The Dartmouth Observer
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
What should astute observers take from the disjuncture between the national polls, which show Obama only barely ahead of John McCain and recent polls in critical swing states Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida that show Obama consolidating a significant lead in states John McCain has to win to remain competitive in November? A couple of things:
1. The Death of the Big State Argument: I can't tell you how many times I had to endure the claim that Obama "couldn't" win the "big states" in the primary and that said "something" about his chances in November. Problem is, you never could get the Clinton campaign or their surrogates to articulate what that "something" was. Most often I felt, and Hill confirmed it after Kentucky, that working class whites in those states would overwhelmingly back McCain rather than Obama because a: they didn't know him, b: he was "elitist" or c: they were kind of racist. Ironically, when Obama supporters raised these as reasons people didn't vote for Obama we were accused of stereotyping poor white folks as uneducated and bigoted, odd. Yet these polls speaks to the inherent fallacies of the "big state argument." The main problem being that, there are a LOT of Democrats in these big states and they are particularly energized by the failures of the Bush Administration. Currently in the Quinniac and American Research Group polls an average of 25% of Clinton Democrats are not supporting Obama, and he still wins the states by 4-12 points. The sheer number of Democrat-leaning voters in these states and John McCain's non-campaign makes it extremely unlikely that Obama loses in November.
2. Media Manufacture Conflict: We hate the MSM here at Going Down With Style and for good reason. For me, in particular, I'm peeved at the inordinate amount of attention CNN, MSNBC and Faux have paid to Democratic dissident organisations like PUMA or JustSayNoDeal, vocal minorities who claim to represent the 18 million Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary. The primary battle, particularly for CNN gave the networks a major ratings boost and it is in their interest to attempt to recreate and extend the fight amongst Democrats between Obama and Clinton supporters. Faux continues to have Harriet Christian of "inadequate Black Man!" fame has been featured on Neil Cavuto's show, twice over the last two weeks.
Two things of note about Christian's appearance. First, she could not articulate one reason why she would vote for John McCain, her rationale was all about a negative vote against Obama and the "new" Democratic Party. It's a free country and I say to Harriet, do you boo boo, please. But a negative vote doesnt have the staying power of an enthusiastic one. Second, Harriet lives in New York! The media's failure to recognize that its the internet, not demographic significance that has allowed pissed off Hillary suppporters to put on shows of strength. Though as of yet, no advertising time has been bought.
I want to end this post to say that the news that the Obama campaign excluded a Muslim woman in a headscarf from sitting behind the candidate at a televised appearance is saddening, frustrating and will be commented on in depth in a future post. For shame Obama campaign!