Wednesday, February 06, 2008

My Take on Super Tuesday














Nine hours. That's how long I sat in front of MSNBC last night. From 5pm to 2am. And I loved every minute of it.

THE DEMOCRATS:

The fact that Obama and Clinton are virtually tied after Super Tuesday is extraordinary. Sure, she held him off, especially in the big states like New York and California, but you have to give the momentum to him. She seems to have plateaued, while he seems to truly be surging. He continues to pick up voters while she seems barely able to hold on to the ones she already has. While a tie for all intents and purposes, Clinton's victories last night may be among her last. People are falling in love with the Obama narrative and showing up at his rallies in the tens of thousands.

Clinton gets more delegates and Obama more states. But Clinton's delegate lead is overwhelmingly with her super-delegates and if last night is any indication, the caucuses at the end of this week will go to Obama and the majority of the primaries next Tuesday may as well. That means that in just a week, Obama may not only turn his statistical dead heat into a numerical tie, he may inch ahead on all fronts. To say nothing of a week of press that reports on Obama win after Obama win. The calendar favors Obama.

Obama certainly seems poised to win the war of financial attrition as well. He is poised to win as much money this month as he did last month, something on the order of 30 million dollars, outspending Clinton's political machine 3 to 1.

The exit polling data was fascinating. While women still favor Clinton, it’s not by much any more. Even more fascinating, younger women skew to Obama while older women skew to Clinton—and this is shaping up to be a wildly energized youth vote. White men, especially younger men, are sliding Obama’s way, and African Americans dominated for Obama by a margin of 8 to 2. Clinton surely held off Obama in several western states, especially California, thanks to the Latino vote, but the Latino heavy states, excluding Texas, have concluded their primaries and that firewall may have had its day. Interestingly, Colorado is Latino rich and it went to Obama. As the time of this writing, New Mexico is too close to call, with a slight Obama edge. So Clinton’s Latino mandate is hardly overwhelming. A final interesting exit poll tidbit: Democrats in almost every state polled reported a college education or better. It used to be that Democrats were primarily blue collar. Now that seems to be flipping toward a Republican mantle. The Democrats, who are coming out in record numbers, have the intelligencia numbers on their side. Take it for what you will.

This could go all the way to the convention floor in Denver. Extraordinary.


THE REPUBLICANS:

McCain pulled ahead. That I expected. And I assumed Huckabee would do well in the South, but not as well as he did. He didn't siphon votes away from Romney, so much as trounce Romney at his own game. Romney spent all his energy battling McCain when it was Huckabee he should have been worried about. It was nearly a two person race last night and Romney was almost nowhere to be seen until the end. He will certainly stick around for a while, but I feel he is already done. It is just a matter of time now. The math is not going his way.

McCain's problem is that he won the East Coast corridor, which looked good last night, but is ultimately a hollow victory. Those states, in a general election, will almost certainly go to a Democrat. I am not saying that Huckabee can beat either Obama or Clinton, but at least he solidly won states last night that he has a real shot of keeping come the general election.

The very thing that has made McCain appealing to so many over the years, his maverick status, is now coming back to bite him with ultra-conservative voters. From Rush Limbaugh to James Dobson, each is outspoken in their distaste for McCain. Odd especially because McCain has one of the more conservative records, by the books, in the Senate: Pro Life, Pro Gun, Pro War. If the Republicans continue like this, stubborn to the end in their unwavering desire for a more conservative ideologue, they will simply be handing the vote to the Democrats come November.

2 Comments:

Blogger jesse adventure said...

Brandon, I love the blog already. Its a great addition to your site with movie reviews, which I also enjoy. Please keep me posted as to when you and Steph with be back in the city, I would love to meet up if we can. Also, can you take me off the email list for this blog?? I am not sure how that works but will be checking it regularly and prefer not to have the extra email traffic. Alright man, I hope all is well

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Washington Post exit polling data (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/2008-presidential-candidates/primaries/exit-polls/), which covers 11 Super Tuesday states, fewer than half of the Democratic voters had college degrees in 6 states, while fewer than half of the Republican voters had college degrees in 4 states (with 2 states at 50-50%). If anything, these numbers show the opposite of what you claim about the relative educational levels of each party. But the truth is, the less educated that people are, the more likely they are to vote Democratic -- until, that is, they go on to graduate school, at which point they are MORE likely to vote Democratic, far more so. So as one gets more educated, one generally becomes more conservative, until one takes up more permanent residence in the Ivory Tower, at which point one generally becomes much more liberal. So liberals are a coalition of the uneducated and the very highly educated. Perhaps these two groups share a similar degree of enlightenment, or perhaps they share a similar degree of naivete. It's hard to say. A couple of other things that are clear is that the Yuppie Democrats like Obama, while the blue-collar ones like Clinton. So one could say that those with very little education like Clinton (welfare state?), those with moderate levels of education like the Republicans, and those who have multiple degrees like Obama (utopian idealism?). Also, Obama does quite well with voters who aren't religious. (I guess I've already essentially said that in other words.) I will not speculate as to whether this means these Obama supporters are enlightened free-thinkers, unholy nihilists, or people in desperate need of something (the cult of Obama?) to which to belong.

Jeff

5:35 PM  

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