TPM Reader HW appeals for calm (and a little common sense) …
This talk of mortal peril for the Democrats is crazy. The idea that where the primary stands here in March jeopardizes the outcome of the election in November strikes me as wildly ahistorical. And I say that as an Obama supporter who believes that Hillary should have gotten out of the race a month ago when the central premise of her campaign became the proposition that superdelegates should overrule the outcome of contested primary elections.
Didn’t Bill Clinton have to fight primary battles well into May and June? He managed to beat an incumbent President a six months laters. Didn’t George W. Bush have to contend with John McCain in 2000 even after Al Gore had basically finished off Bill Bradley early in New Hampshire? Didn’t Jimmy Carter manage to beat Ford despite Jerry Brown winning a string of late primaries in 1976?
As for this latest Gallup poll, if 28% of Hillary Clinton supporters backed McCain, that would mean that roughly 14% of Democrats would back McCain. Given the events of the past week with Jeremiah Wright, McCain’s ability to escape serious examination until the Democratic primary is over, and the heated nature of the primary, let’s call that a worst case scenario. Guess what? Gore lost 14% of Democrats in 2000 and Kerry lost 11% of Democrats in 2004. As I recall, Gore won the popular vote anyway, and John Kerry came pretty close.
We are eight months away from November, we haven’t had a chance to see McCain’s record and statements get serious scrutiny, we haven’t seen the parties choose their respective running mates, we haven’t seen the conventions, we haven’t even officially settled on the matchup (although I think we all know it). Gallup has Obama and McCain basically tied in the mid-forties, which means neither have locked down too many more people than the folks in their base, with everyone in the middle up for grabs. There is much to be written about the general election ahead, in fact, everything has yet to be written. We just all have to have the patience to let Hillary run out the string- and don’t get me wrong, its trying mine, more sorely everyday (my hope is that Obama can stage a double win in North Carolina and Indiana and some party elders will approach Hillary and ask her to pack it in then and there).
Same message from TPM Reader TL (just with a little more edge for the proprietor) …
Don’t you find it incredibly myopic to adhere to the logic behind the figures you posted proporting that many Clinton and Obama voters would vote for McCain after the Dem nominee is chosen? We are in the midst of an incredibly strung out and close race for the Democratic nomination. The emotions running through the supporters of both candidates are near their peak. Of course they are going to claim that they are going to vote for McCain. By saying so they are attempting to make their own candidate seem like the only plausible choice. You know all to well that were Barack or Hillary to win, put beside McCain under the scrutiny of a presidential election, that there is no way in hell any of these people are voting for John McCain. If I want to read/hear this BS I’ll go to CNN, but please not here.