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Maybe Dion IS like Obama


 

Remember the Democrat’s crushing electoralcollege advantage? Buhbye.


 

Maybe Dion IS like Obama

  1. The lastest poll from Minnesota has Obama and McCain tied. Even during the Reagan years Minnesota voted Democrat. You have to go all the way back to the 1972 Nixon/Agnew ticket for a Republican win in that state.

    What’s going on?

  2. The Governor of Minnesota is a Republican, a popular one. Palin has caused an uptick in the small towns, but there is still a long time for the tide to wash out.

    Hey Paul: since you know everything, do you know of any site(s) that tracks ad spending in the Canadian election? I can’t seem to turn on TV without seeing a Conservative ad — they even had them on inserts during the Monza!

    How can the Tories keep within their limits if they spend like this throughout the campaign?

  3. I have thought comparisons between Obama and Dion were dumb because Obama has charisma and Dion doesn’t. However, if I look past that detail there are lots of similarities.

    The main reason, I think, that Obama and Dion aren’t doing well is that they are both intellectuals who don’t seem to enjoy the cut and thrust of politics that is necessary to win. They seem to treat elections as an intellectual exercise when it’s really a brawl to determine who the last man standing will be.

    Neither Obama or Dion have been tested in tough elections and they both come across as being as tough as wet noodles. Which is fine in normal life but it’s not what people are generally looking for in a leader.

  4. I don’t know everything, Anon. If I did I would be Ken Whyte. But at Tim Powers’ birthday party last night, someone said the Libs and Cons are simply running opposing ad strategies, with the Cons front-loading theirs and the Liberals preferring to ramp up. But much was said by many in that multi-partisan crowd that should not be held against them this morning.

  5. I’m sure we will see the libs advertising gloves come off very soon. On the message front, Stephane is showing that he can get the message out in simple form e.g., the six word green shift explanation.

  6. Underlying the results is this tectonic shift in the democratic discussion:

    the people no longer trust the press, but view their stories with scepticism and the increasing knowlege that they have an ideological bent that favours the left. The pollsters are actually starting to track this phenomenon and its quite revealing.

    Spend some time at the Newsbusters website. It’ll make your head spin.

    The end result: the media is overtly pushing Obama, (and passing on baseless rumors as “news” vis Palin, and before that McCain) and both they and Obama, are suffering for it. Funny, if you overlaid the NYT’s share prices over the last year, with Obama’s intrade share prices over the past month,

    they, like their agendas, would be identical.

    Now, I’m off to read that “hidden agenda” story about Harper (yes they’re actually still reporting that with a straight face).

  7. I also read somewhere that the Tories were front-loading, while the Liberals were gearing up.

    I suppose the NDP is following the Tory approach, since I’ve seen a lot of their ads, too.

    The Dion Liberal approach always seems to be: “Just you wait and see!”

    Well, they’ve procrastinated until the final half of an election campaign. Will the long wait have been worth it? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  8. If you look at how long it took the Conservatives in-out funding scheme to come under serious scrutiny (i.e. after the subsequent election, if at all) then you can see why they would ignore spending restrictions now for the very small price they would have to pay after having secured a majority government. What’s the worst that can happen?

    Who would seriously propose “ramping down” advertising as one approaches election day? They aren’t “front loading” anything.

  9. Brammer:

    “The six word Green Shift explanation”?

    You mean, “I will take all your money”?  ;-)

    Garth

  10. The Dion Liberal approach always seems to be: “Just you wait and see!”

    That’s how most sentient people respond to reality; as conditions change, reactions change.

    Not that I’m counting on the Liberals necessarily to finesse the situation all that successfully, but we’ll see.

  11. “the people no longer trust the press, but view their stories with scepticism and the increasing knowlege that they have an ideological bent that favours the left.” (from Kody)
    Kody, you can’t be serious? The media barely knows what “the left” is! The only two major national papers in this country are decidedly right wing (unless you think the Globe and the Post have secretly been taken over by Communist sleeper agents!). CTV is as right as they come! Some of the news outlets tend towards the Liberals but the Liberals aren’t left wing. Being left of the Tories is not left wing, it just isn’t extremely right wing. Hell, even the NDP is more of a mushy middle party than a left wing party these days. How many media outlets are leading the charge against globalization and the power of big business? With the exception of the CBC the media IS big business! Consequently they are anything but left wing since a left wing approach would be against their own interest. This Tory persecution complex really needs to stop at some point. Not everyone is out to get the Tories just because they have the gaul to question them and not everyone who questions the Tories is part of some vast left wing conspiracy.

  12. Ti-Guy, and here I thought that some “sentient” people actually try to establish the political narrative before the other guy does.

    But I guess your “sentient” approach has really worked out well for Dion for the last two years. Keep it up.

  13. “But I guess your “sentient” approach has really worked out well for Dion for the last two years. Keep it up.”

    So Dennis (Second Thots), am I to take from this that you are not sentient? Or would that be a lie?

  14. I’ve been following http://www.electoral-vote.com , which indeed flipped in McCain’s favour yesterday.

    Harper may have peaked too soon, but Obama most definitely did.

  15. Ti-Guy, and here I thought that some “sentient” people actually try to establish the political narrative before the other guy does.

    To do what exactly? Persuade, convince, compel or gull?

    If you’re going to rely on “narratives” to convince people you should probably think about evidence and good faith first.

  16. Garth,

    Touche.

    But it is still more edifying than “we’re screwed” :)

  17. So Dennis (Second Thots), am I to take from this that you are not sentient?

    He’s sentient. Or rather “sentient.”

    The narrative the ConBots establish is that the rest of us shmoes have to think of democratic politics like a politician does, and not like a citizen.

  18. Ti-Guy, I didn’t realize that “citizens” came on message boards to agitate against those who dare criticize the Liberal party.

    I mean, are you supposed to be fooling anyone? Just wondering.

  19. I mean, are you supposed to be fooling anyone? Just wondering.

    Fooling anyone about what? I’m not even a party member, Dennis. I’m just motivated by the alarming ignorance/unpleasantness of Conservatives, a party I was on the verge of voting for until Stephen Harper took over and CRAP-ified it.

  20. I’ll borrow a line from Paul Begala to sum up Obama and Dion’s issue:

    Begala, referring to the democrats:

    “We are the party of 12-point plans and 3-point losses”.

  21. I think everyone here has had a chance to take a swat or two at somebody else and, while I won’t enforce this, it would be swell if everyone either stood down or got back to discussing the Canadian and U.S. elections. kthanx

  22. Guess I haven’t been paying attention to the polls down yonder!

    Zogby has both Ohio and Florida for McCain! And yet Obama is still ahead. Looks like Virginia may be the Decider this time ’round.

    Still, I think the Palin thing has yet to bite the GOP in the lipstick. When it does I bet you’ll see NH, VA, maybe even FL (where the Alaskan schtick probably doesn’t resonate) trending Obama.

  23. Jack M

    From what I have read, people are saying Colorado is the state to watch. It doesn’t have a history of being a red or blue state, whereas Virginia is traditionally repub.

  24. Not to diminish the Palin Effect, but are the polls still reflecting McCain’s convention bounce?

  25. Thank you, pw. Again, I just find it curious that Dion wants to keep waiting to finally unveil his magical message that will erase the last two years of being defined.

    With Obama, on the other hand, I don’t know what he does now. He’s ran on a platform of being a different kind of politician, but now finds himself in a position of probably having to go on the attack. He oversold himself.

  26. jwl, I think you’re right historically about CO, but VA is a toss-up this election. Conceivably this is because of the DC suburbs and anti-Bush sentiment therein; but it’s also the most rational of the southern states, so it might be a “values” battleground, the issue on which both candidates are campaigning.

  27. Apparently, Obama is losing ground in Florida (Gore lost by just over 500 votes in 2000). Now, the question on US media is the Nader effect (Nader got 97,000 votes in Florida in 2000).

  28. kody wrote: the people no longer trust the press, but view their stories with scepticism and the increasing knowlege that they have an ideological bent that favours the left.

    The flipside of that is that liberals/Democrats have decided at least since the 2000 election (when media critic Bob Somerby coined the term “the war on Gore”) that the media is biased in favor of Republicans. It’s certainly hard to argue for a “liberal media” after much of the coverage in the past few years.

    I would say that McCain’s advantages at the moment have to do with winning the media war. They’ve recognized — they openly admit it — that they don’t really have any issues to run on (they were hoping to make the Iraq surge a winning issue but despite its success, it never got a lot of political traction with voters, who just want out of Iraq), so they’ve dedicated themselves to winning the media cycle. Wasting two days on “lipstick on a pig” was a net victory for McCain because it was two days spent not talking about issues.

    Also the campaign has been able to take advantage of a built-in structural advantage, which is that the media will rarely call out a politician for lying, instead saying that “some say” he or she is lying or saying that both parties are equally guilty. So Palin keeps using the line in her stump speech about opposing the “Bridge to Nowhere,” even though it’s false, because more people will hear the line than will read the reports that it’s false. The only way “lying” becomes an issue is if the opposing campaign creates a narrative that the media can feed into, so with Gore, the opposition worked hard to create the idea that he was a serial liar, and that became the narrative of the whole campaign, even though it was based on stuff he never said (like “I invented the internet”).

    The Obama campaign’s problem is that they are either unable or unwilling to play the media game. The McCain campaign understands that the media will eat up narratives, mockery, jokes about community organizers, etc.; they may get a few tut-tuts from pundits, but they’ll get the coverage they’re looking for. Not only isn’t the Obama campaign doing the same to McCain, but most Democrats, including Biden, keep talking about how good a guy McCain is and how he’s their friend, etc. They have this Dukakis/Gore/Kerry idea that they can just turn back discussion to “the issues” and it never works.

  29. “The issues” cover issues that one side thinks it can win — their opponents don’t have to play along. (And generally don’t.)

    ***

    Wells — told you so. (Well, actually, you were in the midst of telling your readers so at the time, too…)

    ***

    But before my side starts to crow too much — the debates lie ahead. Kerry made a comeback last time based on them, and Obama might too.

  30. “The issues” cover issues that one side thinks it can win — their opponents don’t have to play along. (And generally don’t.)

    This is true, but what’s unusual is that the McCain campaign doesn’t really seem to be trying to set up counter-issues. McCain’s campaign manager even said “this election is not about issues.”

    This is different from 1988, where Bush managed to pin Dukakis down on law-and-order issues (which is where the Willie Horton ad came in). The McCain campaign made a try of finding a winning issue on the surge, found it wasn’t really working, and instead decided to stop talking about anything specific at all. It works, too.

  31. “which is that the media will rarely call out a politician for lying”

    Jaime

    They didn’t call her out for lying because she isn’t lying. Clearly she has fudged the issue, which all pols do, but she did cancel it.

    I think the media is not getting into the issue very much because Obama/Biden voted for the bridge to nowhere twice and voted against a bill that proposed diverting bridge money to a Katrina fund instead.

    If you are looking for an example of msm not calling pols out for lying, have a look at Obama’s four different explanations, at last count, for his vote against the Born Alive Act.

  32. I have not seen too many successful responses to the ‘go negative to the press’ ie complain/rant about ‘lipstick on a pig’ or baldface lies on your opponents’ policies… By being forced to respond to the original statement/lie, it keeps the issue in the cycle. Is it the media’s job to dissect and inquire about the original statement instead of just repeating it? I understand the issues of deadline and competitive pressures, but isn’t it a fact that the Republicans and Conservatives have made the media machine a very successful part of their campaigning, by avoiding issues and creating brush fires. Not to say the media is completely compliant, but where are the examples of successful response to this type of ‘trick campaigning’?

  33. “The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows John McCain reaching the 50% level of support for the first time since Barack Obama wrapped up the Democratic Presidential Nomination. McCain retains a three-point advantage for the third straight day, 50% to 47%.”

    Blues Clairs says “Not to diminish the Palin Effect, but are the polls still reflecting McCain’s convention bounce?”

    Jeepers, that’s starting to be one heckuva long convention bounce.

    More probable analysis: “Obama’s rise has relied more on a bandwagon effect than on any substantive accomplishments on the part of the candidate. With the bandwagon unraveling, Obama’s standing in the polls could fall quickly.”

    That’s John Hinderaker’s view at Powerline and I think he’s right. This “bounce” ain’t coming down. It looks like the democrats will have to hope that John Paul Stevens lives as long as John McCain’s mom.

  34. What’s remarkable is how “community organizer” is now a vaunted job, that qualifies one to be president.

    It’s also coincidentally Obama’s only real substantive position he’s ever held in his life.

    Now don’t go asking about the actual results of this community organizer position – what these communities ended up becoming, or Obama’s ties to the Chicago underworld and dirty politicians during this period and as he entered the Illinois legislature(Ayers, Rezco),

    that sort of investigative journalism is reserved for subjects of far greater importance than the singular accomplishment touted by the man who wishes to be president – such as, say,

    Palin’s lunch expense accounts.

  35. Kody, don’t try to explain how the press bias actually helps Republicans.

    Just let the Dems lose another presidential election.

    ***

    Dan in van —

    Not to say the media is completely compliant, but where are the examples of successful response to this type of ‘trick campaigning’?

    See career of one “Clinton, William Jefferson”.

    Hell, if you want to see what Obama ought to be doing if he wanted to win, see WJC’s 2008 DNC speech.

    Or, in the funhouse mirror, see the 2006 campaign of one “Harper, Stephen Joseph”. He did it too — running as a conservative in a liberal country.

    The reason why the Republicans campaign the way they do — and the Liberals campaigned the way they did in ’04 and ’06 — is that they are trying to turn their ideological advantage into votes, even with a dissatisfied electorate.

  36. “The lastest poll from Minnesota has Obama and McCain tied. Even during the Reagan years Minnesota voted Democrat. You have to go all the way back to the 1972 Nixon/Agnew ticket for a Republican win in that state.”

    Your analysis of Minnesota is missing a few things. In 1976 and 1980, the Democratic VP nominee was from Minnesota, in 1984 the Democratic Presidential candidate was a Minnesotan.

    Secondly, Minnesota was a stronger state for the Democrats back when they were decidedly the party of the working class. The land o’ lakes has a lot of working class voters that have been increasingly wooed by Republican cultural appeals. Interestingly, Obama LEADS among older voters in Minnesota (I have seen this in a number of polls from Surveyusa), while McCain does better among baby boomers and generation X.

    Thirdly, the Republicans are at the peak of their convention bounce – a convention that was held in Minnesota. Kerry won Minnesota by 3.5 points, while losing the election by 2.5 points – so Minnesota is about 6 points more Democratic than most states. McCain’s convention bounce has him about 2-3 points ahead of Obama, so you would expect Obama’s lead to be about 3 points. SurveyUSA has it at 2, some less reputable pollster has it at 0 – both within margin of error of a 3-point lead for Obama, despite the effects of the convention being help in Minnesota.

    Oh and contrary to Anonymous, Tim Pawlenty is not a popular governor. He barely won re-election and has an approval rating of 52%, with 46% disapproving. That isn’t exactly overwhelming.
    http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=74d936b6-f238-4990-bd14-8df2b1cde73a

    A more likely impact stems from the senate race (the most expensive senate race this year), where people that would otherwise vote Democrat are turned off by some of Al Franken’s repugnant comments.

  37. “What’s remarkable is how “community organizer” is now a vaunted job, that qualifies one to be president.”

    No, what really qualifies one to be president is crashing a plane and spending 5 years in a POW camp.

  38. Zogby online polls are sham polls, Paul. Plenty of evidence you could have cited besides those shams.

  39. “No, what really qualifies one to be president is crashing a plane and spending 5 years in a POW camp.”

    Actually if you look at the former prisoners of war, most have done very well. Its a tough way to do it, but it is a character builder. You have stared into the abyss and you have been able to come back. Nothing, by way of comparison, seem scary anymore.

    I wouldn’t count Obama out, but he has exhibited some serious flaws as far as I am concerned. He seems so self-absorbed that he is not able to anticipate what others will do. I think thats why he is in trouble now.
    I also have a theory that coming from a significant minority group can be a major advantage. For example people from Quebec generally vote for a Quebecer, regardless of their political stripe. Therefore the Quebecer can win with less than half of the support from the rest of Canada. In the US, most minority groups will vote for Obama regardless. Therefore he has to win less than half of the rest of the population.

  40. During the primaries, the Clinton campaign sent out a detailed analysis via PowerPoint to all Democratic Senators and Members of Congress. It showed how poorly Obama was faring with key swing constituencies (he fabled “Reagan Democrats”, basically) and how well Hillary was doing with those groups. By then, of course, it was too late, as the momentum had swung so strongly to Obama that there was no stopping it. It would be interesting to go back and review that analysis, though, because I am betting it shows quite clearly the kinds of voters who have now migrated to McCain, just as the Clinton campaign predicted they would. Obama needs to have his Sister Soulja moment, and soon, or else he is going to be left with little more than the Dukakis coalition by the time this thing is over.

  41. http://www.electoral-vote.com doesn’t paint a pretty picture for Obama right now either. They have McCain ahead 257/247, with Pennsylvania (21 EV) and Virginia (13 EV) as statistical ties.

    If you let history be your guide, Virginia will almost certainly go to McCain. Pennsylvania tends to go Democrat (or at least it has in the last 4 elections).

    I note this because that would put McCain ahead by 2 EVs. Which if my math is correct makes Alaska’s 3 EVs crucial and explains McCain’s choice of Palin (that’s a joke).

  42. But note that Zogby still gives Obama a small lead, and this at the least advantageous time, just after the Republican convention and the surprise pick of Sarah Palin.

    Palin reminds me of BC’s Bill Vander Zalm in 1986. They are both devout Christians, pro-life, with dynamic personalities. Like Palin, Vander Zalm was an instant hit, but his popularity started to slide by the time the writs were returned. With Palin, it’s sliding even now as the tabloid media dine out on McCain’s gamble, and the serious media point out to serious voters that it’s a gamble at best.

    How are these polls going to look when a majority of voters find out that Palin fired two police chiefs, one as Mayor, the other as Gov? And her replacement chief at the state level had to quit within a month because of a sexual harassment scandal? Is that kind of thing really popular, even with the hard-core Republican base?

  43. I would love to see that Clinton campaign powerpoint. Link?

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