Election Night Preview
I was just looking at some notes I took during the Clinton campaign’s conference call with reporters on Monday.
It’s pretty clear that the kinds of things Geoff Garin, the campaign’s top strategist, and Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s communications director, were saying then — even before polls had opened in Indiana and North Carolina — are likely to have a lot in common with what they say tonight, after the polls close.
Of course, a Clinton victory in both states will be hailed as a massive victory, a turning point, the dawning of a new era. But even if she wins in just one of the two states — or perhaps neither — look for some of this spin:
"We feel good about the progress we’ve made in the last two weeks," Garin said, pointing to polls a month ago that showed Obama up by 7 points in Indiana and by close to 20 in North Carolina.
"It is a fact that the Obama campaign predicted victory in Indiana and North Carolina," Wolfson said, referring to an Obama campaign document obtained by Bloomberg that projected the outcomes of all the primaries after Super Tuesday.
"We are obviously not in a position to outspend Sen. Obama," Wolfson said, pointing out that, while Clinton’s fund-raising has been strong and her campaign has enough money to get its message out, the Obama camp had outspent her by some $3.7 million in the two states voting Tuesday. (That’s not Obama’s only advantage. Did they mention, about one-quarter of Indiana is covered by his home media market in Chicago?)
Are you really sticking with the gas tax holiday idea? You betcha. "The reality on the ground is very different from the economic theory," Garin said.
And finally, isn’t this long fight hurting Democrats? "This contest has been good for the Democratic Party," Wolfson said, bringing a big boost in Democratic voter registration and high turnout across the country.