The Tweety Effect And Other Things
From John Judis at TNR:
Here are the groups in which Obama enjoyed a significant margin over Clinton: men, young voters (18-24), voters making more than $50,000, voters with post-graduate education (a good indication of professionals), independents, first time voters, voters without religious affiliation, men without children and single men, voters who said they were getting ahead financially, voters who thought the war in Iraq was the most important issue, who wanted change, and who wanted someone who could unite the country.
Here are Clinton's groups: women, particularly married women, voters over 40, voters making less than $50,000, voters without a college degree, union voters, Democrats, Catholics (an important constituency for the Democrats), people very worried about the economy, voters who thought the economy was most important, voters who valued experience, and voters who evaluated candidates on whether they "care about people like me."
There were anomalies. Voters who thought the war in Iraq was the most important issue favored Obama by 46 to 33 percent, while voters who favored our withdrawing all troops "as soon as possible" favored Clinton by 40 to 36 percent. That may reflect Clinton's higher rating as a potential commander-in-chief, or it may just be a statistical anomaly. Clinton's support by 38 to 20 percent over Obama on the question of which "one of these candidates "cares about people like me" is also interesting, and suggests that Obama has a different kind of charisma than Bill Clinton or George W. Bush. This was, too, Edwards' strongest category – the only one where he won more support than his rivals.
Here's this from Yglesias. I'll let you all sort all that out.
It's worth noting that the youth vote was up in New Hampshire, it just didn't break quite so much in favor of Obama this time. That's probably an organizational difference of some sort. The big news is that 61% of young voters participated in the Democratic primary vs.
29% 39% in the Republican.
I think it's also worth noting that both candidates show strengths that can help them in the general and weaknesses that will hurt them. Married women have been a GOP strength in recent years, so maybe Hillary helps bring them over. Obviously, the younger voters are a huge benefit for Obama. As far as I can tell, they are both going to have problems with rural voters and traditional white men -- especially if McCain gets the nod. It's all very interesting.
And, just as an aside, am I the only person who wants to shoot herself in the face if she hears the word "change" from any of the candidates (and the media) one more time? Time to "change" the station guys. (I suggest "the American people want to "open a new door" or "take a different path.") A commenter yesterday brought up this classic sit-com moment:
"Cheers: One for the Road
[Frasier is helping Woody prepare a speech]
Woody Boyd: "I believe I was elected to the City Council as an agent of change. And I fully intend to live up to that pledge: I will make change."
Dr. Frasier Crane: Change 'change' to 'a change'.
Woody Boyd: A what?
Dr. Frasier Crane: You see, in here, you make 'change'. There, you make 'a change'. So, just make the change. Change 'make change' to 'make *a* change'.
Dr. Frasier Crane: [frustrated and yells] Oh, just change it!
[Frasier storms off]
Woody Boyd: [to Norm] Boy, I think I see why Dr. Crane never cures anybody.
Also, to those who say that there was something wrong with women who may have voted for Hillary Clinton due to the Tweety Effect, keep in mind that only a few people have voted for anyone so far. Iowa is just Iowa. New Hampshire is just New Hampshire. Now we're going deep south, we're going to the Florida polyglot, we're going urban, we're going west and then we're going Big Blue and each candidate is going to have to make his and her case to those slices of the electorate.
A political campaign is a process. I have often voted in primaries for people I didn't think would win, but because I wanted to make a statement about their signature issue or effect the campaign as much as the candidate. It's the only real voice we have. Primaries occur at a time when the agenda and the platform are being sorted out as well as the candidates. It's where you can vote your heart. Once the parties pick their candidates, then you have to think about strategic voting and weigh your choices in terms of the other side. (I'm not saying electability isn't important, just that primaries are the one time when citizens can make an impact on their party --- and, nowadays, the media and the culture at large.)
If both of these candidates are going to win in the general, it's good for them to have to fight for a bit. That's what primaries are for. I hate it when they are coronations because citizens never get a chance to shape the race. It just happens and you're stuck with it. This is good for the Democrats. We have to stop being afraid to fight and recover. It's how you develop the hide you need to take on the Republicans.
And even if the Tweety Effect is overblown (which it probably is) it's good for the media to take a look at their coverage. Sadly, it seems Tweety himself has immediately embraced the Bradley Effect theory, which means he's now going to be flogging the idea every day on his show that a black man can't win. It makes me want to defy him again with the Tweety Blowback Effect, which has white voters coming out in droves to prove that his damned Bradley Effect is bullshit. Jesus... what an ass.
Update: The Hillary bashing continues apace by the newest op-ed columnist for the paper of record. (I suspect he and Maureen Dowd got together over apple martinis last night and compared bon mots.) Apparently, the cold and calculating robot is also the first lady of the American Theatre. Does this make sense? If she were that great an actress, I think she would be a helluva lot better on the stump than she is, don't you? Wouldn't she be giving the soaring speeches and choking up on cue every day if she could? Please.
I wrote a long piece about this a couple of months ago, which I ended with this:
I wonder if Chris Matthews realizes that every time he or one of his fellow gasbags blithely reveal their sexist lizard brains like this, another little feminist gets her (or his) wings.