News from the Votemaster
Hillary Clinton won the Pennsylvania primary by about 9.2%. Here is the map of the results by county. More details can be found at the NY Times.
Obama did well around Philadelphia, including Dauphin, Lancaster, Chester, and Philadelphia counties, winning by 10% in most of them. He won by 20% in Centre county, where Penn State University is located and eked out a narrow victory in neighboring Union county. The rest of the state was Hillaryland, where she rolled up big victories. In Lackawanna county in the northeast, for example, she won by an astounding 48%. She even won Allegheny county (Pittsburgh) by 8%, an area Obama had hoped to win. All in all, the voting pattern was similar to Ohio.
Here is what the exit polls had to show. Among men it was Obama 53% to 46% but among women it was the reverse, Clinton by 56% to 44%. However, breaking that down by race gives a different picture. She won white men 53% to 46% and white women 64% to 36%. Obama won black men 96% to 4% and black women 89% to 11%. We've seen that before only never so starkly. Black women identify enormously by race and hardly at all by gender. By income we again see the usual pattern, with Clinton winning by about 10% in households making under $75,000 a year and Obama winning those making $150,000. Also following the usual pattern: among high school graduates, Clinton won by 28% while Obama won the people who have done postgraduate study by 4%. Clinton won among Protestants, Catholics, and Jews. Obama won voters under 44 and Clinton won voters 45 and older.
These demographics have held for pretty much all the big industrial states in the rust belt all year.
In short, the Democratic party is deeply divided and that division is likely to continue until at least June 3. There are very clear demographic groups supporting each candidate and elections seem to turn on which candidate's group is larger in a given state. In North Carolina, Obama is likely to win due to the presence of many black voters, who go overwhelmingly for Obama. Clinton is likely to abandon North Carolina and concentrate entirely on Indiana, which also votes May 6. A clear Obama victory there could knock her out, but the state is a mixture of rural and rust belt, like Ohio and Pennsylvania, so she has a good chance there.
Can she still win? It's going to be tough, but not impossible. She closed the gap in the popular vote by 216,000 votes, but Obama still leads by 600,000 votes in total and that is not likely to change very much. Some of the superdelegates have stated that they think the nomination should go to the candidate who got the most votes nationally and that is and will continue to be Obama. There is virtually no chance she can catch up in pledged delegates, so she has to convince the superdelegates that she is more electable. But he has been picking up a few of them every week since Feb. 5 and there is no reason to think that will change now. In short, unless something very unexpected happens--such as a major Obama gaffe--on June 4 he will probably be ahead in pledged delegates, popular vote, and states won and the superdelegates are unlikely to overturn the clear will of the people.
A lot has been written about how much damage the primaries are doing to the Democrats. It is a bit premature to say that. The losing side in every bitter primary always threatens to vote for the other party in November, but it's all bluff. Are Clinton's supporters really going to vote for a guy who has promised to have Roe. vs. Wade overturned and who opposes practically everything she has been fighting for? Don't bet on it. Of course both candidates negatives have gone up due to the mud being thrown, but this is small potatoes compared to what the Republican 527s will be dishing out shortly. Think of this campaign as the grapefruit league. The season starts in September.
The Democratic primary in Pennsylvania wasn't the only election yesterday. In northern Mississippi, voters went to the polls to elect a new congressman in MS-01, the seat vacated by Roger Wicker who was appointed to fill Trent Lott's seat in the Senate. MS-01 is an R+10 district the Republicans have held for a decade, so it should have been a cakewalk. Only it wasn't. Despite the NRCC pouring $300,000 into the race, Democrat Travis Childers got 49.6% of the vote to Republican Greg Davis' 46.3%. Travis fell 410 votes under 50% so there will be a runoff May 13. Nobody thought the NRCC was going to pour money into such a strong Republican district and then lose. Undoubtedly both the DCCC and NRCC are going to be spending like drunken sailors for the next three weeks. More here.
Here is a new poll of North Carolina. We also have new head-to-head polls in New York, showing either Democrat beating McCain there.
Here are the delegate totals as of 11 A.M. EST. They may change during the day as more results come in. As expected though, Obama's lead in delegates has hardly been dented. The seven news organizations report that Clinton picked up 14, 7, 14, 16, 12, 13, and 7 delegates respectively in the past 24 hours (including superdelegate Gov. Brad Henry (D-OK) who announced for Obama). The mean of these numbers is a net gain of 12 delegates. On May 6, North Carolina will choose most of its 134 delegates and Indiana will choose most of its 85 delegates. It is a given at this point, that Obama will win a sweeping victory in North Carolina and since it is larger than Indiana, even a landslide for Clinton there will result in Obama having probably something like a 130-150 delegate lead on May 7. After that there just aren't enough states left for Clinton to catch up in the pledged delegates. It's going to be up to the superdelegates.
Needed to win: Democrats 2024, Republicans 1191.
Here is another source for delegate totals.
-- The Votemaster