You comment doesn't say so outright, but you seem to imply that Clinton would win Kentucky. So I'll say it outright: Not a chance in hell. Kentucky would vote for the Republican no matter who we nominate.
Your comment also seems to imply, by saying it "comes down to" them, that Michigan and Pennsylvania would go red. The idea that a state that Gore won by 5 points in 2000, and Kerry won by 4 points in 2004, and whose economy is sucking badly now, would somehow switch to the Republican this year of all years is... strange, to say the least. Michigan is solid. Pennsylvania was a little narrower: 4 points for Gore, only 2 for Kerry, but the case is similar there. This is not the year that a Gore & Kerry state with a sucking economy is going to switch to the Republican.
He will win PA (Hillary would've too, but she won't be the nominee). He'll likely win MI too. I don't know about Ohio, that one's a toss-up. Missouri, too: I think Obama can win it but I'm not predicting.
Obama will also swing Colorado, New Mexico, and Iowa (these went for Bush in 2004). He'll come close in Virginia but I don't think he'll get it.
Comparison to 2004: All the Kerry states, plus three (Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico) and possibly also Ohio and/or Missouri (but he wins without them anyway).
He will not win West Virginia, but neither would Clinton; that state has been getting gradually redder and the trend will continue. New Hampshire is the flip side of that: getting gradually bluer. That trend will also continue, and Obama will win it (Clinton would've won it too, if she were the nominee, which won't be the case).
I may be wrong about these predictions, but I feel pretty good about them, and they're certainly based on much more solid reasons than believing the current "who would you vote for if the election were held today?" poll numbers.
Also, I think this is a relatively pessimistic/"realist" prediction. If things change, I think they're likely to change in favor of Democrats. McCain won't have any surprising wins, but Obama might. Surprise wins for Obama could be: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, North Dakota, Arizona.
If the election were held today, I doubt the results would much resemble either of these maps. The main reason is that if the election were held today, everyone would've known about it and acted accordingly. The candidates would've campaigned, and run their ads, the voters would've started paying attention, etc. Since the election is not today, none of that has happened, people don't know, they haven't seen the campaigns yet, and the polls are not measuring anything like a real election.
There are other reasons, like the fact that these polls were taken on different days while the general election happens on one day, that they have different methodologies and different levels of accuracy, etc., but really, the fact that the election is not today (and the rest of what I said above) is the big thing.
All this talk about "rural voters" is leaving out the majority of rural voters.
I campaigned for Obama in Vermont, for example: an almost entirely white & rural state (they have a few things they call "cities" in Vermont but they're not what a city person would recognize as a "city" - they make Albany look big and urban) where he won the primary by an overwhelming margin. He also cleaned up with >70$ margins in places like Kansas, Idaho, Alaska, and Colorado. Here in my home state of Massachusetts, he lost overall, but of the four counties he won, 1 (Middlesex) was our big urban center, and the other three (Hampden, Hampshire, and Dukes) were some of our whitest and most rural counties. Clinton did best in counties like Worcester and Bristol, places where we have medium-sized cities and their suburbs plus some rural)
Then there's the matter of all the people who would likely vote in the general election but don't participate in Democratic primaries. This is probably larger than the number of people who do participate in Democratic primaries, and includes both "swing voters" as well those Democrats who are part of the majority of Americans who don't pay much attention to politics and don't follow primaries or see them as important or are barely aware of them.
The case that Clinton does better with rural voters is based not on any sound reasoning, but rather on the election results so far. So it's important to note that the scope of the election results so far that demonstrate this case is a limited scope. In particular, it is limited to rural voters who:
1. are white, and
2. vote in Democratic primaries, and
3. are part of the Appalachian/Ozark belt, stretching through the sparsely populated mountain regions roughly from western New York through Arkansas, and past the mountains into Texas.
Yes, Clinton can and would do better with this group. There are many, larger sets of voters that Obama would do better with, and many more where it is unknown which candidate would do better with.
Hmm? There was nothing come-from-behind about that one. Alan Keyes was the guy the Republicans drafted into the race after Ryan had to drop out due to his divorce scandal. That was three months after the primary; by that point, Obama had already had his spectacular primary victory and surge of popularity and all the credible Republican candidates knew he'd beat them so they didn't want to step in, and that's how they ended up with Alan Keyes, who didn't care that he was going to lose.
Obama has a longer legislative history than Hillary Clinton, and has been a stellar legislator, with an amazing record of writing and passing bills and amendments, paying attention to obscure but important issues and understanding them in detail, and putting together coalitions. He has addressed a wide variety of issues and done, on balance, a better job than most by far.
Regarding his US Senate race: You seem to be unaware of the fact that he was an underdog in the Democratic primary, with two strong well-funded candidates ahead of him in the polls who were supposed to be the ones competing for that nomination. Until he surprised everyone with a surge near the end, built in part on grassroots support that he built over time, and he beat them both handily.
It was the shock of that upset win, and his surge of popularity, that caused Republicans to shy away from entering the general election race against him after their presumed candidate Ryan had to drop out. All of them expected they would lose, so they didn't bother to run. His big win wasn't because he didn't have a good opponent, but rather the other way around: he didn't have a serious opponent because he was clearly going to win anyway.
McCain was assured of victory, but Huckabee was still campaigning. In other words, the same situation we have now with Obama and Clinton. So Huckabee winning those states then, would be a parallel to Clinton winning WV and KY now if she is still campaigning. If she suspends her campaign before WV or KY and then wins them, it would be a different situation than those Huckabee wins.
a) I notice you doing this in every thread I comment in, but have yet to notice anyone else doing something similar (for either "side") in any of those threads. Maybe you're the only one, maybe you're the most obvious, or maybe it's just coincidence that you hit my threads and others don't, but for whatever reason, you're the one I notice.
b) Yes, in fact, I have mojo-rated a number of pro-Hillary comments and troll-rated a few pro-Obama comments. Mostly, I leave most comments I see unrated.
"Calling out another rater" for the kind of blatant abuse you've been up to seems like a good idea to me, and I see that plenty of others agree.
What's that about "get a life"? You're confusing me. Does "a life" consist of going through the comments troll-rating everything you disagree with, regardless of whether it's trolling or not?
Blue Jean rated this comment a 0. She has consistently gone through every thread I've seen on MyDD recently and downrated any comment she viewed as pro-Obama and uprated any comment she viewed as pro-Clinton, completely regardless of the quality of those comments.
Is there any mechanism on this site for removing someone's ability to rate when they clearly use it in such a ridiculous fashion?
I'd like to address this especially because I haven't called for Clinton to drop out, but have been repeatedly accused of doing so.
I have explained why Obama has won and Clinton has no chance (short of a giant unexpected bombshell of the sort where it wouldn't matter if she'd suspended her campaign already); I have called on people to stop voting for her even if they'd have preferred her; and I have explained why I think a convention fight would be very harmful, while knowing who our nominee is in time to plan the convention that way would be very helpful. Because of these things, people assume that I want her to drop out even when I say that I don't. So, I wonder if you're making a similar mistake, lumping in people who are calling for her to drop out with those who aren't, and thus seeing the call to drop out as an overwhelming consensus when it's not.
I've also been accused of wanting to "force her to drop out", or "prevent people from voting", or "take her off the ballot", and your title suggests some of those things. That's not even an understandable misunderstanding, it's just hyperbole. To be clear, if Clinton suspends her campaign:
It should be by her own choice, not force
She would remain on the ballot wherever she qualified
Primaries would still be held as scheduled and people could still vote for her.
So the real question is, "what's wrong with continued campaigning after having already lost?" Since your premise (and a true one) is that we know Obama has already won, what those people who call on her to drop out are implicitly saying is "she should not continue campaigning because she has lost". That's not my position, but it is their position. That is the question you should be asking. You'll find that it's not a ridiculous position. Although I don't agree with it, there are reasonable arguments to be made for it.
In general, VP choices do not make a big difference, except in the same way that endorsements do: they reinforce the message or shore up message deficiencies. These effects are not regional. For example, Kennedy endorsing Obama had a lot of value in convincing people that it was okay for true liberals to support him, something that had been somewhat in question. This made a lot more difference outside of Massachusetts, where Kennedy is more of a symbol of liberalism, than in Massachusetts, where Kennedy is more of an actual person rather than a symbolic concept.
Now, Richardson is one of the rare exceptions: New Mexico has been so ridiculously close in the last two elections that someone who can sway even a few thousand votes can make a big difference, and being a very popular current Governor, he can actually probably net tens of thousands by campaigning there (that doesn't apply to Senators, and usually doesn't apply to past Governors, but very popular current Governors can net real votes).
In addition to that small bump in electoral votes, Richardson has some real value on the message front: Despite Obama's significant and successful legislative experience as well as his varied other sorts of experience, he chose to run on a Hope message and downplayed all of that, while Clinton ran on an "experience" message and attacked him on that front. As a result, popular perception is that he's "not experienced". It's meaningless, and false, but it affects voters' choices. The mere addition of a Governor to the ticket blunts that somewhat. When that Governor happens to have the insane amount of real, successful foreign policy experience that Richardson has, it blunts it by a lot. So Richardson would shore up Obama's primary weakness more than anyone else (it's like combining Clinton + Wesley Clark + a Governor, for perception of experience).
I've never supported Clinton for the nomination. I liked Dodd, Richardson, Edwards, Obama... but never Clinton. Nevertheless, I had a generally positive view of her until about this April. Note that by then, I was quite sure Obama had won the nomination, so my positive view of her survived the entire time that I was campaigning hard for Obama and viewed Clinton as a real threat to his nomination (roughly, late January until the beginning of March).
It was only about a month after I saw the race as already settled, and was satisfied with the nominee we'd chosen, that my view of Clinton started turning seriously sour.
Normally, I believe that despite the heated contest between Democrats during the primaries, we all get over it. I remember being in just such a heated contest in the most recent cycle, when I was still campaigning to try to elect a Dean delegate in Massachusetts after he'd suspended his campaign (we managed 8% in our CD, half of what we needed). However I never had any doubt that I would eventually campaign for Kerry once I knew he'd be the nominee, and indeed I did, going to both Ohio and Florida in the last couple of months.
The exceptions happen when a candidate continues running long after they've lost, and I don't think we've had as bad an episode of bridge-burning since Kennedy vs. Carter in 1980. This year really does feel different.
In the past month or so, I've seen the Clinton campaign turn their strategy very decidedly towards exploiting a racial divide, I've seen denial of reality, I've seen concerted efforts to tear down the near-certain nominee with attacks that help McCain, and I've seen plain nastiness and meanness that I did not see during the most heated contests of January, February, and March, back when it actually mattered.
My view on Clinton now: I truly detest her. I want her out of the party. I no longer feel comfortable saying "she's a very good Senator". And I feel like I may not get over it because she's gone on too long with this stuff. Having been through Dean vs. Kerry, I have some perspective on the matter, and I know that I did not feel these things about Kerry then, even though I was much more involved and invested (I was committed to Dean starting in early 2002, and started building a grassroots organization for him in early 2003; in contrast, I didn't settle on Obama as my choice this time until about Dec/Jan 2007/08, less than a month before Iowa). I felt he was a poor choice for nominee, I felt it would be hard to win the general with him, I felt that his campaign had done some bad things to us, but I did not hate him.
As an Obama supporter, I'm well prepared for him to lose WV by a wide margin. Demographically, Appalachia has been his worst part of the country, very consistently. In the grand scheme of things, Appalachia is a fairly small portion of the country's population, so that hasn't stopped Obama from winning the primaries. But WV is the only all-Appalachian state, and so it has been clear for a long time now that it was going to be one of Clinton's best, perhaps even better than New York.
On the other hand, what does it matter? 95% of pledged delegates have already been voted on. WV is relatively small. Clinton is behind by about 160 delegates (including supers). She's gonna gain, what, 8 or 9 net in WV? Even if WV's size were doubled and Clinton won it by an Arkansas-level 70%, it still wouldn't put her within reach of the nomination.
So, deal with defeat? Depends on how you mean it, I guess.