One Limping Trick Pony

At the beginning of July we posted an article called One Trick Pony which provided some exercise advice. Exercising one set of muscles while ignoring the rest of the body/mechanism leads to eventual failure and a ridiculous appearance.

Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, reiterates our early July post in an article for Politico.

As important as cash can be in campaigns, it has less clout in winning the party nod than longtime support among the primary electorate and decades of good will built up with party, union and Democratic-affiliated group leaders.

All this is a way of suggesting that we take a deep breath before deciding that because Obama is the king of fundraising Clinton is no longer the big favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Money is important, it’s the “mother’s milk of politics” but it is not everything. Big Media, Brown states, once again reiterating many of our earlier posts wants to create a contest using a bogus narrative.

Nevertheless, Obama’s money numbers are not as impressive as the large lead Clinton holds among Democratic primary voters, who seem to view her in awe, much like the way Nancy Reagan regarded Ronnie when she put on that adoring gaze.

The idea that Obama is now on equal footing with Clinton because of his fundraising power is a great story. It certainly appeals to a news media that loves the storyline of the first serious woman contender against the first serious black contender for the presidency.

It makes a good story, but it just ain’t so.

Singing Obama’s praises does not alter reality. All the commercials in the world will not change the fundamental dynamics of the 2008 election cycle nor the admiration of voters for Hillary.

The problem is that history shows that excitement and/or money don’t necessarily win presidential nominations. Of course they are useful to candidates, but the name of the game is “delegates,” and winning them comes from winning primary and caucus votes.

And despite Obama’s very impressive bank account — which will buy him a huge staff and countless television commercials — the freshman senator from Illinois has a long way to go to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

The first job for candidates running for president is to secure the party nomination. After that nomination is secured the attention of the nominee turns towards persuadable voters, independents and possibly disaffected Republicans. Another item to remember is that Democratic Party leaders in many cases vote as delegates at the Party’s convention.

His major problem is that Clinton may well be unpopular with tens of millions of Americans, but not very many of them are Democratic primary voters.

The New York senator has even stronger support within the Democratic infrastructure — party, union and Democratic-affiliated group-leaders — than she does among the overall electorate.

And, among those teachers, government workers, environmentalists, lawyers, union members, single and working women, gays, and African-Americans who make up the core of the Democratic primary vote, she is very, very well-liked.

Hillary’s opponents like to ignore her electoral success in New York State. On election eve it was obvious that all the worry warts were wrong because Hillary garnered strong support from Independents and even Republicans. The “not electable” myth Ripublicans and Naderites pushed for so long was exposed as a politically motivated superstition. The Democratic Party nominee will be attacked by the Ripublicans. Hillary has withstood all the attacks thrown at her. The same cannot be said of Hillary’s Democratic opponents whose negative numbers will rise once they are under attack by the Ripublican smear machine.

The fact that Clinton is a lightning rod who inspires both strong support and vehement opposition is well-known.

Overall, when voters are asked if they view her favorably or unfavorably, she has an unfavorable rating — depending on the poll — anywhere from the low- to mid-40-percent range.

These are dangerous, but not fatal, numbers for anyone who wants to become president. These numbers are roughly similar to the way the public felt about George W. Bush before it reelected him in 2004.

Peter Brown slays, with empirical evidence, the Hillary Can’t Win myth.

Among Democrats who do, Clinton is more popular than Obama. A Quinnipiac University national poll last month found that among Democrats, who make up the vast majority of those who get to vote in Democratic primaries (some states allow independents to participate), 80 percent view her favorably, and 12 percent unfavorably.

That same poll found that Obama’s numbers, by comparison, were 66 percent favorable vs. 9 percent unfavorable. And among those who like both candidates – i.e., the vast majority of Democrats — her claim on their support would seem to be deeper based on the length of their infatuation.

Another myth bites the dust.

Of course, Obama is not as well-known as she is. Among Democrats,

25 percent could not venture an opinion of him, compared to just 6 percent unable to rate Clinton. And, yes that means that he has room to grow his support.

On the other hand, if only 6 percent haven’t made up their minds about Clinton, it suggests that her support is unlikely to shrink a whole lot among that group.

The elitist argument that Hillary is supported only by “low information voters” and the poor and therefore she cannot win is also demolished.

There is one other factor at play in the Clinton/Obama race that is worth considering.

History says that the favored candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination among voters without a college education almost always wins.

The candidates who appeal more to Democrats with college educations generate lots of excitement and often do very well in the fundraising department, but they rarely win the nomination. That was the case for Howard Dean (2004), Bill Bradley (2000), Paul Tsongas (1992), Gary Hart (1984) and Edward Kennedy (1980) — none of whom won the Democratic nomination.

Virtually every current poll shows Clinton doing proportionally much better among Democrats without college degrees than those with one. The June Quinnipiac national survey showed Clinton ahead of Obama overall, 35 percent to 21 percent. But she was ahead 39 percent to 20 percent among Democrats without college degrees.

The last hope of Hillary opponents, that money will triumph over the people, is belied by her first New York State race when Hillary hate among Ripublicans was so strong and obsessive her opponents raised more money than Hillary did.

But he still has a steep hill to climb against Clinton, who not only is adored by Democrats, but also has more than enough cash to make us all sick of the large number of TV ads she will be able to buy.

The above does not mean we relax and get lazy. It means we work harder.


18 thoughts on “One Limping Trick Pony

  1. I am glad to hear that money isn’t everything and consistent polling is important. But I read a poll somewhere that says 45% of Democrats don’t believe Hillary or Obama will be the Democratic nominee and they think it will be a white male who will be the nominee and they suggested Al Gore or John Edwards. As farfetched as it seems – Hillary supporters shouldn’t take it lightly and watch out for any dramatic change by Gore’s entry into the fray. These far lefts who opposed Gore in 2000 are the ones who are making him larger than life now.

    I hope that they will continue to underestimate Hillary so; she pulls a surprise on everyone! Go Hillary 08!!!!!

  2. bravo, great diary. is pisses me of when the media see obama fill college campuses with nothing but students. the problem with that is these students gives the illusion that obama has excitement only and hillary does not. these student make up a minority of the democratic electorate. blue collar, african americans, senior people,,low income and union members make up the bulk . reminds me of also sen. mcarthy in 1968. uppity and idealistic college students (mostly white) who thinks of one world view, the farthest of the fringe left and will not listen to anybody else crowd.

  3. Another great post. I get frustrated when people assume if Obama would get the nomination his negatives would stay in the 20s where they are now. Remember Gore and Kerry? They weren’t “polarizing” either, and look what happened to them when the Repubs/Big Media got through with them. I actually think HRC’s negatives might go down if she wins the nomination because then the overall electorate will get a chance to see the real her, and the inevitable Repub attacks will go overboard and likely backfire. I also saw that poll you’re referring to, secretpolitics. I think it reflects many Dems still not taking for granted HRC or Obama will be the nominee.

  4. What is it with the MSM? The pundits this morning on a certain Sunday talk show framed the current race as Hillary attempting to go “back to the 90’s” vs Obama as the “change candidate”. They claimed that Hillary including her husband on the campaign trail is some kind of new strategy to go “back to the 90’s”. They showed one video clip where Pres. Clinton talked about the 90’s not being that bad and then used that one clip as a basis for their entire analysis of her campaign during their discussion. In fact, at the end of their discussion the group at the round table concluded the primarily would boil down to people choosing between a return to the 90’s via Hillary (who will win only if people want to go back to the Clinton years) vs the new face Obama (who they feel could easily win if he can show he has experience for the job). What drives me nuts about this is how Hillary is consistently dismissed on these broadcasts. It’s almost like they don’t take her as a serious candidate. I have yet to hear a serious discussion of her views, why she is doing well and what a Hillary Clinton presidency might mean. They seem to have the view that Hillary is nothing but a “redo” of her husband that will bring the same old policies. Have they even researched her plans/ideas? On the other hand they spend alot of time enthusiastically talking about Obama (including the Democrat leading pundits)and it’s always with a positive spin.

    The other thing they mentioned that is driving me crazy is the “Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton” anti-Hillary argument. If she changed her last name back to Rodham would that satisfy their fears of some kind of “dynasty”? Sheesh…

    Just had to vent….

  5. Secret.

    I agree with you on two things : 1) The same people who said they “couldn’t possibly vote for Gore” in 2000 now act like he is a saint. 2) Its best that Hillary not get complacent because who knows who could enter the race at this point.

    That being said, I seriously doubt that Al Gore will run for President. Also, it is reassuring that Hillary and her campaign staff have as much experience as they do, and I doubt they would ever be the type to become complacent.

    While we all like Hillary for her experience as a lawmaker and healthcare advocate, I am also glad that this is not Hillary’s first time at the rodeo in terms of campaigning for President either. She knows the highs and lows from working with Bill Clinton’s 92 and 96 campaigns, as well as her own Senate campaigns. I am sure she has a plan for every possible scenario.

    Hillary is literally, the first candidate in my lifetime, in whom I have that degree of confidence. And I am not young. lol

  6. im off topic guys but rasmussen is going to start his daily tracking of the dem and gop primary race monday. i do suscribe to his premium service. i as a subscriber i suppose to get 1st dibbs on the polling. i would share them ifi learn i how to get the link on here. i get my poll fix like some kind of drug every

  7. How about that revelation this morning by the New Yorker’s Washington Correspondent, Ryan Lizza, during the ‘Chris Matthews Show’ ? He stated:

    “Obama set a record by having more than 250,000 donors this year. Well, there was a little TRICK that the Obama campaign used to get that number so high. Every time you buy a bumper sticker or a t-shirt from the Obama campaign, instead of just paying cash, they count it as a campaign donation.”

    So all those high school kids who buy a souvenir from the rally they attended, but who cannot vote, are counted as support for Obama.

  8. wow joe friday. if this is true it’s flat out dishonest. i hope this gets out, him using buying stuff off his site as donations.

  9. That’s impossible (or unpossible as Ralph Wiggums says) Joe Friday. Haven’t you heard that Obama is “new politics”. Cooking the books is so old politics.

    Seriously, that is a good catch and we are sure Big Media will do its best to bury the story. Obama has a much bigger campaign staff (though not nearly as good) as Hillary does and he has been spending on TV commercials in Iowa so tomorrow’s finance reports will be illuminating. Obama will probably have many old politics accounting tricks, such as delayed payments until the 3rd quarter.

    It clearly will be up to Big Pink to get the story about purchases/donations out because Big Media will only be interested in the price of John Edwards’ haircuts and any missing coma or punctuation in Hillary’s finance reports.

  10. AmericanGal,

    I HEAR YOU! The MSM has been irritating me to distraction too. It generally is extremely anti-Hillary. The national MSM is trying to not take Hillary seriously because it does not want her to be the Democratic nominee. I am convinced that Republicans are petrified at the thought of running against her. Therefore, they (through their media ownership) try to undermine her by acting as though she is less significant than she is, among other tricks. In addition, I perceive a pro-Obama tilt to most national media coverage. This phenomenom is actually two sides of the same coin.

    One way the MSM campaigns against Hillary is through the use of irrational bogus arguments. It did the same thing to Al Gore in 2000. The “Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton dynasty” argument is an example. If “anti-dynasty” is a rational argument, why wasn’t it used against George Bush in 2000? Father-son is more of a dynasty than Husband-wife. But this year is the first time I have ever heard such an argument.

    Here is what I do to keep sane:
    1) Listen to the local news. It tends to be friendly to Hillary when she is campaigning in town. Even my local Republican CBS station changed its tune when she came to town.
    2) I read news stories from Reuters before AP, CNN, CBS, etc. (Disclaimer: I nor any of my relatives work for any of the aforementioned news outlets.) As an example, when the Democratic candidates spoke to the NAACP convention, the AP headline and article was all about the allegedly enthusiastic reception Obama got, whereas the Reuters headline simply stated that the candidates spoke to the convention, and the accompanying article noted that Hillary got rousing applause when she talked about health care (in addition to the reception the other candidates received). The point of this is that–for MY sake–I try to find the most impartial news sources and stick to those.
    3) When I can’t avoid watching the MSM anti-Hillaryites, I talk back to the TV! Drives my husband crazy but I’ll never let lies pass unchallenged in my household. I like to believe that it makes me a better debater when I am out in public.

  11. admin. those finance reports will be fascinating. I remember Obama spent more than HRC in the first quarter.

    BTW, Obama made sure to get a dig in today about those overheard remarks between HRC and Edwards. Said something about Bill Clinton once being a 2 percent. Yeah, but that wasn’t when any debates were going on. It’s a poor analogy.

  12. sandy1938,
    You are right about Hillary planning for every single scenario. I mean consider this! Obama jumped into the race and he got the attention of the media and the left and they hyped him so much that she was literally left in the cold as far as media coverage was concerned but she tackled that and came through that! So, I agree with you!

  13. admin, how do you know Obama’s campaign staff is bigger? I wasn’t aware of that. You really seem knowledgeable about so much. If that’s the case, then he does need all those extra millions.

  14. can anybody explain to me why are these idiot pollsters keep adding gore into the mix all the time? it seems the media and nutroots want him in so bad it’s funny. until the guy anounces don’t add him to the polls.

  15. SactoDem, thanks for the suggestions. I think they will help me keep my sanity. I also plan to vent my frustrations by going all out in campaigning for Hillary. I’ve already ordered a couple Hillary signs and they are going up on my front window the minute they arrive. I’m fired up..LOL.

  16. The Republican 2008 strategy is emerging: 1) Help Obama win the nomation. 2) Raise terrorism fears. 3) Campaign on national security. 4) Tough guy Rudy beats ‘Queen’ Obama** in the general.

    With the Iraq disaster and Hillary’s poll numbers on strength/judgment, Repubs can’t re-run 2004 against the ultimate ‘Security Mom’. But even with Iraq, Repubs can run on terrorism against Obama, who has no security cred and who’s primary strategy is to woo the anti-war left.

    Al Quaida, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and the Kurds, Lebanon, and we’re going to elect a security wimp in wartime? How much money are the Repubs channeling to Obama? His nomination is the key to their chances to keep the White House.

    **Obama’s ‘message of hope’ is important. But he is better suited for the role Queen Elizabeth plays in the UK.

  17. There is no question whatsoever that the Obama candidacy is a creation of Big Media. Their motive is equally clear, namely to be a kingmaker. They cannot be a kingmaker by supporting Hillary. She has been a national leader for decades, thus the only thing they
    could say in that case is me too. Whereas, they can definitely be a kingmaker with someone like Obama because he was a virtual unknown and his image can be shaped accordingly. This is the secret handshake at work here, and it does a disservice to the America People. Surely they have the good sense to realize the dangers involved in electing someone with such a thin resume to be ceo of this country at a critical time like this, even if Big Media does not.

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