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Andy Ostroy Headshot

The Lingering Electability Issue

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Ok, so I've fallen a bit out of love with Hillary Clinton, but that doesn't mean I am now in love with Barack Obama. While she's lost me on the character front, I still have issues with him in terms of overall electability come November 4th.

An interesting thing has happened this week. With sort of an "a-ha!" giddiness, many Democrats -- presumably hard-core Obamakins -- have been sending me a link to the Election Projection website which indicates a 293-245 electoral vote lead for the junior Senator from Illinois in a head-to-head against the GOP's presumptive nominee John McCain. Now while the site gets to this prediction by making very broad assumptions about who will win what in the general election, I decided to tally the states Obama won versus those that Hillary won (FL/MI not included) using the site's own red/blue gauge. The results should give super-delegates, and Democrats overall, serious reason for concern. Here's how Obama's past and projected victories in the Democratic primaries stack up in the general election according to the Election Projection website:

IA--weak Dem
DC--solid Dem
NH--mod Dem
NV--weak GOP
SC--strong GOP
AL--strong GOP
ID--solid GOP
ND--solid GOP
Del--strong Dem
UT--solid GOP
Kan--solid GOP
CT--sold Dem
Ala--solid GOP
CO--weak Dem
GA--strong GOP
MN--strong Dem
Ill--solid Dem
NEB--solid GOP
LA--mod GOP
WASH--strong Dem
Maine--strong Dem
MD--solid Dem
VA--weak GOP
HA--solid Dem
Wisc--weak Dem
VT--solid Dem
TX--strong GOP
Miss--strong GOP
MO--weak GOP
NC--mod GOP
Ore--strong Dem
SD--solid GOP
Montana--strong GOP
Wyoming--solid GOP

Only 44% of the above are in any way considered Democratic states. Now take a look at the states Clinton has won:

NM--Mod Dem
OK--solid GOP
Ark--solid GOP
AZ--strong GOP
TN--mod GOP
Mass--solid Dem
NJ--strong Dem
NY--solid Dem
CA--strong Dem
OH--weak Dem
PA--mod Dem
Ind--strong GOP
WV--mod GOP
RI--solid Dem

Hillary's blue states total 57%. So the inference Election Projection is making is that, in terms of the electoral college, none of this really matters, and that Obama will win the general simply by picking up Clinton's big, key blue states come November despite likely losing half or more of his primary states. That's a pretty big overall leap. Let's just hope they, and the Obama supporters, are correct. Judging from all the latest polling of head-to-heads against McCain, and of the key swing states, I'm not so sure.