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Barack Obama
"Lincoln Sells Out Slaves"
by: Rob Kailey - Sep 13
If You Haven't Seen This
by: Rob Kailey - Apr 28
Impeach the President?
by: Rob Kailey - Mar 16
It's the system, stupid!
by: Jay Stevens - Oct 24


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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.

A weak flip-flopper wins the presidency

by: Klyte

Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:30:33 AM MST

During the presidential primary campaign of 1928, Franklin D. Roosevelt wasn't doing so great.  He was more of an uncommitted and moderate democrat compared to his frenemy and fellow New York pol, Al Smith.  Compared with the hugely successful Smith, Roosevelt was panned as the "weak-willed" "corkscrew candidate".
The problem with FDR was that he was out-of-line with his base.  He was a flip-flopper.  He had changed his positions on everything from his support of embattled NY Mayor Tammany Hall to his support of the League of Nations, Prohibition and monetary policy.  Convention delegates saw him as weak in light of his lack of a spine combined with his perceived weakness due to his inability to walk unaided.

FDR lost in the all of the first three rounds of convention voting.  Chicago bookies placed FDR's odds at 5-to-1.  But everything changed when Senator McAdoo decided to swing his support to Roosevelt, rather than allowing Smith to win.  (Smith had denied McAdoo the nomination eight years earlier.)

As soon as McAdoo took the microphone at the convention to announce his support for Roosevelt, the audience knew that Roosevelt would be the nominee.  The delegates began to jeer Roosevelt's name.  The party didn't want a weak ticket with such a bad economy.  It was political suicide!  They though they could defeat Hoover and win if they had a strong enough ticket.  As the boos came in, McAdoo replied, "I intend to say what I propose to say without regard to what the galleries or anybody else thinks."  Senator McAdoo swung his California delegates to Governor Roosevelt and clinched for him the nomination.

Governor Al Smith was so bitter, he broke with tradition and refused to endorse Roosevelt on the floor.  It was the first of two upsets.  The general election soon followed.

Of course, we all know how the story ends.  Roosevelt, the weakest of candidates became one of the first presidential candidates to speak at his party's convention and arrived on something a presidential candidate had never utilized before - an airplane, in dramatic fashion.  In the end, Roosevelt was able to paint Herbert Hoover as completely incompetent, although he continued the Hoover policies for another decade.  Today, FDR is regarded by the left as the greatest democratic president in United States History.

Will a weak flip-flopper arise from the GOP nominating contest in 2012 and go on to beat a weak incumbent in November?  It is difficult to say, one thing we know for sure is, it has happened before.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Obummer: Where is Barak when we need him?

by: Doug Coffin

Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 19:06:57 PM MST

Obummer. Has there ever been a more obvious test of our President's intestinal fortitude than "Wisconsin" i.e. the current assault on labor nationwide. It certainly isn't limited to Wisconsin. Oklahoma, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas....and more. But where is Barak? Ans: Hiding.

One would have to argue that the exit of the Wisconsin Democratic senators takes guts. They are opening themselves to harsh criticism. They have a tough position to defend and in the end it may really cost them their seats and more. Obviously they've done the calculus that it's better to go down fighting than retreating.

Our President is following some other logic. His answer is that its better to hide in the White House with tape over your mouth than actually stand for something. Unions and their friends provided hundreds of millions of dollars and millions of votes to Obama in 2008. This is their reward: Cowardice. They say that Obummer needs to win Wisconsin in 2012 in order to win back the White House. I don't see how he wins by shunning those that supported him most.

Everyone understands politics. Sometimes a pol has to lay low and slip a few punches in order to survive. Witness John Tester and Max Baucus with some of their environmental and gun rights votes. But as a President, on occasion there comes a time when you have to stand up and stand strong. This is one of those times. One has to wonder: If he's willing to throw over his strongest, most strident supporters, then what will he do to the lessers?

I wouldn't want to be an environmentalist right now. Oh, I am.


Discuss :: (6 Comments)

PPP Has Some Damn Good Numbers for Montana Dems

by: Matt Singer

Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 10:45:49 AM MST

PPP's numbers don't just look good for Dems in the Presidential race in Montana. Here's the rest of the races:
Bullock 49%
Fox 44%
Undecided 7%

Lindeen 50%
Grimes 42%
Undecided 9%

McCulloch 47%
Johnson 46%
Undecided 7%

Juneau 49%
Herman 40%

That's not all. Schweitzer is polling above 60%. Baucus is polling above 70% (!) (!!!!). Those numbers are huge.

One big cautionary note -- these races are close with large numbers of undecideds. And the partisan breakdown is far more favorable to Dems than exit polls have shown in recent years.

So this poll may be D biased. I'm not saying that it definitely is -- the fundamental partisan numbers of Montana could very well be shifting. Just don't take one poll as a sign from the heavens.

Final point -- that secretary of state's race is damn close. If Linda McCulloch pulls this one off, my guess is it will have a lot to do with the Secretary of State Project, which has put a lot of resources into that race, backed by polling from Celinda Lake. If McCulloch pulls off what may be the closest race in the state, it will probably be in large part due to SOS Project's work.

Among their efforts -- a radio ad featuring Sue Furey, Kevin's mother, talking about the voter challenges.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Let's Just Call It a 4 Point Race

by: Matt Singer

Fri Oct 31, 2008 at 12:24:46 PM MST

New Research 2000 poll also pegs it at a 4 point race. 5% undecided. 3% going third party.

Ground game, folks. Ground game.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

The Audacity of Hate

by: Matt Singer

Fri Oct 31, 2008 at 12:14:53 PM MST

There's a simply unbelievable story in USA Today about Dan Cooper, a Bitterroot gunsmith, whose livelihood came under fire from nutjobs across the country because he had the audacity to contribute to Barack Obama's campaign for President.

Cooper had a chance to talk one-on-one with Obama regarding gun ownership and is confident that his gun rights are safe under an Obama Presidency. But it seems pretty clear that as long as the lunatic fringe is as powerful on gun issues as it is that this talented gunsmith will have to look for other work.

The irony here is that this is happening at the same time that Obama's campaign is being attacked for not supporting freedom of speech.

In Missoula, I considered for some time not spending my money at businesses that I knew were owned by local Republicans. A political boycott had a certain schoolyard appeal. I ended up rejecting the idea, concluding that for all my disagreements with those folks, that they weren't a fundamental threat to my way of life and I'd be silly to treat them as though they were.

As time has gone on, I've become increasingly convinced that the ratcheted up nonsense coming from the far right over the insane dangers of electing Barack Obama will boil over soon as some surrogate goes on TV and ends up spewing, "But...but...but he's black!" Alternate possibility -- on election night, about 7 million far-right conservatives will have the first collective aneurysm in the known history of humanity when the networks call it for Obama.

There's a really bizarre paranoid fear out there regarding Obama that I just can't figure out. It's pretty hard to believe that it isn't racial. It's kind of like if the entire grassroots left was convinced not only that we didn't especially like John McCain and Sarah Palin but that John McCain is a Manchurian candidate and that Sarah Palin is a robot sent from the future with an accent programmed after watching Fargo. Or something. Crazy. Ya know?

I just don't get it.

I don't know what can be done for Dan Cooper. Maybe he'll find some way to keep making rifles and maybe some of those numerous sane hunters and shooters on the left, right, and center can buy his rifles to show respect for his right to his completely mainstream political beliefs.

Or maybe we should all just fucking hate eachother.

Yeah, let's do that.

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

So You're Saying There's a Chance

by: Matt Singer

Fri Oct 31, 2008 at 08:15:35 AM MST

This is it. The final stretch from Halloween to Election Day -- two of my favorite days of the year (God, I'm a nerd).

Jay already covered this, but late yesterday, Rasmussen put out some new numbers showing McCain +4 in Montana. That comes on the heels of the Mason-Dixon numbers showing the same margin even as MSU-B recently showed the state +4 for Obama.

So what's happening?

A few possibilities:

  • MSU-B seems to have a Democratic bias in their polls. 538's Nate Silver detects a mild Republican bias in Mason-Dixon's polling this year. Maybe all the numbers are a bit off due to some minor polling errors and natural MoE. The race is somewhere between +4 Obama and +4 McCain.
  • MSU-B included Paul while Mason-Dixon and Rasmussen excluded him. Rasmussen even notes that more McCain voters than Obama voters are expressing interest in potentially voting third party (and if polling continues to predict an Obama blowout come Election Day, more of those voters are likely to defect). That would say the race is more narrowly pro-McCain than M-D or Ras indicate right now.
  • The youth vote. Unfortunately, neither Mason-Dixon nor MSU-B have made crosstabs available. I've seen the Rasmussen crosstabs and they have McCain winning the youth vote significantly. That is, um, unlikely to happen, especially in a situation where McCain is only up by four. Democracy Corps -- a respect Dem polling firm -- shows Obama winning white youth 51-38. Montana's under 30 vote is basically 90% white, 8% Indian, and 2% everyone else. So you can use the 51-38 as a baseline and then tweak it a few more points toward Obama. Long story short -- McCain probably isn't winning the youth vote in Montana.
Bottom line -- looking at all the polling right now, it looks like we've got ourselves a race here in Montana.

And elections are not decided by some mystical deciphering of the will of the electorate. They're decided by people who vote. That's why casting those ballots is so crucial and also why last minute field efforts make a big difference. Here's some numbers based on rough field math:

  • On doors, for every 10 people you talk to -- an additional person will vote.
  • On phones, for every 20 people you talk to -- an additional person will vote.
  • On text messages, for every 20 people you text -- an additional person will vote.
  • On yard signs, for every 100 yard signs you put up -- there is no evidence that a single additional person will vote.
  • On robo-calls, for every 100,000 made by the campaign -- there is no evidence that a single additional person will vote.
GOTV is called a ground game for a reason. It is ultimately won and lost by large numbers of volunteers -- an army so to speak.

In other words, this race will now be decided by the actions of every day Montanans who choose (or choose not) to get involved.

So, yeah, no bitching if you don't knock doors. Voting ain't enough.

Update -- Just to be clear, the numbers above apply to mobilization of voters. Persuasion, name ID, volunteer motivation, and other things are also important to campaigns.

But we're in mobilizing mode now where what matters is how many people get turned out to the polls. Spending time election weekend asking for yard signs is a waste of time. Hell, lit dropping isn't very effective right now (especially in the Presidential race since everyone in America knows the names Barack Obama and John McCain right now).

Months ago, a lot of things could make a difference. Right now, basically three things do:

  • Door to door canvassing
  • Phone calls
  • Personal outreach to your own network of folks, especially folks you know who may not be planning to vote.

Light it up.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

RNC Buys Ads in Montana, GOP Nervous About State

by: Matt Singer

Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 16:34:49 PM MST

The Republican National Committee has purchased ads in the Presidential race here in Montana, a sure sign that some folks in DC are sweating the state's three electoral votes.

Marc Ambinder's take:

The ads begin Wednesday.

In 2004, George W. Bush won Montana by 20 points.

Ron Paul is on the ballot.  And Ron Paul supporters aren't happy with John McCain...

A Republican congressman from Texas could throw the state to Barack Obama.

Ouch. This could very easily be too little too late.

Over 80,000 votes have already been cast in Montana.

My sense from demographic numbers and the counties where voter registration rolls are growing is that McCain is being massively out-organized.

Back to work.

Update -- The more I think about this, the weirder it is. It isn't even that strange that the GOP is playing defense here. It's that this is the best place for them to spend money. Most polling indicates that Montana is only competitive if Obama is winning in such a landslide that the game is already over. The Republican Party nationally is facing a real ass-whooping in the White House, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House.

So why move cash into Montana? And why move the $300k-400k I'm seeing get mentioned? That's a very significant media buy in this state and in a competitive national environment, it is a serious piece of change to deploy.

All of that says to me that either:

  • Internal GOP polling shows Montana to be basically a firewall state for them -- that it has become a must-win. OR
  • The RNC is giving up on a lot of stuff, but is trying to help their down-ballot folks in Montana by sowing significant doubts around the Democratic brand. OR
  • I am missing something. OR
  • This is a terrible decision.
So am I missing something?
Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Obama Leads in Montana?

by: Matt Singer

Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 11:51:58 AM MST

The MSU-B poll is out and shows Obama leading McCain 44-40.

Wow, right. Well, hold your horses. This is good news, but a few observations:

  1. While the MSU-B poll has a good track record of predicting winners, its margins are off. In '06, it pegged Tester up by 11. I don't think Tester was ever leading Burns by 11. In '04, it once gave Schweitzer a double digit lead over Bob Brown. That also wasn't a double digit race.
  2. As in those races, part of the problem seems to be a high undecided rate. My guess is that if undecideds are pushed, they come home.
  3. Major caveat: MSU-B got the numbers wrong, but the outcomes right, in both '04 and '06. So maybe Obama really is up. Damn.

Update -- Complete release of the poll is here (PDF).

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

The Obama Tax Cut Calculator

by: Matt Singer

Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 08:46:35 AM MST

This is smart. The Obama campaign just posted a tax cut calculator to let people figure out whether they save more in taxes under Obama or McCain:


Turns out, I save more under Obama. And, for the record, I do pay federal income tax.

Discuss :: (13 Comments)

Colin Powell Endorses Obama

by: Matt Singer

Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 16:18:48 PM MST

Watch it for yourself.
Discuss :: (6 Comments)

New R2K Poll Shows Prez Race Closing in Montana

by: Matt Singer

Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 14:12:08 PM MST

Good news for Montana Democrats in a new Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos:
McCain (R) 49 (52)
Obama (D) 45 (39)
Trendlines are from late September. So we're seeing a 9 point swing a month.

The crosstabs are both believable and, if anything, hint at a slight bias toward Democratic undersampling and a too pessimistic prediction of the youth vote for Obama (from my read).

I've probably been one of the more pessimistic voices in the state regarding Obama's chances. But with this poll coming on the heels of a similar ARG poll -- and with the strength of Obama's volunteer base -- this race is suddenly looking winnable to me in Montana.

Of course, as Markos notes, it is still unlikely to be a tipping point state. It's more like a victory lap state for Obama. But in play it is.

The more interesting news in the poll comes in with numbers in the U.S. House race:

Rehberg (R) 52%
Driscoll (D) 38%
Surprisingly low numbers for Rep. Rehberg given the lack of a race. A poll like this is likely to have a number of people taking a real close look at that race for 2010.

The poll also has Schweitzer with a solid 18 point lead.

One last note -- the R2K polling method doesn't name third party candidates during the questioning. I think this is sound, but someone trying to find another way to improve Obama's numbers might note that Ron Paul's name is on the ballot here. While I think Paul detracts a bit from both Obama and McCain, it seems likely he hurts McCain more than Obama.

This gap narrows a couple points on strength of Obama's field operation and a point or two because of Ron Paul and we have ourselves a nail-biter.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Fear Itself

by: Mathello

Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 14:44:01 PM MST

(Wulfgar! posted this a couple days ago...but in case you missed it... - promoted by Jay Stevens)

Palin as president.
Discuss :: (4 Comments)

ARG: Montana Still Competitive

by: Matt Singer

Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 10:45:00 AM MST

Political Wire reports that a new American Research Group poll shows McCain only up 2% in Montana.

Four notes:

  1. I have some memory of ARG offering regular outlier numbers. Some commenters at Yglesias' site discussed this some time ago. Some agree, some disagree.
  2. Even with a solid polling firm, outliers will occasionally appear simply due to statistics.
  3. Is this the outlier or is Rasmussen's showing the race moving to McCain? I have no idea. I've long been a skeptic of Obama's chances to win Montana. But his campaign, which is smarter (and better informed) than me on this subject, is still here.
  4. Does ARG include Paul and Barr in their survey? If so, it may artificially look bad for McCain. Alternately, if they're not included, it may appear to be artificially good for McCain.


Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Ron Paul on Montana Ballot

by: Matt Singer

Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 13:54:08 PM MST

Here's some interesting news. The Constitution Party of Montana, which disaffiliated from the U.S. Constitution Party, has submitted Ron Paul as their nominee, which means that Ron Paul's name will be on the Montana ballot as an option for voters.

The names that will be on the ballot as far as I can tell:
PartyPresidential CandidateVP Candidate
ConstitutionRon PaulMichael Peroutka
DemocraticBarack ObamaJoe Biden
IndependentRalph NaderMatt Gonzalez
LibertarianBob BarrWayne Allyn Root
RepublicanJohn McCainSarah Palin
Ron Paul is a big enough name in enough of Montana that this could cause some trouble for John McCain.

In the GOP primary, Paul drew over 20,000 votes. Consider the closely fought 2006 Senate race, ultimately decided by 3,500 votes and 20,000 votes could be a big deal, especially if Bob Barr (a more credible nominee than the Libertarians have had in some time) pulls the same 1,700 votes the Libertarians drew in '04.

By means of comparison, Nader and the Green nominee combined in '04 received about 7,000 votes total in Montana.

All told -- this could be about a 14,000 net vote advantage for the Ds, just based on the other names on the ballot.

Also -- this is a canny move for the Constitution Party. They'll actually have a statewide candidate with some name recognition. The way election law works in Montana, I think this almost guarantees ongoing ballot access for them.

Note: so far the only source for Paul's name being filed appears as a news item from Ballot Access News, which has always had good info in the past. But there's nothing in the local papers or on the SOS website to verify this information.

Count me as very curious to hear others' takes on this news.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

More Palin Thoughts

by: Matt Singer

Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 08:31:43 AM MST

Two interesting posts on Palin in the Montana sphere. David Crisp wonders whether he would be as critical of a Schweitzer for VP announcement on the experience front. He admits that he probably wouldn't, but cites Schweitzer's international business experience. He also notes that proximity may be a factor in the level of trust (while noting that explanation is undermined by the criticism of Palin coming out of Alaska political and journalistic quarters).

Meanwhile, Mark T thinks me naive since Palin herself does not matter, only the coalition she represents.

That's actually a bit hilarious. The "guy" doesn't matter, but the "guy" behind the "guy" behind the "guy" is crucial. Look, coalitions matter in politics, but the buck does stop somewhere and politicians are rarely tools of their backers, especially in those areas they value most.

We don't even know enough about Palin's background to know which coalitions she is a part of. What we do know is that her resume is awfully thin to be leader of the free world and so far, her demonstrated judgment is damn questionable.

Brian Schweitzer is probably an imperfect analogy here. A better one might be Jon Tester. Folks who have read this blog or who know me personally know that I think very highly of Jon. He's a sharp, personable, hard-working leader. I also think that he will go on to do great things in politics. Would I be gung-ho for him as the VP nominee right now? Not really. I think he's still got some teeth cutting to do.

Now, Sarah Palin has a few months to prove herself. So far the signs aren't good.

Far more troubling than her thin resume is her connection to the Alaskan Independence Party, a secessionist outfit that appears (at first glance) to be part of the far right. From what I've been reading, Alaska sure looks a lot like Montana. Even moreso. And no one in Montana politics is blind to the presence of some fairly radical conservative factions -- with ties to the militia movements. These factions aren't exactly helpful. The notion of putting someone with such ties in the White House is unsettling. It's a bit like putting an unreconstructed Maoist in there.

Update -- The Alaskan Independence Party is apparently the Alaska affiliate of the Constitution Party. Montanans know the Constitution Party because of Rep. Rick Jore, its sole state elected official anywhere in the country (although the Montana Constitution Party disaffiliated with the national party recently). Rick Jore is widely known for being a nice guy personally and a radical politically. Sounds a lot like Sarah Palin. Palin strikes me as the type of politician I'd like to have over for dinner, but who I wouldn't exactly trust with the Health and Human Services budget.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Some Bullshit

by: Matt Singer

Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 12:34:33 PM MST

Some dextra-bloggers in Montana have found shocking instances of liberals saying mean and untrue things about Sarah Palin. Let me just say that for the record, I believe Governor Palin is the mother of five children and will not be a grandmother for several more months. I think her children's decisions are theirs and not really appropriate for media feeding frenzies.

But for the modern American political right to get its underwear in knots over this bullshit is just hilarious. Spend some time beating up Jerome Corsi, who has actually been a pretty mainstream figure within the modern right.

ArcXIX, the anonymous diarist on the Daily Kos website (where anyone in the world can be a diaryist), is not exactly a known figure. Hell if I even know her or his real name.

Bottom line: political campaigns apparently cause shitty people to say shitty things about non-shitty people. Pretending that this is a feature solely of the right or the left is hilarious. I would say, though, that the mainstream right has been far more accepting of this shit emanating from their side.

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Gambling on the Race and with the Country

by: Matt Singer

Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 09:01:40 AM MST

I remember back in 2005 when Jon Tester was just thinking about entering the race for U.S. Senate and in the early days of the campaign, I had conversations with other early supporters about the political case for backing Tester.

Compared to John Morrison, Tester looked risky for a few reasons. He had never run statewide. He wasn't raising enough money. He clearly did not share Morrison's ambitious streak (Tester is a fighter, but not in the same ego-centric way).

In fact, many of us backing Tester would acknowledge (at least privately) that there was a decent chance that Morrison would run stronger in the general election than Tester would.

But from a political perspective, Tester was still the better nominee.


The reason is that looking at Morrison's profile, we just didn't think he'd get to 51% ever. A city lawyer running against a farm radio announcer? The third generation politician running against the conservative populist?

Money, ambition, and work ethic only go so far in politics. The candidate's profile and tone make a huge difference -- as they should.

So while Jon Tester had maybe a 30-40% chance of getting a majority of the vote, we also thought there was a pretty healthy chance he'd get 40%.

Why am I talking about the '06 race? Because John McCain just made a similar gamble.

Adding Sarah Palin to the ticket has given McCain a chance to win in a race where he had little chance, but it has also opened up a new possibility for an amazingly embarrassing Obama landslide. And, frankly, it would be a landslide that McCain would deserve to lose.

The big difference between the Tester gamble and the Palin gamble is that the Tester gamble wasn't reaching for a less capable leader for political reasons (it was, I think, the precise opposite -- making a smart political gamble on the more capable leader). The Palin gamble isn't just rolling the dice for the Republican ticket. It's rolling the dice for the entire country.

Imagine that McCain plays his odds and comes up sevens (McCain is a craps fan), but something terrible befalls him between Election Day and the Inauguration. Is Sarah Palin at all prepared to lead?

Her choice -- from the vantage of whether she is prepared to lead the country -- is such a terrible joke that it should remove John McCain from consideration. His judgment is simply abysmal.

It's acceptable to play games and take risks in politics. But there are risks that just aren't acceptable in the governance of the most powerful country in the world. John McCain just took one of those risks.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Obama Making Billings His Last Stop Before Denver?

by: Matt Singer

Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 11:36:00 AM MST

Well, here's one more thing I hadn't been expecting. Billings will apparently be Obama's last stop before accepting the Democratic nomination in Denver, CO.

From the campaign:

Today, the Obama campaign announced that United States Senator Barack Obama will visit Montana as part of a battleground state tour leading up to the Democratic National Convention.  Obama will kick off the tour on Saturday, August 23, 2008 with an event in Springfield, Illinois, the city where Obama officially announced his campaign for president on February 10, 2007.  

Obama will make stops next week in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Davenport, Iowa, Kansas City, Missouri and Billings, Montana before arriving in Denver. More details will be announced in the coming days.

There's a decent chance (although I would say, not a certainty) that these trips will also include his new VP candidate.

That Montana makes this list of target states is pretty fascinating. There's a big move being made to win this state.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Montana in the Top Tier?

by: Matt Singer

Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 11:22:26 AM MST

According to 538, Montana is one of 11 battleground states in the country right now. Their poll and regression based analysis has McCain winning the state by only 4% currently -- and gives Obama a 1 in 3 chance of winning (in comparison, Obama is given a 3% chance of winning Wyoming and a 1% chance of winning Idaho under the model).

538's modeling also predicts a 3% win for Obama nationally, over 300 electoral votes, and a 2/3 chance that Obama wins it. And, as they'd note themselves, this is a June prediction for a November election.

But it is interesting to see Montana in the battleground list -- even if neither campaign is currently considering it as such.

Update -- Right after writing this, 538 revised their predictions, downgrading Obama's chances in Montana. So it goes.

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

More Polling Thoughts

by: Matt Singer

Sun May 25, 2008 at 17:05:58 PM MST

Anna already took a look at the new numbers from Maxon-Dixon, but I wanted to highlight a few other things.
  1. There's some worth in keeping an assumed frontrunner below 50%. Against Obama, McCain is below 50. Against Clinton, he is over. That alone is of interest.
  2. Clinton actually is outperforming expectations in this poll. Fair expectations for Clinton in Montana range from losing by 15 (538's baseline number) to a 25-point whomping a la 2000. In this poll, she is down 11, a huge improvement over John Kerry's 20 point loss in 2004 -- and more evidence that Republicans may need to be worried for the long-term about the state's voting trends.
  3. Gender-wise, the Clinton and Obama general election coalitions are virtually identical. There is no evidence of a gender advantage for Clinton among women or of a gender disadvantage for Clinton among men. That's interesting to know.
  4. Partisan-wise, Clinton's and Obama's coalitions are very different. Clinton runs a net 16 points stronger among Dems than Obama. Obama meanwhile runs a net 7 points stronger among Republicans and a net 19 points stronger among independents.
  5. Quick Excel math reveals that Lee Newspapers found a partisan environment slightly less favorable to Republicans than exit polls in the state from 2004 and 2006 reveal. Two possibilities -- partisan identification is trending away from the Republicans or it is statistical noise and the GOP was undersampled in this survey (note: these explanations are not mutually exclusive).
There are some other things worth noting from this polling data. For example, Lee did not find the Republican primary for U.S. Senate worth polling -- they only oversampled the Democratic primary electorate (no indication yet of whether they saw the Democratic U.S. House primary worth polling).

Economic concerns weigh heavily on the minds of Montanans. The top concerns named were as follows:

Economy and Jobs28
National Security and Terrorism14
Health Care11
Moral and Family Values10
Global Warming3

No indication of whether this was an open response or if options were given.

Update -- One more thought. Montana's delegates are not awarded statewide. Many are awarded by Congressional District. Five to the Western half. Five to the Eastern half. If Hillary can maintain her lead in the old Eastern District, it may mean a net swing of two delegates in her favor from the Conventional Wisdom. Although Obama may run strong enough in Western Montana to win the district 4-1.  

Discuss :: (4 Comments)
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Purely Hypothetical, of course, but - The best candidate for the Republicans for US Senate is:
Corey Stapleton
Dennis Rehberg
Marc Racicot
Champ Edmunds
Steve Daines
Harris Himes
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