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Why is Obama the best Democratic candidate that Democrats have had in a long time?

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posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 08:51 PM
I'm a Democrat and I can't figure this one out.
Take a look at these electoral college maps from the past.

I never realized how strong of a candidate that Obama was. Why is it that Democrats tend to be on the losing side of things most of the times?

Is it our ideology? Is it our base? What is it?

[edit on 30-9-2008 by Frankidealist35]

posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 10:50 PM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

I'm not exactly sure how Barack Obama being "like one of the strongest Democratic candidates ever" is the same as him being "one of the best Democratic candidates ever". It seems that you mean 'strongest' in the sense that he is historically one of the likeliest Democratic party Presidential candidates to win, but how on earth does that translate into 'best'?

Best for what? Best for America? Best for Democrats? Best for Barack Obama? When has being the most popular ever actually equated to being the best? For anyone who has forgotten, George W. Bush was the most popular in 2004. Still think being most popular is the same as being the best person for the job?

I didn't know that Democrats usually are a losing party. I mean isn't this the opposite of how Democracy/a Republic is supposed to work?

What are you even asking? Are you actually implying that the proof that American democracy is faltering lies in the fact that a party who just happens to go by the name Democrat has a losing record? Or that red states have historically outnumbered blue ones? Seriously?

As far as Barack being one of the most likely Democratic candidates to win in history, this election is so full of twists and turns that it's impossible to tell. One minute he's a rockstar and the next he's yesterday's news, but we don't have long until we know for sure.

posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 12:26 AM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

There are more conservative states. That's the simple reason for the democrats losing most often. Plus a lot of people identify with conservatives on religion, guns, and other things like family.

As far as Obama being the strongest candidate in a while, that's true. But only for 8 years. You forgot about Clinton:

Clinton/Gore 1992

Clinton/Gore 1996

See all those middle and southern states? They mostly vote Republican. For a democrat to win, he/she needs to do something that gets them to vote abnormally. Or, he/she needs to get people out to the polls who usually don't participate.


Notice Clinton took most of the swing states and even a few surprise victories in conservative states. If Obama wants to win this, he needs to gain some ground and pull a few upsets.

Obama is winning in the popular vote by a good margin, but it's still a dead heat as far as electoral votes goes. So that should be his focus.

[edit on 1-10-2008 by Sublime620]

posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 11:11 AM
I would not call it a dead heat when current polls indicate that Obama could win the election even if he doesn't take Florida OR Ohio.

I would also say that popularity is relatively important when guaging the quality of a candidate. How much can an unelectable candidate accomplish? Practically Zip. When none of your positive attributes have a serious chance of manifesting as policy, your quality rating goes way down in my book, regardless of whether that circumstance comes from hypocrisy, unelectability, schizophrenia, or some other reason.

As for the main question of why democrats rarely have candidates perform as well as Obama:

1. Democrats have a built-in disadvantage under the electoral college system. In 2000 the Republicans took 9 more states that the Democrats- that's an 18 point electoral advantage derived from senate representation, which is no proportional. 6.6% of a minimal Republican electoral victory comes from the fact that our electoral system bends the one person one vote principle.

If I didn't have to leave right now I'd go on to talk about how democratic base demographics indicate a lower probability of voter turnout when compared to republicans, how the conservatism is in large part a "default setting" for voters because of its social principles which makes creating liberal voters something of an uphill fight, and how the long period where the House of Representatives was the greatest bastion of Democratic power in Washington had the effect of creating an unhelpful amount of diversity in Democratic platforms, which has made even hardcore liberal Democrats more of a coalition than a single base.

I'll have to cover all of that later.

posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 12:54 PM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

While Bill Clinton was popular, he received less than 50% of the popular vote. In his first election, he only won 43% of the vote. While he was popular among many, his personal follies made him one of the biggest letdowns in history. John Kerry was a weak candidate, and he almost won the election. Al Gore did not have a spine, and his elitist demeanor cost him the election. Dukakis made a fool of himself in the tank, and showed he was very weak in the debates. Mondale got his 41% because he picked Ferraro. Otherwise, he would of lost even bigger.
The Democrats are perceived as weak, and can have some major flaws. Hillary Clinton had the biggest problem of all the Democrats running because of her shenanigans in the White House. She also brought back memories of her husbands dirty politics when voters wanted a change.
While Barack Obama is far from perfect, he is strong connecting with the people, a trait that helped Bill Clinton (without Bill Clinton's dirty laundry). Add to it a bad economy, and eight years of leadership by Dick Cheney (does anyone really thing George W is running things?), and it is time for a change to many people.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 09:17 PM
I think Bill Clinton was a more successful president than some of you give him credit for. He wiped out the enormous deficit caused by Reagan and Bush 41, initiated no foreign wars, and his term in office coincided with a period of prosperity, some of which you could give him credit for. Republicans, especially, very much liked his welfare reforms, though I'm not so enthusiastic about those.

But Clinton ran to the right of his party, as did Gore and even Kerry to some extent. It has been awhile since a "real" Democrat has been in office. There was LBJ in the sixties with his great record on civil rights legislation and his "great society" and "war on poverty," but the war in Vietnam was his undoing. There was Carter in the 1970's but he had difficulty working with Congress, which turned out to be his undoing.

Barack Obama is a "classic" liberal in the mold of Roosevelt, Truman and JFK. He actually is a little (not a lot but a little) to the left of the Republicans. Thus he is decried as a socialist, a Marxist, or even, by six degrees of separation, a Weatherperson. That, however, is an indication of how far to the right this country has shifted, not an accurate measure of where he actually stands.

It is because he has taken up the "classic" Liberal banner that he generates so much enthusiasm. His ideas seem new and fresh in a country that has had no left to speak of in a long, long time. His charisma, like Kennedy's, contributes to his aura of success.

posted on Oct, 27 2008 @ 11:55 AM
reply to post by Sestias

LBJ was a conservative Democrat. He was a known racist, but he knew the black voters would become Democrats because he pushed the Civil Rights Act. He had to twist a lot of Dixie Democrats arms, but assured them they would get the vote.

The major mistake of Mike Dukakis is he did not campaign after the conventions. Add to that his weak debate performances and the tank fiasco = losing the election.

I liked Bill Clinton, and he was Republican Light. The only problem was his finish, which left a bad taste in the county. (No, too easy.)

John Kerry gave up on too many states, and made Ohio and Pennsylvania the ones to battle for. That meant the loss of one of those states = loss of the election. Pres Bush went after Ohio and organized there much better.
Sen Obama is making a play for many red states, which is why he is doing better than the other Democrats in the polls. He is also a fresh face and like Gov Palin is energizing his party.

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