Here are a dozen reasons, a baker’s dozen, for why Barack Obama will win in November.

1. The Change Factor: Yes, you have heard it before, but it is for real. People are hungry for it, especially after the worst presidency in living memory. A key point here is that Obama has been on message about change from DAY ONE. He is the Change candidate.

2. The Organization Factor: Obama has built a remarkable organization, in part through using the Internet. Nothing quite like it has been seen before in its capacity to raise money, generate enthusiasm, and get out the vote. For more on the uniqueness of Obama’s organization, see Joshua Green’s piece, “The Amazing Money Machine” http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200806/obama-finance and Marc Ambinder’s “His Space” in The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200806/ambinder-obama

3.The Charisma Factor: Hard to explain. Hard to quantify. But you know it when you see it. (Obama’s recent Portland crowd, 75,000 in a primary election, was no accident.)

4. The Republican Factor: They are in disarray and have money problems. This will have an impact on the Presidential race. How much? Good question. But no doubt it will have some.

5. The Money Factor: A corollary to the Organization Factor. Obama will have lots of it and will be able to raise more and more of it. To those who say that money can’t buy love or office, agreed, at least in terms of the former. But money can certainly help win office. It is especially helpful if you have a good candidate, a good brand as they say, to sell. Obama is such a brand.

6. The Even Keel Factor: In this case, the younger man, Obama, seems to have a more even temperament than the older candidate. This undermines a potential advantage for McCain and also defies expectations, namely, that age should bring a more even temper. (McCain’s anger problem is for real.) Americans believe that we need a steady hand on the rudder in these difficult times.

7. The Intellectual and Expert Factor: There are those who have claimed that Obama is an elitist, a pointy head, etc., and that too many in his campaign fit this bill. But the bottom line is that candidates who can comfortably make use of experts and genuine intellectuals–not faux intellectuals, for example, the neo-conservative ideologues–are in stronger position than those who cannot. Knowledge may not be power, but it sure can help keep power from making foolish mistakes, like Iraq. It can also help win elections. (It was the “nerds,” after all, who really understood how the delegate process worked in the Democratic race. And guess who had them on staff and who listened to them.)

8. The African-American Vote. Obama will draw the greatest number of African-American voters in American history. It will make a difference. As Poblano’s analysis shows, just a 10% to 20% increase can make a significant difference in who wins in the fall. (Poblano suggests 13 electoral votes for each 10%.) See Josh Kalven’s “Obama Over the Top: How New Voters Could Redraw the Electoral Map” http://progressillinois.com/2008/05/11/features/obama-over-the-top

9. The Youth Vote and Support: Typically the youth vote is viewed as an unreliable voting block. But Obama has shown that he can increase the youth vote. In addition, youth represents ‘boots on the ground.’ They do much of the door to door and office work that campaigns require. On how the youth vote could assist Obama, once again, see Josh Kalven’s “Obama Over the Top: How New Voters Could Redraw the Electoral Map” http://progressillinois.com/2008/05/11/features/obama-over-the-top

10. A Motivated Democratic Party: Yes, there is the issue of whether all of Hillary’s supporters will come around. And there are unknowns in terms of whether Obama will be able to bring more working class folks into his corner. But the Democrats are hungry and they have resources. There will be some synergy between Presidential, Congressional, and local races.

11. The Oratory Factor. We know what the man can do. He is pretty much in a class by himself. Speeches matter. Words delivered well matter. McCain, on the other hand, is not a strong public speaker. (The “My friends” thing just isn’t going to cut it.) In addition, Obama will best him in the debates.

12. The Bush factor: Obama is the anti-Bush. He listens to those outside an inner circle. He is anti-Iraq war, exceptionally intelligent, reasonably hip, etc. McCain, on the other hand, appears to be running for Bush’s third term. The McBush notion will stick with a significant number of voters.

13. Michelle Obama: Michelle has made some gaffes. Some view her as coming on too strong. But her story will get out: poor kid from the South Side of Chicago, who through her own hard work and intelligence made it to Princeton and Harvard. She is now the mother of two young daughters, juggling family and career. Women, many of Hillary’s supporters, will relate. Further, Michelle is a powerful speaker. The Republicans would be foolish to underestimate her.

11 thoughts

  1. On the other side of this – based on the articles and comments I’ve been reading on the Rep. blogs, there are many, many Ron Paul supporters who will NOT vote for McCain. Paul has been taking 7-15% of the vote in the primaries. Those are huge numbers in any tight race (which I doubt this will be). If Barr is the Libertarian candidate, that will syphon off more from McCain. He may get the Reagan Dems, but if the youth and AA vote stay in (and I am certain they will), it’s all over for McCain. I can hardly wait for November!

  2. I wonder if you’ve read Mark Crispin Miller’s stuff about the shenanigan’s around the Ohio election last time. From what I know, a lot of the monkey business with vote fraud has not been fixed or dealt with/prevented. What’s your view on potential election stealing?

  3. Obama’s chances are roughly 51%, plus or minus 5%. Bush isn’t running for reelection, and both Obama and McCain have significant weaknesses so that their own personalities, or world events, may throw the election either way.

    Obama’s record of stridency against the Iraq occupation is looking increasingly wrong. [I’m not saying Bush did a good job, I’m saying that we muddled through and it worked.] If Iraq continues to settle down, then the election may turn on (1) whether McCain spits anything sour during the debates, and (2) who McCain picks as his VP.

    The right GOP VP could neutralize Obama’s advantages, unless Obama picks the right VP to cover his own weaknesses. I predict this one will will be a ball game (50 +/- 3%) at the wire, unless either candidate does a major flameout.

  4. It’s interesting that most of the Hillary supporters who thought that Obama was vastly under-qualified to serve as president and commander in chief now feel that Obama has matured by years over the last couple of months. He is just as unqualified now as he was then. His economic policies will lead us into further decline. No matter how much you hate Bush, the current malaise is not his doing – it is the result of subprime loans with no substance to back them. That, my friends, lies squarely at the feet of the the Democrats in Congress who want a chicken in every pot and they want the pot to be in everyones own (taxpayer?) home. Hopefully the Democrats in congress who have benefited from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae won’t hog tie any real investigation into this debacle. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank – at the least – should serve time in prison for their complicity.

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