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March 05, 2008

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My theory is that blue-collar voters don't trust Obama because they think he's too urbane. Not the salt of the earth kind of person like HRC who stood by her man through thick and thin. There's an in-built mistrust of the educated, chardonnay drinking, liberal establishment. Clinton is much more a member of this set than Obama, but that is not the impression she creates. You don't think blue blood when you see her but instead a midwestern type. It's ironic that Obama comes off as blue blood to some. Hence the complaint he's too genteel, too pretty, too nice to get into the nitty gritty of politics.

The explanation is very simple. It has to do with political action and political language.

Obama's basic message is this: "join me and together we will change the world." Now compare that to the basic message of John Edwards: "vote for me and I will fight for you." Those are two very different senses of political action (join and we will change things vs vote and I will fight for you).

Obama's "join me" style and language appeals to politically well informed, sophisticated people who are amenable, even eager to join a cause.

But blue collar voters aren't looking for a cause to join, they're looking for someone who will deliver help for them. Consequently, the measure they use to evaluate a candidate is this: “who will fight for me?”

Originally Hillary Clinton was neither a "join me and we will change things" candidate nor a "vote for me and I will fight for you" candidate. She originally ran her campaign as the antithesis of George W. Bush. That got pretty mixed results.

When Edwards dropped out the question was where will the Edwards voters go. One can ask the same thing in a different way: which candidate would adopt the "vote for me and I will fight for you" mantra?

After Wisconsin Clinton answered that question decisively. She became a fighter and she spoke of herself again and again as precisely that - a fighter. It didn't matter whether it was about fighting for the people or fighting to keep her campaign going or fighting the press. What mattered was that she was fighting; she adopted the mantle of being a fighter. Blue collar workers want a fighter.

Obama's "join me" message goes right over the heads of blue collar workers. More, those people don't want to "join" anything. They want a “transaction”. That’s the “vote for me” model of political action. The transaction is this: we will vote for you and you will fight for us. Clinton offered them that transaction and they voted for her.

Simple as that.

Okay, I'll just say it: the key variable is education. Socioeconomic class is only relevant to the extent that it correlates with education. Less educated voters are more likely to have limited information; more likely to go with the name-recognition candidate; more easily spun by half-truths and illusions (such as the pro-NAFTA candidate dinging the anti-NAFTA candidate for not being quite anti-NAFTA enough); more likely to be susceptible to subtle appeals to race; less likely to appreciate Obama's background (if you have to explain why having been president of the Harvard Law Review is a likely plus for the candidate's capacity and skill, you are probably talking to a voter who will not support Obama no matter how well you explain it). There is a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in American politics. Hillary aimed squarely for that tradition by bashing Obama for speaking well. And in parts of Ohio and Texas, she squarely hit her target.

They’re not as dumb as you think they are TKD.

THey both share unearned advantages that none dare mention. hillary, she is married to an ex-president. ethnic whites, well they aren't black. But then other people come along that are better qualified and that advantage isn't articulable. its g*d1234 frustrating. i think thats maybe a quarter of it.

Then there's the fighting thing. maybe a quarter too.

I think a lot is still "clinton years were good for economy, i trust them." people low in social status don't believe their own cognitive capacity to judge policy, and don't try. porbably a quarter too.

For once, I agree with Bill.

They're not stupid. They're not limited information voters. They're not easily led by spin--at least not more than more educated voters (good god, take a look around the blogosphere for counter-evidence).

Think of them like that, and you're thinking like the Democratic Party bosses of 2002-04.

understand that there's a big difference b/w stupid and low-information. i'm not saying the former at all. i just find it curious why this demographic so overwhelmingly supports HRC, when she doesn't seem substantively in line with that wing of the party.

so i may well be wrong (ohio suggests i am), but the question remains - why this group for this candidate in light of her lack of action?

and with that, i'm going to bed.

Because Obama became the candidate of better educated people. There people aren't voting for dems because they read policy, or even listen to rhetoric. its group loyalty.

Bill - oh yes, they are. Gwangung - I'm not sure why you think less educated voters aren't more likely to be low information voters. Since you don't say why, but simply assert they aren't.

I think that there's probably some validity to all the theories being posited here, and I'd throw in another, less charitable one - prejudice.

It seems to me that it's only political correctness that keeps everyone from acknowledging that the Democrats most likely to be suspicious of/hostile to a candidate because he's black, he's got Muslim ancestry, and his middle name is Hussein would be A.)older, B.)white or Latino, C.)of lower socioeconomic status/education level, and D.)rural. I.e., "Hillary voters". That's not to suggest that every older Nascar lovin' beer drinkin' workin' class good ol' boy Democrat is motivated by racism, but some undoubtedly are.

They only overwhelmingly support her in Appalachia.

I think you got the dynamic largely correct, but need to add in another factor: risk. Going with a known quantity like Clinton is less risky than going for the hope and change candidate like Obama. The poorer working class folks can't afford the same risks as we college educated liberals. From a rational perspective, this is quite sane.

Now, I'm totally in the tank for Obama, but even I admit he is a high risk/high reward candidate. I might be less inclined to vote for him if I was more worried about being able to survive the risk aspect.

And note that all of Clinton's attacks on Obama this past week boil down to this same theme: Obama is risky.

thank you publius. I thought I was the only one who noticed that, until the last few weeks, Hillary has always talked about the "middle class."

Maybe Ohio voters are whacked. Or maybe they let other values besides their identities as working people sway their votes.

but I'll tell you what it means to be a member of the working class: working class people are those who return to labor to build their confidence.

if you turn to a book, to a journal, to social functions, you don't belong. we find ourselves in our physical labor, as in work not birth, hand-washing laundry, pulling weeds, etc.

And note that all of Clinton's attacks on Obama this past week boil down to this same theme: Obama is risky.

I can't, for the life of me, figure out this meme gets traction. Yes, Obama is risky, but, uh... so is Clinton. This is true both electorally (her unfavorability ratings indicate that her absolute ceiling is a 52-48 victory, with short coattails to boot) and politically (as publius notes, she's hardly got the track record of a tireless advocate for the working classes, and the aforementioned short coattails mean it'll be hard for her to accomplish any really significant change in any case.)

Additionally, arguing the notion that she's best prepared to answer the "red phone" is both preposterous and, IMO, suicidal - there are probably 500 people in Washington more qualified than either her or Obama, one of whom is John McCain, and Hillary is making a huge mistake by making experience the defining issue of an election cycle in which he's the opponent.

I hold with the underdog/fighter theory.

Xeynon is surely right that race is a serious factor. Please note that, of the 20% of the electorate for whom race was an "important" factor, Hillary Clinton had a 20-point edge.

Yeah, i am really puzzled by the difference between appalachian rural white blue collarers vs. western or upper midwest rural whit eblue collarers.

Oh, and this. http://weblogs.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/politics/blog/2008/03/latest_clinton_tactic_fake_new.html

Clinton isn't risky simply because she is a known quantity, the third term of the Clinton presidency. Even if you don't like everything the Clintons did, you know you were better off then than now.

Dynasties feel safer than radical newness.

I don't have a candidate in this particular fight, but Callimaco makes an interesting distinction between the two candidates. Callimaco says of Senator Obama:

Obama's "join me" style and language appeals to politically well informed, sophisticated people who are amenable, even eager to join a cause.

And then says of Senator Clinton:

But blue collar voters aren't looking for a cause to join, they're looking for someone who will deliver help for them. Consequently, the measure they use to evaluate a candidate is this: “who will fight for me?”

One might rephrase the description of Senator Obama's message as:

"Join me and together we can tell the rest of the country what's best for them, because we're smarter and more moral than everyone else."

While Senator Clinton's message could be rephrased as:

"Choose me and I'll get the mean folks (big oil, health insurance companies, multi-national companies etc.) who are keeping you down off your backs."

It occurs to me that this could be an answer to that age old question of why the middle and lower classes sometimes vote for Republicans. It's because Republicans usually sound a lot like Senator Clinton, only the mean folks are the government (taxes, regulations), and, like Senator Clinton, do a good job of tapping into the fact that most people just want the opportunity to make their own way and don't much want to tell others how to live.

And yeah, I know, both side do their own bits of preaching, R's with abortion and D's with 2A. But when it comes right down to it, most Americans I know don't want to be told how to live, they just want a fair shot at living.

Senator Obama may be coming off to a good number of people as someone who'll tell others how to live their lives, rather than someone who'll make it easier for people to live their lives.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled intra-party fight. Where's that popcorn OCSteve?

Feh- in my area of rural Ohio, it's closer to 50% racism. I didn't realize how bad it truly was around here until I did some Obama outreach. And *every*single*person* who said they wouldn't vote for a muslim, when you got them to unpack, meant they wouldn't vote for a Black.

Today, I am a Texan (we may be stupid, but not as stupid as Ohioans)

Oh, I actually came here to post this from Time:

This is the heart of Clinton's multi-dimensional challenge. Obama has of late signed up more superdelegates than Clinton in part because they are swayed by his lead in elected delegates. Yet unless there is a significant change in the overall dynamic — a major Obama blunder or scandal for example — he is likely to continue accruing superdelegates regardless of Clinton's big March 4 wins. Also, the act of securing the nomination with unelected convention votes could be considered by many Obama supporters as highly undemocratic, embittering and dividing the party on the eve of the general election.

So Clinton lives to run for another seven weeks. But if you believe in the power of numbers, the candidate of inevitability is Barack Obama.

It's not (as much) working class people across the country. It's more specific to the rust belt states. What I think is happening is that these people are very fearful about their job, and fearful people are not going to take a chance on an unknown quantity. Obama is seen as a bet compared to Clinton. A good bet, sure, but still more risky. So people with safer jobs (including working class in boom states) are a lot more likely to vote for Obama, than people with rust belt manufacturing jobs. Risk aversion is also part of the reason (the other is racism) why the over 65s always break heavily for Clinton.

Of course, these groups could also cross over to McCain in November if Obama is the nominee.

The most important task for Obama to win the primaries and then in November is to reduce this perceived risk factor.

By the way, Obama may well be a risk, but Clinton and McCain supporters should realise their candidates are equally a risk. Anyone who believes they know exactly what they will get is deluding themselves. Choosing a candidate is always a risk. And among these risks, Obama is clearly the better risk.

Crionna, your paraphrases make no connexion to the original text.

and since your conclusion was nannystatism, well i guess i could agree with you since obama talks in terms of leftist frames and clinton doesn't. but since the health care debate has been mandates or no, and clintons the one with flag burning/video games/ i'm not sure that really is usable

also, to be fair to the racist geezers, they are also voting against obama because he's young and cool.

I think Clinton did well in Ohio because of NAFTA, NAFTA, and NAFTA.

Yeah, what femdem said. I was born in Ohio, I've lived in Ohio for most of my life, and the racism factor really, really is big. Bigger than one would expect. I'm not out there campaigning, etc., as she is, but I listen to people talk, I'm familiar with the racial dynamics and history of Northeast Ohio, I see the comments at places like cleveland.com and read the letters in the Plain Dealer, the Beacon Journal, SCENE, etc., and there's a lot of undealt-with racial baggage in Ohio that I think hurt Obama.

Adding: If/when Obama takes the nomination -- and I think he will, and I hope he does -- I would bet that Ohio goes for McCain.

I'm rooting for Obama here, but let's at least get the basics on the screen here:

Working people did OK under Bill Clinton - better than they did under either of the Bushes.

Bill Clinton passed a minimum-wage hike.

He expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit.

He passed SCHIP.

And lots and lots of jobs were created. The employment-to-population ratio went from 61.4% to 64.4% during his Presidency. That's a LOT of jobs.

Of COURSE working Americans would feel some loyalty to the Clinton name. Bill Clinton was good for them, and of course they're hoping Hillary will (a) share their concerns in the same way as Bill did, and (b) have the same mojo to get things done for them.

Can't believe nobody in this thread is even mentioning these things. Only one commenter mentioning jobs at all. No mention of the EITC, the min-wage hike, SCHIP.

Excuse me, but where are the Democrats in this thread??

One thing that can be very hard for people further up the socio-economic ladder to get is just how much of working people's lives is spent being screwed. On the scale of hours, and days, and months, and years, they do their part - often much more than anything like their fair share - and routinely get ripped off going and coming. Their hours are shortchanged, their benefits change capriciously, it goes on and on, and it ends with their pension fund raffled off to buy more goodies for the CEO's golden parachute while their government benefits are cut by self-identified "deficit hawks". It has been a long time since working people had any grounds on which to expect...not just improvement, but even being able to hold their ground on important matters.

After you've been screwed enough, it stops making sense to hope for grand things, or to trust people who promise them to you. When you have to expect to lose, you look for someone who'll put up a good fight on the way down, and that's about what there is.

This is where Clinton's history comes in. She didn't win on the biggest fight of her career. But she was scrappy about it. She couldn't stop the slime machine from using her husband's folly, but she stuck by him, and together they produced a great daughter. She's clearly not a wimp. She's had moments of tears and frustration, and I would guess they haven't hurt her working class standing at all, because that's an audience who knows what it's like to have to keep going and going and sometimes it just is too much for a moment.

I confess that I see the appeal there myself sometimes, on days when life with disabilities sucks and I see Congress rolling over again for Bush. In those moments when it seems like folly to expect anything good to actually happen, going for the toughened one makes a lot of sense.

I really don't think low/limited information is an exclusive trait of the working class. There are many well educated and economically successful people who work really long hours and additionally might have a family, which prevents them from reading anything more the, say, the NYT headlines. They simply don't have the time.

I worked at a polling location that is 70% R but gave out 80% D ballots yesterday. The Col Dispatch is reporting tht Fairfield Co, which is overwhelmingly R, voted strongly D. In OH, you can request either ballot on Primary Day. Another poll worker told me that Limbaugh was telling his listeners in OH to vote for HRC.

I've been wondering about this too.

And I can see the argument that people will break for HRC because the economy was good under Bill.

But this NAFTA crap just has me seething. I can't understand how NAFTA turned into an asset for HRC in Ohio.

And is Ohio inherently more racist than Iowa, or Kansas, or Missouri? Sure there are racists. But really?

since the Republican race was essentially over, there was the opportunity for a lot more cross-party voting, and clearly many did.

and it's no secret who Republicans would prefer to run against.

I worked at a polling location that is 70% R but gave out 80% D ballots yesterday.

Antidotally, I know quite a few Republicans who voted for Hillary in the Democratic primary because they felt she would be easier to beat in the general election. I don't know how that influenced the final totals, but it is interesting to note that there was a huge Republican input in Ohio.

Just FYI, in my neck of the woods (Dayton, Montgomery County) Obama got 54.1% of the vote and Clinton got 44.7%.

Another poll worker told me that Limbaugh was telling his listeners in OH to vote for HRC.

yes, he did. and so did Hewitt. Coulter, too. hints at it. Rich Lowry calls her the only candidate of hope for Republicans. Rove is salivating at the prospect of defeating her.

Quiddity and Sarah J are correct. Ohio voters broke for Clinton in the final days after the CTV revelations about Goolsbee's meeting with a Canadian consulate official to reassure them about Obama's NAFTA rhetoric. That's not a coincidence.

Racism probably didn't help Obama, either.

oops. that was supposed to be:

"...Bruce Bartlett hints at it. Rich Lowry calls her..."

I think it’s simpler than all that. It’s all been covered here already, but from my Wednesday morning quarterbacking chair:

The NAFTA flap hurt. Even though (IMO) NAFTA has little or nothing to do with Ohio’s job woes, it became a political football. The Obama campaign’s handling of the flap was their weakest moment so far IMO. In fact I’d call it their first serious misstep.

As others mentioned, it sounds like a lot of Republicans crossed over to vote for HRC, and not in a nice friendly way. McCain already had the R nomination wrapped up, so some number of Republican voters decided to help HRC become his opponent.

Finally, I can’t speak to the racial component but I’ll take Phil’s word for that.

In any case, McCain now has at least another 6 weeks to run for President while these two snipe at each other. Yay.

My general take agrees with Bruce Baugh and tobie. People feel like they *know* HRC and that she is an incredibly tough fighter.

There's also the fact that for years the Right-Wing Noise Machine has been calling health-care reform "Hillary Care", which has inadvertently created the association that Hillary *cares* about things like pain, stress, and poverty.

What I'd like to hear from those of you in Ohio & Texas is whether you think racism is more powerful than sexism for the voters we're talking about. I mean, it would be foolish not to assume that *some* of the votes for HRC are driven by racism -- this *is* America, after all -- but why aren't there as many sexism-driven votes going the other way? Is it because Obama doesn't push the Manly Man button hard enough? Or is whichever bigotry "wins" almost an excuse for other motives?

Texas isn't likely to vote D in the GE. does this mean TX is unimportant, just as all those states Obama won are unimportant ?

when Obama draws crossover voters his victories are invalidated (in the eyes of HRC supporters). when HRC draws crossover voters, are her victories invalidated ?

And is Ohio inherently more racist than Iowa, or Kansas, or Missouri? Sure there are racists. But really?

Historically, yes.

Bill - oh yes, they are.

No, really, they're not.

Particularly in the context of making an informed choice among political candidates, they know what they're about. Certainly as much as folks further up the socioeconomic ladder.

I, too, am puzzled by how HRC became the blue collar favorite. Didn't she used to be the essence of high-falutin, nanny state, liberal elitist condescension? Wasn't that the anti-Hillary party line?

I think this analysis is right on the money, and agree that it may explain some of what's going on:

But blue collar voters aren't looking for a cause to join, they're looking for someone who will deliver help for them.

My question here is this:

Is there a factual basis for saying that HRC is NOT better for working folks than Obama?

How are either Obama's record or positions better for working people than HRC's?

Why shouldn't they prefer her?

Thanks -

I found an interesting summary of which voters voted for whom.

I really don't think low/limited information is an exclusive trait of the working class.

OK, just another anecdotal comment on this.

In the circle of folks I know, the blue collar and/or workaday folks are far more likely to have a concrete grasp of what the consequences of public policy is going to mean for them.

Their property taxes will go up or down.
The price of gas, building materials, and groceries will go up or down.
They will be asked to chip in more for sports and other programs at their kids' schools.
Public college tuition will go up.
The cost of public transportation will go up.

Among the upper class and rich folks I know, folks get excited about politics for one of two reasons.

If they're Republicans, it's whether their investment taxes will go up or down.

If not, they get excited about "big idea" politics.

Upper middle class and rich people, by and large, just aren't that affected by public policy. They have the money to ride the wave and kind of be above it all.

Middle class and below are directly affected, often profoundly affected, by public policy. They pay close attention, and are often quite well informed.

Their interest in, and therefore their understanding of, the issues, however, are in terms of the concrete, tangible effects of public policy, because that's where it intersects their lives. So, they may not have much interest in the "big ideas" and/or the big buzz the accumulates around certain people or programs.

But that's a really far cry from "low information". It's just different information than is interesting to political junkies.

It's still not completely clear to me how HRC became the blue collar darling, but I really do think Callimaco's post way upthread is the best analysis so far.

Thanks -

I think the difference can also be explained as the difference between order takers and order receivers.

The whites voting for Senator Obama see themselves as order givers. The white-collar whites supporting Senator obama believe that they will benefit from being the order givers. Those same supporters are also the best at not being an order receiver.

A good example of order avoidance would be education. White collar whites do not worry about school busing/quotas because they live in a very white suburb or send their children to private school. At the very least the upper class whites know how to get their children into GT programs, AP, magnet schools that are overwhelmingly white. They also know how to game the system to get their children into elite colleges and into internships.

The whites voting for Senator Clinton see themselves are order receivers. If the blue collar whites are going to be obeying order, they want to benefit from them. Blue collar whites do not have the resources to avoid the orders that the government gives thus, they want the orders/programs to benefit them.

Blue collar whites have problems avoiding the effects of busing/quotas because they do not have the ability to pay for private schools or get into a gifted program. They also do not benefit from diversity quotas at colleges and universities.

As a life-long Ohio resident, I have to second the others who mentioned racism and bigotry. I'm not sure it if hurt Obama more to be black or to be thought a Muslim or if the combination was more than the sum of the parts (if you polled Ohio on this, I'd be very surprised if 80% did not think Obama was Muslim). But it was definitely a factor (enough to put Clinton over the top). Also (anecdotal), but when I went to vote (i.e. was only there for about 10 minutes) several people who were registered Republicans asked for Democratic ballots. I have no idea why, but it was surprising.

A comment ranking system would be great. This thread has about four good posts (the first three & Baugh's). The rest is mostly bickering and froth.

Feh- in my area of rural Ohio, it's closer to 50% racism. I didn't realize how bad it truly was around here until I did some Obama outreach. And *every*single*person* who said they wouldn't vote for a muslim, when you got them to unpack, meant they wouldn't vote for a Black.
I was born in Ohio, I've lived in Ohio for most of my life, and the racism factor really, really is big. Bigger than one would expect.

That's one of the things that makes me nervous about PA as well. I mean, I've lived in Dallas 11 years and I heard the N-word more in one weekend outside of Pittsburgh than in my whole time in Dallas. Economically depressed workers look for scapegoats-- that's where the original Progressives lost their way. Ironically, I think Texas may be more comfortable with the idea of a Black president than the Rust Belt states. Maybe South Carolina wasn't a tactical mistake by the Clintons after all....

Thanks for that link, dutchmarbel-- yummmm, how I love data. Note that it directly contradicts the hypothesis that registered Republicans were trying to game the Dems by pushing HRC: in fact, Republicans voted *overwhelmingly* for Obama.

I don't think racism was as big a factor as the Muslim thing. Anecdotally, in SW Ohio, I see plenty of interracial relationships--among the poor especially. I have been told by more than one person that Obama is a Muslim and my 11 year old daughter had her best friend tell her Obama would not pray to Christ or say the pledge of allegiance.

But this NAFTA crap just has me seething. I can't understand how NAFTA turned into an asset for HRC in Ohio.

We’re looking at the beginnings of a political cargo cult. The crappier the economic news becomes, the less prominent the Iraq fiasco becomes, the more earnestly people hope that the [relative] prosperity of the ’90’s can be retrieved by recreating the trappings of The Good Days.

You can't blame them, but you can't call them logical.

We’re going to see an attempt, over the next two months, to put John Frum at the top of the Democratic ticket.

It must be really tough for many of you who post here. All the elections we have had in the last 8 years and the Obsidian Wings choice somehow manages to lose. Odd how even when you won it turns out that you really lost with Reid and Pelosi.

But don't count Obama out yet, he may pull through even though he is supported by Obsidian Wings.

Sort of makes one wonder how far out of the mainstream Obsidian Wings really is if you are always losing elections.

I am concerned that racism has something to do with it. I am an Idaho dem, and us red state dems are a lot more liberal than the traditional blue state dems, where being a democrat is pretty much the status quo. Also, whereas the South was purged of its racist dems, I don't think the northeast was.

That said -- another possibility is that the NAFTA thing and the 3 am thing did it. The NAFTA thing was really Obama's screw up, since he didn't address it quickly. The 3 am thing he did address. I am going to be really sad if it remains that easy to use "fear" to torpedo a candidate.

Unfortunately, racism isn't limited to Republicans. Blue collar whites are voting for the white candidate. I doubt this will hold in the general election as I hope everyone in the middle class votes their pocket books. McCain offers nothing to the working class.

I think it was all NAFTA, which plays into the low-information voter concept.

Even if we assume that NAFTA was horrible for Ohio (which it very likely wasn't but that is a different issue), the idea that Clinton spun herself into the more anti-NAFTA candidate would be amusing if it weren't so sad.

But don't count Obama out yet, he may pull through even though he is supported by Obsidian Wings.

wait... did ObWi officially endorse Obama ?

I can't say it's surprising to me to read a post like this, which ignores the obvious. If you're pushing a con the last thing you want to do is mention the big indicator that popped up revealing that it really looks like it is a con.

Sure Senator Clinton doesn't have a great history of standing up for blue collar workers, though she did try to bring about some sort of national health care plan that the Republicans turned into shit and then discarded anyway. It was Senator Clinton's husband that didn't go the extra yard for that plan which was part of the platform he got elected on. Hillary took the crap and lost, but she was the one out there. But enough about Hillary, who dominated the thread post. The alternative candidate was pretty much ignored and his flaw, exposed, was completely ignored. Obama offers "hope." As a commenter mentioned, "with" Obama there'll be a new future where everything will be wonderful. But you've got to put your vote down first or there's no chance for the wondrous new future. (Incidentally, a new future with Republicans in the cabinet and fixes for Social Security, etc. etc.) Like all con's the rube has to put his collateral down first based on the big dream payoff to come. The vote, then the dream.

I just read Josh Marshall's view on the night's results and I can't say I agree. Marshall seems to feel that Clinton got "nasty" in the last weekend and that nasty campaigning paid off. But the change from Obama making gains to suddenly dropping like a stone came from a source other than Clinton rhetoric.

The big shift in the voter attitude towards Senator Hope Dreams came when it was disclosed that he, or at least one of his flunkies, went to the Canadian Consulate to assure the Conservative government of Canada that all that hype about evil bad NAFTA that Obama was spouting to entice the working class voters of Ohio was just that, hype. The Conservatives of Canada could rest easy that Obama would keep whatever gravy train they have going through NAFTA "choo, chooing" down the track. Rhetoric was just that, talk.

Oh the horror. Obama was ratfucked by the evil Canadians. Why there would be any sense of a need to reassure another country (controlled by Conservatives - with both big and small "C's") about statements to American voters to win votes would seem to be something not worth mentioning. The fact that what was disclosed was a ratfucking attitude toward working class Americans was not important. Obama was underhandedly exposed. After all, why should American voters be allowed to have any indication that the veracity of someone running for the highest office in the land might be suspect. Especially when that someone is so basing his platform on his persona. Obama generation. You can be a part of it (so long as it doesn't upset big "C" and little "c" conservatives - nudge nudge, wink, wink).

So when voters are given an alternative between a so-so candidate spouting populist lines and one who has been exposed as playing the con game, they chose the so-so candidate rather than the outright con. Shocking isn't it.

Consider how familiar are the arguments from the Obama camp that Senator Clinton should abandon her candidacy - for the good of the party. Isn't that exactly the line used by Republicans toward Al Gore and John Kerry when there were strong indications of a bad election selection process? That sure worked out great. Just another Republican mantra in a seemingly never ending stream of Republican mantras from Obama. Clinton should fight as long as possible. Should there be another two-faced anti-average American disclosure from Obama I'd like to think that there is a Democrat available as an alternative.

If there are just a couple more big con exposés then even John McCain will begin to look like the more clear cut choice to blue collar workers. We'll be back at 1980. Then again, maybe we're already there. Time to fix Social Security. Obama'll probably have Republicans do it. In the last week it was once again revealed that Obama supports having Republicans in his cabinet. After all, they're the security and MBA experts. Haven't we seen that the last seven years? Don't be so partisan you old fart! Why can't you be young and cool?
http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/529054,cst-nws-obama26.article
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/12/obama-says-hed.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article3466823.ece
http://www.cogitamusblog.com/2008/03/the-texas-caucu.html

Pepsi generation .. err .. Obama generation, coming at you, going strong. Words written by Thomas Jefferson?

John Edwards was the last chance at a populist. The rest are a choice of lesser evils. Certainly nothing inspiring and some quite worrying.

This primary season has shown how incredibly flawed the primary process is. It was designed flawed but usually the American penchant to vote for the "winner" quickly leads to a wave for one candidate and an apparent overwhelming choice. That's why having two small conservative states as the lead choosers is so unrepresentative. (Consider how anyone like John Kerry could be thought of as an "overwhelming" choice.) But that's just the start of the undemocratic aspects of the primary process. And that's how Americans choose the final "2."

In the last week it was once again revealed that Obama supports having Republicans in his cabinet.

Clinton said she'd like the same thing on The Daily Show, Monday night.

A comment ranking system would be great.

Are you applying for the job?

Thanks -

Really interesting thread! Two other (unsupported) theories:

1. As several people have noted, the distinction between transactional and inclusive politics seems like it may have been important. People who are already working really hard just to make ends meet really don't want one more thing to worry about. So perhaps they 'hire' a president like I 'hire' a car-mechanic or a plumber. I'm not into cars - I just want my car to run well and take me from A to B. I hire the mechanic so I won't have to think about it. And between HRC and BHO, Hillary is the one who is offering to 'take care of things' while the rest of us think about something else (indeed, she sounds like she positively doesn't want us to be looking over her shoulder).

Obama's message (which I agree with) is that the system is broken enough that it can't be fixed without citizen involvement, because the only thing that will really force better decisions in DC is if representatives know their constituents are watching them. But that's a pretty depressing message if you really don't want to have to pay attention to DC politics (because you have more than enough to worry about close to home).

As for the difference between OH and the plains states, well, I don't have hard data on this. But I live in Indiana, in between the two, and I think OH and the plains are fairly different, culturally. For one thing, OH's a lot older, and in some ways is part of the East. But also, as part of the Rust Belt, Ohio has suffered from the destruction of community cohesion than comes with jobs moving out. Obama's message works best in places with a sense of community, civic participation, because that's what he's appealing to, and I think that kind of civic identity is much more alive in the plains states than in the Rust Belt.

2. If you've worked hard at your job all your life, and have seen it taken from you by a bright young person who's climbing the ladder quickly... well, maybe you might empathize with Hillary (if you bought into the idea that she had actually gone through the cursus honorum herself). I've been struck, occasionally, to hear people say that Obama should have 'waited his turn'. From my middle-middle class, government and academic background, that just sounds insane: no one has a right to the presidency just for having been in office for a while, and if anyone did it wouldn't be Hillary. (Consider the long, woeful tale of Biden, e.g.) And the job should obviously go to the best candidate, not to the one who has put in the most hours. But then, I don't see myself as the person who's put in the most hours, so it's easy for me to say that. I think many people may extrapolate from how their own jobs work to how the presidency works.

Anyway, just some food for thought,
Beren

Few thoughts:

First, what low-tech cyclist said. Bill Clinton did a lot for working people. My family, and me, in particular. People remember that.

Hillary has a health care plan that lowers costs more, and covers more people. Hillary's relief for those looking to attend college is broader than Obama's. People actually notice these things.

Also re: NAFTA - keep in mind, NAFTA aside, Obama has been sending out more free trader signals than Hillary. One of free trade's staunchest and most dedicated advocates just endorsed Obama for this very reason.

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/8327

thanks eric - i thought this was a unintentionally funny line:

Obama has better economic advisors, such as Austan Goolsbee of the University of Chicago.

As several people have noted, the distinction between transactional and inclusive politics seems like it may have been important. People who are already working really hard just to make ends meet really don't want one more thing to worry about. So perhaps they 'hire' a president like I 'hire' a car-mechanic or a plumber. I'm not into cars - I just want my car to run well and take me from A to B. I hire the mechanic so I won't have to think about it. And between HRC and BHO, Hillary is the one who is offering to 'take care of things' while the rest of us think about something else

This makes a lot more sense than talking about "low information" individuals. I don't like the term "low information"; it's elitist in that there's an objective standard on how much and which information is important to an individual. You could just as easily think of it as an individual tightly focussing their criteria on a few, select subjective standards that make sense to them.

Amos Anan: It was Senator Clinton's husband that didn't go the extra yard for that plan which was part of the platform he got elected on. Hillary took the crap and lost, but she was the one out there.

Well to keep the “working class” conversation focused on HRC and not on her husband, perhaps you could show us how her many promises to the working class of Upstate NY have worked out?

If she can’t improve the situation for the working class (part of the platform she got elected on) in part of a state (representing around 7M people, depending on how you define Upstate) in 7 years, then why should the working class in the rest of the country believe her now?

Only skimmed the thread I confess, but one problem Obama may face with these voters is his youth. He may strike them as a "kid," as not mature enough for the presidency.

His association with supercharged 20somethings is not going to dispel that notion.

I don't share this concern, but I think it might be a factor.

Hillary spoke directly and in clear practical terms to working/middle class people in Ohio and Texas. Health care, jobs, the cost of war, taking care of veterans and children, higher ed costs, creating green jobs, etc.

These are people with busy lives, economic pressures, and huge responsibilites. It's their kids and spouses who are in Iraq. Things are totally screwed up in this country from where they're sitting, and who's going to fix it? Who can you count on to get that job done?

Ultimately, the Presidency IS a job, and those folks KNOW with absolute certainty that we need to shift course. They listened to both pitches--and preferred her's.

Transactional politics? Reminds me of the time I went to a political rally for a local Armenian candidate, and there were some recent immigrants from Soviet Armenia there who were *furious* that all they were getting at the fundraiser was a drink that they had to pay for. "What is he giving me for my vote?" the guy kept saying to me, apparently deeply insulted.

Anyone care to explain why the Ohio polls were so far off?

By the way, she'll win Pennsylvania. She has no exit strategy now. She's committed to a floor fight.

I tend towards two explanations. First, racism and rumors. Here's why: Obama is losing a chunk of the Dem base, who is promising to defect to McCain. Those are HRC people today. I think the best explanation for why the scrappy transactional fighter also has some force in explaining that.

Second, her negative campaigning has started to work. She's found ways of subtly undermining him without drawing backlash.

By the way, she'll win Pennsylvania

i agree. but it's not going to be anything like yesterday's races. most importantly, PA is a closed primary, and that hurts both Obama's crossovers and Clinton's Limbaugh-driven spoilers.

I agree that most people don't have a lot of time to go into the nitty gritty of things - usually becuase their plate is filled with far more immediate problems.

Add on top of that the fact that the media has been telling people things that just are not true or are so trivial as to be useless, so even if people to make an effort to pay attention they are unlikely to get accurate information or make a informed decision.

I think the final reason is that people remember that things weren't so bad in the 90's and it'd be nice if things were like that again. But you can't go back again. Big problems and changes are coming and no president is going to be able to stop them, s/he can only manage the slide, or if you're McCain just stomp on the gas petal and enjoy the ride. Wheeeee bomb, bomb, Iran!

Unfortunately, as 'wine-track' child of 'beer-track' parents, I note race as a factor too. As pointed out by analysts earlier, Obama tends to win whites across cross lines only in states which are less ethnically diverse like IA and WI. Whereas in states like MA and OH where blue-collar whites live in proximity and in cultural tension with other ethnicities they are not breaking for Obama. A similar working-class ethnic divide seems to be at play with Hispanics in TX. Its ugly and disappointing to me, but as a child of white, blue-collar 'Reagan Democrats' I know that openness to Obama is still a difficult, though not insurmountable, challenge.

I think Obama should call for a revote in Florida and Michigan before HRC does, because she will. And whether or not it happens is likely outside their control anyway.

I think it is simple - racism at the worst, inherent race bias at the best. I grew up in Kansas, and bigotry was pretty small there. What mattered was integrity and hard work. I think different states value different attributes, in the plains it is integrity and hard work. In the Northeast, where I live now, it is accomplishment and intelligence. In Texas, where I lived in my twenties, it was appearance and social manners. In some states, it seems to me it is still what is the color of your skin? And of course, there are those white women of a certain age, who sacrificed for their husbands careers and their children's education, and want to be justified in seeing Hillary win the Presidency. And both of these reasons sadden me. And, I am close to a woman of that certain age - a 46 year old white female.

Thomas McDonald: "Unfortunately, as 'wine-track' child of 'beer-track' parents, I note race as a factor too. "

Unfortunately, the double-standard is again in evidence here, in the posted comments of people pointing at white 'racist geezers' while ignoring the real racist vote in the Democratic primaries, in which Blacks have been voting disproportionately for OBama because of his skin color.

Ohio was no exception. 88% of Black Women and 85% of Black Men voted for Obama. 49% of White men voted for Obama; 43% for Clinton. Although more White women voted for Hillary (58% to 37%) it wasn't a 'racist' preference -- but a gender preference.

(see dutchmarble's link above for the exit poll link)

If significant numbers of Blacks nationally weren't playing their own version of the 'race card' Hillary would be ahead of Obama both in the popular vote and the delegate count, and she would probably be the presumptive candidate by now.

Roy, I'm not worried in the slightest about Obama winning the nomination. I was just really hoping he could have wrapped it up last night. HRC's campaign said itself not 2 weeks ago that they had to win both OH and TX by 10 to 20% and they didn't. No matter what kind of fantasy scenario you spin, she can't make up the pledged delegates or move ahead by SDs without destroying the party and I don't think Pelosi, Ried and Dean will let her do that. The fact that she's calling for a C/O ticket shows she knows it, too, and this is her only shot.

Also, where are Obama's fundraising numbers? I think they've put out teasers saying they 700K new donors this year and an average pledge of $106. They had $35M last month, so they should have put out $35M this month. But they kinda left out how many repeat donors they had. The real $ is going to dominate the headlines soon and suck the air out of HRC for awhile.

Then Halperin says Obama's got 50 pledged SDs tucked away. He'll dominate another few news cycles with that.

I'm not worried, just disgusted with my little corner of Appalachia.

There are a lot of interesting ideas being put out there on this thread, and maybe they all have validity. However, I feel that the NAFTA 'expose" out of Canada may have been a huge factor. I saw one of the exit polls showing that those who made up their minds at the last minute were breaking for HRC. I confess that it bothered me to read that Obama was just posturing, and I wished that the rebuttal had been a lot stronger. I did read that the liberals in the Canadian parliament were looking into why their PM would be interfering in US politics. Apparently, Canada has much stricter laws on this sort of thing (emails) being batted about. But none of this would be out where low-information voters were likely to see it.

Unfortunately, the double-standard is again in evidence here, in the posted comments of people pointing at white 'racist geezers' while ignoring the real racist vote in the Democratic primaries, in which Blacks have been voting disproportionately for OBama because of his skin color.

This is akin to complaining about Japanese Americans voting for those of Japanese descent for representative of their district. As if it's wrong to think for them to think that someone of their group can represent their interests better.

In fact, I think it's a bit racist of YOU, Mr Jerome to insinuate that the interests of African Americans are not of interest to African Americans and are not to be considered in national politics.

Jay Jerome: Was wondering when you were going to appear with that. For the record, I think there is a distinction to be made between people being partial to a group *when they belong to it* and people who biased against a certain group they don't belong to.

Not the same phenomenon. Not a double standard.

Does the explanation have to center exclusively on race/class and other demographic factors? I'm wondering if we are overlooking something else, which is that the HRC campaign has finally solved their problem with organization, and they were able to beat Obama at the GOTV game for a change.

Ohio would seem like an ideal place for a GOTV effort based on the traditional Democratic party establishment - look at the results of the 2006 midterms. This is a state where the Democratic party apparatus (which Hillary has been counting on since the start of the campaign) has not atrophied (c.f. red states) and has been flexing its muscles recently.

I'm not saying the other explanations above are wrong, just adding that organizational competency has been an issue in some of the HRC campaign losses but they may have turned the corner, at least in Ohio.

If significant numbers of Blacks nationally weren't playing their own version of the 'race card' Hillary would be ahead of Obama both in the popular vote and the delegate count, and she would probably be the presumptive candidate by now.

Yes! And don't forget about all those blacks voting in Vermont, Iowa, Alaska, Colorado, Conneticut, Delaware, Idaho, etc. etc. etc.

Darn, it's getting harder and harder to blame it on those pesky blacks isn't it?

Dr S, I grew up in TX and I live in OH. TX is incredibly diverse (AYC lived in Dallas, I bet :-) and not easily stereotyped as a whole. You'd have to look at the individual regions to see where racism may have played a factor, but I'm betting it wasn't much of one anywhere down there.

Jay Jerome:

I think you need to draw a distinction. I myself would never vote for or against anyone because of race or gender. But having said that, I think most fair-minded people would probably acknowledge that there's a difference between voting for a candidate because it would be a historic opportunity for a candidate of that race or gender to become president, and voting against a particular candidate in order to keep a person of that gender or race from ever having held the presidency.

If a woman wants HRC to become president because then a woman would finally be president, that's not the same thing as a woman voting for HRC because she's unwilling to let a man be president. The latter would be sexism pure and simple. The former is more like identity politics - admittedly some would call it a kind of sexism, but I think that even they would have to admit that it's a much weaker kind. For one thing, once the historic moment had been achieved, it would mostly fade away. The point would be for there to have been a woman president, not that there should always be one. All of the above also goes, mutatis mutandis, for a black president.

The reason why there's a plausible case to be made for a double standard (i.e. "it's sexism if a voter votes against HRC because of her gender, but not if the voter votes for her on that basis") is that there have already been many male and many white presidents. That means that the 'historic moment' opportunity isn't open to a race-based vote for a white, or a gender-based vote for a man. If Alan says, "Gender was important in my decision and I voted for the man," it seems to follow that Alan thinks a woman should never be president, because it can't just be that he was so excited at the prospect of a man getting to be president this year. All this again, mutatis mutandis for race.

As I say, I don't really buy into identity politics myself, and I can't see myself voting for any candidate based on race or gender. But I still think it's not fair to conflate those who would vote for members of a group because none of them had yet held the presidency, and those who would automatically vote against all members of a particular group.

Or do you disagree?

Regards,
Beren

Then Halperin says Obama's got 50 pledged SDs tucked away.

I hope so, but I fear many of those superdelegates have been scared of for the time being by the Clinton "comeback" storyline. If she'd lost the Texas primary vote, things would be different, but unfortunately the media coverage is all about the meaningless "winning" of states, as if we had a winner-take-all system.

Also, I think it's best to avoid using the word "pledged" to refer to superdelegate's expressed preferences or endorsements. Pledged delegates are the ones assigned on the basis of the primary and caucus results and by definition are not superdelegates.

I think it's also relevant to consider what each candidate has done and can do for the black community. Nothing wrong with what Clinton has done, but let's not forget that grass roots organizing with churches, active church membership (something that's very important in the African American community), working against apartheid, working on civil rights curbs on police abuse (that's important to African Americans, no?) may be perceived as somewhat more in line with interests of the black community.

gwangung: “This is akin to complaining about Japanese Americans voting for those of Japanese descent for representative of their district”

No it's not. We’re not talking about a district election, we’re talking about a national election which will affect the lives of all Americans. Can you point to one national issue where Obama’s policies are significantly different than Hillary’s to explain an 80 to 90 percent vote in favor of Obama by Black voters nationwide other than his skin color?

We fought the civil rights battles of the 60s and 70s and 80s to ‘overcome’ racist voting inclinations, so that candidates would be judged on issues, not on color. If this election is any indication, Whites seem to have learned that lesion better then Blacks.


crionna: Senator Clinton's message could be rephrased as:

"Choose me and I'll get the mean folks (big oil, health insurance companies, multi-national companies etc.) who are keeping you down off your backs."

The actual history of both Clintons should suffice to show this pledge to be an absolute crock*, but I'm not sure Obama is in a position to do this effectively.

*The former president provided some of the evidence himself in a public cozying-up to his close personal friend the Kazakh oiligarch.

No it's not. We’re not talking about a district election, we’re talking about a national election which will affect the lives of all Americans. Can you point to one national issue where Obama’s policies are significantly different than Hillary’s to explain an 80 to 90 percent vote in favor of Obama by Black voters nationwide other than his skin color?

Individual civil rights. See his work on police procedure. That's real, that's tangible.

And now you ARE belittling the interests of African Americans. Or don't you think their interests are of national importance?

Don't go there. And you damn well better not use "we" in that case.....

Amos Aman has something to say, but I wish he'd concentrate on making sense rather than snappy lines. For example:

Like all con's the rube has to put his collateral down first based on the big dream payoff to come. The vote, then the dream.

Um...and this is different from any other candidate in any other election ever, how, exactly? You seem to be defining elections as con games. If that's your opinion, fine, but it would apply equally to any promises from Senator Clinton.

Should there be another two-faced anti-average American disclosure from Obama I'd like to think that there is a Democrat available as an alternative.

Which would be who? The woman running on her husband's record, the proudest point of which was shoving through Congress the exact same legislation you're upset at Obama for not wanting to repeal? For the record, in case you're interested in facts, he said he wants to amend NAFTA to make it fairer to American workers.

Honestly, I don't see anything other than scrappiness that makes Hillary Clinton seem more populist or progressive than a former slum community organizer. Their policies are dern near identical. There is no populist or progressive in this race.

Consider how familiar are the arguments from the Obama camp that Senator Clinton should abandon her candidacy - for the good of the party. Isn't that exactly the line used by Republicans toward Al Gore and John Kerry when there were strong indications of a bad election selection process?

What do you mean, "camp"? Has anyone actually connected with Obama said this? I can't tell whether you're upset at Obama, all of his supporters, some of his supporters, some loudmouth on a radio show somewhere, or what.

Your comparison to Republican rhetoric re vote recounts is weak. The Republicans wanted the popular vote winner to yield to technicalities and fraud. Their only argument was that vote recounts would somehow harm American morale, and inconvenience them. In contrast, Obama supporters say that if Clinton can only win the nomination by using superdelegates, she will be using technicalities to defeat the popular will. That is exactly the opposite of the Republican position on vote recounts. And the Obama supporters fear a very real harm: if Clinton acts like a Republican, the Democratic base will stay home in the general election, and we will all lose, again. Again, exactly the opposite.

Don't be so partisan you old fart! Why can't you be young and cool?

I feel that I have stepped into the middle of a conversation. Who are you talking to?

This primary season has shown how incredibly flawed the primary process is.

Just to make sure I understand you, it has shown this because Democratic-leaning and/or larger states should have been the first to hold Democratic primaries so that more populist candidates like Edwards would have a fair chance? Well, I agree, but I don't see what that has to do with the choice between Clinton and Obama, neither of whom are economic populists.

I think it's interesting, if true, that Obama lost votes on the left for not promising enough help to people, and is getting pilloried from the right for promising to spend too much on social welfare programs. Sounds to me like his policies are a good compromise. That may not win elections, but it should.

KC, you're right. I didn't mean to put pledged in there (blame a nasty cold). But I don't think the SDs will be scared off by last night. He kept the spread so small (possibly zero) that I don't think it'll matter much in their calculus. The very few I've ever gotten to deal with seem to be deeply pragmatic people and don't need to spit to see which way the wind is blowing.

First new SD- Dayton mayor for Obama.

OCSteve: "Well to keep the "working class" conversation focused on HRC and not on her husband, perhaps you could show us how her many promises to the working class of Upstate NY have worked out?"

Wrong question, OCSteve. You should ask the working class voters of Upstate NY if they still have faith in her, after seven years as their Senator?

Well, they already responded to that question during the New York Super Tuesday primary, where exit polls showed substantial support for Hillary in working class areas like the Lower Hudson Valley were she beat Obama 53% to 44%, Urban Upstate where she beat him 60% to 37%, and Rural Upstate where she had 65% to his 32%

Link here

I think it's interesting, if true, that Obama lost votes on the left for not promising enough help to people, and is getting pilloried from the right for promising to spend too much on social welfare programs. Sounds to me like his policies are a good compromise. That may not win elections, but it should.

It's a minor point, but that kind of "If both sides are mad, something must be right!" thinking isn't much good. For example, one side can be right about something, so if you go by that logic, being half-wrong is better than being right. See also: the media's reaction to "liberal media" accusations and lies.

Or, more obviously, many issues have more than two "sides". So if you've got "both sides" mad at you, that doesn't mean you're in the middle, you can be off somewhere else wrong in your own unique way. Especially on issues as complicated and multifaceted as "social spending".

If this election is any indication, Whites seem to have learned that lesion better then Blacks.

Let me guess: you're white. Excuse me, White.

Does it count as identity politics if a black person votes for Obama because you believe he'll understand your problems and protect your interests better than a white person? And that would go double for Michelle, because her background is more typical for a black American.

Would it be identity politics or bias if I voted for HRC because I trust her to protect my health rights & those of my daughters more consistently than a male would? Frankly, guys, after Gonzales v. Carhart a male politician has to be *damn* clear about his position before I'll vote for him over a woman.

Similarly, my gut reaction when I made my chart comparing the candidates' positions was, "if I were Hispanic I'd vote for Hillary -- she's the only one committed to keeping my cousin's family together."

It's prudential for a black to vote for Obama or a woman or Hispanic to vote for HRC, and prudence seems a pretty good motive to me.

We fought the civil rights battles of the 60s and 70s and 80s to ‘overcome’ racist voting inclinations, so that candidates would be judged on issues, not on color. If this election is any indication, Whites seem to have learned that lesion better then Blacks.

Because Lord knows blacks have never ever voted in large numbers for white presidential candidates in other elections.


Doctor Science: "Does it count as identity politics if a black person votes for Obama because you believe he'll understand your problems and protect your interests better than a white person?"

Well, yes, it does. That's kinda what identity politics is predicated on. It says that a) your opinions and abilities are products of the categories to which you belong to such a degree and b) those categories are homogeneous enough, that it takes someone from group A to understand and deal with the issues of people in group A.

I don't really buy this. I think that most groups are too heterogeneous for this to work, and I also think that, historically, individual members have often done a pretty good job of messing things up for the rest of their group. Further, identity politics tend to downplay the potential for human intelligence and human empathy to bridge gaps between groups. In the long run it seems to me like a rather hopeless view of the world. (If male politicians can't represent women and female politicians can't represent men, we're gonna be polarized for ever...) But it's certainly a popular attitude, and so long as it's not allowed to trump all other considerations, it does have some elements of truth in it.

Just my 2c,
Beren

Note that Ohio is split between rural/small town conservative, which rarely votes Democratic and city/suburbanites who wonder, if they have a job, how quickly it will move to China, India, Arizona or Florida. The latter consistently votes Democratic. The split is also mirrored racially.

The primary allows and saw a considerable number of Goopers voting as Democrats (and opting for Hillary, possibly as a spoiler). They won't vote that way in the general.

Note that Ohio is split between rural/small town conservative, which rarely votes Democratic and city/suburbanites who wonder, if they have a job, how quickly it will move to China, India, Arizona or Florida. The latter consistently votes Democratic. The split is also mirrored racially.

The primary allows and saw a considerable number of Goopers voting as Democrats (and opting for Hillary, possibly as a spoiler). They won't vote that way in the general.

I'm Ohio-born and still live there, 60-ish years later. FWIW, I think racism and cross-overs were the main reasons Clinton won.

First, racism. I'm in the SW part of the state, not really even Appalachia, and from my experience even in my area racism is a large deal. The Klan is still active around here, and a large part of the working class is not very black-friendly, to say the least. I mention Appalachia only because that's where Clinton's margins were the largest, on the order of 25%.

Second, crossovers. I looked at DM's numbers, and noted that Republicans who voted Democratic made up a mere 3% of the population. I'd bet it was higher, just not admitted. As an example, Warren county, an R stronghold, was mentioned in the local paper. By my calculations, some 4500 nominally R voters (voted for Blackwell in 2006) crossed over, out of a total of 56,500 votes cast. Clinton won by about 2700. I can't imagine many Blackwell supporters voting in a constructive manner for any D.

YMMV

EoH:
The primary allows and saw a considerable number of Goopers voting as Democrats (and opting for Hillary, possibly as a spoiler)

That is not what dutchmarbel's data show -- they've got Rs going for Obama by more than 2:1. Where are you getting *your* data?

Wow, Jay...You state unequivocally that the question should not be whether or not Clinton has kept the promises she's made to the constituencies whose votes she has courted, but whether they still "have faith" in her? And yet you mock Obama for empty rhetoric and his supporters for being a cult?

Here's a question: Can you quantify for me just exactly how dumb you think everyone else is?

For those who like figures: The site that collected my previously linked data also collected polling info about last deciders.

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