Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tears of Victory?

With so much pleasantly scented BS spread after yesterday's primary, I figured to add nothing. Then I saw the exit poll breakdown in the NY Times.

It's a bit of paradise for statistics freaks, self-identified experts of all sorts, and connect-the-dots types.

Just on the Democratic side, it's easy to infer that Hillary Clinton's primary-eve flare of human emotion did the trick for her...not to imply, of course, as Gollum might say, that there was anything tricksy about her on-screen moisture.

Factoids include:
  • In a reversal of Iowa, Clinton grabbed the female vote — 46% to Obama's 34%
  • She won in all levels of voter 40 years or older
  • She edged Obama in voters who decided primary day 39% to 36%
  • She crushed him (41% to 19%) in Candidate quality that matters most: Cares about people like me
  • She led in homemaker profile, including No college degree (43% to 35%), Works full-time for pay: No (43% to 35%), as well as married and older
Together, such data suggest she recently hit the right notes with middle-aged and older women, particularly the homemakers. This group makes up a large portion of actual voters. It has been the holy grail of candidates for decades, but none has successfully grabbed and run away with it.

On the other hand, it's easy to slice, dice and rearrange (let us praise the skills of garde-mangers!) the figures. I'm sure Clinton, Obama and Edwards lackeys are doing just that today.

We can note that Obama sucks up everyone else among younger, educated, good earning, male, and change hungry voters — huge segments as well. He has the right ingredients and might still make the winning stew. However, no one can count on Hillary quitting after failing in South Carolina. She was the drunk pitching face forward, but she grabbed a stool and is upright again. Thank you very much!

This one poll also suggests that Bill Clinton factor is huge. A key question was If Bill Clinton were eligible to run again and had been on the ballot, would vote for: The candidate they chose today — Clinton 27% to Obama 47%, and Bill Clinton — Clinton 58% to Obama 24%. This snippet implies that to the extent she is considered headed for hubby's third term, she has a sensible pump up on Barack, who is not seen as Bill's wife.

For those who can't wait for the Michigan and South Carolina primaries, I recommend rolling around in these numbers. These are just the kind of indicators that the Dem campaigns will use for planning the coming speeches, debates and position papers.

All of us can only benefit from this timid trio having to clarify their policy proposals.

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