Democratic nomination Charlie Foxtrot
Wednesday, March 05, 2008 | Author: Mad Typist
I've been thinking a lot about the primary results from last night, where Hillary carried both Ohio and Texas, two states that were must-win for her. As a result, it looks like she's in this for the long haul. Obama and Clinton will continue to spar and waste money on primaries, while John McCain gathers the forces of evil (a.k.a Republicans) around him and hordes his money for the general election season.

Some key things to consider:

1) The Democratic turnout has been gargantuan compared to the Republican turnout.
You can spin this one a couple of ways. One, you can say that the Democrats are more enthusiastic and will carry this into the general election. However, you can counter that since McCain is the presumptive nominee, there's not a lot of reasons for Republicans to mobilize themselves for the primary/caucus. On the other hand, you could say that the low turnout is partially due to the Republicans' general dissatisfaction with their nominees. Countering that point however, is the fact that as much as Bubba Rightwinger hates McCain, he's still never ever going to swing his vote to a black man or woman, especially a Democratic one. So, really, what we're hoping for is that the Republicans are genuinely tired of their candidates and will stay home on election day.

2) Despite winning Texas and Ohio, due to the distribution of delegates, Clinton only received a minimal net gain.
This means that Obama is pretty much just as far in front as he was before Tuesday's results. Meanwhile, there's no sign that the superdelegates' rush to endorse Obama is slowing at all. And even though Obama lost in Texas, you can spin it to say that he still made huge gains by simply narrowing the once double-digit lead she held on him. I read that to say that Clinton support is still bleeding slowly away with the voters. On the other hand, it is close enough to say that Clinton has a legitimate claim to the nomination.

3) Clinton is un-killable.
Just when you think she's out, she rises like the phoenix from the ashes and pulls out a win when she has to. Obama, for all his hype, is still a bit untested. The Clintons' famous resiliency was on full display yesterday. She can argue that despite all predictions of her demise, she's survived, so there's no reason to think that she wouldn't be able to do the same in the general election. The counter to that is the simple fact that the 8 point advantage that Obama brings to a Obama-McCain matchup is better than the current toss-up between Clinton-McCain. Why make it close if you don't have to? On the other hand, Obama has a lead for now, but the Republicans have not rolled out the big guns to crush him. We pretty much know what they're going to do against Hillary, and she still keeps it competitive. What will the Republicans do against Obama and how will that affect public opinion? Do they have some secret weapon that will swing the election to McCain?

4) Who gives a fuck what Texas thinks?
Look, I'm glad that Democratic Texans get a chance to have a voice in the primary season. But frankly, that state is NEVER going to go blue in the general election. So should we really care that Clinton barely won there? However, Obama has a few hardcore red states wins of his own, so how much does that negate the argument? I know, I support Dean's "Play-to-win-in-all-50"
strategy, but realistically, the outcome of this election hinges on how we perform in the purple states. I mean, I'm happy to have Massachusetts and California standing by us with their juicy electoral college votes, but the real indicator has to be how we do in the swing states.

Let's for a moment discard the results in Michigan and Florida, since those primaries were a mess - Obama's name wasn't even on one of the ballots, and he didn't campaign in either state. Plus, given how the political landscape has changed, there's no way to predict what the will of the voters in those states is.

Below is a map of the political layout of the land in the upcoming election. Let's focus on the purple states.


Now here is a breakout of how the two Democrats have performed in primary season (you'll have to click the little link that says "Democrats" to pull up the map view we want):


Let's see what gives after the final purple states (most notably Pennsylvania, which is a key swing state) votes. We can roll Florida and Michigan back in if and when they redo their primaries.

5) Apparently Americans have no common sense or logical reasoning skills left.
The fact that this general election matchups are so close just goes to prove that you can't count on Americans making the smart choice, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. McCain has all but promised to keep on the same track as Bush, and has shown over and over again that he has a poor grasp of economic policy and has been consistently wrong/ignorant of the reality over in Iraq and the Middle East. And yet, people still want to vote for him. So who the hell knows how this will eventually play out. I can only hope and pray that the Democrats wrap this up, and soon, before it's too late.

6) Don't just take my word for it.
Here's some links to other articles discussing last night's results, from people who are allegedly more politically saavy than I.
Slate's take on the whole thing
The always excellent Carpetbagger Report. This site is pretty much daily required reading during this political season.
The lefties at Salon
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