The Wisconsin effect

More

Obama won big. Last week I pointed to an interesting article by Jay Cost which argued against the idea that Obama had already built unstoppable momentum, and showed that demographics could account for his recent run of successes, leaving Texas and Ohio as likely wins for Hillary. Jay's update on Wisconsin is worth reading. If it is right, the news is bad for Hillary.

Hillary Clinton suffered a stinging blow last night, losing Wisconsin by 15 points. What is worrisome for her is that Obama seems to have broken into several of her core voting groups. This is the first real evidence of momentum we have seen on the Democratic side.

After the Potomac Primary last week, some argued that Obama had already begun to build momentum because of his large victories in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. I thought this talk was hasty. Given the large number of African American voters in each contest, and given that white voters in all three primaries were quite wealthy - Obama's sizeable victories did not come as a surprise. In particular, 39% of all Maryland Democrats and 39% of all Virginia Democrats claimed to make $100,000 or more per year. So, it is hard to argue that Obama's success among whites was due to him peeling off portions of the Clinton coalition. What seems more likely is that he won handily because his best voting blocs were in good supply that day.

The same cannot be said for Wisconsin. Just 20% of Wisconsin Democratic voters claimed to make $100,000 or more per year. So, there is strong evidence that, at least last night, Obama expanded his voting coalition. Consider the following chart, which uses the exit polls to review Obama's margin of victory with key groups in the non-southern states in comparison to his performance with those same groups in Wisconsin last night.

Obama%20Margin%20of%20Victory.jpg

So, for instance, Obama won white males in the non-South by 8 points prior to the Potomac Primary. Last night, he won them by 26 points, yielding a net increase of 18 points.

March 4th could settle it.

Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In