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The Collective
Thursday, May 8, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via USAT: Clinton makes case for wide appeal

“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.

I am pretty sure that the most important pattern emerging is that Obama has more pledged delegates, and that it is unlikely to change. Ultimately, the pattern at hand is simply one in which there is a very competitive race between two well-matched candidates. Oh, and the most salient characteristic of the pattern at this moment, is that Clinton is going to lose.

So, let’s find a new metric, shall we? The “big state” argument didn’t work, nor did the “primary states are better than caucus states” argument work either. As the previous post noted, the “popular vote” metric has sunk, so what we have now is “my coalition of voters is better than your coalition of voters.”

While Clinton’s attempt here is to play on the behavior of superdelegates, but I think that the real target for her argument is herself: she needs to convince herself that has a really good reason to keep running.

As I have noted before, the notion that the behavior of voters in the candidate selection process has some sort of direct correlation to how they will behave in the general election makes no sense. These are different contests, held under different rules with different purposes. While a lot of Hillary supporters may currently feel very strongly about their candidate, I am guessing that given a little time to get over the loss, they will look at McCain and Obama, and choose Obama. The notion that only Clinton can deliver lower-class white voters is ridiculous.

However, let’s deal with the pattern that Clinton is most interested in, which is that she thinks she attracts voters who are more important (or useful) in terms of the November elections.

Indeed, the new shift to a focus on the nature of the electoral coalition, made me think of this (noted on Balloon Juice):

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1 Comment »

  • el
  • pt
    1. “The notion that only Clinton can deliver lower-class white voters is ridiculous.”

      While I agree completely with the broader premise (as stated in the first sentence of the paragraph I extracted the above quote from), I do not think it follows that this claim is ridiculous.

      Various “swing state” polls have suggested (rather consistently, I believe) that Clinton runs better than Obama in some of the states in question (Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and more clearly in Arkansas and Tennessee). I agree (and said so almost two months ago) that in the end, the state-by-state maps for either candidate would be more similar to one another than they appear months out. Still, states where the Dems would have to rely heavily on “lower-class white voters” are somewhat less fertile territory for Obama than for Clinton.

      I still think that the net gains Obama brings (including likely winning states in November that Clinton would never put in play–in the plains and intermountain west and border south other than AR and TN) means that Obama is the better candidate.

      But, as much as it pains me to say it, I do not think this version of the pro-Clinton narrative is ridiculous on its face.

      Comment by MSS — Thursday, May 8, 2024 @ 3:10 pm

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