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Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Three Takeaways for Hillary on Super Tuesday
Super Tuesday was a strong night for Hillary. It was not the knockout she wanted but it was still strong. Sanders failed to cause an upset in any of the heavily diverse southern states (the lowest she won was 64%). He did win Oklahoma but Nate Silver predicted a Sanders win there. Sanders also won Colorado and Minnesota but both states were caucus states which as shown in 2008 do not favor Hillary (although she made gains in both states compared to 2008). At the same time, both states had high white liberal and college aged populations.
Something else I have noticed is that Hillary has become much more personable. To quote my professor "she should rent an RV from craigslist, travel around the country and stop at small towns unannounced.” She has not done that yet but she has shown moments of spontaneity. Examples of those include when she saw Steve Harvey and seemed really happy to see him. Another time was when she crashed a bachelor party. During that party, I thought she was about to say “Holy s**t” but instead said “Holy moley." A few people I know who know her well said she is very personable one on one and this campaign may be making her a better candidate and letting her express the personality more that she has at one on one meetings.
In terms of last night however, here are three major takeaways on the Democratic side.
1.Hillary Clinton won Hispanic voters overwhelmingly. This bodes extremely well for her in Florida which is roughly ¼ Hispanic. It also bodes well for her in Arizona, New Mexico and even New York which has a sizable Hispanic population as well. We know Hillary Clinton won Hispanic voters by looking at her numbers in Texas. Along the Rio Grande border, there are counties which are 90%+ Hispanic so they can show how Hispanic voters voted without having white voters dilute the county voters. Hillary won 72% in Webb County (94% Hispanic), 78% in Starr County (97% Hispanic) and 69% in Hildago County (92% Hispanic). In Nevada, there was debate over who won the Hispanic vote. The Super Tuesday results though confirm that it was probably Hillary.
2.She held her own with rural white voters. She won them in most regions as well. Yes, she lost rural Minnesota, rural Vermont, western rural Colorado and rural Oklahoma. At the same time, she won overwhelmingly in northern rural Texas. She also won overwhelmingly in rural Arkansas and Tennessee which are heavily white. The key area for her was Appalachia because Bernie said that he could win it because of the poor economy there. Hillary however won Appalachia, although not by a large margin. She won every Appalachian county in Georgia and narrowly won them in VA. Without Vermont, Nate Cohn said that Hillary won54%in counties that were over 90% white. This means she can run it close or even with Sanders with this demographic in Mi and OH when combined with African American support translates into a win. Also, the white helped her deliver such crushing margins in states such as AL (78%), GA (71%) and Tennessee which is majority Democratic White voters (65%).
3.She is not getting crushed with young voters anymore. She is still losing them but her margins in the South with young voters were nowhere near the 15% she won in the first three caucus states. At first, I thought the shift toward Hillary among young voters was ancedotal as a few of my Bernie supporting friends switched to Hillary. The results on Tuesday show that there is a small shift toward her. This is shown in the county results which surprised even me, as an ardent Hillary supporter. Hillary Clinton won 48% in Travis County, Texas which I thought should have overwhelmingly supported Sanders, due to the high number of college students and liberal white voters. She also won Clarke County, GA (51%) which is a college county and where Athens, GA is located. In Massachusetts, she won 50% in Medford (Tufts) and 53% in Cambridge (Harvard). This connects back to Hillary’s win in Massachusetts. Sanders’ loss there is a bad sign for him. The state was made for him. It is in New England, it is heavily white, heavily working class, the Democrats are very liberal and it has a large number of colleges.
At the same time though, Hillary did not deliver a knockout blow to Sanders that will cause him to drop out of the race this week. While she cemented her place as the front runner (by taking Massachusetts and winning both African Americans and Hispanics), Sanders will probably stay in the race much longer. He won CO showing he has a shot in the West and won MN showing he still has appeal to some liberals and working class voters. This could be a good sign for Sanders in other rural western states and the Upper Midwest in states such as Wisconsin (but not Michigan due to the African American population there). At the same time, Sanders needs to prove he can win a diverse state with high African American and Hispanic populations. Yesterday, he did not do that and every diverse southern state he lost by 29 to 59 points. Her margins among African American voters was unchanged from South Carolina. For example, she won 89% in Macon County and 90% in Greene County, AL. Both of these counties have extremely high African American populations, especially in the Democratic primary.
So overall, this race will continue. Sanders is raising money, performing well in the caucus states but overall, it is still very likely that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee.