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Mar 15, 2010
Correction: Yes. We. Did.
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2008 on A Normal Election at reflectivepundit
So once again we agree -- I'm still not sure if this is reassuring or scary. I didn't realize that I was echoing the "roll the dice" phrase used by the Clinton campaign, but I do think it's apt. Let others make the perfect the enemy of the good; as for me, I just want us to win this one, very badly.
Well then xyz, you and I seem to be in agreement about the type of analysis to be run, and who should be asking the questions, even though I suspect we might differ on which candidate we would like to see come out ahead in such an analysis. :-) It's true that just because one candidate wins a state's primary, it doesn't mean that they are "more popular" in that state in an overall sense. They might be getting the left wing of the party to vote for them, and if these voters turn out in greater numbers than more conservative Dems then the losing candidate might actually have a greater chance of winning the state overall. It all depends on which voters are supporting whom, and what that means for the general election. This is, of course, just another way of saying that primaries are a less than optimal method of choosing a candidate. I've seen the Kos analysis posted elsewhere, and while I think that general election polling at this stage should be taken with a large grain of salt, I think that the conclusion that either candidate can beat McCain is certainly true. More on this in my next post...
Toggle Commented Mar 7, 2008 on Battleground State Analysis at reflectivepundit
Hmmm. Maybe Ed can look at my very next post and then tell me what he thinks.
Very, very interesting. That's my perspective too: the onus shouldn't be on the superdelegates to follow the voters; the onus should be on the candidates to convince the superdelegates that they have the best chances of winning in November. Not that I think Obama doesn't have some solid arguments to make here, just that they have to be of the "I'm doing better vs. McCain in the polls now" variety rather than the "I have more primary votes than Clinton" variety. This is how things used to be, and I might add that in many ways it was more civilized and healthy for the party. If I were a superdelegate (SD -- I like that abbreviation), I would be asking Obama to prove that he has no skeletons in his closet (or that the skeletons that do exist can be overcome), that he's tough enough to take on the Reps, that he can come across to voters as experienced, etc. And I'd ask similar questions of Hillary. So the hard questions can be asked, but behind closed doors, rather than via public accusations from one candidate to another played out in the national press. Those smoke-filled rooms had their advantages.
On this last point xyz is 100% correct. Obama's job now, pure and simple, is to get the nomination, following the rules set out by the Democratic party. It's the party's job to set up the process in such a way that the winner of the nomination is the candidate with the best possible chance of winning the general election. So Obama will do what he needs to do now to beat Hillary, and then shift into beating-McCain mode. I'll be posting more on this subject shortly, but the general point is that the primary system should be geared towards choosing the best candidate, *not* to guarantee some notion of democracy within the party. The point isn't to find someone who can win the majority of Democrats' votes, but to find someone who can win the support of the median voter in the public overall. And, as the reader notes, Obama would be left with some convincing to do on that latter account were he to receive the nomination.
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2008 on Obama: The Audacity of Hype? at reflectivepundit
Thanks for the comments. For xyz, yes, that's a distinct possibility, rather like Truman's running against the "do-nothing" Republican Congress. But I think it would be too clever by half. The expectations following the campaign will be so high that, should little or nothing happen, he'll have more explaining to do than Congress. After all, he's likely to have unified government to work with, and he's making the claim that he, by sheer force of personality, will bring people together. To put it another way, would he have the same lead he has now under the banner "When things screw up again it'll definitely be their fault again, not ours"? Not quite the same as "Yes we can." As for Mr. Snider, of course politicians often fall short. But it's one thing to fall short in specific promises, and another to fall short in the basic premise of your government. True, given that no one can do it all, this campaign might very well be fairly characterized as competence vs. image, in which case the public would have a basic choice to make. Right now, Obama is claiming that by electing him we can have our cake and eat it too.
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2008 on Obama: The Audacity of Hype? at reflectivepundit