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Is Obama Really
Trailing Clinton?

Every weekday, members of the Washington Post political team take your questions on politics. Here are highlights from today's chat with Anne E. Kornblut.

Mount Prospect, Ill.: How do you reconcile the apparent wide gap between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (according to recent polls) and the significant reaction (both in donors and total dollars) that puts Obama at the top tier, above Clinton? Is it possible that despite those polls, this grassroot movement for Obama is something the media is missing that will show its strength at the voting/caucus settings, and that is why Obama continues to avoid any strident criticisms of Clinton?


Anne E. Kornblut: It's a great question,and one we spend a lot of time scratching our heads over here. Your theory is entirely possible; it is, after all, about three months until we see actual voting begin. And let's not forget who was the front-runner for the Democratic nomination four years ago (hint: it was not John Kerry). The Clinton campaign, though, would say that Obama's support donation-wise is a reflection of his support from elites who can afford to help him (and donors overall make up a small portion of the population), whereas Clinton has broad popular support... We will find out soon enough.

Salinas, Calif.: Hi Anne. Is John Edwards deciding to accept public funds for his campaign an example of trying to put the best face on an increasingly difficult position for a bottom-of-the-top-tier candidate, in contrast with the money generating juggernauts of Clinton and Obama? Is he banking on his long-term fieldwork in Iowa to counteract the limitations on spending that public financing will impose? I would expect his team to spin their position as taking the high road on campaign spending, considering their circumstances. Your thoughts?

Anne E. Kornblut: You are exactly right. By accepting public financing, Edwards is essentially conceding that his fundraising efforts haven't been as successful as they had hoped. He is trying to put the happiest face on it -- arguing, as you suggest, that he will be the one to reject the monied interest and stick to government-imposed limits, and calling on other Democratic candidates to do the same. But it's a hard sell. And it may just be a reflection of the fact that there is only so much money out there, and only so many candidates who can vaccuum it up.

Silver Spring, Md.: Can you please explain why the leading Republican candidates didn't show up for the debate last night in Baltimore? Would it really hurt these candidates that much in places like South Carolina to appear in front of a black audience? If this is the state of the Republican party I don't see how right-thinking people of any race can continue to associate with the party. This is really repulsive behavior. People who act this way shouldn't be president of a diverse country and can't be expected to understand a world made up of many different cultures and viewpoints.

Anne E. Kornblut: I think the basic thinking was that there wasn't a great deal of percentage in it for these guys. It's the end of the fundraising quarter and they all had previously scheduled events (or so they said). This has been a particular bete noir for the former RNC chairman, Ken Mehlman (who did, by contrast, show up), who made the same case during his tenure that you have here. The current crop doesn't seem to have bought in to that thinking, quite.

In the West Virgnia woods: Do you see any hint that Democrats know Hillary Clinton is pro-immigration, pro-NAFTA, pro-outsourcing? In other words she is very much a free-trader, and there is no sign anyone knows. She's on a fast track to the presidency and people need to know where she stands on issue that are not on the media radar screen. Iraq is the only subject that interests the national media. Important as Iraq is, it is certainly not the only important issue. Do you think the media will broaden their interests to cover domestic issues?

Anne E. Kornblut: She has, actually, voiced differences with her husband over NAFTA (saying it would require revisions) and her opponents, Edwards in particular, have made sure to underscore where she has been on trade. One of his more recent lines is that the Clinton administration failed to bring us health care but brought us NAFTA instead. I would not be surprised at all to see this emerge as amore important issue in the weeks/months ahead. Great question.

South Bend, Ind.: I've watched a lot of the Democratic debates and I've come away really liking how Joe Biden isn't willing to pander as much to the liberal base on Iraq withdrawal and actually adding something different to that discussion with his plan for a basically leaving Iraq in a loose confederation. What are the thoughts of foreign policy experts on the merits of this plan? Also, I know Biden doesn't have a chance at the nomination, but what about vice president for one of the inexperienced candidates (Obama, Edwards, heck even Clinton) or Secretary of State?

Anne E. Kornblut: Sen. Biden has done a really interesting job of shaping the debate, hasn't he? I am not a foreign policy expert, but put to a vote in the Senate this week, his plan for the confederation (not a partition, he was quick to note during the debate) won a majority. As you suggest, he is, as always, worth keeping an eye on and paying attention to.

By Washington Post editors  |  September 28, 2007; 1:06 PM ET
 
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Next: First the Fundraising Reports,
Then the Campaign Fallout

Comments

I'm a moderate to conservative on social issues Democrat leaning individual who isn't an elite and I gave money to Obama!!! I have a lot of friends who are giving so let's be careful when we say a lot of elites are giving him money. His crowds are big full of normal everyday working people. He has expired a progressive crowd one that doesn't like standard Washington politics and thinking!!!

Posted by: crews2me | October 2, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Joe Biden would be the perfect choice for Obama's VP. He has done well to contain himself and no reason to think he couldn't modify his approach to be Barack's VP. It would be the strongest Democratic ticket by far (since Jim Webb needs to stay in Virginia). Biden would knock Giuliani out of the game, when he states (refer to debate) that Giuliani doesn't know a damn thing about foreign policy.

Its OBAMA's Victory to lose. (And I am 52 years old) Only Obama can Unite the country. He has a much better chance of defeating the Republican and insiders know that and polls show it too. Hillary is way too divisive and most non-Democrats don't want to go through that again. Besides, Hillary has Terrible Leadership ability. Evidence is the lack of Enthusiasm for Hillary vs. Barack in front of crowds. Sometimes Hillary gets cheers, but people are only cheering for what she is saying, not for her.

Obama-Biden 08
Unity and New Leadership

Posted by: jerry25 | October 1, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

It should be clear to all by now that Hillary currently enjoys a solid lead way ahead of the rest of Democratic candidates and yet not much in the way of credible explanation has emanated from either the usual know-it-all political pundits or serious obervers of public affairs as to why this remains so. On a level of generality, one can surmise that the prevailing pro-Bill Clinton nolstagia has translated somewhat into a wave of national goodwill that has been an operative dynamic in favor of Hillary, even if it has not neutralized the detrimental aspects of her polarizing personality, as well as negative aspects of her husband's administration which remain the achilles' hills of her campaign. But her self-assured demeanor coupled with her command of issues conveys an image of readiness, experience and inevitability all of which have not been effectively challenged by any of the Democratic candidates, let alone the Republicans. She has been on an unending honey-moon whose termination remains inconceivable in the absence of a concerted, synchronized and subtly negative campaign designed to undercut her momentum, if not bring her down in the early primary states. With this in mind, however, her fellow candidates may be mindful of not inflicting on her such damage as to make it easy for Republicans to neutralize her once and for all.

As for Obama, he has everything going for him except what might be an entrenched public perception that, while he is such a captivating public speaker, as well as endowed with gravitas and a sound sense of judgment lacking in others, has zero experience quailfying him to be president of the U.S. in these bad times. On the contrary, he should have been able to amplify the indisputable fact that those who are presumed to be well experienced have sadly displayed--- at crucial moments for that matter---an utter lack of sound judgement as they have, through their political actions, driven America's son and daughters into the jaws of a protracted sectarian civil war with no end in sight. As a matter of realism, Obama's "inexperience" sanitizes him from the ways of Washington, and if utilized skilfully could be used to against the Washington political holdovers to burnish his narrative of "change."

When it comes to John Edwards it clear that his precarious situation at this given moment may be dictated by forces out of control . His and John Kerry's defeat in the most ideal election for their victory, yet most mismanaged by the Kerry Campaign remains to this day a painful reminder of a missed opportunity. Simply put Edward, represents to many what could have been, but might never be. Moreover, it is imprtant to recognize that the Democratic Party is unforgiving, unlike the Republican Party. You lose once as a presidential candidate, it's over for you.


Posted by: TSMMDA | September 30, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

It should be clear to all by now that Hillary currently enjoys a solid lead way ahead of the rest of Democratic candidates and yet not much in the way of credible explanation has emanated from either the usual know-it-all political pundits or serious obervers of public affairs as to why this remains so. On a level of generality, one can surmise that the prevailing pro-Bill Clinton nolstagia has translated somewhat into a wave of national goodwill that has been an operative dynamic in favor of Hillary, even if it has not neutralized the detrimental aspects of her polarizing personality, as well as negative aspects of her husband's administration which remain the achilles' hills of her campaign. But her self-assured demeanor coupled with her command of issues conveys an image of readiness, experience and inevitability all of which have not been effectively challenged by any of the Democratic candidates, let alone the Republicans. She has been on an unending honey-moon whose termination remains inconceivable in the absence of a concerted, synchronized and subtly negative campaign designed to undercut her momentum, if not bring her down in the early primary states. With this in mind, however, her fellow candidates may be mindful of not inflicting on her such damage as to make it easy for Republicans to neutralize her once and for all.

As for Obama, he has everything going for him except what might be an entrenched public perception that, while he is such a captivating public speaker, as well as endowed with gravitas and a sound sense of judgment lacking in others, has zero experience quailfying him to be president of the U.S. in these bad times. On the contrary, he should have been able to amplify the indisputable fact that those who are presumed to be well experienced have sadly displayed--- at crucial moments for that matter---an utter lack of sound judgement as they have, through their political actions, driven America's son and daughters into the jaws of a protracted sectarian civil war with no end in sight. As a matter of realism, Obama's "inexperience" sanitizes him from the ways of Washington, and if utilized skilfully could be used to against the Washington political holdovers to burnish his narrative of "change."

When it comes to John Edwards it clear that his precarious situation at this given moment may be dictated by forces out of control . His and John Kerry's defeat in the most ideal election for their victory, yet most mismanaged by the Kerry Campaign remains to this day a painful reminder of a missed opportunity. Simply put Edward, represents to many what could have been, but might never be. Moreover, it is imprtant to recognize that the Democratic Party is unforgiving, unlike the Republican Party. You lose once as a presidential candidate, it's over for you.


Posted by: TSMMDA | September 30, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm floored laughing,if Clinton is leading in the polls,the polls are wrong,if Obama should be leading(he is not),then the polls are right.HC haters,eat your hearts!!because she will win the nomination and the presidency.The reps would like to have Obama in the Dem ticket,because they know he'd never be elected,even if he is a nice,decent guy.

Posted by: zeldman81 | September 30, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Ok...too much incorrect information here.

First off, Obama's donors are not "elites", Ann...sheesh. Hillary is the one with the establishment(aka elites) on her side, while Obama has regular folks making small donations.

To genbar: You wrote "I personally believe that Clinton would get more accomplished that Obama. I have learned over the years you get more if you know how to play the game. It took a lot of knifes in my back to learn this. I believe that Hilary is tougher than Obama. She has HAD to learn to work the system to get anything done and she has been successful as a Senator working the system".
Well, if that is so, then explain why Obama has had more of his bills passed than Hillary has? Also, what you believe is one thing, but the facts show the opposite. Can you name ONE bill that Hillary has passed with a republican? You can't because there aren't any.

Lastly, Obama is the only Democratic candidate attracting republicans to his rallies.

By the way...Obama is leading in Iowa now....lol

Posted by: naijaman | September 30, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

By the way Obama has quietly taken the lead in the latest Iowa polls. This may the move many have been hoping for and expecting. If Barack takes Iowa all bets are off. The Hillary machine can be stopped!

Posted by: zbob99 | September 30, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama's appeal is not to the "elite". His appeal is to those who are paying attention. Hillary's appeal is name recognition and Bill.

Posted by: zbob99 | September 30, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are afraid of Obama - they would much prefer Hillary be the candidate b/c they think they have a chance of beating her. If Obama gets the nomination, Republicans know he is a force to be reckoned with and would totally roll over their candidate. I wonder if the Republicans are behind any of the leaks that Hillary is in the lead? Ever thought of that?

Posted by: dcamlong | September 30, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I recently was watching the "Martha" TV show when it became apparent to me that if Hillary was not married to Bill she would not even be being given a second look. Bill came across once again so personable and comfortable on the television. Hillary comes across as just another bright politician but only a politician. Obama is like Bill in that he is authentic. I personally feel that Hillary is the new Al Gore, a non-winner for the Democratic party in the next election. I am Democrat completely. Hillary makes a wonderful senator from NY but is not made for presidential prime time.

Posted by: dprnlk | September 30, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the polls are wrong and pollsters' methodology is flawed--unless my candidate or my views are leading in those polls.

Posted by: rmbus54 | September 30, 2007 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Almost all the polls out there are incorrect. No one knows about the sampling method they are using. I have never met anyone who has been called to answer any question.

We are going to see surprises. We may find out very soon that Hillary Clinton is not doing as we now fooled by the media. You will wait and see.

Posted by: aajo3 | September 29, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm a baby boomer soccer mom who has never campaigned for a presidential candidate before. This year I have contributed to Obama's campaign (another first for me) as well as attended a BBQ for Barack in Illinois a few weeks ago.

Barack is a man of honor who has shown the ability to build consensus between opposing groups when he worked as a community organizer and also in the State of Illinois Senate. We need someone who doesn't care about red and blue states, democrats/republicans. We have big problems in this country that will need a unifying force to fix them (war, social security, global warming, education) Many of us agree that it's time for a change, but the real question is this: Do we really want a possible 28 years being governed by only TWO families? If Hill gets elected and holds 2 terms, it would be 28 years with either a Bush or a Clinton in the White House. That's not healthy for any of us! I am a Bill Clinton fan, but Hillary does nothing for me. Her insincerity and lack of warmth gives me the creeps.

I'm puzzled by the lack of media attention Barack has gotten recently. It almost seems like the media elites WANT Hillary in office. Barack is drawing record crowds all over the country, but where is the coverage? I check barackobama.com every day to read about his events, but national coverage seems almost nonexistent. I fully believe the people who support him WILL vote. He is charismatic and full of vision. I do wish he would more clearly identify his positions on policy, however. He's great at the feel good stuff - and everyone is clamoring for that; but we also need some meat.

I refuse to believe that it's over for Barack - and I wish our media would quit telling us that. The grassroots support for Obama is phenomenal. His fundraising efforts have exceeded Hillary's ... don't give up the dream. Stay strong Obama supporters. Don't be afraid to discuss politics with your friends and family. There are lots of Republicans looking for an alternative and Obama should be it. Show your enthusiasm for this guy - he can win the nomination!!!

Posted by: dcamlong | September 29, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

DARN - where's NORMAN HSU or CHARLIE TRE or JOHNNY CHUNG WHEN YOU REALLY NEED SOME 'illegal campaign contributions'??? Oh i forgot the DEMBHOLES still can get 'FUNNY MONIES' from GEORGE'felon-i-am'SOROS!!! Some great 'funding-law' eh McCAIN/FEINGOLD??? SURE HAS 'LESSENED' THE INFLUENCE OF 'ILLEGAL MONIES' EH??? Ha!!!

Posted by: ZyskandarAJaimot | September 29, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Kornblut, what a logic :) Are you seriously saying, "Obama's support donation-wise is a reflection of his support from elites who can afford to help him, whereas Clinton has broad popular support" to a guy who manage to get 350,000 donors and 500,000 donations where 80% of it comes in $200 or less? Does that sound "elitist" to you? Not sure which planet you are living, but you are either a grasping, opportunistic dilettante or at worst an idiot.

Posted by: dotmike | September 29, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama is offering a new future and also new ways to deal with the future problems in the USA. My thoughts are that the American system will do everything to hold him down and keep him from getting elected. Look what happened to the voting machines in Florida. The USA can move an army around the world but can not make voting machines that work. The media can ask 1500 people who they are going to vote for, and ignore the grass roots demand for the quality of Obama. What surprises me even more is that when you look at the Clinton camp you are just voting Bill back in. The media does not reflect on this or the positions the Hillary has taken since being in the Senate. Is this election going to be a back slapping decision made by the special interest groups who want every thing to be in their interest or are we going to have a true democratic election. I, for some reason feel that the American people do not have the strength to demand what is needed and perhaps the interest fails. Obama is the hope of a lot of people inside and outside of the USA. Someone has got to make the changes needed.

Posted by: coatesmoe | September 29, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

During the first part of this year, there three guys who hit a couple of the talk shows objecting to the media fanfare for the polls that everyone was citing. They said that the old tactic used by pollsters was out of date. Why? Because they relied on landline phones for their polling. They contended that a sizeable portion of the population has shed the inplace/fixed landline phones for an exclusively mobile cell phone. This is especially true among 18 to 35 year olds, they said, who by the way are among the major donners to Obama's campaign and the ones showing up at his rallies. Will they vote? That of course is the sixty four dollar question. But I have to admit that among my friends who are definitely more in the 65 plus group are also sheding their landline phones due to the double billing problem. So, what does that mean in the long run? What does it mean to the primaries? Based on my exposure to the people here in Arizona, a large portion of whom are Snow Birds, the polls are not really in sinc with what these people are talking about. Not many are Obama fans but some are. My question is, is there a difference between people with landlines and those with cell phones?

Posted by: oren1956 | September 29, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey, there's an idea, Laura for President. Not only does she have eight years in the W.H., but four more from her father-in-law.

Friends in NH, active in past campaigns, have not had any polling phone calls on the their land based, the only ones used, lines. Over 50% of NH Democrats are undecided, you give me the conclusion. I say it says things are very fluid and to be careful of those numbers at this point.

Hillary's cackle, past and current baggage and the $5,000 per kid pandering reveal someone who will do anything to get elected. Now Bill's chiming in as well.

Hillary might take a lesson from Baroness Thatcher when she was Britain's P.M. and that is keep your hubby out of it. Which Clinton is running here? Bubba's had his two terms and we've still got him. So what's the Constitution to keep a Clinton out of the W.H.

Wake up American, we're being had by Hill and Bill!

Posted by: travelgallery | September 29, 2007 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Why do you folks on the right tend to post in all caps? Why do your posts almost always resort to name-calling and unsupported accusations?

Posted by: unclereggie99 | September 29, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

A message from an American Abroad (Notes from Democrats Abroad Regional Meeting in Singapore):

Thrilled to see this article in the POST and I have to say that your blog has been a little head of the curve on your coverage of the clinton vs. obama battle.

Today was day one of the Asia Regional Democrats Abroad Meeting. Representatives from nine (9) countries attended the event is Singapore. I showed up early this morning and within five (5) minutes two (2) things were clear:

1) A big proportion of the country representatives attending the event were solid Obama people; (big meaning at least twice the percentage cited in the latest highly publicised NH Poll )

2) Also attending the regional conference in Singapore were a few "newbies", people who have never participated in party or primary organizational activities. 75% or so these new faces (I was one of them) were Obama people.

We heard from Terry McCaullife (sp?), Clinton Campaign Manager and from Obama's sister during the meeting via conference call. Needless to say these the calls from these two camps could not have been more different!

Clinton's team talked about Hillary's performance over the last few days (a good week Hillary no doubt) and emphasized all these big polls out of New Hampshire.

The Obama camp talked about America regaining some respect and some affection from the rest of the world and We learned that Obama was a pretty good big brother in a household without a steady male figure. We learned that growing up he sometimes frustrated his little sister by never losing an argument.

Sitting in a room full of expatriate Americans I felt Obama's message won the day. Closing the call with Obama's sister, one of the country chair's in attendance says "I just want to say one thing before we move on, with the Obama's what you see is what you get". These are real people

I have a one word response to all these articles and pundits talking about Clinton's almost unbeatable position in the primaries-"Rasmussen" Check the link below:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_2008__1/daily_presidential_tracking_polling_history.

Clinton just had an excellent week of high stakes campaigning, flawlessly executed, supported by great focus on "message" by her campaign operation.

Why is she losing two (2) percentage points during this juggernaut week? Why do I have to get all the way to the third page of "google news" listing before I find this Rasussen link?

Thx for this article!

Posted by: bbrown | September 29, 2007 7:24 AM | Report abuse

@ ZyskandarAJaimot:

I'm not so sure about the accuracy of your claim that Hillary Clinton is promoting the idea of simply giving every child born in the US $5,000 each, but for the sake of this discussion, let's just assume you are on point.

You go on to point out that this would amount to 4 billion dollars from our/your tax money, and I suppose you are flabergasted at the idea of "your" taxes being used in this way.

Well are you aware that 4 billion dollars a year is but a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money we are spending to do "nation building" in Iraq? We're spending 6 billion dollars a month (approx 200million a day) trying to stop a civil war, rebuild infrastructure, set up a government, distribute oil wealth, and create jobs all for the stability of the iraquis.

So what's your REAL beef? It can't be the amount you claim Hillary proposes to use from tax monies, because it is not nearly as ASSININE as the amount of tax money going to benefit another country. Why should it be ok to send ridiculous amounts of tax money offshore for another nation, yet, if you spend a fraction of that amount domestically, it suddenly becomes a tax money shame.

By the way, I'm not even a Hillary clinton supporter, but you simply deserve to be called on this hypocrisy and fake concern for how tax money is spent.

GO OBAMA !!!!

Posted by: alisameekins | September 29, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

CLINTON IS EVASIVE AND NON COMMITAL. SHE IS TRYING TO APPEAL TO THE MODERATES AND CONSERVATIVES. SHE HAS THE MEDIA BEHIND HER BUT NOT THE EVERY DAY PERSON. OBAMA OR JOHN EDWARDS WOULD BRING REAL CHANGE FOR THE BETTER. WHOEVER WINS IOWA AND SOUTH CAROLINA HAS A GOOD CHANCE TO STOP THE CLINTON MACHINE. HILLARY IS A LOSER WHO CAN'T BE TRUSTED.

Posted by: go4dan0 | September 28, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

The Clinton Machine does seem to have the mainstream media all sewn up, proof of which is the very scanty if nonexistent television coverage of Obama's public rally in NYC with 24,000 people. That's something to cover! And yet, neither the images of the sea of people nor the number of people was said, except for "thousands". That is dishonest!

Well, guess what? There IS a sea change going on in this country that has tremendous momentum, and it is the nationwide grassroots support for Obama.

I support him because I like his worldview, the fact that he's lived outside the U.S., grew up in multicultural Hawaii, his wisdom and the courage to tell the American people what they need to hear vs. what they want to hear. Who else went to Detroit and spoke of the need to increase CAFE fuel standards and was met with hostility for doing so, right in the belly of the beast? Who else went to the NEA and talked of incentive pay for teachers, which, to many, is considered traitorous? He did; he does not pander.

Most important of all, Obama spoke out vigorously against the war in 2002 when it could have jeopardized his run for U.S. Senate and was called unpatriotic by many. He did it, anyway.

And when it came time for the Senate to vote on the war, Hillary DID NOT read the 90 page NIE (National Intelligence Estimate), even though she had 10 days to read it. Her voting for the war, to send other people's kids into war to be killed or maimed, without reading this critical report, was nothing less than DERELICTION OF DUTY.

That did it for me... the simple fact that she relied on advisors' briefings and not reading a report, which, had she done so, would have seen many caveats there, as did former Senator Bob Graham of Florida. He read it and did not vote for the war.

Hillary engages in non-stop triangulating and also, this question arises: If being first lady in the governor's mansion for 8 years and another 8 years in the White House qualifies for 'experience' to be president, then why not have Laura Bush run for president on the Republican side? How preposterous does that sound? That's the magic of the Clinton Machine's spinning and manipulating of perceptions and lock on the MSM. Hopefully, voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina won't buy it.

Time served in Washington does not equate with good judgment, as so many of the other Democratic contenders, long-time Washington insiders, have proven.

In Obama, we have someone who will unite our country and yes, the world. The moment he is inaugurated, the healing begins.

Posted by: pacifica1 | September 28, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama has more supporters and Clinton has more moneyed people in her support group.
I don't find that difficult to understand.

Posted by: retmlt | September 28, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Hillary running is the only way to motivate the GOP base to hold their noses and vote for one of their guys, given the current lackluster field of candidates. It makes sense why Republicans want her to get the nomination.

Posted by: renatarollins | September 28, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

On the contrary. It is more feasible that the GOP is very afraid of Hillary's insurmountable prospect of winning the '08 presidential race, and therefore, they are propping up Obama by throwing money at him in hopes that he will end up as the Democratic nominee but one who cannot possibly win the geneneral election.

Posted by: jdileo5 | September 28, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I personally believe that Clinton would get more accomplished that Obama. I have learned over the years you get more if you know how to play the game. It took a lot of knifes in my back to learn this. I believe that Hilary is tougher than Obama. She has HAD to learn to work the system to get anything done and she has been successful as a Senator working the system.

Posted by: genbar | September 28, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree: No.

We have a real chance to improve this country and become a place that encourages civic engagement as a means to solve our pressing problems. I won't stand idly by and pretend this will happen if Clinton is elected.

Vote Obama.

Posted by: renatarollins | September 28, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

No.

Posted by: eSPO1 | September 28, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

This is a free country and we are free to like or dislike who we choose. Let's not act like Republicans when we are dealing with fellow democrats. Let's save it for the coming battle with the untruths the Republicans will of course be using in the general election. We can vote for who we like on the candidates merits.

Posted by: genbar | September 28, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

The important point is that we would be much better of if either Obama or Clinton were to win the nomination and therefor the Whitehouse. We should be careful not to drag each other down in the mud and lose sight of the big prize.

Posted by: genbar | September 28, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

HILLARY, U.S. SENATUR from N.Y. stated to the BLACK CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS that:"...all babies born in the UNITED STATES should receive $5000dollars each!!!" HILLARY is obviously unaware there are over 4million babies born in the U.S. each year $5000dollars X 4million=over 4BILLION DOLLARS over from your tax monies!!! [Impoverished families around the world are lining-up for this 'free' fee for haing a baby in the U.S. paid for by HILLARY's generosity!!!] The same HILLARY who itemized her used underwears that she donated for a tax deduction - HILLARY the new FASCIST BENITO!!! ALWAYS WITH YOUR MONEY - NEVER HERS OR BUBBA'S!!!

Posted by: ZyskandarAJaimot | September 28, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't think most voters are paying real attention. Who are the pollsters calling? The ones who are not paying attention, may only hear the name Clinton and connect it with Bill. That is name recognition. But if they really don't know much about the other candidates because they are thinking about paying the bills and getting to work, they won't be giving a final answer, and may not even vote/caucus. So how accurate are these polls? And unless the pollsters call cell phones, they are not reflecting the youth vote. I think the pollsters should explain how they are contacting people, cell phone or just landlines.

Posted by: goldie2 | September 28, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't the headline, "80% of the voters are undecided" or "Obama has 4 times as many donors as Clinton". Watch whats happening on the ground, not at the desks of lazy reporters. Things are seriously messed up in this country and Hilary isn't going to the one to lead us out of it. She should be the Senate majority leader. Obama will not drag the divisive baggage of the culture wars into the 21st century.

Posted by: thebobbob | September 28, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

When will people see that John Edwards is the only candidate that hasn't sold out because becoming president isn't a power trip for him. He really wants to change the country. He's driven by his values and not power.

Obama is a great guy and will make an excellent Vice-president, but he just isn't ready yet to become president. He became overwhelmed in the New Hampshire debate and doesn't know how to confront Hiliary Clinton. He needs to step aside or he'll be the next Ralph Nader and spoil the chances of the democrats winning in 2008. He's only had a couple of years to thnk about what he would do if he became president. Clinton and Edwards and Biden have had years to figure out where they stand on the issues and specific plans. His inexperience shows greatly in the debates.

Hiliary can't win the general election, and Obama is just standing in the way of either Edwards or Biden moving forward to challenge Clinton. Also remember, Greenspan called Bill Clinton the best REPUBLICAN president he's worked for. That should be a hint folks. She's pro NAFTA and outsourcing and in the lobbyists pockets. Also, earlier in the year when I was trying to find out where the candidates stood on the issues she had nothing on healthcare other than that she wanted to insure Children. The candidates wouldn't even be discussing Universal Healthcare is John Edwards hadn't made it an issue.

Posted by: broadwaymaryann | September 28, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"The Clinton campaign, though, would say that Obama's support donation-wise is a reflection of his support from elites who can afford to help him (and donors overall make up a small portion of the population), whereas Clinton has broad popular support... "

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
That statement is Bass Ackwards.

Posted by: steckmode | September 28, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I am a baby boomer who votes in every election and I am supporting Obama. I have signed up volunteers, hosted a house party and talked to a lot of active Democrats about supporting him. So the 350,000 Obama supporters have invested small amounts of money to his campaign and will continue to make monthly donations for the primary and general election.

We are not elite, we are committed to changing the way that Washington works. We put not just money, but volunteer hours to work for the candidate. We are building an army of people who will get out the vote on Feb.5.

Just as Barack challenges the conventional wisdom in Washington, his supporters are challenging the conventional wisdom about electing the next President.

Our online support organization is not just young, we are very diverse. We are able to match the $5 donors and willing to take this campaign all the way to the White House.

If the media pundits don't yet get it, it is because they are stuck in yesterday's thinking about political power. Real power today is being able to start a movement of grassroots volunteers who engage with the candidate to help shape his message.

Polls mean nothing today because they represent conventional methods of measuring support. When 350,000 people create a community of interest online, history is being made.

Hillary Clinton does not have a playbook for today's politics.

Posted by: arizona7 | September 28, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

As far the characterization of Obama as appealing to elites, it is correct to say that he attracts supporters from more professional people than Clinton, while she attracts more supporters from working class people than he. (This is why Obama's support in the polls is less than Clinton's: there are more working class people than professionals.) It is also correct to say that Clinton's CONTRIBUTORS, (as opposed to supporters in polls), are more affluent than Obama's contributors.

Posted by: GaryLawrence | September 28, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I think they are both capable of running/having sucessful campaigns. Lets just play by ear, and support them both. Just turned 18, and I can't wait to vote!

Posted by: Sierra_08 | September 28, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

the answer to the Obama's percieved woes in the polls is simple:
1. pollsters contact only those people that have fixed line phones. Since most of Obama's supporters have cells phones only, it is obvious that they are ecluded from polls.
2. poolsters call in the early evening. Even where young people have fixed lines, they are not likely to be at home in the early evening.

Posted by: danielasmith98 | September 28, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

peterdc - what basis do you have for your argument that NYU students don't vote at all? It is a very politically active campus. I know because I went there and wasn't even engaged in politics before I did. And now, here I am, arguing with blowhards like yourself on a WaPo blog!

I know it's fun and makes you feel better about being old, but could everyone lay off the "youth vote"?

You're the ones who have "funnied" up our system, thank you very much. Please, step back so we all can clean it up.

Posted by: squintz | September 28, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Something doesn't add up with what Anne says about Obama having the elites. Here's a blurb describing the 2Q07 finance figures.

Large and Small Contributions: In the first six months of 2007, the candidates received nearly three-quarters of their funds in amounts of $1,000 or more. For Giuliani, Romney and Clinton, the figure exceeds 80 percent.
Obama's $16.4 million in small contributions ($200 or less) puts him ahead of the rest of the Democratic field combined, as well as the entire Republican field combined. But even he has raised three-fifths of his funds in amounts of $1,000 or more.

So 80% of her money comes in chunks of $1000 or more, compared to 60% for Obama. His donor base is significantly larger than her's (100M to 258M as of 2Q07). Like i said, something doesn't add up. Anne can you clarify what's going on here?

Posted by: kj_593 | September 28, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the answer to this question is yes. Clinton is really leading Obama. As to raising more money than anyone else we saw how much that did for Howard Dean.

The basis of winning a primary is getting people to the polls. Yesterday Obama had a huge crowd in NY but thousands of them were students, many from NYU, and the chances are not only that they don't vote in NY but that they may not vote at all.

I think what is more likely is that where Clinton leads is with women and older Americans and unless this year is different from any other- which I doubt it will be- those are the people who make up the majority at the polls on election day and at caucuses..

As to the elites I actually think that is beginning to change even now. They all went with Obama initially, but so many of them are inclined to go with a winner so as to not be shut out of policy discussions and even parties. I think over the next few months if you look at the donor list to Clinton you will find many of the names that first gave to Obama now giving to Clinton.

It's a funny system we have but its the only one.

Posted by: peterdc | September 28, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

If I may add my two cents to address the South Bend, Ind. question about Biden.

Biden has certainly done an interesting job of shaping the debate. But he's unlikely to find himself on the ticket or at State should a fellow Democrat win next year. The reasons are political, not practical.

First, he is too much of an opinionated, independent thinker and would have a tendency to overshadow a Presidential candidate (much like Benson overshadowed Dukakis in 1988). He's a distraction on the ticket.

Furthermore, he's not likely to change his foreign policy opinions to adapt to those of either Obama or Clinton, which are each somewhat different than his, should one of them win the election. He has a tendency to be "off the reservation" and would likely never be appointed to State.

Posted by: smarty_pants | September 28, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Right. OBAMA is the one with the base made up of "Elites.""

Indeed. Pay no attention to the Hillraisers behind the curtain.

I recall a statistic that said 70% of Sen Clinton's donors have maxed out, while only 30% of Sen Obama's have done so. Doesn't that stat alone refute the initial allegation?

Posted by: bsimon | September 28, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I am not an elite,yet, the first money i contributed was to Obama's campaign. I think Media will be shock come Jannuary.

Posted by: gbuze007 | September 28, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Cosider this: At this time, there are so many undecided voters. It is impossible to say we have a front runner.

Posted by: neilhewitfrancis | September 28, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Right. OBAMA is the one with the base made up of "Elites." That explains why he has recieved more small donations than any candidate in history, and why he doesn't accept money from lobbyists.

Posted by: uhbkeys | September 28, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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