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Thursday, May 29, 2008
Poll Vault

A number of writers are looking at some very interesting poll results this morning. Richard Baehr notes that there is a startling difference in three particular states that indicates the Democrats are nominating a very risky candidate:

Were the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the Democrats would be in very good shape even without Ohio. That is because current surveys show Hillary Clinton winning all three states by solid margins over John McCain. But John McCain trounces Barack Obama in the same three states by over 20% in each case. So with Clinton as the nominee, these states vote as they did when her husband was the nominee. When Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, these states vote as they did when George Bush was running. The differences in the poll results are shocking. Clinton wins Arkansas and Kentucky by 14% and 9% respectively. McCain wins against Obama in the two states by 25% and 24% respectively. This means the shift from Obama to Clinton is a change of over 34% margin in one state, 38% in the other.

That's a staggering difference and a reminder that just having an (R) or a (D) after your name is not all that matters.

Jay Cost notes that the main difference between where Hillary and Obama do well portends poorly for the latter. Hillary and Obama are essentially even in Safe Democrat States, and in Swing Democrat States. Obama does better than Hillary in Safe Republican States, but Clinton does better in Swing Republican States. And in those states, Clinton does a LOT better than Obama among White and Hispanic voters.

At Salon, Paul Maslin examines the youth vote possibility and concludes it's probably not worth much, and might backfire:

Furthermore, what the god of demographics giveth, he or she might also taketh away. I worked for the Howard Dean campaign in 2003 and 2004, and I have always felt that a big part of his last-minute decline in Iowa four years ago was due to a mostly older electorate engaging in a more detailed consideration of the Deaniacs. Meaning, many of the graying Iowans took a look at the hundreds if not thousands of young out-of-state campaign volunteers who were knocking on their doors, decked out in orange ski hats and claiming to be part of "the perfect storm," and decided they didn't want what the youngsters were selling. Clearly Hillary Clinton has built impressive margins over and over this season among seniors, and I suspect that part of her appeal to older voters stems from a similar backlash at the younger alternative. The more messianic the whole Obama thing seems, the more his brand becomes associated with kids, and perhaps the more aged wine there is for McCain & Co. to sip.

That's right on the money. Most observers agree that the Deaniacs in their orange caps behaved like typical kids enamored of their first love, just as Obamania seems a trifle overblown.
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