Obama’s strength and weakness

Barack Obama has been pursuing a brilliant strategy for the primaries, but it may hide a weakness in the main election. According to this article, Obama has been picking up many of his wins in states that usually go Republican. That means they have fewer Democrats to vote in the primaries, but their delegates are easier for Obama to harvest. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton is getting the big states, but Obama remains ahead.

This MIGHT mean that Obama’s strength is in the states that will go Republican anyway, which heralds well for John McCain.

This is the argument the Clintons are making with the superdelegates. Do you think it holds water?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Mike

    I think it’s a silly argument based on one big lie. The assumption the Clinton campaign is making is that because Clinton won the primaries in those states, that Obama would lose them in the election. What she would need to show is that even though she won the primary, the people would rather vote McCain in over Obama, i.e. would rather vote Republican than Democrat.

  • Mike

    I think it’s a silly argument based on one big lie. The assumption the Clinton campaign is making is that because Clinton won the primaries in those states, that Obama would lose them in the election. What she would need to show is that even though she won the primary, the people would rather vote McCain in over Obama, i.e. would rather vote Republican than Democrat.

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  • Chris Hurst

    All three candidates have loads of trouble to deal with as the election draws near. McCain still has to shore up his “base” in the Repbulican party and get hardcore conservatives to side with him; and that means more than just a reluctant vote. He needs to be able to get conservative commentators to support him verbally as more than just the lesser of two evils. Hillary is hated by 50% of Americans; including, it seems, half of her own party. And Obama’s weakness, in my opinion, is more dangerous. His support thus far has been largely built on the youth vote. While it is great to see young people getting out to vote, historically they don’t stay interested all the way to November. If he wins the nomination, his challenge will be to keep that excitement going through Spring Break, not to mention Summer, Labor Day, etc.

  • Chris Hurst

    All three candidates have loads of trouble to deal with as the election draws near. McCain still has to shore up his “base” in the Repbulican party and get hardcore conservatives to side with him; and that means more than just a reluctant vote. He needs to be able to get conservative commentators to support him verbally as more than just the lesser of two evils. Hillary is hated by 50% of Americans; including, it seems, half of her own party. And Obama’s weakness, in my opinion, is more dangerous. His support thus far has been largely built on the youth vote. While it is great to see young people getting out to vote, historically they don’t stay interested all the way to November. If he wins the nomination, his challenge will be to keep that excitement going through Spring Break, not to mention Summer, Labor Day, etc.

  • Don S

    It is simply a rationale the Clintons are using to justify having the superdelegates trump the will of the voters. But, it is the system the dems have set up for themselves, where the elites can essentially take away the voters’ right to have their vote count, so it is a completely reasonable rationale, in that light.

    It is quite ironic that the dems, so long the self-righteous party for standing up for the ordinary voters’ rights to “have their vote count”, have placed themselves in this predicament where the elites are going to decide who represents the dems in November. Fun to watch!

  • Don S

    It is simply a rationale the Clintons are using to justify having the superdelegates trump the will of the voters. But, it is the system the dems have set up for themselves, where the elites can essentially take away the voters’ right to have their vote count, so it is a completely reasonable rationale, in that light.

    It is quite ironic that the dems, so long the self-righteous party for standing up for the ordinary voters’ rights to “have their vote count”, have placed themselves in this predicament where the elites are going to decide who represents the dems in November. Fun to watch!

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    “Obama has been picking up many of his wins in states that usually go Republican. That means they have fewer Democrats to vote in the primaries, but their delegates are easier for Obama to harvest.”

    It doesn’t follow that a majority-Republican state’s Democratic minority would be easier for Obama to win over. There’s not enough information to assert that from that fact alone.

    Moreover, Clinton also has many wins in states that (at least, in 2004) went Republican for the President (NV, AZ, NM, TX, OK, AK, TN, OH, and maybe FL). Of course, some of those are swing states.

    Unless something dramatic happens, I think it’s least instructive to look at primary results in states that are deep-blue or -red, since the assumption is that a deep-blue state will vote for the Democratic candidate, no matter who it is. I’d say the same about deep-red states voting for McCain while holding their noses, but given what I’ve heard said against him here and in other conservative/Republican redoubts, I guess I don’t know.

    And, of course, the real question isn’t so much Obama vs. Clinton as it is one of them vs. McCain. I doubt that the Democratic nominee will run their campaign against him as they have against their current opponent.

    But if you look at the states that were won by slim (<2%) margins in 2004 (OR, NV, NM, MN, IA, WI, MI, OH, PA, NH), of those that have voted (thus excluding OR, PA, and probably MI), Clinton has won 34 electoral votes’ worth of states to Obama’s 27. By that reckoning, she’s ahead.

    But overall, I maintain that past results are no guarantee of future performance.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    “Obama has been picking up many of his wins in states that usually go Republican. That means they have fewer Democrats to vote in the primaries, but their delegates are easier for Obama to harvest.”

    It doesn’t follow that a majority-Republican state’s Democratic minority would be easier for Obama to win over. There’s not enough information to assert that from that fact alone.

    Moreover, Clinton also has many wins in states that (at least, in 2004) went Republican for the President (NV, AZ, NM, TX, OK, AK, TN, OH, and maybe FL). Of course, some of those are swing states.

    Unless something dramatic happens, I think it’s least instructive to look at primary results in states that are deep-blue or -red, since the assumption is that a deep-blue state will vote for the Democratic candidate, no matter who it is. I’d say the same about deep-red states voting for McCain while holding their noses, but given what I’ve heard said against him here and in other conservative/Republican redoubts, I guess I don’t know.

    And, of course, the real question isn’t so much Obama vs. Clinton as it is one of them vs. McCain. I doubt that the Democratic nominee will run their campaign against him as they have against their current opponent.

    But if you look at the states that were won by slim (<2%) margins in 2004 (OR, NV, NM, MN, IA, WI, MI, OH, PA, NH), of those that have voted (thus excluding OR, PA, and probably MI), Clinton has won 34 electoral votes’ worth of states to Obama’s 27. By that reckoning, she’s ahead.

    But overall, I maintain that past results are no guarantee of future performance.


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