On the cusp of the general election campaign, the national Republican and Democratic parties exchanged memos today attacking the electability of each other's likely nominees.
The Republican National Committee issued a missive that says that Barack Obama, who appears likely to reach the 2,118 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination tonight, is limping across the finish line and faces two certainties: ""First, he will inherit a fractured party that is deeply divided over his role as standard-bearer and his ability to be President. Second, he will inherit a national party apparatus that has been significantly outraised throughout the cycle."
The memo goes on to say that nearly 18 million voters decided he was not the right candidate for president, by voting for Hillary Clinton instead, and that he has lost momentum since February. The RNC also says that he has failed to win battleground states including Ohio and Pennsylvania, and that he has struggled with key constituencies.
"Obama’s primary election coalition of urban voters, young voters, ideologically liberal voters, and elites is far too narrow to sustain him amid a center-right general election electorate. His coalition more resembles the losing coalitions of John Kerry, Michael Dukakis, and George McGovern than it does a supposedly new type of candidate with broad appeal."
The Democratic National Committee retaliated with a memo of its own that declares McCain's prospects are dim.
"Despite having months to solidify support, shore up his base, raise money, and formulate a plan for the general election, John McCain is still struggling as a presidential candidate," the memo says. "He continues to trail our Democratic candidates in the polls, is on the wrong side of the issues, and with staff shake-ups has a campaign in disarray. And as voters show time and again that they want change, McCain continues to offer more of the same failed Bush policies."
The DNC memo goes on to note that a third of Republican primary voters are still casting ballots for other candidates, that Ron Paul and Libertarian Bob Barr are still in the race, and that McCain is struggling in polls among key constituencies.
It also notes that Republicans lost three recent special elections in congressional races, that Americans view the GOP unfavorably, and that President Bush is one of the most unpopular presidents in history.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.