Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 21, 2008
POLITICS: Obamomentum, Kentucky and Oregon Edition
Well, it's time once again (see here and here) to update the chart with what should now be the complete Democratic presidential primary popular vote totals for the months of March, April and May - I delayed in getting this posted because it took until very late today to get all the votes tallied from Oregon, and in fact I'm running this with 99% of precincts there reporting because who knows how long that last 1% will take. Of course, a handful of late votes are still trickling in from IN & NC, too.
(Source). In other words, even before we get to Puerto Rico, Obama is nearly half a million votes in the hole since the events of late February and early March (i.e., the 3am ad, the Goolsbee/NAFTA flap, and of course the Rev. Wright story). Now, let's look at turnout, using the same baseline as before (the number of votes in 2006 for House Democrats in the state) - this time, I'll just run the chart just for the same time period (the full chart and explanation of sources is here):
You will note that turnout was down from the boom in the early May primaries, but at least in Kentucky, the voters still turned out in quite large numbers in the face of the Obama camp's argument that there was nothing left to vote on. Obama had more success in Oregon, where turnout was much lower.
Let's update last week's projections by bringing the turnout back down to 110% for South Dakota and Montana relative to the 2006 figures, while still using the conservative 60% estimate for Puerto Rico. I still don't have new polls for Puerto Rico, South Dakota or Montana - I'm still using the one poll each from the first two and the imputed poll results from the matchup with McCain for the third. Here's where that would get us:
How much guesswork is in this last chart? A lot. We really are operating in the dark as to these last three primaries. Conservative South Dakota blogger Ken Blanchard argued last week that the poll in his state is too optimistic for Obama:
The last poll taken in South Dakota showed Obama 10 points ahead of Senator Clinton. But those results were announced back in April, and a lot of muddy water has gone down the Big Jim River since then. If I had to guess, I would guess that Obama figures to lose South Dakota. He is showing up to show that he isn't just writing off the rural states. If I were him, I would skip the Watertown trip, and instead visit Cabelas in Mitchell. A few photos of him buying a pair of hip waders, and sipping coffee with the locals would be just the thing. It is the Cabelas demographic he is having trouble with.
We shall see; one would hope someone would bother running one last poll. For Obama, though, the best news is that there are only three more of these to go.