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Primary Results

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Tar Heel Pride. | Indiana Squeaker.

Just to do this properly, Sen. Obama wins North Carolina by 14 and comes within 2 in Indiana, effectively ending the race for the Democratic nomination. (Yes, it was already over, but now it’s really, really over.) When I got home late last night, Clinton had cancelled all of her public appearances, and it seemed reality had finally set in. But, no, word this morning is she will press on, and continue to burn money and goodwill for no apparent reason. Still, even if her campaign remains gracelessly in denial, I’d expect high-profile Clinton supporters will soon close the deal for her regardless. (Former Clinton backer George McGovern, for one, has now switched to Obama and is urging her concession.) So, the upshot is we’re done here, folks. It’s all over but the cryin’. And Senator Barack Obama of Illinois is our Democratic nominee.

Update: Sen. Obama picks up four more supers (one formerly a Clinton supporter, so it’s Obama +5 to Clinton’s +1), while Sen. Clinton’s Senate backers start looking for the exit. And May 20 is the new May 6.

Going back to Cali.

California officially certifies its delegate count from Super Tuesday, and, as it turns out, Senator Obama has picked up eight more delegates there. That’s twice as many as Clinton received on her big “blowout” day of March 4th, when, delegate-wise, she won Ohio and, it seems, lost Texas. Update: Just to clarify, I should say Obama picked up four more delegates in CA, which Clinton in turn lost. So Obama +4, Clinton -4, a.k.a. an eight-delegate swing.

Wisco is Disco.

No. 9, No. 9, No. 9…Sen. Barack Obama wins Wisconsin, the land of Feingold and the La Follettes, going away (58%-41%), and eats even deeper into Sen. Clinton’s core constituencies.

Next up, two debates, then the line in the sand: March 4, Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These are huge and crucial states, and they will dictate how much longer Sen. Obama has to face a debilitating two-front war. But, I might as well come clean. I’ve been saying this elsewhere since the Potomac primaries, and now I’ll go ahead and say it here: The math is virtually inexorable now, and Sen. Clinton has lost. Her campaign even conceded thus a week ago. It’s now just a question of how badly she and her campaign wants Obama to bleed before she drops out. (To his credit, Mitt Romney got out early so as not to hamstring his party’s candidate in the general. Sadly, I doubt we can expect the same of Sen. Clinton.)

This is not to say Ohioans, Texans, Rhode Islanders, and Vermonters, to say nothing of Pennsylvanians, Kentuckians, North Carolinians, etc., should now become complacent. Far from it — now’s the time to redouble our efforts, and end this race, sooner rather than later. The tide has turned, and, to quote my former employer (who would tell Sen. Clinton the same), “When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil.” All that being said, I just don’t see Sen. Clinton coming back at this point. And, if she somehow finds a way to wrest the nomination from Obama, it’ll have been by dragging the Democratic party so deeply through the mud of asinine smears and obvious half-truths that the nomination will be worthless. It is time for her to go.

It’s late, I’m still waiting for the Hawaii results, and I’m still pretty peeved about Clinton’s ridiculous plagiarism gambit. But, If you’ll forgive the lapse into LotR metaphors, the treason of Saruman, once the noblest and wisest of our order, is almost subdued. The Battle for Middle-Earth is only beginning.

Finally, New Mexico.

Eight days after the fact, Sen. Clinton picks up a win in New Mexico by 2000 votes (of 150,000 cast), giving her a 2-delegate edge (14 to 12) in the state. But, unfortunately for the Clinton campaign, New Mexico was a caucus state, and thus “not significant.” Oh well, sorry, y’all.

Oh, Carolina!

In South Carolina, Barack Obama wins in a rout, beating Hillary Clinton by 28 points and winning more votes than Clinton and Edwards combined. (And, as Andrew Sullivan noted tonight, Obama also scored more Palmetto votes than McCain and Huckabee combined…something to consider for the general election.) Some of the interesting numbers:

  • Aside from Horry County (a.k.a. Myrtle Beach), which went for Hillary Clinton, and Seneca County, where John Edwards was born, Barack Obama won the entire state — 44 of 46 counties (including Florence, where I grew up…this makes me quite happy.)

  • Obama won the African-American vote — both male and female — by 4 to 1. However, he also won 1 in 4 white votes — considerably higher than anticipated. (Clinton won 1 in 3 white votes, the rest went to the local native, Edwards.)

  • Obama — and this accords with my understanding of the South — won the white youth vote big. (52% to 27% for Clinton and 21% of Edwards.) White voters over 60, however, went 42% each for Clinton and Edwards, with only 15% for Obama. Sadly, the generation gap — among whites — persists.

  • White men went 45% for Edwards, but otherwise split evenly between Clinton and Obama (28%-27%) White women, unsurprisingly, went for Clinton: 42% to Edwards’ 35% to Obama’s 22%.

    So now, we move to Super Tuesday, and the main demographic problem facing Senator Obama — the generation gap among whites — remains. (How the generation that coined the termDon’t trust anyone over 30” became so distrustful of Obama’s Kennedyesque appeal remains, frankly, more than a little depressing.)

    But, hope remains, while the company is true. I’ve been volunteering at Obama events over the past week and expect to continue to do so over the next nine days. Let’s each of us do what we can. The stakes are too high not to give it our all…And, if South Carolina is any indication, the times are definitely a-changin’.

  • Obama’s Iowa, By the Numbers.

    This feels good. It’s just like I imagined it when I was talking to my Kindergarten teacher.” As the focus now moves to New Hampshire in four days (here’s a good historical overview of the Iowa-to-NH bounce), some interesting facts about Obama’s resounding victory in the Iowa Caucus last night:

  • 239,000 Dems caucused last night, shattering the previous attendance record of 124,000 in 2004. (2000 saw 61,000 Dems in attendance.) “Iowa Democrats outnumbered their Republican counterparts by an almost two-to-one margin.
  • First-timers came out in droves. “First-time caucus goers, who accounted for 57 percent of Democratic participants, favored Obama, 41 percent, over Clinton, 29 percent, or Edwards, 18 percent. Among repeat attenders, Edwards led slightly.
  • About 93% of the Iowa caucusgoers were white. “Obama…won whites, by a six-point margin, 33-27 percent over Clinton…Obama won blacks in Iowa with 72 percent support, his single best group.
  • The gender gap seen in early polls did not emerge last night: In fact, “In Iowa, Obama beat Clinton by 35 percent to 30 percent among women. He did better still among men, with 35 percent support, to 24 percent for Edwards and 23 percent for Clinton.
  • The generational gap, on the other hand, was rather stark. “Among all caucus-goers under age 45, a smashing 50 percent supported Obama, compared with just 17 percent for Edwards and 16 percent for Clinton. Among those under 30, Obama went even higher, to 57 percent. Among seniors, by contrast — nearly a quarter of participants — it was Clinton 45 percent, Edwards 22, Obama 18.” “‘This is as big a generation gap as I’ve ever seen in politics,’ said CNN’s Bill Schneider.
  • Obama also won by a very sizable margin among independents, about a fifth of caucus goers, with 41 percent support to Edwards’ 23 percent and Clinton’s 17 percent.
  • Data suggests that “second-choice voters” actually went for Edwards, meaning Obama won handily with his “first-choice” support.
  • A big basketball fan, Sen. Obama spent an hour caucus morning playing a pick-up game with friends. It took awhile longer than I’d once hoped, but we may finally get that hoop at the White House…

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