Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Not So Fast

Andrew Sullivan has been caught up in Obamania for a while, but this view from one of his readers is going way too far:

This has the potential to be a landslide election. I think it could rival Reagan’s 49-stste sweep in 1984. In the future, we will be speaking of "Obama Republicans" in the way we now speak of "Reagan Democrats".
Uh, no.

The statement is half-right. A two-term presidency could create a new breed of "Obama Republicans" (a point I will address in the near future). But Reagan's sweep was an affirmation of his first term. Yes, he won a convincing 44-state win in 1980 -- an electoral personal rejection of incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Obama is running in an open general "adjustment" election -- more like 1960, 1968 and (to a slightly lesser degree) 1976. Such races are inevitably close. Re-elections that affirm the judgment of the previous adjustment have the capability of being total landslides -- 1964 (the Kennedy/Johnson "re-election), 1972 and 1984. Obama may still win, but let's put the brakes on the "looming landslide" talk.

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