It looks like anti-war candidates Ron Paul and Barack Obama are getting the most campaign contributions from members of the military. I’m not sure exactly what that proves at the end of the day, but certainly it’s a reminder that “the troops” are hardly marching in lockstep behind the Bush/McCain perpetual war agenda.
Given that the delegates are allocated by congressional district, wouldn’t it be nice if some of CNN’s maps actually broke the results down on a district-by-district basis? Instead I’ve been watching analysis of an irrelevant county-by-county breakdown.
Based on the exit polls in California it seems we could be looking at the very unusual situation of Obama winning white voters and black voters and nonetheless losing the state thanks to Hillary Clinton’s large margins among Latinos and Asians. That’s kind of an “only in California” dynamic (New Mexico and Hawaii also have unusual ethnic makeups that make something like this possible, but almost no black people live in those states) but it’s a very large state and, more to the point, a signpost of how things are changing in America. Time was winning whites and winning blacks was by definition the same thing as winning.
I’m a bit surprised as to the source of Barack Obama’s strength in rural states like North Dakota and Kansas. These would seem to be places where the demographics run heavily in Clinton’s favor — older, whiter, less educated populations. Obama should be counting on big cities with plenty of black people and young hipsters. North Dakota and Kansas are basically the reverse. Now, these are states the Clinton campaign didn’t invest many resources in, but we know Obama did very well in the rural areas of Nevada as well. Since these are kinds of places where relatively few people, and especially few Democrats, live we don’t hear much about them. As a result, we’re left a bit in the dark. There’s a clear pattern, but it doesn’t fit with our larger pattern.
She’s not a brilliant orator, but in her better moments she has a way of making it work. Like tonight, she observes “politics isn’t a game, it’s about your lives and your problems.” Then she goes off onto a whole list of kinds of people with kinds of problems that she’s prepared to solve. In that context, she turns her very lack of rhetorical flourish into a kind of signifier of seriousness. She’s speaking plainly and directly — telling you what she wants to do for you if she wins — and asking you to support her for clear-cut, concrete reasons. You don’t vote for her because you want to hear from her at greater length, you vote for her because you want to see action.
I believe I’ve noted before that I like Mitt Romney. Like not just in a typical liberal “I want our guy to run against the Mormon” kind of way. I like him! I think he’d be a better president than John McCain. I voted for him in Massachusetts in 2002. And right now I think he’s delivering a pretty damn good speech. Education policy expert Sara Mead says “this isn’t a winning message for him” — too negative — but it taps into my anti-Beltway rage (anti-Beltway rage only gets worse when you move all the way into the District of Columbia and realize that the country is run by jerks who ride the Orange Line).
That said, I couldn’t really get a handle on the feistiness of it. It’s hard for me to see any way that he’s not dead in the water. Given the number of delegates McCain’s been able to wrack up in big winner-take-all states, he seems to me to have a nearly insurmountable lead.
On the Democratic side, everything seems to be basically playing out as expected. Since “as expected” involved Clinton winning bigger states than the ones Obama would win, she ought to emerge with a lead in delegates. But Obama seems to have poached Connecticut from her column and held it close in New Jersey, so the delegate count ought to remain well within reach unless Clinton pulls off some kind of blowout in California.
Not that Mike Huckabee is going to be the Republican nominee, but he’s put on an impressive showing tonight. His resiliency really seems to me to underscore how moribund orthodox conservatism is at the moment. On the one hand, John McCain is apparently going to win the nomination notwithstanding the fact that he’s loathed by a significant swathe of conservative elites. And then on the other hand, Huckabee who’s loathed by an even wider swathe of conservative elites keeps hanging around. He doesn’t have the money or the policy substance necessary to break out of his niche, but his constituency — an important part of the GOP base — loves him and doesn’t care what anyone says about it.
Looks like a large win for Obama, as one would predict from the demographics.
Clinton wins. It seems to me, though, that this state was too close to produce a substantial delegate lead and much the same will be true no matter who wins in Connecticut. The networks’ delegate math is, however, significantly lagging behind their ability to call the states. That said, the mere fact of the lag seems to me to be hurting Obama at this point since the states as such get “called” with great fanfare. It may take us until sometime tomorrow to actually piece together what happened with the delegates.