Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Limbaugh Effect?

In earlier primaries, Obama carried Republicans by big margins, for example:

Wisconsin 72-28
Virginia 72-23
Missouri 75-21

But in tonight's primaries Obama's margins among Republicans were much lower. In Texas, they went for him 53-46, and in Ohio, he barely won them, 50-49. The difference in these results may well have been enough to put Clinton over the top in Texas and (less likely) Ohio.

Could this be the result of Rush Limbaugh and other conservative pundits encouraging Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton in order to keep the Democratic fight going and because they think she would be the weaker candidate in November?

1 comment:

Shawn said...

I think this is being overplayed.

The thing that everyone seems to forget about Texas is that - Austin and DFW aside - it's still essentially a conservative Southern state. And Obama has performed noticably worse with GOPers in the South.

In South Carolina and (more surprisingly) Florida, the winner of the Republican crossover vote was John Edwards, even though his campaign was a few days away from extinction. Of course, SC was Edwards' birthstate, and Obama didn't mount a campaign in Florida. But in Alabama, a state that Obama won by 15 points, Hillary won the Republican vote 52-45. Now, Obama did romp with crossover R's in Virginia. But given the strong bent towards affluent, educated voters in that state - a third of the VA electorate was postgrad, as opposed to about half that in TX and OH - it's probable that he had a far greater pool of moderate-to-liberal Republicans from which to draw support.*

Notice, too, that Hillary also did far better with independents in TX and Ohio than she's done in other recent states. Were the indies also following Rush's lead?

*Consult MSNBC and CNN exit polls for the above-mentioned data