Patterico's Pontifications


Summertime Politics

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe predicted that Hillary Clinton will end her campaign in early June if she’s not the party’s nominee. His words are apparently intended to reassure superdelegates and party leaders that Hillary will not hurt party unity by unduly continuing her candidacy.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is focusing on electoral votes and electability:

“The delegate math may be complicated, but the electoral math is easy,” Clinton said, arguing that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain is a “formidable opponent” and that she has won more “swing states” — such as Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — than Obama.”

And Barack Obama is lobbying party leaders and superdelegates in Washington DC. He met briefly with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland as well as some Clinton supporters, Democratic Reps. Ellen O. Tauscher of Alamo and Alcee Hastings of Florida.

Last night Karl Rove said that if he were advising Obama, he would recommend that Obama spend most of the summer in Washington DC pursuing bipartisan legislation that supports his claim he’s a uniter. Rove’s point was there is no evidence Obama is the bipartisan he claims to be.

However, after reading Tom Maguire’s post on Obama The Answer Man, I doubt Obama is interested in any group projects this summer.


17 Responses to “Summertime Politics”

  1. rove makes a very good point, in order to be a uniter politically, one must cross party lines and obama has never done that on any substantial issue. JMAC on the other hand does and has the battle scars to prove it.

    james conrad (7cd809)

  2. ““The delegate math may be complicated, but the electoral math is easy,” Clinton said, arguing that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain is a “formidable opponent” and that she has won more “swing states” — such as Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — than Obama.””

    What is the correlation between winning a state in a primary and then winning it in the general?

    stef (a9f58b)

  3. Her contention is that she has shown more strength in states that the Dems must carry in the Fall than BHO has. It all comes down to the Electoral College in the Fall, and Hillary contends that she can carry those border-line, or even “red” states that the Dems must have to reach 269 electors, and he can’t.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  4. Makes me wonder what the situation would be for Republicans if they too gave proportional delegate apportionment instead of winner-take-all. My guess is that Mitt Romney would still be in the picture.

    Funny how so much of Obama’s actual primary voter count edge comes out of Illinois and especially Cook county. But I’m sure there are no shenanigans involved in that area. Haha. Like all those absentee ballots suddenly showing up late in an Indiana county close to Chicago.
    And I guess media bias is just fine too. I recall when media called Florida for algore when Panhandle polls were still open. And now we have various wads including Tucker Carlson admitting they get woodies around Obama like they were high school freshmen..please.

    madmax333 (a832f1)

  5. “End her campaign” ?? What does that mean? There aren’t any more primaries, so what would she be “campaigning” for.

    The big question is will she release her delegates to vote for Obama on the first ballot — which would make him a landslide winner.

    If she doesn’t then they must vote for her on the first ballot, which will give her about 48% of the elected delegates.

    If she doesn’t release her delegates then she is going to have Credentials Committee fight over seating the Michigan and Florida delegations.

    She’s also going to continue to work over superdelegates and hope for one or more Obama gaffes between now and August.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  6. “Her contention is that she has shown more strength in states that the Dems must carry in the Fall than BHO has. ”

    I understand thats the argument. But I want to know how much a primary victory translates into a general election victory. ie, does her argument have any merit.

    stef (87fe55)

  7. Stef: that’s the question, isn’t it? 🙂 At core, her argument is that the swing states — OH, PA, MI, FL — which the Democrats need to win are more likely to vote for her than they are for Sen. Obama.

    Sen. Obama’s argument that Democratic voters will vote for whichever Democrat holds true in some places (CA, MA, NY), but ISTM that Sen. Clinton has a point when it comes to the swing states.

    On the other hand, it looks like Sen. Obama is more likely to pick up states which aren’t normally ‘blue’ states, and that might matter too.

    aphrael (db0b5a)

  8. You might pay attention to Karl Rove when he’s on Fox with his electoral maps. He breaks down, each week, which states he thinks will be carried by either of the Dems in a match-up against McCain.
    There are some interesting contrasts – plus, the numbers are constantly in flux as the polling varies.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  9. Yeah. I’m following the polling fairly closely — is good for this — but have no TV, making watching Fox impossible. 🙂

    aphrael (db0b5a)

  10. She’ll end her campaign just like she won’t campaign in Michigan or Florida … hahaha.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  11. I think WLS’s question in comment 5 is a good one: What exactly is she (via Terry “the Bag Man” McAuliffe) saying? I read it as an acknowledgment that all the remaining super-delegates will make up their minds by the middle of next month, and if HRC is not leading at that point she will release her delegates to vote for Obama on the first ballot.

    You have to wonder, though, what will happen if Obama only ends up being a few dozen delegates ahead of HRC, and we see his poll numbers drop as angry Clinton voters start to flirt with McCain. Maybe that won’t happen, but maybe this summer is gonna be as interesting as we had hoped for. Imagine what might take place behind the scenes if on the first day of the Democrats’ convention the polls show Obama dead even or trailing in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, with McCain holding on to the South and the Rocky Mountain states. Might the Clinton Machine work to open up the convention at that point? Maybe this is just going to be about playing possum for a couple of summer months as they work to undercut Obama sub rosa.

    JVW (835f28)

  12. Whose side is Karl Rove on anyway?

    love2008 (d2a57f)

  13. I think the big unknown is the effect Obama will have down ballot in the south, midwest, and rust belt states.

    Clinton will not release her delegates because she will wait for polling to begin to accumulate this summer on a McCain v. Obama match-up. The final card in her hand is the “He’s unelectable” card.

    While Obama might remain competitive in polling throughout the summer, that is not what superdelegates will be looking at. By and large they are elected officials themselves. If they see their chances in their own races hurt by having Obama at the top of the ticket, they may re-think the wisdom of voting for Obama at the convention.

    Heath Shuler said he would vote for whichever candidate carried his district — Clinton won.

    Two special elections are/were held in Louisiana and Mississippi — in each the Dem. candidate separated himself from Obama.

    If Obama is seen as holding down the down-ballot candidates in states he is going to lose — or wose yet, in swing states like Missouri — you could see superdelegates move away from him.

    Since his nomination depends on superdelegates, Clinton is going to play a waiting game through the summer to see how it plays out.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  14. Or she could just bow to the pressure and quit. The dems arent going to be thinking about personal survival when they have a general election to face. I see her winning in the next two states and in the midst of the elation and positive media, stepping down gracefully. If she is going to step down, she wants to do it standing. Besides if she quits now, how will she pay off her huge debts? She needs to stick around, raise more funds, pay her debts, retrieve the 11.5million she loaned her campaign. Thats the end game I see.

    love2008 (d2a57f)

  15. It would be silly for Hillary to release any delegates until the convention itself. She’d be giving up too much ability to control events at the convention, besides the horse might learn to sing.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. But if, like WLS and SPQR, you think Clinton will wait until the convention to release her delegates, what exactly was Terry McAuliffe referring to in the item linked in the post? He seems to be intimating one of two scenarios: (1) Obama upsets HRC in the final contests by taking a majority of those delegates and thereby forces the remaining super-delegates to get behind him, or (2) HRC wins the 6 out of 7 contests (or whatever) that she has a chance to win and that somehow convinces remaining super-delegates to get behind her. Both sound kind of far-fetched to me.

    And what in Heaven’s name is John Edwards waiting for in making an endorsement? Do you suppose he really expects to play kingmaker with his 26 delegates? I think he runs a better chance of being irrelevant, especially since his endorsement earlier might have helped one of the candidates over the hump. Maybe he wants both of them to fail so that he becomes viable again in 2012.

    JVW (835f28)

  17. An attempt to answer “stef”:

    In blue-state electoral votes (based on the 2000 & 2004 general elections), Clinton leads Obama by approximately 142-86; or, 142-103 if you give him Michigan. In overall electoral votes she leads him 251-217; or, 278-234 if you give Michigan to him and Florida to her. Add in the remaining primary states (based on current polling data) and you get a 297-247 lead for Clinton.

    In the states Bill Clinton won in 1992, Hillary leads Obama 192-137. Add in Michigan, Oregon and Montana for him — West Virginia and Kentucky for her, based on current polling data (Florida & North Dakota are perennial red states); that results in a 211-165 lead for Hillary.

    No matter how you slice it, her argument — that she is more electable — has merit. She has no reason to quit, and I predict that she won’t quit unless: a) she runs out of money, or b) she loses in West Virginia, Kentucky or Puerto Rico … places where she is expected to win. The latest media fantasy — that she is staying in as a way to blackmail Obama into making her VP and paying off her campaign debt — is laughable. Vice Presidents don’t get elected President very often; usually, the only way they get in is if the President dies in office. If she doesn’t get the nomination she need only wait two years (instead of four) and then she can run for Governor of New York.

    Missed It By THAT Much (3ac258)

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