not so fast

You know that conventional wisdom that this overwhelming Democratic turnout in the primary will lead to certain electoral success in November? Not so fast. The Washington Times found some researchers who insist that’s there’s no coorelation there. Jay Cost of Real Clear Politics says that, at best, the connection is unproven, and that the financial advantage Obama currently enjoys would have more significant impact on John McCain’s chances in November than the Democrat primary turnout numbers. I agree.

It’s not that the enthusiasm shown by the Democrats for their two candidates (but mostly for Obama) shouldn’t be a cause for concern for Republicans going into the general election in November.  What we have seen so far is that nothing is guaranteed for the Democrats, unless John McCain succeeds in completely alienating the rest of the conservatives who were resigned to voting for him with his stupid climate change nonsense.  I’m not ruling out that possibility, by the way.  McCain is trying very hard to separate himself from George W. Bush, and he might just succeed.  I can see how this would be a strategy his internal polling might suggest, but he won’t win with just Democrats and independents.  He still needs conservatives and other Republicans, even though he would like to pretend we don’t exist.

Obama will lose a significant amount of his appeal if he selects Hillary as VP.   She represents what has become the old politics.  It’s not 1992 anymore.  Many Obama supporters weren’t even paying attention during the Clinton years (with a few notable exceptions). He doesn’t need her, and she makes him less electable than he is now.  You can’t talk about the new politics and embrace a Washington insider like Hillary.  I know the Democrats want to end this process, but this isn’t the way to do it.  He can withstand the attacks that the Clintons have thrown out there.  She hasn’t put a glove on him, even with all this bad publicity he has gotten lately.  Obama can wait for the nomination.  He knows that he will eventually win it.

More disturbing for the Republicans and John McCain is that all these side issues that are affecting Obama will be old news by the time the election rolls around.  We need a better game plan than the Clintons had, and a candidate willing to make the case against Obama.  Is McCain that guy?  Stay tuned.

3 thoughts on “not so fast

  1. I’m not so certain about Democratic primary turnout not being a positive for the general. Of course it doesn’t equal victory, but it also doesn’t equal defeat. However, I absolutely love this line from the Washington Times article:

    “The DNC points to an estimated 3.5 million increase in voter registration, including voters who “are changing their party registration to participate in the Democratic primaries and caucuses,” as further evidence of the party’s growing strength.

    But Mr. Gans said, “I don’t trust that figure. I don’t know what it means in terms of population growth and a whole series of other things.”

    He doesn’t trust that figure? The DNC isn’t saying that 3.5 million have switched parties. It’s saying that 3.5 million have either switched parties or are new registrants. Given that turnout has tripled this primary, I would say that 3.5 million might be a low figure. I don’t think there’s been 3.5 million total vote in the Republican primaries 😉

    Historically, Dems have always voted in higher percentages than Republicans. There’s the old saying that Republicans don’t vote. They usually just sit home and complain. That might prove very true today. Nonetheless, Dems vote higher in primaries than Republicans, so of course there will be no correllation between primary turnout and general election victory. One reason it’s like comparing apples and oranges. They are two different elections with varying rules. Primary turnout doesn’t equal victory but it can be a huge positive and create momentum.

    Downplaying Democratic turnout would be the first thing I would do if I were a GOP strategist. I think the GOP’s best option right now is to make sure the primary numbers don’t create enough momentum to ward off a landslide loss in November. Downplaying record breaking turnout is where to start.

    I like this post though. Very thought provoking.

  2. Republicans might just stay home and complain this November, but it would be unwise to do so because there are many local races that are important to vote on, and we need all the Republicans we can get to blunt the damage of a President McCain or Obama. That’s assuming, of course, that some of those Republicans have a thicker skin and a more conservative bent than they are showing in Congress. I’m not hopeful in that department. We need new Republican leadership — folks that are willing to stand up to the Democrats and all their stupid proposals even if it makes them unpopular at all the cool Washington cocktail parties. If it were up to me, the current Congress would be blown up (figuratively, of course) and completely replaced with people who will actually do what we want them to do.

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