Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hillary's avalanche: Momentum not worth mentioning

With the question of how Florida and Michigan delegates will be placed (if at all) effectively Hillary's last stand, the Senator is (finally) hinting at how she's better able to attract white support than Obama is:
"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."
Pointing out that modestly educated, working-class whites are a foundational pillar of support is enough to make most whiterpeople vomit. But from the beginning of March onward, Hillary's domination of the white vote has grown increasingly pronounced.

Two-thirds of the voters in the states that have held Democratic contests from March 4th to today (Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wyoming*, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and North Carolina) have been white. Hillary has garnered 61% (4.4 million) of these voters to Obama's 39% (2.8 million). She failed to get a majority only in the two smallest of those states, Vermont and Wyoming.

She's also headed for an easy win in blue-collar, white West Virginia today.

Granted, it is improper for a white candidate to harp on 'momentum' among white voters! But that Hillary is beating Obama (who represent more than three-fourths of the electorate) by a wider margin among white voters than Bush beat Kerry by (58%-41%) is something she and her surrogates would be crazy not to point out. That they've mostly avoided the racial angle, when it has been absolutely essential to Obama's success, is more startling than her bland truism excerpted above.

* Since Wyoming held caucuses, no exit polling data from the state are available. To estimate, I compared the number of voters in Vermont (the total populations of the two states are similar) who supported Kerry in '04 with the number of voters who supported him in Wyoming, then extrapolated an estimated turnout for Wyoming's Democratic caucus based on the turnout for Vermont's primary (thus overestimating Wyoming's caucus numbers, as caucuses bring out fewer people than primaries do). I assumed Wyoming's racial/ethnic mix in the caucus mirrored the state's demographic profile on the whole. Both of these assumptions inflate the total white support Obama netted in the state relative to Hillary.


Sleep said...

Clinton wins 67-26. Not much chance Obama will take WV in November. But hey, so what? It's only worth 5 electoral votes anyway. He'll make it up by winning the hippie vote in Vermont and Maine. McCain has no chance unless something goes dreadfully wrong for Obama between now and November.



Audacious Epigone said...


You think so? The GOP indicators all look really bad in attention to retirements and more Republicans coming up for reelection than Democrats in the Senate, and even though "Congressional approval" at its lowest levels ever, Republicans still seem to be bearing the brunt of public frustration. This interesting analysis suggests what is intuitive--McCain is going to give Obama more of a run for his money than he'd be able to give to Hillary.

Sleep said...

That guy obviously put a lot more work into his maps than I put into mine, but I still feel safe pointing out what I think is a flaw in his methodology: he's putting too much faith in the current poll numbers, which are subject to the effects of the Obama/Hillary scuffle, which depresses Democratic numbers and makes McCain's scenario look much better.

It's a good idea to look at how a state has voted in past elections. Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are EXTREMELY unlikely to go red this year because they havent in a very long time. I wouldnt really expect ANY state that was blue in 2004 to be red this year. In fact, I was deliberately generous towards McCain on my map. Most of the grey states on my map are probably going to go blue, and I think that even Florida is anyone's guess once the resentment over the botched primary dies down. My map assumes Obama will be the nominee, of course, since it's pretty much decided now.

Sleep said...

Also I'd like to point out that official polls over the past couple of weeks from the same sources used on 270towin.com have even predicted Washington, Oregon, and MASSACHUSETTS to be swing states this November. But theyve been cancelled out by other polls.

Audacious Epigone said...

Heh, and that 270 link is also showing Connecticut as a swing state. I suppose it's good not to be overly presumptive...