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Why Did Obama Lose?

Like John Kerry on election day in 2004 — when the exit polls first came in until around 7:30-8:30pm EST — Barack Obama had fun being president for a few days; and I hope he'll get to be president for … Read More

By / January 9, 2008

Like John Kerry on election day in 2004 — when the exit polls first came in until around 7:30-8:30pm EST — Barack Obama had fun being president for a few days; and I hope he'll get to be president for a few more.

What happened? The last Zogby poll had Obama ahead by 13; Rasmussen 7; Keith Olbermann says the internal Obama polls showed him winning by 13, and the internal Clinton polls showed him winning by 11. He lost by three. Could it really be that Hillary Clinton sort-of crying (see Mike's post below) vaulted her to victory?

I'm listening to Eugene Robinson on MSNBC going over the exit polls, and as it turns out, among voters who decided in the last three days, Obama actually came out ahead 37-36. So Hillary's anti-Muskie moment didn't decide things. Was Obama (shudder) a victim of the Bradley effect? But then why would only white women lie to pollsters? If anybody's got an idea how the polls were so far off, I'm listening.

There seem to be some increasingly cemented fissures in the Democratic electorate: men, young voters, wealthy voters, and educated voters for Obama; women, old(er) voters, poor voters, and uneducated voters for Clinton. It's beer track vs. wine track, plus a gender split, and neither bodes well for Obama. On the other hand — and do re-read the last sentence before you accuse me of Hewitt-like denialism — I can't see how the Edwards campaign continues. (His support would presumably go to Obama.)

Next up are Nevada and South Carolina. Nevada was going to be a cakewalk for Obama after the Culinary Workers Union decided to endorse him. Until, who would have guessed it, the CWU got cold feet. Oh well, si se puede.

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