West Virginia


The exit polls reveal what the demographics have long foretold, and what the polls last February predicted, with just a few wrinkles. The race factor seems to have tipped very heavily toward Clinton in West Virginia. In Indiana, 16 percent said race was an important factor for them; in Pennsylvania, 19 percent; in West Virginia, 22 percent. The racial skew to Clinton does soar in West Virginia: 81 percent of race-based voters went for Clinton; in Pennsylvania, it was 55; in Indiana, it was 53 percent. Oddly, Obama did better among white Catholics in West Virginia than he has in the past. No idea if that means anything. My own sense is that WV voters are conservative and risk-averse and Obama suffered a great deal from unfamiliarity. Race compounded it; and if you listen to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, you're likely to believe that Obama is a Muslim, racist, terrorist communist.

I note that John Edwards - a familiar white man who's not running any more - got a healthy showing. Okay, West Virginia, we get the message.

The map above is explained here. The purple is where Clinton got more than 65 percent of the vote. It gives a good idea of the Clintons' Appalachian strength. West Virginia confirms what we knew already - but Obama has not dented this so far. He has work to do.

For what it's worth, I felt her victory speech was pretty obviously angling for the vice-presidency. Cuomo just put his weight behind the idea. I'm not sure, whatever the objective merits of the case, I could bear listening to her any longer.