Monday, May 12, 2008

The Clinton Talking Points

I wrote an article for MyDD yesterday about the current state of the Democratic presidential nomination campaign. The article explained why, despite my vote for Obama, I am happy to see Clinton stay in the race, and am not mad at either her or her supporters. Following that, however, I attempt to refute four of the Clinton campaign's talking points: that Clinton will win the popular vote (a FL/MI argument), that her big state wins are what matter most, that Obama's scandals mean she is more electable, and that he can't close the deal. The post has 98 comments so far. An excerpt:

Clinton will win the popular vote once MI and FL are settled: There are three things wrong with this argument. First of all, it assumes that not a single person in all of Michigan supports Obama. Real Clear Politics has Obama up by about 846,801 without those two states and up 113,498 with them, but that latter figure does not give Obama any of Michigan's "uncommitted" vote. If you're determined to count every vote, you certainly can't ignore a full 200,000 voters. Second, the results of those two states are in no way reflective of this campaign. If my memory is correct, Indiana is the only state where both candidates have aggressively campaigned and Clinton's lead has not narrowed (or disappeared altogether). This pattern would no doubt have held in MI and FL, where no campaigning took place and Obama's name recognition had not yet taken off. A true reflection of those state's sentiments would certainly lean towards Clinton, but probably by a narrower margin. And third, even if you assume Edwards did as well as Obama and award him only half MI's uncommitted vote, he still picks up 119,084 votes and leads Clinton by well over 250,000. Do we really think that WV and KY will net her that many votes? To put it in perspective, Pennsylvania didn't, and it has a larger population than KY, WV, and PR combined. Throw in Oregon, Montana, and South Dakota, and I can't see Clinton catching up.

Also of note on MyDD today is a post from Todd Beeton, entitled "Why Obama Wants Clinton to Stay In". Beeton quotes an LA Times article that argues even if Clinton were to drop out today, given her current polling margins in West Virginia and Kentucky, she would probably still win those primaries--horribly embarassing for the guaranteed nominee Obama. In continuing to campaign against him, she actually saves him face. My own rationale for wanting her to stay in the race (assuming she keepts it positive) is that she is registering new voters and sending the campaign to places McCain hasn't even dreamed about, but Beeton and the Times make an intriguing point as well.

No comments: