What to make of tonight’s results? Everyone we read and listened to in the days leading up to Pennsylvania said that Hillary needed to win by 10 points to stay in the race. Not only could she stay in the race with such a difference, it would help her make the case to superdelegates that she was the only candidate who had a chance against McCain in big swing states. With a good showing in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, she seems to be right.
And this raises an honest and legitimate question: is Barack just a regional–southern–candidate? If the Democrats had a Republican (read: American), winner-take-all style election, this thing would be over already and Hillary would have won it.
Is there an argument to be made that Hillary is a candidate who can win the general election, while Barack is not? Do any of you buy that argument? If not, how do you explain her performance in all these key states? Will you just overlook it?
In 2004, Howard Dean and his group of netroots, young supporters were pushed aside by establishment Democrats in favor of John Kerry, because he was more electable. Or, at least, they thought so. If they do the same with Hillary, we suspect that because of Barack’s broad popularity–particularly among African-Americans–that it could very well tear the Democrats apart.
Poll numbers seem to indicate that neither group would support the other in a general election. We suspect this is more true of Barack supporters than it would be of Hillary, but we don’t know. Based on purely anecdotal evidence from our friends who also happen to be Barack supporters, we could see larger numbers of Obamamaniacs voting for McCain in the general election if Hillary is the Democratic candidate.
Given that many of Hillary’s supporters are moderate, blue collar, social conservative voters (Pennsylvania, Ohio) the same may be true of her backers.
And all of this leads us to strongly disagree with some of the comments after the last post. This election is infinitely interesting–made more so because of the Democratic primary.
With Hillary’s impressive win in Pennsylvania, it looks like we’ll continue to enjoy it for a few more weeks.
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