Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Early Morning Numbers

I ran out of gas before the late results came in last night. I'm just waking up now. (Come on, coffee.)

One thing I've noticed from a quick look at the data: Where Obama won, he often won big: +25 in North Dakota, +31 in Illinois, +35 in Georgia, +48 in Kansas, +49 in Alaska, and +62 in Idaho. By contrast, Clinton only won two states with a cushion of more than 20: +24 in Oklahoma and +42 in Arkansas.

Obama won fourteen states yesterday, Clinton won eight. Clinton did get the big ones: New York (+17), New Jersey (+10), and California (also +10). (Open question: how much did early voting by mail hurt Obama in California?) It's too soon to say much about the delegate count, given the various proportional allotment schemes for the Democratic primaries, but it appears that Clinton has a slight edge at the moment. [Update: The Boston Globe has the current delegate count at 582 to 562, Clinton. This is an entertaining page -- note, for example, how many people were on the ballots in Arizona.]

Another plus for Obama: convincing wins in Georgia, Alabama (O! 'Bama!), and South Carolina (earlier, on 26 Jan) tells me that he doesn't have to worry about "balancing" the ticket with a Southern running mate. Which reminds me: I heard some interesting speculation yesterday from Daniel Drezner: what about Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona or Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas as a running mate for Obama? My take: Either one brings geographic diversity, some conservative cred to attract the undecideds, and could diffuse feminist resentment that might linger from a Clinton defeat. Okay, we're getting ahead of ourselves here.

First surprise from a quick look at the GOP results: Romney carried seven states yesterday: Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and Utah. (He just squeaked out that last one, with a margin of +84. Wonder why.) That's better than I expected. Add in five states for Huckabee (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and West Virginia), and maybe it's not over yet for the Republicans. However, McCain did win nine states, including the biggies California, New York, and New Jersey. Adding to that the fact that most of the states are winner-take-all for the Republican primaries, it's probably not as close as a count of states won suggests. But at least neither Huckabee nor Romney seems likely to drop out yet. [Update 2: The same Globe page has the delegate count as 511-176-147, McCain-Romney-Huckabee.]

I note that Romney won Colorado by a margin of +40. Interesting. Wonder how much of that is due to the Mormon vote (Colorado is next door to Utah, remember). Or is it a Midwestern thing against McCain? McCain squeaked out wins in Missouri (+1) and Oklahoma (+3); Romney won handily in Utah and Colorado, as already noted, as well as North Dakota (+13), Montana (+14), and Minnesota (+22). McCain did win Illinois by a lot (+19), but the county-by-county returns show that he did best in the areas near the big cities. Maybe it's a rural thing?

Another piece of evidence to support this last guess: McCain didn't make the top three in Alaska (Romney: 44%, Huckabee: 22%, Paul: 17%). For a delightful in-depth analysis by a resident of this state, see d's post. Here's how it starts:

The Only Caucus that Ever Mattered

In response to the least-asked question of the primary season -- "So what the hell is happening in Alaska?" -- the answer is clear.

People in Alaska are still rug-chomping crazy.

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