Skip to main content

After working precincts in Alameda County for Obama during the last couple of weeks, I was surprised by the size of Hillary's margin in California.  She really had no presence here in Alameda, and the Obama presence and momentum was palpable.  Today I saw a 72-year-old woman waving a home-made "Honk for Obama" sign at College and Ashby-- not that major an intersection-- and the honking was deafening. On a six block dog-walk in Berkeley I saw Obama signs in about one-fourth of the houses and not a single Hillary sign.  So seeing Hillary doing so well in Alameda initially had me puzzled.

However, analyzing the county-by-county data makes it clear that what happened here was not a GOTV failure by the Obama people but rather a testament to what happens when too many people cast absentee ballots in a fluid primary too early.  In county after county where Obama should have done well (e.g., Nevada), Edwards is getting 10-15% of the vote.  Nothing against Edwards, and I know there are some diehards out there, but the vast majority of those votes are absentee ballot votes sent in weeks ago that would have gone to Obama had those voters waited until election day and voted at the polls.  (I walked a precinct on Saturday and ran into several people who told me they had voted absentee for Edwards and wanted their ballots back so they could vote for Obama.)  I also suspect a lot of the Hillary votes are early absentee ballots mailed by people weeks ago before people understood that Obama was really viable.

This is not to say that Obama would have won California had it not been for the early absentee ballots, or the Edwards votes.  Hillary's people did a great job, and they very well might have won anyway.  But this would have been at least a very close race had it not been for absentee ballots,  or had the absentees waited until the week before the election before sending those ballots in.  For the future, we need to learn that while it doesn't make a difference in the general election, there is very good reason to wait for election day when casting a vote in a primary election.

Originally posted to oythegoy on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 11:26 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site