Gut Check Time

I was thinking Hillary Clinton had at least an outside chance of an upset tonight. But as we noted below, it was another blow out, and a big enough one for Obama to add real numbers to his delegate advantage. I think David hits the key point here though: less daunting than the overall margins in the races this month (which are pretty daunting) is the trend in the underlying fundamentals.

The premise of Clinton’s campaign after Super Tuesday has been her trump cards of female voters and working class/lower income Democrats. But that assumption is due for a major reevaluation. In each successive contest he’s cutting more into those core constituencies. Tonight in Wisconsin Obama tied Hillary among female voters and beat her by 10 points among voters making less than $50,000 per annum.

We’ve had four big post-Super Tuesday primaries — in LA, MD, VA and WI. The topline numbers in each were relatively similar — ranging from 17% in Wisconsin to 29% in Virginia. But the underlying story is that from Louisiana to the Chesapeake to Wisconsin, the underlying demographic structure of the electorate, the playing field, as it were, got better for her. But it didn’t help.

Clinton’s hope to even come close among pledged delegates rests on big wins in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. But the trends in support among key demographic groups give very little reason to think those outcomes are likely.