Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Told You So

This is from April. Some of the details are wrong, but the overall point was spot-on. And don't give me that financial crisis crap. McCain just wasn't going to win this thing. Obama's margin would have been something in the 285-315 range instead of the landslide. But he was going to win. As I noted in April, the "fundamentals" of the McCain campaign were just too crappy to overcome. My rationale then:
  • The economy. Key comment (long before the collapse): "Add the 20% who cite health care and gas prices as the paramount issues, and you have 57% of the public worried about pocketbook issues.... McCain has said he doesn't understand or care about the economy. That ignorance will be fatal."
  • Women. Key comment (long before Sarah Palin): "The issues this year are economic, not security, and the evangelical coalition is weakening, leaving women without a compelling reason to cross over from their natural allegiance."
  • Democratic demographic shift. " In Missouri, a whopping 235,000 more turned out to vote Democratic than Republican--and that's in a state that voted for Bush by a 7-point margin."
  • Splintering coalitions (even before the rush of GOP Obama-endorsers). "McCain has never been appealing to evangelicals, and his John Hagee debacle demonstrates how out of touch with this constituency he is. He may still win a majority of these votes, but in a year not animated by social issues, they won't be his free labor source and far fewer will show up to vote."
  • McCain's faults. "In a year of change, a dinosaur is not the horse the GOP should be riding. His tendency toward anger, should it flare up in the debates again, will exacerbate fears about his age."
  • The 45% barrier. McCain enjoyed polls that exceeded this barrier twice: the first, just following his victory in the primaries, when Obama was locked in the death battle with Hillary, and briefly following his selection of Palin and the GOP convention. After an ABC/Post poll put him at 46% at the end of September, he only broke 45% three times (all registering 46%) in the well over 100 polls Pollster logged until the end of the election. I wrote: "These are McCain's salad days, before America hears about the scandals, starts thinking about his age, watches him melt down in debates, and sees constant attacks from the right and left. If he can't break 45% now, when exactly is he going to?"
I concluded that post thusly: "McCain is this year's Bob Dole, a loyal soldier the GOP have honored by nominating as their candidate. And he will surely suffer Dole's fate in November."

You may now congratulate me for me keen foresight.

3 comments:

torridjoe said...

Hey, Sean at FiveThirtyEight.com has you beat. In a post at Kos the day after Bush won re-election but noting Obama's Senate win, he said "The next President of the United States." Now THAT's a call. :)

Jeff Alworth said...

Your graciousness notwithstanding, TJ, my post wasn't actually about Obama.

(And my guess is that every major politician has some blogger somewhere announcing that they're the next president. Even Sarah Palin!)

torridjoe said...

Ah, I see your point--that you called McCain LOSING, not Obama WINNING.

Truth is Obama would have whipped anybody the GOP put up. McCain's implosion helped, but this election was all about people becoming comfortable with Obama and voting their hopes instead of their fears. And of course it was also about having more money than God, and knowing just what to do with it.