Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Obama Steamroller

A huge day yesterday for Barack Obama, who swept primaries in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. In all three races Obama got more votes than all of the Republicans combined.

He beat Hillary Clinton by at least 23 points in each race and won 63.9% of all Democratic votes in all three races to Clinton's 36.1%

And there's good news for the Democratic Party as well. Double the number of voters turned out for the Democratic primary in Virginia as for the Republican primary, and that's in a state that went for Bush in 2004. There were 2.6 times more Democratic voters in Maryland, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, 19.8 times more Democratic voters in D.C.

That's good for the Democrats—and good for Obama in particular—since he's clearly responsible for the overwhelming turnout that has been seen in Democratic primaries all across the country.

In head-to-head polls with presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, Obama holds a 3.7% edge, while Clinton actually loses to the Arizona septuagenarian by 1%.

The writing is, as they say, on the wall. What with Obama's demonstrated ability to garner critical independent votes, it would be insane to nominate Hillary Clinton to run in the 2008 general election. So, is the Democratic Party insane?

Good question.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Headline of the Day

Drudge links to an article using the following headline: World's Biggest Christ Struck by Lightning

No word on whether ElectroChrist came to life and wreaked havoc in the streets of Rio. Here's hoping.

Spinning in a Downward Spiral

The New York Times has an article this morning about Hillary Clinton's campaign woes which quotes a number of donors and supporters worried that the nomination campaign is slipping away from her.

Enter Clinton spinmeister Mark Penn:
She has consistently shown an electoral resiliency in difficult situations that have [sic] made her a winner... Senator Obama has in fact never had a serious Republican challenger.
It's true that Obama won his Senate seat against carpetbagging Republican Alan "Crazy Eyes" Keyes after his much more formidable opponent, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race amidst a sex scandal that surfaced during his divorce from Star Trek: Voyager actress Jeri Ryan.

That said, Penn's spin is a load of crap. Hillary has never faced a serious Republican challenger, either.

In 2000, Hillary was poised to run against former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was expected to make it a very tight race. In May of 2000, however, he was forced to drop his Senate bid after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Oh, and because he had been very publicly cheating on his wife.

His replacement was a Long Island Republican named Rick Lazio who had little more going for him than the fact that he had an attractive wife and couple of cute kids, whom he shamelessly exploited in countless campaign ads touting his 'family values'. He gave it his all (one unintentionally hilarious NY Daily News headline read "Lazio Pitches Tent in Swing Country"), but Clinton, with her massive name recognition, steamrolled the relatively unknown Lazio, winning by a 12-point margin.

In 2006, Clinton was expected to face Jeanine Pirro, the ambitious and somewhat well-known Westchester County District Attorney. After a few months of lackluster campaigning, Pirro withdrew from the race, leaving the Republicans to offer up John Spencer, former mayor of Yonkers, as its sacrificial lamb. Clinton held on to her Senate seat by crushing Spencer with a 36-point margin.

Does Mark Penn consider either of these races to have been seriously contested? If he's an honest man, he couldn't possibly. So I suppose that leaves it an open question.
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