Excuse me. Could the inflated talking heads -- and that includes you Mr. Russert and you Ms. Brazile -- shut up for two seconds?
Ok, just press mute and tune out the Pundit Choir (plus, embarassingly, the voices of some progressive bloggers) singing Clinton's swan song at the top of their lungs. Because I would appreciate a serious response to a serious question:
Why couldn't Barack Obama win the state of Indiana?
Let me re-phrase that:
Why did Barack Obama lose the state of Indiana, a state his own campaign predicted he would win in February, a state he declared would be a "tie breaker," a state in which 25% of the electorate lives in Obama's hometown media market?
The headlines this morning are so predictably anti-Clinton, and once again resemble a bulleted list from barackobamadotcom::
Hillary loses support of white women!
Obama cuts into Hillary's base!
Obama was cheated in Indiana!
It's over for Hillary!
Obama landslide in North Carolina!
Honest headlines written by professionals who still give a damn about objectivity -- you know, that extinct breed -- might read:
Clintons Pulls Off Upset in Indiana
Obama wins North Carolina, as Expected
Obama Loses White Vote by 26 Points in NC
That's right. Here is a Fact Check for anyone still interested in unbiased election reports:
1. Obama was favored to win Indiana all along. Both campaigns had internal predictions that Obama would carry Indiana by approximately 7 points. Only recently did Clinton begin polling favorably there and once Obama started spending outrageous sums of money on negative ads, Clinton's double-digit lead returned to earth.
2. 25% of the Indiana electorate lives in the Chicago media market, Obama's hometown! On the day before the primary, the Obama campaign spent $300,000 advertising in that neighboring market.
3. Clinton's share of white women did go down in Indiana, compared to Ohio and Pennsylvania, which one might expect given Obama's aggressive advertising campaign targeted at that demographic, but she still won over 60% of the white vote in Indiana, which means she picked up some white men (is that being reported? no). Somehow, though, this is being cast as "Clinton lost white women" in support of the meme that Clinton lost support among her white base yesterday. It's simply false. She has been gaining white support since February 5th.
4. Indiana is the only state neighboring Illinois that Obama has lost.
And, although this post is about Indiana...
5. Clinton also improved her share of the white vote in North Carolina (over 60% compared to 50% in Virginia). And again.. it's not being widely reported. Obama's share of the African American vote increased in North Carolina as well.
Cliff notes for the weary: Clinton is the one who out-performed expectations yesterday. Clinton's core base grew, and Obama did not cut into it. Obama lost ground in Indiana. A big Rezko-sized lot full of ground. A net 9-point loss from his own projections. Despite massive advertising expenditures and a hometown advantage with 25% of the electorate, Obama could not close the deal in Indiana.
On April 11, Obama himself predicted that Indiana would be a tie-breaker:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- On the second day of his Indiana bus tour, Obama said the state could be a potential "tiebreaker" in the lengthy nomination process.
"I think Indiana is very important," Obama said. "We've got three contests coming up in pretty big states -- Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana. They all have significant numbers of delegates, and they are states where Sen. Clinton and I are actively campaigning."
"You know, Sen. Clinton is more favored in Pennsylvania," he added, "and I'm right now a little more favored in North Carolina, so Indiana right now may end up being the tiebreaker. So we want to work very hard in Indiana. While Sen. Clinton has some advantages here, I benefit coming from an adjoining state." MSNBC.com
Senator Obama was correct. They both campaigned actively in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana. He was also right in predicting that she would win Pennsylvania and he would win North Carolina.
And Indiana is the tie-breaker. Now, Senator Obama is a smart guy. I don't think he would have said this had he expected to lose Indiana. So what happened?
It wasn't Rev. Wright, of course, many analysts have already concluded (including myDD's own Jonathan Singer). But how do they know? 50% of voters told CNN that Rev. Wright made a difference in their vote, and Obama lost ground with white voters. Maybe it was Rev. Wright. Or William Ayres, the Weather Underground friend standing on top of the American flag. Or Obama's unguarded characterization of bitter small-town Americans. Or maybe it was just the slow-motion epiphany that Sen. Obama is not yet ready for the most trusted job in the world.
(The Obama campaign, by the way, is blaming his Indiana loss on Rush Limbaugh, but that's not supported by exit polls, which indicate that the percentage of Republicans who voted for Clinton was consistent with the share of Democrats who voted for her.)
I am sick and fed up of the mainstream media, in particular Obama-drooling Cable TV weaklings such as Tim Russert who dominate prime-time airwaves, distorting facts and misusing the public's trust in order to spin Hillary Clinton out of the race.
Another example: there are a growing number of articles suggesting that African Americans will "abandon" the Democratic Party en masse in November if Obama is not the nominee. But I don't hear anyone pointing out that white Democrats might do the same if Clinton is not the nominee, despite the exit-poll data on race and despite that up to 50% of Clinton voters now state that they would never vote for Obama.
Why would anyone (such as a Superdelegate) assume that white Democrats will ultimately be more loyal to the Party than black Democrats? Isn't that racist?
Barack Obama lost Indiana. And I just beg someone more visible and important than an anonymous citizen blogger such as myself, someone like Wolf Blitzer or Britt Hume for instance, to pose the question: Why did Barack Obama LOSE Indiana, a state he had every reason to win? And what does his loss mean for the Democrats in November if Obama is the nominee?
Note: Exit poll data from CNN.com for Indiana and North Carolina.
TexasDarlin, all rights reserved.
Cross posted at TexasDarlin