3.08.2008

Obama wins the Wyoming caucuses

Obama scored one more caucus victory today by winning Wyoming. With 19 out of 23 counties reporting (including the state's 3 largest), Obama is leading 59% to 40% -- and that's a total of about 7,000 votes. The 4 remaining counties are only starting their caucuses now, and the results will be known in the coming hours. It is refreshing to deal with a caucus in a state that actually releases its results, unlike Texas where the count is stuck at 41% of precincts reporting.

Wyoming awards 12 delegates, and Obama has to cross 64% to obtain a 9-5 split. Considering that the remaining counties award fewer state convention delegates, it seems very unlikely that he will manage to do so, and the state's delegate breakdown will most likely be 7 delegates for Obama and 5 for Clinton. This represents somewhat of an improvement for Clinton, as one of the main reasons she is in so much trouble right now is that she was repeatedly crushed in caucuses -- especially in deep red states such as Wyoming. She got 17% of the vote in Idaho (for a 15-3 delegate split!), and was 20 delegates behind in Colorado and 24 in Minnesota.

Unlike most of these previous contests, Clinton did actively try to move numbers in Wyoming, as her husband campaigned there on Thursday and she did on Friday -- something she had not done in other caucuses, which she often deliberately shunned. There is no question that this is one of the biggest strategic blunders any presidential candidate committed in this cycle, and it is very surprising that it came from the seasoned Clinton campaign. More than anything, it speaks to their belief that the campaign would end on February 5th, whereas Obama knew that his only to win the nomination was to survive Super Tuesday and then take the lead in subsequent contests. The Clinton campaign now can only imagine what might have been if they had ran one or two ads in the cheap Idaho market or sent Clinton to Colorado and Minnesota for a few events.

Meanwhile, candidates are turning their attention to other upcoming states, starting with Mississippi (on Tuesday) but also those voting on May 6th (North Carolina and Indiana). It looks like Obama's strategy might be to minimize the importance of Pennsylvania on April 22nd to avoid making that state's primary -- in which Clinton looks to be starting with an edge -- decisive. Rasmussen came out with two interesting surveys today:

  • In Mississippi, Obama is ahead 53% to 39%. Obama is ahead by 68% among black voters, and Clinton is up 47% among whites voters -- a stunning racial polarization that confirms the findings of yesterday's polls from ARG and IA.
  • Meanwhile, Rasmussen found Obama leading 47% to 40% in North Carolina.
Both candidates have some good news in these surveys. Obama will clearly win in Mississippi and has an early edge in North Carolina. But Clinton can be reassured that she is not being blown away in Mississippi the way she was in some other Southern states, and that she has a fighting chance in North Carolina, a state that appeared to be rapidly moving away from her a few weeks ago. This is the second poll showing her trailing only narrowly, and especially if she benefits from momentum out of Pennsylvania she could hope to have a good night yet again on May 6th.

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13 Comments:

  • It would be good strategy for the Obama campaign to downplay PA since he has very little chance of winning it. It has a larger proportion of under/uneducated voters and older citizens than Ohio.

    He can downplay it for two reasons :
    1. Clinton downplayed lots of states including most of February's including Wisconsin, Maryland, Virginia and now Wyoming and Mississippi. If she can do that for multiple states he can be allowed to do it for one state. At least he has tried to campaign everywhere, unlike Clinton.
    2. The latest national SUSA results showed Obama winning the GE without PA. Obviously having PA for the Democrats would help, but it is not essential. Remember Maryland and Wisconsin equal PA in EV's.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 08 March, 2008 17:59  

  • I should add that in NC, no campaigning has yet started and as we have seen in nearly every state any lead Clinton has reduces greatly (Ohio went for 20+% to 10% and Texas from 20+% to 3%). So Obama being ahead in NC with at least 47% of the vote bodes well for him. There are a lot of white, prosperous liberals in the Charlotte and triangle areas. Lots of university students, and lots of African Americans. There are not many legal, voting latino's for her.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 08 March, 2008 18:01  

  • the results in WY are showing voters having "buyers remorse." compared to caucus results in neighboring states like KS or ID or UT with very similar demographics, obama has performed much worse in WY.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 08 March, 2008 18:10  

  • Obama is 4-0 in states where the African-American population is greater than 20%. After Mississippi it will be 5-0. There are enough educated liberals along I-40 to go with African Americans for Obama to win North Carolina. A good showing by Clinton in the state would be a 5-point loss.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 08 March, 2008 18:20  

  • Anonymous of 18:10 - I don't think it is "buyers remorse" Clinton actually made an effort - with President Clinton and her both visiting, the running of campaign ads and the national media. So I would expect her to lose by "only" 20%.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 08 March, 2008 18:42  

  • I find it odd when the Clinton campaign (and then taken as gospel in all the media) say they have won 8 of the top 10 states. It is arbitary to say 10 - why not top 20 states for multiple reasons :

    1. NJ is in the top 10 (actually NC is the 10th largest and NJ is 11th) and has a whole 2 more EV's than Virginia.
    2. Clinton would not win some of the top 10 in the GE (such as TX and GA)
    3. You could not win a GE with just the top 10.
    4. If you want to be President of the USA then you should campaign and try to win more than just 20% of the states. Because those states provide 80% of the senators and the majority of the congressmen. Try getting healthcare through with just the top 10 states legistors!

    If you make the metric the top 20 then Obama is much closer to parity - with WI, WA, VA, MD, CT, NC, (expected) all included in his tally (all all by primaries).

    By Anonymous Guy, At 08 March, 2008 18:50  

  • Also African Americans make up 21.6% of the population, just over that arbitrary 20% someone else mentioned. Even if all these people were in the Democratic primary they would only make up 40% of the vote - so he is getting votes from elsewhere. Should we say Clinton only won states where there were lots of old voters, or women, or uneducated?? People make it sound like it is bad to have African American votes - the most loyal Democratic constituency.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 08 March, 2008 18:51  

  • I agree that a 5% loss for Clinton would be a good result - I expect a 10%+ loss but we will see.
    A 10% loss for Obama in PA would be a good result - just equalling his OH result and PA voters are on average older and less educated.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 08 March, 2008 18:52  

  • Should also be noted that FL and MI in the top 10 do not count because there was no campaigning and Obama's (and Edwards) names were not on the ballot in MI. They abided by the rules. Clinton gave a solemn understanding to voters in many states (including ones she wants to win in November) that she would not campaign there. This is a trust and honesty question.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 08 March, 2008 18:55  

  • "Should we say Clinton only won states where there were lots of old voters, or women, or uneducated??"

    she won california. it's very much educated, diverisified, young, and gender balanced.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 08 March, 2008 23:33  

  • He can downplay it for two reasons :
    1. Clinton downplayed lots of states including most of February's including Wisconsin, Maryland, Virginia and now Wyoming and Mississippi. If she can do that for multiple states he can be allowed to do it for one state. At least he has tried to campaign everywhere, unlike Clinton.
    2. The latest national SUSA results showed Obama winning the GE without PA. Obviously having PA for the Democrats would help, but it is not essential. Remember Maryland and Wisconsin equal PA in EV's.
    -----------------------------------

    Oh he can do better then that.

    He can have a few aids simply state that Sadly, Ed Rendell was correct.

    That will make any loss meaningless in the press spin.

    Nothing like a 2 Term Demo Gov. stating the obvious to take the steam out of a loss.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 09 March, 2008 06:18  

  • "Should we say Clinton only won states where there were lots of old voters, or women, or uneducated??"

    she won california. it's very much educated, diverisified, young, and gender balanced.

    -----------------------------------

    Haha, 2 words, Latino Vote.

    I say if AA states "Dont Count" then any "Latino" States "Don't Count" either.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 09 March, 2008 06:23  

  • To 18:51: I wasn't diminishing Obama's wins. I was just using demographics to suggest a strong likelihood of a continued trend. IMHO, Sen. Clinton is floating the idea that she will win some states I think she has no chance of winning (i.e. NC, SD, MT). The only states I think there is really any question about at this point are Indidana and possibly Michigan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 09 March, 2008 13:02  

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