Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why yes, I am a giant nerd. Why do you ask?

It's weird to think that it's only been a week since Super Tuesday... but wow, that was a really bad night for Sen. Clinton. The smallest of Obama's victory margins was... 23%. He won by 50% in DC. Now, he was expected to win in all three states, but let's recall that as recently as December her own campaign was talking about winning Virginia, where she lost handily. Sen. Clinton lost men, she lost women, she lost blacks, she lost latinos, and she just barely eked out a win among whites, and especially white women. As Yglesias says, "basically, everyone voted for Obama."

The scale of Obama's victory is such that some people -- namely my blog-mate Nick Beaudrot, who's been simply fantastic with the data and maps this primary season -- are basically calling the primary as done. Clinton needs to win by unrealistic margins -- indeed, by Obama-like margins -- in the remaining big states, where Obama is likely to keep the delegate count close to even.

You can see that everybody basically senses this -- Obama and McCain's victory speeches were both noteworthy last night because they both attacked each other, not their remaining primary challengers. This, I think, is the most dangerous position for Clinton to be in: if it becomes common sentiment that the primary is over, she lost, and she needs to drop out, we could see a lot of polls change quickly, even in the big states.

No predictions on the horse race, but I will say this: when the books are written, people will say the general election for 2008 began last night, if for no other reason than because McCain seems to have finally put Huckabee to bed.

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