Sunday, February 10, 2008

Who Is More Electable?

Nick Kristof in an Op Ed last week beautifully captured all of the reasons why Obama is a far better match-up for the Dems than Clinton:

But one clue emerged in Tuesday’s balloting in 14 “red states” that were won by President George W. Bush in 2004. Mr. Obama won nine while Hillary Rodham Clinton won four and is ahead in the fifth.

“Obama would appeal much more to Republican voters,” said Susan Eisenhower, a lifelong Republican and granddaughter of the late president. “Not all Republican voters, but certainly those who might be somewhat in play.”

Ms. Eisenhower is supporting Mr. Obama and said she would be glad to enlist in a “Republicans for Obama” organization.

When pollsters offer voters hypothetical matchups, Mr. Obama does better than Mrs. Clinton against Mr. McCain. For example, a Cook Political Report poll of registered voters released this week found Mr. McCain beats Mrs. Clinton, 45 percent to 41 percent. But Mr. Obama beats Mr. McCain, 45 percent to 43 percent. The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll found similar results.

Mr. Obama also has the highest approval rating of any major candidate among independents, 62 percent, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. He also has unusually low negatives, which gives him upside potential.

Mr. Obama does surprisingly well among evangelical Christians, an important constituency in swing states. For example, Relevant magazine, which caters to young evangelicals, asked its readers: “Who would Jesus vote for?” Mr. Obama was the winner and came out 27 percentage points ahead of Mrs. Clinton.

Politicians from red states have seemed likely to endorse Mr. Obama because many see him as the Democratic candidate who will do better in their states. canvassed Democrats in potential swing states and concluded:

“During extensive interviews in recent weeks in Republican-leaning states, Politico found widespread belief among current and former Democratic statewide officials that Obama is the more electable candidate with their electorates. These politicians also frequently registered a fear that Clinton’s personality and past history make her too polarizing to win independent and Republican-leaning voters.”


February 7, 2008

Op-Ed Columnist

Who Is More Electable?

It’s increasingly likely that the Republican presidential nominee will be John McCain, who is also the Republican most likely to win the November election.

Senator McCain has unusual appeal among swing voters, and polls show him running stunningly well in general election matchups — even in a year that one might expect would be a Democratic romp. So that raises the obvious question: Who would be the stronger Democratic candidate?


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