Monday, September 29, 2008

Obama's Landslide Projection is Risky

The Daily Telegraph reports that Barack Obama believes he'll win the November election in a landslide:

Barack Obama's senior aides believe he is on course for a landslide election victory over John McCain and will comfortably exceed most current predictions in the race for the White House.

Their optimism, which is said to be shared by the Democratic candidate himself, is based on information from private polling and on faith in the powerful political organisation he has built in the key swing states.

Insiders say that Mr Obama's apparent calm through an unusually turbulent election season is because he believes that his strength among first time voters in several key states has been underestimated, both by the media and by the Republican Party.
Obama's confidence rests on his expectation to win in battlegrounds states like Virginia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, where he suggests that extant polling has underestimated his appeal.

While there's no doubt that Obama's currently doing well relative to the GOP ticket, the Illinois Senator's theory underlying his landslide projection is suspect.

Gallup reported in June that voter enthusiasm dipped considerably at the conclusion of the primaries, and experts predict that young voters' enthusiasm turns into unreliable confusion in November. Additionally, it turns out that Obama's outreach efforts to unionized white-working class voters have proved difficult, as the New York Times reported this morning (from Wisconsin, where union activists say working-class voters often base their votes on non-economic issues, including race). Not only that, while dramatic turmoil in the economy continues, Americans see better times ahead, as soon as next year (58 percent as indicated in the new USA Today poll).

The way these variables interact depends on developments both in the economy and the campaign, although both
Democratic and Republican operatives indicate things are looking good for the Obama camp.

Peter Wehner suggests a huge opening for John McCain:

Potentially, the most lethal political charge against Obama is that he is a deeply liberal/ideological figure who has associated with radical individuals in order to advance his political career. The question is whether Obama’s countenance and personal style make those charges seem far-fetched; or whether the McCain campaign can convince voters that Obama’s appeal is at its core fraudulent and his new-found centrism a mirage.
Members of both the left and right recognize Obama's genuine ideological radicalism, to the glee of the trolls of the left-wing fever swamps and to the consternation of conservatives (and see Stanley Kurtz's new essay, linking Obama to ACORN and the subprime mortgage crisis).

As it stands, other than
Gallup, a number of other major surveys find Obama up only by four or five percentage points in national head-to-head matchups (today's Los Angeles Times and Rasmussen, for example); yet Obama is picking up ground in some key battleground states.

It remains to be seen, however, whether recent improvements warrant Obama's optimism.


Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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