February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday in Electoral College Perspective

Longtime reader Ben Franklin (since 1706) comments:

On Super Tuesday, McCain won almost exclusively in states that Republicans have almost no chance of winning in November. The only clear exceptions to that are Oklahoma and Missouri, the later where McCain has won with just 33 percent of the vote and with 3 or 4 percent separating McCain, Huckabee and Romney. In Oklahoma, McCain won in a state that has as its law one of the most stringent anti-illegal immigrant laws in the country. So, both of those wins are incongruous.

In the rest of the states McCain won, there is pretty much Zero chance for the Republican nominee to win in the general election in the fall.

As for Huckabee, he won in Southern states that just about ANY Republican candidate will win come November.

So however you look at the results, they mean less then they appear to mean. This also applies to Obama, who won in many states that the Democrat nominee has next to no chance to win, except for Illinois, which is in the bag for the Democrats (and is Obama's "home state"). So, Obama’s big delegate count on Super Tuesday is vastly overstated, what with his winning North Dakota, Utah, Idaho, etc.

I’d say that Hillary comes out of Super Tuesday looking like by far the strongest candidate in the field of either party.

The electoral college means that purple states are what matters: the Great Lakes Blue Collar States of Ohio, Pennyslvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the Clean Green States of Oregon, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and New Mexico (okay, NM isn't green and it isn't clean in its politics, but I had to put it somewhere), and then there's Florida, which wasn't that close in 2004 but we all remember 2000.

Surprisingly few purple states participated in Super Tuesday. In Minnesota, Obama won big with 67% of the caucuses, while Romney beat McCain and Huckabee 42-22-20. Hillary won New Mexico 51-42, while the Republicans in that state didn't hold an election. (Getting off the topic here, don't you find it annoying when the parties in a state hold their primaries on different days?)

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Romney's problem was that he is a Mormon. In the South, evangelicals just won't vote for him, and went for Huckafool.

McCain as noted took the Dem-leaning states often with cross-over voting. That he had a close call in Arizona speaks volumes.

Romney did well in Michigan and Minnesota, and out West.

Yes Hillary does look the strongest. Had there been a non-Mormon Westerner with appeal to Evangelicals ala Reagan, McCain would have been crushed. Leadership and people matter. Too bad, I don't get all caught up in the Mormon thing but clearly that killed Romney.

Anonymous said...

Winning non-marginal liberal states suggest McCain has the best chance of winning swing voters in the battleground states.

Note that McCain won swing states Florida and New Hampshire, and sort of swing states Missouri and New Jersey. Two of the three other most important swing states (Ohio, Pennsylvania) have not voted yet, and McCain is ahead in those.
The 3 most vulnerable republican states from 2004 are Ohio, Iowa and New Mexico. They will probably keep Colorado, Missouri and Florida in a reasonably close election. If so just getting one of the combinations below is enough:


* Pennsylvania,

* Wisconsin + Minnesota

* Washington + Oregon

* Michigan + any other state (NH, New Mexico, Iowa, or even the one delegate in Main)

* New Mexico +Iowa + any other state or states with 6 electoral votes.

Remember, getting ANY ONE of the five above will suffice, which doesn’t seem impossible in a McCain-Clinton lineup. A likely scenario for a McCain victory would be him losing Iowa, New Mexico and Ohio compared to 2004, but getting Pennsylvania, in which case he wins with 273 electoral votes.

Another plausible McCain victory would be losing Ohio and Iowa but keeping New Mexico and capturing Minnesota and New Hampshire, and winning with 271 votes.

The public doesn't love Democrats, they just dislike Bush. McCain has a strong brand of not being Bush.

Bertrand Russell said...

Hillary seems to have benefited from the stupid voter syndrome that helped GW bush in Florida. As a precinct poll worker in California, I saw at least one case where an alienated voter was unfamiliar with the process and, not wanting to identify as a Democrat, requested an American Independent party ballot, then wrote in Barack Obama.

Fred said...

"McCain has a strong brand of not being Bush."

Why is that? He's a huge supporter of Bush on the issue that most Dems and Independents oppose (the Iraq War) and on the issue that most Republicans oppose (amnesty for illegals).

Sleep said...

Holy poop, I had no idea Obama was going to do so well. I disagree with "Ben Franklin" about this not being important or a good sign for Obama ... it's extremely important that he won all that he did last night. For one thing, it puts him in the lead in terms of number of delegates if you exclude the faithless electors who have pledged to vote for Hillary no matter what the primaries in their state come out to (a relic of the no-choice system we used before I was born, apparently). For another, I dont see why it should matter whether Obama won in states that would be likely to vote for him in November or not. If Obama takes the primary in the end, blue states will vote for him, regardless of whether he or Hillary was the one who carried the state in the primaries. If anything, it shows that Obama has broader appeal than Hillary and would be more likely to win over McCain.

David W said...

The national parties need to better apportion their delegate count so that it will reasonably represent a candidates chances of winning the electoral college. That means safely blue states should receive greater proportional representation at the Democrtaic convention than safely red states, and the GOP should assign more delegates proportionally to safely red states than blue states.

corvinus said...

I'll second Fred's comments.

I simply DO NOT understand: who are all these idiots voting for John McCain?!

I would like to see an analysis on the likely McCain voter and what's going on in his pea-sized brain.

Pardon my comments... but after what happened, I still cannot believe this is happening.

James said...

Annoying but quaintly nice. Like non-decimal coinage.

Anonymous said...

What you don't understand is that Americans want a WIN finally, after more than thirty years, against Muslim terror.

THAT is what is propelling McCain. You take the media's presumption that most Democrats and Independents and Republicans are against the War in Iraq, and want an immediate defeat.

That is not the case. Dems could have ended the war at any time with the Congressional majority and chose not to do so because they were AFRAID of the results: getting voted out of office.

McCain is the candidate most identified with VICTORY in Iraq (regardless of his actual positions) and THAT is responsible for his wins along with Romney being a Mormon.

McCain is likely to hang on to Iraq (presence there has some plusses: human intel on what Iran is up to, bases, human intel on AQ, a "Win" finally to show resolve and discredit Osama). Other than that he's probably more PC-ridden than Hillary (though less bad than Obama who is awful) and won't even pour water up Osama's nose to find out what he's been up to.

Against nuclear proliferation (there's a lot of OTHER countries besides Iran going nuclear) he's got nothing. Other than Davos-style PC.

But people have been so turned off by the Media that they only pay surface attention to McCain. And for them he looks like: Win in Iraq.

Selling defeat as morally good for America has always been tough. Even McCain can beat that one.

Muswell Hillbilly said...

Ben Franklin is right about McCain but wrong about Obama. He misses the point that Republicans this time around tend to be making a "least worst" vote, whereas the Dems are having a hard time deciding who they love more.

The fact that McCain won in bluish states (and not in red ones) is significant because tons of people in the red states despise him, meaning he will have a rough time in a general election.

Obama, on the other hand, doesn't have that same section of people who have learned to hate him. Almost no one who voted for Hillary in the primaries will then refuse to vote for Obama, but A LOT of people who voted for a Not-McCain will sit out the general.