On One Hand

March 7, 2008

How a Head-to-Head would go

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:47 pm

Here’s some good news for Obama supporters who are worried about a Clinton nomination:

Survey USA polls show that BOTH DEMOCRATS could potentially win the election in November, though Obama has a much more comfortable margin.

Hillary Clinton actually loses every Western state except California. Even highly Democratic Washington and Oregon tip for John McCain (Oregon by a lot). But she also gets a (narrow) win in Florida, and she is more popular than Obama in Pennsylvania, so she squeaks by with a few more electoral votes than John McCain.

There is a big “if” here: if John McCain choses Charlie Crist as VP, Clinton loses Florida and the election. This explains why Charlie Crist wants Florida to re-vote and to help Hillary Clinton to be the nominee – because he gets to be Vice President if it would in fact lead to Clinton’s nomination. If Obama is the nominee, Florida won’t be crucial because Obama wins even without Florida, so Crist won’t be picked.

Obama ties with John McCain in most of the “swing” states that Hillary Clinton is now saying are crucial, and loses some others. He loses Florida and Pennsylvania, and he ties with John McCain in New Jersey.

But Obama wins Colorado by a huge margin, he wins North Dakota, he wins Michigan (which Clinton loses), he wins Iowa (which Clinton loses), he ties in Missouri (which Clinton loses) and – get this – he TIES IN NEBRASKA. WHAT?

The take-away from this is that Clinton keeps all the battleground states in the same places they were in 2000 and 2004; it’s Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio that determine the outcome. Obama turns the Western population centers into Democratic areas, and his swing states are Missouri, Virginia and New Jersey. But these states are also less crucial for Obama because he is generally farther ahead in electoral delegates. New Jersey has been a solidly Democratic state, so if it does not tip for John McCain after all it means Obama wins by an even greater margin. Virginia is crucial for Obama, but with Webb as the VP nominee, he has it locked down.

Here’s an easy way to figure out what would go where: If it’s a remotely moderate state that grew in population between 1990 and 2000, Obama wins while Clinton loses. If it’s a moderate state that dropped in population between 1990 and 2000, Clinton wins while Obama loses.

As a matter of fact, even non-swing states like California and Texas, which are both growing, show Obama beating McCain by a far bigger margin than Clinton beats McCain (California) or losing by a far smaller margin than Clinton loses to McCain (Texas). The only growing state this is not true for is Florida.

And isn’t that the epitome of what this race is all about – Obama’s optimistic, youthful, forward-looking and inspiring message wins in states that are doing well economically, and Clinton’s establishment, unionesque, its-the-economy-stupid message that throws back to Bill Clinton’s economic success does well in blue-collar states that are hurting economically.

Here are the polls:





  1. Obama won Texas

    Matt P:
    I don’t always have time to keep up with your prolific blog, but after reading today’s entry, I have to let you know what I heard on NPR yesterday afternoon on “All Things Considered.” Apparently, Hillary won the Texas primary, but Obama won the caucuses later that night. The national media were so happy with her win that they have ignored the story. Not only did he win the caucuses, his win was large enough to give him three more delegates overall than what she got. It’s not going to be official until later in March–they’re still counting the caucus votes–but from the initial results (about 40% of the total), he’s clearly the projected winner.

    Also: check out the new 3/20/08 issue of Rolling Stone. Obama’s on the cover, looking like a fierce Jesus (the headline: “A New Hope,” kind of like Star Wars), and Wenner has penned an endorsement inside.

    Comment by Anonymous — March 8, 2008 @ 3:16 am | Reply

  2. Matt, suppose they both run on the same ticket. Does that mean that the Democrats win overwhelmingly?

    Comment by Anonymous — March 9, 2008 @ 3:03 am | Reply

    • No, because they both have similar upsides and similar downsides. They both win with people who are excited about having a female or African-American president and they both lose with people who are concerned about the military.

      Hillary Clinton is currently criticizing Barack Obama for her lack of “commander-in-chief” experience but in reality she has no more experience than he does. It’s a vulnerability for moth of them. They would both be best off choosing a moderate Democrat with a strong military background.

      Comment by ononehand — March 10, 2008 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

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