The WaPo takes a look at the possible downside to the Obama campaign strategy today of winning in small states but racking up losses, yes losses, in the bigger states like Ohio, Texas, New Jersey, New York and California. In a nutshell: “Losses in Big States Spur General-Election Fears.”
Among the arguments against Obama’s strategy is the notion that “winning over affluent, educated white voters in small Democratic enclaves, such as Boise, Idaho, and Salt Lake City, and running up the score with African Americans in the Republican South exaggerate his strengths in states that will not vote Democratic in the fall.”
If Obama becomes the Democratic nominee but cannot win support from working-class whites and Hispanics, they argue, then Democrats will not retake the White House in November.
I don’t think any of us want to see that happen. Yet, Obama’s campaign and his supporters seem oblivious to the implications.
A Clinton campaign memo on Wednesday noted that of the 11 core Republican states that have held primaries or caucuses, Obama has won 10: Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana. In 2004, Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), the Democratic nominee, lost each of these states by 15 points or more.
Obama aides still insist that it is a strategy that will work. Even after Tuesday, when he lost three out of four contests, Obama maintained his delegate lead. Indeed, his strength in the parallel caucuses in Texas may have actually given him more delegates than Clinton, even though she won the popular vote by 51 percent to 47 percent. But his campaign faces a legitimacy test that is beginning to resonate throughout the Democratic establishment: Can Obama win the big prizes?
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey nailed it: “A lot of the states he’s winning are states that we’re not going to win in November. It’s not a strategy that bodes well, in my opinion.” It’s not a strategy that bodes well in my opinion either.