I have mad respect for Tom Edsall, truly, but he’s just plain wrong in his new HuffPo piece about how the white male voter just must be crucial (as ever...yawn) to all things electoral in American politics. And invoking the Pennsylvania primary as a case in point was not the way to go.
Computing the crosstabs from last night's results (see page 6 of 7 of exits here), I have Hillary Clinton earning a net advantage of 16.6% from her support among white women, because she won them 68-32% and they constitute 46% of all voters. By contrast, she netted just 4.6% from white men, because she won them more narrowly (57-43%) and they were a much smaller share of the electorate (33% of voters statewide). Overall, then, her total net white advantage was 21.2%. Barack Obama won blacks overwhelmingly, giving him about 12% statewide overall margin from their votes, thereby producing the final statewide margin of 9 percent.
Clinton thus produced almost four-fifths of that advantage among whites from women, with the remaining fifth coming from men. Put in another and more telling way, had she broken even among white women and carried white men 57-43, she would have lost PA by roughly the margin she won it. On the other hand, had she split the white male vote evenly but still carried women by 68-32, she would still have beaten Obama, if only by half as much. You talk about a pivotal difference: White women were it, and kudos to Chuck Todd and the folks at MSNBC’s First Read for making that point straight off the top in in their wrap-up released this morning.
Granted, this was a Democratic primary where women (of all colors) outvote men by even wider margins than they do in general elections. But still: White boys can't jump (start) a Clinton revival. White women can--and did, at least for one day in one state.
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