Wisconsin (BlogTalk Radio, tonight 8:30 EST) Posted by: McQ
on Tuesday, February 19, 2008
If ever there was an important primary for Hillary Clinton, it is Wisconsin. Sure Ohio and Texas may be her "firewall" but if she has even a chance at the nomination she needs to win Wisconsin first. It would demonstrate her ability to recover from the losses she's suffered recently, blunt the Obama momentum and, frankly, build a little for her going into the critical 'firewall' primaries.
There are 5.5 million people in Wisconsin. 90% of the state is White, 6% are African Americans (although in Milwaukee County, the African American population is 26.6%.) and 4.7% are Hispanic.
So the vote is going to be primarily a white vote. You'd think that wold bode well for Hillary Clinton.
However, Gallup says Obama has made inroads into the very demographic segments which have been the base of Clinton's support:
Obama's standing has improved among most Democratic subgroups over the past several days. But one of the more substantial shifts has been the changing preferences of middle-aged Democratic voters, who have moved away from Clinton and toward Obama in the past week. Obama has also made gains among three other groups that have favored Clinton throughout much of the campaign — women, Hispanics, and self-identified Democrats.
Couple that with a huge student population and same day registration in an open primary (so indpendents and even Republicans will be voting as well) and it would seem Obama may have the edge.
In fact, the polls support that contention giving Obama a 4.3% lead according to the RCP average.
There are 74 delegates up for grabs (48 proportional by Congressional District, 15% threshold; 26 by statewide vote, 15% threshold). That isn't a huge number of delegats, per se. But the battle itself is certainly an important one, if not the most important one, that Clinton has faced to date.
If she can win here she can validly claim that the race is far from over and that she has a legitimate shot of winning it outright. If she loses, it simply adds to the aura of inevitability that Obama has been building with his 10 straight wins. While she may indeed win both Texas and Ohio, that won't put the dent in that aura that a win in Wisconsin would. She's supposed to win in the other two states. She isn't supposed to win in Wisconsin.
That's why it is so important that she actually do so.
Dale and I will be discussing the results of the WI primary and what it means in the big scheme of things tonight at 8:30 ET on BlogTalk radio. Join us and join the conversation. Hit the BlogTalk radio button at the top of the page for the number and info on the show.
UPDATE: The official Dem delegate count as of today from NBC:
OFFICIAL NBC NEWS HARD COUNT (Democrats)
Obama 1,116 Clinton 986
There are 44 pledged delegates still unallocated, including 19 from MD, 10 each from CO and GA and one each from IL, NM, NY, TN and DC. We estimate those a 24-20 split for Obama. (1 pledged delegate was added to Clinton's column as a result of her win in New Mexico.)
SUPERDELEGATE COUNT (as of 1:20 pm, Feb. 19)
Clinton 257 Obama 185
NOTE: This is one more for Obama than the last update. The addition comes because of the endorsement of Obama today by DNC Member Carol Ann Campbell (D-PA), a former Philadelphia City Councilwoman. This brings Obama's post-Feb. 5 superdelegate count to 15 to minus-3 for Clinton.
Super delegate numbers reflect totals gathered by the NBC News Political Unit from the campaigns and public endorsements.
Obama 1,325 Clinton 1,263
UPDATE II: Fluidity in the numbers since Clinton has started attacking Obama. From Jill Lawrence of USA Today's "On Politics" blog:
Barack Obama holds a 1-percentage-point lead over Hillary Clinton in today's three-day Gallup tracking poll. That's down from a 7-point lead yesterday numbers could change again after tonight's Wisconsin primary.
Gallup says "there has been fluidity in the nightly tracking numbers over the past several days as Democrats nationally process the intense, often heated, nature of the campaign. Monday's news coverage of the Democratic campaign was replete with a focus on the Clinton campaign's charges that Obama had plagiarized material from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and other negative attacks on Obama by the Clinton campaign"...
Another daily tracking poll, by Rasmussen Reports, has the race at Obama 46%, Clinton 42%.
Here is wishing Barrack Good luck. Despite the rhetoric I think that he will be the easier to beat and if he wins will do less damage than Hillary can. I do think Hillary will get the nomination though as she will stop at nothing to do so.