Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thoughts on West Virginia and the Next Week

I have ten minutes to write up my thoughts on tonight's results from West Virginia (as well as what I think will happen over the next few weeks for the Democrats) before I've got to get back to AP Art History studying. Here goes:

1) Hillary Clinton beat the lowered expectations that I set for her a few days ago (scroll down two posts). Yes, I'm a Hillary supporter so you could see my "expectations" as being as useless as the campaign spin that Clinton's campaign likes to dish out before a "surprise" big win, but there have been precious few times this campaign where big leads in polls have held or where candidates truly beat their own expectations (South Carolina comes to mind as a big win for Obama). Hillary is currently up by 39% (EDIT: 41%), a figure I can imagine her campaign is actually surprised about.

2) Obama is smart (though I don't think it's a very polite tactic) to transition into general election mode. Hillary Clinton's speech tonight was successful in one key area: making Obama look bad for not spending more time in West Virginia. Unlike Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire—swing states that Clinton ended up winning, but where Obama campaigned heavily—Obama spent little time in West Virginia, writing the state off as a big win for Clinton early on. The result of this strategy: Hillary Clinton wins the state in head-to-head polling with McCain while Obama loses (look at the electoral map HERE).

3) No matter what happens in Kentucky next week for Hillary Clinton, the current wave she will ride for the next few days will end after the results from Oregon come in. Unlike Clinton's win tonight in West Virginia, Kentucky will not swing for the Democrats in November and the very loud and liberal Democrats in Oregon will push Obama to victory there.

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