Hillary Clinton wins FL

With nearly two million democrats voting in the Florida primary, Hillary Clinton has won the state of Florida with nearly 1 MILLION votes. She won 50-33-14. (Clinton, Obama, Edwards). Of course Florida has no delegates…right now. But I’ll touch on that in a later entry. In order to appreciate Clinton’s win you need to view the demographic breakdown of the exit polls:

Via CNN

Females for Clinton 54-31
Seniors for Clinton 58-26
Hispanics for Clinton 61-28
Economy for Clinton 50-32
Healthcare for Clinton 52-33
Independents for Clinton 40-30
Whites for Clinton 53-23

Satisfied if Clinton wins nomination 80-20
Satisfied if Obama wins nomination 70-29
Most likely to unite country … Clinton?!?! 42-36

Of course the Obama spin artist will say that “no candidates campaigned in Florida so it doesn’t matter.” Of course they over look the fact that Florida voters watch CNN and MSNBC, stations where Obama aired ads that people saw in Florida. Also just so you know, the tubes that run the internets doesn’t stop at the Florida border.

Damn That Was A Great Debate

Man, if you missed that debate do yourself a favor and watch the CNN reply. Here’s one quote about the debate from Josh Marshall at TPM:

One observation stands out to me from this debate. Hillary can be relentless and like a sledgehammer delivering tendentious but probably effective attacks. But whatever you think of those attacks, Obama isn’t very good at defending himself. And that’s hard for me to ignore when thinking of him as a general election candidate.

Notes on the South Carolina Primary

1. The Race Card Backlash? The Obama campaign might want to be careful with how hard they push this Wilder/Bradley effect story as an explanation to his collapse in New Hampshire. African American voters are very skeptical of voting for Obama because they dont think he can win. One of the reasons Iowa provided Obama with such a major burst of momentum is because it validated Obama’s claim that “white people” will vote for him. But if significant amounts of voters in New Hampshire really did refuse to vote for Obama because he was black, then not only does this fail to prove that Obama can win the white vote, but it actually provides startling evidence for why he can’t win the white vote. If the African American community believes this, particularly in South Carolina, then Obama is in big trouble. (To their credit, Congressman Artur Davis, an Obama surrogate dismissed racism as a factor for why Obama lost. If only all of Obama’s supporters would do the same.)

2. Hillary’s hidden advantage? Pay Attention to the demographics of South Carolina. Everyone is quick to point out that 50% of democratic voters in South Carolina are African Americans. However a quick look inside this demographic shows that the majority of democratic voters in South Carolina are women. And 65% of African American voters in South Carolina are women. (The source of these numbers coming from the Chairwoman of the Democratic State party in SC)

3. Could John Edwards do better than we expect?Remember, he did win South Carolina by double digits in 2004, and he was born there. The chairwoman of the Democratic party there also says that Edward’s support might be deeper than polls indicate. How well does Edwards need to do in order to become viable?

4. Healthcare, Healthcare, Healthcare. Healthcare and the economy seem to be the issues African American voters in SC seem to care about the most. How will the mandate versus non mandate issue play? Expect to hear a lot about the 15 million America’s excluded from Obama’s plan.

Obama and Edwards Gang Up on Clinton

I’m sure you noticed. The New York Times did:

Advisers to Mr. Edwards and Mr. Obama said late Saturday night that they had not formally agreed to attack Mrs. Clinton. They said it was a natural coincidence since both men are running as agents of change — and since Mr. Edwards, who was counting on a victory in Iowa, is looking for ways to set up a battle between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, with him on the sidelines as the winner.

Mr. Edwards seemed to bend over backwards to share the spotlight that Mr. Obama has been enjoying since Iowa, and he tried to align their messages. At one point Mr. Edwards said, “Yes, Barack, I agree with you completely that we need to unite America.”

What a tool Edwards has become. It’s pretty bad when Patrick Healy, a reporter unfriendly to Clinton, is pointing this out.

Post Debate Analysis from around the Internets (Thank you Al Gore)

So what did the pundits say about tonights performances?

Rick Klein: “Edwards may have turned in the strongest pure performance. But that will be overshadowed by a couple of stand-out Clinton moments. She let it all out tonight — the entire book on Obama. But she opened the book on herself with those flashes of anger. New Hampshire voters don’t like candidates who feel entitlted to nominations — they get to decide, things are not foreordained and candidates are not inevitable. Sen. Clinton had some moments tonight she’ll want to take back.”

Chuck Todd: Still, the story of this debate is the gang-up on Clinton. It’s interesting, Clinton may now be the candidate who needs to get Obama in a one-on-one; Edwards and Richardson are now distractions and are complicating her ability to go after Obama; Obama, meanwhile, needs the extra candidates. Amazing how things change; a few weeks ago, the larger field seemed to benefit Clinton more than Obama. This is how fast things can change in this era of the 24/7 news cycle. Toss in the compressed calendar and realize things could either change quickly again or end a lot sooner than any of us realized.

Marc Ambinder: No demerits on style, but I found it hard to pay attention to John Edwards. Maybe it’s the New Hampshire orientation and the fact that the economy has been transformed here and that, unadorned populism doesn’t work as well here, or maybe it’s a function of my having assumed the press’s desire to winnow this race, but Edwards’s shtick seemed kind of shtick and as comfortable as a wet sock. A sock that got wet wading through the snow and ice in Iowa and, at the end of a long journey, needs to be laundered.

Chris Cilliza: “The challenge Clinton faced in tonight’s debate — and the challenge she faces in the New Hampshire primary more broadly — is that Edwards clearly believes his path to the nomination requires bouncing out Clinton to create a one on one race with Obama over who is the true change agent in the field.”