June 01, 2008

What with the foreclosure crisis keeping me at the office seven days a week, I haven't had much time to contribute any pearls of wisdom to the goings-on along the campaign trail, but I suppose if there was actually any suspense left in who would be my party's nominee, I would have found the time. But the Obama-Clinton battle has been over for four weeks, since he blew her out of the water in the Tar Heel State, and I could frankly give a rat's ass as to how the party apportions delegates from two states that had fake elections last January, or the nomination preferences of people from an American colony.

And, it seems, I'm not the only person who sees Clinton's strange kabuki ritual in pretending there's still a race going on as just a wee bit boring. From an on-line chat with Washington Post political reporter Paul Kane:
Washington: Looking at the most recent Rasmussen daily polls, I see that Hillary manages a tie today against McCain, but Barack is down by five points to McCain. What piqued my interest was that while Hillary had a "highly unfavorable" rating of 32 percent (i.e., as I see it, people who never will vote for her) Barack was at 35 percent. On Jan. 30, as we entered primary season's main show, Barack's "highly unfavorables" were 20 percent and Clinton's were 35 percent. Is this something superdelegates may be watching?

Paul Kane: I've spent the past several months talking to as many super-delegates as any reporter in America, I'd guess, since I cover on a day-to-day basis about 280 of them here on Capitol Hill.

I hate saying this, because all the Clinton people are going to flip
out and say, You're biased, you're biased, you're biased. So go ahead and flip out if you want, but the simple basic truth is that the super-delegates stopped paying attention to the Clinton-Obama race about a couple days after the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.

They've stopped paying attention to the primary, and instead they're
focused on an Obama-McCain matchup in November. That's the basic, simple, definitive reality that has happened in this race. The "undecided" super-delegates at this moment are not going to "decide" any time soon, because to them the race is over, they're just waiting for Clinton to drop out.
And later:
Centreville, Va.: I was surprised and disappointed that The Post did not seem to address the Gallup poll yesterday which seemed to say Hillary Clinton had somewhat of an advantage over Barack Obama in the so-called swing states. The news of that poll was bandied about all day on the political blogs, and I have to say the Obama supporters seemed to be getting the worst of it. (Or is it "worse" with only two candidates in the poll?)

Paul Kane: Again, don't yell at me because I'm only the messenger here. But the super-delegates have moved on, they're no longer looking at how Hillary Clinton fares in battleground states against McCain. This is very hard for Clinton supporters to hear, I'm sorry, but the super-delegates are not paying attention to your candidate anymore. These head-to-head matchup polls (Clinton v. McCain, Obama v. McCain) are not having the impact on people's thinking anymore.
Mr. Kane also doesn't seem to think much of the Green Party or Ralph Nader, for that matter (link via Kos and AmericaBlog). I suspect that if Obama were getting trounced by McCain, while Clinton had a clear lead, such things might be getting more play, but right now the relative differences between the two in national surveys are insignificant, statistical noise that seasoned pols have learned to tune out.