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March 12, 2008

Comments

Adam

When I look at the big board of states, I don't see many Obama caucus wins that stick out as likely primary losses. Texas, obviously. Maine, maybe, although Obama won Vermont so who knows. For whatever reason, most of the caucuses have been in states that have fit Obama's support profile.

My guess is that if every state had had a primary, Obama would have a wider popular vote lead than he currently does, but a smaller delegate lead. Hey, something for everyone, just like the rest of this campaign.

D. Cupples

How are ya, Adam? You're right: Obama might still be in the lead if all states had had primaries.

Adam

It's of course speculation on my part, but it seems plausible that, with the extremely obvious exception of Texas, Obama may have won the primaries in the states where he won the caucuses. And Hillary did technically win the caucus in a state (Nevada) where the demographics lined up for her. So part of Obama's caucus advantage may have just been the demographics of the caucus states.

And you're right that Obama's wins in more states don't inherently mean anything for November. I think the surveyUSA results (which have Obama picking up a handful of traditional red states, but roughly breaking even with Hillary (vis a vis McCain) due to losses in Pennsylvania and Florida) are more meaningful, although they're still VERY speculative.

I'm terrible, thanks for asking ;). I've had the flu since Sunday. The fever/aching/fatigue finally broke this morning, hence my newfound ability to sit at my computer and type. Now I'm only dealing with the more manageable sore throat and sinus/chest congestion. (You're forgiven if you've involuntarily leaned back from your computer monitor.) Unfortunately, this comes when stuff at work is crazy, so I'm tempted to go back in tomorrow even though I'm still a basketcase. Anyway, I hope you're doing well!

D. Cupples

I was wondering where you were. 'Hope you feel better soon.

Thanks for pointing out Nevada (which I'll mention along with Hillary's other 2 caucus wins).

Frankly, I don't know who would do better in November against McCain. He has a chance of winning, whoever the nominee is.

I just disagree with the number-of-states argument because nearly half of Obama's wins are in caucus states and a sizable portion are red states that (SUSA aside) I don't think will turn Blue.

Since college stats class, I've had trouble with trusting polls about voter preferences (and other topics). Zogby, himself, admitted that they make about 5,000 calls to get 900 people to agree to even participate -- meaning that sampled populations are a bit self-selecting.

I see Obama's win in Georgia as likely representative of how DEMS in Georgia feel about him, but I don't see wins in caucus states (where far fewer people vote) as representative of those states' Dems, because very special (i.e., fairly politically active and not in the norm) people go to caucuses.

Here in Fla, we have early voting for a week or two (several locations, not crowded). Though the turnout is still smaller than in a general election, it has a better shot at being representative of the state's party than a caucus (or even a one-day primary).

Of course you're right: all of this is about speculation.

D. Cupples

Adam,

One more thing: do you think that Hillary is attacking Obama's SUPPORTERS?

Adam

The basic idea, as I understand it, is they are accusing the Clinton campaign of nullifying the support of those who have voted for Obama by minimizing the significance of the wins those votes delivered. I think they chose an unnecessarily inflammatory way to phrase it, but the idea is not completely outlandish. And of course, asking for money is part and parcel of any campaign missive.

Basically, it looks like pretty run-of-the-mill, "rally the faithful" campaign rhetoric. I understand your point that you think it's hypocritical for the Obama campaign to engage in this sort of campaign rhetoric while they promise a break from old politics.

And for the record, I doubt Karl Rove was the first guy to come up with this strategy. He simply raised it to an art form, such that even the most abstract policy critique could be spun into a personal affront.

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