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These Voters

October 11th, 2008

During the end of the Democratic Primary, as Obama was narrowly loosing states to Hillary Clinton after a series of victories that put him so far in the lead it was virtually impossible for Clinton to catch up, the talking heads had a lot of fun declaring Obama was having difficulties with these voters. These voters were generally poor working white voters in West Virgina, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, but sometimes these voters referred to women, seemingly, in general. The “proof” behind these assertions was that Clinton had done better in those demographics, often by as much as 10 whole points! And so the conventional wisdom went that someone who supported Clinton must not like Obama… and thus electoral doom awaited him come the general election.

Here we are, less than a month away from November 4th, and Obama is leading nearly every contested state and in every demographic–except racists and the deeply conservative–and is on his way to an electoral landslide of 340+. Obviously all these voters didn’t end up having as many reservations about Obama as original prognosticated. Could it have been these voters just generally liked Clinton more, but in a race between Obama and McCain there really is no contest? Did anyone actually expect those traditional democratic voters to switch party? Honestly?

What strikes me is that for all the punditry’s willingness to advise the Obama campaign about these voters, you don’t ever hear similar advice directed at the McCain campaign? Where are the commentators mentioning that Obama has a mortal lock on voters with a college education and that McCain just isn’t connecting with smart people? Or that Obama has a huge lead among those worried about the economy, implying McCain doesn’t resonate with working people? How about his inability to persuade those who live by major bodies of water? (McCain’s message just isn’t hitting home with people who understand what it means to be really wet!) Why isn’t anyone being so blatantly condescending to McCain as was so in vogue with Obama just three months ago?

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