MO-Pres: Democrats Lead in Every Potential Matchup

Only once during the 20th century -- 1956 -- did a Republican win the White House without carrying the state of Missouri. So is it problematic, then, that the three leading Democratic presidential candidates lead in every potential matchup against the four leading Republican presidential candidates in the Show Me state? Take a look at the latest numbers from Research 2000:


On average, the Democratic candidates lead the Republican candidates 46.5 percent to 39.2 percent in Missouri. On the basis of these numbers I wouldn't mark the state down in the Democrats' column just yet. Note for instance that John Kerry got about 46 percent of Missouri's vote in 2004 and that Al Gore got about 47 percent in the state in 2000 -- and neither of them carried the state.

That said, George W. Bush got 51 percent of Missouri's vote in 2000 and 53 percent in 2004, a significantly higher share than the Republicans' current showing in the low 40s, indicating that the Republicans have a lot of ground to recover before they are able to carry this state. And though I wouldn't use history to suggest that the GOP needs Missouri's support in order to win the White House, the electoral vote math gets really difficult for the party if it can't win Missouri -- particularly if states like Virginia, Arkansas and Ohio start going Democratic, as polling indicates they might.

Guess What? Rudy Giuliani's Not Doing Too Well, Either

Last night I took a gander at recent polling from Rasmussen Reports and noticed that the ever-rightward-drifting used-to-be-thought-of-as-a-maverick-but- now-we-know-he-is-just-a-partisan-and-id eological-hack John McCain is tanking in the polls. But it seems the Arizona Senator is not the only leading GOP candidate who is coming up short these days. Take a look at some of the head-to-head numbers found in the latest Newsweek survey.

1/24-25/2007, Registered Voters, MoE +/- 4.0%

These numbers are not completely rosy for the Democrats and are certainly not as good as the numbers showing John McCain quickly sliding backwards against a whole slew of potential Democratic candidates. For one, the Democrats aren't pulling in the types of numbers among independents that would likely be necessary to defeat Giuliani -- or any other GOP candidate, for that matter. What's more, each of the three Democratic candidates listed polls only within the margin of error against Giuliani despite the fact that the partisan makeup of the poll is 35% D, 27% R, and 33% I. I would suspect that many of the self-proclaimed independents in the poll are actually Republicans ashamed of admitting their partisan preference, perhaps indicating that the Democrats are not bound to perform quite so poorly among indies -- or overall -- as this poll might indicate (though admittedly I don't know this for sure; it's a hunch not based on first-hand knowledge of the internals of the poll).

That said, Giuliani is supposed to be the Republican candidate with the widest potential for appeal, the candidate that Democrats have the most to fear from. Like Colin Powell in 1996, the media and the political punditry seem to assume that if only Giuliani can get through the Republican primary he would trounce any Democrat he faced. This poll clearly shows that this is not the case. And that the poll also shows John McCain trailing by between 4 and 6 points against any of the three Democratic candidates listed above and voters generically backing the Democratic candidate for 2008 by a sizeable 49 percent to 28 percent margin (including 42 percent to 19 percent among independents, with just 78 percent of Republicans backing the generic GOP candidate) should have Republicans very worried about their current standing among the electorate.

Clinton First Ever to Opt Out of Federal Matching Funds for General and Primary

The Hotline makes a big catch scrolling through Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign website: the New York Senator may have indicated her intention to be the first candidate ever to opt out of the federal matching funds for both the primaries and the general election in the history of the program.

Look closely at Sen. Clinton's exploratory committee website, and you'll discover that she's asking for contributions as high as $4200 from individuals.

What does that mean?

Because the limit on individual contributions is $2100 per election, it means that Clinton is raising money for two accounts -- her primary account and a general election account.

In other words -- Clinton becomes the first candidate to officially acknowledge that she won't accept federal matching funds for either the primary and the general election.

It seems almost inevitable at this point that the Democratic and Republican candidates will opt out of the federal matching funds system during the general election, as an increasing number have for primary elections. That being said, it's at least somewhat surprising to see any candidate implying their intentions to do so this early in the cycle.

Update [2007-1-22 3:18:8 by Jonathan Singer]: Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson, speaking with Dan Morain of the Los Angeles Times, confirms the above story (leading me to remove the question mark from the end of my headline above).

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) is the first top-tier candidate to tip her hand that she intends to leave the public money on the table. Senior Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson said by e-mail Sunday that she would not take matching funds in the primary campaign or, if she wins the Democratic nomination, in the general election.

There's more...

Not Extending Temporary Tax Cuts is NOT Increasing Taxes

A couple of days back, The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray penned a front page article examining the differences in the voting records of the two perceived frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. During the course of the study, Murray takes aim at the Senators' respective votes on matters of taxes, writing:

And Obama voted to increase taxes when he opposed a package of business breaks that included the extension of middle-class provisions. Clinton voted for the tax bill -- before she voted against it, as did Obama, in the legislation's final form.

This is shoddy reporting and just plain bad writing from Murray. Back in 2001, when the bulk of these tax cuts were debated and eventually passed in Congress, Republicans repeatedly stressed the fact that the measures were temporary, both to assuage those concerned about the immense debt of the federal government and enlist the support of those who believe in short-term fiscal stimuli for economic downturns but not long-term economic redistribution through tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy. Though Republicans may or may not have been able to slide these tax cuts through Congress by making them permanent rather than temporary, the fact is that they did not, in fact, sell them as permanent. As a result, calling opposition to extending temporary tax cuts support for tax increases is extremely disengenuous.

But it more than just that. It is an undue acceptance of deceitful Republican spin in covering the Democratic primaries -- a big no-no for a non-partisan reporter at a non-partisan newspaper like The Post. If this is the type of reporting and writing we are to expect from the Beltway's biggest newspaper, both in covering the race for the Democratic nomination but also the newly-minted Democratic Congress, we will certainly have our work cut out for us in ensuring that the media offers our side a fair shake. To begin, let Murray know, in the politest of terms, that you find this type of unbalanced writing unacceptable by filling out this email form. Hopefully she will get the message today so that we won't have to put up with this type of drivel in the future.

There's more...

Blue Nation

Ever since 2000, American progressives have been subjected to a steady stream of red-blue electoral maps. There are many problems with such maps, but what always irritated me the most about those maps were how they over-emphasized large, thinly populated expanses of land. New York City has more people than Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and the Dakotas combined, but on the red-blue electoral map of national counties is shows up as a tiny, dark blue speck compared to a sea of deep red. It was the sort of visual aide that any feudal lord would have loved, since it emphasized land instead of people.

However, the situation has now changed. The new Survey USA 50-state Bush approval rating shows the depth of Bush's troubles. In forty-seven states, Bush has a negative approval rating. In seventeen states, Bush's disapproval rating doubles his approval rating. In fifteen states, his disapproval rating is lower than any disapproval rating ever achieved my Nixon nationally. In eight states, his net disapproval is lower than anything Nixon ever achieved nationally. In Missouri, Bush is at 29-68. Missouri.

Given this situation, I thought I would take the opportunity to turn the tables on Republicans and show the current county-by-county and state-by-state electoral maps. Using the Survey USA numbers and information form Dave Leip's excellent election map resource, I have been able to create solid estimates of the current red-blue geography:



And oh yeah, Dems lead the 2008 generic ballot by 19 points, and America thinks Bill Clinton was better than Bush at everything, and by huge margins. It is a blue nation. I'd love to see these map on television and in newspapers for a little.


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