MY HUNCH? HILLARY'S GOING TO WIN THE NOMINATION
(UPDATE, WEDNESDAY MORNING: I went out on a limb. I look like an idiot now for posting this. But screw it, I'll leave it up.)
First, Gallup was reporting this earlier today:
Obama Gaining Among Middle-Aged, Women, Hispanics
The momentum in the Democratic nomination race has clearly swung toward Barack Obama....
Obama's standing has improved among most Democratic subgroups over the past several days. But one of the more substantial shifts has been the changing preferences of middle-aged Democratic voters, who have moved away from Clinton and toward Obama in the past week. Obama has also made gains among three other groups that have favored Clinton throughout much of the campaign -- women, Hispanics, and self-identified Democrats....
However, Gallup went on to give us this:
Hillary Clinton has rebounded among Democrats in the Gallup Poll Daily tracking average for Feb. 16-18. She is now at 45% to Barack Obama's 46%.
Clinton was seven percentage points behind Obama in the Feb. 15-17 average....
The smart folks think it's a response to the Obama/Deval Patrick plagiarism-from-a-pal kerfuffle.
I don't. I suspect a lot of clever-clever overeducated cultural sophisticates -- i.e., my peers -- are starting to feel that Obama is an indie band they don't like anymore; there's just too much tackily earnest irony-free mass adulation going on all around him. An increasing number of ordinary Joes and Janes are starting to respond to Obama's appeal as a candidate by switching to him, but we frou-frou types are responding to his appeal as a candidate by switching from him.
Or something like that.
Meanwhile, Hillary was never out of it -- I think a lot of us just thought so because we simply don't know any, say, older Catholic women who didn't go to college, or other members of the Clinton base. (As it turns out, I'm the son of an older Catholic woman who didn't go to college, and, yup, she likes Hillary.) Hillary's polling quite well in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Why have so many people acted as if her persistence in the race has been somehow unseemly?
I say this as someone who voted for Obama and thinks he'd be the stronger candidate -- that is, when I don't find myself thinking that no Democrat will win this or any other presidential election in in my lifetime, given the way our political narrative always returns to "President equals Daddy, which means solid Republican rather than freaky Democrat." But my preference doesn't change my sense that Obama has never been as inevitable as he's seemed recently, and he's less so now, mostly because all the talk of Obamamania has made him seem less cool. Well, we'll see.