Campaigns/Elections

Republicans Suddenly Love Clinton, but The New York Times Doesn't

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I haven't seen exit polling on this question, but is it possible that cross-voting Republicans pushed Hillary Clinton over the top in Texas? She won by a 3.5-point margin in the Democratic primary, where Republicans were allowed to vote, and lost by nearly four points in the caucus, where (I assume) they weren't. At our polling place in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas, the Republican room was nearly deserted, and the guy handing out ballots said most of the Republicans were heading to the Democratic room to cast their votes for Clinton, whom they consider easier for John McCain to defeat. Several Republican acquaintances of mine say they followed the same strategy, but I don't know how common it was statewide.

While Republicans suddenly like Hillary, The New York Times seems to have turned against her. A pre-election news story portrayed her as flailing, going so far as to present a joke she made on The Daily Show as evidence of her desperation. This is how the passage reads in my edition of Tuesday's paper:

On Monday evening, Mrs. Clinton made a brief detour from the campaign trail to appear via satellite on "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central. Standig at a rally in Austin, Tex., Mrs Clinton took the first question from Mr. Stewart, who wondered why, with only one day left before the primaries on Tuesday,  she was taking time to appear on his show.

"It is pretty pathetic," Mrs. Clinton replied.

As anyone who saw the interview knows and anyone familiar with The Daily Show can guess, this exchange was an example of Jon Stewart's self-deprecating shtick. He was asking why Clinton would bother to appear on his show, given how unserious and insignificant it is. To her credit, she went along with the joke. Notably, the online version of the Times story corrects the record with a strategically placed verb:

On Monday evening, Mrs. Clinton made a brief detour from the campaign trail to appear via satellite on "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central. Standing at a rally in Austin, Tex., she took the first question from Jon Stewart, who wondered why, with only one day left before the primaries on Tuesday, she was taking time to appear on his show.

"It is pretty pathetic," Mrs. Clinton deadpanned.

NEXT: It Takes a Congress of Minions to Hold Us Back

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  1. Actually, AFAIK anyone who voted in the Democratic primary could go to the caucus. I don’t know why Reps would go to that much trouble, but they could.

  2. Commenting from Tarrant County (County Seat: Fort Worth, TX):

    I keep hearing friends and co-workers who normally vote Republican reporting following the described voting pattern. Specific reasons are along the lines of: “I don’t want Obama as president” followed by pseudo-logic that McCain can beat Hillary, but not Obama.

  3. How many Republicans are voting that strategically? Anecdotally I know of a number of Republican women in New Jersey who registered as Democrats just so they could vote against Hilary in the primary. Certainly neither Obama nor McCain inspire any where near the level of hatred that Hilary does.

  4. I’m not sure there was a mechanism to keep them out. Certainly independents could caucus. I think you only had to vote in the primary to vote in the caucus.

    I only know a few GOP types around here (Dallas/Plano), but I haven’t had any first-hand reports of ‘strategic voting’.

  5. Obama had a really shitty news cycle the last few days. Thats seems a more likely reason for his big losses.

  6. Hard to say why cross voting republicans went for Hillary more. I just hope to god ths won’t be termed “The Rush Limbaugh Effect”

  7. “lost by nearly four points in the caucus, where (I assume) they weren’t.”

    Not true, independents and Republicans could vote in the caucus. I know because my wife and I voted in the caucus.

    I think the reason Obama wins in caucases is because support for him is more enthusiastic than Hillary’s and enthusiastic people are more likely to take the trouble to vote in the caucases which take up more of your evening. I was there from after 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm and I don’t like to wait in long lines and the caucas itself was utter chaos. You have to really like a candidate (or hate a candidate as I hate Hillary) to be willing to put up with all that.

  8. Hillary Clinton owns controlling shares in the Democratic party.

    Oprah Winfrey has invested in Barack Obama.

    Oprah is without question the most powerful person on earth. Far more influential than the POTUS for instance. The question is, How far into the Democratic Party does Oprah’s reach extend. Record turnouts of new voters in the primaries has given Oprah’s horse the lead. However, the super delegates are Hillary’s bitches.

  9. However, the super delegates are Hillary’s bitches.

    Yeah, now all those superdelegates that were supposed to bolt towards Obama today are going to hold back. They think he can’t close the deal and are becoming nervous. I think last night was Obama’s last chance to be the party nominee.

  10. “Hard to say why cross voting republicans went for Hillary more. I just hope to god ths won’t be termed “The Rush Limbaugh Effect”

    Damn that Rush! Dittoheads can’t think for themselves, they have to take their marching orders from the pig face.

  11. “Yeah, now all those superdelegates that were supposed to bolt towards Obama today are going to hold back.”

    They need to be thinking about Hillary’s chances of winning the general election with nearly half of the voting public hating her. Also, I saw an analysis that even if she were to win all the rest of the states (which she won’t) and win them big, she will still come short of Obama in the delegate count. If the super delegates put her over the top and even if she throws the blacks some crumbs by picking Obama as her running mate, there will be lots of blacks that will feel they were disenfranchised. There could be rioting at the convention and such a split in the party that it will be a cakewalk for McCain. The super delegates need to be thinking very seriously about all this.

    Dick Morris believes it is now time for Obama to go on the offensive if he is to regain the momentum. He needs to remind people of Hillary’s corruption and not let Hillary take the high road on this by pointing out his connections with Rezko.

  12. “The Limbaugh Lift”

    “The Rush Reaction”

  13. They need to be thinking about Hillary’s chances of winning the general election with nearly half of the voting public hating her. Also, I saw an analysis that even if she were to win all the rest of the states (which she won’t) and win them big, she will still come short of Obama in the delegate count.

    Michigan+Florida. She’ll have them seated.

    Barring that, they hold another primary election where she wins big because momentum is now behind her.

  14. Winning? Remember, we’re talking about the Democrats, bookworm.

  15. Michigan has a large black population which could help Obama.

  16. At our polling place in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas,

    Pretty swanky ‘hood, Jacob. Who knew Reason paid so well?

  17. Michigan+Florida. She’ll have them seated.

    Barring that, they hold another primary election where she wins big because momentum is now behind her.

    Crist offered to pay for a new primary. If Florida gets seated it will be due to a new primary.

  18. “It is pretty pathetic,” Mrs. Clinton replied.

    “It is pretty pathetic,” Mrs. Clinton deadpanned.

    WTF?!?!

    I read this article and that is it?!?!

    Ok it is official, I don’t care who fucking wins this goddamn election…I just want it to be over NOW!

  19. “Hard to say why cross voting republicans went for Hillary more. I just hope to god ths won’t be termed “The Rush Limbaugh Effect”

    You can bet that (or something more self-aggrandizing) is what he’ll call it.

  20. I don’t really get the Clinton “hate”. She’s hardly any sleazier than any other politician. I’m no big fan but I’d pick her any day over another goddamn Republican sucking up to the Religious Right. Then again I vowed to quit voting a couple years ago and I haven’t broken it yet.

  21. enthusiastic [about a particular candidate] people are more likely to take the trouble to vote in the caucuses which take up more of your evening.

    Interesting, because I suspect the idea of caucuses is just the opposite: that they were intended to be deliberative meetings, where you’d go in undecided, maybe not even having heard of the candidates, and make up your mind in the course of discussion. That assumes a dearth of campaign advertising, but now it’s pretty much all direct-to-the-voter campaigning for the nomination.

  22. I thought CNN said that republicans in Texas went for Obama. If I remember the numbers 9% of Democratic primary voters were self-described Republican and they went 53/47 for Obama.

    Also, anyone who voted in a primary could vote in that party’s caucus.

  23. Quinn,

    Crossover Republicans have been voting for Obama by a 2:1 margin or better throughout the campaign, until now, when it drops to about 50/50.

  24. A point of clarification:

    Texas voters don’t register by party. For each election cycle, voters get a new voter registration card. When they vote in a primary race, that card is stamped either “Republican” or “Democrat”, based on which party’s race they vote in. (Texas Libertarians hold a party caucus, not a primary.)

    This serves to (ostensibly) prevent people from voting in both primaries. (In reality it happens, because voters can use their registration card in one primary, and just show ID in the other; cross-checks of registration/voting lists are supposed to negate double voting, but I have little confidence that it does.)

    To sum up: yes, many Texas Republicans voted for Hillary in the primary. The caucus results differ (in favor of Obama) because they didn’t bother showing back up to the Caucus. Or, if they did, they didn’t understand the process and wound up shut out of the vote.

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