Sunday, March 9, 2008

Obama coattails shorter than Clinton’s

At least in Texas, “conventional wisdom” about Clinton’s allegedly polarizing and its affect on down-ballot races doesn’t appear to ring true. (And no, this is not an “endorsement,” just some number crunching.)

In metropolitan Dallas, it looks like he won’t have much coattails at all in November

Contrary to a previous Dallas Morning News article touting the idea of Collin County, home of stereotypical red-state suburb Plano, turning blue, today’s Snooze story says that may just be temporary, especially if Barack Obama and not Hillary Clinton is the Democratic standard-bearer.


Many Obama voters turned out for him and him alone, not for the Democratic primary.

The drop-off in down-ballot voting by Obama voters was a whopping 42 percent in Collin County and 30 percent in Dallas County. Also, in East Texas, the Obama dropoff was 38 percent in Jefferson County (Beaumont), 34 percent in Smith County (Tyler), and 33 percent in Gregg County (Longview).

Clinton did not have a drop-off of more than 30 percent anywhere in Texas. Only one county exceeded 25 percent (Hidalgo: McAllen/Harlingen), and two others were at or above 20 percent, with one of those being a small county.

So, I think it’s easily arguable that, here in Texas, Clinton will have longer coattails, to the tune of 50,000 or so. (That’s not too strong an estimate… it’s less than 2 percent of likely Texas Democratic turnout; the 2 percemt figure would be 56,000, and I’ll peg 2 percent of this year’s Democratic turnout at 65,000 if not 70,000.)

Of course, that is offset by the very fact of many Obama voters not voting down-ballot. If Clinton gets the nomination, many of them may well not turn out in November.