March 8, 2008

Obama wins the Wyoming caucuses.

It's the smallest state, but there was a big turnout, and it looks like Obama won by a lot.

26 comments:

Mortimer Brezny said...

Whoa. I really thought Hillary would crush him in this one, after her momentous win in Ohio. What happened to her momentum?

EnigmatiCore said...

And just as I start having buyer's remorse, the Democrats seem to be finalizing the purchase.

George said...

Key sentence in the story, third graf from end...

“Nobody will admit to being a Democrat here.”

Chet said...

I'm sure she'll find a way to challenge the results and scream about how unfair the whole process is.

rhhardin said...

All the votes cast in the eastern part of Wyoming flow into the Mississippi.

Mortimer Brezny said...

“Nobody will admit to being a Democrat here.”

Yet the turnout was 10x normal.

lumiere said...

So Obama wins another state that the Democrats won't win in Nov.

Middle Class Guy said...

I'm sure she'll find a way to challenge the results and scream about how unfair the whole process is.



She has been doing that since Obama stayed in the race.

Beldar said...

Smallest in the sense of least populous, of course. Only twelve of its eighteen delegates are to be awarded based on this caucus, with six to go to the national convention uncommitted. And of the twelve awarded based on the caucus, the AP report (as republished in the presumably reliable Casper Star-Tribune) says that Obama gets seven and Clinton gets five.

So for a net pickup of only two delegates, Obama has to endure this very obvious reminder that he's winning in states that the Democrats are extremely unlikely to carry in November. I'd say that on balance, that's not much skin off Hillary's nose.

Wyoming went for Bush over Kerry by 168k to 71k in 2004, and for Bush over Gore by 148k to 60k in 2000, in both cases with a turnout of about 60%. Even Bob Dole won Wyoming for the GOP in 1996, and the state went for Bush-41 twice (1992 and 1988), Reagan twice (1984 and 1980), Ford (1976), and Nixon twice (1972 and 1968). LBJ did manage to beat Goldwater by 57%/43% in 1964, so I guess the Dems can hold their breath and hope for a Democratic landslide of those proportions. But with favorite son Dick Cheney presumably working McCain's campaign, I don't think this is the Dems' year to break the, uh, Wyoming jinx.

Tim said...

Excellent.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I'd say that on balance, that's not much skin off Hillary's nose.

Hillary Clinton is unlikely to win in Ohio in November, too. Not to mention 2 delegates, plus the 8 from California (4 erroneously given to her, 4 uncounted for him), wipes out her 10 delegate gain from Ohio (she lost Texas).

I agree this might not be a big deal if it hadn't wiped out her Ohio win and if she hadn't campaigned in the state after a major win, sending Bill and Chelsea to campaign for her as well as campaigning herself. But it did and she did. And we now see that Hillary can't win in moderate states, including those unlikely to flip Democrat in the fall (Wyoming) and those that Obama can flip but Hillary can't (e.g., Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia).

Clinton's campaigh has been a strategic failure. This loss in Wyoming suggests she hasn't passed the Commander-in-Chief threshold.

It's not that Empress Hillary has lost skin off her nose; it's that she isn't wearing any clothes.

JackDRipper said...

Mortimer Brezny said...I really thought Hillary would crush him in this one, after her momentous win in Ohio.

Don't you pay any attention to the patterns. Wyoming is a small whiter than white state and this was a caucus vote. Small, non-diverse, ultra White caucus = Obama win.

This was totally predictable.

It's also another example of Obama winning a state that the Republicans wont lose in the general.

The real issue is Obama raised another $55 million to go along with the endless free positive media, with the exception of an SNL bit that few saw.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Don't you pay any attention to the patterns. Wyoming is a small whiter than white state and this was a caucus vote.

Oh, I thought Obama was the black candidate like Jesse Jackson and he couldn't win white voters.

JackDRipper said...

Mortimer Brezny said...Oh, I thought Obama was the black candidate like Jesse Jackson and he couldn't win white voters.

Jesse Jackson did get quite a few White votes. But he got them in the DEMOCRATIC party primary.

The Democrats wont win if Obama is their candidate and he's pulling THOSE kinds of White people along with the black base.

Hillary is the stronger candidate in the general against McCain because Obama's support doesn't work well in the electoral college.

In fact he might lose quite a few of Hillary's White, Latino and Asian voters to McCain.

Eli Blake said...

But with favorite son Dick Cheney presumably working McCain's campaign, I don't think this is the Dems' year to break the, uh, Wyoming jinx.

Uh, I don't think that McCain will want to be seen campaiging with Cheney, even in Wyoming. That would be everything he wants to avoid being seen as an extension of Bush, plus make the age issue very front and center.

Besides (and you can look this up) in 2000, the Bush/Cheney ticket carried every county in Wyoming. In 2004, they lost one-- Teton county, where Cheney maintains a cabin which is his 'official' residence (remember that he had to officially move back to Wyoming from Houston because the law didn't allow two guys from the same state to share the ticket.) So his 'neighbors' who knew him best, actually changed their vote between 2000 and 2004, and in the direction of NOT voting for him (though in fairness cuts to the national Parks system, which includes Grand Teton and Yellowstone Parks in the county probably also had something to do with the switch to blue.)

Now, I don't expect Wyoming's three electoral votes to end up in the Democratic column short of a major landslide, but given Governor Freudenthal's popularity (in his 2006 re-election bid he carried about 2 out of every 5 registered Republicans) and Freudenthal ally Gary Trauner (who lost narrowly for Congress in 2006 and in a recent poll was leading likely GOP candidate Barbara Lummis for what is now an open seat) there is a good chance that Democrats could pick up both a Senate and a house seat in Wyoming. And if that happens then as a Democrat I would be very happy about the results from that state, even if John McCain does carry it.

former law student said...

So Obama wins another state that the Democrats won't win in Nov.

Obama wins another state that Hillary could never win in Nov. Hillary is just another in a long row of uninspiring Democrats -- from Carter in 1980 (after he revealed himself a voter-blaming pussy who let the dollar sink like a stone), through Mondale, Do-kaka, Gore, and Kerry. Her husband had some balls; that's why he won and Hill will lose. Who did Wyoming vote for in 96?

Revenant said...

I don't see why it is a problem that Obama keeps winning states the Democrats won't get in the actual election. That would tend to suggest he's got more appeal to conservatives than Hillary does, right? That could have the effect of causing conservatives -- who aren't too enthusiastic about McCain but loathe Hillary -- to sit out the election.

Beldar said...

Revenant (11:40pm): It's a problem for Obama in trying to persuade superdelegates that his ostensible delegate total, which slightly exceeds Hillary's, actually portends superior or even comparable general election traction to hers.

Hillary's argument to them is that unlike Obama, she can count on winning big swing states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, along with presumptively Democratic strongholds like New York, California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts that either of them "ought" to win.

And then she'll point to her popular vote win in Texas to suggest (unrealistically, I think) that she might even give McCain a run for his time and money in Texas.

These are bandwagon/perceptual arguments designed to influence career politicians, not regular voters.

Mortimer Brezny said...

These are bandwagon/perceptual arguments designed to influence career politicians, not regular voters.

Except you don't need to win Florida and Pennsylvania if you win Iowa, North Dakota, Virginia, Colorado, Washington and Wisconsin.

Look at SurveyUSA's maps, Beldar.

Beldar said...

Mr. Blake (10:46 pm): Time may prove you right, but three decades of recent history suggests that you're engaged in wishful thinking even with respect to the down-ballot races. As for Dick Cheney, I'd make a large wager that age and everything else notwithstanding, he's still the single most popular politician in the state. He may have only had a cabin there in 2000, but Wyoming made him its congressman six times in a row between 1978 and 1989 after his service in the Nixon and Ford Administrations, during the course of which he rose to chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, Chairman of the House Republican Committee, and ultimately House Minority Whip. The federal building in Casper is already named for him. Sure, Wyoming Dems may hate him twice or thrice as much as they did in 2000 or even 2004, but there still aren't that many of them, and their votes still only count once apiece.

I'm curious, though: Do you think Obama has coat-tails in Wyoming? Or Hillary? I rather think not.

Beldar said...

Mr. Brezny: Tell that to the superdelegates. I suspect they'll believe that Virginia, for instance, is in play this year, but the only way to make it more than a longshot would be for the Dem nominee to pick Jim Webb as his/her running mate, and that ain't gonna happen. And don't tell me that Democratic big-wigs are pinning the party's hopes on North Dakota.

Besides, we all know that Wisconsin is in a state of cruel neutrality right now.

Beldar said...

George Soros' head would explode, by the way, if Obama picked Jim Webb as his Veep nominee. Are Democratic 527s the main beneficiaries of his estate planning, I wonder?

The thought of Webb and Obama sharing a ticket really makes me giggle. I can imagine Webb getting into gear about the Scots-Irish and their heritage, while Michelle Obama seethed. Obama would explain that the Second Amendment permits the District of Columbia to ban handguns; Webb would slyly nudge his briefcase, with its Glock and three extra magazines of ammo, further under the table.

Clinton-Webb would still be funny, too, but Bill and Hill are both sufficiently shameless now about Bill's draft-dodging that he could probably sit there with a straight face as Webb told stories of leading his platoon under fire in 'Nam, and then applaud.

Clyde said...

Big turnout? Let's see: Wyoming has some 59,000 registered Democrats. Obama got 5,378 votes, Clinton got 3,312. Combined, that's only 14.7% of the registered Democrat voters in the state.

More than 85% of the Democrats in Wyoming had something better to do on a Saturday than caucus, even in the most competitive primary election season in recent memory. It shows just how undemocratic caucuses really are. Only the hardcore political junkies are going to show up for a caucus, and the party knows that. It makes it easier for the party elites to manipulate things when a smaller percentage of the electorate shows up.

And Mortimer, if that was 10X the normal turnout, then that would mean that only 1% of Democrats normally vote in Wyoming. I'm guessing that there are more bears than Democrat voters in Wyoming in any case...

Pigasus said...

I don't know if winning three more delegates (7:4 according to CNN)counts as a "big win" in the scheme of things.

Patrick said...

Eli Blake: Regarding the VP not carrying Teton County in the past elections. Teton County includes Jackson Hole. Those residents are wealthy transplants who want to live in the wilds of Wyoming while still having acccess to their private jets and lattes. They are unlike the rest of the people in Wyoming.

former law student said...

[Hillary] can count on winning big swing states like ... Michigan...

if her only opposition is Kucinich and Gravel.