The Dartmouth Observer
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Clinton Campaign Mythbusters:
With Florida (sort of) counted and in the wake of Harold Ickes explosive, humurous and often cringe worthy response to this weekend's it seems appropriate to assess some of the larger myths that the Clinton campaign will attempt to propogate in coming weeks should she decide to "take this to the convention (Harold, seriously? pull it together). Like many urban legends, some of the following myths are new and others have been so oft repeated they have somehow become political law. None, however, have much basis in fact. In the tradition of this blog I'll be providing a rating system for Clinton Campaign Myths called the "Really?" Myths will be scored on a scale of 1-5 Reallys. In the spirit of In Living Color's "Men on movies" body language bonuses will be added to particularly silly CCMs.
Myth #1, Florida vote coincids with other "big state" wins for Hill.
One of John (and other Clinton Supporter's) favorite rationales for reinstating Florida's full delegation and for adding the Florida tally to the amorphous indefinable "popular vote"argues that the result in Florida reflected the general will of Democratic voters towards the end of January and on Super Tuesday. The margin of Clinton's victory fell in line with her wins in other "big states" that voted on Super Tuesday. Really? What's the evidence for this claim? And does it provide support for Clinton's arguments re the popular vote or, like most justifications for Clinton's continued candidacy, is it as cheaply constructed as a Chinese schoolhouse?
-Big States? Really?
No doubt those who have taken a gander at the Super Tuesday results are just as befuddled by the Clinton camp's big state claims prior to March 4th as I am. Between the start of the primary season and February 6th the nine largest primaries, based on turnout, were held in CA, NY, IL, MA, NJ, GA, SC, AL and MS, with Obama winning five of the nine. I don't think I even need to mention February primaries in places like VA and Wisconsin, oops I did. More importantly, in terms of region, Obama won all of the states surrounding Florida and while the southern tip of the state is uniquely Carribean, the vast majority of the state looks much more like Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina than it does New York or California. Indeed, the much touted Jewish and Latino vote in Florida represent swing constituencies during close Presidential elections, not demographically significant vote changers.
Four Reallys? and a Confused Furrowed Brow.
Florida Demographics Matter....Really?
If it's tough to claim that Clinton won Florida as she did most "big states," election wonks turn to the exit polling to argue that she won similar demographic groups in Florida that she won elsewhere. Thus, sanctioned or not, the popular vote totals would have essentially been the same. There's some argument here, but for the margin of Clinton's victory in Florida considering the state's large African American population. Unlike other southern states on Super Tuesday, Obama only received around 70% of the African American vote in Florida, an acceptable showing had the Florida primary not occured after South Carolina. However, as we all know, S.C. signalled a sea change in black turnout and voting patterns and Obama rarely went below 80% support among black voters from that point forward. Clearly, to paraphrase Bill Nelson, the relentless media campaign which told voters that the Florida election would not count dissuaded African Americans from turning out substantially on January 29th, contributing to Clinton's rather outlandish near 20 point victory in the state.
One Really with a Single Raised Eyebrow