Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Equivocal Oregon Win

I am watching Obama's margin steadily erode. I grew up in Washington and have family and many friends in Oregon. The voting patterns do not surprise me.

Portland is in Multnomah county and is a solid urban area. It is going for Obama, as expected by more than 60%. Hood River county which is a beautiful county right on the Columbia Gorge and rather ritzy has margins at or above 60%. Eugene and Benton counties, home to UO and OSU respectively, are over 60. Washington county which really part of Portland is hovering at 59%.

Th rest of the state is much closer, with Obama in low 50s and Hillary in high 40s in most counties, and many rural counties still to report in. Somewhat surprising to me are Yamhill, Marion (home to state capital Salem), and Clackamas counties, all with much lower margins for Obama than Iwould have expected given that they are part of the larger Portland metropolitan area. They all have significant argricultural portions. The eastern Oregon counties that have not yet reported in should go to Hillary, but their populations are very small. The suburban counties are giving Obama a bare 6% lead.

The other interesting thing is the voter breakdown on my 100,00 base scale. If Hillary were the nominee, she would get 84% of the Democratic vote, which is actually higher than her percentage in Kentucky. So, it appears she is not that weak in the Northwest. When factored out, the numbers look like this:


Out of 100,000 Democratic voters, Clinton would enjoy strong support from most voters regardless of initial affiliation. When the nominee is changed, the results are slightly, but significantly, different:


Yes, that's right, Obama would get fewer number of voters per 100,000 based on the exit poll data than Hillary. There is an attrition of 2,000 votes, 1,000 of which would go to McCain. The numbers can't quite account fo the extra 1,000, but that would probably go to abstain. What I get from this is that fewer Obama supporters would sit out or vote McCain if Hillary was the nominee than would Hillary supporters should Obama be the nominee.

What this says to me is that Hillary's supporters are less likely to transfer their affiliations than are Obama supporters. This is a relative amount, of course, but a double digit defection in a majority Democratic state (which is what affects both candidates according to the exit poll) is not a good sign.

I suspect the margin between them will decrease a bit more over the evening. This is a blow to Obama as he is the presumptive nominee with massive support form the media, the party leadership and the donors, yet he cannot replicate his early caucus margins in a western state with a primary. In the west, Hillary has won:

Nevada - caucus
New Mexico - modified caucus

One of these is a blue state, two are swing states and the fourth might be a swing state were it not for McCain being from there. Obama has won:

Alaska - caucus
Hawaii - caucus, native son
Washington - caucus
Idaho - caucus
Wyoming - caucus
Colorado - caucus
Oregon (I don't see the results changing)

Colorado is the only possible swing state in this group - unless Washington goes red, which it has been known to do. Montana is the only western state left outstanding, and it votes June 3rd in a primary. BTD keeps insisting that Obama has some secret strength in the West, yet he owes his wins to low turn outs in undemocratic caucuses. Washington state's follow up primary was much closer to Oregon's primary than to its own caucus. I suspect Colorado would have shown much the same pattern. Should the ratios hold true, Obama may have difficulties in Oregon due to internal defections. Washington state would be similar.

The longer the campaign goes on, the weaker Obama looks for the General Election.



CMike said...

Digby linked to this post and the data therein sure surprises me - so much for the internet is changing everything. I wonder if there were more primaries in 1972 and that's why participation rates were so high during the Democratic nominating process back then. Of course, there was a war going on and so was the draft.

Going into 1972 Democrats were pretty confident the country was not going vote for four more years of Richard Nixon. As a matter of fact, that's the way it looked to Nixon in 1971. He instructed Fed Chairman Arthur Burns juice the economy (that's on tape too) during the upcoming election year. And members of his campaign team set out to sabotage the Democrats.

Looks to me like this time around, starting in the spring of 2007, General Electric and the rest of the corporate media has undertaken the role of going after the Democratic front runners, Sen. Clinton and Sen. Edwards.

Here's something I didn't know, or at least don't remember. Sen. McGovern was not the biggest vote getter in the primaries that year.
Wikipedia says:

In the end, McGovern succeeded in winning the nomination by winning primaries through grass-roots support in spite of establishment opposition. McGovern had led a commission to redesign the Democratic nomination system after the messy and confused nomination struggle and convention of 1968.

The fundamental principle of the McGovern Commission—that the Democratic primaries should determine the winner of the Democratic nomination—lasted throughout every subsequent nomination contest. However, the new rules angered many prominent Democrats whose influence was marginalized, and those politicians refused to support McGovern's campaign (some even supporting Nixon instead), leaving the McGovern campaign at a significant disadvantage in funding compared to Nixon.

Primaries popular vote results:

* Hubert Humphrey - 4,121,372 (25.77%)
* George McGovern - 4,053,451 (25.34%)

After all that record setting primary season participation by Democrats, the presidential general election participation rate was down that year.
November 7 - U.S. presidential election, 1972: Republican incumbent Richard Nixon defeats Democratic Senator George McGovern in a landslide (the election had the lowest voter turnout since 1948, with only 55 percent of the electorate voting).

gendergappers said...

MY paper this AM headlined BO big win in OR now just 100 votes away from winning nomination.

Small head just above article was that Hillary won KY.

Except for a short para at end, the rest of the article was about BO.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't living in the US in 1972 (Cmike's comment) and don't read papers (gendergappers comment), I concentrate on the next central issue relating to the post: "healing."

TBD has this mythical belief that Obama, who TBD criticizes regularly, has hidden strength no matter what the issue is: West, Healing, media, etc.

Ideally, healing will result in a unified party; the best way to go in November. What do not know whether Obama is even interested in Healing. After all, much of the healing is an attempt to compensate for insults and injuries Obama caused intentionally. Furthermore, his understanding of healing may be just lip service speeches and opinions

Furthermore, one of the rejected groups, blue collar workers, was destined by Obama to be 2nd rate; his new coalition replaces them with the educated middle class. What kind of healing can be take place in this case?

Hispanics are another special case. They weren't really insulted as they are competing with AA for status. Thus, healing is a wrong term to use with Hispanics.

As for healing and women supporting Hillary and being really abused by Obama, I'll leave it for women to comment on. From my male perspective, it doesn't look good.

That sketchily is the outline of the major issue in front of us.

Esmense said...

I found the American University study very interesting. Very early on, I was struck by the similarities between this election and '72 -- initially what I was struck by was the raw and frequently hateful emotions being expressed by different factions WITHIN the Democratic party. I have not seen such disunity since 1972. That was the first election I was able to participate in -- I voted for Shirley Chisholm (still I believe the best presidential vote I've ever cast) in the California primary and, like many, many others of my generation, failed to turn out for the general election. I later learned that my father, a dedicated labor liberal who had been an organizer during the Great Depression, also voted for Chisholm in the primary. He was outraged at the party for providing him with choices like Wallace and McGovern, men who were equally objectionable to him, although for wildly different reasons. In the general election he left the top of the ticket blank -- something almost inconceivable for such a dedicated Democrat.

I was too young, with too little skin in the game, to be that emotionally engaged in the election in '72. My Dad's incredible anger at the party, his feeling of disenfranchisement, wasn't something that I personally shared. But, I recognize it now in the emotions being expressed by many traditional Democrats this time around, especially working women -- who have been in recent years as important to Democratic victories as Big Labor was back in the 70s. That has made me do a lot of research into the '72 campaign -- reading contemporary reporting, reading some of the books that influenced the thinking of McGovern's strategists, etc. It has amazed me to discover how similar the thinking of the McGovern people at that time -- their assumptions about a "new" coalition that would change the power relationships within the party, their conviction that it was a "Democratic year" in which any Democrat would inevitably win (based on the great unpopularity of Nixon and the war), the message of the McGovern campaign ("reform" that targeted his own party and its constituencies, specifically "Big Labor" lumping them in with Big Business and the Republicans as equal evils, very similar to Obama's "change" that once again targets his own party -- the Clinton administration, older (especially female) activists, etc. -- as well or as much as Republicans) and the strategy -- their dependence on higher than usual participation of young people, independents and moderate Republicans for wins in the primary races (people George Meany called "$25,000 a year men"), their preponderance of wins in heavily Republican Western states (and failure to capture voters in the larger industrial states), etc. -- was to the thinking, message and strategy of the Obama people today. Donna Brazile's incredibly foolish statement on CNN the other day, positiing a "new" coalition that will eliminate the need to depend on working class votes, isn't in anyway a "new" kind of political thinking. It is exactly the reasoning that led the McGovern campaign to defeat 36 years ago.

Will this year be a repeat of '72? No one can know that. But we do know that the Obama campaign is doing many of the same things that led to disunity in the party in '72, and making many of the same assumptions that proved both very wrong and very costly in '72. Perhaps conditions are such that he can win despite the disunity. Perhaps young voters will turn out in unprecedented numbers and the moderate Republicans and Independents won't return to the Republican party or lose interest once Clinton is defeated. But win or lose, I think there will be consequences for the party long term.

American Woman said...

Anglachel, I designed a poster incorporating your ironmyvote design, may I have your permission to use it on my website [under development]?

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

The Stevensonians are getting stinking drunk on Puritan self-righteousness again.

If they succeed in nominating their candidate, the hangover will begin November 5, and last at least 4 years.

lo dejo en blanco said...

Funny I come away with a different interpretation of BTD's Horace Greeley's (the only candidate to die before election date and technically he was a dissident Republican who the Democrats then endorsed for lack of a candidate of their own back 1872) Go West mantra. My take was that BTD didn't think it would work. That you have win MI, OH and PA. Maybe I need to reread his posts. I loved your math. Makes perfect sense. Great post.

By The Fault

orionATL said...

wow, cmike,

yours is a comment to ponder.

i hope clinton does not leave the race after june 3, but i keep getting the feeling like that might happen.

orionATL said...

cmike -

it this quote that is striking.

"the election had the lowest voter turnout since 1948, with only 55 percent of the electorate voting)."

that in a time of great domestic conflict over war.

what happened to the young and restless that year?

who sat out the election?

the dnc better think about this one carefully.

OTE admin said...

Nevada is not a "swing state" this election regardless of who the Democrats pick as the nominee. It is a lock for McCain. I doubt the Democratic candidate will even campaign here.

cls said...

gendergappers - Your paper was just taking its cue from the NYT. You'd never know Hillary cleaned Barack's clock in KY. In fact, you wouldn't even know that KY held a primary yesterday to see the NYT front page online.

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

As a woman, I can tell you, nothing, NOTHING Obama can say at this time will begin the healing process for me. Anything he says now, will not be believed by me. If he respected women, it would have already been evident. And I suspect, the age old tactic of abusers will be to tell the victim when it is time to get over the abuse the abuser caused. Nice.

alibe said...

And you would never know that she beat Obama by 250,000 votes in KY and Obama only beat Hillary by 100,000 in Oregon. And that Oregon had much less voters than KY. The media left me with the impression that Oregon was a much bigger state and his win in OR was much more significant than her victory in KY. I wonder why people think the media is in bed with Obama? And the funniest part of this bazarro world, is the right wing's attempt to say that this just proves the media has such a liberal bias. Oh my God. The irony and hypocrisy is way too much for me!

cls said...

the age old tactic of abusers will be to tell the victim when it is time to get over the abuse the abuser caused

As my ex used to tell me, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it. But there was something in your tone of voice that set me off."

Been there, done that.

orionATL said...

esmense -

thank you for a very thoughtful comment. i appreciate both the historical analogy and the family history part of your story.

a post like this and cmike's brings info to me that i would never otherwise have thought about.

the educational power of the internet -


Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

David Corn has revealed himself as a fauxgressive, to borrow the word coined by Melissa over at Shakesville. He used the exact phrase "get over it".

He's no loss. As Joan Jett reminds us, "YA GOT NOTHIN' TO LOSE, YA DON'T LOSE WHEN YA LOSE FAKE FRIENDS!"


While correlation does not necessarily indicate causation, has anyone else noticed that the Democrats won more Presidential elections when their Presidential candidates were chosen in the infamous "smoke-filled rooms"?

Hank Gillette said...

Anglachel said:

What I get from this is that fewer Obama supporters would sit out or vote McCain if Hillary was the nominee than would Hillary supporters should Obama be the nominee.

This seems to conflict with your assertion that Hillary represents the "real Democratic Party".

Obama voters, who are supposed to be a cult of personality, are more willing to vote for the Democratic nominee (whoever it may be) than Hillary voters.

They are willing to do that, despite the fact that even Hillary supporters believe that she has run the more negative campaign.

Based on this, who is really running on a cult of personality?

I think the real truth lies elsewhere. Most Hillary voters know at this point that she is not going to be the nominee. Asking them immediately after they voted for Hillary if they will vote for Obama is not likely to get an informative answer.

The great majority of Hillary supporters, after time to reflect and mourn the end of her campaign, will ultimately vote for the Democratic nominee.

Yes, I know the people here won't vote for Obama even if McCain drops out and Satan himself heads the Republican ticket, but most Democratic voters are more pragmatic than that.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't count on that, Hank Gillette. Crow makes a pretty disgusting meal.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I can't speak for other current Clinton supporters, but on Super Tuesday I voted for Edwards. [yes, I am disgusted with him now, unless he was seeking money for his wife's medical treatment, in which case I can't blame him]

I sat on the fence for weeks, willing to vote for whichever of the two survivors was nominated.

However, the more I learned about Obama--the eerie devotion of his supporters, their thuggish behavior in the caucuses, Obama's own supercilious manner, his friendship with Ayers and Dohrn, his strangely massive funds--the uneasier I became about him.

Finally, a few weeks ago, some of his snotass punk Oborg stormtroopers came and shat all over Shakesville. That pushed me off the fence.

If I can't vote for Clinton in November, then I will vote for McKinney.

Gillette, you and the rest of the Oborg can forget the votes of women, and of this male feminist. You have proven yourselves to be the electoral equivalent of abusive boyfriends. You're not welcome back in the house.

And if you try to break in, you'll face the "Lorena Knife". ;)

We're not ready to make nice.

Storybuilders' Guild said...

Anglachel, they call our primary a caucus here in NM, but it's really just a primary. You just go in and vote as you would in a general election.

kaya said...

ivory bill woodpecker (and anyone else who cares to answer) what confuses me is this: assuming that we all agree that obama has been at least complicit in the sexism surrounding this race, what makes mccain any better? correct me if i'm wrong, but he's the same dude who laughed heartily at the "how do we beat the bitch" comment. i'm positive that if hillary became the nominee, we'd see a TON of sexism from the mccain camp. so are you choosing to vote for mccain over obama because you really think mccain is NOT sexist? or just because obama was sexist first? to use the abusive boyfriend analogy, you don't want to marry a rapist just to spite your abusive boyfriend. i don't need mccain's supreme court overturning roe v. wade.

sorry that rambled. i guess my question was just do you think mccain is better than obama, and if so, why?

Shainzona said...

kaya: To be technically correct (although the outcome will be the same), I won't vote for McCain. But I won't vote for Obama either.

However I won't vote for Obama not simply because of his smary sexist campaign, but because I truly do not believe him to be qualified for the job. Plain and simple.

I expect downticket Dems to win - hopefully obtaining a veto-proof margin - and they can contain "President" McCain - or pay the price for their stupidity.

Anglachel said...

TheAmericanWoman, please send me a note at this form:

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Kaya--I don't expect any better from Elephascists [Elephascist Party = GOP], but fauxgressives [Melissa McEwan's term for "progressives" who don't support feminism] must be taught a hard lesson.

McCain can't do much damage with a more strongly Democratic Congress to hold him in check.

The wars will continue no matter who becomes Prez, because the Oil Lobby, the "Defense" Lobby, and the Israel-First Lobby won't allow anything else.

As for Roe v. Wade, the Elephascists would be crazy to overturn that, since wingnut outrage over it puts so much money in their coffers. However bad the Elephascists are at governing, they are excellent at politicking.

Also, pigs will sprout wings and soar over the frozen plains of Hell before I vote for Bill Ayers's buddy, Plastic Jesus Obama. Ayers and Dohrn and the rest of the Weatherscum should have been hanged by the neck until dead.

It will remain Clinton or McKinney for me.

Sharon Byrne said...

In response to whether McCain is better than Obama, at least for women:

The key difference is that the Republicans are at least honest about their stand. They're pro-life, pro-corporation, pro-smaller government, pro-war, etc. They're not for Jews, women's rights, Catholics, African Americans, Hispanics, organized labor, children, or the elderly.

That's fair, because it's out in the open. You can argue with it because you know where they stand.

They don't really like McCain because he's not pro-life, is pro environment, and behaves more like a Democrat in his legislation than a Republican. So, you know where he stands.

The difference is the Democrats and Obama as their nominee are SUPPOSED to care about the other groups, and what we see is...they don't. But they still pitch like they do. Sell you one thing, do another, but smile at you, while screwing you. Thus the disenfranchisement. I am an ardent Hillary supporter, and I love her because she's strong, smart, knows what's going on and what to do about it, and is centrist.

So is McCain. So even though I am not keen on his women's issues stance, at least it's in the open, and we can deal with that. Obama is pretending to be liberal while acquiesing to the media's complete skewering of Clinton, if not driving it, and openly denigrates women, sweetie. I got his number now, and he's worse than McCain because he's not being honest about who he is.

That's enough to move me out of Democrat and over to Republican. I want a centrist, a proven one, not a pretender who seems eerily like the inexperienced, affable 'uniter not a divider' we had 8 years ago. McCain's not the next Bush...Obama is.

lost clown said...

Yes Hank, it has nothing to do with the fact that many of her support base are Reagan Democrats who in any other election cycle or given the choice of Obama v McCain would vote McCain. They voted for Bill and now they're voting for Hillary and they won't just vote for anyone with a (D) next to their name.

Not to mention those of us who refuse to say "yes DNC, by all means, piss all over us and we'll still vote for you." If we reward them for this they will never take into account women or low-income working class voters again, or Latin@s, who are just as likely to vote Republican as the Reagan Dems.