Exit polls are trickling in so we might as well open a thread. Victory is a foregone conclusion; what we’re looking for tonight is data damaging to the Messiah. How’s this?
Early CBS News exit polling shows that just 23 percent of Clinton voters in the West Virginia primary say they would be satisfied if Obama becomes the Democratic nominee. Three in four Clinton supporters would be dissatisfied with Obama carrying the Democratic banner-the highest number in the primaries to date…
Looking ahead to the general election, 36 percent of Clinton voters in West Virginia say they would vote for Obama if he becomes the nominee, while 35 percent plan to vote for McCain and 24 percent say they won’t vote at all.
20 percent said Obama shares Jeremiah Wright’s views “a lot.” We’re not going to liveblog the results, obviously, as the race will be called as soon as the polls close, but while we wait for the demographic data here’s Mary K’s latest post asking when and how Her Majesty’s finally going to bow out of this debacle. I was saying to a friend earlier this afternoon that there’s a genuine opportunity for Hillary here if she plays her cards right: Much to my surprise, our commenters agreed with me on Friday that we’ll be sad to see her finally go, indicating that she’s earned a considerable amount of goodwill on the right over the past month or so thanks to her perseverance, flashes of hawkishness, and softer touches. If Obama loses and she spends the next four years cultivating that centrist appeal, she could be very formidable in 2012. The left will hate her, but the left already hates her, probably irretrievably. The only Clintonian thing left to do is plant one foot in liberalism, one in conservatism, and bridge that divide all the way to the White House. Exit question: Hillary Clinton, healer?
Here’s Laura Ingraham from today’s show, anticipating Jim Geraghty in preemptively rebutting the media’s anti-Hillary spin of tonight’s results. Strange days, my friends.
Update: Tomorrow’s lede today.
Racially motivated voting appeared to be running higher than usual: Two in 10 whites said the race of the candidate was a factor in their vote, second only to Mississippi. And only a third of those voters said they’d support Obama as the nominee against John McCain, fewer than in other primaries where the question has been asked.
Update: It’s 7:30, the polls have closed, and the nets have called it for Hillary. Stand by for the full exits.
Update: And here they are. Per the gender split, she’s looking at about a 30-point win. Unusually, she won all education groups, including post-grads; was the pick of more voters as being the only candidate who was honest and trustworthy (35/19); won independents 54/42; won white Democrats by 46 points; and won among the 20% of voters who said race was important to them, 81/16. The media will go hog wild with the racial numbers to spin this as a tainted victory for Her Majesty, but even if you exclude that vote entirely she still wins by a margin well into the teens.