Saturday poll results, and California

So yeah. Obama, kickin’ ass and takin’ names.

I really want to know what the heck went wrong in Cali now. I mean, if you subtract delegates from New York (which nobody in their right mind thought would go to Obama) and California, Obama is kicking Hillary’s ass all over the place.

What is it about Cali that caused it to break for Hillary? And how awesome is today’s result for us Obamandroids?

Cali has Hispanics, and they like Hillary. And so do I.

Assuming that’s true, why?

Also - Why the hell does Obama do so much better in caucuses? I’m sure this has been explained already, but I’ve missed it, and CNN and MSNBC commentary doesn’t address interesting questions like this.

My theory is Obama has a lot more very enthusiastic supporters. Hillary supporters prefer Hillary to Obama, but aren’t as fanatical about it. This favors Obama in caucuses because it takes a more committed voter to take the time out of their day for a potentially time consuming caucus. Also the caucus gives Obama fanatics a chance to talk – their enthusiasm helps sway undecided voters.

Yeah, plus Hillary’s demographics (older, poorer) are less likely to show up the harder it is for various reasons.

Very different demographics and institutional support.

Hillary has run an awful campaign from a strategy standpoint.

Her entire campaign strategy was to win Iowa or come in second to Edwards, win NH, win win win and then lock it up on Super Tuesday. When she lost in Iowa, she emptied her coffers to win NH and then really, really, really invested in South Carolina. For reasons explicable only by the Clinton campaign drivers, they continued to plan–even up to the South Carolina primary–that Super Tuesday would be their knockout blow.

Contrast that strategy with what Obama has done: fueled by his fundraising machine, his campaign staff decided to do what they do best: organize at the community level. After Iowa and New Hampshire, they sort of ignored Nevada and even South Carolina and instead opened up field offices all over the place in Super Tuesday states.

…and they tricked the Clintons with one of the most deft head-fakes in modern campaign history. While Clinton feverishly followed Obama around in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and even Missouri, Obama’s ground staff was operating offices all over places like Kansas, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Minnesota, Missouri, Alabama, and New Mexico. If you think about the electorate in those states–blue collar, middle class, white–it should’ve been a slam dunk for Clinton to do well there…but she poured money into states like California, New York, and, yes, Arkansas (for reasons known only to them, the Clintons did some major ad buys in Arkansas; no, I don’t understand why, either) where her internal polling should’ve told her she needn’t bother because she had them already won.

While Clinton was running a wild goose chase in states where she was going to win, Obama was opening up field offices and getting commercials on the air in the Feb 9 and 12 states. Remember that Obama’s experience (funny how experience could actually win this nomination for him…) is that of a community organizer, which is basically what a caucus is. He blankets states with ads well in advance of primary dates, he has 3,000 paid organizers who have attended “Camp Obama” to learn how to do community and street-by-street politicking, and he opens up strategically-located offices in states and drops his army of organizers in there to do their thing. In all the states tonight, and in all the states going forward, by the time Clinton shows up in a state with field offices and tv ads, Obama has had a 7-10 day head start on her in those states, and put her at a deficit.

The story of the Obama campaign is likely to revolve around his incredible speeches and personal charisma, but Obama and his managers were smart and studied the 2004 campaign of Howard Dean and realized from the beginning that charisma and tv presence and advertising wasn’t enough…that there had to be some real “there” there. The grassroots organization and effectiveness of the Obamites at grinding things out on the ground the old fashioned way is the real reason they are where they are tonight.

That’s funny, my view was she was fueled by some wealthy special interest groups, not “the poor and old”.

Wealthy special interest groups don’t actually cast votes.

BTW, the Maine caucus tomorrow is much more important than most folks realize.

Camp Clinton realizes the very real threat of Obama running the table prior to the March 4th contests in Texas and Ohio. If that happens, her fundraising will slow to a crawl, her momentum will wither, and even though there are fundamental demographics working against Obama in those two states, he may have enough in the tank to win one or both.

The task for Clinton then is to somehow slow Omentum down a bit. The strategy they came up with identified three states as possible wins for them: 1. Washington, 2. Maine, 3. Wisconsin. Washington came apart for them due to the caucus nature of things.

Maine is also a caucus, but make no mistake: the Clintons have invested a ton in trying to win it. Bill was there on Thursday, Chelsea’s been there since Friday, and Hillary did two events there today. They’ve had TV and radio ads running there since Super Tuesday. They want this state badly.

If Obama wins it, Camp Clinton will try to spin it as dismissively as they tried to spin today’s landslide…but don’t believe it. They’ll be hurting and scrambling if Maine and what is expected to be a sizeable female demographic doesn’t pan out for them.

It’s becoming pretty obvious that both party nominees are going to face serious issues unifying their base after all this is over. As we’ve seen today, the Huckabee supporters are not giving up and the longer the democratic struggle continues the more bitter it will likely become. I personally think that the Dems will unite behind Obama but I’m not so sure they will behind Hillary, at least at first.

84% of Democrats surveyed say they’d be happy to vote for either candidate.

Neat human observation–wonder if it was…staged? No, that’s just me being cynical.

I saw this addressed on MSNBC during the Iowa congress. Necklace beads.

I recall hearing some other comments of that nature suggesting they’ve got the caucus training down to a science.

Interesting, I wouldn’t have guessed this. Link?

I think a lt of Obama supporters, young, independent voters may not turn out to vote if Obama doesn’t get the nomination.

I’d argue that a lot of people who are participating for Obama and identifying themselves as democrats right now will at least reconsider their party support if he’s not nominated. At the very least, Hillary is not generating the excitement of younger voters like Obama is. It’s easy to say that in the end they’ll vote for Hillary, but my first-hand experience in 2004 was that if no candidate excites them, they don’t vote at all. That’s what Hillary would have to deal with if she wins the nomination.

It will be interesting to see what the actual voter participation will be this year, since even in 2004 it was crappy (55% of eligible people actually bothered to vote.)

Factionalization seems to be largely restricted to those of us on message boards and in the blogosphere.

The 84% figure is from the Newsweek poll released today, but there have been a half-dozen others that have shown a similar willingness by Democrats to vote for either candidate in the GE. Here’s TPM’s election reporter, Greg Sargent this morning talking about the Newsweek numbers:

“Despite the acrimony around the contest that has taken hold on blogs and elsewhere, this poll suggests, as do other surveys, that the Dem electorate isn’t in the same place. While large majorities feel strongly about their pick, a huge majority of 84% of Dem voters also says it would be happy with either as the nominee.”

BTW, here’s why Obama will win Wisconsin:

200,000 college students in the state, and

open primary, and

same-day, at-the-polling-place voter registration. Register, then go vote. That’ll play HUGE with the 18-29 voter demographic.

“Cuauhtemoc “Temo” Figueroa”?

Proof that Obama is in league with a secret cult of Aztec-Mexican rabidly Catholic demons.

'ware the number of the beast!

Trigger, thanks for the interesting analysis. Very astute (it seems to me).

I agree.