Thursday, September 06, 2007

Obama Sees Obama in Trouble

The latest message emailed from the Obama campaign to supporters begins:

"In mid-September 2003, national polls showed Joe Lieberman to be the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Then John Kerry won the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, and the shift in momentum carried him to a decisive victory.

The lesson: early polls don't mean a thing and success in crucial early-state contests will win the Democratic nomination."

The problem here is that Obama is trailing in both national polls AND in Iowa (where he's running 3rd) and New Hampshire (where he's second, but 13 points back in a crowded field).

Obama's problem in Iowa is that he's trailing right now inhabiting the same insurrectionist role Dean did in 2004. I wonder if Obama's camp has any notion of how many of Dean's early supporters who ultimately went with Kerry also consider themselves Obama supporters right now before questions of general election viability have really sunk in for Obama the way they sank in for Dean. If the Iowa Democrats follow the 2004 pattern of coming down to earth and back to conventional candidates in January, we would expect Obama's support to shrink--bad news for a man now in 3rd place.

Do we really think that Iowans just need to get to know Obama, and that once he gets his message out everything will get better? Obama seems to be openly counseling his supporters to count on him filling an inside straight.

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