A Different Trip to Whole Foods -- Remembering RFK etal

Upfront, let's make sure everyone understands I know Obama enjoys thoughtful informed support from a wide demographic.  So no one needs to hop on and remind us all that fifty year olds support Obama too and for all the right reasons.  This diary conceded that up front.
I'm a semi-regular shopper at the Ann Arbor Whole Foods Market.  In my experiences I've always found those who work there to be almost overly friendly and helpful.  Yesterday was different.
Seeing the long faces there and feeling for the first time what sure seemed like hostility towards my old white female self got me thinking, and not about Whole Foods. (it's just where I jumped off)  
Yesterday was a very difficult day  for young Obama supporters and perhaps a little thoughtful compassion is in order.

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Obama Bleeding Non-Democrats

After advising me on Tuesday to look for a pro-Clinton wave among Republicans in Texas and Ohio, my Republican father e-mailed me excitedly yesterday to let me know that he'd heard that 1 in 10 voters in the Democratic primary were Republicans. He was off by a little bit: of the four states that voted on Tuesday, only Texas and Ohio allowed Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary and according to exit polls the turn-out was slightly lower than that at 9% in both states. Now, as for whether the result was as he predicted -- i.e. a strong turn-out for Clinton -- yes, while she didn't win Republicans in either state, Hillary Clinton certainly outperformed her past showings among Reps indicating that perhaps the grassroots campaign to keep this nomination battle going by boosting Clinton may have worked. The problem is that if the Republican turn-out really was due to efforts Limbaugh et al, wouldn't their turn-out have been markedly higher than in previous open contests, especially since McCain had essentially locked up the nomination? As you can see, it was about on par with recent open primaries and Clinton closed the gap with Obama decidedly, even tying him in Ohio among Republicans. (H/t Open Left for the excellent composite of all pre-March 4th exit polls.)

CandidatePre-March 4 (3%)Virginia (7%)Wisconsin (9%)Texas (9%)Ohio (9%)

What's interesting is that this bleeding of support from Obama to Clinton was not unique to Republicans. Remarkably, Clinton almost tied Obama among independents last night, a group that would not have been susceptible to any spoiler campaign and one that has traditionally served as one of Obama's strongest constituencies (even in California, the site of one of Clinton's biggest wins, Obama won independents by 14%.) And again, here, notice that independent turn-out was about on par with other recent open contests, in fact it was higher than the pre-March 4th average, but Clinton did far better among this group than she has traditionally.

CandidatePre-March 4 (19%)Virginia (22%)Wisconsin (28%)Texas (25%)Ohio (22%)

Obama's strength among independents is one of the keys to the electability argument his supporters make for him, but it looks as though, in Ohio and Texas at least, independents may have soured on Obama a bit and proved that they see Hillary Clinton as just as appealing a Democrat as Barack Obama. Big question moving forward: will what happened in Texas and Ohio stay in Texas and Ohio?

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Spin Cycle

As a volunteer on the ground in Ohio I find some of the spinning coming from the Obama camp rather humorous. I have heard them say that Hillary won because Ohioans are racists. I have heard that none of it matters because Obama is ahead in the delegates. And I have heard that the reason Hillary won is because she attacked Obama. But as someone that is on the ground here that did go door to door talking with voters and someone that spent hours on the phone talking with voters I can tell all of them that they are wrong.

Hillary won here because people like me worked our butts of to actually talk to Ohio voters. No one I know of said anything at all detrimental about Senator Obama. If we had, we would have been thrown off the campaign. We were instructed to be positive and to stress Hillary's experience and accomplishments. We LISTENED to Ohio voters and we communicated their needs to the campaign.

Standing out in blizzards and freezing rain holding signs and waving for Hillary is how we won Ohio. Going door to door communicating with Ohio voters one house at a time is how we won Ohio. Working hard like most Ohioans work is exactly how we won Ohio. Not giving up because Hillary didn't give up on us is exactly how we won Ohio. And I commend everyone that helped in this wonderful victory.

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Who Got It Right?

Once again, mad respect to Survey USA for getting Ohio just right at 54-44 in its final poll.

And as for Texas, give it up for ARG, which actually got it close this time, predicting a 50-47 Clinton win.

And in the unscientific method department, I'd say Jerome deserves some props for his predictions that Clinton would win Ohio by 12% and Texas by 2%. The kid's got skillz.

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Results Round-up

OK, before I head to bed, I wanted to break down what we have so far this incredible and crazy night.

Vermont (86% reporting):

Obama 60
Clinton 38

Rhode Island (98% reporting):

Clinton 58
Obama 40

Ohio (97% reporting):

Clinton 54
Obama 44

Texas (P) (98% reporting):

Clinton 51
Obama 48

And ready for this one...

Texas (C) (36% reporting) is too close to call:

Obama 52
Clinton 48

It's a cliche by now but Hillary Clinton did exactly what she needed to do. Congratulations, Senator.

And in other news, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul survived their primary challenges today. This graf made me chuckle:

But in the end, [Paul challenger Chris] Peden fell short, allowing Paul to resume his presidential campaign, although Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., wrapped up the nomination with a sweep of wins in Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Paul's native Texas.

But in perhaps the most important primary news of the day, Rick Noriega, Democratic challenger to Bush hack TX GOP Senator John Cornyn, dispatched his primary challenger earning 51% of the vote. As Burnt Orange Report put it earlier tonight:


Go congratulate Noriega on officially becoming the Democratic nominee for Senate from Texas over at Act Blue.

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