Obama Will Win Re-Election with 500 Electoral Votes - Denis Campbell Interview


Uploaded by MidweekPolitics on 22.12.2011

Transcript:
David Pakman: Denis Campbell is with me, he is Editor in Chief of "UK Progressive" Magazine,
and he has a new article out, "Prediction: Obama and Dems Will Win Handily in 2012".
You actually go into detail, Denis, of why you see a path to possibly 400, possibly even
500 electoral votes for Barack Obama, which to many people would sound very unlikely.
So make the case, I'm very interested to hear how you'll outline this.
Denis Campbell: Well, we're not smoking anything funny over on this side of the pond. You know,
we're safely tucked away outside of both the Washington and New York beltway and conventional
wisdom, and I have to tell you that my track record four years ago was I predicted 375
electoral votes, and I was only messed up by Missouri, which Obama failed to carry,
President Obama failed to carry by 2900 votes, so I came very, very close.
Basically, what I do is I sit and I take a look at the races that were decided by 5%
or less in 2008, and I'm able to rather successfully filter out a lot of the extraneous noise that
you hear over there between the various political parties. Right now, you've got the sound and
fury of the tax cuts and will we do the payroll tax, will we do everything else; we're able
to pretty much stay out of most of that and just sort of look at the raw, hard numbers
which came in in 2008.
And the simple fact of the matter is is that Missouri was lost by 2900 votes, you have
Claire McCaskill running there for reelection, so there's a very good chance that she could
come in very, very strongly and bring with him.
And let's not underestimate the power of the bad behavior we've seen of late of the GOP.
They seem intent upon snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. By every measure, they
should have an outstanding year, but they keep shooting themselves in the foot, or perhaps
even higher, with every step they take.
David: OK, so let's just go step by step here.
Campbell: Sure.
David: So Missouri would be... essentially would be 10 more votes for Obama, 10 less
for the Republicans, so that gets us to 375. You're putting in possibly Montana, and of
course, they have a Democratic governor, I think Brian Schweitzer is his name, that would
be a swing of six, then we're talking 378, but it's still a long way to the 500 specifically,
and even to 425.
Campbell: Well, I've actually... I've actually looked at those that were won by 5% and those
that were won by 10% over the... over the last year, that were considered competitive
in terms of races. And if you look at some of the internal dynamics and some of the demographics
that are going on in the states right now, you have a very large, very angry Hispanic
voting population that is only growing.
And if you look along the southern tier of states that have traditionally gone Republican,
but for example, New Mexico went Democratic in 2008, I think Arizona is poised to be switching
over to the Democratic side this year, despite the crazy of their legislature, or actually
because of the crazy of their legislature and Governor Jan Brewer, and the fact...
David: Yeah, I mean, people are angry with Jan Brewer, we're doing on today's show this
Joe Arpaio story, the guy's completely out of control.
Campbell: Exactly.
David: Whether that's enough to change Arizona to go to Obama we'll see, but no, you're certainly
right that I think it's in play, there's no question.
Campbell: Absolutely. And don't underestimate the power of Georgia. Georgia has a very large
black population, has a very metropolitan population around the city of Atlanta, and
they've enacted a very harsh anti-immigration law which will affect Hispanics, which will
affect people of all outside persuasions, and you're going to find yourself looking
at that very much in play, I think, this year, even though it's been solidly red. It has
gone Democratic in past presidential elections.
And my one wild card is Texas, and most people look at me and laugh when I say Texas.
David: Yeah, I'm laughing too. I don't see it.
Campbell: [Laughs] Well, again, do not underestimate the level of discomfort with favorite son
Rick Perry, do not underestimate the growth of the Hispanic population between 2008 and
where we are today, do not underestimate the fact that most of the companies that are out
there doing these tracking polls do not include those who have not as yet voted.
So look at all the people that have turned 18 to 21, which is what I did when I looked
at the '08, which was one of the things that I factored into my decisions when I was predicting
how he would do with young people, President Obama, and look at where we are today. You
have a huge percentage of the young Hispanic population that have turned 18 over the course
of the last three years that are very dissatisfied with the very vitriolic rhetoric that comes
out of the GOP that is very anti-immigration, very anti-Dream Act. I think there's a very
good chance that that state could be put into play. And whether it's enough to actually
tip it, I don't know, but I think...
David: Well, yeah, I mean, it's one of those things where percentage-wise, it's not out
of control, but it's a high-population state, so you still need a lot of people to swing.
I'm fascinated, though, by...
Campbell: You've got Austin. You've got Austin, and you've got San Antonio, which traditionally
are very big Democratic bastions in that state. You know, yes, when you get up into Dallas
and Houston and oil country, it's blood red, but I'm beginning to sense, you know, from
some of the informal sampling that I've been doing over the years looking and talking to
people that those... that state could indeed be in play.
But you've got all of the people that are conducting these polls, they have a bias that
runs either Democratic or Republican, left or right, and the methodology of a lot of
these polls is not particularly good. Even Nate Silver in this one is throwing up his
hands and going, I have no idea how this one is going to come out, because there are so
many wild cards this time.
David: Well, you know, I'm actually interested in exploring the effect on elections of the
increasing Hispanic population as a percentage of the country, but we just, I know we're
not going to get to the other stuff I want to get to, so we'll save that for a different
day.
Campbell: OK, no problem.
David: One thing I do want to get to, though, is we're not really taking into consideration
the possibility that Barack Obama could lose some of the states he won in 2008, because
his approval rating quite frankly is not... it is ticking up, but it's not great right
now. You're not really... in your analysis, I don't see you really considering that possibility.
Campbell: I am considering it in Iowa and Indiana. I think those are two states where
they have long been bastions of red and he was very lucky to get those in the past. I
don't think Virginia's going to be in play. I think Virginia will stay blue. I think North
Carolina will stay blue. And I also think South Carolina, which came very close, and
again, we're talking, again, a very unpopular Republican governor in Nikki Haley, who could
by the time we get around to elections be under indictment.
There's a lot of things still to come down the pike in terms of steps that I'm sure the
administration is likely to take. When you look at things such as banking, you're going
to see, I think, the heads of some of the major banks fall under indictment very conveniently
during some of these early primary state races, and I think you're going to see the rhetoric
heat up. You're going to see Sheriff Joe Arpaio under indictment. You're going to see a lot
of movement, yes, you can say it's politically-based, but it will be timed very specifically to
coincide with all the events that are happening in the U.S. with the election.
David: And then last question, and we are short on time, so just a quick snippet: why
do you think Gingrich will give so much more push to Obama? Because in your theory, the
Gingrich candidacy is the one that could open up to 500 electoral votes for Obama.
Campbell: Well, you know, I'm going to borrow the quotation from a friend of mine here,
we were on a BBC shoot together and we were talking just after the midterm elections about
the Tea Party, and he looked at me, and he said, "They're a bunch of right-wing nutters."
And when we look at the history of Newt Gingrich and the trail of carnage that he has left,
the fact that nobody in the GOP establishment likes him, that would be the ultimate godsend
for them.
And let's not underestimate the power of the Occupy movement. I think you're going to see
them become very, very strong as a result of the campaigns that are coming up in the
spring.
David: All right, Denis Campbell, Editor in Chief of "UK Progressive" Magazine, great
to talk to you, and we'll have you back again soon.
Campbell: Thank you, David, enjoyed it.
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