Yes We Can: Lessons from Obama

November 8, 2008

More thoughts on the Glenrothes by-election.

It was strange. The SNP ahead in the polls, a short Labour surge to level, before the SNP went once again ahead.

The SNP confident, Labour overly pessimistic.

Pundits predicting a narrow SNP win.

Since I wrote yesterday about the Obama effect on the by-election, the parallels between the Glenrothes by-election and the New Hampshire Democratic Primary came to my thoughts.

An election which Obama was widely predicted to win.

The polls were good; pundits were agreed. Hillary Clinton seemed resigned to the loss.

But Hillary Clinton took the state’s nomination.

Of course, later Barack Obama went on to defeat Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

And went on to win the U.S. Presidential election in an historic victory.

Obama used the lessons in the New Hampshire election to spur on his support, warning them of the dangers of complacency:

“For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky or think this is all set, I just have two words for you: New Hampshire”

In the middle of October when things were looking rosy he reminded his campaign staff:

From Ben Smith’s blog:

‘On a conference call with his campaign staff just now, Barack Obama delivered the same message he’s been telling donors: Don’t get cocky.

‘Obama got on the staff call with campaign manager David Plouffe to praise his staff, but also to tell them not to become overconfident, because — in my source’s paraphrase — “too many people are counting on us not to screw this up.’

‘Eighteen days, he reminded them, is a long time, and he told them to “run scared,” run as though they were 10 points down, and “remember New Hampshire.”

Glenrothes is the SNP’s New Hampshire.

And like Barack Obama’s ‘two words: New Hampshire’, Glenrothes should sound as a future warning to complacency.

As people depended on Barack Obama; Scotland’s future depends on the SNP.

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McCain gives up on Michigan

October 3, 2008

John McCain has given up on campaigning in Michigan to concentrate on more hopeful states. Campaign officals confirmed the move is to concentrate on other swing states:- Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin.

Its a clear indication that Michigan will be Democrat blue in the coming election.

Michigan is one of several key swing states in the U.S. election.

In fact, Obama is currently ahead in most of these key swing states. This makes it a tough ask for John McCain to make a comeback and win the presidency.

Over at RealClearPolitics.com they have

Obama 260
McCain 163

Still to play for 115

And of those ‘toss up’ states the latest polling is:-

State Electoral votes Obama % McCain % Prediction 2004 result 2000 result
Ohio 20 48.0 46.0 Obama +2.0 Bush +2.1 Bush +3.5
Florida 27 48.6 45.6 Obama +3.0 Bush +5.0 Bush +0.1
Nevada 5 47.8 47.3 Obama +0.5 Bush +2.6 Bush +3.5
New Hampshire 4 46.7 45.4 Obama +1.3 Kerry +1.3 Bush +1.3
Virginia 13 49.0 46.6 Obama +2.4 Bush +8.2 Bush +8.1
North Carolina 15 47.0 46.5 Obama +0.5 Bush +12.4 Bush +12.8
Missouri 11 46.8 48.5 McCain +1.7 Bush +7.2 Bush +3.3
Indiana 11 45.3 47.5 McCain +2.2 Bush +20.7 Bush +15.7
Colorado 9 49.0 44.6 Obama +4.4 Bush +4.7 Bush +8.4

According to RealClearPolitics Wisconsin is already Obama’s to lose.

These results suggests that McCain should concentrate on the bigger college votes of Ohio, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina; where Obama’s poll lead is tightest.

Lets go with these RealClearPolitics predictions to see what might happen:-

If these bigger key swing states moved to McCain, along with Missouri and Indiana where McCain is marginally in front it would give McCain 260 electoral college votes.

Tied with Obama’s 260 [predicted by RealClearPolitics].

Given that Obama should pick up Colorado’s 9 votes, that could leave the fate of the election in the hands of Nevada (5 votes) and New Hampshire (4 votes).

Should they both go McCain’s way; it’ll be a tie! Something that pundits have already been postulating; here and here. An Obama – Palin presidential ticket?

269 tie Obama - McCain

That is a lot of ifs for McCain, and its doubtful if he’ll manage to take all of the bigger key swing states to make it interesting. We’ll see if McCain’s Michigan gamble pays off.

Right now the election is Obama’s to lose.

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