early and often

Clinton’s Base Returns in Force, and at Just the Right Moment


Photo: Getty

“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.” Once again the immortal words of LL Cool J somehow perfectly apply to an American political trend. Tuesday was indeed Clinton’s comeback night, and she owes it all to whites, Latinos, women, the working class, late-deciders, the elderly, the moderately educated — just about any demographic group that can possibly be identified and analyzed through exit polls. But the numbers alone don’t tell the whole story — here are some of the more interesting takes on last night’s exit polls.

• John B. Judis notes that the startlingly large number of Democrats in Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island who would be dissatisfied with Obama could signal trouble for him if he makes it to the general election. [Plank/New Republic]

• Greg Giroux is particularly struck by how many Ohioans are worried about their financial situation. [Net Results/CQ Politics]

• Norah O’Donnell and Adam Verdugo write that Clinton’s base has returned. [First Read/MSNBC]

• Matthew Yglesias writes that the racist vote pushed Clinton over the top in Ohio. [Atlantic]

• Andrew Sullivan notes that African-Americans also vote along racial lines; it just doesn’t seem as wrong. [Atlantic]

• Greg Sargent thinks maybe Clinton’s edge among late-deciders (11 points in Ohio, 23 points in Texas) is a result of Obama’s NAFTA controversy. [Talking Points Memo]

• Lisa Schiffren wonders whether late-deciders had always leaned toward Clinton and were simply holding off in case something better came along. [Corner/National Review]

• Amy Walters believes Clinton’s critique of Obama’s national-security experience moved the late-deciders to her camp. [Hotline]

• Alex Koppelman notes that even though Clinton was the one pushing for more debates, those in Ohio who thought the debates were important voted for Obama. [War Room/Salon]

• Michael Crowley is surprised by how few Ohioans named Iraq as their number-one issue, and also notes that Clinton, for unknown reasons, fared much better on health care in Ohio than Texas. [Stump/New Republic]

• Joe Van Kanel wonders whether the 10 percent of Texas Democratic primary voters who were Republican crossovers were taking orders from Rush Limbaugh to vote for Clinton. [Political Ticker/CNN]

• Jim Geraghty says that the Republican crossovers might just be voting for Obama. [Campaign Spot/National Review] —Dan Amira

Related: Will Obama Be Able to Enter Hand-to-Hand Combat?
Heilemann: Clinton Fights Tooth and Nail to Raise Just Enough Doubt About Obama
Clinton Rallies, But Does It Matter?

For a complete guide to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.

Clinton’s Base Returns in Force, and at Just the Right Moment