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  • « Spitzer psychobabble | Main | 'Gerard' Ferraro v. 'Barackla' Obama »

    March 12, 2008

    Obamomentum returns

    Posted by: Chris

    UPDATES: At the end of the post.

    Just one week after Hillary Clinton claimed to have recaptured the Democratic primary momentum with big wins in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island, the reality of Barack Obama's steady grind to the nomination is again sinking in:

    • The final tallies from Texas still aren't in, but CNN has not predicted that Obama actually won five more pledged delegates there than Clinton based on the caucuses and the weighted primary system. Remember the warnings from Bill Clinton and James Carville that Hillary had to win both Ohio and Texas to stay viable? Well, she didn't.
    • Obama's lopsided, 24-point victory in Mississippi primary yesterday, following the Wyoming caucuses on Sunday, means he has won 15 out of 17 contests since Super Duper Tuesday. Clinton can only claim Ohio and tiny Rhode Island.
    • The 61-39% margin in Mississippi means Obama likely netted 7 delegates and 2 more in Wyoming, matching the 9 delegates from Clinton's "huge" Ohio win.
    • While Geraldine Ferraro continues digging an early grave by claiming she's a victim (?!) of racism, the reality is that Clinton has benefited in both Ohio and Mississippi from working class whites who won't back a black man for president, along with Republicans voting for her in open primaries (like Ohio and MIssissippi) because (as Rush has urged) she is the easier opponent for McCain.

    Andrew Sullivan amplifies on my last point above with this shocker: If Republicans hadn't voted in the Democratic primary (now that theirs is decided), Obama would have won by 40 points -- 68 to 28 -- instead of 24 -- 61 to 37. Almost no one thinks these are independent-leaning Republicans who actually prefer Clinton over Obama. They are Limbaugh Ditto Heads pushing the easier general election foe -- or, more charitably to Clinton, just prolonging the bitter Democratic primary -- along with some white conservatives who no doubt can't fathom a black man in the White House.

    Check out this graphic from the Jed Report:


    A few more nuggets from the Jed Report:

    • 24% of Clinton's voters were Republican
    • 24% of Clinton's voters had strongly favorable opinions about John McCain
    • 31% of Clinton's voters thought she was NOT honest and trustworthy

    These are not independent-leaning Republicans who prefer Clinton over Obama. These are conservatives out to "game" the Democratic Primary.

    I would also add this: Assuming the one-quarter of Clinton's voters who were Republican were also white -- a very safe assumption -- then the "racial divide" was not nearly so dramatic in Mississippi among those actually voting for the candidate of their choice, rather than "gaming" the primary.

    Now math isn't necessarily my strong point, but if you take away those 24% of Clinton votes in Mississippi away from her, the racial divide shrinks considerably. Instead of winning the white vote by a whopping 70-26, Hillary wins it by 63-37. That 37% of the white vote for Obama is better than he performed in South Carolina (24%), Alabama (25%), Tennessee (26%) and Louisiana (30%), though less than in Georgia (43%).

    Some of those white Republicans who voted for Clinton in Mississippi may well have been legitimate supporters, but still the overall point holds that the racial divide was greatly exacerbated by the white GOP Ditto Heads "gaming" the vote.



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