This Dem. Weekend


Obama goes 5-5 this weekend: Washington, Nebraska, Virgin Islands, Louisiana, and today (and I think most impressive of all) Maine.

Greg Sargent:

With 70% reporting, Obama had 58% to Hillary’s 41%. The surprisingly big victory for Obama came on the same day as the Hillary campaign signaled a recognition of its travails by announcing a shuffling of their inner circle, replacing campaign manager and longtime loyalist Patti Solis Doyle with longtime Hillary confidant Maggie Williams.

Obama’s victory effectively left Hillary advisers grappling with the possibility that the worst case scenario that they’d been anticipating for some time could come true: The prospect of no victories for the whole month of February. This coming Tuesday, Obama could very well sweep the Potomac Primary — Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

Obama’s prospects are also pretty good in Wisconsin a week later, because he can run especially well in two major Dem strongholds, the left-wing college town of Madison and the urban center of Milwaukee, as well as in other locales.

That leaves the Hillary campaign potentially staring across a bleak February landscape all the way to March 4th for a real shot at turning the narrative of the race around — a grim set of circumstances that Hillary advisers have been anticipating for some time.

Obama’s strategy of going all out all over the place is paying off big time.  He’s going to smash her on Tuesday in the Potomac Primaries (DC, Maryland, Virginia).  He is beating her in number of votes, states won, and delegates pledged (minus superdelegates).

Then Hawaii and Wisconsin on Feb. 19th, the first of which Obama the native son trounces, the second of which would look good for him on paper (college towns like Madison, educated liberals in Milwaukee, history of progressivism, major strength from nearby Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota).

The media is focused on the Big Three–Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  The first two are March 4th, Penn is April 22nd.  But there is also intervening Mississippi (huge Obama–southern, African American), North Carolina (same), Oregon (like Washington pro-Obama country), Montana and South Dakota (he’s done well in Montana West/Plains Country).

Then bizarrely Indiana, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico.

My fear is a brokered convention, superdelegate mess, or a deal that will try to put Obama as the VP.  Clinton has the institution behind her.  This should not be discounted.

The only way to avoid a nuclear scenario seems to me is for Obama to win one of Ohio and/or Texas.  He will likely sweep all of February.  Which means he needs to somehow vault off those wins to steal a big one from Clinton.  He couldn’t do it on Super Tuesday–Cali, Mass, or NJ.  Basically a 3% point win in New Hamphsire and Nevada is the only thing that has kept Clinton in it–that and institutional support.

As an Ohioan, Obama I would bet has a better chance to pull a draw in Texas.

Or as Yglesias has it:

Back in October 2007, Clinton was beating Obama in Maine by a hilarious 47 to 10 margin, but it seems he’s carried the state today, once again by a large margin. My understanding, though, is that this doesn’t really count because it’s a small state, much as Utah doesn’t count because there aren’t many Democrats there, DC doesn’t count because there are too many black people, Washington doesn’t count because it’s a caucus, Illinois doesn’t count because Obama represents it in the Senate even though Hillary was born there, Hawaii won’t count because Obama was born there. I’m not sure why Delaware and Connecticut don’t count, but they definitely don’t.

Realistically, Clinton seems to have difficulty winning anywhere she can’t mobilize racial polarization in her favor. Obama has, of course, deployed polarization to his benefit in a number of states (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana most notably) but he’s also dominated the states with very few black voters.

Published in: on February 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

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