Barack Obama handily defeated Hillary Clinton today in the Wisconsin primary. The margin of victory appears to be almost 15 percentage points.
Clinton was expected to lose in Wisconsin and can still get back in the game by winning Ohio and Texas. But, while I continue to believe that state characteristcis are more important than momentum, it’s not immediately apparent what differences between the charactistics of Wisconsin and, say, Ohio would enable Clinton to make up a double-digit gap.
Exit polls suggest that Clinton ran virtually even with Obama among Wisconsin Democrats, Obama’s margin coming from non-Democrats in an open primary. However, I understand that the Ohio primary is “semi-open,” so that non-Democrats will be able to vote for Obama (or Clinton) simply by showing up and saying they wish to participate in that contest.
These, then, are desperate times for the Clinton campaign.
JOHN adds: With Hawaii, Obama’s winning streak is now at ten. As is being widely reported, the demographics of Obama’s victory in Wisconsin are grim for the Clinton campaign, as he continues to make gains in the segments of the electorate that have been Hillary’s base of support. If Hillary loses Wisconsin by seventeen points, which I believe was the final result (58-41), it’s hard to see a theory on which she will win Ohio.
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