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The Huge Problem Facing Barack Obama

    The huge problem facing Barack Obama is clearly outlined in the latest Pew poll:

    A quarter of Democrats (25%) who back Clinton for the nomination say they would favor McCain in a general election test against Obama. The "defection" rate among Obama's supporters if Clinton wins the nomination is far lower; just 10% say they would vote for McCain in November, while 86% say they would back Clinton.

Simply put, if this holds, Obama can't win a general election because over time, the independents who say they are backing him will begin to follow the same pattern and dwindle as well. He must reverse those numbers.

  • vwcat said:

    But there is more of us who support Obama who will never support Clinton.

    Actually, after her endorsement of McCain she finds herself with even more who are never going to vote for her.

    She has crossed the line and is being vilified on the blogs now.

    Clinton is a traitor to democrats and the push back is going to be strong.

    She is now a Lieberman.

    March 7, 2008 4:53 AM
  • LorenzoJennifer said:


    Pick. Pick. Pick. Excuse me, but when did Hillary Clinton endorse John McCain for anything?  Barack Obama and she each congratulated McCain when he got the number of pledged delegates necessary for the Republican nomination.  Would expect that McCain would reciprocate the courtesy and offer congratulations to Barack or Hillary when the Democratic contest is settled.  I'm not one to critically examine other posts and have no plans to do so. Talk of endorsements, though, is serious stuff.  Pick. Pick. Pick.

    March 7, 2008 6:54 PM
  • LorenzoJennifer said:

    Would feel a lot more confident about Pew's findings (link) if the general election were held in, say, early June instead of early November. Both puzzled and inspired by Pew, let's examine some demographics.  Hillary supporters, as described in the general press, tend to be white women, those over 60, poor people, those with a high school education or less and Latinos.  Barack supporters, as described in the general press, tend to be younger, better-salaried, well-educated and Black Americans.  Yet, if we count Hillary's strong support among wealthy white women, doesn't that alter the perception created by the press that mostly poor and less-educated women back her?  A new baseline is needed and one may be how the voter views federal government service provision. Poor people, less-educated people, those over 60 and bi-linguals (such as Latinos) - the Hillary supporters - tend to be more in  need of direct human service provision than the rest of the general population.  Add Hillary's strong support in the health care, social work and education sectors - most of whose members have advanced degrees - that provide those services.  On the other hand, younger folks, those better-salaried and well-educated - the Barack supporters - tend to view government as an enabler - that is, one that can aid them in achieving and managing their own objectives.  Student loans, federal grants, federal mortgage guarantees, money supply and interest rates would qualify as government programs that help make a good life possible for the program participant (not program recipient).  If I may paraphrase the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one group of diverse members sees government as offering a hand-out and a hand-up (the Hillary demographic).  The other group of diverse members sees the government as offering a helping hand but only as a feature for some other activity (the Barack demographic).  

    March 10, 2008 2:29 PM
  • AW said:

    This is just Clinton supporters being upset because their choice is not winning.  Clinton will do anything to win this nomination and that seemingly spills over to 25% of her supporters.  

    They may act like children now, but when push comes to shove, they will back Obama with very few choosing McCain.

    Hillary supports will not want to see another Bush term.

    March 10, 2008 8:05 PM
  • LorenzoJennifer said:

    Out of curiosity, I looked at the complete-almost complete Democratic primary results on a "winner-take-all" basis.  The Republicans use this method.  Any candidate getting even one more vote than the rest - would be a plurality in a multi-candidate race - gets 'em all.  Clinton, with 13 state primaries/caucuses won, would have a hypothetical 1,234 delegates.  Obama, with 26 state primaries/caucuses won, would have a hypothetical 1,133 delegates.  Texas is not included as they're still counting caucus votes though Clinton took the popular vote (51%) in the Texas two-step primary and I don't know how that-all shakes out in declaring a final winner.  Also could not readily find the voting totals from Democrats Abroad and - if I 'member correctly - Guam and American Samoa, all of whom will have some delegates at Denver.   Anyhoo, we'll have a real choice in November, pitting a conservative Republican against a liberal Democrat.  First time since Reagan/Carter in 1980, if not Goldwater/Johnson in 1964.  There're dramatic differences between Clinton/Obama and McCain. Agree that the Clinton (or Obama) voter will likely vote for whichever one gets the Democratic nomination.  Their degree of enthusiasm in pushing down the lever is another matter.

    March 11, 2008 2:24 PM

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