Obama’s Electability Memo

For much of the last year, the overrriding assumption among Democratic primary voters was that Hillary was the strongest general election candidate. Obama was considered a gamble, while Hillary was “tested and ready,” bearing the brunt of the Republican attack machine for sixteen years. But as Obama’s been winning his fair share of contests, the Democratic electorate now rates the two candidates equally on the electability measure. An Obama campaign memo released today seeks to drive that message home. Key part:

In all six of the most recent general election head-to-head match-ups, Obama does better than Hillary Clinton against McCain by an average of more than five points. In four out of the six, Clinton loses to McCain.

Full memo after the jump.

TO: Interested Parties

FR: Obama Communications

RE: The Candidate Who Can Win: Barack Obama is beating Hillary Clinton with Independent voters and can beat John McCain in November

DA: February 8, 2007

On the day that John McCain became the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, a Time poll confirmed what voters and polls have consistently demonstrated in the last few weeks – Barack Obama is the candidate best suited to win Independents, play well in Red States, and beat John McCain in November.

In all six of the most recent general election head-to-head match-ups, Obama does better than Hillary Clinton against McCain by an average of more than five points. In four out of the six, Clinton loses to McCain.

From Time Magazine: The difference, says Mark Schulman, CEO of Abt SRBI, which conducted the poll for Time, is that “independents tilt toward McCain when he is matched up against Clinton But they tilt toward Obama when he is matched up against the Illinois Senator.” Independents, added Schulman, “are a key battleground.” [Time, 2/7/08]

The truth of this statement is reflected in the results from the contests we’ve had so far. In critical swing states that Democrats need to carry in November, Obama has beaten Hillary Clinton among Independent voters by crushing margins. In Missouri, he won them by 37 points (67-30). In New Mexico, he’s winning them by 39 points (63-24). In Arizona and New Hampshire, he won them by 10 points (47-37, 41-31).

On Super Tuesday, in six red states that had primaries or caucuses for both Republicans and Democrats, Obama won and got more votes than the top two Republicans combined. These states – Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota and South Carolina – account for a total of 53 Electoral College votes. In Idaho and Kansas, where there was no Republican primary, Obama won at least a three-to-one victory over Clinton. Obama has shown such a strong appeal with Independents that even John McCain’s Texas media consultant Mark McKinnon recently confirmed that he would not work against Obama if he is the nominee.

On NPR today, President Bush’s chief political strategist Matthew Dowd said, “The other thing that I think John McCain has going for him is if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination I know there’s a lot of conservatives out there that said they wouldn’t vote or would vote for her but I think she’s the most unifying force for John McCain out there right now, not himself.” He went on to say later in the interview, “I think if you gave the strategists and people around John McCain some truth serum and asked them to say who they want to run against, in a minute they’d say Senator Hillary Clinton. They think that she’s polarizing; she’d motivate and unite the base of the Republican Party. She’s not a generational difference and a change of a figure, she’s a bit of throwback to the past, like to a degree he is. Against Senator Obama it’s a much more difficult task. It would be a generational campaign, the new versus the older. Somebody that had a distinct stand on Iraq versus his stand on Iraq. I think Senator Obama is a much more difficult race and there is not any vitriol from the conservative and the Republican base against Senator Obama. They don’t sort of dislike him to there core like they do Hillary Clinton. I think they would much prefer, the McCain folks, race against Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama because it’s hard to compose a strategy against a new guy like Barack.” [NPR, 2/8/08]

Most recent head-to-head match-ups:

Time (Feb 1-4)

Obama 48 (+7)

McCain 41

Clinton 46 (+0)

McCain 46

CNN/Opinion Research (Feb 1-3)

Obama 52 (+8)

McCain 44

Clinton 50 (+3)

McCain 47

Cook Political Report/RT Strategies Poll (Jan 31-Feb 2)

Obama 45 (+2)

McCain 43

Clinton 41 (-4)

McCain 45

ABC/Washington Post (Jan 31 – Feb 1)

Obama 49 (+3)

McCain 46

Clinton 46 (-3)

McCain 49

Fox News (Jan 30-31)

Obama 44 (+1)

McCain 43

Clinton 44 (-1)

McCain 45

Rasmussen (2/04-2/07)

Obama: 47 (+5)

McCain: 42

Clinton: 43 (-3)

McCain: 46


3 Responses to Obama’s Electability Memo

  1. whydidyoudoit says:

    The Clinton campaign didn’t have a healthcare plan befor it felled and they don’t have one now. Well to be honest, if everyone is a goverment employee, then the Clinton healthcare plan will work for everyone. Unfortunately some are self employed, independent contractors or work for private employors or small business. Under the Clinton healthcare plan these people would be penalized if they don’t pay for their healthcare. This means that most of your family members and friends will have their paychecks garnished. We all know that it doesn’t stop there if it is a goverment enforcement. There will be fines and then misdemeanors which is a criminal offense defined as less serious than a felony. Why did Ms. Clinton decide on this approach? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Big business, big Corporation call it what you will, they want their money back and in order for Ms. Clinton to get their support in her race to presidency she is giving victory to one side (the healthcare providers) by promising to them that she will have the poeople wages garnished if they continue to give healthcare. Thus allowing her to shout the words “UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE” This is a shady tactic and makes fools out of every american that falls for this trick. The Obama healthcare plan is for the people. Poor people, middle class and rich people can rest assured that there is no tricks or penalties in the Obama healthcare plan. VOTE OBAMA!!

  2. hmm says:

    shouldnt your dateline read “2008”?

  3. Christine says:

    It’s interesting to note that no candidate will tell you how much “Universal Health Care” will cost. Obama and Hillary say 120 Billion, but if you add up all the costs for just heart bypass operations and births last year, you will spend more than 120 Billion.

    Of course that ignores cancer, aids, appendix pneumonia, tuberculosis, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, liver disease, brain operations, broken bones, vaccinations, etc., etc., etc.

    The true cost of universal health care will be closer to $4 trillion. so, divide that by the population of roughly 250 million and it means that it will cost every man, woman and child roughly $4000 each year. Now remember that only about 100 million are actually going to be able to PAY for the health care (children, teenagers retirees, and many others don’t work and/or can’t pay their share. This means that of the 100 million, (who are able to pay,) those individuals will have to pay 2.5 times the $4000 cost to fund the plan. That means that if you are a wage earner you now have an additional $10,000/year tax burden. This is not something that only the very rich will be required to pay. There aren’t enough rich people to absorb the costs, so most wage earners over $30,000/ year will need to pay.
    You STILL want universal health care?
    Now that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Hold on to your wallets as the Dems continue their tax and spend policies. Just look at Washington State, where the Democratic Gov and legislature have increased the budget by 150% of what it was 4 years ago. HAVE YOUR WAGES GONE UP THAT MUCH?

    I am no Bush lover, he’s spent a passel of money, but Obama will bankrupt the nation.

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