Clintons they’d been burnt betting against time and time again, was enough to overcome that after it was already too late.

Full piece here.

The Problem with Polling

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Using a Steph mistake to highlight the problems with pundits reading exit polls.

It’s basically a chicken-egg argument; do people vote the way they do because of how they answer an exit poll question, or do they answer the way they do because of how they’re voting? I tend to believe the latter more often than not, as it’s a more palpable cause-effect explanation.

Jed Breaks Down the Mischief Voters

Monday, May 12th, 2008

A very read-worthy dissection of the Republican effect on the Indiana primary, complete with this breakdown of Obama and white voters:

Thus, excluding McCain meddlers, Clinton won among white voters 58% to 42%. That 16-point margin is significant, but it’s also 4 points smaller than her 20-point 60%-40% lead when McCain meddlers are included.

Also, the 16-point margin is almost half that of the 30-point margin in Ohio, suggesting that the whole narrative about Obama losing support among whites is completely false. In fact, Obama is making significant progress.

The same pattern holds true in North Carolina. Including McCain meddlers, Clinton won by 24 points among white voters, 61%-37%. After excluding McCain meddlers, she still leads, but her margin shrinks to 18 points, 58%-40% — also much closer than in Ohio.

She also only carried female voters by 6%, which seems noteworthy enough

Does Obama need Clinton to Stay In?

Monday, May 12th, 2008

An interesting premise from the LA Times:

Counterintuitively, the way he sees the inevitable delegate math in favor of Barack Obama, the worst thing that could happen to the Illinois senator now is what so many party members are clamoring for: Hillary Rodham Clinton to drop out.


Because with her name still on the ballots, she’d be very likely to win in West Virginia anyway. And maybe Kentucky too, given the demographics in both places. And possibly Puerto Rico as well.