Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
I see a path, although I think MfM's talk about Michigan is more wishful thinking than serious analysis.  (He could lose it, but to put it in perspective, I think it's only slightly more likely than Obama losing Wisconsin, which is highly unlikely.)  I think the election is going to move a bit in our way as the fall arrives.

McCain's path to victory is Bush's '04 path to victory.  I think the talk of McCain in Michigan and Pennsylvania is more a product of the McCain Mancrush of Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, and others from the Rust Belt who grew up with a little too much industrial waste in their water supplies.

Obama has a few paths.  Obviously a win in Florida or Ohio clinches.  If he wins one of those, there's nothing to talk about.  If we assume he gets Iowa and New Mexico, then he only needs one more state with 5 or more EVs.  Nevada would get him to a tie (thus a win since we control Congress).

A combination of two from Montana, the Dakotas and Alaska does it.  Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Colorado, and perhaps a few others would fit the one-shot win, along with Ohio and Florida.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 11:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see a path, although I think MfM's talk about Michigan is more wishful thinking than serious analysis.  (He could lose it, but to put it in perspective, I think it's only slightly more likely than Obama losing Wisconsin, which is highly unlikely.)  I think the election is going to move a bit in our way as the fall arrives.

Wishful thinking?

Whatever.  Frankly, I think that this is more than a bit of projection here. I don't see a single hyperlink in what you've posted here, and that lack is typical of your writing on this topic.

The information that we do have suggest that Michigan is closer than this year than in 2004.  

First, the polling this year shows a very close race. There are a large number of undecideds this year and it's going to matter who they split for.  Obama has broke 50% in the state but once, and even then narrowly.

Second, look back to 2004.  Kerry did much better in
in the state than Obama has this far, and even then the race narrowed considerably as November approached.  Obama also has to deal with he fallout from Kwame Kilpatrick's trip to prison (and likely removal from office, see above) and the unfavorability of Jennifer Granholm, the Democratic Governor of the state.

And then there's Ralph Nader and the Arab vote.  Obama's FISA vote arguably has a greater relevance to the lives of these voters than most others because they are likely to be the victims of it.



And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 11:40:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh.

Here's a hyperlink.  Happy?

Now let me explain what I think you miss: Stop looking at raw numbers, first of all, and start looking at ranges.  What happens with Obama in the state?  He bounces around from the mid- to high-40s (low-50s once), probably dependent upon how hard leaners are pushed combined with the natural back-and-forth of summer campaigning, while McCain has been essentially flat in the high-30s to low-40s the entire time.  Same as the national polls.

Then take into account the fact that McCain is the nominee of the incumbent party, and, while the effect won't be as noticeable as if he were an actual incumbent, consider that the incumbent party typically has a difficult time attracting undecided voters.

I quite agree that Michigan looks to be a little closer than in 2004.  Michigan is one of the states that's becoming more conservative over time (which is why I and others have focused our attention on the more relevant West for the long term).  I just don't agree that it's going to continue down that path as we approach November, at least not in the short term.  (Long-term, Michigan will probably wind up Republican, along with Pennsylvania, just as states like Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Georgia will wind up Democratic.  That's what realignments are all about.)

I'm not sure why Kwame Kilpatrick's idiocy has anything to do with Obama, beyond the fact that both are black.  And, as it is, McCain doesn't seem terribly interested in fighting too hard there.  (Nor does Obama.  What's that tell you?)  In fact, he seems to be more interested in, for example, Sturgis, SD.  McCain's certainly spending a handsome sum here in Virginia.

Now onto Nader and the Arab vote.  (Do Arabs vote for Arabs the way blacks vote for blacks?  Didn't work out so well for Nikki Tinker in Memphis tonight.)  I'm not sure what you're on.  Arabs vote overwhelmingly Democratic, because the Republicans have an apparent desire to, you know, kill them.  In fact, if you'll have a look at the behavior of polls when Nader and Barr are added, you'll note that they actually tend to hurt McCain, not Obama.

Again, not saying McCain can't win it.  Just saying it's not likely.  And what I mean by "wishful thinking" is that you seem to have a very Rust-Belt-centric view of politics and a certain anger over the fact that the center of gravity in American politics is steadily moving away from it to places like Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.  You also clearly have issues with Obama, to such an extent that you'll happily excuse the behavior of people like Clinton.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:23:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now let me explain what I think you miss: Stop looking at raw numbers, first of all, and start looking at ranges.  What happens with Obama in the state?  He bounces around from the mid- to high-40s (low-50s once), probably dependent upon how hard leaners are pushed combined with the natural back-and-forth of summer campaigning, while McCain has been essentially flat in the high-30s to low-40s the entire time.  Same as the national polls.

Then take into account the fact that McCain is the nominee of the incumbent party, and, while the effect won't be as noticeable as if he were an actual incumbent, consider that the incumbent party typically has a difficult time attracting undecided voters.

Yes, I'm familiar with this argument from my time working on campaigns.  It's a symptom of a horrible affliction called TB (True Believer's) most often manifested by the rationalization of any information indicating that your guy is headed into the shitter with a reason why it just ain't so.

I quite agree that Michigan looks to be a little closer than in 2004.  Michigan is one of the states that's becoming more conservative over time (which is why I and others have focused our attention on the more relevant West for the long term).  I just don't agree that it's going to continue down that path as we approach November, at least not in the short term.  (Long-term, Michigan will probably wind up Republican, along with Pennsylvania, just as states like Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Georgia will wind up Democratic.  That's what realignments are all about.)

I'm not sure why Kwame Kilpatrick's idiocy has anything to do with Obama, beyond the fact that both are black.  And, as it is, McCain doesn't seem terribly interested in fighting too hard there.  (Nor does Obama.  What's that tell you?)  In fact, he seems to be more interested in, for example, Sturgis, SD.  McCain's certainly spending a handsome sum here in Virginia.

First, just check out all the things the Kilpatrick is accused of.

Benefiting personally from his office, nepotism, assaulting a police officer.  And then of course the whole mystery with the dead stripper.  A real jewel.

And as for what Obama has in common with Kilpatrick?

Obama is going to have to explain his speech at the Economic Club of Detroit at which he spoke glowingly of Kilpatrick in May, after he had been charged by the DA (and made a death threat against her.)  Here's the tape of Obama praising Kilpatrick.

And, yes Drew.  Michigan matters.

The Wisconsin Advertising Project tracks how much presidential contenders spend in various states.

First, these are the states where both candidates are on the air.  Notice the amount of money that Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania compared to other states. These states are the ones that matter.  The campaigns know this.  

And it's the same story when you look at all campaign spending including independent expenditures.

Let's look at it in terms of dollars per electoral vote.

Dollars per electoral Vote

"Rust Belt"

Pennsylvania (21) $491,381
Ohio (20)         $319,950
Michigan (17)     $353,471  

"New Battlegrounds"

Virginia (13)     $386,769
Colorado (9)      $212,667
New Mexico (5)    $159,800

Virginia's the only state that can claim a place with spending in the "Rust Belt" states.  And that's most likely an artifact of how much tv time costs in DC as anything else.  And again, if we look at the number of ads aired in each market, it's the "rust belt" states that top the list.

You've bought into the media spiel about how the electoral map has changed, and how Obama can win without the "rust belt." But if we look at polls, spending data, and ad volume we see that is not the case.

Obama is outspending McCain almost 2 to 1 in Virginia and the best that he can muster up is a tie in the polls?  $5 million in Florida, and he's down still down  5%+ in the polls?

And the real attack from Republicans haven't even come yet.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:11:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I'm familiar with this argument from my time working on campaigns.  It's a symptom of a horrible affliction called TB (True Believer's) most often manifested by the rationalization of any information indicating that your guy is headed into the shitter with a reason why it just ain't so

Is that the TB that had you predicting a meteoric rise for Edwards in Nevada, while I predicted a crash?  Right.  My predictions are hardly perfect, especially contest-to-contest, but as I predicted in February of 2007 that Obama and McCain would win their respective nominations, saw Obama's win in Iowa coming, etc, I think most would tell you I can read polls just fine.

"TB" -- very cute, though.

Obama is going to have to explain his speech at the Economic Club of Detroit at which he spoke glowingly of Kilpatrick in May, after he had been charged by the DA (and made a death threat against her.)  Here's the tape of Obama praising Kilpatrick.

Meh.  You could be right, but I doubt it.  If Pastorgate didn't kill him off, I have trouble seeing Kwame Kilpatrick doing it.

Fair point about media buys, but these spending figures don't tell us a helluva a lot, first of all.  Note that McCain, sensing the primaries were about to end, went on the air in Pennsylvania and Michigan, presumably hoping to capitalize on supposed divisions with the Democratic Party.

Problem: It, of course, didn't work.  And you'll note that we've gone, in the averages, from a bare McCain lead to a decent Obama lead.  Deduct -- for the record, I'm looking at RCP -- that silly Detroit News poll, since newspaper polls are notoriously bad, and you've got Obama somewhere around 47-48% and McCain somewhere around 42-43%.  McCain hasn't had a lead there since, I believe, late-May.

The figures really tell you that it's incredibly expensive to advertise in the North.  No kidding.

I agree that Michigan matters.  You're right to point out that McCain winning Michigan or PA likely means a McCain win.  We'll see what happens.


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:58:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
but as I predicted in February of 2007 that Obama and McCain would win their respective nominations, saw Obama's win in Iowa coming, etc, I think most would tell you I can read polls just fine.

Wow - there were polls back then predicting Obama and McCain?  The ones I recall had Clinton and Giulliani well in the lead.  Where are they now? :-)

In fairness, I think you read polls pretty well too!

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:07:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

No, the polls weren't predicting Obama-McCain.  They were predicting, as you said, Giuliani-Clinton.  But no sane person believed Giuliani would be the Rep nominee.

I bet on a few things back then: I thought McCain would somehow find his way to the nomination, since it was his "turn".  Betting on the old candidate whose turn has arrived is usually a decent bet with the GOPers.

On the Dem side, I thought Clinton would run a top-down, ad-fueled campaign that would leave her penniless by Super Tuesday.  I figured the grassroots would go with Obama, since grassroots Dems tend to be less than overwhelmingly excited about the Clintons.  (I knew Edwards would appeal to them, or at least the ones who weren't around for John Edwards 1.0.  But Edwards never had much of a shot.  It was "Win Iowa and Hope You Somehow Catch Fire," and little more for him.)  As it turned out, she was penniless right after Iowa.  She held on longer than I thought she would back then.

Part of it was just being a contrarian in the betting with my father, who chose Clinton-Rudy.  But I thought it made sense that Obama and McCain would wind up the last two standing.

In fairness, I went back and forth as the caucuses approached.  I'm a little surprised the Huckster didn't catch on after Iowa, but he lost so badly with fiscal conservatives that he was never able to get over the top..

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:27:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
I think the election is going to move a bit in our way as the fall arrives.

You are also open to the charge of wishful thinking in saying this - what evidence do we have to support this - beyond a general sense that the economy is still going south and this generally damages incumbants?

Obviously, if this trend does materialize, then its a no brainer - Obama by a landslide.  However the point of this diary is to note that it doesn't take much of a contrary trend to put McCain into real contention.  The real clear average lead in recent weeks has been 2-4% not 6 %.

Obama may have a lot of paths to victory, but if McCain focuses a lot on Michigan/Ohio and hangs in elsewhere he could still win.  Sometimes the more focuses approach is the more effective.  The key for McCain is not to be distracted by Obama plays in Alaska, Dakotas etc. and focus on his absolute must have states.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 04:26:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a real difference between McCain and Obama in terms of both money available and on the ground organisation. Obama is a lot more flexible in terms of which states he can move into and put McCain on the defence.

Let's not have this exaggerated anxiety, please. The Republican attacks on Obama have so far been ineffective. It's still Obama's election to lose.

I'd predict the same as Atrios has: Obama will stay in the high forties, while McCain will stay in the low forties, up until the debates. Unless Obama gets trounced in the debates, he wins.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 07:43:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
nanne:
Let's not have this exaggerated anxiety, please. The Republican attacks on Obama have so far been ineffective

Moi?  I'm as cool as a cucumber about it all!

The point of this diary is that the risible McCain campaign to date is still in contention - how much worse can he be in the fall?  What does Obama have to do to create clear blue water between himself and the Republicans so that they lose confidence (and donors)?

How do we create not just an Obama win, but an Obama win backed by a large majority in congress and a clear mandate for radical change?

What we seem to be getting now is Clintonian triangulation with a bit more charm and rhetorical finesse.

Are we not allowed to hope for (and target) a little more than this?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 10:21:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama is running below the generic 'Democratic' ticket (by my guess, mostly because McCain is much more popular than the generic Republican). So I see no reason to worry particularly much about those Congressional majorities either.

McCain has so far failed to find an effective line of attack on Obama. The next two weeks are likely to be quiet, though there could still be a 'swiftboat' like initiative.

Obama will not bring radical change on all topics because that is not what he believes in (or what most Democrats believe in, for that matter). There will most likely be big moves on Iraq and energy/climate change. On the rest, Obama will act in a slow, incremental manner.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 10:45:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So how is Obama going to be different from the Clintons?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 11:12:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Got the answer to the million dollar question:

By not losing the Congressional majority after 2 years.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 11:23:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shhhhh!  It's such a lovely dream we're all having.  Please don't wake us up.  ;)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 11:47:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the big question.

Obama is Center-Right, from an EU perspective.  The political power in the US is Center-Right shading off to hard-right.  I'd expect him to govern Center-Right: Bush with a Kindlier Face.  

But I don't know.  Nobody knows.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 01:55:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My gut feel is he'll be as left as the situation allows - which may not be v. left from a European perspective but a radically new trajectory for the USA.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:28:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more dependent on Congress.  (As always, we overstate the role of presidents on domestic policy.  Congress writes the bills, not the president.)  If he has an ideological majority with 60+ seats (whether 60+ Dems or 50-something+ Dems with some scared Republicans), then I think he'll be fairly progressive.  If not, then probably not.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:35:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An even more important thing is holding the majority. Bill Clinton had not too shabby majorities when he began, but quickly lost them and then had to work with Republican majorities the rest of his Presidency.

There were more factors than Bill and Hillary's agenda playing into that, like long-term ideological shifts and (perceived) widespread corruption among the Congressional Democratic leadership. But you can't accomplish many large changes in 2 years.

I think it will play out better for Obama, if he wins.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 04:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clinton never really had an ideological majority, because conservatism was rising and many of the Dems were still Dixiecrats.  You're right.  I think Obama is a little more likely to get an ideological majority -- or, like I said, a solid minority mixed with some scared Republicans who'll cave on the big stuff.

If they can get over 60 seats, they'll hold Congress at least until 2012, I'd guess.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 04:42:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i think obama is simply less politically deranged than hillbill inc.

hill would have had to be extra macho to try and get some of the god'n'guns vote, her obliteration comment was the last straw for me.

hillbill are humiliated for all the world to see, confirmation bias for those men-haters that are appalled that even a black-ish man seems preferable to....egads! a woman as C in C....in wartime....

to them feminism is more burning an issue than racism.

obama may be repeating the centrist triangle game, but he's younger, fitter, and a whole lot smarter than the clintons put together, as well as having a huge singularity-appeal. he's millennial in that sense, especially symbolically, especially to the young, and those who want quicker, more radical change, than southern carny clinton machine politics.

shorter answer....barack is less obviously psychotic about power!

dos centesimos

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 04:02:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The RCP average is a little skewed by that USAToday/Gallup poll.  They used the LV outcome -- the one in which almost all of the "unlikely voters" were Obama supporters -- rather than the RV outcome.

Nanne pointed out Atrios's thinking, which is similar to mine.  This smells like the 1980 election to me.  The election "popped" after the second debate, with Reagan having successfully painted Carter as laughable ("There you go again").  And we've seen evidence of a "pop" here and there throughout the campaign for Obama, with nothing comparable for McCain -- after he clinched the nomination, after Berlin, etc, when the race expanded to double digits and then fell back to the typical 2- to 6-point Obama lead (depending on polling methodology).

What those little bubbles tell us, I think, is that the race can easily turn into a big lead for Obama, but that we're simply not far enough along yet for that to happen.  Attitudes haven't been cemented among that group that jumps to him during those rises, and the increase wears off over a few days as press scrutiny ramps up, returning us to a pretty stable 2- to 6-point lead with some statistical noise thrown in.

In other words, I think the evidence suggests the race will "pop" for Obama, not McCain.  The remaining undecideds beyond that "pop" group will likely split about 50/50, maybe even slightly more towards McCain when you account for the Incumbent Effect, Bradley Effect, etc.

(Note to ATinNM: This is what I meant about the Bradley Effect's lack of impact.  I don't believe it's as substantial as it was during Bradley's and Wilder's times, for one thing.  But, anyway, the Effect takes place among undecided voters, not people who've told the pollsters they've made up their minds.)

Certainly Obama has more paths to victory.  The best one, almost without question to me, is the "Kerry States, Plus Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado".  The I'd say "Kerry States, Plus Iowa, New Mexico and Virginia".

MfM might be right about Michigan.  It'd be silly to place it out of the realm of possibility.  I just don't see it happening in the end.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

DUP decline continues

by Frank Schnittger - Aug 29
16 comments

Islamic State Khorasan Province

by Oui - Aug 24
84 comments

The American Dream

by Oui - Aug 22
29 comments

Occasional Series