Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Telegraph endorses Cardwell... and can Obama really not win Georgia?

The Telegraph endorsed Dale Cardwell in the Democratic senate primary this morning.

The paper also endorsed U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall in the 8th District primary.

In other news, Jim Wooten makes a (relatively) bold statement: He cannot win Georgia. No how, no way.

The "He" is Obama, obviously. People keep noting that Georgia hasn't gone for a Democrat in a presidential race since 1992. No doubt that's relevant, but we were all about electing Democratic governors and lieutenant governors in statewide races 2002. So much so that Gov. Sonny Perdue surprised everybody when he won.

That's it. I'm calling Charles Bullock at UGA and asking him:

Everybody seems so keen to note that Georgia hasn't gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since '92, but plenty of Democratic governors and lieutenant governors and senators have won statewide races? What's the difference?
Those who were successful were able to run essentially as state Democrats. They didn't have the bear the burden of running as national Democrats.

What's the difference?
Probably a couple of standard deviations in terms of ideology. That is, Georgia Democrats, historically, were probably well to the right of where a national Democrat was going to be. So think about the experience of Max Cleland, who was very successful as Secretary of State in Georgia. He couldn't be beat... But then once he gets into Congress — "the tempting of Max" with national (Democrats) coming to him, saying, "We need your vote. We've got to stand together." ... So Cleland ends up voting too frequently and too visibly with the national Democratic Party. Which then gives his Republican opponent Saxy Chambliss issues he can use against him. And can sound that Republican refrain that Max Cleland is too liberal for Georgia. And there was enough evidence... that charge stuck.

Are surveys under counting the Obama vote because of cell phones?
They may be. They may be. And depending on how you weight young voters. Historically young voters have not been as likely to turn out. Now maybe Obama is going to overcome that and, if so, if you've been under-weighting the youth vote in your polling, then you'd be off.

No one saw Sonny Perdue winning in 2002. Does this "Obama can't win Georgia" thing have the same feel to it, or has the Obama campaign really pulled the wool over some eyes and they're just really good at making folks thing Georgia's in play?
Perception is part of it. ... They're running ads in Georgia. OK, well, you wouldn't runs ads in the state and pay for the TV time if you didn't think it was in play, would you? Well, no. Ergo it must be in play. Whether or not it truly is, who knows.

Jim Wooten says he knows.
Well, yeah, Jim Wooten says he knows. It may well be, as we get closer and closer to the election that undecided voters or, even some... Republicans who say "Yeah,I'd probably vote for Obama," may get scared off, may have second thoughts. The worst thing that could happen to Obama is there's some kind of national crisis along in October, which then raises questions about his level of experience.

The Rasmussen and Insider Advantage polls — why are they so different?
My guess is they probably use different weightings... in terms of how they weight partisans, or maybe in terms of weighting the race issues. If you look at past elections and use that to weight your racial makeup you're going to get a very different response than if you are assuming what the Obama folks are saying, and that is that they're going to pump up black participation.


Nick said...

What they are missing is the number of unregistered African-American voters which is estimated between 400,000 and 600,000. If Obama can get this group to the polls then Georgia is winnable. If not, then at least he forces McCain to spend money (that he doesn't have) here and not in say Virginia, Michigan, Florida, or any other swing state.

Keich said...

Never going to happen.

And Travis, are you finally having an Obamasm? He will never win GA. Never.