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Does the Long Primary Help the Democrats?

Like many others, I have wondered whether this long and unpleasant primary means that Democrats have a death wish. By attacking each other, Democrats would somehow find a way to let the political capital provided by George W. Bush and overall citizen dissatisfaction slip through their fingers. But, recently I started changing my thinking.

An unprecedented number of people are showing up to vote in the Democratic primaries. Both campaigns are developing ground teams and campaign infrastructures in the late-voting states that are being neglected by the Republicans. Whoever wins will have a message which has withstood significant assault. Plus — huge upsets by Democratic House candidates in Louisiana and Mississippi special elections signal that the Democratic message is resonating with Americans.

Of course, whether or not this protracted internecine battle has actually been a net plus for the Democrats remains to be seen. Do you think Democratic voters are still excited about their prospects in the fall, or has too bright a light been shown on the nominee's flaws? Do you buy the polls that say Democrats will defect to McCain if their candidate loses?

Will the Democrats benefit from a contentious primary campaign come November?


Join The Conversation
LeChatonNoir LeChatonNoir 9 years
I don't worry that McCain has a break. It will still be very easy to point out all the things he has done or said that are either contradictory or plain wrong, once the demos stand under their ticket... My worry is how we're villainizing the candidate on the same ticket. That will certainly not help you or help the party heal its own wounds after the nomination is set. We need to start seeing a viable worth in each demo candidate. I've seen on both the Hillary and Obama camps some pretty ad hominum jabs over the months, not particularly on Citizen, but in general, on the street, even on the newspaper, etc. And the smugness makes me wonder how long it will take the dems to "unite"...what if voter turnout decreases from disappointment over their solitary choice? Now, don't get me wrong, I have been extremely excited that so many people care so much about the election, and have formed solid opinions, but the people should always know that they have the power to make change regardless! If we were to consistently and actively fight, even at the borough levels, for what we want from our country, and our community, and speak our mind against stupidity in the White House instead of fearing judgement and persecution, perhaps choosing a dictat--ummpresident wouldn't be such a traumatic event. So, no matter what the outcome, promise you'll show this much drive, and more, about the issues, after the President has been inaugurated.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
You speak like a woman in love.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Piper, that is a pretty intense thing to suggest about someone. I would hope that you knew for a fact what the REAL circumstances were before you would say someone doesn't value a viable living baby. The only sources that I have found on the topic are very biased sources. I wouldn't take their opinion at face value anymore than I would trust everything that comes out of Michael Moore! I have lots more sifting to do! If he did vote "present" I am sure he would have a good reason for it. I think that without a clear and unbias description of the exact legislation, it would be hard to know the truth. I do think that many times in legislation, there is the over all goal of the document...and then there can be other agendas and consequences hidden with in. One sentance can affect how the overall legislation plays out. It has been the habit of both political parties to generalize the consequences of legislation when trying to score political points (see Clinton with her oil tax claims). Realistically, though, legislators do carry a tremendous burden to be responsible for EVERYTHING the bill contains. As I said before, it appears that when he voted "present" it was for smaller disagreements with legislation that he generally agreed with.
piper23 piper23 9 years
What I have read about him suggests that he doesn't hold much value in the life of a viable living baby. Hence, his opposition to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. Or did he just verbally oppose it but then voted "PRESENT"? Jill, Do you know if he actually voted against it? Cause if he didn't and just stuck the old "PRESENT" out there then that's a pretty cowardly way to handle such an important. I've got to do some more research on that one, I reckon, but if you can help me out with that one I'd appreciate it.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"Totally contradicts what I've read about him." What are your sources?
piper23 piper23 9 years
Ok, so he's against late term abortions but would make an exception if the mother's health was an issue? Totally contradicts what I've read about him. Also, why did he oppose the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act? That act had nothing to do with the mothers and everything to do with saving the babies lives. From what I understand he was the sole verbal opponent to the bill.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"He has voted "present" 100 times in those 145 days." More incorrect statements! He voted "present" in the Illinois Senate, NOT in the US Senate. He also voted over 4,000 times in that senate! His present votes were a strategic manuever to reflect that the the legislation had been manipulated to the point that he could no longer support it. It makes sense to me.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"Obama supports late term abortions, which I am vehemently against." That is incorrect, actually!! He supports exceptions for the mother's health. He would support laws banning late term abortions, if this exception is included.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
I think there's been an awful lot of bitterness spoken between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and that not all of it will be "forgiven" by the other. After the words they've had, there won't be an Obama-Clinton ticket unless Barack decides to ask Bill to be his running mate. As for McCain, he's been in politics a loooooooooooong time and he's said a lot of things that can be scrutinized. He also has 26 years of experience in Congress and his years as a Navy officer including his time in a Viet Cong prison. He has been through a lot and just as you or I, his views have changed with the education he's gotten on the issue. But let's look at Senator Barack Obama. The Senate has been in session for 145 days since he was sworn in as Junior Senator from Illinois. He has voted "present" 100 times in those 145 days. Historically a Congressman votes "present" only when he would benefit from the legislation being voted upon. If that's the case, is Senator Obama really ready to take over the USofA since he may personally and/or financially benefit from Congressional legislation? If that's NOT the case, then Senator Obama has been unable to make up his mind which way to vote 100 times in 145 days. If he can't decide whether to vote 'yea' or 'nay' on an issue, how is he supposed to make decisions affecting the entire USofA as President? CHANGING ONE'S MIND is not a bad thing. When you grow up, you often change your viewpoint on various issues. As you educate yourself you often change your mind on various issues. Look at the Democrat Super Delegates. THEY have changed their minds on who to vote for, but this is considered a 'non-issue' yet when a Presidential contender who is not "your" choice changes his mind, it's all blown out of proportion. Senator Barack Hussein Obama can't even make up his mind (does this mean he is mind-less?) 100 times when votes were called in the Senate. Did he do this so that no one would be able to pin him down on the issues? Looks like it as there is no Congressional history of where he stands on the 100 issues when he decidedly did not place a vote other. All we know is that he stands for "change" (define that) and "hope" (for whom, how, when, where?). Sorry guys, there's really not enough information regarding what Senator Obama believes in and supports other than unexplained "change" and undefined "hope." I thought "my fellow" Democrats were smarter.
janneth janneth 9 years
Here is something about sex ed.: Q: “What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?” Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy.” Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?” Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Jen I can't seem to find it from a reputable source... shoot!
piper23 piper23 9 years
Obama supports late term abortions, which I am vehemently against. I don't think you can get any further left than that. Take late term off the table and I do think there is a middle ground because I consider myself pretty conservative but support a woman's right to choose. I know that is a contradiction but that's how I feel. It sounds to me like McCain is more like me than I realize which further validates my support of him.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Jillness, if you remember where you read that, I'd really like to see it. He's pretty consistent about wanting education decisions to be made at the state and local level.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Well isn't a pillar of conservative thought strict interpretation of the Constitution? So why is that a bad thing? I guess its a bad thing if you want the states to have less and less rights and the federal government to have more and more... but that comes down to party differences. I tried to look up that comprehensive sex ed thing and you know what sucks? When you type in something like "mccain comprehensive sex education" all you get back are a bunch of blogs and you have to dig and dig till you get to the legit news (no offense to the blog writers here) No wonder there's so much confusion on where people stand!
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I have also read that McCain is not for comprehensive sex education (but I can't find any mention of the issue on his website). To me, that is pretty conservative and not moderate or realistic.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
He says he would appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court. His intentions are clear.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Well he's not exactly ANTI-choice.... he just thinks it should be the states desicion, like the Constitution says...
Jillness Jillness 9 years
If Clinton or Obama changed their minds THAT many times, I have a feeling ya'll would be singing a different tune. 25% of women that support McCain think that he is pro-choice. When his real positions come to light, I have a feeling his "moderate" label will evaporate. SusanGrace, you should try to read more about Obama. He is pretty consistent, and has plenty of sound reasoning behind all of his policy decisions, and he spells this out on his website. I don't think he is eerie at all! Just my opinion, though! ;)
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Well I am defending McCain kind of... but he wasn't my first choice. So I'll defend him because I think he's the best choice of the 3, but if I had it my way, he wouldn't be my nominee.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Oh, I misunderstood. I thought you were defending McCain's position changes. But, I see what you're saying. :froggy:
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Jen, sure it goes both ways, but I never complained about Bush being bull headed, so it doesn't go both ways for me. I'd rather have someone who sticks to their guns than not... but I guess thats just me!
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Good morning ladies :WAVE: I'm not quite awake yet. :ZZZ:
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
And by the way, let me clarify that when I say Commenters dismiss long standing state voting trends and the qualitative differences in both candidates primary wins at their party's own peril. I don't mean to imply that people should support a candidate just because they may be more likely to win. Certainly, people should support the candidate they believe in. What I'm trying to say is that to claim that there is no justification for the superdelegates to go with Hillary simply because you prefer the other candidate is a little disingenuous. Cabaker - You make a good point. But, I think it goes both ways. Flip floppin' Kerry ring any bells...? Just keepin' it real. 8)
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
Cab - I thought of that yesterday too - in a different thread, can't remember which one now, but that it's ok for Obama and other dems to change their minds but the republicans can't lol... oh well.
piper23 piper23 9 years
Excellent points, Cabaker! Good morning!
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