Monday, February 11, 2008

Forman on Obama's ability to win some red states

James Forman with some more spot on comments about Obama's ability to win some red states:

Here's an updated fun facts chart focusing only on the states where one candidate trounced the other, this time with racial breakdown of states included:

States Obama won with (so far) more than 60% of the vote:

Alaska (over 70%) [3.5% black]

Colorado [4% black]

Georgia [29% black]

Idaho (over 70%) [0.6% black]

Illinois [15% black]

Kansas (over 70%) [5.7% black]

Maine [0.5% black]

Minnesota [4% black]

Nebraska [1.3% black]

North Dakota [0.8% black]

Washington [3.2% black]

States Clinton won with (so far) more than 60% of the vote:

Arkansas.  [15.7% black]


In response to the Obama argument about electability, some Clintonians have suggested to me that it doesn't matter that Obama is winning so much of the country, because these red states will all go Republican in the general.  "Do you really think Obama is going to win Utah against McCain," they ask.  Well no, not Utah.  But ck out the closeness of the margin from 2004 in these 6 states, with the size of the Bush win in parens:

Iowa (Bush won by less than 1%)
New Mexico (1%)
Nevada (2%)
Ohio (2.5%)
Colorado (5%)
Florida (5%)

Winning (some) of these states is very possible, and this is why it matters to nominate somebody with lower negatives and with appeal to some Repubs and Independents.  Beyond those 6, there are a number of states I haven't listed where the margin was between 5 and 10%.  A Dem candidate with appeal across the spectrum might win one or 2 of those states (Missouri, Virginia, for example).  More importantly, Obama puts all of them in play.  That is a huge point.  Making McCain work hard to keep those states Republican means less time and money to be spent in the 6 states I noted above, or in Calif, NY, NJ, Minn. etc.

For more on all this, check out Tim Egan's blog in the New York Times, reprinted below:


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