Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Finally, Pennsylvania votes

And Hillary Clinton is the winner. While the final margin of victory remains to be seen, it appears that it will be pretty close to 10 points, probably with Clinton getting 54-56% of the vote. Guess she can knock back a couple more boilermakers tonight with her pals in that bar she visited in Indiana last week.

A few interesting things to note:

  • The exit polls are pretty interesting. As has been the pattern throughout the primary season, Obama won the youth vote pretty substantially, with voters between 18-29 giving him a 61%-39% advantage. The problem, as always, is this - that cohort only represented 12% of the electorate. Meanwhile, Hillary cleaned up with the Early Bird Special crowd, winning those 60 and over by 62%-38%. And that cohort represented 32% of the electorate. We keep hearing about how the energy of younger voters is going to carry the day. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that's nonsense. The only time I ever saw it happen was when the army of north suburban dudes wearing mullets put Jesse Ventura over the top back in '98. And those guys aren't the "youth" that the chattering classes so adore.

  • Another interesting finding -- those who "cling" to their religion were perhaps a smidge offended by Sen. Obama's undergraduate-level sociological explanations for their behavior. Weekly churchgoers supported Mrs. Clinton 58%-42%, while those who don't attend church supported Obama 56%-44%. Again, the key is that weekly churchgoers represented 36% of the electorate, while their secular counterparts are only 17%. And occasional churchgoers, who represent the remaining 45% of the electorate, supported Mrs. Clinton 55%-45%. That pretty closely mirrors what the overall numbers will look like. And among Catholics, Mrs. Clinton won by better than 2-1, despite the ministrations of Sen. Bob Casey Jr., the theoretically pro-life senator who supported Sen. Obama.

  • Turning away from the numbers, here's something else for the Obamaphiles to consider. Stephen Green at Vodkapundit makes an excellent, pre-cocktail observation as he "drunk-blogs" the Pennsylvania primary, to wit:

What’s wrong with the Democratic nominating process? Look. You can become
President of these United States by winning just 11 states: California, Texas,
New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, North
Carolina, and Georgia. Of those, Clinton has won California, New York, Florida
(which didn’t count), Ohio, Michigan (which also didn’t count), New Jersey,
presumably Pennsylvania tonight, and the popular vote in Texas. If the Democrats
ran a winner-take-all system like the Republicans and the Electoral College do,
she’d have this thing clinched — and Obama would look like a regional candidate
who can’t win much outside the South and his home state of Illinois. Instead,
the race goes on and on and the candidates get weaker and weaker and without an end in sight.

And that's what you get when you game the system in the interest of "fairness."

So What Does It All Mean? Beats me, kids. Mrs. Clinton will certainly slog on to the next states and Obama will continue to flood the airwaves with his gauzy advertisements. But the only thing I can conclude with any certainty is this - the Republicans may be the Stupid Party, but the (Sid Hartman) geniuses (/Sid Hartman) in the Democratic Party are doing what they always do - screwing up a Sure Thing. Darn shame, eh?

Cross-posted at True North.


Gino said...

but those 'catholics' who voted for H, are they churchgoers?

they've done studies. catholics who 'attend mass more often that not' are almost all GOP.

the inverse holds true for those who claim to be catholics, but couldnt recite a Hail Mary, or mane their local parish.

Mark Heuring said...

Don't know Gino, but it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of these folks weren't regular churchgoers.

Having said that, at least here in Minnesota, I know a lot of regular churchgoing Catholics who are Democrats. In 2004 I would see 7-10 Kerry bumper stickers in the St. John's parking lot every week at the Mass I attend, with about an equal number of Bush/Cheney stickers. And my friend Rich, who comments here pretty regularly, is a weekly churchgoer.

It's an interesting topic and probably worth a post or two at some point.