One huge factor was the absentee ballots; California lets people turn their ballots in weeks in advance. Almost half of the ballots were sent in long before Super Tuesday, well before Obama’s momentum and the Clinton’s self-destructive negativity could have an impact on people’s decisions. The California vote was thus partially a reflection of the mood of the voters back when Hillary was the inevitable candidate, before many people had really thought about or seriously considered Obama.
BTW, one more factor that favors Clinton in the Maine Caucuses today: it is a closed caucus. Only registered Democrats may caucus.
So: older demographic (Maine is one of the “oldest” populations in the US outside the sun belt), that skews toward female voters, and prevents independents and crossover Republicans (both of whom have bolstered Barack in his landslides in previous caucuses) from voting Obama. If she doesn’t win today, it may not get much press, but it will be something of a canary in a coalmine for her campaign, signifying that her core demographics might be deserting her.
FWIW, my caucus district (in Seattle) went 75% Obama, 25% Hillary yesterday. There were some huge Obama supporters, but there was very little anti-Hillary sentiment - in fact, the only negative comments I heard were from the Clinton supporters against Obama.
If that’s indicative of the Democratic Party at large, then I don’t think that bodes poorly for a Clinton candidacy at all, despite Ryan’s threat to turn to the Dark Side, and Qenan’s plan to throw his vote away.
I’m actually on the dark side, having voting almost entirely for Republican candidates throughout my voting life. So my statements were more an indication of why Obama is the best candidate for the Democrats. I believe lots of independants and republicans will vote for Obama but not for HRC.
I’d like to add, from personal experience, that the progressive mindset in Wisconsin, as it turns out, is not enough to offset the conservo-religious-redneck element. We experienced this during the “A Fair Wisconsin Votes No” campaign, when Madison and Milwaukee were all against adding a state definition for marriage, but the rest of the state voted for it, and we lost.
However, Obama appears, in my mind, at least, to be more of a uniter to the religious right over Clinton. I just watched this speech this morning, and if he gives more like that in Wisconsin in the next week, he’ll win over a lot of the country folk (that is, if they can take time away from having sex with their cousins and shooting deer).
Anecdotal evidence: everyone of my non-neocon friends is an Obama supporter, and there seems to be widespread support for him in the state. In fact, I can’t think of a single person that I know that supports Hillary. On the other hand, I do know quite a few Neocons at work…
It wasn’t much of a “spike,” unless you consider 4% a big deal. It was the highest turnout since 1968, but that isn’t saying much when 50-55% turnout has been the rule since then. Considering how close recent presidential elections have been, it seems like a lot of people are big talkers and nothing more.
You keep ignoring the independent and young voters who are voting in the primary for Obama. Time’s own poll shows that Dems as a whole still favor Hillary by 6%, which is counter to what is happening in the primaries. Great, so Dems will support whoever, but to win the general election Hillary needs to also capture Obama’s independents and young voters. That’s where she has problems.
My statement about unifying the Democrats earlier was too vague; I was trying to point out the difficulty Hillary faces in unifying the voters who are currently splitting between she and Obama, a large chunk of whom aren’t part of the party base.