He’s making some very bad campaign choices, and putting off potential supporters. I’m amazed, even within myself, at how the sheen as worn off, and what a spectacularly bad campaign he is running. In a detailed insightful post, Chris Bowers explains the problems with the Obama campaign, and indeed, the candidate:
Obama seems to have shot his own coalition in both feet and both hands. Maybe he kept shooting it because it just wouldn’t die. I don’t think there is any need to worry about that now.
Obama consistently refused to stand up for the people who once formed the heart of his coalition. Further, instead of showing leadership during difficult congressional fights, Obama consistently talked about reaching across the aisle and forming consensus while the other side of the aisle was regularly shooting down consensus legislation on Iraq, FISA, habeas, SChip and much more. How much more hollow could that make his rhetoric sound, especially when he was in the Senate when that all happened? In short, he did nothing that was necessary to keep his coalition of African-Americans and creative class progressives together. In fact, it wasn’t even as though he sacrificed one for the other, since he continues to trail Clinton among African-Americans. Instead, he sacrificed the more overtly and naturally anti-Clinton segment of his coalition and made no gains in other areas as a result. This is especially bad when one considers that Obama lost the half of his coalition among whom he was actually winning. This is especially, especially bad when one considers that he cut off the half of his coalition that forms a much larger percentage of the electorate in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Basically, it was political suicide for Obama to not stand up for this segment of the coalition, and to keep preaching to them about the need to froge unity with conservatives and Republicans. He actively brought down the coalition that, at first, it appeared he would ride to victory.
Barring a miraculous victory in Iowa, I think that Obama is done and Clinton is the nominee. I don’t see how Edwards comes back with only $1.5M to spend on ads in Iowa. Further, Richardson hasn’t made any gains in the state in four months, and everyone else trails Clinton by about 25% in the state right now. Seriously, I think it would take a miracle for it to change. From the start, Obama was the only one with a real chance, but now has just suffered too severe a blow with the white, progressive creative class that he needed to win the state. After five months of losing ground among this group, the vicious, deserved, and nearly blogosphere-wide criticism of Obama today seems like too much to overcome. It is the nail in the coffin for his campaign. He just can’t win the primary without those voters, and I don’t see how he gets them back now.
All true, which is why we see this (click to enlarge):
Note the Obama dip these past few months. Conversely, Clinton seems to be running the right campaign. As Yglesius writes:
It also might be worth noting in this regard that I think almost everyone would agree that Clinton’s had the best-run campaign — free of mistakes, and seemingly drawing blood on those occasions when they’ve felt the need to attack.