Thursday, April 24, 2008

Final results from Pennsylvania

The final tally from the Pennsylvania primary:

Clinton: 1,245,911 54.6%
Obama: 1,037,953 45.4%

(hat tip: Andrew Sullivan)

I've heard some commentary about the exact percentage. Looks like it is 9.2%, although Andrew Sullivan calls it 9.1%. I'm not going to bother with the exact math. Some people think it's significant whether or not it's 10%, because that would be a double-digit victory.

Please. Calm down, people. Hillary won, and that's that. In two weeks, no one will remember the percentage. Eventually Obama will prevail, and Hillary will thank all of her supporters, inlcuding those in Pennsylvania. And all of the elected Democrats in PA will start rallying around Obama, and most, but not all, of the drama in this particular election will be forgotten. The particular dynamics that defined this primary cannot be ignored, but the important thing at this point is to move on.

Apart from that, there were these tidbits from this election. There was a Republican contest. McCain, of course, won that one. But he only got 72.8% of the vote. Mike Huckabee got 90,304 votes, or 11.4%, and Ron Paul got 126,265 votes, or 15.9%. I think Paul is technically still in the race, so that's not terribly surprising. And Huckabee, of course, has a strong connection with his constituency, and he's got stage presence to burn.

One thing I noticed is that not one of the other Republican nominees got a vote. None for Mitt Romney or Rudy. Or Fred Thompson or any of assorted other wannabes. Just Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee. Many Democrats are legitimately worried about an intra-party conflict. But the split within the Republican party is alive and well, just currently below the surface. McCain has nomination, but he still doesn't have the love from all of his fellow Republicans. More than a quarter spoke their minds and expressed their displeasure with the establishment candidate.

What's interesting about Paul and Huckabee is that they are both grass-roots phenomena. Romney, Rudy, and Thompson were all media darlings at some point during the campaign, garnering lots of attention. Now that they're gone, they have absolutely no constituency left. But Huckabee and Paul are still winning significant chunks of the population, long after either of them were the subject of any kind of media attention. The impact that each of them has had will last well past November.

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