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Tilting at Windmills

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February 5, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

CALIFORNIA....Hmmm. Exit polling suggests that Hillary Clinton won California by seven points, 51-44. If she won the absentee ballot race even more strongly, she'll beat Obama by 10 points or more.

More broadly, it's a little surprising that there have been so many big victories tonight on the Democratic side. Obviously the states with lopsided results get called first, so there's some selection bias here, but of the 18 states that have been called so far, 17 22 states contested tonight, 18 have been double-digit victories for either Hillary or Obama. Why aren't there more close races?

Kevin Drum 11:28 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (51)

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can someone clear this up for: the Field poll ("the most respected blah blah blah...") says Obama won the early vote because of the military.

Is this just an fluke? Who really won the early vote?

Posted by: matthew on February 5, 2008 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

You can tell Hillary won the early voting from the first results announced. You notice that Edwards' share of the vote in the first announced is much higher than it ended up (same thing happened in Arizona).

As for why there are no close races (Missouri being the exception), I have no friggin clue.

Posted by: Jim on February 5, 2008 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Utah is close

Posted by: roreilly on February 5, 2008 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Connecticut was pretty close. Probably be a good ten years or so before my vote counts again.

Posted by: B on February 5, 2008 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK


If Field blew it, and by 10%+, that would be the upset of the night....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on February 5, 2008 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

"If Field blew it, and by 10%+, that would be the upset of the night...."

Field might have missed, but Zogby looks absolutely clueless. Did he just pick some numbers out of a hat? I'll never believe one of that guy's polls again.

Posted by: Jim on February 5, 2008 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

Whether individual state counts are close is less important than what happens to the overall count, which at this point looks to be pretty much of a tie, at least on the Democratic side.

Bobo Brooks made the decent point that a tie right now has the effect of pushing the race further down the track; thus even late-voting states will find they still have a live race to decide upon. contrast this with 2004, when (in my case, for example) I was left with endorsing or not endorsing the already-all-but-nominated Kerry.

Posted by: jimBOB on February 5, 2008 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Jim,

Not the first time Zogby has looked like a fool, and it probably won't be the last.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 5, 2008 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

The real story today and this year in general has been turnout. Across the board, Democratic turnout has been much much higher than Republican turnout. Hell, in some of these states, the Democratic turnout is something like 6 or 7 times higher than the GOPer turnout. Which means that even if you are dissatisfied with the Democrat's eventual nominee, at least you can rest assured that any Dem nominee is going to absolutely fucking crush the GOP nominee in the general.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on February 6, 2008 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

MSNBC is now calling California for Mrs. Clinton. The margin between her and Sen. Obama thus far is rather surprising, given all the polls over the last few days. Why are we paying any attention to them - especially Zogby?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 6, 2008 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

My stab at this: The reason the races aren't close is that Obama is running a campaign based on broad themes. The usual median voter reasoning doesn't go through because you can't slice off small segments of the electorate with broad philosophy---either the target audience buys it and joins up, or they don't.

Posted by: matt on February 6, 2008 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Zogby's brother is an Obama super delegate.

I always feel like the zogby polls are just an opportunity to get some personal spin into the media. For the three day tracking polls he'll release some 1 day results and hold on to others. He held on to the one day Hillary comeback prior to New Hampshire.

Mostly though it's just self-aggrandizement. I'm guessing he tried body language interpretation and astrology first and didn't get any traction.

Posted by: B on February 6, 2008 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

The CA vote isn't too surprising, but keep in mind it's the delegates, and Hillary doesn't appear to have won by large enough margin to make the delegate count matter. I recall reading in a few places that the next few primary dates are all good for Obama but I couldn't find specific polling to support that.

Sounds to me like it's just all moving towards a combined ticket, brought about by super delegates who feel obligated to Clinton but won't want to have Obama pushed off the ticket all together.

Posted by: tom.a on February 6, 2008 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

Btw, Claire McCaskill isn't a good spokesperson for Obama, I wish they'd stop putting her out there, she sounds too talking point driven.

Posted by: tom.a on February 6, 2008 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

California still seems to be counting only the early vote (unless people really think that Edwards is going to end up with near 10%)

Posted by: Socraticsilence on February 6, 2008 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

While I didn't see him on TV tonight, who wants to bet that somewhere, wherever he may be, Craig Crawford is guffawing, "As they say, 'Politics ain't beanbag,'" guffaw-guffaw-guffaw?

Posted by: Anon on February 6, 2008 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

I think that the races aren't very close for geographic reasons. Hillary does well in the Northeast. Her political style fits in with the way they do politics (New York, New Jersey...I've met New Yorkers who really don't care about how you play politics because they believe that that's just the way the game gets played). Obama is doing well in the South, partly because of the black vote, but also because they have different values. Except in Arkansas, which really is a home for Hillary.

Obama is also doing well in your more midwestern/northwestern places like North Dakota and Kansas (though he also has ties to Kansas and Illinois, so that's not a surprise). People in the heartland like his campaign style more...they don't like the more abrasive politicking of the Clintons.

That's my take on things, so far.

Posted by: K on February 6, 2008 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Obama is doing very well in caucus states. His margins aren't as good (with the exception of IL) when there is no caucus.

Posted by: Roxanne on February 6, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

I thought the only thing that really matters is the delegate count.

Posted by: Kevin Hayden on February 6, 2008 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

"My stab at this: The reason the races aren't close is that Obama is running a campaign based on broad themes. The usual median voter reasoning doesn't go through because you can't slice off small segments of the electorate with broad philosophy---either the target audience buys it and joins up, or they don't." Posted by: matt on February 6, 2008 at 12:28 AM

I think this commentator raises a point I have not seen considered so far, and something that in the end may well be what gives this nomination to Clinton. If times weren't looking so bad, especially on the economy then I think the "vision thing" approach with a speaker like Obama would almost certainly give him the victory. The problem though with that approach/method in tough economic times is that while people want hope and change they want specifics, lots of specifics, and a sense that the person running for President has the capability to enact those specific changes once in power, and there I think Clinton has a significant edge on Obama. It is also important to note as Begala did on CNN earlier that Clinton wins the economic categories of those that make 50,000 and under, Obama wins the ones over that. Now, which end of that makes up the majority of the American electorate? Are they going to want to be sold idealism or practicality? I suspect the latter myself, it is people who have some financial security that have the time to be inspired by lofty aims/rhetoric, those with major financial concerns are too busy trying to make ends meet to take that approach.

I also think that the war was Obama's signature issue, and while it is still the second most important issue in the Dem electorate it is the economy that is the first, and given the bad economic news of late I suspect it will stay there, and that may well change that dynamic against Obama. That Clinton got California called for her this fast does tend to make one think she is going to win by a significant margin, and how that translates into delegates could well make a large gap for Obama to have to catch despite winning more States. It is also worth noting that Obama is winning many caucus states but few primary states, while Clinton is taking almost every major populated State and usually by double digits. This race is not over, but given everything people were saying about the Obama wave/ "Big Mo" going into this evening I do think Obama has suffered a setback regardless of what the professional punditry class says. Of course this is contingent on what the final numbers say tomorrow but this was not the night Obama really needed, even if he can use the winning more States as a counter to Clinton's impressive victories in the major populated States up for grabs tonight.

One other thing I think this night shows is that the Kennedy endorsements were meaningless beyond good press/spin, in terms of actually helping Obama in California and MA it is clear it did nothing significant. Indeed, I am actually surprised it wasn't closer in MA given all this and the supposed tightening we were seeing over the past several days. While I am far from counting Obama out of the running (he still has major financial resources and the infrastructure to make use of it effectively after all) I do think that overall he lost tonight, although not by all that much (contingent on delegate numbers at the end of the counts tonight of course) and Clinton was able to kill his perceived momentum and quite possibly give herself some coming out of tonight.

For Clinton this is an impressive victory given that she did this with a clearly hostile to her and favourable to him media, as has now been shown to be the case by independent research. He has been getting something like 81-83% favourable coverage to her getting 47% over the past four/six weeks. That she has done this well despite all of this is no small thing; especially give the rock star status of Obama. The next several weeks are going to be most interesting to watch. I do think Obama did do one thing tonight that was incredibly rude, he stomped/spoke over McCain. He was the only candidate on either side to come out to speak knowing he would be getting national coverage when another candidate was already out there speaking, and that is incredibly rude in my books no matter who it is doing it and having it done to them period.

Posted by: Scotian on February 6, 2008 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

Something is off on the California count. Part of it may be the high absentee balloting. Part of it may be faulty exit polls. Part of it may be the problem with the decline to state ballots. Let's wait a few days.

Posted by: hollywood on February 6, 2008 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

So California votes 10% for Edwards, huh. Clearly this state cannot handle the responsibility of voting so early. Move that primary back to where it makes no difference.

Posted by: JS on February 6, 2008 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

On the Republican side, it looks like McCain is running away with it. So much for my predictive powers.

Or, as my husband said, "With a record like that, you can be a pundit!"

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 6, 2008 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian- Spin for Hill a little more okay,
Personally, I think the big story is that Clinton wins states we'll win anynway but can't carry states that could go either way, heck she had the entire Black Political machine behind in Georgia and she couldn't crack 40%. Seriously look at a map of the wins, Hillary wins on the coast and in Arkansas, with the exception of Tennessee (not sure what happened there), she can't win the Heartland, she's freaking cancer to any downticket Dems, where as Obama could carry close politicians to wins in MO, CO, and quite possible one or two states in the "solid south".

Posted by: Socraticsilence on February 6, 2008 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

Can someone explain the superdelegates to me. I understand these are party office holders (members of congress, senators etc). What I don't know is why they all seem to have already pledged their loyalty to one or the other candidate. Can they change their loyalty at a later time? Is it a secret ballot (for superdelegates)?

Posted by: rational on February 6, 2008 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Socraticsilence, it's not like Obama can carry the middle/southern America states either. Remember, he won the *Democratic* vote for these middle states, not the Republican. It's a big difference. And you forgot Oklahoma went for Clinton by a large margin.

Posted by: Jonathan on February 6, 2008 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Both campaigns aimed at different states, mostly. So wide margins didn't surprise. Hillary targeted the big delegate vote states. Barack was a longshot for NY, MA, NJ, AZ, AR and CA all along and other than a late effort in MA only really challenged Clinton in CA.

I think his game plan worked, though.

And let's not forget the last minute deciders. Them plus the mail ins pretty much cover the CA result. Wasn't Hillary up by 28% just 10 days ago?

Posted by: Kevin Hayden on February 6, 2008 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian >"...I do think Obama did do one thing tonight that was incredibly rude, he stomped/spoke over McCain...."

Grow up, McCain has gotten far more positive PR in his life than he ever deserved. Bout time he left the stage. I think he is lucky people have put up with him this long.

Rude is people going hungry so the McCain supporters can shovel all the defense budget money into their bank accounts.

Get a grip on reality.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

Posted by: daCascadian on February 6, 2008 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

rational, super-delegates are not pledged to a candidate, they can make up their minds at the convention. But the preferences of most of them are known. The candidates have been wooing them, as they represent almost 20% of all all delegates (on the Dem side).

Posted by: JS on February 6, 2008 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

What's pretty astonishing is how the spin turns on a dime, after actual results come in.

Just a few hours ago, it seemed to be acknowledged by all that it was critical to win California for either Hillary or Obama, and Obama supporters were talking up Obama's big MO in California, and how very, very much voters there get to love him once they know him.

Now, not so much.

Now it's about who wins the most states, however trivial the particular states might be.

And it's amusing to see how people like Josh Marshall and Kos show their true colors in this situation, as shown by their mostly automatic immediate reactions. As I write this, Josh Marshall has put up a number of posts about the big Missouri "win" -- read "tie" -- of Obama's. But he mentions only as an afterthought that the networks had called California for Hillary. Real sense of proportion there, Josh! And Kos has a post going on and on about how today was such a huge day for Obama, and again more about the big tie in Missouri.

And Josh Marshall also does us all the great service of posting on the front page a pretty scurrilous email from a reader essentially laying the blame for Obama's loss on the alleged racism of other ethnic groups. Marshall, with a show of high-mindedness, allows that he may not agree with the letter. But what does it say about Marshall that he's so happy to relay this kind of expression of bigotry against ethnic groups on his front page?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 6, 2008 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks JS. I guess the superdelegates will have a big "brokering" role to play at this convention. They will be riding their horses to the convention, you know, to trade them :-)

Posted by: rational on February 6, 2008 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

she had the entire Black Political machine behind in Georgia and she couldn't crack 40%. Seriously look at a map of the wins, Hillary wins on the coast and in Arkansas, with the exception of Tennessee (not sure what happened there), she can't win the Heartland, she's freaking cancer to any downticket Dems, where as Obama could carry close politicians to wins in MO, CO, and quite possible one or two states in the "solid south".

Socraticsilence, your profound analysis made me spill my drink. Tell me again how Obama is going to carry Utah, North Dakota and Idaho for us in the general election? Clinton "can't win the heartland"? Isn't Oklahoma the Heartland of America? And I'm surprised Clinton got almost 40% in Georgia when 82% of the blacks there (who make up 50% of the dem electorate) voted for Obama.

Posted by: Bob on February 6, 2008 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

Obama was supposed to win all of 5 states and be behind more than 100 in delegates.

He just won 14 states and will likely have more pledged delegates than Hillary Clinton. Barak Obama just won Super Tuesday even if Hillary beat him by 15% in California. It's really hard to argue otherwise at this point.

Posted by: soullite on February 6, 2008 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Roxanne:

Obama is doing very well in caucus states. His margins aren't as good (with the exception of IL) when there is no caucus.

Perhaps some form of Bradley effect is still with us.. all the more reason Obama is less electable in a general election.

Posted by: Andy on February 6, 2008 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

Right on, frankly0. The narrative progression gets even more hilarious on the DailyKos. "Huge Win for Obama! He Got More States!" Yeah, he sure did. States like Alaska, Delaware, Conn, Idaho, North Dakota, and Utah, with votes in the magnitude of 10^4 and less.

Posted by: Bob on February 6, 2008 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

NBC's pre-California delegate count: Obama 677, Clinton 634.

Including their California estimate: Obama 841, Clinton 837 (with a 10 point "swing" possible in either candidate's favor when California is finished.

Posted by: JS on February 6, 2008 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with frankly0 and below are comments from "TPM Reader SM" and thankfully Josh posted this on the TPM:

"You guys have lost your friggin minds since Josh decided on Olberman that Obama's Iraq comment was something more than it was. There's been nothing but crap Zogby polls and spin keeping this guy a float. Look at the exit and entrance polls! The guy hasn't managed to break out of his key demographics AT ALL. Whoa he got more of the White vote in CA which he lost handily. He seems to be able to win every caucus and lose every election. Too bad we don't caucus to elect a president.
He's dead. His campaign is fundamentally about the belief that there are no race issues in America. And reality is biting him on the ass in every race. He loses the brown vote in every state 2:1 while pulling in the black vote 4:1 and he manages to sway wealthy white people and young white people. That's it. The base of the dem party is union workers, working class people and grandma. He has no traction at all with these groups. It's written large in every race. The guy just doesn't have what it takes to build a majority, and he's got a slick net press operation that is fundamentally gaming Reddit and the blogsphere.

It's obivous that the dem base loves Clinton ESPECIALLY WHEN HE IS AGRESSIVE!

It's obvious that the dem base doesn't give a shit about the Iraq vote!

It's obvious that the Obama base relies heavily on right wing help, and launders stuff through them and their proxies. Case in point your own guy Trapper via Drudge.

It's obvious that the brown vote in this country matters more economically than the black vote since the brown people work closer to the white power structure and get more representation for their money even via delegates as a result. And it's obvious that Obama has killed himself by denying the realities of race in America instead of addressing them.

Please stop buying into the bullshit of the Obama internet press operation. The party can't afford to bleed for 3 more months to appease Barack and Michelle's ego, when McCain consolidates everything under himself tomorrow. Ok sure we go to VA and MD or whatever if the Republicans pussyfoot, but we aren't going to learn anything new just blow a lot of scratch to see another iteration of the same demographic story.

The real story is not in the pre-election bullshit polls where people like Zogby just make shit up, it's in the repeated and expanding story of the exit and entrance polls. LOOK AT THEM. There is NO OBAMA "surge", it's the same people in the same groups with different numbers in each state.

Encourage the Obama people to take Hillary's VP offer so that we call move on already. We need to win in November, and raising more ire within the party is a sure way to fuck that up.

PS We love teddy in MA but we know he is full of shit, which is why Obama lost here. That everyone else bought into the spectacle is enough to show that you were all more interested in seeing what you wanted to see rather than what was. Open your eyes look at the exit and entrance pols. BTW the same white demographic that went for Obama in MA is the one that went for him in CA, in CA there are just more of them."

Posted by: Noel on February 6, 2008 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

@frankly0

"And Josh Marshall also does us all the great service of posting on the front page a pretty scurrilous email from a reader essentially laying the blame for Obama's loss on the alleged racism of other ethnic groups."

If you want to be part of the reality-based community then I would suggest you learn how to read an exit poll. The exit polls have been pretty damn consistent...

Posted by: Adam on February 6, 2008 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

Just a few hours ago, it seemed to be acknowledged by all that it was critical to win California for either Hillary or Obama, and Obama supporters were talking up Obama's big MO...

True, and Obama's loss in California hurts. But two facts make up for it:

1. Obama did significantly better than expected in many other states, winning more and winning by wider margins than expected in several.

2. It turns out that almost half of the California vote was from mail-in absentee ballots, most of which seem to have been mailed in early. So the late Obama surge is under-represented in the final count.

Personally, I had expected a clear win for Hillary tonight, and I am pleasantly surprised at Obama's performance. I now think he has even chances for the nomination -- better than yesterday.

Posted by: JS on February 6, 2008 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

Tell me again how Obama is going to carry Utah, North Dakota and Idaho for us in the general election?

Well, in North Dakota, about twice as many people caucused for second-place finished Hillary Clinton as caucused for Republican first-place finisher John McCain ... and Obama blew Hillary away in North Dakota. So that's not looking like a solid Republican state at the moment and could be up for grabs.

Idaho's Republican primary isn't until May, so it'll be a little harder to get a handle on turnout there, but given how most of the West has gone so far, I expect Democratic turnout to be higher than Republican turnout. And turnout is what matters.

Utah's a hopeless case, though. Any Democrat winning Utah would be like McCain winning California -- theoretically possible but entirely improbable.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 6, 2008 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

Mnemosyne: "Idaho's Republican primary isn't until May, so it'll be a little harder to get a handle on turnout there, but given how most of the West has gone so far, I expect Democratic turnout to be higher than Republican turnout."

Idaho's Democratic caucus turnout was perhaps 25,000 people. You may want to rethink your analysis.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 6, 2008 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

Based on my analysis, Hillary won 5 blue states (based on the 2004 election) and Obama won three blue states (based on the 2004 election).

Posted by: Noel on February 6, 2008 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

“Scotian >"...I do think Obama did do one thing tonight that was incredibly rude, he stomped/spoke over McCain...."

Grow up, McCain has gotten far more positive PR in his life than he ever deserved. Bout time he left the stage. I think he is lucky people have put up with him this long.

Rude is people going hungry so the McCain supporters can shovel all the defense budget money into their bank accounts.

Get a grip on reality.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell” Posted by: daCascadian on February 6, 2008 at 1:18 AM

I realize this may be an odd concept for you but it is as much the little things like this that can alienate people from a candidate in political campaigns as the big ones (and this one was quite unnecessary and easy to avoid) sometimes more so. Think about “the snub” for example, the “you’re likable too” line to Hillary as another, in and of themselves minor to irrelevant right? Yet they clearly helped shape a perception around Obama that he is somewhat on the arrogant side. Not to mention how it undercuts how much importance Obama puts on being “post-partisan”, doing politics differently and more civilly/politely and less divisively, and a unity kind of politician in his actions as opposed to his words, just like the snub and being likable enough did also. THAT is my point about the rudeness both in general and regarding Obama in particular. That is why I considered it worthy of commenting on, not because I hold any affection for McCain, indeed I have no respect at all for the man after his disgraceful placing of political partisanship above his much vaunted and referred to sense of military honour during the SBVfT smear job, especially when he KNEW Kerry’s record in combat was an honourable and respect worthy one irrelevant of political affiliation.

As for my “grip on reality”, well I’ll let my long history at this blog and record of being well connected to reality speak for itself, you want to call me tedious, boring, longwinded, etc that is fair criticism based on my history but being disconnected from reality is not. Just because I see Obama as the weaker general election candidate and Clinton the stronger given the environment does not make me lacking in a grip on reality. As for defending McCain in this, in case you didn’t understand it from the outset I would have made the same complaint/observation about ANY candidate that did this to another tonight, that Obama did it while running with the core message he does is only that much more glaring in its rudeness.

I am more than willing to admit when I am wrong once the facts are there to back it up, but going by what Obama’s demographic breakdowns looked like he did not dominate the youth vote anywhere near as much as his mythology/spin/message would have people believe. His core base has been AAs, white men and those that earn over 50,000 dollars a year. Last time I looked that does not make up the clear majority of the Democratic Party base or even the general electorate. Clinton’s hard numbers show a broader base than his, and from Iowa to today there has not been much change in his demographics aside from some increase in the white male vote. Given how far along this primary season is that he cannot eat away at Clinton’s base more than he has does not bode well for his viability in the general election, and Clinton’s winning of the popular vote and winning the large States for the most part to date shows her to be far less “unelectable” than popular and especially Obama campaign belief claims she is.

Not to mention he appears to have lost the popular vote overall today, AND that he managed most of his State wins in small State populations and most of those were caucuses and not primaries. If he was going to show just how good a candidate he is there should have been more evidence of it in the results today. He needed to hurt Clinton in Super Tuesday, and he failed from what I have seen. This is not going to help him going into the next series, especially when the demographics show his appeal is more limited than his campaign and his supporters have argued it is. Numbers/votes are what they are and cannot be dismissed easily unlike polls and focus group results, and it is from those results that I am drawing my conclusions from, not faith based belief as it appears too many Obama supporters and workers appear to be doing.

I will add that while it is impressive he managed to gain this much ground over the last three months from where things stood then, over the last week he had wall to wall favourable coverage, the perception of the “big mo” going into super Tuesday, and yet when the votes were in he failed to deliver any significant steal/hit on Clinton’s campaign. This argument that he will do better now because he can intensively campaign in each State unlike the way he had to handle yesterday rests on the dynamics being essentially unchanged, and I don’t think they are anymore. There is also the question of how many of the votes Obama got were from crossover GOPers who don’t want to face a Clinton in the fall, which given how despite everything they have thrown at both of them and failed to stop either of them from winning any election they fought in since the early 80s cannot be ignored either.

This idea that she will unite the right so extensively is one I do not buy in this particular year, 2004 I would but not now. Even if she does unite it the massively lopsided turnout results on each side shows the Dems with a massive advantage, and before you or someone else tries to say that is mainly because of Obama that doesn’t explain Florida. Florida had massive turnout despite no Obama campaigning, no campaigning by any Dem in fact, and was 200,000 voters shy of a heavily fought GOP race shows that the excitement within the Dem constituency is not primarily because of the candidates but because of how bad things have become over the past eight years of Bush43 IMHO, a point I have made before here I might add.

Finally, quoting Orwell at me regarding telling the truth when that is what I have been doing all along is hilarious in its irony. Got any more oxymoronic commentary you want to aim at me? I tell the truth as I see it using the facts as they exist. You want to question my conclusions from them that is fair enough but kindly do not try to argue directly or as in this case by implication that I am not telling the truth which is how that came off as, especially following your direct comment about my needing to get a grip on reality. Finally you are someone that was around when I was still a regular and you should well know that my connection to reality is perfectly fine so that had to be taken as an unwillingness to face what I was saying directly and instead attempt to discredit me personally, not a nice way to argue/disagree IMHO.

Oh yes, one last thing about Obama that I find troubling. When I hear GOP strategists/operatives (as opposed to conservative pundits, not the same thing) swooning about how wonderful and attractive to GOP voters Obama is and how they are afraid to face him as a general candidate I smell a rat. I can understand conservative commentators doing such swooning, but the GOP operatives are too hard bitten a set of characters for me to believe they would do anything to weaken their chances in a general election, especially when the environment is so horrible for them as this year's is. I genuinely think they have been going on for the last year about how much they want Clinton because they are afraid of her because they no matter how hard they have tried have they ever been able to prevent first him and then her from winning their elections on the national stage once no matter what they have smeared them with. That is something I find far too many people opposed to Clinton and especially hard core Obama supporters are unwilling to even consider as a possibility and I happen to think that is a major mistake. Not to mention how much of their (GOP that is) anti-Hillary rhetoric is rooted in sexist concepts and how the rabid right wing Clinton haters go overboard with such, which against a candidate Clinton in the general would almost certainly generate major blowback at the polls by the women voters, as was seen in NH, which would offset I suspect any unifying she might do for the GOP base to a large if not total degree.

Posted by: Scotian on February 6, 2008 at 3:40 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if the others break the way California did, then there were a lot more close races. They called Cali for HRC pretty early in the tabulation. It was pretty clear to me that HRC was going to win, but still, with every increase in precincts reporting, Obama was cutting down on Clinton's lead. It looks to me like in the morning, it'll be a single-digit lead she has in CA (7-8% is my guess). So what appeared to be a blowout early in the game turned into merely a pretty tight showing.

Posted by: Mark Kawakami on February 6, 2008 at 5:46 AM | PERMALINK

Has anybody done the math to see what the delegate count would look like if one took the elite-skewed caucuses out of the equation, and relied only on real elections?

Posted by: frankly0 on February 6, 2008 at 7:39 AM | PERMALINK

with the exception of Tennessee (not sure what happened there)

Tornadoes.

Posted by: Lucy on February 6, 2008 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Mnemosyne: "Idaho's Republican primary isn't until May, so it'll be a little harder to get a handle on turnout there, but given how most of the West has gone so far, I expect Democratic turnout to be higher than Republican turnout."

I used to live in Idaho. It is one of the reddest of the red.

Posted by: CatLover on February 6, 2008 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Oh yes, one last thing about Obama that I find troubling. When I hear GOP strategists/operatives (as opposed to conservative pundits, not the same thing) swooning about how wonderful and attractive to GOP voters Obama is and how they are afraid to face him as a general candidate I smell a rat."

Great comment, I believe you are right on. The Republicans would love to go against Obama because he's easier to marginalize in the general election as the black liberal candidate a la Jesse Jackson. Notwithstanding Bill Bennett's comments about wanting Hillary to win, deep in Bill's heart he's praying, as well as other Republicans, that Hillary doesn't win because they know she would eat their lunch in a general election.

Posted by: Noel on February 6, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, talk about cherry picking and spin.

Pretty soon some Patriot fans will claim their team won the Super Bowl because they were ahead for the largest number of minutes.

Posted by: Tripp on February 6, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Idaho's Democratic caucus turnout was perhaps 25,000 people. You may want to rethink your analysis.

I was kinda restricted by the states the previous poster had chosen, but you and CatLover are probably right. As with every election, turnout is going to be what wins it, and a lot of the turnout across the country is going blue. In Georgia, almost 100,000 more people voted in the Democratic primary than in the Republican.

But, yes, we can get all excited that Obama kicked Hillary's butt in Alaska, but there were still less than 500 votes for ALL of the Democrats combined, so that ain't going Blue anytime soon.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 6, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I'm getting my numbers from CNN -- they have a very helpful table of each state for both sides.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 6, 2008 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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