Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Issues for November

Obama is about to win Montana and South Dakota and the Super Delegates are already starting to line up to be the one that puts him over the top. The talking heads are talking about VP possibilities. But their conversation is dominated by the so called "dream ticket." But I think Obama will be picking a running mate based on who he is comfortable with that will be likely to bring more positives than negatives.

Here are some poll numbers that may inform his decision:

Issue (Percent saying very important for their decision in the fall):

Economy (88%)
Education (78%)
Jobs (78%)
Health Care (78%)
Energy (77%)
War in Iraq (72%)
Budget Deficit (69%)
Taxes (68%)
Abortion (40%)
Gay Marriage (28%)

What I think is interesting here is how the old standby issues of the GOP are just not registering among voters this time around. Guns, Gays and God just won't be a winning strategy this time.

What's really bad news for McCain is that voters trust Obama more than McCain on the biggest issues and on the issues you would expect McCain to clean up with, they are tied. Even on the "who do you think is a strong leader" question, McCain only beats Obama 46% to 42%. And on "who do you think has the better temperment to be president" Obama beats McCain 56% to 32%. Finally, on "who will bring change" and "vision for the future" Obama beats McCain.

And the killer: When asked "who understands the problems of people like you" Obama beats McCain 54% to 35%. This last one is important because the Clinton campaign has been saying that she won in Appalachia by campaigning against Obama the Elitist. This poll number suggests that McCain (a third generation Naval Academy grad and the son and grandson of Admirals) won't be able to make that stick.

Now, back to running mate issues. As I see it, Obama has two broad choices. He can play to his strengths by picking someone who polls well on the economic and change/vision issues (like Edwards, Sebelius or even Clinton or someone similar). Or he can try to compensate for his disadvantages on "experience" in which case he could go for someone with real experience like former Defense Secretary William Cohen or former Senator Sam Nunn. Sam Nunn would be particularly welcome to the Clintons because he's so old that he'd be unlikely to challenge Hillary in a primary after Obama leaves the White House.


The Law Talking Guy said...

Sam Nunn is a rat bastard who personally led the charge in the senate to bar gays from serving in the military. His public humiliation of Clinton on this point in his first weeks in office wounded the Clinton presidency something fierce, and set back the cause of gay rights in the Democratic party. I am sure Obama won't put a "good ole boy" on the ticket like that. William Cohen is another matter, but he's really a Republican.

Raised By Republicans said...

OK, Nunn is off the list then. But if Obama wants to appoint someone other than Hillary without signalling to Hillary that he's setting her up for a life in the Senate leadership, an "elder statesman" type (emphasis on ELDER) would be good.

Gebhardt would fit the bill nicely actually. Think Edwards with policy wonk street cred and serious gravitas.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Gephardt? How on EARTH does that support his sales job that he's not politics as usual? Gephardt personifies Democratic machine politics.

Elder statesmen might be: Joe Biden (even with the metal plate in his head), George Mitchell (yes, I'm still pimping him), Colin Powell (the chocolate ticket), Madeline Albright (except she can't be VP), Dianne Feinstein (kinda sorta), James Clyburn (the super chocolicious ticket), Wes Clark (but he's a Clintonite), Colin Powell (the Oreo ticket), Bill Richardson (not so elder), Tom Harkin (I love Tom), William Cohen (Jewish too?), Mario Cuomo (no, please no), - slim pickings, really.

History Buff said...

Isn't Colin Powell a Republican??

Raised By Republicans said...

Well, after the way Bush treated Powell, he might not be a Republican anymore. Cohen is both Jewish and a Republican (and married to an African-American woman) but he was a Clinton cabinet official.

Tom Harkin would be good with the Unions.

If Biden were the choice, would it be possible to put his entire life on a 5 second delay? Dr. S., you're a Physicist, could you get working on that?