John McCain is having a very tough time uniting conservatives and the political winds seem to be at the Democrats' backs; so many people seem to think that Barack Obama will win in a walk in November. However, that's probably not going to be the case.
In a normal year, where the public was more closely divided between the Dems and the GOP, McCain would be capable of wiping out a candidate as weak as Obama in a landslide of Dukakis-esque proportions. With that in mind, even in a year like this, where Obama has a huge advantage, chances are that if he wins, he'll have to pull it off by coming in on the right side of a 2000/2004 style squeaker of an election.
Here's a short but sweet primer that will help explain why that's the case:
Howard Dean 2.0
Although the mainstream media is working hard to cover for him, Obama is the most gaffe prone candidate to run for the Presidency on the Democratic side since Howard Dean. Some of his greatest hits include:
"You got into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
"You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a (flag) pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest..."
"Over the last 15 months, we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in 57 states? I think one left to go."
Remember all the flack poor Dan Quayle caught for his "potato" snafu? Well, Barack Obama makes Dan Quayle look like Einstein.
Whether you're talking about slum lord Tony Rezko, unrepentant terrorists William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Barack's anti-white "sounding board" and pastor Jeremiah Wright, or his chief strategist, lobbyist David Axelrod, Obama has an offputting cast of characters around him -- and that's not even counting his wife, "Teresa Heinz" Obama, who's almost as gaffe prone as her husband.
He's Not Qualified To Be President
In a post-911 world, where the next President is going to be handling the war on terrorism, trying to prevent another 9/11, and dealing with a whole host of critical domestic issues, there is absolutely nothing in Barack Obama's background that indicates he's up to the job.
Given the situation, are the American people going to choose a young, mistake-prone, extremely inexperienced senator with a history of hard drug use and a knack for making basic geography errors -- over a 72 year old POW with more than 20 years worth of experience in Congress? Whatever you may think of McCain, even a lot of liberals would probably be willing to admit in private that they'd rather have him taking that 3 AM phone call after a major terrorist attack than Obama.
The Demographics Disaster
Hillary Clinton has beaten Barack Obama in key swing states like Florida, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The latest polling numbers from Gallup seem to be indicating that voters in those states still haven't warmed up to Barry,
In the 20 states where Hillary Clinton has claimed victory in the 2008 Democratic primary and caucus elections (winning the popular vote), she has led John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily trial heats for the general election over the past two weeks of Gallup Poll Daily tracking by 50% to 43%. In those same states, Barack Obama is about tied with McCain among national registered voters, 45% to 46%.
This is largely because Obama is being carried to victory in the Democratic primary by black voters, young voters, and upscale liberal voters, all of which are groups that the Democratic candidate will carry in November anyway. Meanwhile, Hillary is looking considerably stronger with white women, older Americans, and Hispanic votes -- exactly the sort of swing voters that will decide the election.
Yes, Obama is probably going to beat Hillary for the nomination, but if that turns out to be the case, the better woman, at least as far as electability goes, will have lost.
From The Post-Racial Candidate To Al Sharpton 2.0
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Barack Obama's candidacy was his post-racial rhetoric. Here was a candidate who rejected the whole race baiting meme that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have turned into careers. That was incredibly appealing to white Americans, many of whom would like nothing better than to prove that America is not a racist country by electing a black President.
However, in the last few months, the mask has slipped and people have started to realize that Obama is the same tired package wrapped in a shiny new bow. He befriended Jeremiah Wright and spent two decades attending his virulently anti-white church. Why else would he do that if he didn't share his views? Then there's the fact that Obama couldn't be the Democratic Party's nominee if black voters were not supporting him in such great numbers because of his skin color. It's also impossible not to note that although Obama doesn't personally call people racists for not supporting him, his supporters do it constantly on his behalf without being rebuked. So Obama may pretend to eschew race baiting, but he's certainly content to reap the rewards of it.
Obama may be a lot of things, but it has become pretty obvious at this point that he really doesn't intend to be the President who helps America put the race issue in the rear view mirror.
Northern Liberals Lose
National Journal ranked Barack Obama as the single most liberal member of the Senate in 2007. Keep in mind that means Ted Kennedy? Not as liberal as Barack Obama. What about Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist? Not as liberal as Barack Obama.
The reality is that the GOP has been beating liberals, particularly Northern liberals like Barack Obama, for a long, long time. Look back at George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry. What's the difference between those guys and Barack Obama? Only color and the fact that Obama is even further to the left than those other candidates that the American people thought were too liberal to be President.
Alien Vs. Predator: The Democratic Edition
The long, brutal Democratic primary fight has been extremely costly for Obama. Not only has the fight drained Obama's coffers, it has had his pals in the MSM focusing on Hillary instead of McCain. Most importantly, Hillary's supporters have started becoming very, dare I say it, "bitter" about the unfair way that their candidate has been treated.
According to Gallup, 28% of Hillary's supporters would vote for McCain over Obama -- and that was back in March! Although there hasn't been much recent polling on this subject, you have to think that those numbers have only grown as the infighting between the candidates and their supporters has gotten ever more nasty and personal in the last few weeks. Now, will that many Democrats actually defect? No, but a significant chunk of those disaffected Hillary loyalists will either vote for McCain or stay home. If McCain wins the election, this factor alone could end up being decisive.
Conclusion: It's impossible to say at this early date who would win a McCain vs. Obama match-up in November, but what we can say with certainty is that even though this is shaping up to be a bad year for the GOP, Obama is very beatable.