Obama Finding New Group of Supporters

Earlier today I wrote about John Edwards’ claims of being the more electable candidate. After seeing this article (as well as the polls in some southern states) it looks like Obama might have a better argument. While Edwards’ ability to bring in enough swing state or southern voters to win is questionable, Obama is receiving attention from a voting block which could make a difference in the election results–Republicans:

There is an interesting phenomenon that has arisen over the last few months: a trend of moderate Republicans who want to vote for Barack Obama. It may seem counterintuitive, conservatives supporting a candidate who wants to tax the wealthy and embrace the conventions in the Kyoto Accord, but there is something in Obama’s message about ridding politics of partisanship that is appealing to these Republicans.

He doesn’t carry the baggage of a Hillary Clinton. He is new; he seems authentic — although his connection to indicted fund-raiser Tony Rezko has made some previous supporters wonder — and he has more gravitas than pretty boy John Edwards. The Republicans who like him may have supported John McCain in the past, but after eight years of the Bush White House they feel they can no longer support the Republican field. The idea of a congressional glasnost — a harmonic nonpartisanship in Washington — is an Obama goal they endorse.

Some of these right-wing Obama supporters are putative country club Republicans, hailing from areas similar to the North Shore of Chicago. Others are professionals who are disillusioned by the Bush administration’s failure to develop a sound domestic policy to redress issues of health care and Social Security or to end the relentless war in Iraq.

Add to this the secrecy of the Bush administration, the Scooter Libby affair, the unfortunate choice of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general, the scandals of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the Tom DeLays and Mark Foleys, and there remains an unsavory stew of problems for those once proud to call themselves Republican…

The war is the main issue for many of these Democratically inclined Republicans and it is how the war has tarnished America’s profile abroad. “I went to India last February,” recalls Chicagoan Dian Eller, who works in philanthropy. “And the first thing my driver asked was if I had voted for Bush.” Eller did vote for Bush the first time around, but not the second because she “was angry and disappointed about the war.” But the pointed questions from the Indian driver made Eller very uncomfortable. “I am so upset about the way people feel about our country.”

If nothing else, Edwards is lagging behind in the battle of the videos. Obama has the 1984 anti-Hillary ad. Hillary has today’s cliff hanger announcement of the winner of her campaign song contest. Edwards is stuck with the breck girl video.

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  1. 1
    Larry says:

    Hope it won’t be Hillary.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Right now Hillary looks like a strong front runner who will be difficult to beat.

    Of course so did Ed Muskie, Howard Dean, George Romney. . .

    A lot can change between now and next winter.

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