Obama now believes he’ll win in a landslide

Story out today from UK Telegraph about Obama’s inner circle, including the senator himself, feeling as if they’re going to win in a landslide come November. They cite internal polling and something about hope and change.

Here’s the report, from the Telegraph:

Their optimism, which is said to be shared by the Democratic candidate himself, is based on information from private polling and on faith in the powerful political organisation he has built in the key swing states.

Insiders say that Mr Obama’s apparent calm through an unusually turbulent election season is because he believes that his strength among first time voters in several key states has been underestimated, both by the media and by the Republican Party.

Mr Obama has come under fire from within Democratic ranks over his message and his tactics. Critics say he has failed to connect with the blue-collar workers seen as crucial to winning the election, and too reluctant to make direct attacks on Mr McCain.

But his aides are convinced that he has a strong chance of winning no fewer than nine states won by George W.Bush in the closely contested 2000 election, including former Republican strongholds like North Carolina, Virginia and even Indiana, which have not voted Democrat for a generation.

David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, said last week that Obama had “a lot of opportunity” in states which Mr Bush won four years ago.

But in private briefings in Washington, a member of Mr Obama’s inner circle of policy advisers went much further in spelling out why the campaign’s working assumptions far exceed the expectations of independent observers.

“Public polling companies and the media have underestimated the scale of new Democratic voters registration in these states,” the campaign official told a friend. “We’re much stronger on the ground in Virginia and North Carolina than people realise. If we get out the vote this may not be close at all.”

Not toss a wet blanket on this party, but we’ve heard the “scale of new Democratic voter registrations” argument before, in 2004 with Bush against Kerry. This time around may be different, perhaps. It seems to me that “new voters” are no necessarily “reliable voters.” As in, you got them registered, that’s fantastic, now just get them to the actual polling places on November 4th.

That being said, there is no doubt that the Obama campaign has a much stronger organizational presence since they’ve been at this for nearly 2 years. McCain is playing catchup in that realm.

Just a few days I read pollster John Zogby discussing how he thinks it will be McCain who wins in a landslide. Here’s the report on that from the Boston Herald:

Forget the fickle presidential polls – it’s the Electoral College that’s going to produce a landslide victory Nov. 4, a noted pollster predicts.

John Zogby, president of Zogby International, told a coffee and number-crunching crowd in Rochester, N.Y., that one of the presidential candidates will walk away with a mountain of votes.

Zogby said Barack Obama still needs to sell himself to the country. If not, voters will likely side with “a comfortable old shoe.” That shoe is John McCain, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle quoted Zogby as saying.

Zogby questioned if Americans are still asking of Obama, “Who are you, where are you from?”

While either scenario is of course possible, I think the “landslide” predictions 30 days out given the tight poll numbers are a little misinformed. Then again, I don’t have access to the Obama campaigns insider polling but the race is so fluid, things change everyday and we have more debates.

Both candidates must remember that pride goes before a fall.