Reversal of Fortune?

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nocountryforoldmen3.jpg
I just saw No Country for Old Men. Perhaps Hillary and Obama should flip a coin?
She now leads him in a new Gallup poll — and McCain polls at the moment beating either Clinton or Obama, though the lead McCain has over Clinton is statistically insignificant.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

23 comments on “Reversal of Fortune?

  1. Tahoe Editor says:

    Fvck the polls — let the people keep VOTING.

    Reply

  2. Chesire11 says:

    POA, although I often disagree with your posts, I generally find them to be to be among the more interesting contributions to this site. Personally, I think your outlook is a bit hyperbolic but I can readily understand how that could happen to any rational person after being subject to almost eight years of misrule by a cabal of self-righteous, absolutist gangsters.
    However, I can assure you that I am neither gullible, nor ignorant and would appreciate it if you would constrain your responses to the points I made and refrain from personal attack. Whether I am right or wrong, it is my considered opinion that neither Senator Obama nor Senator Clinton would have made the same disastrous decisions that have characterized the past eight years of war, neglect and torture.
    Is either one an ideal leader? Probably not. Are they both beholden to corporate America? Probably so, but the Bush presidency has been so corrupt, venal, incompetent and dictatorial as to be unique in American history. For all of it’s many fault (chief of which I count it’s acquiescence to Bush’s will), Bush has certainly established to any rational observer that Nader was wrong to argue that the Democratic nominee and party were the same as Bush the Dimmer and the Republican syndicate. Neither Obama nor Clinton are perfect, but at this point, I’ll happily settle for “not a war criminal” and “not a drooling idiot” – and that will represent a profound improvement over what we have now.

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  3. Bill R. says:

    It is notable how people cherry pick their polls to advocate for their candidate. That said, as a former volunteer in the Bill Clinton campaign in ’92 I recall about this stage he was running about 25% in GE matchups. All of these grandiose certainties about electability all run pretty hollow. And not to be forgotten is the huge lead in GE matchups that Dukakis had in 1988 against Bush I.

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  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The two candidates are clearly different from the gangsters currently running our country (mostly into the ground), therefore there is little need to differentiate themselves from Bush. The voters know that either candidate will represent a profound break from the policies and behaviors of the current administration.”
    Like I said, “a gullible and ignorant populace”. Thanks for underscoring my point.

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  5. Will Bower says:

    Arthur. As it will be for McCain in November.

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  6. arthurdecco says:

    Nonsense, Will Bower. Nonsense. If the media approved, a monkey would be “electable” in Murka.

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  7. Will Bower says:

    Chesire. In other elections, I would agree with you. However, I’m one of those people who thinks that Obama was made unelectable this past week.

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  8. Chesire11 says:

    Will, if there were a way to accurately measure how each candidate would perform or would be likely to perform against McCain in the fall, I would be in wholehearted agreement with you. Unfortunately, however, polls taken more than a couple of weeks out, much less prior to the nominating conventions are little more than exercises in fortunetelling. Not only are there far too many variables (both known and unknown) for which to control, but aside from partisans and party activists, most Americans haven’t even begun to form opinions on who deserves their vote.
    Deciding which candidate to support based upon such wildly unreliable predictors really would be the equivalent of deciding things by the toss of a coin.

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  9. Chicagoan says:

    God. Seriously, who cares? None of these three dwarves are remotely equal to the challenges facing the next president.
    Influential people like Steve should be focused on trying to shape the bureaucracy, which is going to have to undergo a massive purge of Monica Goodling-types that will cripple the ability of the federal government to function on a day-today level at the very time the country needs it to work at its best. Forget about which flavor of unqualified senator takes the White House; work towards making sure that monsters like Holbrooke, the butcher of East Timor, don’t get to staff the policy apparatus with their servile flunkies.
    It’s too late, in other words, to hope for a good outcome. We’re in for another four or eight years of trying to mitigate the damage. Sadly these four or eight years will see a collapse of American power different from the collapse of the USSR in degree, not kind.

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  10. Bartolo says:

    McCain appears to lead the two Dems among independants. That would seem to sustain the idea that it is too early for reliable polls for that group. By my definition an independant should be smart enough to reject any third Bush term.

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  11. Carroll says:

    BTW…did anyone see the news clip of McCain in Iraq with Lieberman?
    McCain said Iran was taking in ALQ wannabees and training them and returning them to Iraq. Then Lieberman whispered something in McCain’s ear and McCain corrected himself and said he meant to say Iran was training radicals.
    I serously question McCain’s mental faculties. It looks like Lieberman is McCains “handler”..his trip to Iraq with him and his trip to Britain with McCain for a fund raiser Lieberman set up with Rothchild. The bomb,bomb Iran crowd wants McWar elected badly.
    This country and our politicans have gone from weird to weirder. Orwellington, DC has been tottering on the edge of a psychotic breakdown for years, looks like it is almost complete now.

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  12. Will Bower says:

    A few of the posters here are saying that it’s too soon to look at such polls.
    However, we are in the nomination process right *now*… which means we -have- to look at such polls now, -before- we nominate the candidates we’ll be sending into the general. We can’t simpy wait-and-see.
    And as McCain’s chances in November re: Iraq… the war didn’t seem to hurt -Bush- much in ’04.

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  13. Mr.Murder says:

    Heads Clinton wins. Tails Obama loses.
    You call it, friend-o!

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  14. Carroll says:

    McCain is leading Hillary and Obama?
    Huuumm…I don’t think I will put much stock in Gallup’s polls when all the polls on the Iraq war show 70% of the public firmly opposed to the Iraq war ans wanting out now….
    And we are suppose to believe that McWar is leading in popularity?…that the 70% of the nation who wants out of Iraq also wants to elect a guy who wants to continue it for a hundred years? And oh yea..bomb Iran also?
    I don’t think so.

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  15. leo says:

    Ha, Hillary hadn’t lead McCain and Obama since the New Year holidays… and has yet to lead the Democratic race for even a day in delegates, states, and popular votes.
    Now thanks to her dirty kitchen sink Hillary’s done enough damage to claim that she’s the true leader (depsite still losing in delegates, states, and popular votes).
    The Clinton campaign is entirely about dishonestly misleading the public and destroying a fellow Democrat, that’s leadership?

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  16. Chesire11 says:

    I agree with you POA that the crimes of the current administration are legion and deserve a great deal of attention. We part ways over your pessimistic view of the democratic nomination race and it’s effect upon the eventual nominee.
    The two candidates are clearly different from the gangsters currently running our country (mostly into the ground), therefore there is little need to differentiate themselves from Bush. The voters know that either candidate will represent a profound break from the policies and behaviors of the current administration. At this stage of the campaign, they need to differentiate themselves from each other and that is precisely what they are doing. It’s not pretty, but it will have an inoculating effect on the eventual the nominee.
    The whole Reverend Wright saga is a case in point. The most important political effect of Obama’s “Imperfect Union” speech wasn’t to persuade voters that he can still be trusted, but to inoculate the media against Republican attempts to use Wright against him if he ends up winning the nomination. Most voters heard only snippets of the speech, but members of the political press corps heard and read the things and have been swooning over it. Come November, Wright’s over-the-top antics will get no traction in the media both because it is old news and because Obama’s brilliant response to it effectively won the MSM over to his side on the matter. Like McCain, Obama understands the need to court the media first and that’s precisely what he did in Philadelphia on Monday.
    Whichever candidate gets the party’s nod will have plenty of time to tie McCain to Bush and his cronies. The advantage, I believe, still lies firmly with the Dems in this race.

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  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Obama and Hillary, in their refusal to directly confront the daily crimes and malfeasance of this Administration, are going to bicker themselves right out of the race, arguing over horseshit and bird droppings.
    Meanwhile, this pathetic buffoon McCain gains in stature, and may well be the ultimate beneficiary of Obama and Hillary’s embarrasing display of petty animous.
    Obama is history, for the highly competent RW swiftboating machine is shifting gears, and will soon go into overdrive. The issue of “Wright” has just begun, and you can bet that even more “questionable” associations from Obama’s past will soon be paraded before the gullible and ignorant general populace. And whatever chinks in Obama’s armor the RW misses, you can bet this vicious wolverine Hillary will root them out.
    Cruise on over to TPMMuckraker, and just ponder the sheer scope and volume of the treasure chest of ammunition that Obama and Hillary could be using against this treasonous and criminal RW Washington machine. Yet we see them pulling fingernails and bitch-slapping each other into irrelevance.
    I don’t know about you folks, for it seems many of you have bought into this carnival of clowns and their endless rows of sideshows and clinging freaks, but I have NEVER been so turned off by a presidential roster. These three candidates, and their irrelevant and petty bickering, while surrounded by epic issues and dire national emergencies, are a sad statement on the state of the union.
    We’re toast.

    Reply

  18. bob h says:

    She seems on her way to a big win in PA, and is also
    closing the gap in NC. My sense is that Obama is losing momentum over the pastor flap, and I think the dilemma the superdelegates will face is whether to go with a candidate whose momentum is dissipated and who seems very vulnerable to racial Swift-Boating thanks to his carelessness about the company he keeps.
    A McCain Presidency would probably be a disaster, and he might not survive a whole term. Hillary could always plan to try again in 2012.

    Reply

  19. Dan Kervick says:

    Right now, I don’t think we can put a lot of stock in the individual head-to-heads, because of the asymmetrical situation between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Republicans have a nominee and the Democrats don’t.
    At the current point in time, with tensions running very high between Clinton and Obama supporters, a certain percentage of Clinton supporters will, when polled about their preferences in a McCain-Obama head-to-head race, answer as either uncommitted or leaning to McCain. Similarly, a certain percentage of Obama supporters will, when polled about their preferences in a McCain-Clinton head-to-head race, answer as either uncommitted or leaning to McCain.
    These answers may reflect the interviewees actual present feelings, or they may be only strategic answers designed to make their favored candidate’s Democratic opponent look weak in the polls. Either way, they are in large measure temporary.
    Once the Democrats have a nominee, I expect that nominee will immediately pick up 6 or 7 points in these national polls, and the head-to-head question concerning the two nominees will come to match the results of the generic Republican-Democrat question, in which all polls show a generic Democrat leading a generic republican.
    I’m very confident about the chances of either of the Democrats against McCain. A large part of McCain’s appeal is based on his supposed foreign policy experience. But I believe that over the course of the campaign, McCain is going to be progressively unmasked as lacking in-depth understanding of contemporary global trends, and deficient in essential general knowledge about major parts of the world. The Iran-Al Qaeda matters that came up yesterday are just the tip of the iceberg. In the end, McCain is like Bush – a reflexive and hawkishly inclined ideologue, with a crude and misguided worldview rooted in deficient knowledge. The public is divided about many things. But about two thirds of them are certain that they don’t want another Bush.

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  20. Chesire11 says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, polls this far in advance of the general election are about as meaningful as a fortune cookie.
    John McCain has wrapped up his party’s nomination and is engaged in shoring up his support in preparation for the general election. Obama and Clinton are still engaged in hand-to hand combat in which every blemish is highlighted and every virtue questioned. Comparing candidates in such different stages of the election process is comparing apples to oranges.
    Also, we have eight months until the general election with any number of attack ads, gaffes, media obsessions and scandals nobody has even anticipated yet (two weeks ago, who had even heard of Reverend Wright?), that have the potential to completely reshape the contest.
    Finally, most Americans simply have not even begun to consider for whom they will vote in the fall. Most people couldn’t tell you what they plan to have for breakfast next Wednesday morning, much less for whom they will vote in eight months!

    Reply

  21. jim miller says:

    Steve,
    Thanks for your insider views on “the horserace” it add so much to the discussion…As long as we are talking numbers please acknowledge that HRC has been eliminated from winning the pledged delegate race…the mutually chosen litmus…
    Also a courageous person would want to understand the role of the “southern strategy”, a 21st century version, on this electoral cycle….what say you?

    Reply

  22. Will Bower says:

    Bill. That’s not to say that MI and FL will not be represented in the end… and in a way that still favors Clinton.
    If after the June contests are over there is a way to spin it that Clinton has won -some- version of the popular vote, the Super Delegates will have the moral authority to break in her favor… which they will most likely do if they see that the Obama brand is in jeopardy.
    I say this with all due respect to my Obaman friends, but they need to -really- ask themselves if he still has a chance against McCain in Ohio, Missouri, Florida, and the like.

    Reply

  23. Bill R. says:

    If you are going to go with polls, you need to cite them all, Steve. Rasmussen tracking, NY Times/CBS, and CNN all have Obama up, post Wright. CBS has Obama leading McCain as well. Obama does better than Clinton in match-ups in the GE in major states. Obama’s taken a hit on the Wright affair, but the dynamics of the race and the numbers are not different. According to the Times article by Nagourney today, for Clinton “the narrow path to the nomination just got narrower.” And the hope for lopsided victories in MI and Fl do-overs is out, the legislatures are not going for do-overs.

    Reply

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