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Monday, February 11, 2008

The States That Matter

by kos, Daily Kos
This post was inspired by a comment I read earlier yesterday, which I can't find now, so apologies for the unsourced inspiration.

One of the hilarious side-effects of every Obama victory is the spin from Clinton quarters and its surrogates and supporters explaining why said victories "don't matter".

Iowa didn't matter because it was a caucus state, and it's undemocratic. Same goes for every other caucus state including Maine. The only caucus state that mattered was Nevada.

Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Alaska, and Utah don't matter because they're small Red states that Democrats won't carry in November.

Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Louisiana don't matter because they have black people. Expect the same spin out of DC this Tuesday. Black people don't apparently count.

Washington and Minnesota don't matter because they have educated white people.

In any case, Washington, Nebraska, and Louisiana didn't matter on Saturday because everyone expected Obama to win them anyway.

Virginia and Maryland, assuming they're won by Obama, will be a combination of the "black people" and "educated people" rationalizations. Throw a little of "Obama was expected to win anyway", and you've got the trifecta.

Illinois doesn't matter because that's Obama's home state. Expect the same spin when Obama wins Hawaii by double-digit margins in two weeks.

Missouri doesn't matter because Clinton sent out a press release claiming she won it.

Colorado was a caucus state, so that leaves Delaware and Connecticut. Those are the only two states that apparently matter, giving Hillary Clinton a commanding 10-2 lead among states that matter.

One final line of attack used to minimize Obama's victories is the notion that "he can't win states without his base", his base of course being African Americans, white yuppies, and Red state Democrats. Yet the corollary of that is what? That Hillary can't win states that

1.) she hasn't lived in recently (New York and Arkansas),

2.) aren't next to states she has lived in (Tennessee, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma),

3.) don't share a media market with states she has lived in (New Hampshire), or

4.) are outside the Southwest with its large Latino population (California, which she won with the strength of her SoCal vote, Arizona, Nevada and probably New Mexico).

Pretty silly game, huh?

Incidentally, if these stupid generalizations were to actually hold true the rest of this primary, the states would fall like this:

Clinton: Texas, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania.

Obama: Virginia, DC, Maryland, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Mississippi, Indiana, North Carolina, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota.

Neither: Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky

But that's not what the final tally will look like.

p.s. Interestingly enough, other than New Mexico, the only other razor-thin contest thus far was Missouri -- a state which borders both Illinois and Arkansas. So in the battle of "neighboring state contest", Obama won, but only by a hair, and only because the Illinois-Missouri border is longer than the Arkansas-Missouri one.

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