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Friday, April 25, 2008

Cheer Up, Democrats!

by Alan I. Abramowitz

Even if the primary stretches on, a long-term tectonic shift in the electorate means the party is in great shape for November.

......There's no question that the past few weeks have been rough on Obama. The Clinton campaign has hit him with everything including the kitchen sink in an effort to throw his campaign off stride and yes, he has made some mistakes. Some of this was inevitable, of course. As a relative newcomer to the national political scene, Obama was bound to face increased media scrutiny once he became the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. But all of the hand-wringing on the part of liberal pundits ignores one key fact: Obama has come through this series of controversies relatively unscathed. His favorable ratings have come down to earth, but they're still higher than Hillary Clinton's and, according to some recent polls, John McCain's. And he's still leading Clinton among Democratic voters and running even or slightly ahead of McCain in most recent surveys of general election voters.As Jonathan Cohn recently pointed out, the fact that Obama is running even or slightly ahead of McCain in the polls after enduring weeks of relentless pounding from Hillary Clinton is itself rather remarkable and speaks to the underlying realities of the 2008 election. And once the Democratic nomination is settled and the party unites behind its nominee, those realities should become readily apparent, even to the Washington pundits....

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