Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nevada Bets on Hillary

Nevada was a watershed election for Clinton. Her victory was no landslide--indeed, thanks to complex apportionment rules, Obama will likely receive one extra delegate to the national convention than Clinton will--but it was huge in terms of who voted for her. Clinton won half of the women, half of the white vote, two-thirds of the Latino vote, and she managed an outright majority across Clark County (Las Vegas) where the influential Culinary Workers Union had endorsed Obama.

Some had predicted the historically huge turnout (117,000 voters, ten times the 2004 figure) would favor Obama, but as she showed in New Hampshire, Clinton can also draw in many new voters. Moreover, the tiny apportionment for Edwards--far less than the raw polls predicted--suggests that a good number of Edwards supporters chose Clinton as their second choice candidate when Edwards was not viable in their precinct. Finally, Clinton managed to poll a (thin) majority across the entire state, the first Democratic candidate to do so in a contested primary or caucus.

If the message from Iowa was supposed to be "Anyone but Hillary", that has evaporated: the message from Nevada is that it has become a two-person race, and both Clinton and Obama are being weighed on their own merits. With the Clinton victory in Nevada, South Carolina's primary next weekend has become a real bellwether for Obama. If he cannot win a primary in that state, his prospects for the 2/5 primaries will look bleak--but if he can pull off a convincing win in South Carolina, his candidacy will remain very strong.

We might also note that the turnout for Democrats was triple that of the Republicans... And libertarian fringe candidate Ron Paul came in second place, which tells you all you need to know about how serious their side of the election was. This also bodes well for November.


Raised By Republicans said...

Dr. S.

A Hillary Clinton nomination for the Democratic Party would be a bet on "50%+1 now it's our turn."

McCain won in South Carolina. It appears that a McCain-Lieberman ticket is likely - especially if the widely despised Clinton is the Democratic nominee.

LTG and I were talking yesterday afternoon and he suggested that it would be very wise for the Clintons to appoint Obama as their running mate (and let's be honest, Bill is running even if he won't be President). But neither of thinks that magnanimity and graciousness (or inclusiveness) are strong points of the Clintons when they are in the throws of a political fight.

I suspect that if (as now appears likely) Hillary is the nominee, the Clintons will appoint General Clark to be their running mate and tell the Obama and Edwards supportors to suck it up.

Dr. Strangelove said...

If Clinton wins the nomination, a Clinton-Obama ticket is definitely the way to go. It seems so glaringly obvious that I am still hopeful. If Obama wins, however, there is for me no obvious choice.

I still think McCain-Huckabee is a better choice than McCain-Lieberman, since Lieberman seems to add little to McCain's credentials in terms of attracting independents, and nothing in terms of attracting the conservative base. Might help split the Jewish vote though, I suppose.

But there's still three weeks in which all races are up in the air... maybe much longer..

The Law Talking Guy said...

Dr.S., the results in Nevada did not show that "Clinton could bring in many new voters, as in New Hampshire." That's totally incorrect. In NH, Clinton won precisely because the number of independents voting in the Dem primary was less than expected (they went and voted for McCain on the other side). In Nevada, it was a closed primary (only registered Dems). Again, not new voters. Clinton has no appeal outside the party base. The appeal within the base may be enough to win the nomination, but it bodes ill for the general election. Head to head polls show McCain womping her in the general election right now. Nevada was also incredibly close. It seems that the fact that women were 60% of the caucus goers was the real edge for Clinton, which will not be true in the general.

The large turnout was great, but it was about energizing the base only. It is worth noting that Obama played well in the areas outside of Clark County, and HRC did not. 50%+1 may get the presidency, but -given the electoral college - it may not.

I don't know why some in the Democratic base think that a Democrat is so sure to win the election that they can afford to nominate the most hated candidate in their party. Does anybody on this blog know ANYONE who calls himself or herself an independent who supports Clinton? It's a bad bet. As, frankly, are most in Nevada.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I fear a McCain-Lieberman ticket greatly as against Clinton. She will energize the GOP base all by herself, so McCain-Lieberman can afford to go after independents as a sort of national-unity ticket. It would be strong win unless the Iraq war goes south again (which it probably will, as we haven't solved anything - the surge was kind of like throwing a blanket on a fire, temporarily look sbetter till the blanket itself goes up in flames).

Raised By Republicans said...

Not only do I not know more than one independent who will vote for Clinton (and he is a rather idiosyncratic pro-trade fanatic who directs the brunt of his ire towards Edwards), I know several Replublicans who would vote for Obama against all the likely GOP nominees right now. Those same wavering Republicans declare that they'll never vote for Clinton.

LTG is right to point out that Obama did best in the "red" parts of Nevada. The same happened in New Hampshire actually.

This may suggest that when the primaries leave the more liberal states and move to swing states and traditionally conservative states, we may see a return of what happened in Iowa...perhaps not but the details in the results in New Hampshire and Nevada suggest it is a strong possibility.

Dr. Strangelove said...

There are some interesting exit polls from Nevada here to chew on. Some highlights:

a) Party ID
Democrats: Clinton - 51%, Obama - 39%
Independents: Clinton - 33%, Obama - 47%
This is similar to the New Hampshire breakdown of 31%/41% Clinton/Obama.
Clinton's strength came from the core, Obama from the Independents.

b) Ideology
Across the board, in every category (liberal, moderate, and conservative) the results were almost the same:
Clinton - 45% to 52%, Obama 36% to 42%.
The race did not break down along ideological faultlines.

c) Race
Black: Clinton - 14%, Obama - 83%
White: Clinton - 52%, Obama - 34%
Latino: Clinton - 64%, Obama - 26%
Latent racism? Is Obama in danger of becoming "The Black Candidate"?

d) Religion
None: Clinton - 41%, Obama - 44%
Protestant: Clinton - 46%, Obama - 45%
Catholic: Clinton - 58%, Obama - 31%
Jewish: Clinton - 67%, Obama - 25%
Despite Obama's public profession of faith, Democratic faithful chose Clinton, and Obama won the atheist vote.

e) Gender
Male: Clinton - 43%, Obama - 45%
Female: Clinton - 51%, Obama - 38%
Women turned out for Clinton; men were split.

f) Age
Obama won the young voters and Clinton the old. 18-29 went for Obama nearly 2 to 1. Over 60 went for Clinton nearly 2 to 1. There was a smooth transition through the middle-aged electorate.

g) First-time Participants
LTG, by "new" voters I did not mean "Independent" voters.
Iowa: Clinton - 29%, Obama - 57%
New Hampshire: Clinton - 37%, Obama - 47%
Since almost 90% of the voters were first-time caucus participants in Nevada, we can safely assume the breakdown was even more favorable for Clinton.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Dr.S., your last point(g) doesn't make sense. If Iowa and NH both have Obama getting far more of the first-time participants than Clinton, then what does it mean that Nevada voters were "even more favorable" for Clinton? I presume you mean that since 90% of the voters were first-time caucus participants in Nevada, and Clinton won, she must have done better than she did in NH and Iowa among first-timers (where she lost). Of course, Nevada's "first-timers" are a different category. In NH and Iowa, these early contests have long drawn a much larger % of the voting public than Nevada's late and usually irrelevant caucuses. So the "new voters" in Nevada, if measured by just those who showed up to the caucuses for the first time, probably includes a lot of the base. The question in Nevada is whether people who are new to politics, those who previously called themselves independents or apathetic, turned out to vote in the caucuses. Some did, surely. Then, among these genuinely new voters, how did they break? I suspect as before: most for Obama. This shows that Obama has a much broader appeal outside the base than Clinton.

There are many Obama voters who are independents that might, in the general, vote for a moderate Republican like McCain or even Romney. There are almost no Clinton voters who are up for grabs. We lose those votes if we nominate Clinton.

Raised By Republicans said...

Dr. S. provided some numbers that I take a completely different conclusion from.

I see those numbers screaming that Clinton has far less appeal to that decisive group of non-aligned voters than does Obama. While ideology doesn't seem to have a clear advantage, self-reported ideology is tricky because most people consider themselves "moderate" even when they are significantly to the left or right of the true median voter. The real tell is the appeal to independents - which is dangerously lopsided against Clinton.

Also, as far as latent racism...I suspect the Nevada numbers were driven as much by Black-Brown tensions and Latino animosity to Obama as Obama's exclusive appeal to Blacks.