West Virginia Primary Predictions
The pundits declared the Democratic nomination process over after Barack Obama’s landslide win in North Carolina last week but, technically at least, neither candidate has sewn it up. West Virginia is today’s stop in this seemingly endless ride and Hillary Clinton is expected to win big.
The folks at RealClearPolitics haven’t bothered to tally up an average but all the polls show a blowout:
Let’s throw out ARG and Rasmussen, which are two months old. That leaves an “average” Clinton margin of 37 points.
West Virginia couldn’t be better set up for Clinton; its demographics make Ohio and Pennsylvania look like Seattle and San Francisco. The only real question is how much the media’s pounding on the inevitability of Obama’s nomination will depress Clinton turnout and motivate “I’ll show them” turnout on the part of Obama supporters. My guess is that some of that will happen but that we’ll still see a Clinton margin of 30 points or more.
Let’s call it: Clinton 72, Obama 28
Will it Matter?
There are only 28/39* delegates at stake and Obama will get some of them even if Clinton pulls off an 80-20 victory, so it won’t matter much from that standpoint. If things go as expected and there’s a Clinton blowout, though, it will throw another log on the “Obama can’t win white, working class voters” fire. But, no, it won’t have much impact on the outcome.
The chattering about this race will stop after two or three days and turn to speculation about Kentucky and Oregon, the next stops on the circuit, which come next Tuesday. Kentucky, with 51/60 delegates, is likely to be another Clinton runaway whereas Oregon, with 52/65 delegates at stake, should be a comfortable win for Obama.
A week from now, then, Clinton will have two blowouts in states very favorable to her and Obama will have one tidy win in a very, very white state. But Clinton won’t have made up much ground in the delegate count and we’ll be two weeks from the end of the line, with Puerto Rico, Montana, and South Dakota the only remaining stops.
*Delegate counts are all expressed as those pledged delegates available through the primary, a slash, and total delegates with the inclusion of unpledged (“super”) delegates.