• No Democrat who hails from north of the Mason-Dixon line has been elected since 1960.
• No candidate in the modern primary era has ever been elected in November after failing to win more than one of the nation’s seven largest states in either its pre-convention primary or, if the state didn’t hold a primary, its caucuses.
• No candidate in modern times has ever been elected president with a voting record that could be identified as his party’s most liberal or conservative, yet in 2007 Obama was designated as the former (by the National Journal).
• No candidate arguably since Abraham Lincoln has been elected president with as little political experience as Obama.
None of this is to say that Obama can’t overcome these historical obstacles, and he has exceeded expectations before. But as any lawyer knows, try to defy too many precedents and the odds begin to run against you.