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View Diary: The problem with the "Working Class Voter" argument. (20 comments)

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  •  It's why I like Obama and I've never liked (1+ / 0-)
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    Clinton, long-term planning.

    Seriously, Jay Cost  put it perfectly in regards to the Clinton campaign

    Let's try a counterfactual thought experiment. Reduce Obama's pledged delegate lead by 139, so that he currently has a lead in pledged delegates of just 15. What would the superdelegates be doing now in response to the Wright controversy? How would they have reacted to his losses in Ohio and Pennsylvania? I imagine they'd be moving to Clinton, possibly in large numbers.

    But why 139 delegates? That is precisely the number of delegates he has netted from the caucuses, which have all been low-turnout affairs. That's a key point. Even in states where Obama held a demographic advantage - there were presumably enough Clinton supporters in the state to level the playing field. Kansas is a good example. Obama won Kansas by about 18,000 caucus votes - out of only 37,000 or so cast. This is a state that gave Bill Clinton 388,000 votes in 1996. Surely, she could have found another 18,000 Kansans to support her.

    So, why didn't she?

    The answer is simple. He prepared for the caucuses. She didn't. He was organized. She wasn't. This enabled Obama to rack up huge delegate victories, all of which occurred (at the time) under the radar. We were looking at California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, he netted 24 delegates in Minnesota, 26 delegates in Washington, 15 delegates in Colorado, 15 delegates in Idaho, 14 delegates in Kansas.

    I think his foresight to organize the caucus states has served him doubly well. Not only has it given him a large delegate lead compared to a modest popular vote lead - it has served as protection against political peril. My sense is that with Ohio, Pennsylvania, and then Wright - superdelegates would be flocking to Clinton if it were not for his caucus victories.

    Above all, this highlights a stark contrast between the Obama and Clinton campaigns. The Clinton campaign formulated a poor nomination strategy. When it fell to pieces, the campaign essentially began improvising. To this day, it lives week-to-week, one "do-or-die" primary after another. This has diminished its capacity to take advantage of political opportunities. The Obama campaign, on the other hand, formulated a superb nomination strategy, which it is still following even after 14 months of campaigning, and which has minimized the damage from a major political controversy.

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