Sunday, March 09, 2008

More proof Obama pulling in non-Democratic voters

Nat-Wu sent me this DMN article and suggested I post about it.
Backers of both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton turned out with passionate support for their candidate in last week's Texas primary. But once they got in the voting booth, they did something different.

Obama supporters were more likely to vote in the presidential race and then skip the other contests than Clinton supporters, who tended to continue voting down the ballot, a Dallas Morning News analysis finds.

More than 80 percent of Democratic voters in the Texas counties where Mrs. Clinton had her largest victory margins went on to vote in the U.S. Senate race, the leading statewide contest on the ballot after the presidential race.

By contrast, only 71 percent of voters in Mr. Obama's strongest counties did. In Dallas County, where Mr. Obama got nearly two-thirds of the vote, the falloff was nearly 30 percent.
What this means is while Clinton is getting many Democratic partisans (who go on to vote in other Democratic rates), Obama is continuing to bring new, apathetic, and crossover voters into the Democratic column. The question is, will they show in November to vote for Clinton, or only if Obama is on the ballot? Given that most polls show Obama beating McCain, but Clinton tied or losing to McCain, due to him winning among independent voters, this seems likely.

While it is certainly possible Clinton could win based on the strength of the Democrats in this election season alone, the safer bet seems to be on Obama, who wouldn't just win but also expand the party's base in unprecedented ways.

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