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Democrats Doubt Obama Can Win

Original post made by jr, Professorville, on Apr 30, 2008

Nearly half of Democrats (48 percent) think Hillary Clinton has a better chance of beating John McCain in November — 10 percentage points higher than the 38 percent who think Barack Obama can win, according to a FOX News poll released Wednesday. This represents a significant shift from March, when Democrats said Obama was the candidate more likely to beat McCain....

The ongoing controversy over Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, appears to have damaged how Americans view Obama. His favorable rating is now 47 percent, down 7 percentage points since February when 54 percent had a positive view of him. As may be expected, his unfavorable rating went up from 33 percent to 42 percent today.Web Link

Comments (31)

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Posted by pam
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 30, 2008 at 6:33 pm

obama is finished;the bloom is off the rose; his rhetoric is stale; his energy is depleted; hillary is closing in nc; hillary will win in. superdelegates are in a difficult position, because they now have that sinking feeling that obama is another kerry, but how do they overturn his lead without alienating youth and blacks? something will have to be worked out at the convention; there's no way that obama can beat mccain in the lunch bucket states; he can't even beat hillary in those states. he's through. the next step is finding a way to ease him out, and keep his base. it won't be easy.

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Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Interesting. The electronic markets, where people put actual money behind their picks, show Sen. Obama ahead in the Democratic nomination race and also in the presidential race against Sen. McCain. These markets perform quite well as predictors.

Both Obama and Clinton poll well against McCain; if one were to drop out, I suspect the numbers would be even better. Obama would provide a stark contrast between old politics and new, just by standing adjacent to McCain in a debate.

It's still a race. It ain't over.

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Posted by a
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 30, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Wishful thinking at best pam. I'm a democrat and I know Obama can win. Hillary's just another Republican to me, sad, but true. I really liked Hillary. I think she'll make a decent VP at best or ought to stay a senator where she can just support other people's ideas. McCain wants the gas tax removed and Hillary agrees. Bush wants to go to war in Iraq to find Al-Qaeda, which we all know was a farce because Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan, but Hillary agreed.
Obama has better judgment.

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Posted by pam
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 30, 2008 at 10:10 pm

let's see how people are feeling after hillary's win in indiana next week; she's closing in north carolina too. remember how confident everyone was with gore and kerry against bush? mccain is not bush...he's a more likable social moderate. it's either hillary, or the gop for four more years. take your pick

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Posted by ol' lady
a resident of Midtown
on May 1, 2008 at 3:36 pm

pam, you and I disagree on everything but this. Obama hasn't a chance of a snowball in a hot place of winning this election in November. He is down and out now with most of America. 1/2 the Democrats now despise him, and all Republicans. His IMAGE was good...wouldn't it have been nice if we could finally put race behind us and PROVE it once and for all?

Unfortunately, he and his preacher brought race into it, to the forefront. He is so out of touch with most of America, and I believe, most Christian Blacks, that he really believed that his preacher would go over well here. And he was shocked when his caricature of Americans who support our second Amendment, go to church, and oppose ILLEGAL immigrants was taken as a condescending insult to, again, most Americans. And, to top it off, the bloom was already off the rose when he repetitively showed complete ignorance on Capital Gains taxes and how they work. He didn't realize that 1/2 of those who pay capital gains taxes every year earn less than $50,000, and 75% earn less than $75,000. He didn't realize that 100,000,000 adults, that is half of all adults in the USA, own stocks and were paying attention to his comments on taxes, and learning that the guy is a populist demogogue who is also a fool.

He is out. Get used to it Democrats.

Frankly, and I know you disagree, but I have to say, I think Hilary has little chance of winning against McCain also, but at least she has more of a chance than Barack. Hilary has a huge tarnish on her, she started with one already, and hit got worse with her ridiculous campaign lies, like the sniper fire one...I really don't think she has a chance.

Not because McCain is so great..he appalls me more and more every time he opens his mouth. But because the alternatives are so much worse. At least Hilary is just a liar, not a fool also like Barack. So far, haven't caught McCain in lie, but I am sure one will come up.

Like this comment
Posted by bewAre of communists
a resident of Downtown North
on May 1, 2008 at 8:13 pm

big mistake to elect mccain. He is a Chinese communist plant. He was willingly brainwashed during his "pow" years. Beijing will control the white house if he is elected

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Posted by beware of trolls
a resident of Midtown
on May 2, 2008 at 7:23 am


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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 9:41 am

I am surprised that the open race-baiting of the Clintons draws so little attention from Palo Altans (nor from the media pundits, nor many of the superdelegates) He is, after all, an ex-President, and she is a sitting United States Senator. I thought we were better people than that.

West Virginia, I know. After all, Senator Robert Byrd has a very sorry past, and he has not sufficiently repented - at least in public.
West Virginia votes Republican in the General Election. (Clinton won only with the help of Ross Perot.)

I would like to see an end to the race-baiting and the religious demagogueries in both parties, but I don't see the Democrats surviving if they don't clean house soon.

Clinton's campaign has proved her unfit for the office she holds, let alone the one she seeks.

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Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2008 at 10:39 am

That Fox poll seems to be an aberration. Here's a link to a site that agregates five separate recent polls that show that Obama beats McCain: Web Link

Of course, so does Clinton.

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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 11:13 am

So far, the Republicans have lost three safe Republican seats by running ads tying the Democratic candidate to Obama.

I think the McCain campaign will learn - or Governor Mike Huckabee will explain it to them - that McCain will have to separate himself from Bush if he wants to have a chance.

McCain has a lot of baggage (he was the dirtiest of the Keating Five, taking money from Charles Keating for personal use) but the press likes him because he says things that make him newsworthy and make him sound like a maverick (especially before voting to approve the earmarks he's just decried)

Clinton has unbelievable baggage - besides the race-baiting, the Clintons took furniture and rugs from the White House (had to return them) and one of Bill Clinton's pardons was for a client of his wife's brother. ($400,000 fee for a pardon for a convicted criminal. Hugh Rodham had to return the money, it raised such a stink.)

Barack Obama hasn't been in the United States Senate long enough to have much history. I'm sure they're digging furiously in his state record, since Jeremiah Wright proved to have little lasting effect.

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Posted by Politico
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 11:36 am

I'm not voting for McCain, nor have I ever voted for a Republican. But Obama (whom I will likely vote for) has tried to set a tone of civility, honesty and issues-oriented debate.

It is dismaying therefor to see Carol Mullen, an Obama supporter, repeat a smear against McCain that has no basis in fact. Mullen says, McCain "was the dirtiest of the Keating Five, taking money from Charles Keating for personal use...". This is false. Bob Bennet, a Democratic lawyer, who was hired by the Democratically led senate to investigate the Keating five says that McCain did nothing wrong, and should never have been included in the investigation at all.

Here's the summation of the issue from Wikipedia: "Bennett, who was the special investigator during the Keating Five scandal that The Times revisited in the article, said that he fully investigated McCain back then and suggested to the Senate Ethics Committee to not pursue charges against McCain because of "no evidence against him." Bennett was coincidentally on Hannity and Colmes the night the story broke to talk about his autobiography. On the show, he said that he felt the Committee pursued charges against McCain because, without him, the case would have been entirely against Democrats.[7]." Web Link

Obama - and the country he hopes to lead - would be better off if his supporters follow his lead and eschew ad hominem attacks that distract from the very real issues in this campaign.

There's lots to criticize McCain for, from his support of the destructive Iraq war to his Bush-like economic policies. Mullen should stick to that and avoid the Keating five smear nonsense.

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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 12:11 pm

You don't remember who Bennett is. The evidence was published in the papers, including a vacation in Scotland. A friend of mine was on McCain's staff. The staff rescued him and pushed him to immediately start advocating campaign finance reform.

He just kept his campaign alive by taking out a loan against the funds he was supposed to receive by taking public financing, then backed out of public financing.

Nothing ad hominem about McCain's many, many ethical lapses. I'll give you an example of Ad Hominem. Ad hominem would be bringing up his desertion of his crippled wife, Carol, for the Budweiser heiress. That was thirty years ago. That doesn't matter on a public scale.
His hypocrisy on earmarks does, his staff of lobbyists does, and his emotional instability does. (attested to by Republican Senators who reluctantly have agreed to support him)

The Republican Senators come from the Republican right: Cormyn, for one.

I don't know much about Obama, but I am supporting him, because of what I know about Clinton and McCain. If it comes down to Clinton and McCain, I'll vote third party. Ron Paul or Ralph Nader.

Not sure my politics matter. I'm just anti-corruption and racism. I changed from Decline to State to Democratic to vote against Clinton. I intend to change back.

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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 12:35 pm

The Bennett brothers will defend any client for the right payoff. Bill Bennett has written many books. The Book of Virtues was a big seller, but it put him in the position of defending himself as a hypocrite, because he's addicted to gambling.

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Posted by pam
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 14, 2008 at 2:08 pm

hillary clinton is the only person qualified to lead our country, of the three remaining candidates. obama will lose in key swing states, to mcain. hillary will win those estates. hillary supporters are mostly social moderates - obama is an elitist who doesn't connect with the lunch bucket voter - the democrats are in a tight spot...

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Posted by Politico
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm

It's a sad state of affairs when despite the fact that there are two cantidates (McCain and Obama) who have very different worldviews and well-articulated policy differences, supporters of both engage in smear, innuendo and wack job guilt by association allegations.

The weird meanderings of those who would impute Rev. Wright's insane views to Obama because Obama went to his church are perhaps to be expected from the right-wing crazies who seem more desperate than ever this year.

But it is truly disheartening to see Obama supporters engage in even more outrageous nuttiness. The double-bank shot smear of McCain that Carol Mullen engages in stretches credulity even for me - a (hopeful) Obama voter. To conflate Bill Bennett - a right wing hypocrit, with his brother Bob Bennett a respected Democratic lawyer (hired by a DEMOCRATIC Senate to investigate Keating) - and then to use that to attack McCain is just plain looney. Carol has a first class scoop when she implys that McCain paid off Senate Investigator (Bob) Bennett to clear him.

Carol says she doesn't know much about Obama. Here's a link to his website, where she can discover (in detail) his views about policy issues facing the country. Web Link

She might wish to compare Obama's views with McCain's here: Web Link

They disagree about almost everything. Perhaps Carol can find reasons to choose between the McCain and Obama based on these very real policy differences, rather than National Enquirer style smear and Swiftboat style politics of personal destruction.

There's not much difference between the race baiting Carol condemns and her own personal attack and innuendo on McCain. This is expected of Republicans -- and maybe even the Clintons. Who knew the Obama ranks were populated by the same rabid silliness?

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Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm

"I changed from Decline to State to Democratic to vote against Clinton. I intend to change back."

Did you realize that someone registered as Decline to State could request a democratic ballot? Thats exactly how I voted. You cant request a republican ballot, but you can request a democratic or independant party ballot.

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Posted by Papa Doodle
a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm

hillary supporters are mostly social moderates - over weight pear shaped under educated women who shrill at a sound level that cause most to run in pain. And men who have someone else carry their balls and are very comfortable with the phrase "yes, Dear".

Real men cannot stand Hillary and see her for what she is nothing more than a carpetbagger.

obama is an elitist white/black man who doesn't connect with anyone other than liberas with white guilt and back race elitist who preach the hatered of America.

- the democrats are idiots in a tight spot...

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Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Re: Papa Doodle


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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm

The Bennett brothers are hired guns. The "respected" Bob Bennett works one side of the aisle. He represented Clinton in his dishonest defense against Paula Jones.

As I said, too few white people have turned on Clinton after her AP "hard-working people, white people" She has expressed an entitlement to women's votes, Latino votes - a sickening, shameful campaign.

You need a really strong stomach to support the Clintons.

I do realize now that California doesn't have a closed Democratic primary. I didn't then. I haven't had much interest in Democrats since Bill Clinton's presidency.

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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Actually, to be fair, if you haven't been born and bred in the South, you probably don't recognize the Clinton type. They are our equivalent of Tammany Hall.

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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Politico, reading about these people is different from knowing them. I have read both of Obama's books, and I have followed McCain's career for a very, very long time. I know what McCain has done; he has a long record, and it doesn't match his claims to be a maverick.

We can't, any of us, know what Obama will do, but he hasn't had all those coarsening years in the Senate. The people who support him are a hopeful indication that he will be under pressure to be what he promises.

You didn't grow up neighbor to a member of the Purple Gang; I did. You never met Jake Arvey, boss of Chicago, I did.

You're a political innocent; I envy you your innocence and your short memory.

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Posted by ol' lady
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Carol, your comments about Bennet being "addicted to gambling" ( false...if someone wants to spend money gambling, but it is such a small portion of his income that it has no effect whatsoever on his ability to care for his family, that is not an addiction, it is not gambling, just a fun pasttime)

and your comments about Clinton "race baiting" with "hard working white people"...again false..try reading the whole speech, not the propoganda by the media and Obama camp which is desperately TRYING to keep race in the ..uh..race.....

shows that you are not informed, and a poor shill for Obama.

I recommend you not embarrass yourself further.

This is the kind of support Obama doesn't is the kind of "baiting" that is scaring away voters in DROVES now from voting for him. Especially once anybody gets down to the facts of who he is

1) Attended a racist, vile church for 20 years
2) Implied his grandmother was racist in order to defend Wright( what? the grandmother who SAVED him from total abandonment by his parents?)
3) Then when it became clear that Wright was a huge liability, denied him ( after saying that to deny him was to deny the whole black if the whole black community bought into the crap of Wright,...which sowed yet more divisiveness)
4) Constantly reveals his ignorance of economics and foreign policy through idiotic remarks like "I'm gonna raise Capital Gains taxes on the rich" and "We need to invade Pakistan to find Obama"
5) Reveals his pedagogy by wandering in the weeds of blaming Iraq for taking people, including Arab-speaking translators, away from Afghanistan ( did that yesterday in Missouri..while wearing his flag pin again, pandering to the people he thinks are fools clinging to their guns, religion and racism in defense of the horrible times we are in)
6) Reveals his complete lack of historical perspective, daring to say that the housing "crisis" ( what crisis?) reminds him of the Great Depression...what the hell is he talking about? He is really that silly?

well, I needn't go on.

I really despised both Clintons, and never thought I would prefer H. Clinton over anyone..well, Obama has managed to make her look good.

I can absolutely guarantee that there is no way our country is going to fall for Obama. He has been revealed.

The Democratic party elitists have really dug themselves into a hole. Obama has lost the vast majority of the Democrat votes since Feb 22, and continues to do so EVEN THOUGH the papers and Dean keep trying to annoint him King ( I mean Nominee) ... think about it, what does it tell you?

It says that most Democrats DO NOT WANT OBAMA. He has alienated women, whites, hispanics, and jews. So, follow the logic..what happens when Obama goes up against McCain?

Obama McGovern Hussein Obama will lose huge, and that is a stunning thing to say, given how horrible McCain is as a candidate. But, at least all he is pissing off are conservatives. ( A mere 10-20% of his party, versus over half of the Dems by Obama)

Unless the DNC figures out a way to put H. Clinton, who has been completely stabbed in the back by smug Chicago and Beltway politicos, back on the ticket, get used to saying "President McCain". It is hard to imagine McCain doing or saying anything nearly as stupid as Obama has done.

Oh! Have you seen the photos of Obama in PREACHERS garb with crosses all around him? Good grief, I voted AGAINST Huckabee for such BS, and I AM a Christian! So, where is the outrage?


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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 6:35 pm

lady, you're not very good at mind-reading. I'm not a Democrat, and I find it rather creepy that all candidates must profess the Christian faith - we non-believers are an endangered species. Certainly Christians seem good at fighting each other.

If you fear John McCain - and he's certainly a danger, blame the Democratic poohbahs who picked a very unpalatable candidate in Hillary Clinton. With 70% of Democrats opposed to the war in Iraq, they backed the last Democrat out of that war.

This country has had altogether too many dynasties, and they do get rather cosy with crooks.

I'm sure we object to the Clintons for entirely different reasons. It's not an accident that Bill Clinton pardoned serious white collar criminals. It's not an accident that Hillary Clinton brought Dick Morris into the Clinton ensemble in Arkansas.

You pay too much attention to what people say, and too little to what they do.

Obama may lose, and Hillary Clinton has certainly done her best to make that likely, but Congress will change.

As for the Kentucky and West Virginia - they will go Republican, as usual, no matter what.

Most of the voters who backed Clinton because she had white skin will back John McCain in the General election because he's a man. The prejudices run together.

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Posted by Not so Fast
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 14, 2008 at 6:39 pm

To be fair lady:

Clinton's 'white Americans'

There's always been a racial dynamic underlying Clinton's claims of electability: the argument that working class white swing voters might not -- for whatever reason -- vote for Obama.

Her campaign has been stating it with striking bluntness in the last couple of days, though. Yesterday it was Geoff Garin, and today Clinton in an interview with USA Today:

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

"There's a pattern emerging here," she said.

Now, the press has talked about the race in these terms constantly, so I won't feign shock. But it's a bit strange to hear it so bluntly from the candidate's mouth, and probably not a great way to endear herself to African-American voters.

And it's also noteworthy that the blunt talk on appealing to whites surfaces the day after the last round of primaries in which there's a substantial number of black voters.

By Ben Smith 09:17 AM

The "I have a much broader base" opener is a clear strike on competition as if they have less.

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Posted by Not so Fast
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 14, 2008 at 6:44 pm

USA Today quoted Bennett's wife as saying her husband is not addicted to gambling.

"We are financially solvent," Elayne Bennett told the newspaper. "All our bills are paid."

She added that his gambling days are over. "He's never going again," she said.
Sounds like a controlling wife to me or maybe she wishes she got the black dress and not a bet on black.

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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2008 at 7:21 pm

You don't have to be African-American to think racial appeals are bad for this country. It does help to have an education. It does help to have a real plan to help poor people of all backgrounds and without regard to gender.

Part of Obama's plan is to rebuild the country's infrastructure - bridges, roads, schools - that's how he got Richardson's support. If he can do that, most poor white people will be happy to see an end to racial division. Most of them, when not being demagogued by someone like Wallace or Clinton, are just afraid that they personally are going to have to bear the burden of repairing what was a national crime.

There are people like Clinton herself, who like having someone to sneer at, and those people will not come around easily. Forward to the early 20th century.

Still, Obama's doing a very good thing in making it clear that this has to happen, for everyone's sake.

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Posted by Papa Doodle
a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 15, 2008 at 12:10 am

Here is an explanation as to why women and Hillary don't matter.

If you are not hot you do not matter. Got it - Social Justice? Hahhaha...

Web Link

The only thing Susan Cheever has 100% right is that Hillary has worn away her youth on the lost cause of an imperfect man who does not give a damn about her needs. If she really stood on her own it would have been different, but the reality is women need men and Hillary is prima facie evidence of that historical fact.

Like this comment
Posted by pam
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 15, 2008 at 11:41 am

obama has already lost the lunch bucket voter; it's over

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Posted by pam
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 15, 2008 at 11:57 am

papa, what woman has a perfect man? reverse-sexism? yup!

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Posted by ol' lady
a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm

To say that whites are racist because only half of the white dems are voting for Obama, but blacks are NOT racist when 92% of blacks are voting for Obama..well, isn't there an intellectual disconnect here?

As for paying attention to words not actions: Nope, I trust actions much more than words.

Check out Obama's voting record, and how often he has been absent from votes.

Check out how long he has been in office to even give us a record.

Check out how long he supported a church run by a ...words fail me.

Check out who he has accepted fundraising dinners from.

Ok, enough "action" for ya'? If the actions were correct, and the words still there, I would say "ok, pandering to get folks to vote for him". But, his words more than match his actions.

As for 70% of Dems are opposed to the war in Iraq...EVERYBODY is opposed to war, that is not the issue. The issue is picking the least horrifying solution for everyone, and some of us recognized, and still do, which choice that was.

BTW, You cannot be a feminist and simultaneously regret the liberation of 10 million women in Iraq.

Need I say more?

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Posted by pam
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 15, 2008 at 2:54 pm

i got this from Web Link

here's the whole thing :))))))))))))) obywanabama is toast

"Let's examine the "will of the people" in selecting our 2008 Democratic nominee. Many party leaders and superdelegates have emphasized its importance.

First, it should be noted that the DNC's decision to strip Florida and Michigan of its delegates made no mention of disregarding the popular votes from these two battleground states. After all, how can you ignore 2.3 million citizens, including a record turnout in Florida, who insisted on casting ballots even though officials told them it was pointless? That would be un-American. (See more thoughts about Florida and Michigan below).

So...setting aside the matter of Florida and Michigan delegates --a matter to be reviewed by the RBC on May 31 -- let's take a look at the popular vote.

Following Hillary Clinton's historic 41-point win in West Virginia, in which she netted nearly 150,000 votes, the popular vote totals from Real Clear Politics (RCP) for the primaries are:

Total votes cast: 16,680,827
Clinton: 47.7% (HC leads by 29,471 votes)
Obama: 47.6%

Total votes cast, including estimates from the caucus states of IA, ME, WA, and NV: 17,014,911
Obama: 47.7% (BO leads by 80,751)
Clinton: 47.5%

Notes on the Popular Vote:
1. As stated above, there is no authority for disregarding raw votes from Florida and Michigan. Any claim that they should be excluded from popular vote totals is especially problematic given Obama's opposition to re-votes in both states, and the fact that he ran TV ads in Florida in violation of the pledge. Also keep in mind that Obama voluntarily removed his name from the Michigan ballot, against the advice of some of his allies, for political gain in Iowa. As Obama now heads to Florida and Michigan, presumably to campaign for general-election votes for the Democrats, it's increasingly ludicrous to cling to the position that these 2.3 million votes shouldn't count towards selecting his party's nominee.

2. The RCP estimate of popular votes that includes caucus states is skewed towards Obama given the undemocratic nature of caucuses. There are now at least three examples -- Texas, Washington, and Nebraska -- where the candidates were virtually tied in primary elections but caucus results in the same states heavily favored Obama. Two new myDD stories provide excellent analyses about this dynamic, here and here.

3. A blogger also points out that Clinton has now won the popular vote in 195 US Congressional Districts, compared to 187 for Obama. Including Florida and Michigan, it would be 227 for Clinton and 195 for Obama.

A virtual tie:
By June 3rd, no matter how you slice it, this race will be a dead heat.

Clinton is likely to lead Obama (and McCain) among all votes cast in presidential primaries, even when including the skewed caucus results. Obama will maintain his pledged delegate lead, but it will be narrower than it is now, possibly within 100.

Of nearly 20 million votes cast and among 4,000 or so delegates, they will be separated by a fraction on both metrics.

How Superdelegates will decide:
Now, Obama and his supporters rightly point out time and again that delegates, not popular votes, determine who wins the nomination. True, but only if you get 2210 pledged delegates. Since neither Clinton nor Obama will reach that number -- it's the responsibility of the automatic (or "super") delegates to vote at the convention.

"You may disagree with the power and authority given to the superdelegates -- and the party could change its rules after this election -- but that's for the future. Currently there are no rules requiring the superdelegates to award the nomination to the leader of pledged delegates.

The purpose of the superdelegates is to ensure that the best general-election candidate, and best potential president, is nominated. Any factor may be considered, including the "will of the people" as reflected in the popular vote. In fact, to overturn the peoples' choice based on the results of a complex delegate apportionment system (itself in need of reform) could backfire in November."

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