Political junkie that I am, of course I was glued to MSNBC tonight for their coverage of the Wisconsin primary. Not just because I'm intensely engaged in this nomination battle (I now have a designated 'horse in this race'), but because I spent eight years of my life in graduate school in one of our finest upper midwest deep freeze states. The people of Wisconsin are great folks ... typical friendly hard-working Upper Midwesterners who are generally open-minded and trending even more progressive in recent years. (However, let's not forget it's the home state of both 'Fighting Bob' LaFollette, the legendary early 20th century Progressive, but also one of the most ignominious Senators of the 20th century, the loathsome Joe McCarthy. As an aside, one of my goals in life is to make a pilgrimage to his grave and piss copiously on it. I know, that's a bit disrespectful, but that's a minor punishment for the damage he inflicted on this country in the 1950's.)
As it stands as of this writing, with 97% of precincts reporting, Obama leads Clinton with a 17% margin ... 58% to 41%. Yes, it's a clearly defined win, but I'd go a bit further and even say that Obama handed Clinton her ass tonight. Now, you might object by saying 'Oh it was just 17%, that's no blowout, but it is a win,' which is what I expect will soon be the spin from the Clinton campaign (just like that pronouncement about 'insignificant states' last week). No, I'm not basing my judgment on the hard numbers of primary results reported alone, because when you look at the internals of the exit polls, some remarkable numbers begin to emerge.
I know exit polls are much maligned by many, but they do provide some valuable indicators about the candidates if you take the time to read the internals and look at the numbers. I just spent some time looking at the internals that MSNBC has so kindly provided. If you take the time to work through them all, you can only conclude that Obama clearly has the edge in broad appeal among this year's electorate. If we can even dare say that the people have spoken this year, it's clear that they're shouting OBAMA! Granted, I've had my doubts about him all along, but at this point in the race, I still feel he's the clear choice among Democrats. We need to win this year. Otherwise, I fear our fragile 'Democracy' is doomed with all the erosion of basic rights and constitutional violations perpetrated by the Cheney/Shrub administration. I've felt for several years that a Clinton nomination was the best way for the ReSkunklicans to steal another election, and frankly, I'm having none of it.
A couple of side notes from Obama's speech tonight:
He promises to close Guantánamo.
He promises to restore Habeus Corpus.
That's good enough for me.
Ok, about those internals ...
(Overall percentage of voters/Clinton/Obama/"Uninstructed")
Obama is split 50-50 among women.
|All other races||1||-||-||-|
|Hispanic / Latino||4||-||-||-|
Clinton takes the over 65 vote handily 58% to 41%, but that hardly seems like a surprise to me. Maybe her new ads need to emphasize the 'blue hairs for Hillary!' stat?
|65 or over||20||58||41||-|
|$15,000 - $29,999||12||46||52||-|
|$30,000 - $49,999||21||44||56||-|
|$50,000 - $74,999||25||42||57||-|
|$75,000 - $99,999||15||34||64||1|
|$100,000 - $149,999||13||35||65||-|
|$150,000 - $199,999||4||-||-||-|
|$200,000 or more||3||-||-||-|
In all education brackets, Obama again takes them all.
|Did not complete high school||4||-||-||-|
|High school graduate||24||47||51||0|
|Some college or associate degree||31||40||60||-|
|No college degree||58||43||56||0|
With regard to political leanings, Obama also wins the day. Pay particular attention to those who self-identify themselves as 'Somewhat Conservative':
|Mormon / LDS||0||-||-||-|
|The war in Iraq||26||39||60||0|
|Can bring about needed change||54||22||77||0|
|Cares about people like me||16||43||55||-|
|Has the right experience||22||95||5||-|
|Has the best chance to win in November||7||-||-||-|
There's a lot more interesting results in these internals, but these were some of the demographics I found the most revealing in the Wisconsin primary. When you get down to the stats on who voted for whom, the results are pretty apparent, so I'll just skip those. Follow the link if you're really interested.
My conclusion about the Wisconsin primary? For a white bread upper Midwest state, these results are pretty impressive. If Obama's momentum keeps winning the day, I'm cautiously optimistic we have a historic winner on our hands. I guess we'll get a better idea come March 4, particularly in Ohio and (le maudit!) Texas.
I, for one, am hoping that dynastic politics loses big time this year. I used to greatly admire the Clintons, but this campaign has brought out their worst tendencies. Their time is past. Face up to it Bill and Hillary. Either go out gracefully and with a little bit of class or be consigned to the lake of fire and go down in flames!