Obama Landslide?

The U.K.’s independent has some interesting reporting from inside the Obama Team.

Insiders say that Mr Obama’s apparent calm through an unusually turbulent election season is because he believes that his strength among first time voters in several key states has been underestimated, both by the media and by the Republican Party.

Mr Obama has come under fire from within Democratic ranks over his message and his tactics. Critics say he has failed to connect with the blue-collar workers seen as crucial to winning the election, and too reluctant to make direct attacks on Mr McCain.

But his aides are convinced that he has a strong chance of winning no fewer than nine states won by George W.Bush in the closely contested 2000 election, including former Republican strongholds like North Carolina, Virginia and even Indiana, which have not voted Democrat for a generation.

David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, said last week that Obama had “a lot of opportunity” in states which Mr Bush won four years ago.

But in private briefings in Washington, a member of Mr Obama’s inner circle of policy advisers went much further in spelling out why the campaign’s working assumptions far exceed the expectations of independent observers.

“Public polling companies and the media have underestimated the scale of new Democratic voters registration in these states,” the campaign official told a friend. “We’re much stronger on the ground in Virginia and North Carolina than people realise. If we get out the vote this may not be close at all.”

I’ve been saying this for a while and John Zogby hinted at it last week. Nice to see the MSM (even if English) begin to pick up on it.

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0 Responses to Obama Landslide?

  1. Valerie Curl says:

    While Obama is winning amongst new and young voters, he still is lagging behind in winning over blue collar, likely voters.

    That’s not good. He has to get his message across better. He still comes across as a Professor rather than one of them.

    I hope he spends a great deal of time working on his debating skills so that he comes across less theoretical and more self-assured and definite.

    In addition, he needs to create an impression through his language and demeanor that he is one of them. That he understands them, grew up as one of them, and knows their problems. So far, he’s not been able to do that.

    I understand that his persona is not of the guy next door, but he needs to develop that side of his personality so that people feel comfortable with him, regardless of his intellectual superiority. Unfortunately people don’t vote for the smartest guy who ultimately will lead them towards a better future, they vote for the guy with whom they feel comfortable. The guy they’d invite over for a barbeque or have a beer with.

    It’s all about perception for many people.

  2. Rick Turner says:

    Too bad about those blue collar folks. I personally don’t want one of me as president. I’m a bit too nuts, I have a past with too many women, I’ve spent too many nights higher than a kite, and I’m too bad at paper work. And I know it. Why do all those Joe SixPacks want someone just like them to be president? That’s just what they and the rest of us do not need.

  3. Jason says:

    Rick, your comment is hilarious.

    I don’t see the benefit to arguing for a narrative that “Candidate X has a huge lead” or that “the race isn’t as close as people think.”

    Let’s say the media is keeping the race artificially close. So what? It’s not going to change the end result. Very few people (if any) vote for someone mainly because he or she is in the lead. Did it work for Hillary Clinton?

    If anything, a close race motivates people to volunteer and donate. It benefits the McCain campaign too, but I doubt more so.

    Getting excited about good poll numbers is as silly as getting depressed about bad poll numbers (remember 2 weeks ago)?

    Time and again, the Obama campaign has taken a long-term outlook to the campaign that has worked out well for them. I believe them when they say they they don’t put much into the day-to-day poll numbers. I think it’s the right approach to take.

  4. Seth says:

    It’s nice to hear rumors of wonderful turnout among first time voters in reddish states, but I’d hate to see any overconfidence from Obama’s team.

    Also, if these numbers were the source of Obama’s calm, that’s bad news. He needs — and appears to me to possess — grace under real pressure, not just illusory pressure.

  5. commonsguy says:

    @Ms. Curl:

    “In addition, he needs to create an impression through his language and demeanor that he is one of them.”

    And here you have hit upon one of the major problems with many voters: issues don’t matter, but “image is everything”. And, through your comment, you exacerbate this problem.

    It is utterly impossible for any political candidate to simultaneously be “one of them” to every possible group. It is difficult to be both a man and a woman. It is difficult to be both a Christian and a Jew. It is difficult to be both of Northern and Southern heritage. It is difficult to be both white and black and Hispanic and Asian and Native American and Native Hawaiian and a green one-eyed alien bent on the conquest of Earth. It is difficult to both have and have not used drugs…though President Clinton certainly tried.

    What you are telling Sen. Obama is that you want him to lie to America. You want him to appear to be “one of them” to whatever interest groups you feel are important, regardless of whether or not he truly is “one of them”. Monday, you claim it’s blue-collar likely voters. Tuesday, it will be Belgians.

    Guess what? Lots of us are tired of politicians lying to us, and we don’t take kindly to our fellow Americans telling politicians to lie.

    Why aren’t you telling those interest groups to pay attention to the issues and vote based upon what is best for them, their neighbors, and America, rather than voting for who lies and claims to be “one of them”?

    I’ll admit, your approach is expedient. It is much easier to convince one person to be a liar than to change millions of people’s behavior, so they quit watching Survivor and start thinking about what they need their government to look and work like. Of course, expediency got us into many a mess recently…

    “It’s all about perception for many people.”

    In more ways than one.

  6. len bullard says:

    The problem is ACORN. Obama is directly linked to an organization being pursued in court for voter registration fraud. That raises the spectre of Florida nationwide with voting challenges holding back any confirmation and a possible return to the Supreme Court.

    Second, (www.gov.mo.gov):
    “Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.”

    Item one is scary. Item two goes to the heart of what Valerie is saying. The shrill harrangues and the up front abuse of the legal system to silence critics can be parlayed into a blue collar rejection of Obama and item two can quickly remove any advantages of the registration drive.

    Trying to stuff support for ACORN into the bailout bill is another example of the arrogance of the Obama campaign.

  7. KC says:

    Per Len’s post, the second item is a case of the right wing getting their bloomers in a twist over a non-issue. The ‘truth squad’ has no intention of abusing government power. Use this combination of words for a useful search:
    Obama campaign truth squad Missouri Bob McCulloch insisted “That gets morphed by those”

    What I find surprising is how members of both the left and the right are finding ‘evidence’ of police state tactics. For example, Naomi Wolf’s recent blog entries. Is this is a new and disturbing trend (paranoia) or have I just not been paying attention? (I remember the paranoia of the early ’70s, but then, that was justified by reality.)

  8. commonsguy says:

    @Mr. Bullard:

    The site you link to (www.gov.mo.gov) is the partisan site of the current governor of Missouri. Neither the “statement” you quoted from, nor you, offer links to the “police state tactics” in question. You also fail to provide any citations for what ACORN is, or any evidence that ACORN is somehow related to the bailout bill.

    Heck, ACORN isn’t even mentioned in the bailout bill (at least the draft PDF of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 linked to off of PublicMarkup.org).

    Since you seem to prefer going fact-free and merely using partisan sound-bites, here’s one:

    “In the world of scandals, ACORN’s missteps don’t even register on the radar compared with the swindles perpetrated by top executives at Halliburton, Enron, WorldCom, Countrywide, and other major corporations who ripped off the government, stockholders, and consumers of billions of dollars.”

    (from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-atlas/acorn-under-the-microscop_b_112503.html)

  9. Roman says:


    “It’s all about perception for many people.”

    Is this actually arguable? The only change I’d make is to substitute “most” for many.

    Obama was selected and cultivated in large part because of – not in spite of, his “urban, progressive, cerebral” image, and how that image meshes with our current psyche. Despite all the nonsensical blather to the contrary, it’s his “image” not his “ideas” that matter to “most”.

    Although it’s been interesting to debate the accuracy of Obama’s image, what hasn’t been debatable is its magnetic effect (think magnetic poles), and to Ms. Curl’s point, it’s exactly what many supporters find so attractive and detractors find so repulsive. Of course, this only becomes newsworthy when the “repulsed” are the core constituency of the Democratic Party.

    Don’t misunderstand; I too think it’s a mistake for anyone, particularly those in public whose image is everything, to attempt to be all things to all people. It’s far more important to have strong core beliefs, and the ability to espouse and demonstrate those beliefs. Of course, this is only newsworthy, particularly for public figures like Obama, when core beliefs are not easily known, and/or when they contradict image.

    It’s reckless to dismiss the disaffection of the blue-collar vote. They are not a disgruntled interest group; they are “the” foundation of the Party. Make no mistake, an Obama loss will be attributed to his inability (unwillingness) to connect with this constituency. The knee jerks will shout racism. However, deeper analysis will show unwillingness by both the candidate and his constituents to bridge that chasm.

    Unfortunately, deeper analysis isn’t in the offing because the Obama campaign has dismissed the relevance of disaffected blue collar voters focusing instead on the “…underestimated (the) scale of new Democratic voters registration…”.

    These new guys better show up on Nov 4, because many disaffected blue collar voters will sit this one out or worse yet, they may cast a vote for the “old guy” out of spite.

  10. len says:

    Roman’s right. If the blue collars turn on the Democrats, Obama loses. I brought this up because it is highly likely the voter registrations will be protested.

    Pelosi’s speech was a good example of what happens when the extremes preach to the center. The electorate reject it even if their own house burns. As I’ve said before, there is a certain cussedness to the American electorate and two terms of Bush are the exemplar.

    When the Missouri governor makes an announcement like that, perceptions are affected. When it includes a list of prosecutors, beliefs are set.

    ACORN is indisputable. They are indicted in several states. The $140 million was targeted to them.

    I didn’t realize until Kucinich said it that it was Obama who did not want relief for mortgage holders in the bill which made it a straight up giveaway to Wall Street. I can’t fathom that.

  11. Brendan says:


    You are whistling past the graveyard, my friend. Check out Electoral-Vote.com and you will see it breaking for Obama more each passing day. He can win quite handily, if need be, without the ethnic geriatric voters of Ohio. McCain will be going to the gutter over the next 5 weeks but it won’t be enough to save him. It’s the Economy, Stupid! McCain is Dole 2.0

  12. Valerie Curl says:

    I believe you and/or Kucinich are wrong. What Obama wanted was a clean bill that had a real chance to quickly and easily pass with the House Republicans.

    To get a truly bipartisan bill that could pass easily, a lot of the middle class economic breaks had to be left out. The Republicans would never have let it pass.

    These are the guys/gals who are rewriting the bill right now to give more tax breaks to the wealthy by eliminating capital gains for 2 years and change the mark to market accounting rules to help the banks evaluate their assets at whatever value they think the assets should be.

    Since the Dems don’t have a huge majority in the House and wanted the Republicans to be equally responsible for whatever the public said afterwards, extreme left proposals had to be left out if the bill was going to pass with any Republican votes.

    As Obama said, it’s better to put out the fire first, then figure out who’s to blame and how to prevent another fire.

    While Obama is going up in the polls, he still needs those white blue collar voters in the upper MidWest and the retired white voters in FL. They still aren’t flocking to him. They’re still not comfortable with him…and he needs to win those states handily to break McCain.

    Remember the 2000 election when people voted against their own economic self interest for Bush? They voted for Bush because they felt more comfortable with him: he seemed to be one of them. The best line I heard was: “he’s a guy you could hang out and have a beer with.”

    There’s still a bunch of those people out there. They don’t vote with their heads or necessarily with their wallets but with their feelings. Yeah, stupidly enough, it’s a popularity contest too.

    And Obama needs to be more popular than McCain with blue collar Mid-Westerners and retired Floridians.

  13. Alex Bowles says:


    Have you seen this?


    Can’t say how much effect it will have in the Midwest, but they’re aiming to have Florida covered.

  14. Valerie Curl says:

    Alex: pretty bloody cool!

  15. Roman says:

    Ms. Curl:

    The 110th Congress consists of 235 Democrats, 199 Republicans, 0 independents and 1 vacant seat. Democrats have a 36 seat majority – more than enough to pass H.R. 3997 – Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

    Finger pointing and soap box demagoguery is a pointless waste of time. Raw partisan politics caused the bill to fail; it simply served both parties’ interests more for it to fail, than for it to have passed. The unfortunate truth is that Congress is ill equipped to handle an issue this complex – particularly with one week’s notice and just five weeks before a general election.


    This thread and “Slacker Test” dare to touch the campaign’s “third rail” – Obama’s race. Although not mentioned specifically, it’s there and needs to be discussed.

    The Obama campaign decided from the outset to address race by not addressing it. They put forth a black man, with a white voice, from a mixed marriage and expect the electorate “to get it”. Maybe it’s just me, but this is a breathtaking strategy – one which is based on a level of maturity and comfort not yet tested. Before the howling begins, I know he brings much more to the table, but for the moment, let’s just stay focused on race.

    Although the campaign hasn’t blinked, I’m growing increasingly concerned with supporters’ willingness to actually “walk the talk”. This concern intensified when I learned recently of the campaign’s decision to basically write off racially impaired blue collar workers while holding out for its burgeoning crop of ACORN “newbies”.

    Although 2008 isn’t 1955, racial tension remains a deadly disease in our country; for some it simmers well beneath the surface, for others it’s a part of daily life. Despite denials to the contrary, this tension isn’t confined to race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, education etc., the cancer lives, most just choose to ignore it.

    In the closing weeks of the campaign, I fear at least one “race” event is in the offing. How it’s handled will likely determine the outcome on Nov 4.

    For McCain, simply taking the high road should suffice (i.e. lower expectations). However, the Obama campaign must address it forcefully and forthrightly. “Addressing it, by not addressing it” will prompt wavering supporters to choose the Devil they know – regardless of their Obama campaign buttons, bumper stickers and yard signs.

    Perhaps a preemptive “Sister Souljah” moment is in order – better to pick your battleground than to have your adversary pick it for you.

  16. len bullard says:

    I read the stats, Brandon. I know how this is going. I’m concerned that Obama’s campaign and Obama are so willing to use intimidation and voter registration fraud. If he wins with this on the record, his term will be a lame duck from the day he is sworn in.

    If Obama has to cheat to win, we all lose. There is nothing great about a candidate that does that and when it becomes apparent, it is like what happened to Bush when the evangelicals realized they were had. True believers get mean fast.

    Valerie: Talk to Kucinich. I’m quoting not reciting. I think there is a lot more going on here than we know as of yet and it’s just starting to boil.

    Will it change the outcome? Unless something on the scale of a supernova goes off, no, Obama will win. The problem will be can he govern? This is why it matters how you win. Bush managed Bush I pretty handily, but by the time Bush II came about, the jig was up.

    So these reports about Acorn, his work on suing banks to force them to hand out subprime loans, his training camps for kids working in his campaigns, the long history of using intimidation, these concern me.

    I was a Democrat. I am not a Republican.

    Roman: Race. I’ve said as much as I can say about that. The sexism appears to be stronger and it is so evident from the left, I am appalled because I considered those folks my tribe. That said, my concern here is the witches brew of bad emotions being whipped up that will sap a winner in this election of any real strength to govern, and worse can happen. It may just be me, but ghosts of 1968 come visiting, and that was not a great time to be in politics or a major city.

  17. Alex Bowles says:


    It’s not just race, it’s class too, which is an even more unsettling topic for many, many people.

    If we lived in a country like England, where these divisions are far more rigid, clear cut, and rooted in distinctions that fall outside an individual’s abilities and choices, perhaps the topic wouldn’t make people feel so uneasy.

    But the subtlety, nuance and possibility for movement allowed by America’s system (if you want to call it that) makes it an entirely different creature here. Combined with an abiding, though totally discredited ideal of a classless society that was never a part of British consciousness (or that of any officially stratified society) it’s easy to see why this unease is so prevalent.

    Obama, simply by being black and Ivy League, calls attention to this area of discomfort. This is further complicated by the tangential, as opposed to direct connection he has with the cultural legacy of slavery in America, magnifying his aura of ‘otherness’ for people on both sides of traditional racial divides.

    So yeah, it’s a major gamble, and one that banks on an emerging, but still hazy vision of the future for the Democratic party. Hilliary’s big point was that this is not necessarily compatible with very established aspects of the Democratic party as it exists today, and that Obama’s entire campaign is really about risking a bird in the hand for two in the bush.

    She last that battle for now, but if McCain wins, you can expect that she’ll be the first one crowing ‘I told you so’. And she’ll have a point.

    And Obama can still loose.

    After all, a key difference between Obama and McCain is that the risks McCain takes seem to far less calculated, and totally unhedged. In many ways this makes McCain his own worst enemy. But it also makes him a very dangerous opponent.

    In a knife fight, the advantage tends to rest with whoever is crazier, and October is when the combat gets close, and hand to hand.

  18. Terry McCall says:

    Race huh. Makes me think of the VPs.

    McCain: old, and might keel over at any moment. That makes the Palin pick that much more… important? ridiculous? Enter adjective here.

    Obama: black.

    Yes, something that is always left unsaid, but is in the mind of every black American (and then some), is that it has long been projected that the first black president would be “elected on Friday, assassinated on Saturday, buried on Sunday”. Its a trope that is as old as painting the white house black.

    While the rational part of me decries this as grand posturing… the emotional part of me isn’t so sure. Makes the Biden>Hillary argument “stronger” as well.

    I’m just saying.

    PS: I agree that sexism is more pronounced in the current atmosphere though. And yes, it is ugly as all hell.

  19. Terry McCall says:


    Ah, you beat me to the punch. Class clashes are front & center these days, especially with the whole “Wall St.” vs. “Main St.” frame. I wonder if now is the time that America gets over itself and realizes that the classless society that we praise is (and always was) nothing but a myth. Of the -isms, America may be defined by racism, but this is only on top of the classism that truly binds and separates the people.

  20. Eric Karisa says:

    I wish NC and VA deliver the crown to Obama. It would be such a ‘freak’ act of nature that precisely the most rabid segregationist/confederate centers in the old South…like Mcain says, “if you live long enough, you might get to see great many surprises…”

  21. len says:

    That’s why I look at the us vs the rich republicans memes and shake my head. This is two powerful groups of the rich vs each other and unless we push them both, we wake up as pumpkins the day after the vote.

    Call it cynical, but even if/when Obama wins, I think there will be disappointments with his performance. It isn’t just about winning; it’s about governing and too many seem to think everyone will do the right thing. I’ve said since last year that who ever wins this thing has less than an even bet of two terms. Things are messy and the clean up won’t be fun.

    That said, you have to try so press on.

  22. spark240 says:

    Oh, it’s certain that there will be “disappointment” during, and following, Obama’s administration, because the “growth”-dependent economy is going to continue collapsing, and while he can and will do some things to ease the pain, nobody can really turn it around. The age of cheap energy is over, and far too much of our prosperity between VJ Day and 9/11 was built on that; the more recent period of cheap energy plus cheap credit was even less sustainable, and is even more emphatically over.

  23. Terry says:


    cynicism or apathy. You sound like the youth of last election (and this one too of course, but maybe not as much).
    That’s what’s crazy about Obama. He got me back into politricks. Got me thinking about hope and what not.

    Yeah, I know things ain’t nearly gonna be rosy as he makes em out to be. But at least he got me thinkin things might actually change this time.

    Well, I guess it doesn’t matter what they (leadership) say. Its what we (the people) do.

    Press on.

  24. Rick Turner says:

    Cheap green energy is about 25 to 50 years away. The break-even with where we are now is much closer…maybe 10 years. The best Obama can do is to pave the way to a decent future, but yes, it’s going to be cold outside for a while, so he’s inviting you to come on in his kitchen. Then roll up your sleeves and get to work.

  25. museincognito says:


    Certain green energy (for residential use) as they stand now have a break-even of about 5 years, I think. Not too bad considering prehistoric “normal” energy cost is continuing to rise.

    One of the biggest myths we are all going to have to contend with and break is that going green is expensive or far into the future. It really isn’t. There is a higher initial cost (that will drop with more implementation), sure, but it pays for itself after a relatively short time. In certain areas, a decent amount of energy could/can be created and sold to energy comps for profit. Imagine the electric company paying you every month! Nice… I’ll try to find some links to share.

    The cost is like what has happened with new tech like flat screens. The more that are bought, the more the price goes down.

  26. museincognito says:

    I should clarify that those costs are the difference between conventional energy and going green on new construction.

    But the costs are going to go down. Even for retrofitting.

    Big business is realizing the benefits to their bottom lines of doing so. Not to mention the marketing advantages.

  27. Rick Turner says:

    I was thinking more large scale, but yes, and I know folks who are producing more electricity than they are using right here in Santa Cruz in an old Victorian house…and they don’t shy away from living a normal electric life. They’re waiting for plug-in hybrid cars to be more available.

  28. museincognito says:

    Gotta start somewhere. 😉 It much closer to 10 years scale-wise, I’m thinking.

    (rolling up sleeves…..)

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