The outcome of the presidential election of 2008 can be characterized by two contradictory assertions. The first is that Senator Barack Obama would not have won the presidency had he not opposed the Iraq War. The second is that the outcome of the voting on November 5, 2008 was largely unaffected by voters' opinions of the war. Of course, the statements are only apparently contradictory, and the re... read moresolution of the contradiction can be found in the sequential nature of the primary and general election process. That is, in addition to the widely discussed strategic and organizational advantages that the Obama organization brought to the primary campaign, it is entirely plausible that his opposition to the Iraq War helped secure the narrow margin by which he prevailed over Senator Clinton. As for the general election, the conventional wisdom is that the deterioration in economic conditions in the Fall of 2008 secured with finality the victory that election prognosticators had already foreseen for some time (Saldin 2008; Abramowitz 2008; Erikson and Wlezien 2008) The accuracy of the conventional wisdom is something I will reevaluate in this article, but careful study of the sequential process of primary and general elections is important for an additional reason.read less
Eichenberg, Richard C. "Foreign Policy in the Electoral and Governing Coalitions of Barack Obama." Paper presented at the Shambaugh Conference on Understanding the 2008 Presidential Election, Department of Political Science, University of Iowa, March 5-7, 2009.