I agree that it doesn't make a lot of sense for Hillary. She could win forever in NY if she wanted to. And if she (or Obama) does not do well, she has no chance of being president in 2012 OR 2016. Even if she and Obama both do well, she will be 68 in 2016 and I think her time will have passed. However, she is the junior Senator from New York, and likely will be forever, unless Schumer decides to run for President and wins (not likely). And Ted Kennedy has made it clear that Hillary is not going to be given the lead on health care reform. So maybe she truly thinks she will not be president, mulls over her options, and decides that being the Secretary of State for 4-8 years is a better "last job before retirement" than junior Senator of New York? Not sure if that's the case, but it's all I can think of.
I don't mean to belittle the support for Hillary. I would imagine all (or almost all) of her supporters wanted her because she was their ideal candidate. And many people thought Kerry was their ideal candidate. What I meant to refer to was the phenomenon of many Dean supporters quickly moving to support Kerry over electability very very early in the 2004 primaries. That did not happen with Obama supporters here. It could have, after Hillary won NH.
This was supposed to refer only to Kerry and Obama supporters; no disrespect at all meant to Hillary or her supporters, who supported her for the exact right reasons.
I think that many conservatives like her because she is a staunchly pro-life woman who acts on her principles (both with having Trig and essentially forcing Levi to marry Bristol).
The real question for me is whether the Republicans will learn the wrong lesson from this election. Democrats learned the right lesson in 2004: nominate the candidate you want, not the one you think has the best chance in the general. In 2008, that meant taking a risk in voting for Obama in the primaries, even when it seemed like Hillary would be more of a sure thing in the general (well, to many people, anyway).
If the Republicans learn that same lesson right now, it will doom them, and here is why. If they decide that McCain was the one they thought could win but did not really want, they will nominate Palin or someone like her in 2012 (think Jindal or Gingrich). They will decide to vote for their ideal candidate, electability be damned. Normally, I think that makes a lot of sense for two reasons: 1) It creates a passionate movement that makes GOTV and fundraising much more effective, and 2) it maintains the party's core principles. Number 2 is much more important for the long term, as sometimes losing with the right candidate can mean more in terms of party stability than winning with the wrong one.
But if the Republicans nominate someone who is staunchly arch-conservative it will help with long-term party principle coherence, but it will not help them win 2012. That's because the country has shifted to the left. Maybe not enormously, but considerably. A Palin or a Gingrich cannot win in the current political environment. However, I think they would do well to nominate an arch-conservative as a way to, at the very least, maintain their core principles. If they keep nominating McCain-esque candidates, they won't be the party of anything. Then we can officially call them the New Know-Nothings.
Ok, first of all, you can't take an exit poll 6 months after she was last criticized and say that means she would have won. We learned the lesson about trying to pick the candidate we THOUGHT the people wanted in 2004 with Kerry instead of Dean.
Anyone can lose any election at any time. I mean, this election should have proven that. I mean, Elizabeth Dole? John Sununu? Proposition 8, in California of all places?
I do think Hillary would have done very well with women. However, all the women who loved Palin would have hated Hillary. And many men hate Hillary (primarily out of sexism, I would argue). I think you are right, that it is more than a wash. Hillary wins over more women than she loses men. But I'm not at all sure that young voters come out and support her by a huge margin as they did with Obama. I didn't know any young Dems excited about Hillary at any point in the primaries. I think she would have won anyway, though. But I agree with CG that this rehashing is purely speculative and really helps no one, so I am going to call it a night.
I don't think Hillary would have had the same GOTV ability, but who knows. I also don't know that there would have been as much excitement, regardless of how she won the nomination. Still, I think she would have won as well and probably fairly handily. Though McCain felt like he was always reacting to Obama's moves (and reacting badly, a la Palin and suspending the campaign). I don't know if Hillary's campaign could have forced him into as many mistakes. But Hillary was a great candidate and if she had lost to McCain, I'd have lost all faith in our electorate.
Someone better at this than me will have to parse the numbers and explain it. I am disappointed that the group "Black Protestant" does not seem to be broken down into high and low commitment to religion. That would have helped. But black Protestants as a whole were (in 2003) less opposed to gay marriage than high commitment white Protestants. I wonder how many black Protestants are high commitment?
On a side note, looks like the churches are doing a great job indoctrinating citizens, as people who hear about gay marriage in church are much more likely to oppose it. And my favorite is the graph titled "'It's Just Wrong,' Say Older People." Great argument there, grandpa and grandma.
I would very much like to have seen the groups broken down by religiosity. I would guess, without any real proof, that non-religious blacks voted the same way as non-religious whites. But it may just be that non-religious blacks are a smaller proportion of the group. We'll probably never know.
Well, I have my own doubts about Obama's health insurance program. I don't think it is universal enough and I don't think it is cost effective the way he has described it. That being said, tying it into the safe-haven law is not logically sound. For the most part, the two are unrelated.
I actually think the biggest disparity is religiosity. I am not an expert at exit polls, but it seems like religiosity is a better predictor than either race or age. People that attend church weekly (32% of the total electorate voting according to the exit polls) voted FOR it at 84%. People who attend occasionally voted FOR it at 46%. People who never attend voted FOR it at 17%.
Now, age and race are certainly bundled up in this group. Without CA-specific data to back it up, I can't be certain, but the country as a whole is trending toward less religiosity. Studies show that while the number of self-identified atheists is not up by much, people that are agnostic and/or don't attend church at all is way up. I would guess that is because younger people are less religious, so that helps explain the age gap. I would also guess (again, I would love if anyone has this data) that African Americans are more likely to be religious.
People voted for or against this because of their strength of religious conviction, not because they were black or old. It just so happens that the more religious tend to be older and less likely to be white. Again, not saying this is definitive, but looks right to me.