29 January 2008

What The Raw Numbers Suggest

The old "you have to be twice as good" adage seems to be true as Obama finds himself running against two Clinton candidates, one actual, one de facto.

The thing that I find reprehensible as I cruise the internet to get a sense of what the mood is in the country is our insatiable need to label everything - red state, southern bloc, women vote, pro-lifers, evangelicals - as if we sprout an ideological single issue third arm during elections with which to cast our ballots.

The great thing about America is its unpredictability - otherwise, I would still be on the back of the bus.

If you look at the raw numbers without the spin that the talking heads put on them, especially on a county by county basis, going all the way back to Iowa, you will realize, the way a football coach who went 7-9 last year often does, that many of the ones that were lost were not lost by any considerable margin.

At this point, the registration of new voters seems to be working to the advantage of the challenger - it seems to be the biggest factor in these results that defy prediction.

Between the furious level of campaigning, the Democratic National Committee's 50 State Strategy to enlarge the electorate that Howard Dean initiated a while back, and the small shifts in demographics over the last four years, I would not be surprised to see a lot of the current conventional wisdom regarding party performance on a state level overturned.

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