Pollster.com

Articles and Analysis

 

Open Thread: West Virginia Results

Topics: 2008

As Mark noted earlier, he will be traveling to New Orleans this evening, though we encourage regulars to post analysis of the exit polls and the election results in the comments section.

 

Comments
Mark Lindeman:

Hey, are we pumped?

With no particular basis, I bet Thatcher that Edwards would come in under 5%. I'm feeling quite unsure about the main event -- margin somewhere in the 30s?

____________________

Mark Lindeman:

At first glance, it looks like about 65-32....

____________________

Thatcher:

I'm pumped ... woot!

____________________

ziggy:

Obama's people are full of s**t-he CANNOT beat McCain in Nov.-OH MY G*D-another 8 yrs. of BUSH LITE!!!

____________________

Mark Lindeman:

Hey there. I'm feeling pretty good about my under-5% right now, but we'll see about actual votes 'n' all.

Cutest result: In Clinton vs. McCain, Clinton wins 73-19; in Obama vs. McCain, Obama wins 51-28, with 17% not voting!

____________________

Thatcher:

Mark -

Yeah - looks like you got it ... I am truly (and pleasantly) surprised. By Edwards not pulling out a high single-digit number in a strong white/blue-collar/conservative democratic male state, while both Huckabee and Paul pulling high teens or better against McCain in the Presidential Primaries - I think this is telling about the buyers remorse of McCain in the Republican Party when compared to the steadfastness of democrats getting behind Clinton and Obama.

____________________

Thatcher:

Mark - hey, by the way, are there any exit polls expected for MS-01?

T

____________________

Mark Lindeman:

For what it's worth, MSNBC has posted an exit poll tab update with an inconsequential narrowing of the margin: a bit more like 64-32. The new tab bumped down Clinton's (fairly huge) margin in Southwest, from 51 points to 44. It will be interesting to see.

Thatcher, I'm not sure what to make of "steadfastness" behind two candidates. That Obama-McCain hypothetical doesn't look very steadfast to me. McCain may well have bigger problems than Obama with his party base overall, but not necessarily in WV!

I wouldn't expect NEP to exit-poll a congressional race -- I don't know of a precedent except in an at-large race when they are polling the state anyway.

____________________

Thatcher:

Another interesting stat: 9% who voted today would be dissatisfied if either won the nomination ... and they broke 51-24 for Clinton over Obama ... 27% of that 9% (about 2.5% of the voters) obviously voted for Edwards.

____________________

Thatcher:

Mark - yeah, I agree about WV and McCain. We know that WV will got to McCain in November with Obama as the nominee. I'm not buying Clinton's argument that she could truly make it competitive there ... unless Bob Barr does create a stronghold in the state - then he bleeds from McCain's more than Clinton's.

____________________

Thatcher:

In MS-01 ... with 8% precincts reporting:

TRAVIS W. CHILDERS 3,666 60%
GREG DAVIS 2,474 40%

____________________

Thatcher:

in MS-01 94/462 precincts reporting:

TRAVIS W. CHILDERS 9,677 55%
GREG DAVIS 7,796 45%

____________________

Thatcher:

CNN just updated their exit poll in WV ...

Clinton 64 - Obama 29 - Other 7

____________________

Thatcher:

MS-01 213/462 precincts:

TRAVIS W. CHILDERS 23,552 54%
GREG DAVIS 20,404 46%

____________________

Mark Lindeman:

OK, looks like I overreached on the 5% (which was part of the fun) -- I started to worry when I saw the format of the exit poll questionnaire. It asks if people voted for Clinton, Obama, or "Other: Who? _______" One surmises that some number of people didn't bother to write in Edwards, but did vote for him. Right now it's a bit under 7%. (Of course I'm not sure that the exit poll would have been right regardless, but I noticed something like this in earlier primaries.)

I'm not going to knock myself out trying to model MS-01, but it looks good for the Democrat so far.

____________________

Thatcher:

Mark -

No worries about modeling MS-01 - just, unless Clinton beats Obama by about 40% - MS-01 is the race of the night. Sorry folks, if you don't agree.

____________________

Mark Lindeman:

You'll get no argument from me!

Much of DeSoto came in, narrowing Childers' lead -- but given that none of Prentiss has come in, I think he has the inside track. (Even in DeSoto, Davis doesn't seem to have done a lot better than last time, although it's hard to tell right now. The turnout is up.)

____________________

Mark Lindeman:

Not just Prentiss, by the way: of the six counties I see missing right now, Childers won five of them last time. Almost all of DeSoto is in now, and it looks really tight, but I don't think it is.

____________________

distantobserver:

clarionledger.com called the MS-01 race for Childers.

The current tally is

T. Childers 49,406 52%
G. Davis 46,009 48%
(411/462 Precincts)

____________________

Jacob S:

They are calling it for Childers. He will receive at least 52% of the vote, considering that his home county is the only one remaining. The Dems taking a district in northern Mississippi with +52% of the vote should send shivers down the backs of the Republicans. The national media will mainly cover Clinton's impressive victory in West Virginia, but I believe that this special election is a better indicator of the general election. This election could make the Republicans wish it were 2006.

____________________

Mark, I'm curious to know what you make of this. In one of Bill Schneider's numerous dispatches posted at CNN.com, he writes

"The gender gap, a factor earlier on in the Democratic presidential race, seemed to disappear over the last few weeks. But the gap is certainly back in West Virginia.

In early exit polls, 55 percent of Hillary Clinton's supporters are women, and 45 percent are men.

How about Barack Obama's voters?

Just about the reverse: 57 percent of Obama supporters were men, and 43 percent were women.

So it looks like the gender gap, long a feature of politics between Democrats and Republicans, has established itself in the Democratic primaries."

So far as I can tell from my own sad little spreadsheet of exit poll results, women over men have supported Clinton by at least 8 points in more than half of the primaries. Here's the top 14....

State / C women / C men / gap

UT / 48 / 28 / 20
NH / 46 / 29 / 17
CT / 53 / 38 / 15
RI / 66 / 51 / 15
MA / 62 / 48 / 14
CA / 59 / 45 / 14
FL / 54 / 42 / 12
NY / 62 / 50 / 12
TN / 58 / 47 / 11
AZ / 53 / 43 / 10
NJ / 58 / 48 / 10
PA / 59 / 49 / 10
VA / 39 / 30 / 9
NM / 52 / 43 / 9

Oops. Forgot to add IN and NC to my little grid. So maybe they belong on this list too.

In short, men have had a problem voting for Hillary from the get-go. So what is Bill on about? Did something different actually happen, or is he just resorting to the "b-list" material since there isn't much data by race to talk about?

Sorry about the sarcasm. Being invisible makes me cranky.

____________________

cinnamonape:

In MI-1 all precincts called except in Itawamba County which went 64% for Childers in the last election.

Childers leads 53.4% to Davis 46.6%.

Looks like Childers will at least maintain, if not extend that difference. This certainly will make the RNC very nervous about the Fall elections. They spent vast amounts to retain this seat in a heavily RED district, used every Rovian tactic...and still lost by almost 8%!

____________________

tom brady:

Hate to rain on anyone's parade, but Clinton's margin is expanding to close to 40% as the returns come in and the exit polls aren't good in terms of her voters backing him in November - almost 46% say they'll either vote McCain or sit. I think these numbers will move Obama's way once the nomination is clinched, but still you can't sugarcoat this - he has a lot of work to do to hold onto the Reagan (Clinton!) Democrats. This likely won't change the media narrative, but it has to make the supers nervous...he's lost every single demographic, even the ones he normally wins.

____________________

Thatcher:

@tom brady -

I see that ... yeah - 41% now ... which would be VERY impressive - if it wasn't so late in the primary. It appears that poblano at http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/ called this almost right on the money ... again. He called it a 38.8 spread ... and it's damn close. And Edwards still pulled about 7% of the vote. Imagine had he not been on the ballot ... would have been closer to 55-50% spread for Clinton.

but also - this isn't sugarcoating - he did only visit the state once. He knew this was a big loser from the get-go, so he didn't work in this state like previous. Did he outspend Clinton? yes - but that wasn't hard to do. Same with staff ... but I think the note on this was - he wasn't going to go into that state except once, late in the game - so that he can keep his pledge to campaigning in all 50-states, while making sure he is now focusing more and more of his time in swing states for the General Election.

with Clinton making this about 40% spread - it now equals the MS-01 race in terms of headlines. The RNC threw the book and as much as they could tying Childers to Obama. And yet, in a VERY Republican district - the third this year - the Democrat won. Three times Obama was brought into the race (in Illinois by Obama himself to throw support to the candidate - in the other two by RNC to try to depress the Democratic vote). Each of the three times - the Democrat won. This proves the strength of Obama's coattails.

____________________

tom brady:

Agreed - a decent job by Poblano on the victory margin, although Clinton continues to widen the lead as I write (it's at 41%), but once again he drastically underestimates turnout. I'm frankly surprised that turnout was this high, although I'm guessing a significant chunk was early voting...

____________________

Thatcher:

@tom brady -

poblano addresses at 7:05 pm Eastern today: "It occurs to me that my model may have underestimated turnout -- but not for the reason that it had been before. The issue is that we estimate turnout as a percentage of the Kerry vote. But in West Virginia, there are a lot of Democrats who did not vote for John Kerry (nor for Al Gore). Specifically, 30 percent of West Virginian Democrats voted for George W. Bush in 2004, which I'm pretty sure is the highest figure in the country. If Clinton has turned out those lapsed Democrats -- and she's the sort of candidate who can -- the turnout may beat our expectations."

However, he would still be underestimating ... but that using demographic data only - he has predicted win percentages damn close in PA, IN, NC and WV - that appears to be a winning strategy. What would help poblano in some aspect is instead of tying the turnout to Kerry's 2004 general turnout is to perhaps look at how demographics might do this same thing.

Of course, the advantage here is he has 2 distinct candidates of differing demographics to work with. And he will have the same for the General. How would he do if these were two candidates of similar backgrounds?

____________________

Thatcher:

Obama wins the non-binding Nebraska Primary tonight - and Nebraska is full of those "Reagan Democrats" that everyone is talking how Obama is not gaining ground upon.

"http://www.sos.ne.gov/elec/2008/ElectNight/primary.htm

____________________

Andrew_in_California:

I don't even see how Appalachians are "Regan Democrats" just because they are blue collar doesn't mean they identical to manufacturing job oriented democrats.

____________________

eternaltriangle:

Thatcher, you are committing an ecological fallacy. The question is whether Obama won the Reagan democrats IN Nebraska.

In fact, isn't it interesting that while Obama won the Nebraska caucus by 34 points, he only won the primary by 2? What happened between now and the Nebraska caucus (or is it an example of caucuses being unrepresentative)?

____________________

Uri:

@eternaltiangle: The nonbinding primaries (just like the Texas Caucuses) demonstrate the Obama advantages in the caucuses. In WA, he won 67:35 in the caucus, 51:45 in the primary. Hence, similar phenomenon in Nebraska.

BTW: I still don't understand why everyone sees the MS race as that is related to Obama. Yes, there was a stupid ad late on the race, but since Wright didn't even have impact on Obama (see IN, NC), why would it have an impact on a congressman in MS? I would think that the candidates themselves are what was in play there.

____________________

ByTheNumbers:

WV was a red state in '00 and '04, and looks positive to be a red state in '08.

It is shaping up to be a five state race in November. Notice how BO went straight to Missouri?

____________________

RS:

@Ciccina:
By the past few weeks, Schneider might be talking about the IN and NC primaries. I just wrote up a post on my blog:
http://randomsubu.blogspot.com/2008/05/return-of-gender-gap.html

____________________

Mark Lindeman:

@Ciccina and RS: I think RS makes the right point about Indiana and North Carolina; I would only add that Schneider's metric would also tend to inflate the shift in West Virginia, compared with Ciccina's. Suppose for simplicity that there are equal numbers of male and female voters. In one state, men break 50/50 and women break 60/40 for Clinton. In another state, men break 70/30 and women break 80/20. By Ciccina's measure, the gender gaps are equal (10-point differences). By Schneider's measure, the gap is bigger in the second state, because men constitute a disproportionate share of Obama's vote. I can't think of any reason why this should actually matter -- it's just an odd quirk.

It was a bad (but not brutal) night for my SWAGs, as Edwards got about 7.3% and Clinton beat Obama by about 41. The exit poll continued the general tendency of overstating Obama's support -- more than it understated Clinton's, which seems in keeping with Thatcher's comments at the head of the thread. (That is, Edwards's unmeasured support seems to have come at Obama's expense.)

When I was checking the WV SOS website for vote totals, I noticed that it used middle names for all candidates. That got me wondering about a possible "Hussein effect" -- what appeared on ballots, and how did voters react? Well, I checked a few of the sample ballots linked here, wherein the names appeared as "John Edwards," "Hillary Clinton," and "Barack Obama," and the order appeared to be rotated or randomized. Did Edwards' vote share depend on his ballot placement? I'll leave such profound questions for others.

____________________

Tybo:

" Notice how BO went straight to Missouri?"
IMO,
Obama is going to have a hard time carrying Missouri (I'm a former resident there).
His clinging and bitter statements in the large rural areas will drive democrats to McCain.
Heck he tied Clinton there, and the rural voters didnt care for her much at all.

____________________

jsh1120:

Great comments, folks. I really value this site for analytic insight. A couple of general observations:

() The old saying that "As Maine goes, so goes the nation" was effectively retired in 1936 when it became "As Maine goes, so goes Vermont." I'm inclined to think much the same can be said about West Virginia. For many years it reflected the strength of a particular component of the Democratic coalition that is simply no longer an essential part. And if that's true this year, it's likely to be even more the case in the future.

() I'm also inclined to think that like bad quarterly economic numbers, the results from WVa were already factored in by most observers. And the relatively powerful effect of race in WVa (as measured by the exit polls) has simply reinforced the perceived irrelevance of the results in the nomination process.

Through (perhaps no fault of her own) Clinton has been reduced largely to a dependence on the "racist wing" of the Democratic party as a route to the nomination. It seems exceedingly unlikely that it constitutes a compelling argument for the super delegates.

____________________



Post a comment




Please be patient while your comment posts - sometimes it takes a minute or two. To check your comment, please wait 60 seconds and click your browser's refresh button. Note that comments with three or more hyperlinks will be held for approval.

MAP - US, AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, PR