Tonight I watched the Democrat debate. Same old stuff. Blah, blah, blah, raise taxes...blah,blah...raise taxes only for the rich...blah, blah, unconditional immediate retreat from Iraq. But there was something that did catch my attention. It was a question directed at Hillary about Bill Richardson endorsing Obama. When he did this, Clinton told Richardson that Obama was unelectable. She didn't say why. The moderator asked her about this and Clinton backed away from the remark...a mistake in my mind. She is "clinging" to a fraction of a chance at this nomination and the only hope she has is to convince democrats that Obama is not electable. She missed an opportunity. I would have stood by the comments and reiterated his inexperience in foreign affairs and national defense. McCain is going to hammer him on these issues.
But the electability issue is intriguing, so I looked into it. I post this with little reservation since Obama has virtually wrapped up the nomination. So here goes.
Hillary may have some moronic ideas for America, and would certainly be a disaster for this country if she won, but she is very good at politics (not so much at debate). She played a central role in getting her husband elected twice, that in itself requires substantial talent. So when it comes to playing politics, she knows what she's doing. That's why I thought she may be on to something regarding Obama's electability.
When it comes to winning the presidency, nowadays it basically comes down to three states: Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. All the others are basically solidified as red or blue, with little fluctuation. History has shown that in order to win the White House, these three states are key, and winning the election means winning at least two out of three in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.
If you look at national polls, you basically see Obama with a slight lead in a head-to-head contest with McCain. The same is true for Hillary. But these polls mean little in the face of the electoral college, where states are the key. And the "big 3" show some early unfavorable numbers for Obama. Here is the head-to-head data based on a conglomerate of independent polls as provided by Real Clear Politics:
In Florida, McCain leads Obama by as much as 15 points. McCain and Clinton are virtually tied.
In Ohio, McCain leads Obama by as many as 8 points. Clinton polls higher by up to 9 points over McCain.
And in Pennsylvania, Obama holds a slim lead depending on which poll you look at while Clinton leads McCain by as many as 11 points.
Basically, Hillary is saying that more of her supporters will vote for McCain over Obama than Obama's supporters would over her, and the polls (albeit early polls) seem to support her claim. Yet, she fails to point this out effectively. As a result, her chance at the nomination is virtually gone and her only hope now is to accept a running mate position which may or may not happen. Whether this will keep Hillary's folks from defecting to McCain is yet another question.
So I think she has a point about Obama's electability and I also think we're seeing a problem with the democrat party as a whole. Americans don't respond well to socialism. They do respond to moderatism. McCain is a moderate conservative, Obama is a socialist. That in itself is enough to question his electability.