Democrats Getting Nervous

02Aug08

With good reason, the mumblings have begun in Democratic circles – What’s wrong with Barack?

But a number of Democrats, including advisers to the Obama campaign, are worried that the Democratic party’s overall electoral advantage this year has not yet translated into comfortable leads for Mr Obama.

The race is now tied.

But the signs are that Mr McCain’s continuing attacks – most recently in a commercial that portrayed Mr Obama as a vapid celebrity against images of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears – may be striking a chord with the white working class voters who shunned Mr Obama so emphatically in many of his primary contests with Hillary Clinton.

And Barack’s campaign has been able to accomplish nothing since Jeremiah Wright emerged in mid-March.

With just one month to go before Labour Day – the traditional beginning of the general election – and only three weeks before the Democratic convention, many Democrats fear that time is running out for Mr Obama to overcome the suspicions of this key swing vote.

What do they expect?

“We have got to move away from these beautifully choreographed speeches which appeal to groups of voters who are unassailably in the Obama camp already,” said a non-staff adviser to Mr Obama. “What plays well with the educated liberal voter sometimes grates with the blue-collar folk, whom we need on our side if we are going to win.”

Barack doesn’t resonate. He’s not happening. And it’s only going to get worse.

At this stage in the 1988 presidential race, Michael Dukakis, the Democratic candidate, had a 17 percentage point lead over George H.W. Bush, who went on to win the election. John Kerry emerged from the 2004 Democratic convention with a strong lead over George W. Bush only to lose the election as well. In 2008, conventional wisdom says Mr McCain is running a much less effective campaign than either of the Bushes.

That only reinforces disquiet about Mr Obama’s inability so far to take a decisive lead.

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