June 16, 2008

Obama Campaign More or Less Concedes Ohio and Florida to McCain

Hatched by Dafydd

In a telling and fairly stunning series of conversations, Barack H. Obama's campaign mangler, David Plouffe, has been telling "donors and former supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton" that Obama can win without siezing either Ohio or Florida from the Republicans. Their new strategy hinges on capturing Virginia (13 electoral votes) or Georgia (15):

"You have a lot of ways to get to 270," Plouffe said. "Our goal is not to be reliant on one state on November 4th."

Plouffe has been pitching such a new approach to the electoral map in calls and meetings, according to several people who discussed the conversations on the condition of anonymity because they were meant to be private. Plouffe confirmed the descriptions in the interview.

Plouffe and his aides are weighing where to contest, and where chances are too slim to marshal a large effort. A win in Virginia (13 electoral votes) or Georgia (15 votes) could give Obama a shot if he, like Kerry, loses Ohio or Florida.

In 2004, George W. Bush beat John Kerry by 34 electoral votes (286 to 252); so Obama would have to flip at least 18 electoral votes to win cleanly, 270 to 268. If he flips exactly 17, the race goes to the House of Representatives -- which votes by delegation, one vote per state; Republicans currently control 21 state delegations, the Democrats control 27, and 2 are split; Obama would be almost certain to win if the candidates tie 269-269. Therefore, Obama must win a net 17 electoral votes worth of states that George W. Bush won in 2004 to take the election.

Flipping either Florida or Ohio would do the trick, but only if John McCain is unable to capture any of the states that went to John Kerry in 2004 -- a very big "if." Plouffe, however, appears to be skeptical that either of those states will flip: He calls them "competitive," but plans for victory without them -- a dead giveaway. As well, there really are several "blue" states ripe for the picking by McCain:

The presumed Democratic nominee's electoral math counts on holding onto the states Kerry won, among them Michigan (17 electoral votes), where Obama campaigns on Monday and Tuesday. Plouffe said most of the Kerry states should be reliable for Obama, but three currently look relatively competitive with Republican rival John McCain - Pennsylvania [21], Michigan and particularly New Hampshire [4].

Neither Virginia nor Georgia by itself would do the trick for Obama, since he needs to flip 17. Indeed, Plouffe is also eyeballing Colorado (9), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), Montana (3), Alaska (3), and North Dakota (3). But if McCain is running well in the center, these states will be very hard to steal from the GOP.

If McCain flips either Michigan (which went for Kerry by a scant 4%) or Pennsylvania (for Kerry by 2.5%), the race is probably over: Obama would have to flip Virginia, Georgia, and several other states -- a very unlikely scenario.

In his Southern strategy, Plouffe is relying on turning out new black voters to knock off one or more Dixie states:

The key, Plouffe told supporters, will be to register new black voters and new young voters in Virginia.

Likewise, Georgia has many unregistered black voters who could turn out in record numbers to support the first major-party nominee who is black, he argued. Plouffe said the campaign also will keep an eye on Mississippi and Louisiana as the race moves into the fall to see if new black voters could put them within reach.

But of course, the very quality of the nominee that would make him attractive to black voters in the South -- being an ultra-liberal senator who uses his race as a major campaign draw -- makes him correspondingly unattractive to white Southern voters, who will remember his deep connections to Jeremiah Wright and other black activist, anti-white demagogues.

All in all, I believe McCain has many more paths to victory than does Obama; and I also believe that if John McCain will finally take off the gloves and start fighting Obama in the center, this will not even be a close race:

  • McCain can make an excellent start by aggressively pushing to drill for oil everywhere that he has not already taken off the table -- which only includes the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the actual coastal waters of states that reject drilling.

    That still leaves the outer continental shelf on both oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Bakken shale-oil formation, and other shale-oil sites. He can also push for liquification of coal, natural gas, and continue his quest for more gasoline refineries and nuclear power plants... "Drill here, drill now, pay less." Surveys show that Americans now strongly favor drilling, drilling, and more drilling;

  • He can aggressively pursue a constitutional amendment to undo the horrible Supreme-Court decision last week in Boumediene and dare Obama and the Democrats to oppose it: "Obama and his Democratic friends think foreign terrorists fighting America deserve more rights than our own soldiers," he can argue;
  • He can hammer Obama on the staggering taxes he plans to raise, on Obama's complete indifference to gasoline prices, his refusal to visit Iraq or meet with Gen. Petraeus before yanking the troops out, his wildly liberal stances on abortion, same-sex marriage, and guns, and his complete ignorance of how most people in the United States live and worship;
  • And he can tie Obama more directly to the latter's prediction that the counterinsurgency strategy would be a complete failure and disaster: If we had followed Obama's strategy, we would have withdrawn from Iraq in defeat. Fortunately, we followed McCain's judgment... and we have pretty much won, with some mopping up left to do.

David Plouffe is right, but not quite the way he imagines, when he says:

"You have a lot of ways to get to 270," Plouffe said. "Our goal is not to be reliant on one state on November 4th."

If McCain gets ahead of the power curve on the issues listed above, I believe this will be a 9-point election... and we won't have to worry about this or that little state: McCain will take many states that Kerry held last election.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 16, 2008, at the time of 3:34 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/3076

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Obama Campaign More or Less Concedes Ohio and Florida to McCain:

» The McCainville Nine-Pointer from Big Lizards
Back in June, I wrote a post, Obama Campaign More or Less Concedes Ohio and Florida to McCain, in which I finished with an obscure reference that I think needs amplification: All in all, I believe McCain has many more... [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2008 6:30 AM


The following hissed in response by: MikeR

Frustrating business, Dafydd. As you say, I believe that McCain could make a very powerful case for moderates. But he is choosing not to; particularly on drilling for oil and on global warming, he is choosing to follow the liberal line, and I don't know why (aside from that he's not too conservative). Someone should be trying to talk to him about these two points; the arguments are really very strong, and I believe he could be swayed. Is there no communication between McCain's campaign and the main conservative movement?

The above hissed in response by: MikeR [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2008 7:19 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dishman

The Dems have done their best to set up the current situation with energy, from suppressing Nuclear to blocking drilling for oil.

I don't think it will work out quite the way they intended, though.

McCain has at least one card in his hand that isn't immediately obvious.

The above hissed in response by: Dishman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2008 10:17 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


McCain has at least one card in his hand that isn't immediately obvious.

Well don't leave us on tenderloins... drop the third shoe.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2008 1:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dishman

Sorry, not my card to play.

The above hissed in response by: Dishman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2008 4:17 PM

The following hissed in response by: AMR

While this is only anecdotal evidence of how voting will go, I recently talked to 5 seniors over the age of 70. 3 told me they had never voted for a Republican and are relatives. None will vote for Mr. Obama and this age group is reportedly the most consistent voters in the nation. A 6th person, a relative who is 87, has indicated she would vote only for Mrs. Clinton. I have yet to hear of a voter sample poll for this Democratic age group.

I have talked to a number of younger voters who say that they will not vote for Mr. Obama because he is a Moslem or was a terrorist; they just read too much garbage in the Internet. And these are people self-identified as Democrats who would have voted for Mrs. Clinton.

I was fearful of Mr. Obama winning and taking us for a ride into oblivion. I am now a bit more confident that he will not succeed.

The above hissed in response by: AMR [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2008 7:02 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)

(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)

Remember me unto the end of days?

© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved