Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee, and his loss in West Virginia will not change that. But wow, what a loss it was.
A few quick points:
—Last week, I wondered why there was no bandwagon effect helping Obama, as normally is the case when a candidate becomes the likely nominee of a party. We even saw this with John McCain earlier this year. The fact that West Virginia Democrats would turn out in such large numbers, after a week of media coverage touting Obama as the presumptive nominee, and deliver Hillary Clinton a victory by a whopping 41 point, 140,000-plus vote margin, is absolutely astounding. It’s almost as if there is an anti-bandwagon effect.
— One of the things I’ve been debating in my head over the past few weeks is whether these working class voters who won’t support Obama in the primary will actually defect to McCain in the fall, or whether they’ll ultimately vote for any Democrat over McCain. The sheer magnitude of the Obama loss in West Virginia may be the strongest evidence yet that the working class resistence to Obama is real, and will in fact carry over to the general election.
A 10 point loss, a 15 point loss, even a 20 point loss, okay, maybe you can explain that away. But Democrats turning out to deliver a 41 point embarassment to the likely nominee of their own party? That’s really hard to for the Obama camp to write off.
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