Monday, July 07, 2008

Obama, 2008 Election and Beyond

I read three stories today that I believe relate to one another, so bear with me.

The first is from the

Aims of Democrats Reach Beyond the Oval Office

The second is a hat tip post from

Obama Doing Very Well In Many Bush States

The final is a post from

The GOP Looking to Redistrict Itself Back To Power

From the NYTimes Piece:

Mr. Obama’s initial 18-state advertising campaign underscored the point. It touched improbable targets like Alaska (Republican. victory margin in 2004: 25 percentage points) and North Carolina (Republican margin: 12 percentage points, despite the presence of former Senator John Edwards, a North Carolinian, on the Democratic ticket).

Fellow Democrats have embraced Mr. Obama’s strategy for reasons beyond the electoral math of the presidential race. In Alaska, North Carolina and several other staunchly Republican states, Democratic candidates for the House and Senate stand to benefit from the Obama campaign’s work in registering and turning out voters.

The Obama strategy “fits like a glove” with the party’s larger aims, said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Expanded Democratic majorities in turn could give a President Obama a more powerful fist on Capitol Hill.

Shifts in Congress

The election calendar alone hands Democrats a big advantage in Senate races. Just 12 seats they now hold are up for re-election this year, while Republicans must defend nearly twice that many.

By conventional calculations, the triumph of Democrats in 2006 in recapturing the House would suggest a tougher 2008 battle. History has shown that the weakest House winners swept into office in one lopsided election often drift out to sea in the next.

Yet the political winds that swept Democrats into power on Capitol Hill have gotten stronger. Although voters’ anxiety about the Iraq war has receded, their anxiety about the economy has crested, sending President Bush’s approval rating to roughly 10 percentage points lower than two years ago.

The result: the political handicapper Charlie Cook envisions Democratic gains of up to 20 House seats and 7 Senate seats, close to the 60-vote threshold in the Senate needed to break filibusters by the minority.


July 7, 2008
Obama doing VERY well in many Bush states
From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:

According to recent polls, Sen. Barack Obama is doing extremely well in states that have voted Republican in recent presidential elections.

Montana: Bush won by 11 points in 2004, Obama leading McCain by 5 points
Colorado: Bush +4, Obama +5
Virginia: Bush +8, Obama +2
New Mexico: Bush +1, Obama +3
Florida: Bush +5, Obama +2
Indiana: Bush +20, Obama +1
Georgia: Bush +16, McCain +1
Mississippi: Bush +20, McCain +4
Alaska: Bush +26, McCain +4
North Carolina: Bush +13, McCain +4


For months, a sense of dread has been percolating within Republican circles over potentially massive congressional losses in 2008. Facing the possibility of a more pronounced minority status in the House and more than a couple seats lost in the Senate, the GOP has begun setting its sights on a contingency plan: redistricting.

Republican officials now believe that the party's best hope for retaking seats in Congress may come during gubernatorial elections in 2010. Should the GOP win back the majority of these seats (Democrats currently occupy 28 state capitols), they would be extremely well positioned to influence the redistricting of the political map that will come after the 2010 census.

"The 2010 elections are almost as important or equally important as the elections this year. After redistricting in 2011, the governors are going to have a huge influence in determining the political makeup of this country," said Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for the Republican Governors Association. "We could feasibly see 25 to 30 congressional seats swing as the result of redistricting. And the state legislatures and governor could determine that swing. Can the National Republican Congressional Committee make a statement like that with a straight face? It would be harder for them."

How do they link?

Barack Obama's 50 State Strategy, including a 50 State Voter Registration Drive, isn't just important to him, but it's also important for DOWNTICKET Candidates. For him to be registering voters in states that he won't win, the benefit isn't for him, per se, but for the Democratic Party in general, and for the underlying premise of the 50 State Strategy - that you build a party from the ground up. From the local office first, to a higher office.

The Republicans read the polls, and it can't be easy for them to see that Obama has made inroads in many a Red State. Many states that they've never thought they'd had to expend any financial resources to defend. This is also a by-product of the 50 State Strategy.

For those of you worried about Obama's 'Centrist Drift', here's a hint: the more Democratic Party cushion that he has in the House and the Senate, the more secure President Obama will be in his approach to legislation. Giving him the leeway can only be accomplished by picking up more seats in the House and the Senate. Getting to 60 seats in the Senate(excluding Joe Lieberman), means that the Democrats can dropkick Joe LIE-berman to the curb. Getting to 60 seats in the Senate, means that they can squash the GOP. For those of you who are so partisan that this is your goal, ante up, and get down in the muck to make sure that the Democratic Party victory isn't just about Barack Obama, but for downticket Democrats also. The more seats won on the local levels, means that when it comes time, in 2010 to redistrict, that DEMOCRATS will be in charge of those maps. All you need to do is look at Tom Delay and what he did in Texas to show you the power of what being in control of redistricting is. And, if the Democrats can operate from a 2008 position of strength, they'll be in even better position for the fight in 2010.

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