Everybody gets a victory speech today!
As of midday our time today, Senator Clinton had clinched Indiana in what was a virtual must-win Midwestern state. Well, maybe. Some are saying it’s still too close to call. With 74% of the votes being reported in the state, Hillary is leading Obama 52% to 48.
But Obama won North Carolina, as expected, and according to CBS News, “with 53 percent of the votes in North Carolina being reported, Obama was leading Clinton 56 percent to 42 percent.”
Obama’s victory mirrored earlier wins in Southern states with large black populations: Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina among them. Obama swung between a concession and a victory speech: “I want to start by congratulating Senator Clinton in what appears to be her victory in the great state of Indiana,” he said, before going on to label his North Carolina victory as a win in a “big state, in a swing state,” and a vow to compete to win it in the general election.
As the votes continue to roll in, the pundits are currently splitting, sifting, graphing, per centing and pie charting voter segments to discover how much the Rev Wright controversy has hurt Obama among white working class, how Hillary did with the black vote, which way women swung, and so on and so on.
We’ll keep you updated on the website throughout the afternoon, but here’s what the pundits are saying so far:
Liveblogging The Still-No-Word On Indiana Night Of Torture! This is Hillary Clinton, if she were a pug. Indiana is too close to call, and will be too close to call forever, so hoist another drink and let’s figure out what Hillary Clinton will talk about in her loser/possible winner speech, whenever she gets around to giving it. — Wonkette
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Ben Smith live blogs: Several readers, and a couple writers, have teased an interesting number out of the exit polls: By Jonathan Chait’s math, “7% of the Indiana electorate, voted for Clinton in the primary but have no intention of supporting her in the fall.” Presumably many of these were voters sincerely picking a second choice; some were playing tactical games. It would be nice to see some research untangling those categories. — Ben Smith, Politico
Muddled, whichever way you look at it: The indications heading into Tuesday’s voting are not exceptionally encouraging for the Obama camp. Judging from the polls, and the sentiments of his closest advisers, Obama appears to have done little to change the post-Rev. Wright, post-Pennsylvania shift among downscale white Democrats who have aligned themselves with Senator Clinton. Obama’s aides are bracing for a loss in Indiana, balanced by a win in the far bigger state of North Carolina. But the signs of anxiety and fatigue are everywhere. After the seismic shock of Wright’s return to the headlines, and a slew of contradictory national soundings, insiders are wary of predicting much of anything with any certainty. — Richard Wolffe, Newsweek
Creative mathematics: Hillary Clinton can change her message, change her campaign manager, even change her hairstyle—but she can’t change the delegate math that makes it almost impossible for her to win the Democratic presidential nomination. — The American
Did Operation Chaos work?: How big of an impact did Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Operation Chaos’ have in Indiana? Did GOP voters really cross over to create havoc in the Democratic primary by voting for Hillary Clinton, as he’d asked his listeners to do? Roughly one in ten of the state’s Democratic primary voters were Republican — and that group did vote for Hillary Clinton, 53 to 47 percent over Barack Obama. — CNN
Can the Democrats get their groove back? Primaries Tuesday in Indiana and North Carolina –- states that, in January, looked certain to be backwaters on the 2008 electoral map – will go a long way toward determining the answer to that question. The results from these two states, both of which have long histories of voting Republican in fall presidential contests, could well decide the Democrats fate. — The Nation