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Tilting at Windmills

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February 6, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THE POPULAR VOTE....Wow. The Democratic race tonight was really, really close. Among people who actually turned out to vote, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by about 49%-48%, according to CNN. However, if you look at the total state populations carried by each candidate, it works out just the opposite. There were 22 states in play with a total population of about 147 million, and with the final numbers in, Barack Obama won about 49% of that population vs. 47% for Hillary. (The exact numbers, of course, will depend on the final result in California. As I write this, it looks to me like it's going to break about 54-44 for Hillary.) (California ended up 52-42 for Hillary.)

So what does this tell us? Nothing except that this was a really, really close race. The good news: Exciting! The bad news: Contrary to the storyline the talking heads have been feeding us, this hasn't really been a very nasty race. But it might turn into one now. Fasten your seat belts.

Kevin Drum 2:15 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (102)

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Comments

I think the reality is the opposite of what Kevin has described and is quite simple: McCain will be the GOP nominee. Only Obama can defeat him. Hillary won't have a chance.

--Obama has shown he appeals to voters across all regions of the country, not just traditional democratic strongholds, which is where Clinton won on Super Tuesday.

--Obama appeals to independents, and will make a strong case for their votes. If Clinton is the nominee, they will vote for McCain, full stop.

--many within the democratic party will not vote democratic if Hillary is the nominee. I have not heard anyone say they will not vote democratic if Obama is the nominee.

So my call is this: while Hillary would defeat any GOP candidate not named McCain, only Obama has a chance to defeat McCain. The way things look now, Kevin, and every other Clinton supporter, have signed up with another loser.

Posted by: Prince Roy on February 6, 2008 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

OTOH, it's a great accomplishment for Obama to make it so close.

OTOH, Hillary is showing she's a weak, weak, frontrunner.

Posted by: Nick Kaufman on February 6, 2008 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

First off, Prince, Kevin chose correctly and went with Obama. Secondly, I agree with yours and Nick's points. In looking over the results, Obama did surprisingly well demographically and nationally, and Hillary just hung on. Considering time and money, Obama can finally do it.

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

This wasn't really a post about who the best candidate was or who has a better chance of beating John McCain. (For the record, I think either Obama or Clinton can beat McCain handily.) It was just a post about what happened tonight.

However, I'd be careful about writing Hillary off. Tonight marks the end of the Obama surge, I think, and from here on out it's trench warfare. Hillary's pretty good at that. If I had to put money on it, I'd still put money on Hillary to pull out a narrow victory when the convention rolls around.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on February 6, 2008 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

No Democrat will vote for Hillary. Those votes you see that look like votes for Hillary are just glitches or hacks on Diebold machines. All Dems HATE Hillary. They will all vote McCain. I predict McCain beets Hillary in November 82-10 (8% for Nader).

BTW, they hate Bill too. Bill was the worst President ever, Dems couldn't stand him. I'm not sure how he won two elections, but I know it wasn't because of Dems.

Posted by: Bush Lover on February 6, 2008 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

I keep hearing Fox News (only watched to see them lose over it Romney's dismal showing) that Clinton won California because of the Hispanic vote.

How do they know this? And do they know this?

I kind of felt it was setting the table for the old "the Hispanics want Clinton so you don't" routine.

Am I being paranoid?

Thanks in advance for any response.

Posted by: jharp on February 6, 2008 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

Well, when I look at the percentages, I see that in states that Obama won, he generally won by notably higher percentages. Where Clinton won, however, the percentages were generally much closer--in other words, she barely squeaked by. That is what really happened tonight.

Posted by: Varecia on February 6, 2008 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK

I'm too stupid to understand the distinction... can you please elaborate on the difference between the popular vote and the popular vote of the states that voted? What am I missing...

Posted by: gfw on February 6, 2008 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

Obama himself seems to have had the best prediction for today's results. When he voted in Illinois earlier today, he said:

I still think that Senator Clinton is the favorite. She had 20- to 30-point leads in many of these states. We’ve been closing some ground and my guess is that we’ll have a good night and we’ll probably end up having to split this.

First he predicts the Iraq quagmire. Now he predicts super-Tuesday. How's that for good judgment.

Posted by: JS on February 6, 2008 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary may yet win the nomination. If she does, democrats will have made the same mistake they did in 2004 when they went with Kerry over Edwards.

Hillary Clinton will not defeat John McCain in a general election. Barack Obama will, for the reasons I've detailed.

I think this bears repeating: there are many democrats who will not vote for Hillary if she is nominated. I have not heard/read anyone say this about Obama.

Hillary doesn't stand a chance with independents. Anyone who believes that is deluding themselves.

Obama will win every state a traditional Democratic like Hillary would win, and he would be competitive in states where Hillary would not.

btw, I am not an Obama supporter, but one of those independents the dems desperately need.

Posted by: Prince Roy on February 6, 2008 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

jharp, that's what the exit polls showed -- two thirds of the hispanic vote in California went for Clinton. She also got the asean vote. Whites and African Americans (both genders) went for Obama.

But Clinton also won California because almost half the vote was mailed in, much of it before Obama's recent surge.

gfw, the popular vote is the people who voted today. The second number represents the total population of the states each candidate won.

Posted by: JS on February 6, 2008 at 2:48 AM | PERMALINK

btw, I am not an Obama supporter, but one of those independents the dems desperately need.

Do you have an Amazon wish list?

Posted by: JS on February 6, 2008 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

There is something else I noticed: Obama won -- and by huge margins -- every state tonight that held a caucus. Primaries were a different matter of course, but caucus states, which include a fair amount of variance in demographics and political leanings, all went to Obama.. I don't know why this would be, there's several possible reasons, but its interesting to me.

Posted by: Mark Kawakami on February 6, 2008 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

Prince nails it.

But Kevin, I doubt it gets much nastier because things just go kinda quiet now. That, and I kinda sense that a lot of influential bigwigs have made it known that the nasty stuff is verboten. You could sense the new behavior at the last debate.

Posted by: djangone on February 6, 2008 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

Oops, I meant the first Prince post, not the second one.

Posted by: djangone on February 6, 2008 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

"Hillary may yet win the nomination."

Yes and I'd like to add, probably. She is favored by quite a bit to win it.

I disagree that Obama would fare better. Might or might not. Clinton is the most vetted candidate in the history of the earth. Obama, not even close. I think Obama is the one the right wingers want to run against.

Who knows what might come up'

Posted by: jharp on February 6, 2008 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think the popular vote breakdown is 48/49 because California will have a huge total and even if she leads by only 10% that still translates into 1 million votes. So that could meand a range from 53-57% for her and 43-47% for him. That's potentially a much a larger percentage difference between the 2 of them....that's a big differnce ...we'll se in the morning.

Posted by: debcoop on February 6, 2008 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

I'm an Edwards supporter who just went over to Obama and I honestly can see only two outcomes of all this: Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama --- either ticket beats the GOP handily.

Posted by: paul on February 6, 2008 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

debcoop: 10% of california is not 1 million, its 400,000 (at least going by CNN right now). Anyway, its obviously hes narrowing on her national lead. Just look at her lead 2 weeks ago.

Posted by: jOR on February 6, 2008 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

Paul: I honestly can see only two outcomes of all this: Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama --- either ticket beats the GOP handily.

I agree with Paul.

Posted by: Ogre Mage on February 6, 2008 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

"jharp, that's what the exit polls showed"

I'm confused. Are exit polls reliable or not?

"But Clinton also won California because almost half the vote was mailed in"

Do you need to specify if you are Hispanic on a mail in ballot?

And myself, I never answer that question. Ever.

Posted by: jharp on February 6, 2008 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

Assuming NY, CA and MA aren't in play for the general election, wouldn't you want a candidate who can make a run at those red states? FL would probably go to McCain if Obama is the nominee.

I'll predict that the pattern of Clinton picking up the big states will continue for the remaining ones: LA, NE, ME, MD, VA, DC, HI, WA, WI, OH, RI, TX, VT, WY, MS, PA, IN, NC, WV, KY, OR, ID.

As a result, it's going to be damn close at the convention. The Florida and Michigan delegates may be the decisive factor.

Assuming Liz has bestowed the kiss of death on Mitt's campaign. Huck's willingness to soldier on in a lost cause will only serve to keep the divisions in the Republican base from healing over.

The Democratic race will generate a lot more excitement and media coverage through the summer. As long as Clinton and Obama don't get too bitter, I think it's all going to benefit the Dems in November.

Posted by: Tentakles on February 6, 2008 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

Count me in with the "Obama would lose the general" group. And good thing that he would, as he'd be an inexperienced and ineffectual president.

One thing that struck me tonight--and probably didn't escape most of the Dem leadership--is that Hispanics and Asians don't like Obama. Neither group has anything like the traditional loyalty to the Dem party that blacks do.

If they don't want to vote for Obama, McCain's the ideal Republican candidate for populations who want a pro-"immigration" president.

In short, if Obama won the nomination, California could be in play in the general.

Fortunately, he's not going to win the nomination. He won mostly red states and with no possibility of putting them in play. If it does come down to the superdelegates, I think they'll take that into account.

Posted by: Cal on February 6, 2008 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

Once again, I see the traditional dem thinking at play. You guys just don't get it, and you're setting yourself up for serious disappointment and hand-wringing come November.

Be sure to visit this thread again after the general election to see how prescient your analysis was (not). I wonder what your excuses will be then...

Posted by: Prince Roy on February 6, 2008 at 3:15 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary will destroy John McCain. Obama will destroy John McCain. The contours of their victories would look a little different, but I don't think the outcome is remotely in doubt. There are many more Republicans that won't come out for McCain than Democrats who won't come out for Hillary. And she's going to pull a huge number of women voters.

Posted by: Sean on February 6, 2008 at 3:15 AM | PERMALINK

Roy's comments are as concise as they are spot on.

McCain looks like the presumptive Republican nominee. However, McCain appears more vulnerable because of where he is winning. McCain is carrying states that traditionally vote Democratic in general elections (New York, California, etc.). His strength in these states will not translate into electoral college votes. Similarly, McCain's general weakness in Southern and Midwestern states provide further opportunity for Democrats to make inroads on an already demoralized Republican party.

Similarly, Hillary's wins are coming disproportionately from the same Democratic strongholds as McCain: New York, California, Massachusetts, etc. These states are going to vote Democratic no matter who the Democratic nominee is. To win in a general election, Democrats will need to carry more red states.

Obama has done just that: he has won roughly the same number of delegates as Clinton but in smaller states in the Midwest and South. While there is no guarantee that these states can be carried by Democrats in a general election, Obama's stronger showing in "Middle America" is obviously an advantage in a general election over Hillary's coastal bases of support. Consider one of the reddest of red states: South Carolina. Obama received more votes than all of the Republican candidates combined.

Obama also appears to have an edge over Hillary attracting new voters as well as Independents and even some Republicans. Conversely, Hillary is a polarizing figure among Republicans and is more likely to energize Republican turnout to vote against her than she is to win cross-over votes.

Finally, there are two simple and obvious conclusions from today's votes: one, Hillary and Obama are in a dead heat; two, the momentum is clearly behind Obama. Within a matter of a week or two, Obama has closed the double-digit gaps to pull roughly even with Clinton both in terms of national popular support as well as the delegate count.

The net result of today's elections may be a mere 10 delegates to Clinton, giving Hillary a net lead of perhaps 48 delegates. However, Obama is on track to pick up a net 49 or so delegates in several miscellaneous caucuses over the next week. In that case, they'll be dead even.

If you support Obama, reward his tremendous achievement today and donate to his campaign.

Posted by: Augustus on February 6, 2008 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

Roy,

Do you know what the Republicans are polling? Their Congressional approval ratings are at 30% or less. Bush is historically unpopular. The Democratic Congressional approval goes down when the public decides they're not being oppositional enough. The Republican brand is simply toxic at the moment, and no matter how many times they tap their heels together and say "Reagan," they'll be running on Bush's record.

They have no chance. Zero. None. And there's nothing to be afraid of.

Posted by: Sean on February 6, 2008 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

Hands down, the most amazing thing I've seen all day: Amador County, CA, with 20,627 registered voters, had 20,627 votes cast, for 100% turnout. Hmmmm.

http://vote.ss.ca.gov/Returns/status.htm

Posted by: matt on February 6, 2008 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

If you're going to donate money to Obama, let me suggest that you consider bundling your contribution with a friend's to encourage one another to contribute. For example if your friend is considering donating, say, $100 dollars, offer to donate $50 - effectively you increase their donation by 50%.

Do this with three friends and you've donated $150, and they'll have donated $300. Everybody walks away feeling like they helped donate more money to Obama's campaign. [just note that any funds you match count against your total $2300 limit].

Posted by: Augustus on February 6, 2008 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

Augustus,
Of course, if you offer to add $50 to someone contributing $1, you've increased their donation by
5000%, and you'll feel even better.

Posted by: matt on February 6, 2008 at 3:26 AM | PERMALINK

I see what the mate Roy is on about, the fellows like Sean sound just look the last time the Left pulled defeat out of victory.

Posted by: The Lounsbury on February 6, 2008 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

In short, if Obama won the nomination, California could be in play in the general.

This is a ridiculous proposition.

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

I am neither an Obama or Hillary supporter, but:

Prince Roy:

--Obama has shown he appeals to voters across all regions of the country, not just traditional democratic strongholds, which is where Clinton won on Super Tuesday.

He appeals to all voters, but not in Democratic strongholds? So he doesn't appeal to all voters.


--Obama appeals to independents, and will make a strong case for their votes. If Clinton is the nominee, they will vote for McCain, full stop.

If an independent is motivated to vote for Obama, he may just stay home on election night. For the record, I didn't vote today, because I don't really like Hillary, Obama, or McCain.


--many within the democratic party will not vote democratic if Hillary is the nominee. I have not heard anyone say they will not vote democratic if Obama is the nominee.

But that's what they say - a few anecdotal tidbits does not a trend make.. Also remember the Bradley effect. Also, many within the Dem. party may not vote for Obama, but many will vote for Hillary. If Dems can turn out the base, esp. women, Hillary can easily win.


So my call is this: while Hillary would defeat any GOP candidate not named McCain, only Obama has a chance to defeat McCain. The way things look now, Kevin, and every other Clinton supporter, have signed up with another loser.

Would Republicans turn out to vote for McCain, esp. the religious base, or the anti-illegal immigrant wing? Based on the last 4 elections, it was the party who could turn out their base who won. If the John Kerry debacle is any clue, vote for who you want, not who you think is election. Voting for Obama because you think he's more electable in the general is a recipe for losing.

Posted by: Andy on February 6, 2008 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

I meant, if an independent is motivated to vote for Obama *and Hillary wins,* he may just stay home on election night.

Posted by: Andy on February 6, 2008 at 3:47 AM | PERMALINK

Darn it.. I mean:
Also, many within the Dem. party may not vote for Hillary, but many *will* vote for Hillary..
Sorry, it's late..

Posted by: Andy on February 6, 2008 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

Does the average person understand that the delegate totals on the NYT front page are only partially based on the Super Tuesday vote?

The Associated Press count of delegates includes projections based on non-binding votes for candidate preference, such as in the Iowa caucuses. On the Democratic side, the A.P. count also includes a tally of unpledged superdelegates that the news organization has independently surveyed…

…The [New York] Times is displaying the Associated Press count on its home page to provide an early estimate of the delegate totals as the vote counting progresses.

The *pledged* superdelegates are not the result of an election and should not be included in the total. It’s confusing and unnecessary.

Posted by: The great state of Vermouth on February 6, 2008 at 4:03 AM | PERMALINK

In short, if Obama won the nomination, California could be in play in the general.

We're supposed to worry about John McCain in the general when the California Republican Party can't even bother to congratulate him? Please.

Posted by: Killjoy on February 6, 2008 at 4:09 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you're jumping the gun on predicting the race to turn nasty. It won't turn nasty now. It will, however, turn nasty in the two weeks between Wisconsin and Ohio/Texas.

For those who say the race is a dead-heat, no, it's really not. Clinton dominates among the superdelegates and will continue to do so. So long as the pledged delegates continue to split 50-50, time is on Clinton's side.

Posted by: mdl on February 6, 2008 at 4:46 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see too much silver lining in Tuesday's results for Obama. Yes, he won more states, but Clinton won the big Democratic strongholds. When it comes to the primaries, you are appealing to the base, in addition to independents. The base of the Democratic Party is in California, The Northeast, Illinois and Michigan. That went pretty convincingly to Hillary, and she's going to beat that point into everyone's head over the next several weeks. How much does it matter than Obama won throughout the South? The question is in a general election, can he honestly expect to pick up any of those states? I'm just not certain that it can get any easier for Obama to pick up MORE votes than Clinton going forward. Some of his wins were big, but some were very, very disappointing: particularly Massachusetts and California. So much for the Kennedys and for Zogby polls.

Posted by: Quinn on February 6, 2008 at 5:57 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and if it comes down to Florida and Michigan and somehow their delegates end up in the total vote count, I don't think any candidate is going to listen to the DNC and their precious primary calendar again.

Posted by: Quinn on February 6, 2008 at 6:01 AM | PERMALINK

Obama can beat McCain but lost to Clinton in two border states and at best split the Southwest.
Obama can beat McCain but he gets trounced with women/Hispanics and loses middle class whites.
Obama can beat McCain but he can't defeat Clinton in primary states.
Obama can beat McCain but he currently loses to him in head to head polls in red states. Clinton by the way beats McCain in some of those red states. (survey usa)

The campaign of new politics, the one that is going to sweep in a progressive era, sounds like John Kerry circa January 2004. Pushing the electability issue tears back the curtain of lofty rhetoric to expose just another politician that is about winning more than anything else. Couple this with statements from Obama supporters that they will never vote for Hillary (which Obama alludes to when it suits him) and you do not have hope and unity but fear and extortion.

Now since I am not an Obama partisan and therefore grounded in reality (does not apply to 2003-04 when I was on the kool-aid) I will happily admit Obama has advantages over Clinton as a general election candidate. She also has some strengths in the GE that he does not. I believe Clinton or Obama will handily beat McCain in November. I believe Obama has a chance(20-25%)to pummel the old man that Clinton does not. I also believe that Obama has a greater (15-20%) chance of losing in November. I also believe people should vote for the person they think is the best candidate because electability got us John Kerry.

Vote hope and unity or vote experience and knowledge but do not vote out fear - that is for Republicans. (FWIW - I did not vote for any of the candidates mentioned above and once was a Deaniac)

Posted by: do not vote out of fear on February 6, 2008 at 6:20 AM | PERMALINK

I think Kevin's comments upthread are accurate. There will be no clear-cut Democratic winner before the convention. Unfortunately, that bodes well for Clinton, since she has a better grip on the party apparatus than Obama does. She will probably end up as the Democratic nominee. Which makes the VP slot very interesting....

However, based on the turnout at the Democratic caucuses I went to last night, I think either Obama or Hillary will kick McCain's geriatric ass. People shouldn't forget that Democrats have been the majority political party in this country since FDR. They just have poorer voter turnout than the GOP. Not this year, however! 2008 will be a re-run of 1996 when a Clinton kicked an old man's ass unmercifully.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 6, 2008 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

I think you're right about it becoming a nastier race soon. I just watched their respective Super Tuesday speeches, caught Clinton acknowledging Obama but Obama going out of his way to slam Clinton. It's started.

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

you Clinton supporters really don't get it.

vote for the person they think is the best candidate because electability got us John Kerry.

That's the biggest line of malarkey of all, and the sad truth is, mainstream dems really believe this nonsense. The only people who believed Kerry was electable in 2004 was the dem establishment. I knew as soon as he got the nomination it was over.

Guess what? Clinton is Kerry 2008. She took the wrong position on Iraq, she has said nothing about the executive power grab, domestic wiretapping, etc. Establishment Democratic machine politics as usual.

In short, she represents the democratic party that has infuriated the rest of us-the democratic party that folds without a fight, that caves in to Bush.

I'm starting to believe that dems actually want to lose. Clinton is GOP lite, and if I want that I'll vote GOP.

If it comes to Clinton vs. McCain, I'm voting third party (and I'm a life-long dem).

Posted by: slammin' sammy on February 6, 2008 at 7:15 AM | PERMALINK

What I find surprising is how easy you can tell a partisan: they always know the future, exactly, they have no doubts, and those who disagree with them are simply stupid or deluded. I'm used to this kind of rhetoric from the Republican side, it bothers me quite a lot when it comes from the Democratic side. One thing that I would like to disappear is the question of "electability", which is completely bogus. I don't know, and probably nobody really knows who is "electable" and who is not. I have this feeling that those who pretend they know are simply exposing their preferences... anyway, it's a bogus question, because the point is programs, ideas, capability. Kerry did not lose the 2004 campaign because he was not "electable" He lost because he had a weak, and vague program. If you want to elect someone who is "electable" you may end up with another GWB, I don't think anybody wants it, not even the Republicans, not even that 30% who still like him...

Posted by: noone on February 6, 2008 at 7:19 AM | PERMALINK

I've made some very quick and dirty calculations that I think are instructive. Of the states that held both democratic and republican primaries yesterday, roughly 14 million votes were cast for democrats versus about 9 million for republicans, and in only four of the nineteen states I counted did more republicans vote than democrats. Interesting and certainly encouraging, I think.

Posted by: Bob Haskell on February 6, 2008 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

In all the hysteria of election day and blog insanity, a few words of caution:

Clinton won mostly blue states. Obama won either red states or his home state. McCain won mostly blue states.

So what happens in the Fall? Does Connecticut go with McCain? or does Ohio go blue? Does Obama's win in Idaho mean that this state will switch in November, or that it simply will not vote for Clinton?

With all the enthusiasm I see over on the Democratic side, I see no evidence that the states that gave Bush his two victories are prepared to go blue.

On the contrary, rather than seeing change, I'm seeing more of the same. I could easily see a scenario where the Democratic candidate blows out their Republicans challenger in the popular vote, yet loses the Electoral College in a blow-out.

America may be dissatisfied, but is resistant to change.

And one more thing: young people don't vote. Period. They don't, they don't, they don't.

I don't care what people write on blogs, I don't care what they say on TV. The numbers are the numbers. (Check out the CNN site and see for yourself.)

The blogs on the left have been wrong since day one. It was never going to be Edwards. Now it's Obama's turn to be anointed. But Americans have a nasty habit of doing what they want to do, independent of blogs and pundits (I really see no difference between the wisdom of Tweety or the wisdom of Kos - they are both amateurs who have inflated visions of their importance).

Posted by: Dicksknee on February 6, 2008 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

The only conclusion to be drawn from last night:

FIRE JOHN ZOGBY.

How incompetent is this man? Romney handily winning CA?? Obama up in CA by +10?? A monkey throwing darts would've been more on point. I say we waterboard him.

Posted by: fireZOGBY on February 6, 2008 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

So what does this tell us? Nothing except that this was a really, really close race. The good news: Exciting! The bad news: Contrary to the storyline the talking heads have been feeding us, this hasn't really been a very nasty race. But it might turn into one now. Fasten your seat belts.

I think you're devolving, Kevin.

What is this, stereotypical left-wing blogger stuff?

Expect some satirical comments from me in the future-- "What does this tell us??? Nothing! Gosh! Well at least we are not having disagreements!" I think if there's something the Republicans want to believe we are (empty-headed bimbo liberals) so they can stroke themselves about it and laugh at us, this is it.

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, though, for heading off the propaganda machine with your comment at 2:33 AM.

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

I'm too stupid to understand the distinction... can you please elaborate on the difference between the popular vote and the popular vote of the states that voted? What am I missing...

The popular vote of the states that voted is going to be defined by the size of the entire electorate in those states, not just the Democratic side. Basically, amongst Democrats, Hillary won. If you factor in artificially the other side, namely Republicans and some independents, then you can say that Obama won.

What's certainly true is that a number of the red states that Obama has won, and by large margins, and will probably continue to win, were and will be states from the South, such as, so far, Georgia and Alabama and, earlier on, South Carolina. He did so by winning by great margins the African-American population. But none of these states is going to be in play for Democrats in the general, so who cares?

I would expect that we'll see this result replicated in states such as Virginia, where the African-American population is large, and so Obama will have a great chance of doing very well, but which will never go for him in the general, because he has so limited appeal to working class voters who aren't African-American. Hence, even if he were to win in those states, it would hardly be any evidence that he could carry them.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 6, 2008 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

In the general election, the Democrats aren't going to win the conservative Southern and smaller, more conservative Mountain West states, like Idaho and Utah, that Obama won last night.

His only significant win in the West, so far, is Colorado (New Mexico remains too close to call at this writing), a swing state that, like Arizona (carried by Clinton), Democrats do have a chance of winning and will need to win in November. But, frankly, either of these two candidate would likely do equally well in those two states in the general election, with Clinton maybe having a slight edge over Obama in Arizona, and Obama having an edge, in the state's very affluent conclaves especially, in more affluent Colorado. Both of those states have histories of electing women to statewide office and both have large hispanic populations -- two factors which argue that despite gender concerns, Clinton could perform well.

The too close to call nature of the New Mexico race also indicates that both candidates can make an argument for having appeal in the region, although with Arizona in her pocket and her strong showing with Hispanics nationwide, I'd argue that Clinton has the slight edge.

Kevin, how much do you think the "unelectable" argument against Hillary Clinton is really just fear of or unease with the unknown and unprecedented?

Posted by: mary on February 6, 2008 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

So now NBC is reporting that Obama actually got more delegates last night. If he got more delegates AND won more states, doesn't that give him a good claim on "Winning Super Tuesday" even if it is basically a neck and neck race? I'm not sure how much traction winning California, NY, and Mass gets Hillary if she still didn't win as many delegates or total states. What am I missing?

Posted by: heatherk on February 6, 2008 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Ugh, sorry for my comment at 8:34.

I think I'm just angry at something that doesn't have to do with politics, and I was "spinning my wheels" so to speak over here.

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Tonight marks the end of the Obama surge ...

Posted by: Kevin Drum

Absolutely wrong. HRC was saved by folks who voted weeks ago, many of whom would have switched to Obama.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 6, 2008 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

a swing state that, like Arizona (carried by Clinton), Democrats do have a chance of winning and will need to win in November

I'm going to throw caution to the winds and predict McCain will win Arizona in the general.

Posted by: Lucy on February 6, 2008 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty tired of this Hispanics don't don't Obama crap. He did ok in new mexico and arizona. And if you are going to take the percentage of hispanic vote he got in California as an indication that Hispanics don't like Obama, then blacks must really hate Clinton.

Posted by: vrk on February 6, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

One thing we can pretty fairly conclude, I think: Obama has very little appeal to the so-called Reagan Democrats. In the general, that won't prove to be a good thing.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 6, 2008 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

vrk

I think your prejudice is showing a little if you interpret Clinton's greater strength in the Hispanic community as only explainable by some kind of Hispanic prejudice against or dislike for Obama. I certainly didn't suggest that Hispanics don't like Obama. I believe Clinton is popular in the largely working class Hispanic community for reasons that may be less obvious than the natural, aspirational reasons for Obama's popularity in the black community, but, nonetheless, positive, rather than negative, reasons. One of those reasons, which you will never find discussed in the mainstream media -- which seems to have no other story line other than racial conflict -- may simply be different cultural attitudes about female power, and greater comfort with female leadership. In addition to the fact that Clinton has been an excellent advocate on issues that matter to that community.

I wish Obama supporters would to do a little more self-examination of their own class, race, gender and generational prejudices before implying prejudice in others. An attitude of disrespect for others not like yourself, combined with a holier than thou conviction of your own moral superiority, is not a pretty sight or a recipe for "unity." Neither is it a politically winning attitude.

If Obama's youthful, mostly affluent supporters really want a "new kind of politics" they might start with trying to understand, rather than ceaselessly carping about and condemning, those fellow Democrats whose experience and interests diverge from their own and who see the issues differently than they do.

Posted by: mary on February 6, 2008 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

franklyn0, how did you conclude that Obama has very little appeal to reagan-Democrats? I'm not following something, I think.

Posted by: Bob M on February 6, 2008 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

I think I'm just angry at something that doesn't have to do with politics, and I was "spinning my wheels" so to speak over here.

Well, thank you for displaying your temper tantrum in public, sir. It's always refreshing to tune into the freakshow that you broadcast on a daily basis to see you shaking your fists and holding your breath like that. Found a job yet? Oh, wait. You're not looking for a job. You're looking for an adventure.

The US Air Force would take you in a second with that law degree and put you to work guarding the flight line somewhere overseas, once they figure out how little you actually know of the law.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 6, 2008 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

In what sort of world is "49% v. 48%" "exactly the opposite of "48% v. 49%" instead of "almost exactly the same"?

Posted by: Rich B. on February 6, 2008 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

The US Air Force would take you in a second with that law degree and put you to work guarding the flight line somewhere overseas, once they figure out how little you actually know of the law.
Posted by: Norman Rogers

This from the deranged nitwit who thinks it illegal to call George W. Bush a "bastard"? Pathetic.

Posted by: DJ on February 6, 2008 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Mary. Hispanics seem to be breaking for Clinton because they like Clinton. The Clintons have spent decades reaching out to Hispanic communities across the country. In California large numbers of women broke for Clinton too. I don't think women hate Obama. They really like Hillary.

Both candidates have groups who are drawn to them. Rejoice that we have candidates who are attractive. That is what is so wonderful about this primary.

Did anybody hear Obama's victory speech?

Posted by: corpus juris on February 6, 2008 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

This from the deranged nitwit who thinks it illegal to call George W. Bush a "bastard"? Pathetic.

Well, sir--perform this basic test. Run screaming at him from a crowd sometime, screaming the "b" word and flailing your arms like a maniac and see how long it takes for you to wake up from a long, painful nap.

As for me, it's hilarious watching you idiot liberals fight amongst yourselves. You have two excellent candidates. It's like choosing between a Lexus and a BMW for you right now. And you bitch incessantly about it.

Think about how I must feel--my man, Rudy, is long out of the race and there are no conservatives left. There is McCain, and I won't vote for him. There is Romney, and, sorry, I don't do liberals from Boston. Then there is Huckabee, and I'm sorry, I don't do Hope, Arkansas.

Think about how painful things must be for good Americans like myself. We have no choice but to sit on our hands and watch you win this fall.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 6, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

There is something else I noticed: Obama won -- and by huge margins -- every state tonight that held a caucus. Primaries were a different matter of course, but caucus states, which include a fair amount of variance in demographics and political leanings, all went to Obama.. I don't know why this would be, there's several possible reasons, but its interesting to me. -Mark Kawakami

I think the lack of an absentee ballot effect helped Obama there. But, there is another factor that I didn't see discussed-the time of day the caucuses are held. My elderly mom lives in a caucus state (Kansas) and is a Hillary supporter and she didn't realize that she couldn't go to caucus until 6:30 pm. That is getting close to her bedtime and the weather wasn't looking too good.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 6, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Dammit, people, Norman is a parody.

Ouf.

Posted by: Lucy on February 6, 2008 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

The race in November will be closer than most of you think, regardless of who the Democrats nominate. The race in November will come down to Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, New Mexico, and Florida (the states Bush won in 2004 by the more narrow margins). Clinton could also put Arkansas in play. Either Florida or Ohio alone can clinch it for the Dems since I see no blue states from 2004 turning red.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 6, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

"However, I'd be careful about writing Hillary off. Tonight marks the end of the Obama surge, I think, and from here on out it's trench warfare. Hillary's pretty good at that. If I had to put money on it, I'd still put money on Hillary to pull out a narrow victory when the convention rolls around."

And what evidence do you have of this statement? Hillary got elected to the senate by name association not by skill or ability. She'd like nothing more than to be President due to name recognition. If there's ever a chance the democrats will screw up the most prime election chance ever, just let her be the candidate.

Posted by: Paul on February 6, 2008 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

The race in November will be closer than most of you think, regardless of who the Democrats nominate.

As a Republican (and, apparently, just a parody to people who don't know anything) I wish you were correct but you are not correct.

In fact, I suspect 2008 is the year to fold our hand and let the Democrats run wild. That way, when they are screwing up the country in 2009 as our cities burn from all of the terror attacks, we conservatives can sit back and laugh at their impertinence.

So, go ahead, liberals. Take the brass ring and run with it. Raise taxes, smash this economy, hate people all you want and surrender to our enemies. I'm stocking up on precious metals, batteries, stone age tools, and ammunition.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 6, 2008 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

franklyn0, how did you conclude that Obama has very little appeal to reagan-Democrats? I'm not following something, I think.

The Reagan Democrats were lunch-bucket Democrats (typically in places like Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania) that were swayed to Reagan for whatever reason.

That demographic is, plain as day, Hillary's, not Obama's.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 6, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Yancey Ward: The race in November will be closer than most of you think

Oh, Yancey (and everyone else making predictions), election predictions only serve to make astrology look accurate (with apologies to John Galbraith).

My prediction: somebody will win, or not.

Maybe Ron Paul and Ralph Nader will run together and beat the major parties.

Posted by: alex on February 6, 2008 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Since neither of the faux Dems has a clear edge, let's toss them both and draft Feingold.

Posted by: alex on February 6, 2008 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

vrk: I'm pretty tired of this Hispanics don't don't Obama crap. He did ok in new mexico and arizona. And if you are going to take the percentage of hispanic vote he got in California as an indication that Hispanics don't like Obama, then blacks must really hate Clinton.

I live in northern NM and I canvassed for 4 days in an area I thought might be very pro-Clinton (~84% Hispano). I was finding that the received wisdom about Hispanos and Clinton was not *quite* as strong as has been assumed. It is still there, but I was finding older voters and many women who were supporting Obama.
My guess, after having lived here 4 years, is that personality recognition and social connections play a large role in Hispano support for Clinton, as they do in *any* political race at any level around here! Political affiliation is heavily influenced by who you know rather than by issues. I also suspect that positive Hispano sentiment for Bill Clinton's presidency also bolstered present support for Hillary.

Posted by: Varecia on February 6, 2008 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

About the Reagan-Democrats: That demographic is, plain as day, Hillary's, not Obama's.

OK. Let's just say it isn't day yet where I am. What are you seeing? What are the facts?

Posted by: Bob M on February 6, 2008 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK
I keep hearing Fox News (only watched to see them lose over it Romney's dismal showing) that Clinton won California because of the Hispanic vote.

How do they know this? And do they know this?

They know it through exit polling, and every news outlet from NPR to MSNBC to CNN is reporting it (and not just in California). Clinton did much better last night among Hispanic voters (which are a sizable fraction of the electorate in California) just about everywhere, and more specifically did much better among Hispanic voters whose primary language is Spanish. (I don't recall whether the advantage was smaller or reversed among Hispanic voters whose primary language is English.)

Posted by: cmdicely on February 6, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

"a swing state that, like Arizona (carried by Clinton), Democrats do have a chance of winning and will need to win in November."

I live in Arizona, and it is definitely a red state through and through - even regardless of the fact that McCain is the likely GOP nominee. Dems have no chance at it in any scenario.

Posted by: CatLover on February 6, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

I'm probably in the minority here, but I'm hoping for a tie. The best thing that could happen for me is they both end up at the convention with equal delegate counts, and are forced to run on the same ticket. I don't see either one of them picking a running mate better than the person they are running against right now.

Posted by: DR on February 6, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

I'm probably in the minority here, but I'm hoping for a tie.

Is that because you don't want anyone's feelings to be hurt? That's darling and precious of you.

The fact of the matter is, this country will rally around whoever can drive home the final nail in the coffin. Vanquish the opponent, tip your hat while kicking dirt into the hole, and spin out the wheels getting away from the boneyard. That's how we do it in this country. There are no "ties" when one person must be the absolute, defeated loser in every contest.

I'm guessing you played "soccer" as a child and got participation trophies so that you wouldn't develop a self-loathing complex. No wonder liberals can't get anywhere in life--you're used to "ties" and "participation" and "everyone's a winner" type thinking.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 6, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Obama has garnered a large majority of college educated Democrats. Blue collar Democrats have gone to Hillary. Traditionally Reagan Democrats came from the ranks of blue collar white Democrats.

The ugly and rarely spoken argument for the disparity is that blue collar people are more racially prejudiced than white collar folks. Barack Obama is black so he will never be able to pull blue collar white democrats.

I think that argument is crap. Hillary has pulled well among beer drinking Democrats because she has done exceptionally well with the old time Democratic power structure whose leaders have spent decades organizing among blue collar Democrats. If Obama wins the primaries Clinton supporters will jump on board and Obama will win the traditional blue collar Democrats. White working class Democrats are just as hungry for the white house as black working class Democrats.

Posted by: corpus juris on February 6, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

I caucused in Denver last night. Two precincts filled the gym, where I was, while another group packed the cafeteria. We will send 5 Obama delegates to the county convention and 3 for Hillary, reflecting IIRC about 58 votes for BHO and 25+ for Hillary.

We're just a bunch of benighted liberals in this part of Denver--normally difficult to differentiate--but the BHO and HRC voters were different. As a general matter, Obama had the young unmarrieds (students from a local university), ethnics, and the 30-something parents with young children and two labradors. Obama's voters comprised in addition a lot of boomer women and men. Also in the mix was an elderly Hungarian aristocrat who fled his country (with a wife and three daughters) in 1956. He looks like a model from the Ralph Lauren catalog.

HRC had the elderly women and displaced boomer New Yorkers.

As for Kevin's post, I cannot fathom his assertion that the Obama surge is over for reasons enumerated by Roy, Augustus, and econobuzz.

I'll repost Roy's comment below, it was so good:

"I think the reality is the opposite of what Kevin has described and is quite simple: McCain will be the GOP nominee. Only Obama can defeat him. Hillary won't have a chance."

"--Obama has shown he appeals to voters across all regions of the country, not just traditional democratic strongholds, which is where Clinton won on Super Tuesday."

"--Obama appeals to independents, and will make a strong case for their votes. If Clinton is the nominee, they will vote for McCain, full stop."

"--many within the democratic party will not vote democratic if Hillary is the nominee. I have not heard anyone say they will not vote democratic if Obama is the nominee."

"So my call is this: while Hillary would defeat any GOP candidate not named McCain, only Obama has a chance to defeat McCain. The way things look now, Kevin, and every other Clinton supporter, have signed up with another loser."

Posted by: paxr55 on February 6, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Obama has garnered a large majority of college educated Democrats. Blue collar Democrats have gone to Hillary.

Corpus Juris, I think the disparity is because of what you're comparing the blue collar Dems against-- namely, college educated Democrats. It's more of the difference between the common- sense people who really know how to play politics, and the idealistic, academic thinkers who know what results they'd like to see from politics, but really almost don't even think about how to get there, much less whether they can attain their goals or not. It's the heady, Ralph Nader crowd that is more behind Obama (the people who mistakenly think they are the heart of the Democratic party) and it's the real heart of the Democratic party that is behind Clinton. The people who went for Clinton are just the ones who are realistic enough to recognize something like the value of experience.

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

corpus juris: The ugly and rarely spoken argument for the disparity is that blue collar people are more racially prejudiced than white collar folks.

Do you have evidence for the assertion that "blue collar people are more racially prejudiced than white collar folks" or is it just the usual assumption?

Moreover, what counts is whether people are actually prejudiced, as opposed to willing to admit (directly or indirectly) that they're prejudiced - the latter possibly being strongly influenced by one's demographic category.

Posted by: alex on February 6, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Well put, Norman. Exactly.

(The fact of the matter is, this country will rally around whoever can drive home the final nail in the coffin. Vanquish the opponent, tip your hat while kicking dirt into the hole, and spin out the wheels getting away from the boneyard. That's how we do it in this country. There are no "ties" when one person must be the absolute, defeated loser in every contest.)

Victors vanquish. With their victor's laurels, they earn the right to choose the running mate they want. I can't imagine Obama would be well-served by a Clinton vice presidency.

Posted by: paxr55 on February 6, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

"Hillary got elected to the senate by name association not by skill or ability. She'd like nothing more than to be President due to name recognition. If there's ever a chance the democrats will screw up the most prime election chance ever, just let her be the candidate."

I take it you support Obama's "new kind of politics" and this is an example? You want to end the vituperative style of politics? Charity begins at home. Obama himself has more class than this, maybe you should take your cue from him.

Paris Hilton has lots of name recognition, but I don't see her being elected president...

Posted by: Doctor Jay on February 6, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

slammin' sammy:" In short, [Clinton] represents the democratic party that has infuriated the rest of us-the democratic party that folds without a fight, that caves in to Bush....If it comes to Clinton vs. McCain, I'm voting third party (and I'm a life-long dem).

I totally agree and I've heard a number of others make this same comment. But honestly, though on occasion I insist I'll do the same, I can't imagine myself actually voting for a third party come November. But, oh, the temptation, the aggravation...!

I think a lot of Clinton's support right now comes from people who are voting for the name. The gender helps with some constituencies. She feels like a safer choice; She's competent and has good positions on the economy & healthcare. Your argument, about the Democrats that fold without a fight (or my sticking points, the legacy/polarizing/Iraq ones) is more subtle, more nuanced. These arguments may seem like luxuries for people who are struggling to make ends meet and desperate for healthcare.

But ultimately, I think Clinton is playing a losing game. She may yet win the nomination, but it is clear that the country is moving away from her. Obama's emergence is extraordinary. If Clinton wins in November, it could be another long four years, but at least we'd moving in the right direction again.

Posted by: PTate in MN on February 6, 2008 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

alex, I have no evidence for it because I have never seen any evidence of it and i don't believe it to be true. As I said in my post, I think the assumption is total crap. Please read the entire comment before responding.

Posted by: corus juris on February 6, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

It's the heady, Ralph Nader crowd that is more behind Obama (the people who mistakenly think they are the heart of the Democratic party) and it's the real heart of the Democratic party that is behind Clinton.

The Ralph Nader wing of the Democratic Party constitutes about three percent, son. Three percent.

If THAT was what was driving Obama, he'd have given his concession speech before Joe Biden. Could you be any more stupid?

Somewhere, a village idiot is remarking to no one in particular that at least he's not as stupid as that Swan fellow posting on the Washington Monthly blog.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 6, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

The thing that concerns me about Obama versus McCain is the fact that GWB will still be in the White House. Their differences on Iraq will be at the forefront, and the White House will be able to do lots of stuff to escalate the perceived terrorist threat level. In fact, expect them to do so.

Obama has not shown me the ability to deal with an attack effectively, in person. Nor has he shown the ability, in person, to go on the offensive.

So, I'm worried that McCain will be able to make more out of Iraq versus Obama than he can versus Hillary, who can be expected to slap him back immediately if he starts pushing the "you're not safe" bullshit.

I hope this isn't the case, but I fear that Obama would be another Kerry, "remaining above the fray". Which would be colossally stupid, in my opinion. This is the difference that I see between them that is the deciding factor for me.

By the way, I'd like to see Hillary approach Iraq the way that Ahnold approached the CA budget. He promised "action, action, action!!!" and made no specific promises. People don't want to see a rehash of the past, they are sick of it, they want to know what you're going to do to make things better. John McCain's answer viz. Iraq will be
"nothing, we're in the best of all possible worlds."

Hillary needs to insinuate that she can bring in lots of allies (because our allies hate GWB so much.) which will ease the burden on our troops. Keeping the peace in Iraq shouldn't be just our job, most of the west has an interest in peace and stability there.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on February 6, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

But ultimately, I think Clinton is playing a losing game. She may yet win the nomination, but it is clear that the country is moving away from her. Obama's emergence is extraordinary. If Clinton wins in November, it could be another long four years, but at least we'd moving in the right direction again.

Are you out of your ever-loving mind? She won California, New York and New Jersey. If the country were moving away from her, would three states with a combined population of about 65 million people have gone for her? These are the keys to winning the Presidency. All she has to do is pluck one state out of the southern strategy of my party and she wins, handily. That could be Florida, it could be Virginia, it could be any of a number of states.

If the country were moving away from her, she would have been beaten everywhere. The opposite is true--the country is moving towards her in the areas where the electoral college counts.

I laugh at the ignorance of liberals. You really don't know how good you have it this year. You really don't. And as much as I would love to fulfill this "parody" role and claim the GOP is going to win this fall, no thanks. We are not going to win because we aren't going to nominate a conservative. That's the honest truth.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

corus juris: I have no evidence for it because I have never seen any evidence of it and i don't believe it to be true.

My apologies for jumping to conclusions. However, in all fairness, stating that there is an argument for something doesn't say whether or not you agree with it. Nevertheless it was an unwarranted assumption on my part.

Posted by: alex on February 6, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

We are not going to win because we aren't going to nominate a conservative. That's the honest truth.

Come on, Norm. The electorate is moving toward the centre. Deal with it. You can do it. I am surprised that you of all people are locked into this "conservative" saviour lament. Think outside the box you have trapped yourself inside.

Posted by: Bob M on February 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

PTate in MN: I think a lot of Clinton's support right now comes from people who are voting for the name.

And I think that a lot of Obama's support comes from people who are impressed by pretty speeches.

Neither candidate is all that impressive. Mixed or thin records, faux Democrats at best, and the progressive items in their planks mostly came from Edwards pressuring them into it. Better than the R's? Of course, but that's the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Draft Feingold!

Posted by: alex on February 6, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

alex

Sadly the unwarranted unspoken assumption is the unwarranted, unspoken assumption behind the drivel being pushed by a lot of pundits who claim working class whites "hate" or "won't vote for" Obama. Give Tweedy a listen tonight. Last night either he or Fineman were pushing the fact that Obama does well with college educated Democrats and not so well with blue collar Democrats and Hispanics without explaining that Hillary and Bill have close ties with members of the Democratic establishment who have spent their lives organizing and working for "beer drinking" blacks, whites and Hispanics.

In my county, Jackson County, Missouri, the Democratic party isn't like a monolith. Instead it is a bunch of clubs each with its local politicians, power brokers and activists. Each of those local politicians, power brokers and activists have spent their lives developing relationships with their constituents most of whom are blue collar. The Clintons have spent 20 years developing relationships with the people who have influence with those local politicians, power brokers and activists.

One of the weakness of the Democratic party is that it has not done a very good job organizing white collar Democrats. That is part of the problem Howard Dean's 50 state strategy is supposed to address.

Posted by: corpus juris on February 6, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

alex: "And I think that a lot of Obama's support comes from people who are impressed by pretty speeches....Draft Feingold!"

I wouldn't underestimate the power of Obama's emotional appeals. "Pretty speeches" discounts the motivating power of inspiration and hope.

But, sigh, I was a Edwards supporter. sniff. And I miss him. He was keeping Obama and Clinton honest. ...and Feingold! I love Feingold. He'd be a great VP choice for either O or C.

Posted by: PTate in MN on February 6, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers,
Don't be an ass. If you had read past the first line, you would see that I want a tie because I think that is the only way we will get an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket.

Posted by: DR on February 6, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

If you had read past the first line, you would see that I want a tie

...because no one kept score when you played soccer?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 6, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

"He did ok in new mexico and arizona."

As was pointed out, but bears repeating, he got creamed among Hispanics in both states. Hispanics vote Democratic, but they don't have the strong association with Democrats that blacks do. It's quite possible they'll pick a white moderate Republican (on immigration) over a black Democrat.

Obama openly pandered to Hispanics on the driver's license issue, and still lost. (Of course, Hispanic citizens are split on that issue anyway.)

As I mentioned above, Asians also went hugely for Clinton and have no traditional ties to the Democrat party.

But it's all moot, hopefully.

Posted by: Cal on February 6, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK
…Hillary got elected to the senate by name association not by skill or ability…..Paul at 10:15 AM
That is completely untrue. She worked the upper New York State area and worked it hard. She won that Republican electorate handily in her reelection.
I think a lot of Clinton's support right now comes from people who are voting for the name….Clinton is playing a losing game…..PTate in MN at 11:32 AM
Inasmuch as you have intimated that you will vote for McCain instead of a female Democratic candidate, your assessments are mainly emotional, not empirical. There is a record and there are policy differences that are important to voters, especially working voters who are taking it in the neck from the Bush administration. To dismiss these issues with such airy disdain is to miss the importance of policy issues.
…..I wouldn't underestimate the power of Obama's emotional appeals,,,,….. PTate in MN at 12:10 PM
Emotional appeals may excite to you, but leave many cold. It's not hope that is called for but an reversal and end of the Bush era. He's good at generating a mob excitement and appealing to some segments of the Democratic Party, but there's little of substance and his attacks have been outright dishonest. Posted by: Mike on February 6, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,
Fine. Be an ass. Maybe you can beat me in Karate, or whatever sport you're a black belt in, but I guarantee you I can beat you in Soccer.

Posted by: DR on February 6, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Kev, it's going to get *very* nasty.

What yesterday showed is that the race-baiting by HRC works, but in an different than expected way.

In the South (ie, the former Confederacy), Obama won the states where the primaries are dominated by blacks (the deep south), and HRC won the states that are dominated by whites (the border states). However, outside the South, Obama won the states dominated by *whites*, but lost in the states with significant non-white minority populations, who voted overwhelmingly against him. Eg, he didn't get a majority of Hispanic votes anywhere except his home state of IL, and even there it was razor thin (52%).

As long as HRC can keep the attention on Obama's race, not so much with whites as with the Hispanic and Asian American communities, she should be able to continue keeping apace with Obama, with the establishment-preferring superdels putting her over the top.

Posted by: Disputo on February 6, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'LL SAY IT...I HAVE ALREADY PLANNED TO VOTE FOR McCAIN BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE OBAMA WILL BE THE CANDIDATE...I HAVE NEVER VOTED REPUBLICAN, BUT I WILL OVER THIS ONE. ACTUALLY, IF I WERE HILLARY I WOULD QUIT NOW, GO BACK TO MY JOB, SHE HAS MONEY NOW, ENJOY MYSELF AND SMILE IF BO OR McCAIN GET IN BECAUSE WITHIN A YEAR OR POSSIBLY 18 MONTHS SHE CAN SMILE AND WATCH THE "NOTHING" THIS WILL TURN OUT TO BE. ALL SHOW, ABSOLUTELY NO GO!!! BUT, HEY, HE HAS A "DREAM" AND HE BRINGS "HOPE"....OKAY SO WAIT UNTIL THAT GETS THE JOB DONE! WE CAN ALL SIT AROUND AND "HOPE"!!!

Posted by: KJ on February 7, 2008 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK
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