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The Obama Factor

First things first: If you would have told me six months ago -- hell, one month ago -- that Clinton would be fighting for her political life against Obama, I would have said: "I'll have what your smoking."

"There's no way," I would have continued, "that the most ruthless politician since 'Landslide' Lyndon Johnson would allow a newbie Senator to end her presidential obsessions."

Well, despite losing New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts *and* California(!), Obama has the same coin flip chance as Clinton to obtain the Democrat nomination. Which raises two questions: 1. How did this happen? 2. What are Obama's chances in the Nov. general election?

How Obama Got Here

1. Caucuses

Simply put: Obama owns the caucuses.

Hell, it's gotten to the point where if there's a caucus you know in advance Obama will win it -- regardless of the location and regardless of the breakdown of white participants versus black participants. Why is that the case? I honestly don't know. It could be a variation of the so-called Bradley effect; to wit: that standing in front of their neighbors white Democrats don't want to be saddled with the potential specter of being labeled racists, so in that environment they're casting their lots with Obama. It could also be as simple as Clinton's campaign being a disorganized mess and Obama's campaign being a machine. Organization makes a huge difference in caucuses. Whatever the reason, it's certainly the reality.

2. Democrats Apparently Have Figured Out Clinton Totally is Unelectable

Clinton is and always has been completely unelectable in a national general election.

McCain versus Clinton would be a wipeout for McCain. He would win 45% of the female vote and upwards of 65% of the male vote. Assuming 54-46 turnout in favor of females, that would equate to around a 54-46 popular vote margin for McCain, which given local political realities would mean a landslide for McCain in the Electoral College.

As recently as 2004, the loopey and reality-challenged Democrat primary base utterly was clueless as to electability. A material segment of that base, however, apparently has figured things out.

Does that mean Obama is more electable than Clinton? No. But unlike Clinton he at least has a chance, whereas Clinton has no chance in hell.

Obama in the General Election

If Obama makes it to the general election, yes, of course, the media will campaign for him incessantly and against McCain. Yes, it's true, conservatives will stay home and not vote by the millions -- thereby pissing all over the country and their erstwhile "causes." Yes, of course, black turnout will be high. Yes, undoubtedly, on Election Day the media will attempt to dupe Republicans into staying home with bogus exit polls and the like -- and ironically they'll succeed in certain respects.

But racial divisions and the older demographic's focus on national security would overcome those items.

The majority of the voting electorate consists of people between the ages of 45 and 75. They're not so easily duped by the media. They actually care about such things as national security.

Then there's the matter of race.

Latinos overwhelmingly will vote for McCain. Latinos and blacks don't get along. Never have. Obama received merely 32% of the Latino vote in California's closed Democrat primary! Again, this needs to be clear: sixty-eight percent of "liberal" California's registered Latino *Democrats* voted *against* Obama.

How could the national numbers among Latinos in a general election be all that better for him?

Asians overwhelmingly will vote for McCain -- by a margin even larger than that by which Latinos will vote against Obama. Asians and blacks simply don't get along. Never have.

Whites will vote for McCain. That's not "PC," but it's reality. If a majority of whites in a closed Democrat primary in "deep blue" Maryland voted against Obama, how on Earth will a larger majority of whites in a *national general election* not do the same thing?

Whites will account for about 70% of the voting electorate this November; 14% will be Latinos; 12% will be black; around 4% will be Asian.

The overall racial/ballot breakdown of the voting electorate this Nov. will look a lot like this:

Whites - 55-45 for McCain - 70% of voting electorate.
Latinos - 65-35 for McCain - 14% of voting electorate.
Blacks - 90-10 for Obama - 12% of voting electorate.
Asians - 70-30 for McCain - 4% of voting electorate.

Electorally speaking, Florida completely is out of play if Obama is the nominee, as is New Mexico and of course Arizona. Colorado too.

Obama could very well flip Ohio. Perhaps even Ohio and Virginia, although that would take a yeoman's effort.

But McCain will flip New Hampshire (all white state), Wisconsin (Bush not there to vote against), Pennsylvania (heavy retired military population; Bush not there to vote against) and Oregon (less than 2% blacks -- McCain's enviro viewpoints will help him). Believe it or not, Obama will have to spend time, effort and money to defend California.

The math for Obama doesn't add up.


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Comments (43)

Simple:One's a lik... (Below threshold)
Pretzel_Logic:

Simple:

One's a likable empty suit, the other's a non-likable empty (pant) suit.

<a href="http://joshua.trev... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Here are some numbers on the recent primaries, comparing the number of votes for McCain and Obama. Here are the red states:

Missouri: Obama had 208% of McCain's total.
South Carolina: Obama had 200% of McCain's total.
Virginia: Obama had 255% of McCain's total.

Racism ain't gonna win you this one.

Har har, them's the same nu... (Below threshold)
ras:

Har har, them's the same numbers as the other times Dems lost. The out-of-power party always gets more supporters out in the primaries.

oh mantis, your projection is so cute.

mantis-In 2000 the... (Below threshold)
Rory:

mantis-

In 2000 the Republican Primary turnout was bigger than the Democrat Primary turnout in California.

Who do you think won the "general" election in California in 2000?

A hell of a lot more people turn out for general Presidential elections than they do for the primaries.

A lot of Independents and Democrats and Republicans who don't vote in the primaries for whatever reasons.

mantis-Let's use Y... (Below threshold)
Rory:

mantis-

Let's use YOU as an example-

Don't you claim on these boards to be an Independent?

Did you vote this year in a primary?


Then if yes who did you vote for-because voting for Ron Paul or Gravel-is kind of voting out of the bloc...

About your math stats trump... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

About your math stats trumping. This was why Clinton was so confident going into this contest as well. Obama has a much greater than a coin flip's 50/50 chance to win the nomination, now...Rasmusseen Reports has him roughly at 1 to 3 odds in the betting markets and 46% to 41% in the National Poll against Clinton and 46% to 40% against McCain in a match up.

Jayson, I think you ignoring that Obama is of mixed race- half white and 47 years old, and has a great deal of cross over appeal.. In the last few rounds he has been attracting a large percentage of Latino votes as he already does in Illinois. McCain would be 80 years old should he be still in the White House in 2016. The younger voters are surging to Obama.

How could the national n... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

How could the national numbers among Latinos in a general election be all that better for [Obama]?

Simple. A lot of Latinos will look at party affiliations, remember the old stereotype that the GOP is a bunch of white racists, and vote for Obama on the grounds that "he may be a son of a bitch, but he's OUR son of a bitch."

JJ, what makes you think hi... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

JJ, what makes you think hispanics will vote for McCain? Your racial bias views? Republicans have nothing but trashed latinos for the last two years even flipping McCain on his views of immigration reform. The latest primary results show that Obama can get the hispanic vote.


BTW, it's about time for Hi... (Below threshold)
ras:

BTW, it's about time for Hillary to go negative in a big way, isn't it?

I expect some Obama scandal stories to surface soon; the Clintons certainly have lotsa on-side editors at their disposal. All Hillary needs is enough to keep it close, then comes the infighting at the convention, where she's experienced and he's a rookie.

She's already proved how easily she can gut him in close by what happened in MI and FL. Either he wins it outright before the convention or he's getting his head handed to him.

Those were such cute meanin... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Those were such cute meaningless statistics mantis. Do you think wizbang readers are as gullible as those who listen to NPR?

Do you think wizbang rea... (Below threshold)
ras:

Do you think wizbang readers are as gullible as those who listen to NPR?

Yes, actually, he (she?) does.

It's all about projection and self-loathing, thus the Left's constant need to disparage others; misery loves company.

barney the moron strikes ag... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

barney the moron strikes again, I thought you vowed to leave this site for good? Whatever happened to that? Republicans have not been trashing Latinos, Republicans have been trashing our abysmal enforcement of ILLEGAL immigration. Big surprise that a liberal dumb ass can't see the difference.

Seriously, am I wrong or wa... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Seriously, am I wrong or was it barney that had a major hissy fit and ran away crying, vowing to never return? Or was that one of the other whiners? Sorry, I've been away for a bit.

McCain versus Clinton wo... (Below threshold)
Brian:

McCain versus Clinton would be a wipeout for McCain.
...
Does that mean Obama is more electable than Clinton? No. But unlike Clinton he at least has a chance, whereas Clinton has no chance in hell.

Interesting assessment. Unfortunately, reality differs:

When [Clinton] is paired against McCain in a general election matchup, she gets 46 percent to his 45 percent, a tie, according to the poll. Obama edges McCain, the Arizona senator, 48 percent to 42 percent in their pairing.
I too am a bit surprised, b... (Below threshold)
mikem Author Profile Page:

I too am a bit surprised, but at Obama's treatment by the MSM, not as surprised that his issue avoiding pontifications have struck such a nerve with Democratic voters who are steeped in identity politics. And he is such a striking contrast to the Sharpton/Jackson style of racial politics.
On racial issues I see no real difference between the three, but Obama looks and sounds like a nicer brand of racial preferencialist. Maybe he will just discriminate against their children and not actually incite violence against them.

"Obama for change we can believe in." Just don't ask what change and which direction.

Hillary would have been fri... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Hillary would have been friendlier to Republicans than President Obama will but the years and years and years of accusing her of anything and everything has poisoned her chances.


Obama thanks all the rumormongers and liars out there.

"Obama thanks all the ru... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Obama thanks all the rumormongers and liars out there."

Well he should thank them. After all they are all voting for him!

In 2000 the Republican P... (Below threshold)
mantis:

In 2000 the Republican Primary turnout was bigger than the Democrat Primary turnout in California.

It was slightly larger, but Gore had it wrapped up long before California. Not true this year.

A hell of a lot more people turn out for general Presidential elections than they do for the primaries.

True, but a primary can give you an indication of turnout in the general, provided that both parties actually have a real contest going on in the primaries (and both did until very recently).

Don't you claim on these boards to be an Independent?

Yes, I am not nor have I ever been registered with a political party.

Did you vote this year in a primary?

Yes, you don't have to register in Illinois, so I voted in the Democratic primary.

Then if yes who did you vote for

I voted for Obama. He is my fourth choice; my first choice decided not to run, my second and third dropped out (no, not Edwards). I still think he's an excellent choice though.

Now you can use me as an example. For what, I don't know.

"For what, I don't know"... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"For what, I don't know"

Someone who calls themselves and independent, but argues from a communist point of view 80% of the time?

McCain might have done bett... (Below threshold)

McCain might have done better with Latinos in the general but he's had to run so far to the right on the immigration issue that opportunity may have been squandered.

Obama also took the Latino vote in Virginia over Hillary.

Don't underestimate the influence of current events on the general election. If Iraq starts sliding back into turmoil that will be seriously bad news for McCain. The suspension of the troop drawdown doesn't bode well for him.

rasmussen ge polls N... (Below threshold)
CTindy:
rasmussen ge polls N... (Below threshold)
CTindy:
Obama is doing good in part... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Obama is doing good in part because he's not being challenged on some "special interest" issues. That's important because if you dig deep enough everyone belongs to some "special interest" group. According to CNN, Obama "Supports national law against carrying concealed weapons, with exceptions for retired police and military personnel."

Think about that for a bit. Something like 38 states have passed some form of concealed carry reform or don't require a permit at all. Obama wants to sweep aside the lawful political process in 38 states by imposing a federal law that disarms millions of law abiding citizens who are only seeking the means to protect their lives and their families. And for what gain? This has nothing to do with reducing crime; in fact statistics show that disarming citizens increases the most serious types of crime.

Who's pulling Obama's strings? Certainly Obama must realize such a radical plan will cost him millions more votes than it gains him. Even for those who don't support concealed carry reform the idea of the Federal government overriding a grass roots political movement that's been more that 20 years in the making calls into question just what areas of the law are really the exclusive domain of the states?

This might all be moot one way or another depending on the decision of the Supreme court this summer regarding the Washington, D.C., Second Amendment Case. If the court decides on some narrow technical grounds then the issue becomes a hot potato in the presidential campaigns.

Hillary, on the other hand, has the standard anti-gun position common with many liberals. She wisely avoids that position of overriding state political processes. Unfortunately, she can't attack Obama over this without looking pro-gun to the left wing nut cases. Obama's dictatorial approach on this issue would be a good place for McCain to launch an attack.

"Latinos and blacks don't g... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Latinos and blacks don't get along. Never have."

Awesome hard-hitting journalism right here.

Latinos and blacks don't... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Latinos and blacks don't get along. Never have.

Heh.

Jayson Javitz, ca. 1960:

"Protestants and Catholics don't get along. Never have."

Latinos and blacks get alon... (Below threshold)
ras:

Latinos and blacks get along just fine as people, but not so much politically because...

... as special interest groups, it is rational for either of them to vote against the other since they are trying to split the same pie that all recipient groups must share in a Democrat zero-sum/handout system. This puts the groups in an oppositional position to each other, whether the individuals like each other or not.

These same recipient groups can unite when suitable in order to demand a bigger pie from the donor groups, and they happily do so, and that too is rational. But in the primary that's not the situation: neither candidate has convinced them that he/she can make the pie itself bigger, so the only criterion related to the pie, by which to choose a candidate, is how big their own slice will be.

As long as the pie exists and is apportioned by identity, the recipient groups are forced to unite against the donors and to oppose each other. To do otherwise would be to shortchange themselves and their own families vis a vis what might have been. They start to fight....

[btw, I believe a similar process is at work re pork and earmarks: one might hate that stuff and see it as largely a hypocritical waste of money, yet, as long as it's there, you are forced to vote for the best porker you can elect. If a group in either party came along that the people truly believed would change the game and reduce spending overall, they'd win (Gingrich, for ex), but if it's just gonna be a symbolic opposition that comes up short, you'd be making a sap of yourself to turn pork down if it's only gonna be reallocated to another district]

Jason that was stunningly b... (Below threshold)
tty:

Jason that was stunningly bad analysis. I mean really bad. I'm not saying that because I'm a leftist I'm syaing it because I live in the reality based community.

1) Democrats are outdrawing Republicans 2 - 1 in the primaries.

2) Democrats are outdrawing those who indentfy as Independents

3) Hispanics WILL NOT vote for for McCain. Or a A republican, they may not like African Americans but they like Republicans less (until you guys lighten up on the immigration issue not going to change)

4) in Florida (a key swing state) Hillary drew twice as many voters as McCain, without getting to campaign there, and no delegates at stake.

5) Many Conservatives don't like McCain.

6) The young vote (which never ever votes) is coming out and voting for Obama in droves.


7) Research shows if you get people out in the primaries they are much more likely to turn out in the general election

Tell you what I will make you a $500.00 dollar wager that Obama beats McCain if he is the nominee. I'll bet half that, That Hillary will beat McCain if she is the nominee.

Care to wager?

And for a modest 50% fee, I... (Below threshold)
ras:

And for a modest 50% fee, I will hold the stakes.

Someone who calls themse... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Someone who calls themselves and independent, but argues from a communist point of view 80% of the time?

A good counterbalance to Jay, who calls himself an independent/moderate but argues from a Republican point of view 95% of the time.

"...she's experienced and h... (Below threshold)
John S:

"...she's experienced and he's a rookie..."

That rookie in just 10 months has created a campaign that has outfoxxed the most ruthless political machine seen in the last 50 years. Hillary has shown herself to be an incompetent manager. I think he'd do okay in a brokered convention.

Let's fast forward..... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Let's fast forward..
The younger African-American Obama debating 72 year old McCain...
Even more than now the majority of Americans will want the loss of life and money spent in iraq to end. Even more than now the economy will be an issue that McCain admits he lacks focus on..
Then more than now the Republican base will ambivalent toward McCain as the Democratic base will support Obama...
Then more than now Independents will have shifted toward Obama..

Then even more than now Obama will bring out record numbers of folks voting against Republican incumbents.

Obama was withstood heavy attack from the Clinton machine...

I await the hand wringing from the cracker wing of both Parties when Obama becames our next President

"... I'll have what you're ... (Below threshold)
heptacableguy:

"... I'll have what you're smoking.", please...

Obama is not going to be pr... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Obama is not going to be president for one reason he is a liberal. This country is not liberal and is not going to suddenly elect one because he gives good speeches. Dream on all you trolls dream on. The general election is a completely different game than the Democrat primary and the Republicans have a much better track record of winning them - 7 out of the last 10.

If "change" means liberal - The U.S. is not going to buy it.

You're applying logic and r... (Below threshold)

You're applying logic and reason to politics.

I think you're missing a very important piece of the puzzle because you don't think this way.

Obama makes people feel good. His message is full of hope. He's speaking of change. He looks and sounds better on TV than ANY of the other leftovers. McCain's comb-over is going to make Nixon's five o'clock shadow look appealing.

You don't think voting America is going to be affected by any of this, but I think Obama is going to take the Dems and the White House. Hope is NOT a plan, but when people are down and out, they'll grab it.

Yes, and according to polls... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Yes, and according to polls Obama was going to beat Clinton by double digits in New Hampshire. How did that turn out?

Stupid stupid democrats. Clinging on with everything they have. So amusing.

Obama makes people... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Obama makes people feel good. His message is full of hope. He's speaking of change.

Yes, Obama makes people feel good, but for a given individual, that feeling only lasts until their brain kicks in; for some that can be a long time. Yes, Obama's message is full of hope, but it's all fluff with no substance to it. In reality Obama supports some of the most draconian measures imaginable in American politics (see post 23). Yes, Obama speaks of change, which is a common theme of Democrats. So if Obama is elected and taxes on productive people go up is that the change America voted for? If the economy tanks is that the change America voted for? If Obama brings the war home to America is that the change America voted for? Be careful when you vote for change, Some empty suit may just make it happen.

One word to explain Obama's... (Below threshold)

One word to explain Obama's G.E. defeat to McCain:

"Present."

I must be missing something... (Below threshold)
mag:

I must be missing something....what the hell does this country see in Obama????? He way too liberal for my blood...in this time in history when we need the best... and look what we got. I am very uncomfortable about his Muslim ties (his father) it might not make him one but he has more of a chance to be sympathetic towards them. Last thing on earth we need. And I don't trust a good talker. So was Hilter. I think a lot of liberals are all excited because he is black..I don't think he would be as far as he is if he wasn't. It helps the liberals get rid of their guilt. (I for one don't have any guilt and never will)
I would love to see a black like Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams run, these two are brillant men.
My opinion, if this what the majority of the country wants....then we are doomed. Wish we all didn't have to go to hell in a hand-basket with them.

rasmussen ge pollNV<... (Below threshold)
CTindy:
mag, thanks for proving tha... (Below threshold)
richard b cheney:

mag, thanks for proving that republicans are just as ignorant and bigoted as they've always been.

way to go!

I'm just saying, "Hope" and... (Below threshold)

I'm just saying, "Hope" and "change" are simple and powerful messages. I'm not saying I agree with his policies, but I'm saying I think he can win in November. People like simple.

McCain and others have said that there's no substance in Obama's message. That he can't wait to debate Obama. McCain may have better policies and a clearer message, I simply don't think he'll be able to overcome Obama's delivery.

As for one President destroying the country? I think the past 20 years have proven that can't happen.

Obama is a blank slate and ... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Obama is a blank slate and people put they want into that blank slate. However once that blank slate starts to become defined a la a campaign...Obama's feet of clay are going to start crumblin because those very people are going to realize that he is not what they think he is.

Also Americans want to be d... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Also Americans want to be defended and in the end that will be Obama's doom.




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