Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 9, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

OBAMA vs. McCAIN....Gallup's latest Obama-McCain tracking poll shows exactly what you'd expect: now that Obama is firmly the Democratic candidate, he's making up considerable ground. There will be more ups and downs, especially around the conventions, but I'll bet that Obama never has much less than a five point lead for the rest of the campaign.

Kevin Drum 2:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (50)

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Go O! Go O!

Posted by: cleek on June 9, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'll take your bet, Kevin, because you forgot about the bump Schmuck Talk will get right after the RNC, the normal post-convention bounce.

Other than that, you may well be right...

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on June 9, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

KD: I'll bet that Obama never has much less than a five point lead for the rest of the campaign.
I'll bet you're right, and also that somehow McSham will win, proving what we've known all along. That polls are a fraud perpetrated by the liberal media.

Posted by: thersites the whack-end democrat on June 9, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

you just jinxed it.

seriously though, if Obama is not up by 12 points when the GOP convention begins i'd be shocked. The Dems go first i think.

Posted by: glutz78 on June 9, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just me but on my browser (IE6) the picture on the front page covers some text and the beginning of the post below it.

That said, I agree with Kevin. The contrast between Obama and McCain is so vast it is hard to imagine this being a close election. The electoral map be more of challenge for Obama but I'd imagine as more voters get to know the two candidates, Obama will gain a comfortable edge.

(McCain will always be able to blame Bush for his upcoming loss, but the country really can't stand him either.)

Posted by: JJF on June 9, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just me but on my browser (IE6) the picture on the front page covers some text and the beginning of the post below it.

That said, I agree with Kevin. The contrast between Obama and McCain is so vast it is hard to imagine this being a close election. The electoral map be more of challenge for Obama but I'd imagine as more voters get to know the two candidates, Obama will gain a comfortable edge.

(McCain will always be able to blame Bush for his upcoming loss, but the country really can't stand him either.)

Posted by: JJF on June 9, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just me but on my browser (IE6) the picture on the front page covers some text and the beginning of the post below it.

That said, I agree with Kevin. The contrast between Obama and McCain is so vast it is hard to imagine this being a close election. The electoral map be more of challenge for Obama but I'd imagine as more voters get to know the two candidates, Obama will gain a comfortable edge.

(McCain will always be able to blame Bush for his upcoming loss, but the country really can't stand him either.)

Posted by: JJF on June 9, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I would seriously like to take your bet, Kevin. Please. Email me and we'll work out the terms.

Because I'm a terrible gambler and always lose my bets.

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 9, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'll take that bet. The slime machine is just getting cranked up and Obama is still seen as young and inexperienced to a lot of people. And don't forget the racists. I think it'll stay really close through the summer and will only open up after the Dem convention, and even that might prove fleeting. Don't forget the racists.

Posted by: NHCt on June 9, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

I will bet that Obama will win in a close election; McCain and the Republicans will steal it with voter disenfranchisement and fraud; McCain will be sworn in as President in January 2009; and all sensible liberals will denounce talk of another stolen election as irresponsible conspiracy theorizing.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 9, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like there weren't enough highly disgruntled Hillary supporters to pull Obama down. Does that mean, he doesn't need to Veepify her to win in Nov?

PS: Let's try calling McCain "McNeoCon" or "McNeoCain." Check the following link for good scoop:
http://www.alternet.org/election08/87402/

Posted by: NB on June 9, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

I won't take that bet, because I trust the media to keep covering up Obama's sins.

Posted by: Al on June 9, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's narrative about his maverick status has generally gotten a pass from the press not just because they "like" him and said narrative but because he had the field to himself (now that there is a Democratic candidate as opposed two potentials) I wonder if increased attention and scrutiny isn't going to do him any favors. Familiarity may not breed contempt but possibly it breeds a more accurate picture. One can only hope (though not hold one's breath).

Posted by: ET on June 9, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

I recall that Kerry was significantly up on Bush in '04. I also believe Dukakis was way up on Bush through most of that election year.

Has anyone seen any info on the rate at which democrats tend to under perform compared to polling election day? We saw that Obama consistently reveived about 7% less votes than the exit polls predicted, specifically in states where he was challenged by demographics.

It would interesting if someone had data on this, and could put together a prediction of the type of "polling buffer" Obama would need to actually win this year.

Posted by: enozinho on June 9, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Good, the Bradley effect is about 3-4 points so he should win by a few all told.

Posted by: MNPundit on June 9, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I won't have any confidence in his election until I see pictures of him and "the Alien" at my supermarket checkout.

Posted by: jerry on June 9, 2008 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

jerry,
the Weekly World News has, sadly, ceased publication. No other paper has the nerve to show those pictures. Does this mean we're screwed?

Posted by: thersites on June 9, 2008 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Without the lying liar machine from shillary, Obama will do very well.

Gratefully, the dems no longer have a "divide and conquer" candidate playing the "great white hope" and the racist card.

We can win this election without the most ignorant, racist white voters (that tend to be regionally located in the Appalachian region).

Thank God clinton is now out - America is not NASCAR - we don't need 28 years of bush-clinton-bush-clinton.

Posted by: on June 9, 2008 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

I would take that bet as well. I think there will be bumps in the road for Obama.

More worrying, I actually agree with the Des Moines Register's David Yepsen for once--there's a real chance that McCain could win the electoral college even if he loses the popular vote to Obama:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080608/OPINION01/806080316/1166

Posted by: desmoinesdem on June 9, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous moron at 5:19 Without the lying liar machine from shillary, Obama will do very well.

Well, I'm glad that's settled. Certainly there won't be any lying from the Republican side. For a minute there, I thought racism might be a factor in the election but I guess that's just something the Clintons invented in between murdering people.

Y'know it's because of pinheads like you that I get embarrassed when people refer to me as an Obama fan.

Posted by: thersites the peace troll on June 9, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's numbers will trend like unemployment, while McCain's numbers will trend like new job creation.

Posted by: Brojo on June 9, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Does this mean we're screwed?"

We were screwed anyway. But now we'll never know about the collusion between the Aliens and our Presidents.

Posted by: jerry on June 9, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, little bear, after you disappeared from Benen's place I held out hope that you'd obtained employment, a friend and/or a hobby. Sadly, no.

Posted by: shortstop on June 9, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

thersites - its a shame, you should be embarrassed for being an idiot, but maybe in the company you keep, that is considered "normal".

Shillary thought she was entitled to the president and believed that she could whip up enough racist hate to make it happen.

She was RUSH LIMBAUGHS choice and built the final weeks of her campaign on KKKARL ROVE's lies (a mccain advisor).

These are not credentials to be a democrat - it is time we let the racist white fools (primarily in Appalachia region)vote for someone else.

Most Americans know that this nation was not founded to be a monarchy of 2 elite families: bush-clinton-bush-clinton.

Anyone stooooooopid enough to think otherwise should vote for a 3rd party - what the hell, they can vote for mccain.

And maybe they can go over to your stoooooopid little blog and brag about it.

Posted by: on June 9, 2008 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you just wish that the dems had a candidate that was promoted by rush limbaugh and kkkarl rove?

Posted by: on June 9, 2008 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK


Obama's not swift-boatable like the typical run of Democrats. He's not all about "placate people, don't screw up, and maybe I can elected."

As with the Reverend Wright ruckus, he has an amazing ability to turn an attack on him to his advantage.

See
http://hunter.dailykos.com/
("Why Clinton Lost")
for more along the above lines ...
"A strategy of pure caution is taken as an absolute, non-negotiable necessity, for a Democratic frontrunner ..."

The swiftboat torpedoes seem to deflect off him; the Republicans are going to have to learn a new strategy for dealing with a Democrat who doesn't go into a crouch covering their sensitive areas when trouble hits.

Posted by: TheWesson on June 9, 2008 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

You really need to work on your reading comprehension skills.

As it happens, I voted for Obama. But it's pinheads like you that embarrass me by association.

I happened to think Obama would be a better candidate. That does not make Hillary Clinton the antichrist, and if you think Limbaugh was promoting Hillary because he admires her, you must have slept through the 90's. Or maybe you were still in kindergarten at the time.

Posted by: thersites the peace troll on June 9, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and please point me to my stooopid little blog. I didn't know I had one but now that I know, I've got to get over there and block you, and anyone else who can't even think of a phony name, pronto.

Posted by: thersites the peace troll on June 9, 2008 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

What is REALLY embarrasing are the pinheads that think RUSH LIMBAUGH and KKKARL ROVE ought to be the ones that anoint a democratic president.

Bush is getting away with treason because the dems didn't want to push for 2 in a row. Bill was better than either bush, but he and shillary are actually responsible for creating the atmosphere that gave us dur chimpfurher.

But proclaim rush and kkkarl to be geniuses and "experts" in choosing democratic candidates.

Most of us know that is just BULLSH#T!

But you don't - pretend you are smarter if you like.

Posted by: on June 9, 2008 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

so stooooooopid to proclaim that rush limbaugh and kkkarl somehow had the "right" democratic candidate and that we should welcome those voters.

Posted by: on June 9, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

You're not arguing with me, you're arguing with the voices in your head. And I think you're losing.
Good night.

Posted by: thersites the peace troll on June 9, 2008 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with JJF about this not being a close election. Rasmussen also shows the public knows more about Obama than he might like. We'll see but I'm still saying 40 states for McCain.

Posted by: Mike K on June 9, 2008 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Utter hilarity and sadness in the discussion and all manner of narrow-mindedness from all sides, with, fortunately, a fair share of rational analysis.

With a little luck, by October Kevin will be able to do a entry on the election without some paranoid or sorehead taking a moment from the discussion to piss on the Clintons. Anyone got a betting line on that one?

I underestimated how well a friendly press corps could sell a pouting mumbler like George W. to the public as national leader. I watched him a couple of times way back and wouldn't have trusted him to make change for a Hershey bar with a penny sales tax.

So, how well can the press sell a sadly aging, ferociously ill-tempered right-wing socialite who thinks his social status allows him to lie about anything, anytime, on any topic?

Well, they might do a pretty good job of it. However, the bloom is off the rose, finally, in Reagan's Washington, and the national media might not cover for their drinking buddy McCain the way they did for Ronnie and the Georges. After all, some of them have actually seen the carnage in Iraq and a lot of them pay for their own gas.

Much depends on Obama handles the press, and he's done quite well so far. If McCain's facade cracks---and there is a political operation, finally, in place to break open his media shield---the voters could flow away from him like a worn out TV series. Way too many chances for him to Jump the Shark over the next few months.

If honest reporters and a sound Democratic political strategy do what they should be doing, Obama wins in a landside in the popular vote and McCain gets maybe a handful of die-hard conservative states.

Posted by: Berken on June 9, 2008 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

As I will continue to say through November - McCain is going to get annihilated. Obama is going to kick his geriatric ass so hard that the marsupial pouch that McCain is wearing on the side of his noggin may fly off!!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 9, 2008 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

No fair TCD. I had an oatmeal cookie in my mouth.

Posted by: keith g on June 9, 2008 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Mark my words from 2006

John McCain will never be President. He's ugly, old and short.

Posted by: enozinho on June 9, 2008 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain will never be President. He's ugly, old and short.

So are half of likely voters.

Posted by: Econobuzz on June 10, 2008 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

per a recent article on the issue, watch for Obama to win popular vote by 750,000-1.5mil votes and maybe lose the election via electoral college. His turnout in deep blue states will be enormous. And red states in the south will be closer than they were in '04 due to AA & young vote turnout. Some for western states.

Posted by: dave on June 10, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Put down the Obama Kool-Aid and think about this. He is already pretty much giving away FL and OH. PA is a question mark for him, as is WI and MO. His path to the presidency lies out west. In a year when Democrats should waltz to the White House, that's a big gamble. And I wouldn't bet on it.

Posted by: Mike on June 10, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain will never be President. He's ugly, old and short. Posted by: enozinho on June 9, 2008 at 11:10 PM

So was Nixon.

I bet McCain takes this election, in a mirror-image or some likeness to the 2000 and 2004 elections for the reason/s cited on below website:
http://www.votingmachinesprocon.org/timeline.htm

Please let me be wrong, I desperately and fully want to be wrong.

Posted by: Zit on June 10, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Don't let the republican spin machine work again , learn the truth
http://www.facebook.com/groups/edit.php?gid=19714771626&members=1&oid=19714771626&view=noreplies#/group.php?gid=19714771626

Posted by: izzo on June 10, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

If the process would stay positive, Obama would probably build a good lead. Unfortrunately, the fear factor creeps in. Political e-mails, self-styled political pundits on Fox and AM radio, as well as the Republicans will deliver fear filled messages about Obama. For example, they will play on our fears about terrorism and national security, as in the current propaganda about Obama's supposed naivete. If people believe this stuff, their fears may prevent them from seeing that Obama is a better leader. Being a better leader is not about being right or left. It's about wisdom, confidence, and the ability to listen well. It's also about holding a vision. Obama has this. McCain is a good man, but he doesn't have it.

Posted by: William Frank Diedrich on June 10, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Feb 2009 McCain:

"It tis better to run for President and lost, than to never have ran at all"

Posted by: RobertSeattle on June 10, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is already doing more than Kerry to win over red states. He is an excellent campaing strategist. McCain loses in a landslide.

Posted by: Brojo on June 10, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

If you dont pick Hillary for vp i dont think you will win the election. I know i wont vote for you.I dont think you can win without her.Jim W

Posted by: james wolfe on June 10, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

If you dont pick Hillary for vp i dont think you will win the election. I know i wont vote for you.I dont think you can win without her.Jim W

Posted by: james wolfe on June 10, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Mr. Obama:

As the contest for the presidency gets hotter the Republicans will argue that Reagans administration showed that tax cutting helps the economy. History shows that the statement is ridiculous. Reagan was a lousy president but very lucky; he definitely wasnt a good economist. You need to convince the country of the problems he left us.

Carter had problems. Following the Arab-Israel war of the seventies the Arabs placed an embargo on oil to the countries that had helped Israel; we then had long lines at the gas stations. The Arabs soon realized that they couldnt get the money they wanted that way, so they lifted the embargo and pushed the price of oil way up with a resulting increase in our cost of living. It resulted in stagflation but, thinking we had inflation, the Fed raised the interest rate not helping the stagflation. Its not the only mistake the Fed has made,

Reagan was lucky. Carter had taken the unpopular step of lowering the speed limit and many drivers were car-pooling, lowering our need for oil. He also took steps to have the companies develop cars with better mileage and to look for other sources of energy. It resulted in almost putting OPEC out of business, so there was a big reduction in the price of oil but it happened when Reagan was President, ending the inflation and making his low-tax policy look good.

Reagan had also reduced taxes, a very popular step. However, as Time Magazine reported on December 23, 1985, the country started to run a deficit and when Ronald Reagan penned his name on the Gramm-Rudman Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Reduction Control Act of 1985 last week, he did so without ceremony or cameras. Reagan, always wanting to be popular, also reversed many of Carters policies, ensuring future difficulties with oil.

When Bush became president in 2001 the economy started down as astute investors thought of what happened under the previous Bush and Reagan presidencies. Following Bushs tax cut, the Fed lowered the interest rates to make the economy look good. It did, for a while, as too many people followed the example set by the countrys profligacy.

We somehow have to get out of the hole Bush dug us into. The first step is to get rid of the tax cuts he gave the wealthy. Even some of the wealthy have proposed it.
Sidney Bertram
100 Lockewood Lane #450
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
Phone: 831 438 2117
E-mail: sidbertram@cruzio.com

Posted by: on June 10, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is Chauncey Gardener in the Peter Sellers movie, "Being There".

Posted by: Ted on June 10, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Republican vs. Democratic,
Taxing the American Dream with no-doze.
we are all sleep deprived to see the big picture!

Yes everyone is ready to point the finger, and who should pay for it by fines?
Set back to the 1950's where we all had good times and lifestyles. Republicans were for companies and Democrats ready to tax the rich to give to the poor.


Ok today we still have the same song. Long story short, look at Ireland when they follow the same song. They thought raise taxes to get out of debt. Well they change the that tune to fix the problem.


HOW THEY BECAME A PROFITABLE COUNTRY! They lifted the taxes on companies to let them become more competitive in global market and expand. IN TURN those companies had bigger profits to expand and profits to hire more people and pay for those employees health care and/or benefits. THAT meant more people working, and the working people base as a taxable table is larger then the companies, and meant less taxes to collect per person because less people needed handouts because more were mainly working.


BUT here in the USA we tax the companies looking for blood from a stone. IN turn those companies cut workers. Now Dem's tax those companies and actual workers to get funds to pay for non-workers and health care. Then the health boom Dem's continue to tax yet again. Then companies cut more workers and benefits. THATS even more people looking for handouts the DEM's promise to raise taxes to give to those which companies have no profit margins to hire or give benefits.


WAKE UP AMERICA, We had products to sell to other countries such as Cars, TV Electronics, Food, Etc..
WE ALLOWED DEM to go Tax companies right out of the USA.


FIX: We need to stop this tread. Relieve Company Taxes allow then to come back. Let those in the US get a break. It turn make it a law for those companies with profit/margins % the amount to health care and benefits.

We the USA lost touch with common sense as we lost our automotive industry, our Clothing Industry, our electronics industry!


Fore the past 20 years USA has started to lose the service industry. Now that corporations have been taxes so heavy they moved phone service industry to India just to keep a profit margin.


DEM's see a face value that taxes are a great short term fix, but year after year has chased out the American dream of even running your own business. chased the business sector right out of America.


Taxing people are only good if they have jobs, LET THE BURNED OF HEALTH CARE AND BENEFITS be-given back to the Companies profits. invite companies back into the USA and put Americans back to work.


BOTTOM LINE, Do you depend on your homeowner down the street to move your lawn, dress your kids and feed them, or pay your electric bill? NO


Either way it is ugly but everyone needs to face the facts. WE NEED TO DRILL and be more independent. EVEN if drilling oil gives us our own energy for the next 20-30 buffer till we mass produce new energy sources. We can only hope and dream as we get ripped off for the next 20-30years till the day hydrogen generators can be picked up at your local home depot or Lowe's.

We need a 20-30 year buffer to offset this energy costs.
WE AS AMERICANS NEED TO STAND TOGETHER and use this as a stepping stone to make it to CLEANER ENERGY!


As a Great Country we need to relearn HOW TO HELP OURSELVES all over again. The Amercain people need to stop short term tax fixes.


1.) If we lift taxes and fines on companies to expand, AND the more people they employee TO profit margins needs to go to health care & benefits.
2.) If this happens that means more people working getting benefits & help.
3.) If 1 and 2 are done means less money to collect in taxes BECAUSE of 1 and 2.
4) If 1-3 is done that means more US treasury can pay back the redline and put money towards new development rewards.

We all need to take back the America Dream individually and Business alike.

Posted by: Mike on June 11, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK
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