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When it comes to predictions and analysis, if you've seen one presidential election, you've seen one presidential election. Each has its own unique characteristics and circumstances. Nonetheless, 1980 comes to mind to a lot of observers across the political spectrum as the closest parallel to 2008.

While I have mentioned the parallel with 1980 before, I am not the first and certainly I am not the only observer to connect the two.

To many experts, the 2008 race is starting to look like the election of 1980 between President Jimmy Carter and his Republican challenger Ronald Reagan.

Analyst Norman Ornstein says like this year, voters were in a sour mood in 1980 and looking for change, but unsure about putting Reagan in the White House.

"And I believe fundamentally that in 1980, the election was all about Ronald Reagan," he said. "People did not want another four years of Jimmy Carter. But they were not clear or comfortable for much of the way with whether Reagan got over the bar of acceptability to be commander in chief and president of the United States."

Add to that David Keene, Carolyn Lochhead, EJ Dionne, mybarackobama.com and a host of others. So, with apologies, here is a viable alternate future Wikipedia entry:

Through the 2000s, the United States underwent a wrenching period of low economic growth, rising inflation and interest rates, and intermittent energy crises. Added to this was a sense of malaise that in both foreign and domestic affairs the nation was headed downward. By the beginning of the election season, the prolonged Iraq war and parallel economic downturn had sharpened public perceptions of a national crisis.

Similar to how Herbert Hoover had been blamed for the Great Depression in 1932, George W. Bush was blamed for most of the nation's woes, especially the Iraq War, which was fought over false pretenses of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction. Many Americans saw Bush as an inept leader who had failed to solve the worsening economic problems at home, and had made the US unpopular abroad, and the GOP candidate John McCain inherited the mantle of the unpopular Republican Party from Bush. McCain, after defeating Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination, attacked Barack Obama, the Democrat, as a dangerous left-wing radical. For his part, Obama, the charismatic Senator from Illinois, repeatedly ridiculed McCain, and won a decisive victory; in the simultaneous Congressional elections, Democrats won functional control of the United States Senate for the first time in 14 years. This win marked the beginning of the "Obama Revolution."

Sounds plausible enough as a possible future history. But before moving on, take a look at the original:

Through the 1970s, the United States underwent a wrenching period of low economic growth, high inflation and interest rates, and intermittent energy crises. Added to this was a sense of malaise that in both foreign and domestic affairs the nation was headed downward. By the beginning of the election season, the prolonged Iran hostage crisis had sharpened public perceptions of a national crisis.[1]

Similar to how Herbert Hoover had been blamed for the Great Depression in 1932, Jimmy Carter was blamed for most of the nation's woes, especially the Iran hostage crisis, in which the followers of the Ayatollah Khomeni publicly humiliated the US by burning American flags and chanting anti-American slogans, parading the captured American hostages in public, and burning effigies of President Carter. Many Americans saw Carter as an inept leader who had failed to solve the worsening economic problems at home, and had made the US look weak abroad. Carter, after defeating Ted Kennedy for the Democratic nomination, attacked Reagan as a dangerous right-wing radical. For his part, Reagan, the charismatic former Governor of California, repeatedly ridiculed Carter, and won a decisive victory; in the simultaneous Congressional elections, Republicans won control of the United States Senate for the first time in 28 years. This win marked the beginning of the "Reagan Revolution."

The parallels to 1980 are downright spooky. Take current polling, for example.

The most important event of the entire 1980 presidential campaign was the second presidential debate, which was held one week to the day before the election (October 28). Over the course of two hours, the entire race changed drastically, and what was considered an extremely tight race with the President slightly ahead became a comfortable Republican victory.

Nothing of that magnitude has happened since in any televised confrontations.

What happened? Carter, with a slight lead in the polls, sought and failed to put Reagan away on the issues.

Reagan's demeanor, on the other hand, was sunny and tolerant. When Carter made a reference to the governor's record, voting against Medicare and Social Security benefits, he replied with a cheerful "There you go again."

In his closing remarks, Reagan asked a simple yet devastating question that would resonate with voters in 1980 and beyond: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" According to Carter' Press Secretary Jody Powell's memoirs, internal tracking polls showed Carter's tiny lead turning into a major Reagan landslide over the final weekend.

While a boffo debate performance by Obama cannot be guaranteed or even assumed, McCain is setting up the confrontation as his experience vs. Obama's lightweight resume. Any McCain gaffes (he's very prone to them) combined with seriousness of purpose on Obama's part might well satisfy voters that the 'risky' choice isn't so risky.

For another parallel see Wikipedia again:

The 1980 election is considered by some to be a realigning election.

One doesn't have to go back to 1932 to find elements of realignment. Just look at how many and how often articles and posts invoke the ghost of Ronald (ketchup is a vegetable) Reagan. In 1980, the birth of the Reagan Democrat left the parties more polarized than before the election. Given the huge Senate and House Democratic momentum, the potential is there for a realignment every bit as definitive as 1980. In fact, 2008 might be the year when some of the more disastrous Reagan era effects on domestic and foreign policy, such as the structural GOP advantage on national security, might finally be undone.

Obviously, there are differences between 2008 and 1980. The average cost of a new house was $68,700.00  and the cost of a gallon of gas was $1.19. Also, Mcain isn't an incumbent (though he's a great stand-in for one... anyone who thinks he won't act like George Bush should watch him run Bush's third campaign). And most importantly, Barack Obama is not Ronald Reagan (thank God for that - Reagan was incompetent by the time he left the WH, which the revisionists will carefully scrub from the history books, and Iran-contra was a stain on this country's honor.)

Of course, the down side of looking like 1980 is that we will have to deal with all the polls without hyperventilating over each one. And, we won't find out how far the parallel goes until election day. Still, we could do worse than 1980 in picking an election to be like. This pic is from pollster.com:


Wikipedia again:

The electoral college vote was a landslide, with 489 votes (representing 44 states) for Reagan and 49 votes for Carter (representing 6 states and the District of Columbia). NBC News projected Reagan as the winner at 8:15 pm EST (5:15 PST), before voting was finished in the West, based on exit polls. (It was the first time a broadcast network used exit polling to project a winner, and took the other broadcast networks by surprise.)

With Obama the winner, that would not be a bad model at all.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:08 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Biggest difference? Obama knows what he's doing. (9+ / 0-)

    "Voting only gets you a 'D'" - Howard Dean | Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott

    by ScottyUrb on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:11:29 PM PDT

    •  Or, rather, Obama has integrity (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skywaker9, MadGeorgiaDem, Artchess

      That would be a better way of putting it.

      "Voting only gets you a 'D'" - Howard Dean | Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott

      by ScottyUrb on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:12:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a both/and question, not either/or (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NearlyNormal

        Actually, w/ Reagan, you never knew if it was lying or forgetfulness.  A general rule of thumb leaned towards lying in the first term and forgetfulness in the 2d.

        The main 1980 parallel was that Carter's entire campaign was geared towards making people feel uncomfortable about Reagan.  We're seeing the same thing w/ McCain's campaign and Obama this time.  It didn't work that time, and, as the diary notes, the Reagan/Carter debate was critical in that regard.

        Like Reagan in '80, Obama doesn't have to knock anything out of the park in this fall's debates.  He merely needs to convince people that he's not as scary as McCain's people make him out to be.  In saying this, I state that Reagan proved to be plenty scary in office.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:44:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sure that explains FISA (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        host, rubine, trev lawrence

        Integrity!  He's a politician, a center-right politician that is by far the best of the alternatives right now, but I hope very much that we get something much more substantial than an "Obama revoulution"  I think that is just marketing bullshit and has nothing to do with anything revolutionary, any more than the Reagan revolution did.

        "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson

        by NearlyNormal on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:44:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't vote for him then. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mdmslle

          Nader's running again.

          May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

          by Fonsia on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:11:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't be any more of a shithead than you can help (2+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            IvanR, host
            Hidden by:
            DemBrock

            Didn't you read the part where I said he was the best of the alternatives?  Or maybe you are one of those that think he's the best possible candidate and he's the new Lincoln, FDR, RFK all wrapped up in one and can't be criticized without you rushing to his defense with your idiocy flashing in the wind.  Fuck off, and don't tell me who to vote for or not to vote for.  Oh, and Nader would have been a better candidate if you actually wanted a better America.

            "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson

            by NearlyNormal on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:21:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  chill (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jfdunphy

              opinions are like assholes... everyone has one.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:25:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Huh? What an odd reaction. (0+ / 0-)

              I didn't include any opinion in my reply to your comment.

              Actually, as I wrote it I was thinking that if you feel that way about Obama, you shouldn't vote for him. Nader might be a good choice for you.

              Jeez. Projecting much?

              May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

              by Fonsia on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:57:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ought to vote for Nader (0+ / 0-)

                When he doesn't have a chance is a pretty stupid thing to say, especially when my initial statement is clear that Obama is the best of the viable choices.  I think you are the one projecting, any criticism, rather anything less than fawning adulation and you get your snide, "vote for Nader" comment out.  I think that is truly bullshit, its the snide, arrogant attitude that is about the only thing that can bring this election home to the goopers.

                "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson

                by NearlyNormal on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:06:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How is it snide? (0+ / 0-)

                  I have one good friend who is voting Nader because he's closer to her principles. I have no problem with that. Standing on principle is a good thing.

                  Anyway, Bob Barr is going to cancel out the Nader votes this season, so it really is an option even if you look at things pragmatically.

                  Take a look at the tone of your posts, fellow Kossack. One of us is actively hostile, and one isn't.

                  May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

                  by Fonsia on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:47:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Calling Obama "center-right"... (0+ / 0-)

          is laughable. He may have a few centrist positions, but he has consistently been in the low 90s in progressive ratings over his Senate years.

          "The only thing I would trust Dick Cheney on is if I had a dead hooker in my hotel room." --Jon Stewart

          by DemBrock on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:38:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Calling Obama "center-left", is a sign of ignor- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NearlyNormal

            ance....

            Hasn't it occured to you that Obama is an acceptable candidate for the top ten percent in the US who control 70 percent of all privately held wealth? Is Obama really the best that the bottom 50 percent of Americans can wish for, the ones who own just 2-1/2 percent of total US wealth?

            Obama is "put up", as a crumb to keep about 2/3 of us from doing what we ought to doing, taking to the streets, in constant, and unwavering protests!

            This is what "center-left" political beliefs brought about:

            US GINI= 45 France GINI= 28

            let's do a French checklist:  

            Super strong currency? Check!
            Near Balanced trade, despite strong currency? Check!
            World Class Universal Healthcare, vs. illness expenses related US bankruptcies? Check!

            Six percent national poverty rate, vs. 12 percent in US? Check!

            Higher domestic reinvestment rate in France vs. US? Check!

            Impressively lower infant mortality at birth rate in France vs, US? Check!

            Living minimum wage level? $13.00 vs. $6.55....you decide

            Mandatory minimum employer paid vacation time: France; five weeks, US= zero

            Most productive nation, per hours worked? France

            Most popular foreign tourist destination, despite population less than 1/3 of US level? France!

            France unemployment 8.3 percent, vs, 5.7 percent US, Do the working poor in the US, live less affluently than the unemployed do, in France?

            Employer paid pensions, early retirement? France? Check! US...not so much...

            Nearly all residents documented and or citizens? France? Check! US= Who knows????

            Generous government paid living stipend, and or unemployment benefits, union representation for workers and protections against arbitrary job dismissal? France? Check! US....not so much....

            So....what am I missing? What is not to like, vs, where we are in the US, and where we are heading? Will wealth be more equitably distributed here, two years from now, if home prices decline another 15 percent, and all but the wealthiest ten percent, having the bulk of their net worth embedded in the value their residence, as US census surveys seem to indicate where we sub top tenners have most of our wealth "stored"?

            •  we should all move to France (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              host

              or, if we can't, at least do our best to make the US more like them

            •  Well, that's America for you. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              quotemstr

              We have two ideological choices for President: one Center-Right and the other Barking-Mad-Fundie-Batshit-Crazy Right. What's considered wildly liberal here is perhaps centrist at best over there.

              Perhaps someday we'll aspire to the best of what France has to offer. But, it will take a while for attitudes to change.

              Obama may not be our Savior. But, at least he's a step in the right direction.

              I'm a bear of very little brain. (With apologies to A. A. Milne)

              by Arnie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 08:15:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Wow, no kidding (0+ / 0-)

            and being left of the US senate makes you a center-left politician?  I ought to give you back your donut just for grins.

            "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson

            by NearlyNormal on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:08:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Did Carter Play Race Card Against Reagan? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fnb, CParis, ScottyUrb, ArtSchmart

      A monumental difference in my book. Many American whites still have racist attitudes, McCain is, and will exploit those attitudes.

      So, 1980 is very different than 2008 in that regard.

      Well I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari... Tehachapi to Tonopah--Lowell George/Little Feat

      by frandor55 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:17:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The particulars may be less important (4+ / 0-)

        in this model than the general. Carter tried to convince voters that Reagan could not be trusted with the presidency. It was essentially about scaring voters, not running on policy or achievement. That left Carter very vulnerable to what did him in - the public finally saw enough of Reagan that many decided the charges against him were overblown or simply incredible.

        In the course of a long campaign, it is far from sure that a strategy of demonization will work. That's especially true when the central charge is inexperience or poor judgment or extremist views (as in 2008). The more voters become comfortable with a challenger, the less those particular charges can stick.

        And fwiw, I was one of those people in 1980 who thought that the charges did stick against Reagan. I saw through his public dissembling and realized what a scary guy he was. Even though the charges were highly credible in 1980, then, much of the public rejected them. That bodes well for 2008 when the charges hurled at Obama have little substance.

        •  And don't forget (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          frandor55

          Reagan had a background as a B-list actor with a failed first marriage (divorce was still kind of a big deal to some people in 1980).  Repubs like to remember him as the "great statesman", but his background as a candidate was nothing close to that.

          The best is the enemy of the good. --Voltaire

          by pateTX on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:38:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no, Reagan was widely regarded as a laughingstock (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jfdunphy

            in early 1980. He often was compared to Harold Stassen. He had been running for president since 1968. He had behaved like a real nut case as Governor of CA. He had veered in a reactionary direction and made a lot of stupid pronouncements. Many people thought it was cute that Republicans were taking him seriously in 1980, and quite a few supposed that the nomination of such a weak candidate would rescue Carter from his own low approval ratings. If anybody could have been pegged as a scary candidate, Reagan ought to have been the one. It failed.

            •  but then the original October Surprise (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Indieman
            •  Reagan was a known quantity though (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CParis

              He'd been famous for 40 years (almost as long as Obama's been alive), the previous 15 of which he'd spent as a major national political leader of the New Right.  He'd run for president before, almost been tapped for VP (in 1976).

              I can't think of a single contemporary political figure with that kind of background -- pre-politics fame, 2-term governor of a huge state, political standard-bearer for a radical/reactionary political movement.  It's really not similar to Obama's situation at all.

              "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

              by Pesto on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:04:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  the Reagan we remember in 1988 was a (0+ / 0-)

                different person than the man elected in 1980.  People forget that Reagan used his experience as an actor to develop a style of delivery that made a lot of voters feel comfortable with him.  Of course by the late 80s, the alzheimers had already started to impact his performance

                What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is. ~ Dan Quayle

                by CParis on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:48:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I was so scared by the prospect of a Reagan (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              quotemstr

              presidency that I registered as a Republican to vote against him in the Nebraska primary....for G.H.W. Bush, the first ballot I ever cast, and the last for a Republican.

              There's another element that scrambles the 1980 comparison: the third-party candidacy of John Anderson, which (inexplicably, in retrospect) sucked up an enormous amount of student-activist energies in that round. Those votes seem headed in Obama's direction this time.

          •  I think he was also a governor (0+ / 0-)

            but only of California

          •  And a shotgun wedding for the other one (0+ / 0-)

            Yet another reason Fred Thompson is called "Southern Fried Reagan." :)

            Ahmadinejad is a conservative

            by BlueEngineerInOhio on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:50:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  "Dixie Chicken"... one of my all time favorites. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        frandor55

        McCain will end up looking like George Wallace. (without the bullet)

        For the same reason a lot of white men fear blacks, more white women are excited by their acceptance. Sexism works both ways.

    •  Biggest difference? McCain is not the incumbent. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fladem, Newsie8200, quaderni, CParis, IvanR

      We may think he is like Bush. We may say he is like Bush. We may hope the voters treat him like Bush.

      But the bottom line is that he is not Bush. McCain can play up thge difference and lead voters to believe this is change vs. change election -- comfort change vs. uncomfortable change.

      The key demographic of swing voters does not place stock in party label -- each candidate is judged on his or her merits -- as we see in the widely different responses to Clinton vs. Obama.

      Plus here's another key difference: Carter got the shaft because he responded to an energy crisis by asking Americans to sacrifice, which Americans don't like. Carter was pegged as a doom and gloom candidate.

      Unfortunately in this election, it's McCain who is preaching facile solutions that won't alter the American lifestyle; in that sense, he's more Reaganesque.

      And finally, the national tracking polls are now dead even. We may want a landslide, but it ain't happening.

      Obama is different enough that the map will change somewhat, but since every Obama electoral projection begins with "He carries the Kerry states and then...." it's not changing as much as we think. Gore won Iowa and New Mexico -- Obama will win Iowa and New Mexico. Ohio, Michigan and Florida are key battlegrounds.

      (See my diary http://www.dailykos.com/...

      Obama has opened up a front in the Rocky Mountain west -- that may be the principal change we see.

      •  Gore (0+ / 0-)

        Yep, Gore won NM and IO. But if he had also won NH or IN or CO, he would have been president.

        •  My point is the map is little different from 2004 (0+ / 0-)

          and 2000 combined --winning the states that went for either Gore or Kerry, with Ohio and Florida deciding.

          Obama is a sea change in many ways but there's no 1980 landslide in the picture and we shouldn't expect it -- this is going to be very hard-fought.

          •  But the whole point is at this time (0+ / 0-)

            in 1980, no one saw a landslide either. Carter was even ahead in some polls and the race was tight. Think of it this way, we're seeing all over the country a bunch of red states where Obama isn't leading but is overperforming significantly and within 5% pts. With a strong debate performance deep red states like North carolina, Indiana, and Montana are a serious threat to turn blue. In fact, they're already a serious threat.

            So, as of now the race isn't a landslide, but there are TONS of indicators that show landslide potential for Obama.

            •  I share the hope but (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              quaderni, quotemstr

              there are lots of election cycles where the early polls show a tight race and it turns out to be......drumroll please.....a tight race.

              Take 1976, which might be the better analogy. The country was realing from Watergate and all the Nixon scandals. It should have been easy as pie to paint Gerald Ford as more Nixon, after all, Ford had pardoned the guy. Should have been a Democratic landslide.

              But voters chose to give Ford the benefit of doubt, and Ford would have won if Ohio had tipped the other way.

              Work like it's going to be a squeaker, and as if Ohio, Michigan and Florida are going to decide it yet again. Because that's the way to ensure a win.

    •  The Pitchman Hacktored Into The White House (0+ / 0-)
      Liked him better as Reeegan than Raygun.
      Loved Roosevelt so much he slaughtered the airport controllers.
      Couldn't remember any criminality; just advertising jingos.
      Retains an overpolished phony appreciation rep insisted upon by copycat Media hypes; based on nothing.
      Smiled wider proportionately to the level of indifference required for each degree of common suffering eluding his gaze.
      But, Jimmy Carter, who wouldn't lowball, has produced a fabulous post term record of impeccable and unglamorized self-sacrifice in exampled leadership.
      There you go again: red hype tripe vs true blue view.
      Lately, though, i've seen a lot more value in what's been researched, attributed, generated, braintrusted, and shared among the unvested champions of revelatory offering. They are my favorite antidote.
      You gotta keep a close eye on powerful fronts. Whatever murderous thievery they engage always starts with lies.
    •  yes Obama is definitely the next Reagan (0+ / 0-)

      except liberal

  •  Please Democrats, don't blow this... (9+ / 0-)

    We should have had a landslide victory the past two damn presidential elections...

    I'm hopeful, but I'm not counting on anything until Barack swears on that Bible.

    PS--the GOP is relying on fear and smear, with a good helping of election shenanigans.  Please be vigilent and KEEP FIGHTING!!

    The Seminole Democrat
    A blue voice calling from the deep red

    by SemDem on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:13:20 PM PDT

    •  Couldn't Agree More (5+ / 0-)

      While I read DemFromCT's post, I just kept thinking, "This is way too premature!"  If I were forced to put money on this race, I'd still put it on Obama, but I'm not willing to put on it.  We're a long ways from anything.  We should be running like we're 5 points down.

      •  Democrats need to win a few to stop (0+ / 0-)

        being afraid of their own shadow. There's nothing wrong with confidence as long as it's not overconfidence. It's never premature to consider where we are, and where we have been... it's the only way to know where we are going. And it's not an invitation to be complacent (as you rightly caution us about).

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:41:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  and were not? (0+ / 0-)

        It seems to me taking the fight to all 50 states is fighting very hard.

        •  or spreading us thin... (0+ / 0-)

          Obama brings in twice as much but must pay to play in 10 times as many states.  McCain is just focusing on the swingers--Obama is running ads and opening offices in ALL states!  

          I understand the party building, but keep in mind that the ton of money he is raking in has to go everywhere.  It is NOT concentrated in a few areas like McCain.

          The Seminole Democrat
          A blue voice calling from the deep red

          by SemDem on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:53:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Reagan had no Rovian attack machine against him. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99, quotemstr, IvanR, SemDem

      One wonders what difference that might have made in 1980.

      This year, some group or groups will have to go on a major offense against McCain.  There is SOOO much to work with.

      It makes me sick, the character attacks against Obama, while no one lays a glove on McCain.

      Let's start getting into the mainstream narrative:

      - Keating 5

      - Craven flip-flopping on right-wing evangelicals, Bush tax cuts, etc. etc.

      - Mistakes (Shiites and Sunis etc.)

      - Anger and crudeness (trollop, c**t)

      - And so much more!

      Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

      by Happy Days on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:32:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  gop talk radio decides media priorities (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CParis, Happy Days

        with coordinated uncontested repetition to 50-70MIL Americans.

        and despite limbaugh's reluctance to support mccain that has never been his main function- which is to bash anything progressive/liberal/dem.

        the talk radio monopoly in general will rally around mccain, making excuses for everything you mention, intimidating and crying foul, by the thousands, everytime the press goes after mccain, and hounding them for giving Obama a 'free ride'.

      •  also no 24/7 bobblehead newsmodels (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Indieman

        who have to justify thei big salaries by "reporting" press releases from the McMaverick campaign.

        In 1980, political "reporting" was confined to the network newscasts, newspaper Op-eds, and a couple of radio shows.

        What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is. ~ Dan Quayle

        by CParis on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:52:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'll be blunt-----Obama is black (3+ / 0-)

    and has the name Barack Obama. McCain is betting that it's just going to much to swallow for older white voters including some that voted for Kerry and Gore. Obama will underperform among whites over 50 in fact I don't expect him to get even Kerry's numbers with that part of the elecotrate. I think Obama will probabaly win by outperfoming everywhere else but it is atleast an open question as to how much worse will Obama do in places like Northeast Philly or Youngstown than Kerry did. McCain is pure scum but he has giving the signal that he wants this election to be fought over questions of race, patriotism and ethnicity becuase it gives him the best chance to win.

    After Obama's eighth straight victory, Penn told reporters: "Winning Democratic primaries is not a qualification or a sign of who can win the general election.

    by nevadadem on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:14:23 PM PDT

    •  Give the voters more credit then that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quotemstr, ancblu, PZinOR, kathleen518

      White people over 50, just like any other demographic, have lots of friends, business partners, etc who have ethnic names, but are still proud Americans. They won't have any problem voting for Obama as long as they support his liberal beliefs.

      "I'm going to be on you like a numerator on a denominator." -Principal Skinner

      by dufffbeer on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:21:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well said (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auditor, ancblu

        i'm a 49 year old white woman who lives in Ohio. my mom's 70 and she's been doing work for the obama people here in Cleveland. i'd get booed off of here if i put up the list of older white people i know who are solidly pro-obama. it'd be WAY too long.

        yeah, there are a cadre of numbnuts out there who cling to their prejudice like a life raft, but if we persist, they'll find their current minority unable to maintain its grasp eventually.

        "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

        by kathleen518 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:11:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obama's "liberal beliefs", what liberal beliefs? (0+ / 0-)

        These are the "products" of liberal politics...Obama doesn't even talk about most of these accomplishments:

        (Why doesn't he?...Could it be that Obama is here to deliberately avoid talking about these accomplishments, "for the people"?)

        This is what "center-left" political beliefs brought about:

        US GINI= 45 France GINI= 28

        let's do a French checklist:  

        Super strong currency? Check!
        Near Balanced trade, despite strong currency? Check!
        World Class Universal Healthcare, vs. illness expenses related US bankruptcies? Check!

        Six percent national poverty rate, vs. 12 percent in US? Check!

        Higher domestic reinvestment rate in France vs. US? Check!

        Impressively lower infant mortality at birth rate in France vs, US? Check!

        Living minimum wage level? $13.00 vs. $6.55....you decide

        Mandatory minimum employer paid vacation time: France; five weeks, US= zero

        Most productive nation, per hours worked? France

        Most popular foreign tourist destination, despite population less than 1/3 of US level? France!

        France unemployment 8.3 percent, vs, 5.7 percent US, Do the working poor in the US, live less affluently than the unemployed do, in France?

        Employer paid pensions, early retirement? France? Check! US...not so much...

        Nearly all residents documented and or citizens? France? Check! US= Who knows????

        Generous government paid living stipend, and or unemployment benefits, union representation for workers and protections against arbitrary job dismissal? France? Check! US....not so much....

    •  Obama Outperforming Kerry Already (0+ / 0-)

      Obama Outperforming Kerry Among Nearly All Demographics

      Don't share you pessimism quite yet.

      Mommy always told me there were no real monsters, but there are -- Newt.

      by fearisthemindkiller on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:39:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spot on (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DHinMI, ljb, skywaker9, LNK, MadGeorgiaDem

    DH's 1932 analysis was astute as well -- but I've believed for a while that this will shape up like 1980 in reverse.  We might not have to wait for the debates, though.  The conventions will bring wavering Democrats home, and go a long way toward showing indies that Obama is a safe choice.

    On a related note:  geez, now do all the hyperventilaters understand what Obama meant when he compared himself to Reagan?  Do you get it?  He was talking about realignments and public mood, not saying he wanted to slash social spending and grow the debt.  Got it now?  

    If there really were a radical black Muslim country-club elitist in the race, I'd probably vote for him just for novelty's sake.

    by cardinal on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:14:39 PM PDT

    •  Interesting thing about 1980 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, cardinal, MadGeorgiaDem, ancblu

      Is that 15 states were decided by less than 5%, Carter only won 3 of those.  Therefore the Evs were a little more skewed than they might have been otherwise.

      "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

      by skywaker9 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:16:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  no, no, reagan is evil (6+ / 0-)

      you can't even say his name or something bad will happen.

      And Obama should be up by 115%.

      Now here's an interesting post about margins in presidential elections.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:18:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "There you go again" (0+ / 0-)

      is a line that only becomes devastatingly effective when it follows upon months of painting your opponent as clueless, inept, and handwringing. Carter had already been defined that way in most voters' eyes.

      McCain is an especially weak candidate: he's ignorant (perhaps even more ignorant than Bush), thin-skinned, and bad-tempered, and his "program" is outright incoherent and completely oblivious to what Americans are really feeling. It should be possible to humiliate him and provoke him into going scarily postal-- if we start today and seize the opportunity provided by the jealous pique he's taken at Obama's "presumptous" world tour.

      The Obama campaign should take the offensive; never let itself get thrown on the defensive and forced to put out small smear blazes; hammer McCain every day on his incoherent political program and the low road he's taking in his advertising; and use surrogates (not Obama himself) to mock McCain and show him for a fool. Then Obama can step up and crush him in the first debate. The media will climb aboard because the Obama campaign will be giving them political high drama, which is all they care about.

      The worst way to handle McCain, though, is to do what Gore and Kerrey did-- cede all the political dramaturgy to the Republican noise machine and let them exclusively feed the media beast with daily heapin' helpin's of rancid Republican red meat. The media was happy to oblige Bush and Rove and reinforce the Rovian memes while ignoring the Democrats' message. This is America, which means-- unfortunately-- that you have to Feed the Beast.

  •  No early call this time (2+ / 0-)

    In 1992, even though it was clear by the time the big east coast states closed that Clinton was going to win they didn't call it.  I still have this memory of Dan Rather ranting on about how they weren't ready to make a call yet even though it was apparent who was likely going to win...

    Earliest possible time for an Obama win call this year IMHO is around 11 PM Eastern, when the west coast closes.  If he's at 200 at that time, the 72 EVs he'll get from OR, WA, CA and HI as the polls close out here will put him over the top...

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:15:41 PM PDT

    •  If there was an early call (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skywaker9

      Everyone would stop watching the news!  Election night must be dragged on through ALL of primetime. I wonder what advertising spot costs during election night...

      Mommy always told me there were no real monsters, but there are -- Newt.

      by fearisthemindkiller on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:37:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And after 2000 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fearisthemindkiller

        They have an excuse not to quick call any races.  Although one good thing about the primaries this year is the media got better at calling races they wouldn't have projected in 2006.

        "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

        by skywaker9 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:40:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To be a fly on the wall (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skywaker9

          In the production office of network TV news on election night.  You are right they have an excuse not to call early, but they know people are flipping through channels and I am sure there is pressure to call a certain state -- get new information to viewers -- before rival networks.

          I just can't imagine this called like you said before 11pm.  It would be most non-climactic finish to a nearly 2 year election that has been circus-like.

          Mommy always told me there were no real monsters, but there are -- Newt.

          by fearisthemindkiller on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:44:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I Don't Want a Landslide - I Just Want to Win! (4+ / 0-)

    Beltway Wisdom is an Oxymoron.

    by kefauver on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:16:13 PM PDT

    •  I think it's clear that just winning is the best (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99, kefauver

      Obama can probably do. Obama is a great candidate but he's jsut not going to do well with certain demographics especially with the road Mccains camapign is taking.

      After Obama's eighth straight victory, Penn told reporters: "Winning Democratic primaries is not a qualification or a sign of who can win the general election.

      by nevadadem on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:19:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Campaign is already depressing (7+ / 0-)

    Sometimes I wish I could slip into a coma, and magically awaken on election day morning in November.

    "The time will soon come when you must choose between what is right and what is easy." -- Albus Dumbledore

    by cgvjelly on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:16:37 PM PDT

  •  The Biggest Similarity is the Development (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LanceBoyle, LillithMc

    of a coalition.

    The Reagan coalition resulted from the final flipping of the "solid south" from Democrat to Republican as a result of white anger over integration.

    The decline of the Reagan coalition is mirrored today as older solidly Republican voters die and are replaced by the most Democratic generation in decades.

    The Northeast is solidly blue for the first time ever, and the West and Midwest have swung more blue.

    The rocky mountain west has even begun to crack as Colorado, New Mexico and even Montana start electing Democrats.

    That's the main similarity. Demographic changes favored Republicans in 1980 and Democrats now.

  •  Just a not to the FP'ers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fantanel

    that I think this series is great.

    Y'all should do things like this more often.

  •  Obviously I'm Fond of the 1932 Analogy (4+ / 0-)

    I'm in regards to the dynamic between the two presidential candidates, I agree that 1980 is a better fit.  

    Regarding realignment, 32/36 and 80/84 are seen as the two most recent major realigning election sequences on the presidential level.  So again, both years fit with what I see as quite possible in November and beyond.  A reason I prefer the 1932 analogy is that 1980 was a reaction, a retrenchment, whereas 1932 was a call for progressive, indeed for progressive legislation and governance.  In that regard, I think 1932 is a better fit, but in the sense of a major party realignment, one where Congress and the WH are moving in the same direction with little friction or little ability of the minority party to prevent transforming legislative actions, I think--and admit I hope--the analogy will in retrospect be closer to 1932.

    But as far as the evolution of the campaign, you're probably right, that a minor lead for Obama may very well break strongly for Obama in the later stages of the race, just like in 1980.

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:19:52 PM PDT

  •  The Big Difference from 1980 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadGeorgiaDem, NearlyNormal

    In 1980, Reagan offered a fundamental rejection of the legacy of mid-twentieth century American liberalism.

    In fact, Carter had already gotten the ball rolling for him, beginning the economic deregulation and, through the appointment of Paul Volcker, tight monetary policies that would characterize the Reagan years.  Carter also began the massive increases in military spending that created the unspoken military Keynesianism that still characterizes most American budgets of the last twenty-eight years.

    To the extent that the so-called Reagan Revolution altered the policy playing field, Clinton followed in Reagan (and Bush the Elder's) footsteps much more than he rejected Reagan's vision.  Indeed, by ending "welfare as we know it" and repealing Glass-Steagall (among other things) Clinton did even more to undo the legacy of the New Deal than Reagan did.

    If elected, Obama will offer many changes from Dubya (or McCain) on such issues as reproductive freedom, fiscal responsibility, corruption, unilateralism in foreign affairs, and so forth. But the fundamental, neoliberal, Washington Consensus economic model that came in under Reagan will remain.  Indeed, if anything Obama is more explicit about making peace with the legacy of Reaganism than Clinton was.

    In a narrow, partisan sense, this may be a "change election." But in many fundamental ideological ways we will still be in the Reagan Era whether McCain or Obama takes the oath of office next January.

    This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

    by GreenSooner on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:20:47 PM PDT

    •  the question is more where we will be (0+ / 0-)

      in 2012. Reagan fit a public mood,  but then again so does Obama. With a solid House leading the way, we will see.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:28:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some Guesses Re: 2012 (assuming Obama wins) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quotemstr, LanceBoyle
        1. We will have completed a "withdrawal" from Iraq that still leaves 50k+ "military advisers" in country and the Green Zone intact.
        1. Our budget will be a lot closer to being balanced.
        1. We will have embraced a series of positive, but inadequate, policies designed to combat global warming. This will include raising CAFE standards and investing in renewable energy.
        1. We will also have expanded coastal oil drilling and put money into "clean coal," ethanol, and other energy policies that are more about pork than anything else.
        1. If there are any new justices on the SCOTUS, they will be pro-business, Breyer centrists.
        1. Our health care access situation will be largely unchanged. Whether or not Obama passes something labeled health care reform, his unwillingness to challenge the insurance industry will mean that it will amount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
        1. If we start a war of choice on Iran, it will be with a larger coalition than was featured in our last major war of choice.

        This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

        by GreenSooner on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:45:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  they're all guesses (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sebastianguy99

          but given Roberts and Alito, Breyer is looking good. More likely a Cass Sunstein and maybe a liberal to replace Stevens and Ginsburg.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:00:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Brennan>Souter>Breyer>Kennedy>ScAlito (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sebastianguy99

            I have no doubt that Obama will appoint better justices than McCain would. But Sunstein has been pretty horrific on many of legal monstrosities emerging from the present administration (though needless to say less horrific than the court's current rightwing).

            I see no reason whatsoever to think that Obama would appoint actual liberals in the Brennan or Marshall mode.

            Yes, these are just guesses.

            But things like Sunstein's role in the campaign and Obama's FISA vote make them fairly educated guesses.

            This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

            by GreenSooner on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:15:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The similarities between 1980 and 2008 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP

    are erie.

    1980 was the first election I was eligible to vote in and I remember it well. Carter, led narrowly in most polling until the last week, but was never able to get above 45% as I recall. McCain may be in the same predicament. I hae yet to see him poll consistently above 45%. If Obama does well in the debates, and I believe he will, he could put this thing away (keeping in mind not to get overconfident).

    The loudest cries for war come from those who have never seen one.

    by MadGeorgiaDem on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:22:48 PM PDT

    •  According to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Drdemocrat, MadGeorgiaDem

      someone on THis Week on ABC, maybe Gergen, this morning, the Obama camapign sees 1980 as a sueful analogy.

      People want change, but they want to make sure Obama is okay, whihc is what happened, unfortunately, with Reagan in 1980.  The debates showed a pleasant Reagan that seemed "okay."  He won.

      That's why the election is about Obama.  If enough think he is "okay," and not "scary" as McCain will try to portray him, Obama wins.

      "The answer is to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels." Al Gore, 7/17/08

      by TomP on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:33:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been seeing parallels to 1972 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, CParis

    Summer of Love American Style

    "It’s hard to tell lately if McCain is running to succeed President Bush, Gen. Petraeus, or perhaps Gen. Westmoreland. The persistent theme that McCain has adopted with regard to Iraq is identical to the 1970’s era military establishment and Richard Nixon’s "Peace With Honor" contrivance. Nixon also promised to stay the course and bring our troops home when victory was achieved, despite overwhelming agreement, even amongst his advisers, that nothing recognizable as victory was likely to result in Vietnam."

    • • Get Your John McCain - NOPE T-Shirts & Stickers
    

    by KingOneEye on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:25:33 PM PDT

  •  HUGE difference: media and technology (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, LillithMc, certainot, ArtSchmart

    Media consolidation. Now 92 percent of talk radio is owned by Conservatives.

    Election Technology.
    HUGE increase in clouded results due to voting machines, DIEBOLD-style.

    ACTION LINKS:
    http://www.stopbigmedia.com

    http://www.projectvote.org/

    Best Diary of the Year? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/23/03912/3990

    by LNK on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:26:37 PM PDT

    •  talk radio has been underestimated key for GOP (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LNK

      you're right, and their uncontested repetition to 50-70MIL has made a huge difference in media management and intimidation, as well as creating a fictitious public concensus that GOP and limbaugh democrats (previously blue dog dems) use as cover for their denial, fear, and hypocrisy.

  •  I remember election night 1980 (0+ / 0-)

    We had hopes that Carter was going to pull it out--and then it was just a devastating landslide.  I agree that Reagan made the sale to the voters during the last weeks that he wasn't a drooling idiot (ha) and that was enough for them to oust a sitting president.  I firmly believe the same thing can happen this year.  Obama can build up the voters' comfort level between now and November--and one way of doing it is by picking a relatively safe or familiar VP.  The pick may not be the VP of everybody's dreams, but it may close the sale.

    John McCain: Vowing to connect real leaders with real bowels

    by chicago minx on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:28:08 PM PDT

    •  1980 was the first election (0+ / 0-)

      I remember watching with interest.  I was 14 years old at the time, and had drawn an electoral vote map on cartigraph paper (right term?), and was too hoping for a Carter victory.  I still remember how disappointed I was that he lost.

      January 20. 2009 cannot come soon enough.

      by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:29:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another similarity to 1980 (0+ / 0-)

    I think we are seeing some "Obama Republicans".  Don't know how many, but some who have identified themselves as R's are starting to realize that Obama would really be better for them.  Plus, Americans like optimism, and the palpable excitement and energy surrounding Obama is appealing to them.  

    The best is the enemy of the good. --Voltaire

    by pateTX on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:32:50 PM PDT

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      While we will never know the quantity of Obamacans out their until after election day, its obvious that there is a demographic of republicans that have turned Obama's way. Where Reagan had socially conservative, working class Democrats, Obama has potential with the more libertarian wing of the republican party. We saw this with libertian leaning independants flocking to Obama in the primaries.

  •  while I appreciate the lengthy analysis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CParis

    I think we have to be careful with comparisons like these.  While a lot of the polling data might look similar, I think we may all find in November that there has never been an election like this one.  And also, I think that the comparison starts to break down quickly when examining Carter v Bush.  These two men are unpopular for vastly different and very historically specific reasons.  And you could make yourself crazy with analogies like these -- is Bush Carter and Obama the Democratic Reagan?  Or is Obama a more effective Carter and Bush a Nixon?  Is it 1976, 1980, or 1992?  AHHHH!

    •  agree - see my very first line (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smintheus, Black Forest

      When it comes to predictions and analysis, if you've seen one presidential election, you've seen one presidential election.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:36:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        I ignored that, and in the interest of full disclosure, I should probably say: I desperately don't want this election to be like the 1980 election, because I desperately don't want to relegate Carter to Bush-like status.  I kinda heart Carter AND his one term A LOT, even with all of his failings.  So it was more of a kneejerk thing.

        Sorry.  I hope you are wrong, although I realize the 1980 comparison could easily end up being the most accurate.

        •  otoh (0+ / 0-)

          this may be unique.

          Anyway, Carter remains the best and most respected ex-President in a generation or two.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:44:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  no election is quite like another (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, sawgrass727

      These posts are meant to explore various models that help to highlight historical factors that can come into play. But even if we identify the relevant factors and consider meaningful models, that doesn't mean individually or collectively that we've 'explained' the 2008 election - much less predicted how it will shape up. Historical models are just ways to think in a more focused way about the historical forces at work.

  •  good job-now consider 1928 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calidrissp, kathleen518

    I say, ignore the stupid polls. The Press does nobody a favor by constant prattling about what the candidates say, who played what "card", what the latest polls show etc. However, thoughtful discussions of the 1928, 1932 and 1980 elections in historical retrospect as related to the present election are very interesting, and you have done a good job.

    Herbert Hoover was well known and widely respected. An orphan who made a fortune, a man who raised millions for food and medical relief, a mining engineer, he exuded confidence and competence. Many prominent Democrats considered the 1928 election hopeless and were happy to see Al Smith, the Catholic mayor of New York, as nominee. The Ku Klux Klan campaigned actively against Smith, many were sympathetic to their claim that a vote for Smith would be opening the door to a Papal takeover. Smith was also connected to the corrupt Tammany Hall political machine and was believed to be opposed to prohibition, although he made no campaign statements about prohibition. It was no surprise that Hoover won a landslide victory, but in fact the ten largest cities all gave majorities to Smith. Hoover’s image of competence faded as the depression got worse and worse of course.

    The Klan is gone but suspicion of nonwhites remains. Does McCain exude competence? I think not. He's a brave man who has trouble controlling himself, he was shouting next stop Baghdad in the summer of 2002. He knows little if anything about computers. Maybe the most important factors are the bad economy today- Bush and McCain may claim that everything looks good, but they have no credibility- and the tremendous urbanization of the country. The percentage of Americans living in urban areas went from 6% in 1800 to 56% in 1930 and 79% in 2000. Are urban voters smarter and more informed than rural voters? Not necessarily- I agree with Shenkman’s Just how stupid are we? Facing the truth about the American voter, which argues that voters today are even dumber than in 1928, due to our disgraceful media. However, there is one big advantage to our urban population; that is that most urban voters can be reached by a personal neighborhood campaign. Personal contact will do much more for Obama than advertising. Debates may well show to those with open eyes that McCain is old and shaky. Obama is calm, thoughtful and thoroughly modern. I hope that he has learned from Jimmy Carter’s mistakes- i.e. not relying excessively on Chicagoans.

  •  NeoCon Movement 1980-2008 RIP (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP had their turn to try and shape their 'New World Order' ideals and it has brought disastrous results. When your vision for the future only includes a small percent of individuals at the top, the world begins to decay from the bottom up.

    http://www.atrophyannie.com/...

  •  It was the debate stupid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NMRed

    Has everyone forgotten the Repugs stole Carte's debate notes and that George Will help coach Reagan then tossed up the same softball questions during the only debate just before the election.

    Until the debate Carter was ahead, when Ronnie dismantled him on television it was all over.  

    Let's also remember the MSM hated Carter and when it was disclosed that Reagan cheated the MSM gave Georgie a slap in the wrist and hailed Ronnie as their savior.

  •  Three things helped Reagan win (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CParis, Four of Nine
    1. he came out actually praising Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Republican Convention and likening himself to Roosevelt - completely misleading and false but he knew he had to do it to convince the "Nixon Democrats" to become "Reagan Democrats" at the polls
    1. John Anderson - much bigger impact than Ralph Nader had on Gore's chances
    1. the backdoor deal he had Bush Sr. cut with the Ayatollah to keep the hostages until after Carter left office

    I'm not sure how any of those things can be applied to 2008. So that makes it hard for me to see how similar the two elections can really be.

  •  The Biggest Difference Everyone Is Missing: (4+ / 0-)

    Carter WAS the President.  You knew what you had in him, and people didn't like it.

    Bush is leaving.   McCain is different, even though we all know his policies are the same.

    But if you ALLOW McCain to be different than Bush, you lose.  The only way to make this like 1980 is to tie McCain in more tightly to Bush.  

    In May/June, Obama was doing a great job of that.  Since then, he's miserably failed at that.

    The analogy is a nice way to make us feel better about ourselves, but there is a huge difference here.

    •  the trouble with your analysis (0+ / 0-)

      is that it's wrong.


      The analogy is a nice way to make us feel better about ourselves, but there is a huge difference here.

      It's really not that at all. Read the post to see why.

      In May/June, Obama was doing a great job of that.  Since then, he's miserably failed at that.

      That's not clear either. From TIME:

      "If Republican John McCain is elected, do you expect that he would mainly continue the policies of President Bush, or is he mainly independent of Bush?"

      6/18-25/0

      Mainly Continue Bush Policies  46
      MainlyIndependentOfBush  44
      Both/Neither (vol.) 2
      Unsure 8

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:53:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That poll was taken in June (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GW Chimpzilla, Ohiobama, vivek7006

        And from observation, Obama, his campaign, and his surrogates have stopped repeating over and over that McCain = Bush 3rd term.  

        I'm hopeful they'll get back to that soon.

        Strategy '08: Obama vs. the other guy

        by dansac on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:05:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  more data on that (0+ / 0-)

          June 8-9 and July 20-21 look the same to me.

          from NBC/WSJ

          Please tell me how closely you believe John McCain would follow and support George W. Bush's programs and policies if elected president--very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not closely at all.

          7/08+ 6/08+ 3/08+
          Very closely.... 32 30 29
          Somewhat closely.... 45 46 48
          Not too closely.... 16 16 13
          Not closely at all.... 5 6 6
          Not sure.... 2 2 4

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:36:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's not very revealing (0+ / 0-)

            because the respondent group is not broken down. Are the 28% who support Bush the ones who think McCain will be the same or different?

            What we need to know is how the key swing voters who detest Bush think and we can't get that from those numbers. My assessment from talking to Ohio voters is that the more they despise Bush, the more they are willing to give McCain a chance to be different. Voters tend to project their own feelings onto a candidate.

            •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

              we have some national numbers (admittedly not definitive, but pretty suggestive) vs. your corner of Ohio subjective feelings (without data to back it up).

              So we are back to our usual conversation.  ;-P

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:05:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  need to tie McMaverick to Bush's glaring failures (0+ / 0-)

              some think certain policies are OK (even if they're crap) like NCLB, AIDs support to Africa, tax cuts, estate tax repeal; while most think his Iraq policy stinks.

              What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is. ~ Dan Quayle

              by CParis on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:00:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Like forecasting a hurricane (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kathleen518

    I concur with others that I am already fatigued by the pettiness of the general election race, and wish it was over soon.  But a certain tendency gives me patience.

    As a Florida resident, watching the campaign and watching the polls is a bit like watching a hurricane brewing the the Atlantic.  The long-term forecast models are getting more reliable, but the forecast is largely unreliable outside a three-day window.

    With elections, I think that reliable forecast time window starts after the national conventions.

    And I think Obama's strength has been proven in the home stretch. McCain should be hoping that Obama doesn't maintain a slight lead because Obama consistently polls upward as an election approaches.

    For example, Obama's poll rise in Florida recently parallels what happened in many/most primaries.  In Florida, Obama had always been down to McCain, sometimes as much as 10+ points.  As has been widely reported, Obama put $5 million of ads into the state and has now pulled ahead.  

    That's uptrend is very consistent with the polls from most primary elections--Obama was down to Clinton until he started campaigning actively in the respective states and election day got closer.  He didn't always win, but he always cut down some huge poll gaps.

    When I last looked at the polls in April, this trend occurred everywhere except Michigan, Florida, and OK. We know that Obama didn't campaign in MI and FL, but what about OK? Turns out he didn't do any paid television in that state.

    When independent voters start to really pay attention to this race about the time of the conventions, then the race gets real.  And so far, that's when Obama is at his strongest in the polls.

    We're in a culture that increasingly holds that science is just another belief. - Alan Alda

    by sawgrass727 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:52:49 PM PDT

  •  Best Electoral Map I've seen yet (0+ / 0-)

    Government should treat its citizens like human beings, not profit generating units for the Corporate Aristocracy to use and abuse any way they choose

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 12:57:20 PM PDT

  •  arizona is a swing state (0+ / 0-)

    why is this not big news... if this was Illinois that would be on every news channel 24/7........

  •  I wasn't around in 1980 (0+ / 0-)

    but I hope the same thing happens in 2008. Go Dems :)

    "We have to win. We have no other choice." -Barack

    by Artchess on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:00:06 PM PDT

  •  Was Reagan white? I forget. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quaderni, sebastianguy99, CParis

    Might make a slight, very slight diference, this time.  I hear whistling, and see a graveyard.  Okay, I'm a doomsayer and a pessimist.  But I've seen too many elections.  And every day I hear the Obama conference call with the campaign chiefs saying, "At the end of the day, Americans will vote on issues."  Who kidnapped Axelrod and Plouffe, and replaced them with visitors from Pluto?

    Dear Democratic Party: Win This One or Just Disband

    by Tuffie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:00:40 PM PDT

  •  and of course ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sebastianguy99

    Reagan was running against the fearsome Carter machine, with that take-no-prisoners attitude ... sorry, I just snorted my soda through my nose while typing that.

    Dear Democratic Party: Win This One or Just Disband

    by Tuffie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:02:36 PM PDT

  •  Map show the G.O.P is becoming a Regional Party (0+ / 0-)

    That is VERY bad news for the Republicans

    Government should treat its citizens like human beings, not profit generating units for the Corporate Aristocracy to use and abuse any way they choose

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:02:37 PM PDT

  •  that is load of Bullshit 2008 is nothing like1980 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    host

    Obama is  Reagen

    Obama is Carter

    Obama is Kennedy

    Obama is  King JR

    Obama is Clinton

    Obama is  Brittney/Paris

    Obama is  Darcy( MODO new fictional character)

    Obama is unknown, do you know anyone else named Barack.

    would you give a lift to a stranger, would you let a stranger welcomed in your house, let alone the white house. what do you know about Obama why is he in a hurry.

    Obama is GOD

    Obama is the antichrist

    Obama is your new best friend

    Obama is your long lost lover

    Obama is too humble to be president he just cannot represent a superpower in the world stage.

    Obama is a racist, he hates blacks i heard a black man say that.

    Obama is a racist he hates himself, a self-hating racist who hates whites.

  •  I like historical parallel stuff, (0+ / 0-)

    but something an old history prof told me in the seventies still resonates with me: Yes, he said, history DOES repeat itself, "BUT ONLY TO A CERTAIN EXTENT" (emphasis mine). This election could turn that model on its head and provide a new model from which us armchair pundits will be spinning off new future analyses. The beat goes on. (And on, and on.)

  •  this is a terrific parlour game and a great way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sebastianguy99, kathleen518

    to take up some time on a hot Sunday afternoon, however!!!!!! these are guesses, speculations laced with large doses of wishful thinking.  Just because a lot of cliches say that history repeats itself it never does exactly.

    I, for one, maybe the only one, am so relieved that last week race finally came out into the open.  All the Sunday talk shows, at least the three i browsed through, Fox (the only time i can bring myself to watch the netowork is on Sunday morning for a hour to get up to speed), MTP with the oldtimer Tom Broaka, Kerry and Lieberman and Wolfie on CNN (ditto for Fox) and they all, all the talking heads I mean, came down on the side of McCain having won the week's exposure contest.  Why? because they say he forced Obama to bring up the question of race thereby, by their analysis losing the debate.  What are they trying to say here?  That race doesn't matter so we'd better all forget or ignore the fact?  it matters, gender matters. We are a bigoted, prejudiced insualr people.  And some of us will stay that way, but more of us have to overcome.  Then we'll win.  Let's talk about it until we are all blue in the face.

    That is such incredibly twisted logic it defies description.  The underlying reality of this election is race!!!!!!  If Reagan had been Sydney Poitier, an A list black actor, instead of a D list white actor whose military experience encompassed making a couple of propaganda films for the Army, then Carter would have been President.

    It may have been the last debate that lost Carter the election, but this time around it also may be the fact that people probably will never tell pollsters that they wouldn't vote for a black president under any circumstances.

    If i were Obama and his strategists i would keep race front and center for the rest of the campaign and at the very least force people to face both their fears and their prejudices and see Mccain for exactly what he is. A grumpy, cranky old man verging on the edge of madness.

    The choice is stark. Issues my foot.  This race will be determined on Obama's ability to calm enough fears and inspire enough confidence to bring him to victory.  As a competent, calm, collected, sensible, sensitive, intelligent, smart, educated MAN.  Just that, a MAN.

    •  different world (0+ / 0-)

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:29:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree it is a different world. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sebastianguy99, CParis

        But I live with a foot in two worlds, America and the United Kingdom.  The week before last 200,000 German people stood and cheered and chanted Obama, Obama.  

        The American news media and the McCain campaign used those images to belittle Obama, likening him to a dictator, a Messiah, the Chosen One, and finally as a black man.

        In Europe, where Obama is adored and adulated you can count the number of black and other races elected as legislators on two hands. There are more women, but not by much. That goes for Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, in fact all the nations that now comprise the European Union.  Not one nation has even run a man or a woman of African descent as a candidate, to the best of my knowledge anyway.

        The world may be different. It is not that different, and the world longs for America to be different and have the courage to vote the best man to the be the leader of the free world.  That person is Barack Obama.  Let America lead and show the world we have the courage not to be afraid.

  •  Happy Birthday Barack. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maineiac, sebastianguy99

    Since tomorrow is Barack's birthday, let us show him a little donation love! We can all donate 5 dollars or more if you want to show him a happy birthday =)

    In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act. ~George Orwell

    by ElizabethAM on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:18:05 PM PDT

  •  Putting Pa, Ohio, and Michigan in Obama's... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ohiobama

    numbers is a mistake at this point.  While PA is probably the most secure of the three, I would not count on Ohio.  Those security moms of 04 and soccer moms of 00 are still out there.  

  •  I wasn't even born yet. (0+ / 0-)

    Weird. I was born in 1984.

    In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act. ~George Orwell

    by ElizabethAM on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:20:21 PM PDT

  •  1980 Incumbent vs. Challenger. Not good. 1960? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pesto

    1980 was an incumbent president vs. a challenger. Races with incumbents vs. challengers are way different than races where two new challengers face each other.

    You'd have to go back to Ike vs. Stevenson for two non-incumbent challengers as it has been incumbents or their VP's vs. challengers in all other post WWII contests.

    The McCain-Obama 2008 race is unique in post WWII era.

    Closest parallel is probably Kennedy-Nixon since it was the tense cold war era and Nixon portrayed himself as experienced hand vs. the "elitist" and "inexperienced" JFK. Nixon, like McCain, was the old school dirty politics vs. JFK who appealed to voters better instincts.  JFK's Catholicism, like Obama's race, represented a big leap in maturity and tolerance for US voters. Nixon was stay the course. JFK was change.

  •  2008 is not like 1980 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quaderni, Ohiobama

    Here's what 1980 involved:

    1. A first-term, incumbent President being challenged in the primary by someone favored by the party's ideological base, but winning the nomination in the end;
    1. The "out" party nominating a well-known, experienced, national figure, who'd been elected governor of the country's largest state nearly 15 years before, served two terms, became a national leader of an ideological movement that had been developing for a couple of decades, and had run for president 4 years before;
    1. A more liberal member of the "out" party running an independent campaign that pulled ideological support from the incumbent.

    Bob Barr is not John Anderson, and that's the closest thing we've got to a comparison here.  McCain isn't Carter, Obama isn't Reagan, and 2008 isn't 1980.  I don't think it's even close.

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:22:37 PM PDT

  •  One can get carried away with historical (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    comparisons, especially when viewing through partisan eyes (ahem -- don't deny it!!! That is the reasona DK exists, after all), but a couple of the Reagan - Obama comparisons really do ring true:

    1. A disliked President considered inept by the populace.
    1. An opposing candidate who hadn't quite won their trust yet.
    1. A candidate with uplifting rhetoric delivered well, an appeal to our better angels, so to speak.
    1. An appeal to voters that doesn't line up with the common templates.

    2 and 4 pretty much mean that polls so far are trash. 3 might also contribute to that. People are still getting to know Obama and trying to decide if they are comfortable with him.  Some of those people will say they're undecided, some may even say they are for McCain, but they're still open to a reason to vote Obama, just like a lot of people were open to a reason to vote Reagan.

    After the first debate, Reagan won over a lot of those "Reagan Democrats" and others who might not have been expected to vote Republican.

    Obama is sure to encourage bunches of African American voters to the polls, and is generating excitement that might actually turn out some of those young voters who don't always bother to vote.  Also, he may appeal to Republicans who aren't thrilled by John McCain, who, frankly, ain't all that Republican.

    That may also be where no. 3 comes in.  People like to have something to vote for instead of against.  Somebody with an optimistic message who makes us feel good about ourselves and our country might inspire a few more souls to get out off their butts and into the voting booth.

    At this point, I don't believe the polls even a smidge.  Too many things too important yet to come.  Obama looks a lot more like Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy than he does John Kerry and Al Gore.  Lots can happen between now and election day, but I expect a big Obama win.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:34:39 PM PDT

    •  when Dionne and Keene agree.... (0+ / 0-)

      ... there's something there. Also, Orenstein, and of course, me. ;-P

      Also note we start out with:

      When it comes to predictions and analysis, if you've seen one presidential election, you've seen one presidential election. Each has its own unique characteristics and circumstances. Nonetheless...

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:39:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True enough... (0+ / 0-)

        Reagan - Obama is a comparison that I think has legs.

        Of course, Bush - Obama also has some legs.

        We forget that Bill Clinton was a pretty unpopular president (not like Bush or Carter) by the end of his second term, that the economy was heading downward after the dot.com bubble burst, etc.

        George W. Bush campaigned as a compassionate conservative, a uniter not a divider, etc.

        Bush had pretty light leadership credentials, but did have a good record of reaching across the aisle in Texas.  Of course, Democrats in Texas are generally more like Republicans up north, but still...

        You get the idea.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:47:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't you mean "popular"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quaderni

          Bill Clinton was unquestionably damaged from the Lewinsky mess, and that got transferred to Al Gore (who did win, remember). BUT, Clinton's approval ratings the last year of his term and going out were higher than Reagan's. Even the MSM pointed this out at the time.

          And, you will also note that even if the .com bubble burst in 2000 (it did), the effects were not felt until after Clinton was gone, if they were felt at all.

          Obama '08. Good for the Party, Good for the Country.

          by SouthernFried on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:00:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  actually (0+ / 0-)

          We forget that Bill Clinton was a pretty unpopular president (not like Bush or Carter) by the end of his second term

          That's wrong. In Sep 2000, Clinton's job approval was 60-35 in the WSJ/NBC poll and his low for the year was June and Aug at 58. Bush would die for those numbers. So, you meant popular.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:02:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I meant unpopular. (0+ / 0-)

            Let's put it this way:

            Al Gore ran away from him.

            Whatever the WSJ/NBC poll may have said, and whatever "job approval" really means to the people who hear it, Al Gore, based on what his advisors and internal pollsters were telling him, ran as far and as fast from Clinton has he could.

            It's possible, I suppose, that Gore was and is dumb as a stone, but I don't believe that.

            Not brilliant, to be sure, but not that stupid.

            Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

            by dinotrac on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:01:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  heh (0+ / 0-)

              Let's put it this way:

              If Al Gore had a do-over...

              but no way was Clinton unpopular regardless of Gore's flawed strategy.

              People didn't understand what unpopular meant until the last two Bushes were in office.

              http://pollkatz.homestead.com/...

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:21:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry, DFCT (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dinotrac

                We need to get you up to steam on just how bad the Clinton fatigue's impact on Gore's run was :)

                For starters, please see my comment below on WJC's personal unfavorables.

                Second, can you name one senate or house candidate that had WJC campaign for him in states that weren't put in Gore's column in 2000 (or for that matter, I doubt he was asked to campaign anywhere except deep blue state like NY and CA+AR.)

                Third, there were ton's of poll and other data (many of which I've compiled here which show that Clinton was radio-active in 1999 and 2000). Here are two for starters:

                1. Pew Center poll, Released: September 14, 2000

                     Introduction and Summary

                   Clinton fatigue, which first surfaced more than a year ago, has not diminished. In fact, more voters today completely agree with the statement "I am tired of all the problems associated with the Clinton administration," than did a year ago (48% vs. 36% in August 1999).

                     Clinton fatigue is prevalent among all major demographic groups. Even 56% of Democrats say they have grown weary of Clinton, and fully 78% of independents agree. The percent of voters who wish Clinton could run for a third term has remained steady since last year. Just one-quarter wish Clinton could run again, while seven-in-ten disagree.

                     -------------

                     I wish Bill Clinton could run for a third term
                                                     
                     Sep'00: Agree (27%), Disagree (71%)
                     Aug'99: Agree (28%), Disagree (71%)
                     Mar'99: Agree (28%), Disagree (71%)

                1. Clinton campaign effort could hurt Gore more than help, poll suggests, CNN, From staff and wire reports, October 24, 2000

                   Among independent voters, the net loss for Gore could be far greater: Gallup's survey indicated that 45 percent of independents would be less likely to vote for the vice president if Clinton were to campaign for him, while only 10 percent said they would be more likely to support Gore. Another 37 percent of independents said Clinton's efforts would make no difference.

                Fourth, Gore was forced to start with these sustained double digit deficits (by 18% in 3/99 and by 15% the day he announced his bid on 6/10/99). Here is a plot of Bush vs Gore beginning with one poll before the Lewinsky scandal surfaced and ending with 6/10/99. That (15-18% deficit) was the starting handicap for Gore mainly due to Clinton scandal. W/o the scandal/impeachment circus, Gore would've started no worse than even in polls. So, there's little doubt that Gore and disadvantaged at the starting line by 15% due to Clinton's reckless conduct.

                Compare that to last July when Obama and Edwards led McCain by about 8-10%, most of which wa due to Bush/Republican/war fatigue. Add the two together, and we get the difference between the two cycles to be about 25% against Gore, which is whopping, night and day kind of dichotomy.

                No analysis of the 2000 election that doesn't consider Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and impeachment's impact properly can be considered objective.

          •  60-67% disliked Clinton 'as a person' in '99-2000 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dinotrac

            Opinion of Clinton as a Person

            		   Fav	 Unfav
            
            Exit poll:	      36%   60% 
            
            10/22/00  LV	   33	 60
            10/21/00  LV	   33	 62
            10/20/00  LV	   32	 63
            10/1/00   RV	   37	 58
            9/6/00	  RV	   35	 62
            8/20/00   RV	   35	 61
            8/10/00   RV	   34	 62
            1/26/00 	   34	 61
            12/15/99  RV	   32	 65
            12/15/99	   36	 62
            9/2/99		   38	 59
            3/14/99	   30	 67
            3/4/99		   40	 54
            12/15/98	   41	 56
            11/1/98   LV	   37	 60
            11/1/98 	   42	 54
            

            Links:

            1. 2000 Exit Poll
            1. Wash. Post Poll Archive
            •  notice little difference between '98 and '00 n/t (0+ / 0-)

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:07:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Lewinsky scandal broke on 1/17/98 (0+ / 0-)

                Starr investigation was through the summer, Clinton was impeached in 12/98, and the senate trial concluded in 2/99. After that, the fatigue seems to have kicked for whatever set of reasons.

                People basically disapproved of Republicans' witch hunt, but they apparently also factored in the fact that Clinton's recklessness gave Republicans the ammunition to harass and impeach him with. The fact that Clinton lied, wagging his finger (yes, the 'that woman' bit) when the affair first surfaced (the Clinton camp later tried to demonize Monica as a "stalker" too), and the tapes of him parsing the meaining of "is" probably didn't help.

            •  That's interesting stuff... (0+ / 0-)

              for a couple of reasons.

              Most people (myself included) are not policy wonks and want to think well of the President as a person.

              The "like as a person" stuff is interesting because I think you can dislike somebody as a person and still believe them to be competent in their job.

              But... what does it take to win your vote?  Can it be either/or or do you need some minimum measure of both?

              Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

              by dinotrac on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:41:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Obama is really nothing like Reagan (0+ / 0-)

      The Reagan comparison boils down to:

      1. Good speakers;
      1. Appeal to members of the opposite party.

      That's it.  Reagan was a known quantity in 1980 -- he'd been governor of California from 1966-1974, ran for the GOP Presidential nomination in 1976 (and almost got the VP nod from Ford), and had positioned himself as the national leader of the New Right by the 1980 election.  And before then, he'd been a well-know, and evidently well-liked Hollywood leading man.

      If people were uneasy with Reagan in 1980, it was because he had an extensive track record, not because he was some neophyte.

      4 years ago, virtually no one outside Illinois had ever heard of Barack Obama.  By the 1980 election, , on the other handRonald Reagan had been famous for over 40 years -- almost as long as Barack Obama has been alive.  They're totally unalike, even if you somehow ignore the fact that Obama is an African-American.

      "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

      by Pesto on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:57:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why don't you just give up then? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm saying this to you, but it's really addressed to all the pessimists on this board (of which I am one).

        If we're so sure Obama's going to lose because he's black - a very real possibility - then what's the point of going on? Why bother, since this country's fucked anyway? Why try, since it won't make a difference because voters in this country are too stupid/racist/religious/etc? Why comment on it other than to bring the silly liberal Pollyannas down?

        Obama '08. Good for the Party, Good for the Country.

        by SouthernFried on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:05:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who's talking about Obama losing? (0+ / 0-)

          For what it's worth, I think Obama is going to clean McCain's clock.  And I'm very pessimistic about American politics.  It's going to be the ugliest election of my lifetime, which is saying a lot, because once it becomes clear some time around Halloween that Obama is going to win, the racists will drop any pretense of euphemism and will just start yelling, "N**ger! N**ger! N**ger!" non-stop for the last 10 days.  It might even start before then.

          So I'm confident Obama will win.  I'm not at all confident about what he'll achieve once he's in office, but I do think he'll win handily.

          I'm just commenting here about the comparison with the 1980 election, which is just utterly different from 2008 according to any rational standard.  The elections aren't similar at all (no incumbent, probably no significant Independent candidate), and Obama is about as different from Reagan as rhetorically-gifted candidate can be.

          Honestly, Mario Cuomo was about 100 times more similar to Ronald Reagan as a candidate, and I don't remember anyone remembering Cuomo as "the Democrats' potential Reagan" of the 1980s.

          My guess is that people here are trying to persuade themselves that the 2008 election will signal the end of Reaganism and the Washington Consensus, and are casting around for comparisons that will justify that belief.

          "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

          by Pesto on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:40:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Just curious but (0+ / 0-)

            why so pessimistic about Obama once elected?? He should have sizeable majorities in both the house and Senate, and, imo, he has an uncanny ability to find middle ground and work from there. Do you not have faith in Obama himself??

            •  Finding middle ground is the last thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              host

              our society needs at this point.  We need radical change, and our system of government has evolved pretty specifically to make that as difficult as possible.

              That's not surprising -- no system wants radical change, because that kind of change threatens the system's stability and continued existence.  But it's also the fact that Obama, from what I've seen, is uninterested in radical change.  He wants competence and a sense of unity, which would be much better than Bush or McCain, but that's hardly a radical restructuring of power in the US.

              If we're going to get radical change -- or even something like the New Deal, which wasn't as radical as a whole lot of other programs on the table in the US at the time -- we'll need a massive people's movement that threatens social stability.  Capital will need to face an existential threat, and to take the threat seriously enough to be willing to concede a significant amount of power in order to ensure its continued existence.

              The only tiny sliver of hope I have -- and it's a lot of the reason that I favored Obama over Clinton -- is that Obama's campaign organization is big enough to spark that kind of movement...provided it turns on him after the election.  I give that about a 1 in 50 chance.

              The President's job is to protect and empower American (corporate) hegemony overseas, and to manage the national security state.  That's the job Obama is applying for.  Whatever his personal preferences, that's the job he'll do once he's inaugurated.  Unfortunately, that job hurts and exploits the vast majority of Americans, and hundreds of millions of people around the world, all to the benefit of a small elite largely in this country.  Obama can't and won't change that.  If it changes, it'll be because we all made changing it the only alternative to watching the society descend into chaos.

              "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

              by Pesto on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:20:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Pesto, great post, but most are too far right (0+ / 0-)

                to even comprehend what you are talking about. They don't grasp that Obama got this far because he is offered a a "crumb" by those who hold most of the wealth and power, just as patrician FDR was offered as a crumb. We need a Huey P. Long....it's more like 1927 in Louisiana, in the US today, than it is like it was in the US in 1980.

                The most powerful and wealthiest fear a populist backlash, and Obama is as far as they are willing to go, to keep such a backlash from happening, and it appears to be enough....for most everyone who posts here, anyway... The truth is, that Obama is about the least "change" that the controlling interests can get away with, and still keep a pacified mass of largely unquestioning cattle. In Sept., 1935, when it appeared that Huey Long might be a political threat to FDR, in the 1936 presidential contest, he was duly dispatched, with a bullet. SSA.gov knows where the politcal pressure that founded it, came from, and it wasn't from FDR.... http://www.ssa.gov/...

        •  To be fair (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pesto

          the points he raised for Obama not being Reagan were all legitimate and having contesting viewpoints is healthy, especially when they're presented with logical assertions.

          I believe the general similarities are of Reagan, like Obama, needing to debunk the "he's risky" perception. For me, the differences lie in the reasons for the perception of their riskiness. Where its the unknown, experience, and ethnicity for Obama, it was rightwing extremism and the fear of ceding power to an ideologically more conservative republican for Reagan. So while Reagan was a known quantity, you can easily argue that only added to the risk of putting him in office.

      •  Sigh. Feel free to believe as you will. (0+ / 0-)

        Or, instead, read that which you comment on.

        I didn't say that Reagan was unknown.  I said that he hadn't won voters' trust.

        Reagan was associated with a right-wing ideology that many Americans found unfamiliar and uncomfortable.  He had been portrayed ceaselessly as a war-mongering cowboy. He did what he needed to do to combat that perception -- he smiled, was gracious, etc.  Basically, he reached out to tell America that he was no nut job and America bought the pitch.

        Obama's task is different.  He needs to convince America that he represents a clean sheet, not a blank slate.  He hasn't spent his life in politics, but he's engaged the world and brings plenty to the table.

        Just like Reagan didn't have to convince America that he was the second coming of Gandhi, Obama doesn't have to convince America that he is the ultimate policy wonk.  He just needs to let us know that he's been around enough to understand what's going on, smart enough to weigh the input of those with specific expertise he lacks, and principled enough to be trusted with the choices that will determine our future.

        That's the key word "enough", not maximum, just enough.

        The race is his to lose, and he'll have to work hard to do that.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:11:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you make the points of comparison (0+ / 0-)

          vague enough, you can make them look similar.  Lots of candidates have to "win the voters' trust" -- that's been a huge issue for Kerry and Gore and Dukakis and Bush I ("read my lips, no new taxes!") and McGovern and Goldwater and probably even Humphrey.  I don't know if Ford was considered untrustworthy, but Carter absolutely ran a "you can trust me, I've never been to Washington" campaign in 1976.  I don't think "trust" was a huge issue for Dole or Mondale, who were old hands running against popular incumbents.

          As you point out, the "trust" issue with Obama is (allegedly) about his lack of a track record (but, in reality, is about 90% racism, IMHO).  The issue with Reagan was the opposite -- everyone knew his track record, as he'd been in public life for literally 4 decades, including 15 as one of the most important politicians in the country, and had run for President 2 times before (though I'm not sure the 1968 effort amounted to much).  The fear of Reagan wasn't some inchoate, "I just don't know about this guy" it was, "Do we want to put the New Right in power?"

          Just like Reagan didn't have to convince America that he was the second coming of Gandhi, Obama doesn't have to convince America that he is the ultimate policy wonk.  He just needs to let us know that he's been around enough to understand what's going on, smart enough to weigh the input of those with specific expertise he lacks, and principled enough to be trusted with the choices that will determine our future.

          I don't think the "trust" attacks are made in good faith or processed in good faith.  They're just racism.  Presidential campaigns have been incredibly racist for a couple of generations, at least since 1964, and in every previous one a white man was guaranteed to be the President no matter who won.  Now that it's very, very likely that a black man will be President, it's going to get uglier by several orders of magnitude.

          Obama can't answer the attacks, because the attack basically consists of people (euphemistically) screaming, "N**ger!"  I still think the fundamentals, along with McCain's manifest incompetence as a candidate, will give Obama a clear victory.  But we as a society might decide that we'd still rather burn our house down rather than let a black guy live in it.

          "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

          by Pesto on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:40:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Remember - I'm skeptical of the historical (0+ / 0-)

            comparisons. They're all strained, and you can pick, choose, and interpret the facts as needed to support your proposition.

            I believe that the Reagan-Obama comparison is more apt than most, but it certainly isn't perfect.

            Nevertheless, you said a couple of interesting things:

            >he'd been in public life for literally 4 decades, including 15 as one of the most important politicians in the country

            Don't know about you, but I doubt that many people considered "Bedtime for Bonzo" as preparation for the presidency.

            The sum total of his political experience in 1980 was two terms as California governor, lots of speeches, and two failed attempts to win the Republican nomination, ie -- he didn't even make the cut for the final race.

            I don't know how important he was, but I do know that, as California governor, he didn't have his hands on nuclear weapons and foreign policy, and that is what people feared the most.

            >They're just racism.

            I don't know where you get that from, unless it's some place deep in your own soul.  

            Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

            by dinotrac on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:28:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Are you accusing me of being a racist? (0+ / 0-)

              They're just racism.

              I don't know where you get that from, unless it's some place deep in your own soul.

              That's an asinine, ignorant, offensive comment, and looks a lot to me like an off-handed ad hominem delivered in lieu of a real reply.

              Do you honestly believe that racism isn't a huge factor in this election?  Once in a blue moon people might argue that he's inexperienced -- but the majority of the "trust"-type arguments are framed by explicit, or nearly-explicit, racism.  Did you somehow miss the massive shitstorm over the New Yorker cover?

              Don't know about you, but I doubt that many people considered "Bedtime for Bonzo" as preparation for the presidency.

              Well, that's only part of the point.  Name recognition and general positive feelings about a candidate matter a tremendous amount.  Being a well-liked, public figure, as Reagan was, is a huge advantage.  2 generations of Americans knew his name, and probably had pretty good feelings about him by the time 1980 rolled around.  He was in an entirely different realm of public awareness from Barack Obama, whose name was probably unfamiliar to 95% of the country before the 2004 Democratic Convention speech.

              Don't forget that Reagan was also President of the Screen Actors' Guild and went out of his way to play along with red-baiting and Hollywood purges -- he was involving himself in reactionary activism even when he was still acting with chimps.

              Lastly, despite all the Bonzo jokes, he did manage to get himself elected Governor of California, and to win reelection, as well.  That's a huge accomplishment for a politician.  Off the top of my head, I don't know whether California had already grown bigger than New York in 1966 or 1970, but as governor he represented the largest (or maybe 2nd-largest) constituency in the country, after the President.

              Yes, sane people were terrified that he'd start a nuclear war, and with good reason.  Reagan and the team he brought with him were in many cases evil nutbags, if not outright loons.  But Reagan was pretty much all there for people to see in 1980 -- his track record of busting DFH's as Governor; his red-baiting; his militarism; his launching his campaign in Philadelphia, MS; his chest-thumping "I paidfor this microphone" moment in New Hampshire.  All the resentment and anger and rage were right there -- anger had been his political persona since Sacramento, and he didn't become doddering grandpa Ronnie until his second go-round.

              Reagan's campaign amounted to a public lynch mob organized by the New Right, targeting all the people they hated -- people of color, feminists, gays, liberals, DFHs -- and I think the majority of people who voted for him recognized that that was exactly what he was going to deliver.

              "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

              by Pesto on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:35:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think you're accusing yourself. (0+ / 0-)

                I said that your comment came from someplace deep in your own soul.  That leaves a lot of room to run around in.  You took it from there.

                And no, I honestly do not believe that racism is a huge factor in this election.

                A non-factor? No, of course not.  There will always be pinheaded pricks in this world, but 2008 is not 1960.

                Obama's first victory was in lily-white bible belt Iowa.  I don't think that would have happened even 20 years ago, although -- Jesse Jackson ran surprisingly well in some places nobody would have expected him to.

                Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                by dinotrac on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 08:09:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  So, um.. (0+ / 0-)

    "DumbleyU" analogized as James Carter?

    Closer to Satan, or some Hun character in my book. Hitler on steroids. Fuck a planet uninhabitable and there are no history books to sing your glories.

    How much is enough, Gordon?

    by SecondComing on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:36:01 PM PDT

  •  Good Diary DemFromCT...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    Enjoyed the parallelism analysis. In terms of comparison to past elections, I think this election is a mixture of the 1932, 1960 and 1980 elections, with 1980 bearing the most resemblances.

    Good Diary.

    And yeah, I'm not hyperventilating over polls anymore ;-)

  •  can't forget the original October Surprise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LSdemocrat

    which undercut Carter in a huge way, thanks to George the 1st.

    And imagine if we had heeded Carter's vision re energy independence instead of reagan throwing his solar panels off the White house roof.

  •  Inaccurate representation of the problem (3+ / 0-)

    Many Americans saw Bush as an inept leader who had failed to solve the worsening economic problems at home, and had made the US unpopular abroad, and the GOP candidate John McCain inherited the mantle of the unpopular Republican Party from Bush.

    Bush didn't fail to solve the problems -- he and his greedy old party were the initators of the problems. Virtually every single 'problem' is a result of the cronyism, the ineptitude, the divisiveness, the arrogance, the war mongering, the hate, and the criminality of this maladministration.

    The entire republican party was hijacked by terrorists -- willingly -- and it's not about bush any longer. He's just another criminal puppet in a long line of republican puppets.

    And fyi, every single breath from the presumptive republican nominee isn't a flip flop -- it's an alignment to the same failures of this criminal president and the party of hypocracy.

    More foreign oil, as the ad queries? How about more profits for big oil and less in the pockets of Americans. That's what McSame is all about.

    Hm. Made it to mid-afternoon before ranting.

    Chaos. It's not just a theory.

    by PBnJ on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:39:29 PM PDT

    •  I agree 100% with this analysis (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PBnJ

      Bush and his Republican co-conspirators in Congress created the problems in the economy and are continuing to exacerbate them today by their idiotic Kabuki theatre of drill, drill, drill, bomb, bomb, bomb.

      Wikipedia is a farce largely because anyone can write anything they want and pretty much edit anything else that is attempting to be fact and reality based.

      Bush is the problem.  He hasn't failed to solve them.  McCain will do exactly the same for four more years, maybe eight, depends on who his veep is.  Americans have proved over and over again they have an infinite capacity for self-delusion.  

      The risk is in electing a seile old man verging on the madness of having been tortured for five years.  That is as real a risk as not electing Obama for being black.  This whole 'fit for commander in chief' frame is a con game. Reagan was'nt a military man. Nixon wasn't a military man. Clinton wasn't a military man. George W was a farce as a military man. Get real.   National security risk, my arse!!!!! McCain is the national security risk, he is as crazy as the crazy coot who rode the bomb of destruction to earth at the end of Dr. Stranglove.

      Time to take the gloves off. Draw blood.

  •  Over and over (0+ / 0-)

    Are you better off now then you were eight years ago, is the country better off now then eight years ago?  Four more years could mean the end of the American dream.  That’s what I want to hear from the Obama campaign everyday until election day.  

  •  The Age of Obama (0+ / 0-)

    If Obama wins big, or even if he doesn't, he needs to think big, make it the Age of Obama, bring sweeping change. God knows it's what the country needs.

    Thank you, Howard Dean.

    by thinkdouble on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:52:54 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the detail. (0+ / 0-)

    that was great.

    Treat folks with no respect and be treated as if you are without respect.

    by fhamme on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:57:37 PM PDT

  •  Great peice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    one additional detail, that may cut in a different way than you think.  Throughout the summer Carter could not put the Democratic Party Together.  

    In a June 18-22 NYT poll, Carter trailed Reagan 43-28.  Among Democrats, he was winning only 44-27 with 17 for Andersen.  At that point a substantial amount of Kennedy supporters were refusing to support the Democratic Nominee.  

    Though it is not remembered this way, the Democratic Convention in August allowed Carter to consolidate the Democratic Party vote.  This allowed Carter to reverse a 15 point deficit and carry a lead into September.  The following table summarizes the July and September races for all elections since 1976 (I posted this on Openleft).  
    As it shows, Carter had taken the lead.

    My point here is that Obama has a similar opportunity to put the Democratic Party together as Carter did in 1980.   I don't think the feelings run nearly as deeply as they did in 1980, and I think Clinton will not act as Kennedy did in 1980.  This may allow Obama to get a bigger bounce out of the convention than we may think.

    One final note about 1980: it represents the last time the popular vote leader in September did not go on to win.  Elections are decided in August, not in the Fall.

    •  great! (0+ / 0-)

      I was waitin' on you.  ;-)

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:20:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great table (0+ / 0-)

      Which polls were used?? Interesting to see that Kerry was already down 5 pts in September. I remember him being down after the the Swift boat attacks in August, but I thought the margin was closer.

      •  In 2004 you can get the polls from (0+ / 0-)

        realclearpolitics.  I tried to use polls around labor day - which is generally considered to be the start of the campaign.

        The numbers from 1976 to 1996 were gathered from the NYT archive, the Roper Polling Archive, the Pew Archive, the ABC News Archive and the LA Times archive.

        If someone puts a website, I will put the data there.  And it will be the only place on the net where the data will exist.  You can get every batter who ever played in the Major leagues, but polling history is locked away and not accessible.  It is interesting to think why.

        It took months to put together that table.  It was a labor of love.

  •  But Obama ISN'T ridiculing McCain (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethropalerobber, IvanR, Dave1955

    and that's a (big) part of the reason that the election will be very close, unless things change.  I doubt that Obama will go on the attack, so unless there are effective anti-McCain 527s, or McCain loses it in a debate (fair possibility), this thing will be close.

    Silence is not an effective reply to propaganda.

    by fleisch on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:28:42 PM PDT

    •  Chuck Todd (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fleisch, Dave1955

      said today that that Obama will be revving up the anti-Mccain rhetoric starting this week, and that the Convention will be a full blown anti-Mccain ad.

      •  THAT would be great (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fleisch

        In 2004, the Kerry people, in their wizardry, ordered that no one 'attack the President.'  Because, you know, people don't like negativity, and we, being nice Democrats and all, don't want to dirty our hands.  We saw how that worked.  I hope to hell every damn one of our speakers out-Zell-Millers Zell Miller's immortal 'spitballs' speech from 2004, and bashes the crap out of that mean stupid little prick John McCain.  Yeah, the media will wring their hands.  Fuck' em.  The voters will take notice.

        Dear Democratic Party: Win This One or Just Disband

        by Tuffie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:14:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  One HUGE difference: John Anderson (4+ / 0-)

    was a legitimate candidate then - I in fact cast my first presidential vote for him. A few months back I went to look at what was so appealing to my 18 year old brain, and was surprised at some of the things I read about him, especially his advocacy of raising the gasoline tax by 50 cents - which was more than it was selling for a gallon.

    •  I voted for Anderson too. (0+ / 0-)

      Also, at the age of 18. He seemed more like an agent of change to my young liberal mind than Carter or Reagan. I wonder how many votes he actually siphoned from each camp?

      Since the whole affair was one of religion.. the vanquished were of course, exterminated. Voltaire

      by maerkwurdigleiebe on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:59:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bob Barr this year's Anderson? (0+ / 0-)

      I know he doesn't have Anderson's gravitas but politically he could be similar to Anderson in '80.

      "...and I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords." --Kent Brockman

      by dhshoops on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:23:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  after Anderson did so poorly in the (0+ / 0-)

        first debate (which Carter skipped), Anderson did not have Anderson's gravitas.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:15:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure we have to wait for the debates... (0+ / 0-)

    Folks-
    It seems to me that the McCaint campaign "Jumped the Shark" with the Paris/Brittany ads last week. Hopefully it's all down hill from here for the McCaint camp. But I won't bet on it.
    More at my Blog.
    -Edly

  •  Amounts to Adult Daycare, One Party 2 right wings (0+ / 0-)

    The differences in political philososphy an agenda, as measured by the results, since 1980, are too miniscule to partisanize, as you and many others attempt to, in your diaries. All of it is a "right of center, agenda". Obama talks of Afghanistan as "the central front of the war on terror....against al-Qaeda", he reverses himself on defense of 4th amendment rights, and on telecomm amnesty. Pelosi capitulates with Obama, initiates her term by taking impeachment, "off the table", and appoints Porter Goss as house ethics committee "management".

    This is what "left" looks like, it doesn't look like McCain or Obama, or the distraction that you put up as "making a difference", when it doesn't. US GINI=45 France GINI=28 ....

    let's do a French checklist: (0 / 0)

    Super strong currency? Check!
    Near Balanced trade, despite strong currency? Check!
    World Class Universal Healthcare, vs. illness expenses related US bankruptcies? Check!

    Six percent national poverty rate, vs. 12 percent in US? Check!

    Higher domestic reinvestment rate in France vs. US? Check!

    Impressively lower infant mortality at birth rate in France vs, US? Check!

    Living minimum wage level? %!3 vs. $6.55....yuu decide

    Mandatory minimum employer paid vacation time: France; five weeks, US= zero

    Most productive nation, per hours worked? France

    Most popular foreign tourist destination, despite population less than 1/3 of US level? France!

    France unemployment 8.3 percent, vs, 5.7 percent US, Do the working poor in the US, live less affluently than the unemployed do, in France?

    Employee paid pensions, early retirement? France? Check! US...not so much...

    Nearly all residents documented and or citizens? France? Check! US= Who knows????

    Generous government paid living stipend, and or unemployment benefits, union representation for workers and protections against arbitrary job dismissal? France? Check! US....not so much....

    So....what am I missing? What is not to like, vs, where we are in the US, and where we are heading? Will wealth be more equitably distributed here, two years from now, if home prices decline another 15 percent, and all but the wealthiest ten percent, having the bulk of their net worth embedded in the value their residence, as US census surveys seem to indicate where we sub top tenners have most of our wealth "stored"?

  •  You're in my head now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    or I'm in yours.

    Also, Mcain isn't an incumbent (though he's a great stand-in for one... anyone who thinks he won't act like George Bush should watch him run Bush's third campaign).

    It's that simple for us all to see.  I was saying this same thing to my family on Friday. The dots connect; the same players (Schmidt, etc) are pulling the strings with the same goal to make the other choice FEEL like the unsafe one.  Why would he govern very differently from that?  

    Obama should use this.  It's priceless and a gift to him from McCain.  I'm ok with it if you are.

    I really enjoy your posts.  I look for them.  Thanks.

    "The 'Gay Agenda' has indeed been revealed, and it bears a remarkable resemblance to the U.S. Constitution." ~Donna Minnis

    by Decided Voter on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:36:17 PM PDT

    •  Tell Your Family System is designed to avoid (0+ / 0-)

      discussion of "how right we are"....to ever ask how leftist politics have achieved so much for the average Frenchman....how our "one party, two right wings"...hard right, and "right lite", have achieved so little for the average American. We're one illness and two missed mortgage payments away from having nothing. The top ten percent here control more than 70 percent of all privately held wealth, and they control the discourse and the media, and you'll puch for Obama, as if he isn't this year's concession, intended to keep a lid on the mugging of the most conned electorate in any post industrialized country. Rugged individualists, all...with less and less to show for our misguided votes and misplaced political loyoalties. You crave an Obama, vistory? You can have it. The folks who control almost everything in the US, will be delighted with an Obama victory. They have sleepness nights, wondering if a candidate for US president will say these words, in a telecast....if the French can achieve so much from government, for the average person, why can't we do likewise, here in the US?

  •  One key difference: the Iranian Hostage Crisis (0+ / 0-)

    One point people seem to be forgetting is that the hostage crisis was still going on at the time of the election, further highlighting Carter's perceived weakness.  Had Carter been able to do remotely anything about the crisis in the last couple months he may well have won, or at least made the election much closer.

    •  the parallel is the iraq war (0+ / 0-)

      which is still going on, and which McCain has decided to try and own.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:13:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the convention will give us a huge bounce (0+ / 0-)

    Because look at it this way. The democratic party is fired up and ready to go out and kick ass.

    We are motivated and so many new voters and different groups are behind us. When the convention hits the nation hell even the world will see how united we are. People will be cheering and shouting.

    While the GOP convention is going to feel like an awkard jr high dance. Because hell most republicans who want to stay in the house or senate dont even want to show up. Hell they dont even want the sitting president to show up.

    Moral will be down and there will be thousands of protesters there. There is also a differnt Ron Paul Convention going on in the other side of town which will suck life out of the GOP convention.

    My only fear for the DNC convention is the Football statium speech at the end. MOre than likly we will see another round of "The one" ads with DNC convention footage.

    •  And so will they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT

      They'll get a bounce, too, when they trot out their Christianist kooks and anoint St. John and Bishop Mitt.  Bounce, shmounce. I really wish that some of you liberals here had some idea what the world was like outside of coastal urban enclaves and college towns.  As opposed to this liberal, in suprisingly redneck Oregon. I meet a lot of people from the suburbs of Portland, from "Vantucky" (Vancouver, WA) and rural Oregon. There is a huge number of not very well educated factory workers and "Whatever Happened to Kansas" types.  They are racist and they are very gullible, and they buy the Fox news tripe abotu "elitism", Harvard, etc etc. And "bitter" (he diagnosed that one perfectly).   They will never vote for Obama. Webb, absolutely.  Warner, probably.  Strickland (zzzzzzz) possibly.  But never Obama, and probably not Hillary either.  

      So we're fucked, and we are the ones who did the fucking.

      The Supreme Court is the real prize.

      by Golani on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:59:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they exist (0+ / 0-)

        and McCain still can't get over 45%.

        They exist, but McCain won't win in OR.

        They exist, but Obama will win anyway.

        I wish some of you self-annointed 'realists' would give more credit to people on this blog. Some of us get around.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 05:47:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We've blown it, again (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry friends, but we've blown it, once again (as only Democrats can).  Obama played well in the primaries, with a voting population that does not resemble the population at large.  And he did poorly among those who most resemble the "independents".  Now we're seeing the results. Check out politico.com today; up to 10 percent of dems and independents may be lying about their support of Obama (no, I don't believe the Bradley effect is dead).  Factor that in to Obama's whopping 1 point national lead, and you've got President McCain.  Hillary would have fought back last week when McCain was eviscerating Obama with veiled racism, and Mark Warner would be ahead 15 points (and would have aced Virginia, possibly NC and Ohio).   So congratulations, us.  WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN TO NOMINATE SOMEONE WHO CAN FIGHT AND WIN?  On the plus side, I just drove through rural Washington State (argh). Not a Gregoire sign in site, sadly, but.....ALL of the republican candidates (including the vile stealth social wingnut Rossi) were using BLUE signs, and none said GOP or Republican!

    The Supreme Court is the real prize.

    by Golani on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:13:25 PM PDT

    •  arnt you late for your PUMA meeting? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inkan1969

      better get back to blogging about how it isnt too late to hand everything over to Clinton.

      •  what is puma (0+ / 0-)

        I liked Bill, I'll admit it.  And I really like Hillary Clinton.  And I'd be thrilled if Obama became president. Or Richardson. Or Edwards.  I just don't think Obama will win and I am very upset that we will probably lose in a year that should have been ours.

        So if that makes me Puma whatever that is, then grrrr (is that the sound a puma makes?).

        The Supreme Court is the real prize.

        by Golani on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:50:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK now I know what Puma is, AdamND (0+ / 0-)

          Looked it up on Wiki and they sound like idiots.  NO, I will not boycott Obama.  Nor "protest" nor whatever those morons are doing.  I'll even phone bank for him.  But he is going to lose and I blame all those idealistic lefties and college students who supported him.

          The Supreme Court is the real prize.

          by Golani on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:03:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There is a problem with your analysis. (0+ / 0-)

      And it is this.

      McCain is an empty suit.  He can count on 28% of conservatives who would support a dead rotting dog carcass for president over voting for a Democrat and he can lock in the 13% racist voters who would rather let the United States crumble into a smoldering ruin before voting for a black man.  Many of the racist voters are Republicans, but a sizeable number are also Democrats.

      Right now, most voters are not paying attention to the campaign.  They will not start paying attention until after the conventions and the start of the debates.  That means a sizeable number of voters either haven’t made up their minds or are in the "I vote Republican", "I vote Democrat" phase of decision-making.  That is, they are telling pollsters that they intend on voting for their party’s candidate despite not knowing anything about that candidate simply because they traditionally vote Republican or Democrat.  Further, a sizeable number know enough about John McCain but not enough about Barak Obama to say that they will vote for McCain.  And a sizeable number are saying that they will vote for McCain or not Obama, but will most probably switch and vote Obama on election night anyway (cue the so-called PUMA’s).

      However, between the conventions and the final debate, this dynamic will change.  Voters by the end of October will know both candidates completely.  They will have heard each discuss the issues and heard their solutions to the problems each face.  THIS is Obama’s advantage.  He can and will take these voters by surprise.  He has ideas and solutions, he can define the problem, he can project empathy and he can engage the listener.  McCain can strut and shout and spout slogans about "Drill Here, Drill Now" but that isn’t anything close to what actually wins elections.

      This was Reagan’s ability.  Despite his age, his limited grasp of issues and his obvious intellectual deficit, he was able to project an empathy and understanding of issues and problems that registered with voters.  The idea that he understood and cared about these concerns convinced voters to take a chance and elect an aging ex-actor from Hollywood over a Navy grad, private businessman and current President.  At the outset of the election in 1980, most voters were playing it safe, going with tradition and planned on voting for the devil they knew.  By October, they were overwhelmingly backing Reagan.

      Every sign to date, indicates that history is set to repeat itself in 2008.

      And you are wrong when you say Hillary would be doing better.  Sexism is probably even more widespread among voters than racism and voters would be treated to repeated "what’s Bill up to while Hillary’s campaigning" ads right now.

  •  With all due respect ... (0+ / 0-)

    It's a terrible precedent to trot out. There will be dozens of close House races on the West Coast, and the last thing we need are the media powers declaring the race over -- with congressional races as an afterthought, causing tens of thousands of voters to stay home.

    "We have given young people a reason to believe ..." - Barack

    by jdlas on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:08:58 PM PDT

  •  reagan only got 50.75% of popular vote... (0+ / 0-)

    ...electoral college was only a landslide because of john anderson.

  •  I'll be happy as long as it's not Dukakis 88. (0+ / 0-)

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