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.