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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

News Roundup, 5/7/2008: The Aftermath

Last night's results were surprising, but were they decisive?

Amid a great deal of news about ghoulish AG rulings and totally unempty rhetoric about judicial appointment preference early yesterday morning were buried stories about yesterday's primary. The newshounds held off until after lunch, and then it became all Indiana and North Carolina, all the time, as was proper.

While not specific to yesterday's contests, the AP reported that several million new voters are on the scene this year. This is good news in general for democracy, and we like to hear it. But the point underneath that story is that the heightened interest in voting is directly correlated to interest in the Democratic primary. As the contests roll on, people in states late in the game have been unusually motivated to participate, and the baseline level of that motivation — whether it is just to be a part of an historic election, an expression of civic duty, or a fierce endorsement of one candidate or another — is voter registration. So, no matter what, the electorate has gained a whole lot of people willing to vote for a Democrat.

And voting for Democrats took place in two states yesterday. The exit polling was interesting but did not stand up to the total vote count as it went on in both states, and then continued on in Indiana long after North Carolina was in the books.

George and Patrick were holding it down as most of the results came in, and George noticed an interesting discrepancy between what the media was reporting and what the Indiana Secretary of State was reporting. He decided to keep it real, sticking with the official Indiana numbers as Lake County became the little county that could... we're still waiting for them to turn in their results.

At the end of the night, the results in North Carolina were as decisive for Obama as many thought they would be. However, the results in Indiana did not reflect what most people had pegged them to be before the polls closed. Some polling showed that Indiana would be close, or that a lead Clinton had there after Pennsylvania was narrowing, but I think the victory for Clinton was closer than most people had anticipated. This is still a win — heck, Obama won Guam by 7 votes — but it was not the game-changer for the senator from New York that many predicted it could be.

Tim Russert reported late in the evening that Clinton had cancelled her events for today, which seemed to be true. Then, in an act of scheduling defiance, her campaign announced this morning via a new schedule release that she would indeed be having one event today, in West Virginia. No matter what the media says or projects, the simple fact is that Clinton is continuing to campaign, and although her speech last night was conciliatory, it was not a concession.

With these two states behind us, I have no doubt that news about superdelegates and endorsements will start in earnest over the next few days, and who knows what will happen? There are more primaries left, the world spins on, and we remain, here to tell you what we see.

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