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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Virginia Gleanings

As you probably know if you’re reading political blogs at this time of night, Barack Obama is romping to a big win in VA, winning (according to exit polls) nearly half the white vote, a majority of the Hispanic vote, and all but one region of the state (the rural western region going for HRC).
And John McCain has held off a tough challenge from Mike Huckabee in VA.
But there’s good news for all Democrats, including HRC supporters, in VA.
For one thing, Democratic turnout is running at nearly double the Republican turnout–in a state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since LBJ in 1964.
And for another, independents, who could vote in either primary, appear to have chosen Democratic ballots by nearly a two-to-one margin as well. And here’s the surprising thing: independents voting in the GOP primary spurned supposed indie-magnet McCain, going for Huckabee by a 43-34 margin, with Ron Paul pulling in 19 percent.

3 comments on “Virginia Gleanings

  1. Lars on

    My sample was very small, but I guess I was surprised that some would think that they could influence the outcome by tactical voting.
    Thanks for “the rest of the story”.

  2. edkilgore on

    I dunno. Yesterday there was anecdotal evidence (reported in National Review) that conservatives were crossing over to vote for HRC on grounds that she would be the easier candidate to beat.
    While VA did report a relatively higher-than-usual rate of self-ID’d Republicans voting in the Democratic Primary (7%), it’s still not a very large number, and there could be explanations other than tactical voting, such as actual support for Obama. Tactical voting rarely occurs in numbers large enough to affect outcomes, and I’d be very skeptical of claims that it’s suddenly happening now. But it’s obviously worth keeping in mind in future open primary states, particularly after McCain formally wins the nomination.
    Thanks for the comment.
    Ed Kilgore

  3. Lars on

    From some anecdotal evidence, many conservatives voted for Obama to keep Sen. Clinton from winning. Since VA has an open primary, they could choose to vote Democratic. Many also concluded that John McCain will win the GOP nomination, so a vote on the GOP side would be wasted.
    This, I am sure, skews the demographic and political affiliation data.


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