Obama Stronger Candidate Than Clinton Against McCain

It is risky predicting what will happen months before an election but at this time I believe that the next president will be either Barack Obama or John McCain. In other words it comes down to what the Democrats do. Nominate Obama and they have a fighting chance of winning. Nominate Clinton and it’s all over. One way or another the Bush/Clinton dynasty ends this January.

A poll from Time still leaves some hope for the Democrats to win with Clinton, but the odds are sure a lot better with Obama. Here are the two match ups.

  • Obama 48%, McCain 41%
  • Clinton 46%, McCain 46%

Independents account for the different results:

The difference, says Mark Schulman, CEO of Abt SRBI, which conducted the poll for TIME, is that “independents tilt toward McCain when he is matched up against Clinton But they tilt toward Obama when he is matched up against the Illinois Senator.” Independents, added Schulman, “are a key battleground.”

Besides the loss of the independents, a match up against McCain will be very difficult for Clinton. Some of her success in the Democratic primaries has been based upon the myth that she has meaningful experience. This won’t do her any good in a campaign against McCain. With Clinton as the candidate, the Democrats also lose the advantage of having a consistent anti-war candidate. McCain will come off as the straight talker compared to a candidate such as Clinton who has already been exposed for taking considerable liberties with the truth. While McCain has admitted to little knowledge of economics, the alternative with Clinton is actually worse. A little knowledge as Clinton has in the hands of a big government junkie like Clinton is a dangerous thing. Her economic proposals do not stand up to close scrutiny, such as with the many flaws in her plan to deal with the mortgage crisis. If Clinton goes into the race with only a tie against McCain, her chances of maintaining it are poor.

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  1. 1
    The Charters Of Dreams says:

    I don’t get this at all. Why is he stronger? Forget the polls and think it though — Obama is more “liberal” than Hilary:

    There is little in Obama’s policy pronouncements beyond traditional tax and spend liberalism. According to the respected and nonpartisan National Journal, Obama is actually the most liberal U.S. senator, with a voting record actually to the left of Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s self-proclaimed socialist. He has received perfect 100 percent voting records from groups like Americans for Democratic Action, the National Organization for Women and the National Education Association, giving him a slightly more left-wing record than well-known liberals such as Pat Leahy, D-Vt., John Kerry, D-Mass., and . . . Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

    One searches in vain for a new idea among Obama’s policies. Personal accounts for Social Security? Entitlement reform? School choice? Tax cuts? Obama rejects them all, calling such proposals “Social Darwinism.” Instead, Obama offers a traditional laundry list of liberalism: national health insurance, a “living wage” mandate, restrictions on executive pay, taxes on oil companies, more spending on just about everything.

    Though he eschews the harsh language of former candidate John Edwards, Obama nonetheless embraces the same class warfare, attacking big business, big oil, big pharma and so on, blab, blab, blab . . .

    Obama may be trying to position himself as to the right of H.C., but I’m buying it less and less, and we know (or should know) these guys can act very differently once in office (e.g., remember GWB’s angst against nation building — he got over that fast enough after he got elected).

    The only thing Obama really has going for him is he’s not the hawk H.C. is on foreign policy. McCain wants to bomb bomb bomb Iran. However, enough people like that. H.C., unfortunately, is probably more or less on the same page:

    Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy

    McCain will run Obama over . . .

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, you clearly do not get this, or get what a tremendous number of independents, conservatives, and libertarians get about the differences between Obama Clinton. Of course you need to get beyond repeating right wing talking points and start looking at reality.

    Looking at reality includes evaluating the quality of the studies you cite rather than choosing studies based upon whether they confirm your bias. Until you learn to look at the data first and reach conclusions, as opposed to working this backwards, you will continue to miss what is really going on in the world. Ideologues simply find ways to reinforce their own biases and tend not to learn.

    The National Journal study you cite does not show that Obama is the most liberal US Senator. As happens every election year, candidates miss a lot of votes which greatly warps their scores. Obama was not the most liberal during the prior two years. Similarly in 2004 John Kerry suddenly became the most liberal US Senator for a year do to missing many votes.

    You also take the liberal rating without bothering to look at what is behind the score. You falsely suggest that this means that Obama is to the left of a socialist such as Bernie Sanders. Obama’s liberal votes include votes opposing the war, supporting ethics reform, opposing the prohibition on stem cell research, and opposing restrictions on abortion.

    It is also untrue that Obama has received a “perfect 100 percent” from the ADA.

    Obama is more liberal on civil liberties issues, on ethics issues, on restricting presidential powers, and on foreign policy. He is also more open to free market ideas on economics. Simply looking at, and misquoting, voting scores or repeating right wing talking points is not the way to evaluate a candidate. A far better review of how Obama differs from Clinton is here:


    As for foreign policy, a majority now oppose the Iraq war. A majority certainly are not eager to enter into more wars. This gives Obama an edge over McCain.

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