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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mabus I'm Amazed

I noted a few days ago that Ray Mabus, former Governor of Mississippi gave a talk here Friday pitching for Obama.  Looking back, he told me pretty much exactly how yesterday was going to go.  He said that, from what he had seen, Clinton would hold on for a win in California, but that Obama would rack up a lot of wins by going to smaller states like Idaho where he could pick up votes more easily.  

Although I was surprised Obama wasn't spending more time on CA (especially given some of the late polls), it turns out they had a good strategy.  An extra visit wouldn't likely have closed that 9 point gap or peeled off more Latino voters.  But Obama was able to claim more states (13-8-1), building space on the board and lengthening his list on last night's TV screens.  He also basically tied in national vote, which went 49-48% for Clinton, but 49-48% for Obama if you count by population of states won.  Which is pretty remarkable when you lose NY, CA, NJ, and MA.  But really, given the equivalent delegate split (50/50) in a proportional system, it doesn't seem to matter much where you get votes so long as you get votes.  

How went Tennessee?   Clinton won 54-41%, so +13.  Obama won Nashville big, along with Brentwood and Franklin (its most prosperous suburbs).  He also won Chattanooga, Memphis, and a handfull of other counties in the southwest.  Clinton pulled her biggest numbers in tiny rural counties, where she often won with 80% + of the vote.  In other words, pure name recognition in low information areas.  Obama didn't campaign here at all, but Clinton did, so no surprise.  She flew here straight from SC, and I got two robocalls from her vs. one from the victorious Huck and none from anyone else.  A final tidbit. More Dems turned out to vote in TN than Republicans: 617, 397 vs. 550,674.  Even finishing a distant second, Obama beat Huckabee by more than 62,000 votes.  


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