Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dems win by-election in ... Mississippi!

Clinton's big win last night in West Virginia (67-27), while disappointing, wasn't entirely unexpected. Even with an 16-7 delegate split (estimated) that closes the gap by 9 -- in a week when Obama picked up at least two dozen superdelegates and even a handful of delegates already "pledged" to her.

Inexplicably, 6% voted for John Edwards even though he dropped out months ago. What's with that?

The real story last night, was the by-election in Mississippi-01, the northwest of the state. This was no contest: The Democrats won a huge upset in the land of Elvis, historically Democratic but a GOP fiefdom for more than a decade, by a comfortable margin of 8 points; and drop the elephants to below 200 seats in the House. Republican attempts to paint Travis Childers as an Obama ally backfired as there was a record turnout of both blacks and poorer whites who are just fed up with the Gingrich-Cheney revolution.

A huge congrats to Childers, who puts another piece in the puzzle to help all of Mississippi turn Democratic this fall.

Childers is a strong conservative, a Southern Democrat in the traditional sense (he called himself a "Mississippi Democrat"); and Obama will need to pull a big chunk of disenchanted classical conservatives (not the pseudo neo-cons). He's proven he can do this in some marginal regions but will have to repeat the feat nationwide. Nevertheless, winning three out of four by-elections in three months -- and all three switches in favour of the Dems -- is a very good sign that, yes he can.

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