First things first: If you would have told me six months ago — hell, one month ago — that Clinton would be fighting for her political life against Obama, I would have said: “I’ll have what your smoking.”
“There’s no way,” I would have continued, “that the most ruthless politician since ‘Landslide’ Lyndon Johnson would allow a newbie Senator to end her presidential obsessions.”
Well, despite losing New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts *and* California(!), Obama has the same coin flip chance as Clinton to obtain the Democrat nomination. Which raises two questions: 1. How did this happen? 2. What are Obama’s chances in the Nov. general election?
How Obama Got Here
Simply put: Obama owns the caucuses.
Hell, it’s gotten to the point where if there’s a caucus you know in advance Obama will win it — regardless of the location and regardless of the breakdown of white participants versus black participants. Why is that the case? I honestly don’t know. It could be a variation of the so-called Bradley effect; to wit: that standing in front of their neighbors white Democrats don’t want to be saddled with the potential specter of being labeled racists, so in that environment they’re casting their lots with Obama. It could also be as simple as Clinton’s campaign being a disorganized mess and Obama’s campaign being a machine. Organization makes a huge difference in caucuses. Whatever the reason, it’s certainly the reality.
2. Democrats Apparently Have Figured Out Clinton Totally is Unelectable
Clinton is and always has been completely unelectable in a national general election.
McCain versus Clinton would be a wipeout for McCain. He would win 45% of the female vote and upwards of 65% of the male vote. Assuming 54-46 turnout in favor of females, that would equate to around a 54-46 popular vote margin for McCain, which given local political realities would mean a landslide for McCain in the Electoral College.
As recently as 2004, the loopey and reality-challenged Democrat primary base utterly was clueless as to electability. A material segment of that base, however, apparently has figured things out.
Does that mean Obama is more electable than Clinton? No. But unlike Clinton he at least has a chance, whereas Clinton has no chance in hell.
Obama in the General Election
If Obama makes it to the general election, yes, of course, the media will campaign for him incessantly and against McCain. Yes, it’s true, conservatives will stay home and not vote by the millions — thereby pissing all over the country and their erstwhile “causes.” Yes, of course, black turnout will be high. Yes, undoubtedly, on Election Day the media will attempt to dupe Republicans into staying home with bogus exit polls and the like — and ironically they’ll succeed in certain respects.
But racial divisions and the older demographic’s focus on national security would overcome those items.
The majority of the voting electorate consists of people between the ages of 45 and 75. They’re not so easily duped by the media. They actually care about such things as national security.
Then there’s the matter of race.
Latinos overwhelmingly will vote for McCain. Latinos and blacks don’t get along. Never have. Obama received merely 32% of the Latino vote in California’s closed Democrat primary! Again, this needs to be clear: sixty-eight percent of “liberal” California’s registered Latino *Democrats* voted *against* Obama.
How could the national numbers among Latinos in a general election be all that better for him?
Asians overwhelmingly will vote for McCain — by a margin even larger than that by which Latinos will vote against Obama. Asians and blacks simply don’t get along. Never have.
Whites will vote for McCain. That’s not “PC,” but it’s reality. If a majority of whites in a closed Democrat primary in “deep blue” Maryland voted against Obama, how on Earth will a larger majority of whites in a *national general election* not do the same thing?
Whites will account for about 70% of the voting electorate this November; 14% will be Latinos; 12% will be black; around 4% will be Asian.
The overall racial/ballot breakdown of the voting electorate this Nov. will look a lot like this:
Whites – 55-45 for McCain – 70% of voting electorate.
Latinos – 65-35 for McCain – 14% of voting electorate.
Blacks – 90-10 for Obama – 12% of voting electorate.
Asians – 70-30 for McCain – 4% of voting electorate.
Electorally speaking, Florida completely is out of play if Obama is the nominee, as is New Mexico and of course Arizona. Colorado too.
Obama could very well flip Ohio. Perhaps even Ohio and Virginia, although that would take a yeoman’s effort.
But McCain will flip New Hampshire (all white state), Wisconsin (Bush not there to vote against), Pennsylvania (heavy retired military population; Bush not there to vote against) and Oregon (less than 2% blacks — McCain’s enviro viewpoints will help him). Believe it or not, Obama will have to spend time, effort and money to defend California.
The math for Obama doesn’t add up.