Win, that is, by an incredible margin. A 36 point margin and more than 2-1 votes. All that despite being written off by the media, outspent by the other campaign, and continually told that she's losing, no one wants to see her go on, and all that malarkey.
I look at these numbers and I begin to understand why the RBC was willing to embarass themselves to reduce her delegate count through 50% reductions and to sell their very honor down the river to scrounge up more delegates for The Precious - they knew Hurricane Hillary was winding up out in the Carribean.
The exit polls have her winning almost everything. People who supported a particular local candidate who had endorsed Obama were more likely to vote for Obama, but that's about it.
Doing my usual tables on candidate appeal, we see a continuation of the trends that have appeared in the last few primaries. I have normalized the percentages on a base of 100,000 votes to get a sense of how votes would go per 100,000 Democratic voters:
Hillary commands 78% of the vote, even higher than her victory margin, and retains a huge chunk of Obama voters. Face it folks - she's popular. She is the most popular candidate with the voters. Though Puerto Ricans cannot vote in the general election, they provide a glimpse into the probable voting patterns of stateside Puerto Rican voters and into Hispanic/Latino voters. In all areas of the country, Hillary has shown herself to be extremely popular with Hispanic/Latino voters regardless of their particular origins. She won over this constituency in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Ohio, Florida and now Puerto Rico. Jeralyn has an interesting post up about voting patterns of Hispanic/Latino voters over the last presidential elections that points out they are not monolithic in their support for Democrats and have been trending away from the Democratic Party. Here we have a candidate who can bring them back.
As for Obama's successes in PR, despite all the money he poured into the place, he has problems even with his own supporters:
Immediately, he loses 25,000 voters compared to Hillary's results. He would not inherit the general good will felt towards her. Even so, her supporters would provide him with almost as many votes as his own supporters could muster. He is highly dependent upon the good will of Hillary supporters in this demographic, as was also the case in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky. More than twice as many Democrats would defect to McCain if Obama was the candidate as with Hillary, indicating he is not as appealing to moderate Democrats. In fact, almost as many of his supporters per 100,000 would vote McCain against him (his own supporters!) as would sit out, not willing to cast a vote for him. Tens of thousands of Hillary supporters would abstain rather than give hima vote, and 3/4 of that amount would simply go McCain.
If you had asked me two months ago on whether the defection (vote for McCain) or abstention (Do not cast vote) numbers would be as high as are reported in the exit polls, I would have said not even close. Now, however, I'm not so sure. While I do think they will drop and you would see more numbers for each candidate, I think the Hilalry supporters really are furious enough that stattistically significant numbers of them will defect or abstain in November. The crude favoritism of the DNC for Obama, the ham-fisted attempts to rearrange the votes to bring about the desired outcome, the aggression and contempt shown towards Hillary as a person and candidate and towards her supports are all hardening attitudes towards Obama in a way I would not have predicted back in December, or even as late as mid-February.
Hillary, of course, is being a class act towards Obama himself and even more so towards his constituents. She stopped some people who tried to boo Obama during her victory speech today. The first words she spoke, after thanking the voters, were about party solidarity and winning in November. She has always placed the burden of earning Obama supporters' votes squarely on her own shoulders, and has pledged that she will personally go to these groups throughout the nation, listen to their concerns and do her best to earn their support. She'll let the party operatives and campaign opponents have it if they do her wrong, but she never, ever criticizes the voters.
It also tickles me pink to see pictures of Hillary having a blast down in Puerto Rico:After all she has had to put up with, the smears, the heckling, the hate and death threats from bloviating TV hacks, the unrelenting drumbeat of negativity and fear from detractors who don't have a concrete constructive thing to say about their own candidate, she deserved to have some party time.
I remember the chart Kevin Drum once had the honesty to post showing how she had more negtive press than the rest of the candidates put together. I wonder if there is an updated version of that chart? It would probably be even more exaggerated now. I don't think Obama could stand up to that kind of unrelenting assault, but it seems it just makes her more bouyant.
I don't know about you, but I think having a candidate who is popular with the majority of voters, who attracts more of her opponents voters than they do of hers, who never runs out of energy, who cannot be backed down or turned aside no matter how hostile and unfair the attacks, and who dedicates every day to doing right by the people who have put their trust in her is a pretty good person to have as your nominee.
She's got my vote. Permanently.