Philip Klinkner (who has been posting terrific commentary on the primaries) has some scenarios today at PolySigh for the likely outcome of the California Democratic presidential primary. It does not look good for Obama. Unless The Candidate of (not from) Hope makes sudden inroads into greater white and Latino support that he has not shown elsewhere, or greatly exceeds his high-end polling (in South Carolina) of the African-American vote, he looks likely to be defeated by a wide margin here.
Philip notes that Obama’s one hope in the state may be a big turnout of independents, who are allowed to request a Democratic ballot on primary day.1
Without a win in California, Iowa’s result will be a mere historical footnote.2 I can’t see how Obama can possibly get the nomination without a very strong majority3 in California. Does anyone see a scenario that I am missing, or take issue with Philip’s scenarios? Or seriously expect a huge surge of independents for Obama in this state? I don’t see it.
- On the other hand, if independents want to vote in the Republican primary they must change their registration from “decline to state” (or any other party) to Republican by 22 January. [↩]
- Or, perhaps not that much more significant than Jesse Jackson two decades ago. As Philip noted in another post, in 1988, Jackson’s support of the white vote ranged from 20 to 35 percent, once the race became basically Dukakis vs. Jackson. This year, when the race became mostly a two-candidate affair almost immediately after Iowa, Obama is getting 34-36% of the white vote. You can’t win if you can’t break that celiling. [↩]
- I say majority, rather than plurality, because as Philip also notes, Edwards is not likely to come close to the 15% he would need either to win delegates, or perhaps more importantly, make a serious dent in Clinton’s white support. [↩]