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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Obama fret

Is anyone else getting tired of the "Obama fret"?

"Oh, he can't win Hispanics. He can't win women. Oh, this state, that state, he's not leading by enough."

It's been a constant negative refrain over the last few months, and each of these speculative "frets" by the media (most based on unfounded assumptions of sex and race bias) seem to be eventually proven wrong. He's fine among Hispanics (Hispanics breaking for Obama 62%-28%) and women (Women favored Obama over McCain, 52% to 33%.) He polls even with Kerry Gore on white males.

(Here's your latest, Quinnipiac has Obama leading Florida (47-43), Ohio (48-42), and Pennsylvania (52-40.) One poll and all that, but, still, Florida in play.... Later: Also a tie in Virginia? )

The media seems to want this narrative of Obama in trouble. Anything that comes forward to support this thesis is immediately promoted as a problem where Obama "has some work to do."

(Can you imagine if McCain was up by 5 or 6 that it would be called a "narrow" or "slim" lead?)

We can argue that there may be issues, but the "Obama in trouble" narrative is way out of control. He's up by five or six in polling based on 2000 and 2004 GOP heavy base turnout models, and about half the country still doesn't know who he is.

If he simply splits independents in this year of record Dem self-identification and turnout, he still wins.

It's crazy, and the vast assumption seems to be that the Obama camp does't know what it's doing. Their history would argue otherwise.


  • Not exactly germane to your posting, but remember that awful AFP article comparing that nice, demure Cindy McCain to that scary, uppity Michelle Obama? The cover of US Weekly describes Michell thusly:

    She shops at Target, loved "Sex and the City" and never misses the girls' recitals. The untold romance between a down-to-earth mom and the man who calls her "my rock"


    By Blogger -epm, at 12:21 PM  

  • Is that the one with the giant typeface "Why he loves her?"

    It is a little bit of a different tone.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:09 PM  

  • It's crazy, and the vast assumption seems to be that the Obama camp does't know what it's doing.

    It's a brilliant strategy, but it's different from the past 20 years' campaigns. He could win without the battleground states (FL, PA, OH), but now it's looking good for him even in those states. Add IA, VA, and a few of the SW states and we're inching into landslide territory.

    Obviously, though, he's having trouble with Mormons. Utah goes to McCain in the double digits. Look for that to be the next "fret". As long as a single state is listed as "Safe GOP", we will be subjected to "the Obama fret".

    By Blogger Todd Dugdale, at 2:00 PM  

  • Frankly, I'm not completely sold on the strategy being brilliant. It's the best strategy for the candidate and field they have, and it should work.

    To me, it somewhat echoes their primary challenge. Clinton had carved out the big states and the traditional constituencies of a win, and the Obama folks took that playing field and built around the Clinton constituencies and around the Clinton states and advantages. They took what they had and figured out a very efficient way to deploy their resources to win.

    In the general, they're actually starting with an even (maybe ahead) map, and it's my opinion that the McCain camp isn't as good as the Clinton's were.

    I have faith that Plouffe won't waste the math.

    And, let's remember, they haven't even really started yet. They're less than two weeks into the general campaign.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 2:36 PM  

  • "the Obama fret"...?

    wait a minute... I thought the media was liberally biased?

    bad joke - sorry!

    I just think the media, with a need to fill time, has decided to do it by manufacturing a series of minor crises. They think news and human events should be presented like a soap opera. Tune in tomorrow -- will Bob and Joanne find true love?

    I only wish they would satisfy their endless appetite for time filler with discussions of real concerns, rather than advertiser-sanctioned news-nibbles. They serve only to agitate rather than educate.

    By Blogger r8r, at 3:32 PM  

  • Agreed, and it's not like I expect them to talk about issues.

    But, the repeated presentations of false weakness in my preferred candidate bugs me alot.

    (Maybe I'm a little sensitive because it's just a continuation of the Clinton narrative.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 3:47 PM  

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