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Gary D. Halbert
President & CEO

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Why We Want Obama To Be The Demís Nominee

by Gary Halbert & Spencer Wright

Many of you, like us, are probably at a loss as to which candidate we want to see run against GOP nominee John McCain. Both Obama and Hillary are very liberal and have similar policies. As much as I hate to admit it, I have recently been leaning toward Hillary, even though I prefer not to see the Clintons return to the White House for the obvious reasons.

I thought that Hillary would probably trend to the center like Bill did during his presidency, whereas Obama would likely remain a liberal ideologue if he wins. Of course, as I wrote last week, the chances of Hillary getting the nomination are still slim despite her latest win in PA and rebound in the polls.

Also, it seemed to me that Hillary would be easier for McCain to defeat, with her 50% negatives and mountains of baggage, versus McCain’s unassailable military service. Most of you know that I consider McCain to be a weak candidate, so he needs every advantage to win. I thought McCain had the best shot against Hillary.

But after giving it more thought and looking at the electoral math of the general election, I now think that we want Barack Obama to be the Democrat nominee.

Why? Two reasons: Ohio and Florida. The demographics in both of those states favor Hillary greatly. In fact, current polling in a theoretical Clinton-McCain contest has her winning BOTH states, probably handily. If so, the election is over, period. McCain MUST win at least Ohio or Florida (preferably both) to have a chance to win, and facing Hillary in November makes this unlikely.

On the other hand, a theoretical Obama-McCain contest is far more favorable. Based on the latest polls, McCain wins that match-up in BOTH Ohio and Florida. Does that give McCain the election? Not at all, but it at least gives him a realistic chance, not to mention the distinct advantage McCain has over Obama when it comes to experience.

So if you have been like me and didn’t know which Democratic candidate you hoped would win the nomination, now you know. The electoral math indicates we should be pulling for Obama, because he gives McCain a shot at winning either Florida or Ohio, which Hillary would likely win easily. McCain might actually win in November if Obama is the nominee.

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