Daily Kos plays the expectations game

April 18, 2008

Can Clinton survive a single digit victory?

The left-wing website Daily Kos is an incredibly useful resource for the political gambler. Although it doesn’t represent the average Democrat, let alone the average American voter, it has been massively influential in tilting the Democrats to the left and engineering a situation where Joe Lieberman is a prospective running mate for John McCain and even Hillary Clinton is ideologically suspect. It is therefore useful as a measure of what Barack Obama supporters are thinking. In this case it makes the perceptive point about the role that expectations play in election results and suggests that Obama can win by rasing the bar for Clinton so she can’t hope to hit it. Although I think this is clever tactic by Obama supporters I believe that the stakes are pretty high for Hillary as it is. There is a definite feeling that the extend contest has been damaging for the Democratic party and that it might be better to bring it to a swift conclusion, even if means selecting a candidate who John McCain could easily crush.

My view is that the ‘spread’ is between 10-12 with the absolute minimum for Hillary. I don’t think anything other than an actual defeat will cause her to drop out, but if she even gets 7% she can forget about raising any more funds and the superdelegates will rush for the exits. In fact if she gets between 5% and 8% she would be well advised to drop out immediately, because prolonging the contest will allow Obama to win the contest by defeating her in states like Indiana. In this situation, would be an ideal, ‘scorched earth’ strategy because Obama won’t be able to erase questions about his electability, which could persuade some Clinton supporters to focus their efforts on congressional and gubernatorial contest. It would also reduce the chance of Clinton being pressured to be on the bottom half of a ‘unity’ ticket.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.


One comment

  1. I think that the Clinton campaign is already drafting her concession speech.

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