Mass Appeal Tuesday

6 02 2008

A cursory glance at the results from February 5th Democratic primary contests reveals some really encouraging signs for the Obama campaign, especially in seemingly unlikely places of the country. He won 60 percent of the vote or better in Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, and North Dokata. (I would add Alaska too, but its a poor example considering how few votes were casted there.)

To her credit, Hillary Clinton did win convincingly in many states across the country, most notably in California where Obama devoted considerable resources to challenge her, but she only broke 60 percent in Arkansas (69 percent).

Lets see Bill Clinton compare those numbers in both fairly racially homogeneous and diverse states to how Jesse Jackson performed in 1984 and 1988.

Obama also beat Clinton in a number of squeaker contests too such as Connecticut (51 to 47 percent) and Missouri (49 to 48 percent). (New Mexico due to a storm has had to close its polling stations early and is still in the process of counting ballots.) I have not seen the exit data yet, but this is most definitive indication that Clinton’s commanding lead in the national opinion polls has been eviscerated.

That said, Obama is still behind in the delegate count. The Associated Press says Hillary has 845 to Obama’s 765. CNN calls it for Hillary by even wider margin 783 to 709, which is a tally that includes pledged state delegates and superdelegates. My sense is that there is some fuzzy math going on here, but I don’t have the time to work all these numbers out myself.

At any rate, its now safe to say that Obama’s appeal in breath and depth seems to measure well very well with Clinton’s name recognition. But there is no doubt that the Obama campaign needs his message to penetrate the Latino and Asian ethnic media markets out west and elsewhere. The Clinton campaign has capitalized on their superior outreach to yellow and brown communities, something that has been in the works for quite some time.

At the same time, I am left wondering how much better Obama would have done provided Edwards dropped out sooner, especially since Obama has won in 13 out of the 22 states last night.

Update: Apparently, New Mexico continues to be in dispute.

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