Opening the Day: Obama to Get Crushed in W Virginia

by: Matt Stoller

Tue May 13, 2008 at 09:56

I got a CAT scan this morning, a very breezy painless process.  Jaw is not feeling so good, but my eyes are fine.   Obama's about to lose West Virginia by a substantial margin, possibly thirty or forty points.  That'll be embarrassing and scary for Democrats, but there we go.

Here's what I'm reading.

  • Mark Begich is running for Senate against Ted Stevens, and he's a strong proponent of net neutrality.  Ted Stevens was the chair of the Senate commerce committee, and

  • The GOP is adopting a 'change' narrative, with the slogan 'the change you deserve'.  They ripped that off from an antidepressant.

  • Tom Matzzie discusses how to beat McCain.

  • Media Matters has a study out listing the 4500 quotes from Pentagon propaganda pundits.

  • The MS-01 race is today.  Swingstateproject will be live-blogging it.  It's an R+10 district, with huge sums from both parties flowing in, so it's a tell as to the larger environment.

  • The death toll in China is at 18,000.  It's a tragedy, and while we don't cover that kind of thing on OpenLeft, it's worth noting.

    What are you reading this morning?

  • Matt Stoller :: Opening the Day: Obama to Get Crushed in W Virginia

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    not scary at all (0.00 / 0)
    Why is Obama losing West Virginia by a large margin scary? It's not necessarily any more meaningful than the fact that Hillary lost any number of states in February by huge margins. If she were ahead now, nobody would be saying the fact that she lost Washington D.C. 75-24 was scary for her prospects in November. It's only scary if -- like Hillary -- you assume the only way to win a general election is by assembling the exact same coalition of voters and states Bill Clinton did in 1992 and that the percentage of votes a candidate gets in the Democratic primary vs other Democrats is the same he can get in the general election vs a Republican.

    REALLY not scary.... (0.00 / 0)
    So Obama loses. A lot of people WON'T vote because they figure everything is over. Plus, a lot of people who WOULDN'T HAVE voted otherwise, WILL since they want to vote for Hillary not because they believe in her, but just so they feel they got an opportunity to be part of the process.

    It's like sour grapes.

    While the primary season has been about demographics, the General will be about issues. All those "no one but Hillary" voters will think twice when they look at McCain's positions on war, economy, environment, and hey, EVERYTHING ELSE.

    This is just an internal Democratic thing.

    Obama has won, this is like Hillary playing out the last few ball games of a season where she's not going to win the big one.

    [ Parent ]
    It's like a few years ago .. (0.00 / 0)
    when Indy won the Super Bowl ... they had already clinched home field through out the playoffs .. and so Manning and a few others rarely played the last 3 games ... and I think they ended up losing them(or 2 out of 3 anyway) ... I mean who remembers that? .. they just remember that the Colts won the SB

    [ Parent ]
    I agree (0.00 / 0)
    West Virginia Democrats prefer Hillary Clinton, and there's nothing scary or wrong about their getting to say so.  

    New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

    [ Parent ]
    Losing DC (0.00 / 0)
    Actually, I think she might now lose DC by 80-20 or more, which would be pretty scary for her, since it might suggest that black voters would not turn out in large numbers for her.  Say what she wants about small towns, urban voters are the key to Dem victories, and Obama is the urban candidate.

    John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

    [ Parent ]
    Carville seems to be almost ready to give up (0.00 / 0)
    Carvilla in South Carolina:

    "I still hear some dogs barking," said Carville, the flamboyant Louisianan known as the left's ragin' Cajun. "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."

    The link is to the original source, which I found via TPM to CNN.

    New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

    this is an interesting quote as well (0.00 / 0)
    From the same discussion with students, he discusses the class split in the Democratic party, but also that the Obama/Clinton split is not quite the same:

    The affluent group - mostly women - is suburban, well-educated and mostly interested in reform. The second group, Carville said, is made up of downscale rural and urban residents, "people that look to the federal government to soften the harder edges of capitalism."

    What has made this year's Democratic debate interesting, Carville said, is that Obama and Clinton have been drawing their support from subgroups within both factions. For example, among more affluent voters who have favored Obama, Clinton does well among women. Among middle- and lower-middle class voters who have favored Clinton, Obama does well among young voters.

    New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

    [ Parent ]
    Kleeb (4.00 / 4)
    Don't forget that today is also Scott Kleeb's primary in the Senate race in Nebraska.

    Woke up this morning (4.00 / 1)
    and what did I read?

    Obama's about to lose West Virginia by a substantial margin, possibly thirty or forty points.  That'll be embarrassing and scary for Democrats, but there we go.

    Embarrassing and scary for Democrats?? WTF?!!!

    The narrow mindedness of that statement is appalling Matt. Sorry. Did you know that:

    * West Virginia is a closed Primary that real Democrats vote in?

    * Did you know that West Virginia is a important swing state?

    What is so embarrassing about Obama getting crushed there? Like Obama is the only Democratic candidate? Hardly. The guy is multi-cultural remember; half-Democrat, half Republican.

    He is the only candidate openly and overtly romancing both Republican voters and Republican politicians. He is the only candidate that went on Fox News and talked up Republican ideas and talked down Democratic ideas and you know it Matt. He is the only candidate who goes against your past grain Matt of partisanship and embraces post-partisanship. He is the only candidate who is hinting to people to not financially support bloggers like you.

    And he is the only candidate with his triangulating middle of the road post-partisan approach that will actually empower the same Bush Dogs that you used to fight against. Yes his post-partisanship will empower Bush Dogs. His post-partisan ship will make it hard for him to tell people not to vote for Bush Dogs down ticket or to not vote for Republicans down ticket. For how can he embrace and get the cooperation from those two and campaign against them at the same time?

    You know there was once a time when the defeat of a Republican supporting candidate was a celebration. Now it is an embarrassment? I say it is cause for celebration that real Democrats in a real closed election not tainted by party outsiders are voting for the Democrat of their choice. But what do I know? I have just been a Democrat for 40 years who marched against Vietnam, and for civil right and deplores Republicans in sheep's clothing like Bush Dogs and those who seek to empower them like Obama does.

    Embarrassing? What is embarrassing is that just yesterday Chris Bowers was making a small attempt to woo much needed Clinton voters and today you tell her supporters that it is an EMBARRASSMENT that she is going to have a big win in a Democrat only election. Good luck wooing Clinton supporters with that kind of slap in the face. Seriously. That kind of overt arrogance is not going to be helpful to getting your guy elected.

    Typo (0.00 / 0)
    'Your guy?'  Surely you meant our guy.

    [ Parent ]
    Whose Guy? (0.00 / 0)
    Nah -- when people put "the candidate" ahead of "the party" "the country" and "WE THE PEOPLE" -- he is not part of the "our guy" bunch.

    This is someone who is going to vote for a 3rd Bush term. Never waste your time on the Republican Base.....

    [ Parent ]
    Its an "embarrassment" in the same way that (0.00 / 0)
    McCain's not getting 100% of the GOP vote in all primaries since he locked up the nomination is an embarrassment.

    It doesn't mean that they won't be the nominee, just means that certain elements within the MSPs wish to make it clear that they don't fully support the person that will represent their party in November.

    Those people have another decision to make in the Fall.


    "It sounds wrong...
         ...but its right."

    [ Parent ]
    How can 18 Delegate Crush OObama??? (0.00 / 0)
    West Virginia has ONLY 18 Dels. Thats not enough to make a dent in BO's Delegate lead. The 18 number will, of course be smaller for hillary depending on the final tally of votes. This is why BO isn't really too upset. It's the media pollsters and talking heads who like to make mountains of drama out of what is really going to just be a mini mole hill win for Clinton.

    Not 18, 28 (0.00 / 0)

    [ Parent ]
    I think that's his point... (0.00 / 0)
    I was reading this as the media's interpretation of today's events. Most of us have known for a couple months now how this primary would shake out. Nevertheless, it was still very uncomfortable watching what BO went through in April/early May. Now that the media narrative is a bit more aligned with the reality of the contest, the last thing any of us want to see is an open door for pundits to question, "Why couldn't Obama seal the deal in West Virgina?". We know it's a bogus argument. It's just another week where the Democrats will look unsure about their leadership and in turn extending McCain's free ride. That's the embarrassment he's talking about. I hope the media proves me wrong and the "we have our nominee" narrative is strong enough to drown out the lopsided outcomes of these final few contests.    

    [ Parent ]
    Change I Deserve? (4.00 / 4)
    What the hell did I do that was so awful that John McCain is the change I deserve?  

    Apparently, (0.00 / 0)
    you PO'd "sayitloud".

    "It sounds wrong...
         ...but its right."

    [ Parent ]
    Succinct and insightful ! (0.00 / 0)

    [ Parent ]
    WV Is Only A Harbinger Of The Disaster That Awaits Obama IF He's The Nominee (0.00 / 0)
    All one has to do is check Obama's performance among whites in the voting since March 4 and the Jeremiah Wright fiasco. That speech where he threw his grandmother under the bus? Boy, is that ever resonating with women and seniors. I hear it mentioned a LOT when phonebanking for Hillary's campaign. They want nothing to do whatsoever with Obama. And last I checked, seniors and women are significant voting blocs for a Democrat. So are white people, who are growing more uncomfortable with him as a candidate, especially as they see her as the fighter and not him. Since I live in LA very close to the Latino community, I can also say without hesitation they aren't exactly wild for Obama either. Considering Hillary won the white vote here by 1%, CA isn't a sure thing as McCain has never been seen here as the Right-wing religious nutjob one thinks of when discussing a Republican candidate. He's seen here more like Arnold, who, last time I checked, won both elections he's won in (and who'll be campaigning for McCain).

    In short, unless the A/A, "creative class" and latte liberals increase their numbers significantly, now is the time for the SD to vote their mandate and do what's right for the party, namely nominate a candidate who stands the better chance of winning. Hillary clearly has shown she can win given the maps of 2000 and 2004. Obama has not. Going by any other criteria is utter fantasy without any other reliable criteria.

    One other thing about WV? It was reliably Democratic for over 40 years. Al Gore and John Kerry didn't lose the state because they were Dems. Hillary can conceivably win this state in November according to the polls. Obama can't. And therein lies why any metric other than who can win in November should be the bottom line.

    The cognitive dissonance here is breathtaking (0.00 / 0)
    Gallup had numbers the other day that showed Obama doing no worse with his ''weak'' demographics than Kerry and better with other groups. The fact is certain people like Hillary better than Barack and vice versa but there is little evidence to suggest Democrats won't vote for the Democratic nominee in November even though they say they won't at the moment. Sure the polls show her competitive in WV verus McCain. They also show Obama doing much better in CA than she does. There are many states where she performs better than him. There are many states where he performs better than her. The issue is he is on the brink of earning the nomination. Supers won't change that now even if many believe Hillary would be the stronger nominee. If that were the case maybe we should scrap all the primary results and go ahead and nominate Edwards since the polls showed him by far and away the most electable.

    [ Parent ]
    The States He Performs Better In Will Not Go Blue In November (0.00 / 0)
    This is a fact of life. The states he won in will for the most part not go blue with few exceptions, and not enough to counter the loss of PA, OH and FL. That is reason enough for the SD to go with Hillary. If you think seniors and women who traditionally vote Dem won't pick McCain over Obama, you are living in denial.

    This is the same thought pattern that has cost Dems the Presidency with the sole exception of Bill Clinton's two terms, and that's because he could appeal to all demos. Obama can't, as has been proven ever since March 4.

    I fail to see why we should go with the candidate who represents the greatest risk when we have available the candidate who represents the least risk/greatest chance for success.

    [ Parent ]
    The states he does better in that can/will go blue in November... (0.00 / 0)
    ...include Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He will win Pennsylvania, the latest poll has him up 7. I think he will win Ohio. All that has been proven since March 4 is that many Democratic primary voters in certain demographics prefer Hillary to Obama - it doesn't mean he can't win many of those voters against McCain. Pro-choice women for example. She has lost African American voters heavily in the primary but I still believe she would win them heavily vis a vis McCain. The reason Democrats have consistently lost ver the last few decades is because they have nominated stiff characters who couldn't communicate their message. We go with the candidate that ''represents the greatest risk'' because he has, or will have, earned it.  

    [ Parent ]
    Sorry, But Here's Where You Miss With Obama (0.00 / 0)
    Oregon and Washington already go blue, so that doesn't help Obama crack 270, and there's a good chance he could lose OR because of local issues that may result in more McCain voters than Dem voters. Gore barely won NM, so that's another state that pushes it upward but again is no sure thing for Obama.

    NC and NV will still go red no matter what. (Obama couldn't even win the caucus in that state.)

    Disregard the poll for PA, as Kerry barely squeaked out a win. Obama won't carry PA or OH as he'll be seen as too elitist and out of touch with the voters.

    Pro-choice women will be counting on a Democratic congress and senate to keep a check on McCain's nominees. If they don't, women will have less of a reason to support Dems in the future.

    We don't go with the candidate that represents the greatest risk because that is not in the best interests of the party, which is what the SD were designed to make certain of.

    Look at the results in WV. Obama couldn't even win the youth, college grads, post-college grads or the "creative class". Those are some serious canaries in the coal mine singing.

    [ Parent ]
    Since when did West Virginia become a national barometer? (0.00 / 0)
    He has won those demographics in state after state.

    She struggles to win OR, WA, MN and WI. Polls show him performing better in NM, CO, IA, NV, VA and NC.

    Utter nonsense with regard to Pennsylvania. Actually, ridiculous spin across the board.    

    [ Parent ]
    Wa Po series on disastrous immigrant datainee health care (4.00 / 1)
    As per "what are you reading?," this series ought to be winning awards sometime soon:

    West Virginia wears its racism on its sleave (0.00 / 0)
    and that's embarrassing for whom?

    Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

    This Shows How Out of Touch You Are (0.00 / 0)
    Just because people don't vote for Obama doesn't mean they're racist. That's like saying if you don't Hillary then you must hate women. Same thing. What narrow-minded thinking you have.

    [ Parent ]

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