Obama's Lack of a BumpThe press is rambling on about Barack Obama's apparent "bump" in the polls since winning the nomination, with the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that Barack Obama has a six-point national lead over John McCain (47-41%), and the press is pretending that this is a huge deal for Obama at this point in the race. It is by no means insignificant, however there are signs of trouble for Obama in the latest results:
The Wall Street Journal on the latest NBC/WSJ poll: “Sen. Obama
leads Sen. McCain by 47% to 41%, a spread that is twice the edge he had in the
previous poll… Still, that lead is significantly smaller than the Democratic
Party's 16-point advantage, 51% to 35%, when voters are asked, without
candidates' names, which party they want to win the White House.
“But Sen. Obama continues to do poorly among white male voters, according
to the poll. More ominous is his weakness among white suburban women, who
generally are open to Democratic candidates and whose votes could be decisive.
While Sen. Obama has a slight lead among white women generally, a plurality of
suburbanites prefer Sen. McCain.
What people who are polled seem to be saying, quite frankly, is that they aren't very comfortable with the Republicans, but they really aren't all that happy with Barack Obama, either. Obama's weakness among both suburban women and suburbanites generally is very telling. Democrats nearly always concentrate their ground machine on large cities. It is within the big city that Democrats get most of their hard-core votes, because the large cities are where people who are more dependent on the state-and hence feel a need for large, bloated, costly, intrusive, and overexpansive government tend to live.
One lesson that the 2000 and 2004 elections should have taught the national Democratic Party is that it cannot rely on large cities alone to pad its vote. Presidential elections are won or lost in the suburbs and in rural America. Apparently, that message has yet to seep through to Democratic leadership, because if suburbanites and rural voters join in a ballot box coalition the way they did in 2000 and 2004, the Democrats will lose yet another election solely because they continue to have the mindset that winning in cities will carry a national election.
The prospect of losing suburbia isn't Barack Obama's only problem:
Nothing personal, Sen. Obama, but our re-election comes first.
Barack Obama, for all his attention and primary successes, does not go over so well in a fair number of Democratic lawmakers' home districts. So it seems there is little
chance that some will endorse him for president.
Some are counting on Republican votes in their re-election bids. Some are
newly minted and in rematches with 2006 opponents. Some may be wary of how their constituents will react to a black presidential candidate. Some, too, have made
it a practice of distancing themselves from the national party, fearing the
inevitable campaign ad that has their face morphing into Howard Dean, the party
chairman, and Obama.
Democratic members of Congress in many districts are running and hiding from Obama as if he is a virus that will kill them if they so much as touch him. Although Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen kept his name anonymous, we now know that it was 4th District Congressman Lincoln Davis who confessed to Bredesen that Obama is "political poison" to him. When a slew of your own members of Congress are either running from you like the plague, or have "officially" endorsed you but just don't want to talk about you, it is not a sign that you are Mr. Popular among the voters who will decide the election.
Barack Obama has gotten a bump, but it really isn't as all as large as it should be.