January 4, 2008

More caucus numbers

I found these numbers reported on Hardball tonight to be rather amazing. While at the same time Romney's poor finish was heartening in that it proved that you can't always buy an election, (Edwards finish despite being massively outspent by Clinton was also a good sign) they serve as yet another reminder that something must be done to reform the role of money in elections. It's beyond out of control and perverts our entire system.

The amount of money spent on TV ads by campaign divided by the number of votes received. The amount of ad money spent per vote.

Romney: $238
Huckabee: $35

Amazing. The candidate steadfastly against all social benefit programs ends up spending an amount per vote, much of it from his personal fortune of hundreds of millions, that would make a huge difference in the lives of several hundred needy citizens.

Something's wrong.


A few stats from a piece in Rolling Stone:

  • Obama beat Hillary among women voters 35 to 30 percent.
  • Amid record Democratic turnout, as many people under 30 showed up to caucus as those over 65.
  • Sixty percent of the GOP electorate in Iowa were born-again Christians.
  • Rudy Giuliani finished with a mere 4,013 votes, in sixth place, with less than half of the support of Ron Paul.

As writer Tim Dickenson points out,

- Hillary lost tonight to Barack Obama by 8 points — a margin just as wide as Mitt Romney catastrophic shortfall against Mike Huckabee.

- Obama drew more support among Democrats than Clinton, 32/31
- Obama slaughtered Clinton among both independents (44/17) and Republicans (41/10).
- Obama drew more support from both well-off and the not so well-off, beating Clinton among people making less than $15,000 37/30 and those earning more than $100,000 by a wide margin, 41/19. Obama beat Clinton among health-care voters (34/30) and suburban voters (30/25).

Dickenson feels the "most astounding" fact is that Obama bested Clinton among women voters by 5 points. That's significant, to be sure. But I'm not too certain that women were ever overwhelmingly supportive of Clinton, much less simply because they shared the same gender. As a matter of fact, it's been my observation that in many ways, women are much more critical of other women than they are of men.

And the fact that a person with some black ancestry achieved this is worth noting as well.


At 1/04/2008 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a significant night. Perhaps change is in the wind. Obama offers hope for many people.

At 1/04/2008 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kind of change are you talking about? Obama did little to nothing to change anything in his history. Just wondering?

At 1/04/2008 4:46 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Some observations of my own, Dope. First, as a resident of Illinois and as one who got tired very quickly of this drawn-out pre-election season, I was somewhat astounded overall with what I saw caucus night.

Second, the exuberance of the people going to caucus was amazing, no matter whom they were supporting. Perhaps the numbers of attendees bears that out.

Thirdly, the young people who got involved in caucus, both Dems and Repubs, was very heartening to see. Interestingly, and certainly no putdown, but in one clip I saw long-haired kids working the phones, etc. for Republicans! Back in the '60s and '70s, they were usually working hard for the Democrats' side (am I showing my age?)

Hillary was going for the gender vote and in many of the clips I saw, especially in the last week or so, the women were NOT going to vote for Hillary: too derisive according to some and too much like the "usual" Washington.

Of all the candidates, Huckabee seemed to be the straighest talker. I agree with you that his speech was one of the best of the evening. I don't agree with the pundits who seem to think that it was the born-agains who swayed the vote his way. I think people are just fed up with bombastic rhetoric.

And while tho statistics regarding Iowa's electorate vs larger states has some merit, let's face it. Because of Iowa's "first in the nation" status, it does give some idea of what the so-called middle-America is thinking and can give a candidate impetus in the other races.

Still don't know who I'll vote for, but the whole lesson just got more interesting.

At 1/04/2008 4:52 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Not to take anything away from Obama's admirable achievement, but Hillary ran the strongest plurality among voters over 45 Years Old.

In general elections, Candidates who do that, win.

Something to think about.

At 1/04/2008 5:02 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 4:17

As a point of personal priviledge let me step in here and point out that you should get checked out for a reading disorder which causes you to read things that simply aren't there.

The commenter said nothing whatsoever about Obama doing anything to "change anything" as you put it.

To quote them, "Perhaps change is in the wind."

Now what was your question?

At 1/04/2008 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok Dope, you caught me. The question should be what change in the wind are you talking about? Is the change hope? If the change in the wind is hope are you saying that no one else gives anyone else hope? Maybe you should have corrected anon 9:35 on this matter Dope. It seems very confusing to me.

At 1/04/2008 7:52 PM, Anonymous Virginia said...

In her speech last night, Mrs. Clinton practically stomped her little foot and whined "but I WANT to be President"! I was very disappointed.

At 1/04/2008 10:57 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks for that. I agree.

There's certainly something happening as evidenced by the numbers that continue to emerge.

The youth turnout was unprecidented, and due largely to their support for Obama. Those over 65 usually make up the majority of participants in caucuses, and the Clinton camp for one was heavily depending on this group as they tended to support her, but amazingly, more younger voters turned out than those over 65, which is pretty remarkable and an indicator of just how successful the Obama campaign has been at mobilizing young voters.

At 1/04/2008 10:58 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 5:25



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