Once you vote black you’ll never go back?
February 9, 2008 5 Comments
With two pretty evenly-matched candidates, the Democratic race seems to hinge, for a lot of people, on the idea of “electability,” the mirage that even though you like one candidate, you can’t vote for them because the other candidate is more likely to win.
It’s what killed the spark and energy of Howard Dean, favoring the middle-of-the-road blandness of John Kerry. And now it has many voters picking Clinton over Obama.
There are many ways electabilty is measured, but one of the most fun ways is money and if that is any indication, the most electable candidate, by a long shot, is Obama.
This is from today’s NYT piece about Washington being the “contest du jour”:
“On Friday morning, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers fought back against impressions that the campaign was short on cash…”
That’s a pretty Clintonian spin on things and not entirely accurate.
I mean, it’s not the impression that the campaign is short of cash. It WAS short of cash, which is why the candidate had to loan herself $5 MILLION.
Campaigns that are not short of cash do not have to take out loans. and even if they did collect $10 million so far in February, that’s really only $5 million because they have to payback the Clintons, right?
Beyond that, $5 million is more than half as much as the Huckabee campaign has spent in total. Hillary has spent more than $100 million to try and convince us she’s the candidate, and the only people who are listening seem to be the same Democratic Party Establishment Elites and Old Guard that make up the 49 percent of democratic primary voters.
And if that’s a problem now, it’s going to be a real bitch in the general election.
And for all of Hillary’s money, she continues to tread water. Meanwhile, Obama raised $32 million in January, including $7.2 million on the day after Hillary won New Hampshire. That’s a lot of people using their checkbooks to register their vote against Clinton.
In a similar vein, Obama has stepped up attacks on Clinton’s electability, recently saying that while he thinks Clinton’s supporters will vote for him, he’s not sure if Obama voters will pull a lever for Hillary:
“I am confident I will get her votes if I’m the nominee,” Obama stressed. “It’s not clear she would get the votes I got if she were the nominee.”
It’s a valid argument, especially since a good chunk of Clinton’s sales pitch is that she is best ready to take on the Republicans.
Unfortunately for Clinton, her electability might just be more spin. Recent polls show that in head-to-head match-ups, McCain beats Clinton but Obama meets McCain. Rasmussen has it:
McCain 48%, Clinton 42%
Obama 45%, McCain 42%
Time has Obama 48 – 41% while Hillary ties at 46%.
And let’s not forget that Hillary Clinton has – and pretty much has always had – unfavorable rating that hover near 50 percent. As Scut Farkus pointed out in August, that’s tough to rally back from, even for a Clinton.
With numbers like that, but generally high numbers within her own party, the simple fact is that Democratic Superdelegates – unpledged, free-range party officials who make up 20 percent of delegates needed for nomination – need to think long and hard about which candidate gives them the best chance against John McCain.
Will Obama’s voters, a broad coalition made up of Democrats, independents and Republicans stay with the Democrats if Hillary is the nominee, or will those independents move over to John McCain, whose winning coalition is also made up of independent voters?
Time will tell, but I’ll say it again: If the party establishment stands their ground and ignores that elephant in the room, they may end up watching an elephant storm to the presidency for a third consecutive term…