Thursday, January 31, 2008


So, it appears that my observation that Hillary and Barry on the same ticket generates more power than simply looking at their relative strengths is the meme of the evening in the blogosphere. However, there is an assumption among the blogbots that HRC gains more from having Obama as a running mate than Barry gets from having Hillary.


Look at the cumulative cross-tabs. Obama's weaknesses among voters are more pronounced than Hillary's weaknesses, and his strengths are either concentrated in small voting groups or are based on unreliable constituencies.
  • HRC pulls over 50% of the white vote, and appears to be pulling more than that of hispanic voters, who are a constituency that is wavering between Republicans and Democrats.
  • She significantly outpolls everyone in either party on women voters who are the single largest demographic voter group. To the degree that people do identity voting, the sheer numbers of women voters quickly provide volume.
  • Hillary consistently outpolls Barry with people over 40, who make up 60+% of the voter turnout. Her margins with younger voters aren't too shabby, either.
  • On issues, more people care about domestic policy (economy, health care, housing, etc.) than about Iraq, and they favor Hillary. As far as Iraq goes, more voters will agree with HRC's position than with Barry's, if only because they intially supported the war and now feel foolish.
  • HRC also attracts and holds the Democratic base far more than Barry, and these are voters who will not defect in the general, the way cross-over Republicans or weekly committed Independents might be.
  • She gets union, pink and blue collar votes far in excess of Obama or Edwards, and she inspires voting among low income, less educated women.
  • Finally, she strongly out perfroms Obama in the suburbs where the soccer moms congregate and where voter turn out is highest. As it happens, she also polls better than he does in urban and rural areas.

In short, she already dominates the core constituencies on the left except for African American voters. If she keeps her campaign clean, that constituency will probably give her at least a strategic if not very enthusiastic vote.

What Obama can do is bring in a new cadre of younger voters who will likely stay committed to vote for him down the road. He can bring in some of those Independents and convert them to Democrats. This is a group that is increasingly made up of people who have defected from the Republican party, but need some extra "oomph" to take the final step and join up. I'm not sure about the male vote, as guys sexist enough to refuse to vote for HRC overlap considerably with guys who vote along racial lines, too. Finally, he gives a fig leaf to the HRC haters who wil have to walk back their bigotry, allowing them to hold onto their disdain but claim to be seeting up a strategic situation for the next time.

Hillary's strengths are deeply rooted in the core of the party. Barry would do well to cultivate that connection.



Anonymous said...

Apparently Obama is believing the B.S. that Clinton needs him more than the other way around. He's said this before but he said it again today:

He took credit for helping to expand the playing field for Democrats by "attracting new voters and independent voters into the process in a way that Senator Clinton cannot do."

"I don't take all the credit for the enormous upsurge in participation in the Democratic primaries and caucuses over the last four contests," Obama said while taking questions from reporters in Los Angeles. "But I think it's fair to say nobody has done more to engage and bring people in who otherwise would not participate."

Obama and McCain both attract a large number of Independents, while Clinton is stronger among Democrats than Independents. Using Nevada as an example, Obama said while Clinton did well in Clark County where traditional Democrats reside, he did well in Elko, a place without traditional Democratic votes.

"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."

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't see that Obama would add anything good to a Hillary Clinton ticket. Particularly after today's Harry and Louise attack he sent out about Hillary's Universal Health Care Plan. More and more progressives are finding out that Obama is NOT very progressive.

As you have stated, his main core of support is Black voters and young (18-25 yr. old) voters. I believe very strongly that once the primaries are over, Blacks would come back strongly and vote for Hillary, particularly with the number of Black leaders who support her. African Americans have always supported the Clintons, and I don't believe that most fell for the phony race-baiting that was used against them.

So I really can't see anything that Obama adds that she doesn't already have.

Anonymous said...

Eh, I don't know if the majority of blacks will come out to endorse Hillary if Obama loses the nomination. It will be a huge blow to a lot of people and many will still expect Hillary to ask him to run with her as VP. Hillary is getting more Republican and independent support than the media has led us to believe. But she might have problems with youth and black voters this year because they are SO excited over Obama. I know quite a few blacks who were insulted by Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson comment. I didn't think it was offensive but I guess some people are more sensitive than others.
I personally do not want Obama on the ticket either but it might be something we have to do to ensure a win. Not to say Obama can win the election on his own either. I also know Clinton supporters who won't vote for him. I don't like him but a Clinton/Obama ticket makes everyone happy. I guess...