Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Prospects at the Start of the Convention

The Democratic National Convention is getting underway with Obama leading by about one percent. The Republican strategy cycle after cycle is to look directly at a candidate's strongest attributes and go for the juggler by making a strength into a weakness. So they took John Kerry's pristine war service and made him look like a draft dodger, and this year, they are seeking to turn Obama's charisma into a liability. As the former chairman of the DNC, Don Fowler, told The New York Times:
What has happened is that Republicans — McCain specifically — have really twisted (Obama's) great charisma, this electric personality, to discredit his ability, his experience, his capacity, his judgment.
A spate of polls came out this week and serve as a baseline to understand just how close this race is:


Obama 47
McCain 47

The Washington Post

Obama 49%
McCain 45%

Fox News

Obama 42
McCain 39
Undecided 14

Wall Street Journal/NBC

Obama 45%
McCain 42%

New York Times/CBS

Obama 45%
McCain 42%


McCain 46%
Obama 41%


Obama 40
McCain 39

In one of my first posts on Clintonistas for Obama, I said I was entirely comfortable with Obama winning with 270 electoral votes if it came to that. George W. Bush has demonstrated the power of winning even when the win was inconsequential. As we start our convention in Denver, I am feeling confident but a little anxious, too.

There is a model that two scholars have developed to predict the winner of the election. The Washington Post reports that two scholars, Allan Lichtman, the historian, and Vladimir Keilis-Borok, the geophysicist, devised a model that looked at a series of variables present (and conversely, not present) in every election between 1860 and 1980. Based on the model, they have predicted correctly the outcome of each election from 1984 to the present. Called the Quake Model, it predicts the election this year of Barack Obama as president of the United States.

As we start our convention, all I want to tell our nominee is this:

Just win, baby!


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