Real Clear Politics; by Lanny Davis; April 24, 2008
Let’s forget about the spin on all sides and not use any adjectives to modify the following 10 Facts that should not be in dispute:
1. Hillary Clinton won by 10%, 220,000 votes, despite after most of the polls in the last several weeks on RealClearPolitics, including its RCP all-poll average, showed her ahead by single digits and dropping. The exit polls showed her winning by +5. (It’s easy to forget that she won if you listen to the Obama spinners last night and today. Believe it or not, Pennsylvania’s Rep. Murphy, a freshman congressman who supported Barack Obama, actually said last night on Larry King that Senator Obama did so well in losing to Senator Clinton yesterday that he has a “wind at his back.” I am not kidding.
2. Senator Obama tried hard to win the state, campaigned intensely throughout the state for most of the last six weeks — and was trying to win, not just lose a narrow margin.
3. He spent $11 million on media — about three times more than Senator Clinton.
4. Most of his ads were personal negative attack ads against Senator Clinton, meaning attacks on her character and integrity.
5. There were no personal attack ads run by Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania.
6. Barack Obama hasn’t won a single major industrial state that historically constitute the key “battleground” states for both parties, i.e., the states in the last three or four presidential elections have switched back and forth between the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.
7. The reason that he lost can be found in the demographic data: He lost — and Senator Clinton won — by substantial margins blue collar and middle class white voters earning under $50,000 a year, senior citizens, rural voters, Hispanic voters, and women voters — all core constituencies in the Democratic base that must be won if a Democrat is to win the White House. For example, yesterday in Pennsylvania she won Roman Catholics by 32 percent (66-34), union households by 18 percent (59-41), and those most concerned about the economy by 16 points (58-42). Only 60 percent of Democratic Catholic voters said they would vote for Mr. Obama in a general election.
8. Barack Obama has lost these same demographic groups in Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas, California and New Jersey and other major states that Senator Clinton won. There is a factual pattern of his weakness among these demographic groups in virtually every primary state that cannot be disputed.
9. Barack Obama is currently in a dead heat with John McCain, according to a recent respected poll, in Massachusetts (actually, the results were McCain 46% and Clinton 44%), while Senator Clinton leads in Massachusetts by 15%. The last time a Democrat did not win Massachusetts by a substantial margin was 1980, when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter. Even in the historic landslide election of Richard Nixon in 1972, when he won 49 states, only Massachusetts supported Senator McGovern. Senator Obama currently runs considerably behind Senator McCain in Florida and Ohio, while Senator Clinton is ahead in both of those key battleground states.
10. Current polls show Senator Clinton runs ahead of John McCain nationally or dead even — and Senator Obama runs only dead even. For example, in the most recent USA Today national general election poll, Senator Clinton leads Senator McCain by +6; Senator Obama leads by less than the margin of error, +2.
Those are the facts. To all Super Delegates: you decide who is riskier as a general election candidate. The candidate whose negatives, driven by the right-wing hate machine in the 1990s in particular, are all out there and already taken into account. Or a candidate who is still virtually unknown to most of the electorate, with Republicans clearly looking forward to filling in the blanks with the facts about his record of which many general election voters still are not aware.