Sunday, April 20, 2008

Polling PA, debate debacle, and southern stategy

After six long weeks without a single contest in the race for the Democratic nomination, it's finally here: The Pennsylvania primary! So what's changed in a month and a half? Frankly, nothing at all. Hillary Clinton is sill on target to drop out sometime between this Wednesday (if Obama pulls off a victory in Pennsylvania) and no later than after the last primary on June 3.

Clinton has failed to accomplish any of the things she needed to in order to turn back the Obama tide. The superdelegates are still flocking to Obama rather than her. She has failed to convnice them, and the public as well, that she is the more electable candidate. Her disapproval numbers are rising. Right now, I'd say that the curtain will most likely fall in two weeks. Clinton will probably manage a small victory in Pennsylvania (prediction: a 6-point spread) but then go on to lose Indiana and North Carolina on May 6. If she tries to go on after failing in those two contests, she is going to look crazy. Time for her to bow out and rebuild her credibility.

So the big news this week was the Democratic debate on ABC, possibly destined to go down as the biggest disgrace in the history of television news media. To wit:
1. A debate with commercial breaks!
2. During the first hour, not one single question on the issues. Questions instead on Bittergate, Bosniagate, lapel pins and every other bit of trivial gossip the moderators could find. George Stephanopoulos even had the termerity to drop the Weather Underground bomb even though it had already been revealed that the question was a plant from Sean Hannity specifically designed to make Obama look bad. Hey, where was the question about Obama's bowling scores?
3. Hour two, we finally get to some issues, but all the questions are in a ridiculous "gotacha" style. Not "explain is your position on Iraq" but "Will you 100% guarantee to pull the troops out immediately?" Gibson asks Obama a dubious question on taxes, then refuses to let him answer.

I hope that Charles and George have the decency to resign or at least disappear for a while. On the upside, I think the fallout from this bomb is actually helping Barack, as he's now showing how well he can handle this kind of disgusting treatment. Furthermore, it's reinforcing one of the main points of his campaign: We need to talk about issues, not bullsh*t!

New topic: There continues to be every indication that a Democratic tidal wave is coming this fall down the ticket. The latest indicator of the coming disaster for Republicans comes in the form of this year's special Congressional elections. Democrats picked up Denny Hastert's strongly Republican seat last month, and it looks like there may be more takeovers on the way. Democrats are running strong in both districts in the South that have upcoming special elections, despite the fact that both are quite conservative: LA-6 (May 3), and MS-01 (May 13). And of course Democratic candidates are continuing to show great poll numbers for many of the conservative-leaning seats that will be open this fall because of the wave of Republican retirements. Whew! A record number of links in a blog post. Good night, and good luck.

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