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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Maybe Close Race Not All Bad?

One of the most commonly heard concerns among Democrats these days is that the close race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will divide the party and sink it in November. So it was nice to read (via Daily Kos’ DemFromCT) this very different assessment of the meaning of the Democratic competition in the conservative Wall Street Journal:

For Republican strategists and leaders, facing divisions over presumptive nominee John McCain, the Arizona senator, and demoralized over President Bush’s and the party’s unpopularity, the potency of both Democrats’ candidacies is both fearsome and impressive.
“The Obama wave is unlike anything I have seen during my career. It would have totally swamped any traditional candidate,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducts The Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls with Democratic pollster Peter Hart. “The fact that Clinton is still standing and breaking even is actually a remarkable statement about how unique a candidate she is and what an exceptionally strong candidate.”

The title of the piece (by Jackie Calmes) is pretty reassuring, too: “Obama’s Extraordinary Wave Fails To Sink Extraordinary Foe.”
Now everbody can return to their regularly scheduled arguments about one candidate’s superior “electability” over the other, and regularly scheduled handwringing about the duration of this nomination contest.

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