After nearly 20 grueling weeks on the campaign trail since he shook up the Democratic primary race by winning the Iowa caucuses, Obama has finally stretched his lead over his chief rival into the teens.
Having previously captured nearly the maximum level of support from black voters, Obama's latest gains have come from a broad spectrum of rank-and-file Democrats. At least for now, he has expanded his position as the preferred candidate of men, young adults, and highly educated Democrats, and has erased Clinton's advantages with most of her prior core constituency groups, including women, the less well-educated, and whites.
One notable change for Clinton: she now has less than 50 percent support from Hispanics — which as Andrew Sullivan points out could be due to her controversial comments about “white voters” supporting her. Clinton has also lost support among women, Easterners, whites, and adults with no college education. The only major demographic group still supporting Clinton to the tune of 51% or more is women aged 50 and older. This group’s preferences have changed little during May, at the same time that Clinton’s support among younger men (those 18 to 49) has declined by nearly 10 points. Many groups that previously supported Obama (men, 18- to 29-year-olds, postgrads, and upper-income Democrats) now support him even more so, in some cases by whopping margins. In other words: he has expanded part of his own base.
The argument that Clinton is the most electable of the two is becoming more tenuous than ever.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Posted by Red Tory at 1:28 AM