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Indiana & North Carolina, Conservatively Speaking

By May 7, 2008

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Hillary Clinton, with Chelsea behind her, celebrates a victory in Indiana early Wednesday morning.

The network spin doctors are calling it for Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Time of death: 1:15 a.m. EST (May 7, 2008).

But let's really think about this. Last night, Barack Obama took North Carolina, as he knew he would. The demographic there is largely African American and his victory percentile among African Americans is between 80 and 90. Hillary Clinton, however, took Indiana, as Obama had hoped HE would. Obama had predicted a 7-point win, but lost by less than two. The punditry is talking this morning about Obama's late night surge, but it wasn't enough to put him over the edge and at the end of the day, although no one is saying it, Indiana should be considered a crushing loss for Obama.

His failure to sew up Indiana should tell him AND American voters something, especially if he goes on to win the nomination. For one thing, Obama's loss in Indiana carries much more weight than his victory in North Carolina. Obama isn't doing well in states bordering his home-state -- areas where people should know him better than they do in other areas of the country. There's a reason, for example, Clinton did well in Pennsylvania: people in Pennsylvania are familiar with her and therefore identify with her. The same, it seems, cannot be said of Obama and his neighboring states.

If Obama is having trouble locking up the nomination this far into the Democratic process, what's going to happen in the fall when he's facing a much more formidable opponent? Most political observers will tell you that voter turnout is always high and optimistic in presidential primaries, but when the hibernating voters wake from their four-year slumber to cast their ballots in the general election, the true voice of the American people is heard.

Barack Obama waves to supporters in Raleigh, N.C. early Wednesday morning after losing Indiana. Here's the rub: historically, African American voters (Obama's base) make up a much larger portion of the primary profile than they do in the general election. With a sea of independent voters, crossover voters and party-affiliated voters who didn't vote in the primary, the results in November could be vastly different than what the numbers in the primaries would lead one to predict. Perhaps as a nominee Obama could tap into that vast heretofore unspoken voting block of registered non-voting African Americans, but does the Democratic party really want to gamble all their chips on it?

Obama people have been yelling that John McCain doesn't want to face Barack Obama in the fall because he's more formidable than Clinton. I would disagree. As I see it, Clinton's people would be far less likely to support him after this bitter primary battle than Obama's people would be to support her. If the primary is decided on the floor of the Democratic National Convention and Obama is the winner, that could be enough to split the party and force a large portion of its disenfranchised voters to stay home -- and that would spell defeat for the Democratic nominee.

Either way, Democrats are facing serious unity problems, and as they work to iron them out, conservatives everywhere are quietly watching and waiting for the real fight to begin.

Top Photo © Robyn Beck/Getty Images
Bottom Photo © Win McNamee/Getty Images


May 7, 2008 at 10:56 am
(1) Red Tale or says:

The clinton machine made every effort over the past two weeks to undermine Obama. He has dealt with the reverend issue or non issue depending on your point of view and throughout this period he has not been derailed. He has shown that he can weather the a storm and still win. Give credit where it is due. He (Obama) came within 2% of pulling off a double win after the most trying 2 weeks of his campaign. She on the other hand squeeked a win and lost by double digits when she should have been able to capitalize on the challenges facing Obama. This is an indication that this candidate can come through in a crunch. Take your best shot and he will rebound.

May 7, 2008 at 11:14 am
(2) Roger says:


“Obama isn’t doing well in states bordering his home-state…” Obama won big in Iowa, WI and won MO.

Obama had the two worst political weeks of his life recently and Clinton got crushed in the popular vote and lost in the delegate count.

McCain V. Obama

May 7, 2008 at 11:22 am
(3) pennsylvania voter says:

I strongly disagree with your views.
your just another Clinton supporter old politics a******.
Barack Obama has had the nomination for two months now.. The only reason he has not been named the nominee is because you and the Clinton pundits are so ego elated to admit it.
The people has spoken..
Its tim for you and the Clintons to go away.. far away
Hilary has already divided the Democratic party so bad that its absolutely as shame .
The American people dont want the same ole same ole bull**** that you are trying to convey here.
So shut your big mouth and admit you lost and back the man with a plan.

May 7, 2008 at 11:39 am
(4) Towers Rice says:

These ongoing arguments about who is more electable or who would fair better against John McCain is good for conjecture, and I’m in no way discouraging civic discourse, but at the end of the day, it’s idle speculation.

The whole point of the primaries is to give us hard, fast data from the American people that will answer these questions. What is the point in holding primaries, spending taxpayer money to conduct voting, having the candidates campaign endlessly throughout each state if, at the end of this tedious process, the race is decided in some other fashion.

Clinton is debasing herself and dragging the whole system through the mud with her psychology arguments. If this was simply a matter of conjecture and psychology, why did we even bother counting votes in the first place? If Clinton can technically lose but still snag the nomination with theoretical musings, why didn’t we just hash this out 8 months ago?

May 7, 2008 at 11:45 am
(5) gene says:

The black racism in US …. most voting for Obama because he is PART black .. does no one see it odd over 90% of any race voting for one candidate .. how would a normal 70/30 or 60/40 split effect the outcome???

May 7, 2008 at 11:46 am
(6) Larry says:

Obama extended his pledged delegate lead on Tues (+11 in NC vs. -3 in Indiana), yet the Clintonistas and their allies in the media once again are trying to characterize it as a win for Hillary.

Tues was a win for Obama.

May 7, 2008 at 11:46 am
(7) Lori says:

I don’t understand why conservatives think that bashing Obama is a good idea for their party? If he’s as horrible as you say he is – wouldn’t running against him assure a win for McCain? Why try to get Hillary nominated by asking your sheep to switch parties? Operation chaos is a ridiculous game and America is tired of it.

May 7, 2008 at 11:48 am
(8) Larry says:

Obama increased hid delegate lead on Tues (+11 in NC vs. -3 in Indiana) yet the Clintonistas and their media allies are trying to characterize it as a win for Hillary.

Conservatives should know better than to be fooled by the Clinton spin machine. Obama won on Tuesday.

May 7, 2008 at 11:59 am
(9) Kim says:

Justin Quinn what are you on… ”
Indiana should be considered a crushing loss for Obama” a 2 point dif, No. How about crushing for HRC no money a narrow win in Indy and CRUSHING 14 point defeat in North Carolina. What was Bill doing or *** was Bill doing. She done it’s time. Congrats to Obama now lets get on with it.

May 7, 2008 at 12:06 pm
(10) Linda says:

Your observation that Obama failed to win a neighboring state is very telling.

I still don’t think Obama can win in the general election, because, as you say, ‘the true voice of the American people’ hasn’t yet been heard. And the true voice includes voters in both parties.

But for Clinton to remain in the race only makes her look like a spoiler to Obama-ites. She’s damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t.

May 7, 2008 at 12:14 pm
(11) GL says:

Obama IS the candidate that can beat McCain.
The reasons stated in comment #1 above are valid and demonstrate the difference between Obama & Clinton.

Clinton’s lies, mis-speaks, and vague promises will not hold up against McCain. And, while the media has not, the Republicans will call her on her pending issues regarding why Judge Aurelio Munoz ruled on April 25 that she would not be required to testify in a sworn deposition as a material witness in Bill’s civil fraud case until AFTER the November election along with her part in illegal handling of her campaign funds.

May 7, 2008 at 12:30 pm
(12) Ray Stawick says:

Obama having problem winning states that border home state – what about Wisconsin, Iowa, & Missouri I thought those are three of the 5 states tha border Illinois.

Clintons will taken down the democratic party while losing.

May 7, 2008 at 2:59 pm
(13) HoosierRegulator says:

Don’t forget about McCain’s primary problems – nearly 30% of those in PA, IN & NC Republican primaries came out to vote against him.

May 7, 2008 at 3:28 pm
(14) bblack says:

I am a very proud reverse operation Chaos volunteer ………
witch is millions of blacks who will vote for mccain if clinton would steal this election.
whites have died in record numbers in this war and mccain will continue it for 100 years!
have you noticed the race of 99.9% of the people who have died in this 100 year war? (white).
operation reverse chasos has been on black college campuses for a while now! ha/ha obama 08!
or mccain! thanks!

May 7, 2008 at 3:35 pm
(15) usconservatives says:

Hey bblack,

Thanks for writing, and thanks for offering your opinion. I just want to clarify one thing: McCain was talking about a POST-war Iraq. He was NOT talking about fighting the war there for another 100 years. Just like we have US military bases in Germany, Japan and South Korea, he was talking about having a base in Iraq.
That’s the rest of what he said in that now-famous speech, which much of the pro-Democratic media has understandably left out of the sound-bytes.
In fact, McCain believes having American military personnel in that part of the world is good for the overall interaction between the cultures when the war finally IS over. It’s difficult logic to argue with, unless someone is in favor of keeping the cultures seperated, which unfortunately, I have heard before.
It’s sad, really.

May 7, 2008 at 3:45 pm
(16) Jorge says:

Quite scaring to see the “emotional-type” support that Obama can get. Every single person who can identify him/her-self as an underdog feels that voting for Obama is a vote for them…

This is a scary notion, when someone presents himself as a “Saviour” (or the ‘Champion’) in a political race.

There is no intelligent discourse to explain WHY/HOW/WHAT/WHEN; nor analytical process to define it… nor real information flow – just hear-say (Vox Populi – SIC), just emotional outbursts saying “Go Home, You lost!” or posting messages with so many ortographic errors that not even an immigrant make… or acussing people of lying and then, missquoting and taking things out of context. Or not even UNDERSTANDING THE POLITICAL PROCESS.

Well, being on the extreme low-end of the “minority game” being an immigrant, hispanic, homosexual and autistic… I am scared of Obama’s supporters…

May 7, 2008 at 5:53 pm
(17) Kathy says:

Hi, Justin:

Your analysis is the sort of thing that Democratic super-delegates should be doing. You might be interested in my comparison of IN, NC, PA and the US.

What none of the MSM pundits are looking at, IMO, is the power of a large minority (1/3 of the voters in NC) voting as a BLOCK. Had Clinton gotten the percentage of black vote that Obama got of the women’s vote … she would have won NC.

The Democratic party is split in half. Whether this is irrevocable or not, time will tell.

That said, the Republicans aren’t very cohesive, either. The 3rd party candidate movement has hurt Rs in the past, so maybe that coalition has been shaky longer?

In any case, my prediction is that whoever wins in 2008 will not win in 2012 — no matter the party.

May 7, 2008 at 10:25 pm
(18) Janet says:

Hillary Clinton will split the party in two before she concede to a Black man The Clintons think they are above everyone else.They have this attitude that they are entitled. After all Bill was impeached for lying and thought he got a raw deal.She has been talking out of both sides of her mouth in order to win.Drinking whiskey and beer with the boys and riding in the back of pickups.What next backroom deals with cigars.She will stoop to almost any level to win.How sad that she should come to this.

May 7, 2008 at 10:45 pm
(19) Kathleen says:

I think Hillary should stay in the race as insurance against McCain getting in should Obama mess up somewhere before the convention. Maybe people don’t like Hillary but I feel she is not a destructive person. You give Chelsea kudos. How do you think she got that way! It is nurturing and keeping on top of things, which is what Hillary would bring to the presidency. I also think that the treatment of Hillary by newspeople is shameful. You’ve made up your minds about Obama and done a shut-out. And has it occurred to you that maybe senior citizens, of what I’m one, may have learned a few things in 60/70 years and bring that knowledge to our voting habits? No. You bring on senior citizens for Obama even though that is not his strength.

May 8, 2008 at 12:13 am
(20) cB says:

The Dem’s love to throw around the term dienfranchised. Definition:” DENIED your right to vote or have your vote counted.” The Democratic party disenfranchised 2 entire states because some stuffed shirts decided to change the polling date. Add 366 dlegates and all those votes to Clinton, she’s winning and getting shafted by the party. I vote the Democratic Party as a whole never gets to say the word “Disenfranchised” ever again. Not that you used it correctly to begin with. But just so as to not be bigger hypocrites.

May 8, 2008 at 1:07 am
(21) SP says:

I pray that Hillary stays in the race. If she leaves, I won’t vote in November or I will have to do the unthinkable and vote McCain.

And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t say its because Hillary staying in the fight has turned me from the party- its because I’ve said all along that I will not vote for Obama! I want to vote for someone that is going to offer solutions not just give pretty speeches!!

May 8, 2008 at 2:07 am
(22) Tannim says:

Pardon me while I laugh.
The real story here isn’t Hillarious’s 2 point squeaker, or B.O.’s skunkjob in NC.

Nope, it’s that McSame only got 72% of the GOP vote, meaning that more than a quarter of the GOP don’t want him.

That’s nor good news for the GOP leadership who wants to throw him under the GOP bus, since it hints at a raucous convention come Labor Day instead of the choreographed dog and pony coronation they want.

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