Friday, April 25, 2008

Obama and the Senate Races

Kos looks at the races in the Senate and the effect that Obama and Clinton have on them:

Our top Senate contests, in rough order of competitiveness:

  1. Virginia
  2. New Mexico
  3. Colorado
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Minnesota
  6. Alaska
  7. Maine
  8. Oregon
  9. Mississippi
  10. Louisiana
  11. Texas
  12. Kentucky
  13. North Carolina
  14. Nebraska
  15. Idaho
  16. Oklahoma
  17. Kansas
    Per poll composites when available, Obama runs stronger than Clinton in Virginia (+13), Colorado (+12), New Hampshire (+9), Minnesota (+14), Alaska (+20), Maine (+7), Oregon (+7), Texas (+2), North Carolina (+13), and Kansas (+4, per SUSA). Clinton runs stronger in New Mexico (+4), Louisiana (+9, per Southern Media & Research), and Kentucky (+31).
    No polling is available in Mississippi, Nebraska, Idaho, and Oklahoma.

That's a lot of states and a lot of Senate races. Obama runs better than Clinton in 10, Clinton does better than Obama in only 3. That means the difference between the two of them could be 4 or 5 Senate seats. That's a huge difference. The Obama effect will have a significant impact on lots of races.

But it's not just Senate races. Obama's organizing prowess will have empower many people to run for local offices.

Say someone has been active in their local community for years, but hasn't run for anything. They get involved in this campaign, they learn a few things about running for office, they meet new people, some of whom can help them out, and suddenly, someone who has been complaining about the local school board for years is now running for a seat on it. And the same thing for city councils in small towns. Then in a year or two or three, those people move up. That's called a grassroots movement. In the future, many people will say "I got started in politics because of Barack Obama." I can sort of say that about Bill Clinton - I moved to Washington in anticipation of his electoral victory, and I did it in May of 1992, well before he won. But then I left, and am only now getting back. Hillary may have something of the same effect - I'm sure there are lots of people out there inspired by her. But not so many as Obama.

No comments: