First off, John’s got a nice roundup here of online progressive reaction to last night’s results. The common thread seems to be a “blame the media for a backlash” analysis. However, I’ve got a slightly different take.
Here I go being all pundity again. I can’t help it. Indulge me.
I just don’t think cable news has that much power. I think the plugged in online crowd often overestimates the amount of time invested by the average voter. People not in politics or writing about politics or somehow connected to politics have more important personal priorities. Like baseball practice and piano lessons and getting a meal on the table. Knowing what I do about cable ratings, it’s unlikely Chris Matthews – or any cable anchor for that matter – turned the tide of an entire primary. It’s just not logical.
This could be too esoteric, but I’d add Clinton struck a nerve when she started to passionately explain her commitment and experience. Not because she welled up and garnered a sympathy vote – although some dipsh*t is bound to make that assumption – but because she started to sound human. And she spoke to a common experience too many people have encountered.
Getting passed up for the gig even though you’re more qualified.
She hit the nail on the head when she fired up Saturday night, and she drove it home over the following 48 hours.
This isn’t a race thing or a gender thing. It’s a human thing. More often than not, style trumps substance. Clinton may have tapped into a latent frustration with fluff. Not to say that Obama isn’t possibly an excellent choice for the Democratic nomination, but Clinton’s power lies in her having learned the trade. She feels she’s put in the time. She’s paid some dues. She’d like to collect.
Maybe reminding voters there’s an actual job at the end of the marathon gave her the lead this leg. Maybe. We’ll see if it sticks.
Bonus: Give yourself 10 points if you catch the Broadcast News analogy at play.
UPDATE: James has got a good post about possible explanations for last night’s outcome:
ALL OF THE ABOVE? NONE OF THE ABOVE?
In social science, looking for a single variable to explain outcomes tends to be problematic. Likely, it was a combination of the above factors, and quite probably some not listed, that explains what happened yesterday.
What do you think?
OK, one more: MK has a funny explanation:
Sounds like grown-up voters came home to Hillary instead of getting caught up in Obama-mania. Or, as my colleague Amanda posits: “All the young people went to the Obama victory party and were too busy drinking to vote. Kinda like a really awesome tailgate where you forget to go to the game.” Heh, I know that feeling.