Gwen, starting with you, do you have a “wrong” theory to share with us?
GWEN IFILL: I have a “reported wrong” theory.
JIM LEHRER: OK, all right.
GWEN IFILL: There’s five pieces to the wrong theory, OK?
There’s one, and it’s from the Obama point of view, I’ll tell you, because that’s — I was told this by an adviser to that campaign today. One is they think that there was an Edwards drain, that is that people went and voted for John Edwards.
Now, the polls show that actually — that the polls were correct when it said how many voters that he would get, Obama would get with the increased turnout, but, you know, they still say other people went away.
McCain drain. A lot of independents who they would have expected to vote for Barack Obama, who did in Iowa, instead voted — inexplicably, as Stuart was pointing is out — even though they may not agree with a lot of the same things that John McCain stands for, they went to vote for him because he seemed independent.
The women drain. There was a lot of discussion — and this was an Edwards factor, too — that in Edwards siding with Barack Obama at that debate and taking a little shot at Senator Clinton, that women said, “Hey, don’t pile up.”
And then, of course, there was — as I keep calling it — the weepy moment, so that there was women sympathy drain.
Then, campaign advisers really believe that their lead was depressed because of all these polling numbers showing that there were double-digit leads and that a lot of people who would have otherwise supported Obama said, “Oh, he doesn’t really need me. He’s fine. Let me look at somebody else.” Because basically most Democrats like all the candidates.
And the fifth is that college students in Durham, the University of New Hampshire, and in Hanover and Dartmouth College didn’t turn out in the numbers they had hoped for. And they had come to depend very heavily on college students in that youth vote.
Read it all–I found it helpful.