Sunday, February 24, 2008


That is the line-up for the this year's presidential contest.

Some interesting insight into why Obama and not Clinton summarized by Frank Rich in the New York Times this morning:

The gap in hard work between the two campaigns was clear well before Feb. 5. Mrs. Clinton threw as much as $25 million at the Iowa caucuses without ever matching Mr. Obama’s organizational strength. In South Carolina, where last fall she was up 20 percentage points in the polls, she relied on top-down endorsements and the patina of inevitability, while the Obama campaign built a landslide-winning organization from scratch at the grass roots. In Kansas, three paid Obama organizers had the field to themselves for three months; ultimately Obama staff members outnumbered Clinton staff members there 18 to 3.

In the last battleground, Wisconsin, the Clinton campaign was six days behind Mr. Obama in putting up ads and had only four campaign offices to his 11. Even as Mrs. Clinton clings to her latest firewall — the March 4 contests — she is still being outhustled. Last week she told reporters that she “had no idea” that the Texas primary system was “so bizarre” (it’s a primary-caucus hybrid), adding that she had “people trying to understand it as we speak.” Perhaps her people can borrow the road map from Obama’s people. In Vermont, another March 4 contest, The Burlington Free Press reported that there were four Obama offices and no Clinton offices as of five days ago. For what will no doubt be the next firewall after March 4, Pennsylvania on April 22, the Clinton campaign is sufficiently disorganized that it couldn’t file a complete slate of delegates by even an extended ballot deadline.

UPDATE: Also see this post from Atrios.

TC doesn't think the fall campaign will be close. The polling on "Is the country on the right track/wrong track?" shows that overwhelmingly Americans are unhappy with the direction their country is taking. That is fatal for the incumbent party even if they have a so-called straight talking maverick as the nominee. And it is now clear that the McCain coziness with a lobbyist scandal is not going to go away. See here and here.

I do think that hidden racism might be a problem for Obama (the issue of race gets some discussion in the Washington Post here) but the results of this poll (summarized here) suggests that it is not all that obscure and mainly an issue in the deep south where no Democrat is going to win many states anyway(McCain gets 5 percentage points more white votes if he faces Obama rather than Clinton in Alabama but the 5 points fewer in California). The poll showed that Obama is ahead of McCain by 27% overall in California.

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