The ‘clutching at straws’ school of journalismJuly 21, 2008 at 10:34 am | Posted in Barack Obama, U.S. Politics | 2 Comments
Shorter Sarah Baxter: Barack Obama’s world tour is frought with political peril because… he’s only up by four points in the national polls and (the shock! the horror!) he hasn’t won Angelina Jolie’s vote yet.
Not content with bringing us this profound analysis, she then points out that Obama’s ratings on foreign policy aren’t as high as McCain’s, and therefore touring Iraq, Afghanistan and the capitals of Europe as a way of improving those numbers is a dangerous thing to do.
Now, I’m not surprised that The Times isn’t going degrade itself by fawning over the Obamessiah, and I quite enjoy reading pieces that subject the Hopeful One to some scrutiny (like this by Gary Younge, for example). But the least they can do is make an argument that, y’know, makes sense. Like calling him a dirty, drug-addled Communist hippie, or something.
For those who’re interested, this, via Electoral-vote.com, is how the race is shaping up. At the time of writing, Obama has 312 electoral votes, McCain has 199, and another 27 are from states in statistical dead heats. If the election were held today, Obama wins in a landslide.
So ‘only’ winning a national opinion poll by a margin of 4% is meaningless as there’s no such thing as a national vote. When you look at individual states, the Obama campaign is in commanding form, and whilst that’s hardly cause for complacency, neither is it cause for Democrats to – as Baxter suggests – consider pre-emptively donating to Hillary Clinton’s 2012 election campaign.