Thursday, May 08, 2008

Rove: Hillary Over McCain; McCain Over Obama

You may hate him or think he's sleazy or whatever, but you have to acknowledge that Karl Rove flat-out KNOWS his electoral politics. In The Wall Street Journal today, he handicaps the Electoral College (and, it turns out, he agrees with me):
... The Democrats' refusal to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations at their convention is an unresolved problem. If they insist on not seating these delegations, Democrats risk alienating voters in states with 44 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. And here Mr. Obama is at greater risk than Mrs. Clinton, especially in Florida. He trails John McCain badly in Sunshine State polls today, while Mrs. Clinton leads Mr. McCain there.

The primary has created a deep fissure in Democratic ranks: blue collar, less affluent, less educated voters versus the white wine crowd of academics and upscale professionals (along with blacks and young people). Mr. Obama runs behind Mrs. Clinton's numbers when matched against Mr. McCain in key industrial battleground states. Less than half of Mrs. Clinton's backers in Indiana and North Carolina say they would support Mr. Obama if he were the nominee. In the most recent Fox News poll, two-and-a-half times as many Democrats break for Mr. McCain (15%) as Republicans defect to Mrs. Clinton (6%) and nearly twice as many Democrats support Mr. McCain (22%) as Republicans back Mr. Obama (13%). These "McCainocrat" defections could hurt badly.

My analysis of individual state polls shows that today Mr. McCain would win 241 Electoral College votes to Mr. Obama's 217, with 80 votes in toss-up states where neither candidate has more than a 3% lead. Ironically, Mrs. Clinton now leads Mr. McCain with 251 electoral votes to his 203 with 84 in toss-up states.

The battlegrounds will look familiar. It will be the industrial heartland from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, minus Indiana (Republican) and Illinois (Democrat); the western edge of the Midwest from Minnesota south to Missouri; Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada in the Rocky Mountains; Florida; and New Hampshire.

Mr. Obama will argue he puts Virginia and North Carolina into play (doubtful)
[ED.: McCain wins big in Virginia and comforably in North Carolina - count on it.], and may make an attempt at winning one or two of Nebraska's electoral votes (it awards its electoral votes by congressional district). Mr. McCain will say he can put New Jersey and Delaware and part of Maine (it splits its vote like Nebraska) in play.

(emphasis added)

My Comments:
Rove appears to agree with me on

(1) Hillary being the stronger candidate against McCain, and

(2) Where the key battleground states will be (the majority of which play into Hillary's strengths).

If we're right, the Democrats appear to have nominated the wrong candidate. Obama could still win in November (although I think he'll lose to McCain by a comfortable margin), but Hillary would have been a likely slam dunk victory for the Dems.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Why North Carolina and Indiana Really Don't Mean That Much ...

Rich Lowry on Hillary the "Social Conservative" [UPDATED]

Obama Campaign Seeks to Close Family Gap [UPDATED]

Dems Are Beginning to Believe They Can't Beat John McCain [UPDATED]

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At 5/08/2008 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually think Mr. Obama would be a tougher opponent because he would win several states in the west that Mrs. Clinton could not. Yes, Mrs. Clinton would do better in most Eastern states, but better does not count if the states do not change hands.


At 5/09/2008 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karl Rove is the best in the business and his analysis is right on the money. This election may well be decided by Hispanic votes, and I think McCain will draw at least as well as Bush, mid-forties, while Obama in the primaries has shown weakness in this area. If Florida is safely in the McCain camp, and I think that is probably a given, that will free up the Republicans to fight in other states. I would target Wisconsin, Michigan and New Jersey.

At 5/09/2008 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are correct that Mr. McCain would do well with Hispanics in an Obama - McCain race, yes Florida is safe, but it should be safe anyway. We should also go after WI, MI and NJ. The first two states could be important, NJ would just be icing on the cake.


At 5/09/2008 9:51 AM, Blogger Terry said...

"Once the Republican attack machine gets done with Obama, the Swift Boat ads will look like public service announcements." Patrick J. Buchanan on MSNBC.

Jeremiah Wright, the "clinging to guns, religion, xenophobia" quote in San Francisco, and his wife just now discovering her patriotism will all resurface.

HRC's running for 2012 at this point. When McCain wins fairly handily in November, including taking the Great Lakes swath of Michigan, Ohio, and PA, 2/3 of which have been blue lately, she'll be able to say "See, I told you so," and the DNC will have no choice but to nominate her. She'll be coronated by March.

At 5/09/2008 11:30 AM, Anonymous BillyHW said...

Hillary with Obama as running mate would have been a slam dunk for the Democrats.

Isn't pride wonderful?


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