Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Oregon and Kentucky

So as you no doubt know by now, Barack won an overwhelming majority of the vote in the Oregon primary last night, but lost the Kentucky race by a similarly large margin.

A few things to point out:

  • Though defeated in the Kentucky race, it was Kentucky which, ironically, by delaring its results first put Obama over the top giving in the overall pledged delegate majority. As I said yesterday, this means he has won the majority of the delegates chosed directly by voters - not a small metric in any democratic party, let alone in the Democratic Party. Super Delegates, who will ultimately, unavoidably, be the "deciders" in this race are watching that metric with tremendous interest.
  • Although there has been much discussion that Barack supposedly has a problem with the "white working class", Tuesday's result highlights the fact that this way of looking at things is not enlightening. Although Obama did, in fact lose white voters from lower incomes by stunningly huge margins in Kentucky - he won lower income white voters convincingly in Oregon. And this is no fluke - he's also won them in a wide range of other states including Virginia (a classical Southern State which Obama turns into a swing state in the general election), Iowa and Wisconsin. So what's happening? Well, many people have pointed out that Obama's real problem seems to be with converting voters across the Appalachian region. Heading into November, Obama is going to work hard on this region, which has a unique cultural and historical background. A small improvement in this on region will pay big dividends, so I have no doubt that clever people are already putting together a detailed "Appalachia Strategy".
As usual, nothing that I can say will sound as good as our candidate, so I'll leave the final word to him. Check out last night's speech:

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