Jay Reding.com

For Hillary, Is Geography Destiny?

One of the joys of the Internet is that there are some really smart people who have access to a lot of data that can be combined in ingenious ways—and this very detailed examination of geography and voting trends in the Democratic race makes a fascinating argument. Overlaying the voting patterns of the Clinton/Obama race with a map of Appalachia, it’s quite clear that there’s a trend: Appalachian voters overwhelmingly support Clinton.

That means something in terms of the upcoming contests. The states that are coming up: Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, and Kentucky are all states that make up the main part of the Appalachian region. They’re perfect territory for Hillary: largely white, economically distressed, and made up of voters who are more concerned about issues like national security. Could she win 60% in those states? The author of this analysis thinks it’s very possible.

Despite the general loathing of the Clinton machine, the reality of the race is that neither Obama nor Hillary can claim that they have the race in the bag. Obama is ahead, but not enough that he won’t likely have to use the superdelegates to get enough to win. He’s ahead in the popular vote, but if you take out Cook County, Illinois where his home base is, he’s not ahead by all that much: and it’s quite possible that Hillary could pull ahead.

As much as some Democrats would like Hillary to step aside, it doesn’t make sense for her to do now, at least as far as the electoral math is concerned. The Obama campaign does not have this race locked up, and they’re about to fight on some very inhospitable territory. Hillary Clinton will not let this race go until it is clear that she cannot win, and that may not be until she steps out onto the convention floor.

One response to “For Hillary, Is Geography Destiny?”

  1. Mark says:

    “Overlaying the voting patterns of the Clinton/Obama race with a map of Appalachia, it’s quite clear that there’s a trend: Appalachian voters overwhelmingly support Clinton.”

    While I admit I’ve been surprised at just how soundly Appalachia is rejecting Obama (and make no mistake about it, Hillary’s success in the region is entirely based upon a gut-level dislike for Obama rather than any real affinity for Hillary), the dirty little secret is that Appalachia will reject Hillary Clinton if she’s the nominee as well. No Democrat can survive a national election in this region in the new of Rove-style politics. Cultural wedge issues ranging from gays to religion to guns will ensure GOP victory throughout the Scots-Irish belt. Only if Ohio and Pennsylvania are as close as Florida was in 2000 is it plausible that Hillary would win over enough voters in Appalachia to swing the election.

    This is an extension of your monthslong headfake attempting to make sure Hillary gets the nomination instead of Obama….trying to appeal to Democrats to pander to a voting bloc that’s old and white at the expense of a bloc that’s young and nonwhite. Clearly, if the Democrats take the bait and nominate Hillary to improve their odds of winning Kentucky, then the likely Obama states of Colorado and Oregon are slam-dunk McCain states.

    “That means something in terms of the upcoming contests. The states that are coming up: Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, and Kentucky are all states that make up the main part of the Appalachian region. They’re perfect territory for Hillary: largely white, economically distressed, and made up of voters who are more concerned about issues like national security. Could she win 60% in those states? The author of this analysis thinks it’s very possible.”

    She will win more than 60% in Kentucky. Probably 57% in Pennsylvania. West Virginia will be her best state in the nation and she’ll probably get 70% there. Of course, even if she wins all the remaining states with 60% of the vote, she’ll still trail in both popular vote and delegates, so it’s irrelevant. Furthermore, the Chicago media market cuts a big chunk out of Illinois favoring Obama. It’s a swing state. North Carolina is almost certain Obama territory. Blacks and white academics constitute a majority of the electorate there….not Eric Rudolph’s former neighbors out in the Appalachian west.

    “He’s ahead in the popular vote, but if you take out Cook County, Illinois where his home base is, he’s not ahead by all that much: and it’s quite possible that Hillary could pull ahead.”

    If you took metropolitan New York City (Hillary’s stomping grounds) out of the mix along with Obama’s Cook County, then Obama would be running up a larger lead than he has today. What’s your point?

    “As much as some Democrats would like Hillary to step aside, it doesn’t make sense for her to do now, at least as far as the electoral math is concerned. The Obama campaign does not have this race locked up, and they’re about to fight on some very inhospitable territory. Hillary Clinton will not let this race go until it is clear that she cannot win, and that may not be until she steps out onto the convention floor.”

    I agree it doesn’t make sense for her to drop out, especially since the little-known entity Obama could yet implode with further damning revelations. Barring a total meltdown by Obama (which would include not winning North Carolina or Oregon) that seems less and less likely with each passing day, Hillary won’t destroy her chances for 2012 by dragging this out to a bloody fight on the convention floor. But you just keep smiling at the continued fantasies of the Dems committing a generations-long political suicide by allowing Hillary to steal the nomination.