Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Sam Stein of the Huffington Post thinks there might have been a Limbaugh Effect in Indiana:

...Thirty-six percent of primary voters said that Clinton does not share their values. And yet, among that total, one out of every five (20 percent) nevertheless voted for her in the Indiana election. Moreover, of the 10 percent of Hoosiers who said "neither candidate" shared their values, 75 percent cast their ballots for Clinton....

On a broader level, among the 17 percent of primary goers who said they would choose Sen. John McCain over Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical general election match-up, 41 percent of that group came from Clinton's own camp. In essence, roughly seven percent of Clinton support in Indiana (40 percent of 17 percent) said they would defect to the Republican should she end up the nominee....

(Emphasis mine.) And there's a similar result in North Carolina, according to CNN's exit poll -- roughly 7% of Clinton's supporters wouldn't vote for her in November versus McCain.

In fact, Clinton beat Obama, 48%-44%, among the 14% of North Carolina Democratic primary voters who said they'd vote for McCain over Clinton in the general election. You'd think Obama's voters would be the ones who reject her in November, but a plurality of her voters reject her.

Stein says:

The numbers suggest one of three things: A) Clinton's support in Indiana, while clearly there, is not entirely solid; B) a large swath of Indiana primary goers simply didn't like the nominees and thought of Clinton as the lesser of two evils; or C) Limbaugh's hatchet plan could be having political ripples.

Does it even matter? The fact is that a significant chunk of her voters aren't going to vote Democratic in the general election no matter what. What does this say about her as an electable nominee?

Is all this Limbaugh's doing? Is it Limbaugh, the GOP, and other Republican apparatchiks working in concert? Is it Hillary Clinton trying to run a Republican-style campaign?

Or is it all mixed up now -- is it just possible that some voters weren't even sure whether they were voting for Hillary Clinton as an act of anti-Democrat mischief or as a sincere act of Bubba/bowling tribal solidarity against Obama?

Whatever the explanation, it seems apparent that Barack Obama won both states yesterday among voters who won't vote for McCain. And maybe that ought to be what superdelegates are looking at.


UPDATE: In comments, Danp handles the math better than I did (or Sam Stein, for that matter):

If 17% of all voters said they would vote for McCain in a Clinton/McCain matchup, and 41% of those voted for Clinton, then 7% (roughly) of ALL voters voted for Hillary AND would switch in the GE. Since Hillary only got 51% of ALL voters, that would mean that about 14% or her support came from these dittoheads. No?

And the same is true for North Carolina.

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