The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Pollster

Exit Polls: In Obama Montana Win, Echoes of Iowa

By Jon Cohen
Barack Obama closed out the long Democratic nomination battle in Montana as he began it five months ago in Iowa, by scoring a big win in an overwhelmingly white state.

Poised to be the first African American atop a major party ticket, Obama beat Hillary Rodham Clinton in Montana by double-digits. He won white men in the state by a better than 2 to 1 margin, and matched Clinton among white women, for one of his better showings among those voters.

According to preliminary results from the network exit poll, younger voters were also crucial to Obama's Big Sky victory. Those under 30 years old broke for Obama by 4 to 1, equaling his biggest advantage of the campaign. He lost seniors by 12 points, but that was half as large as his average loss to Clinton among these voters.

While most South Dakota voters said the extended campaign did more to energize the Democratic Party, those in Montana were evenly split on whether the close fight would help or hurt. They were also closely divided about whether Obama should tap Clinton to be his No. 2: 50 percent said yes, 45 percent said no.

Posted at 11:26 PM ET on Jun 3, 2008  | Category:  The Pollster
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I surely do hope that the hatred and vitriol within the Democratic party can now cease. If HRC had won, I would surely be voting for her in November (even though, for the record, I have preferred BHO and voted for him, like at least a handful of my fellow West Virginians). Now that BHO has won, I hope that the Clinton's supporters will see the wisdom in voting for Obama and NOT FOR McCAIN (!!!!).

I've seen a number of posts stating that many Clinton supporters don't want to be lectured about party loyalty and told they should vote for Obama. OK, so I'll spare them the "loyalty" lecture; after all, loyalty to the party isn't the issue here. What is at issue here is the good of the country. Disappointed HRC-supporters should remember that there is precious little difference in policy position between HRC and BHO. So, whether it's emotionally satisfy or not, voting for BHO is much, much, MUCH more like voting for HRC than voting for McCain is. Still don't like Obama's personality, his partisans, the color of his skin, his "high-falutin'" education (remember, HRC is an Ivy-League educated lawyer, too), his suits, his wife, his former pastor, his (here, you fill in the blank ...)?????? Feelings still raw after this long and divisive campaign (how much blame for this should HRC shoulder, after all?)? When you've had a chance to take a breath, when your political passions have cooled down into the rational range, you'll find that Obama represents more of what you want in a president, particularly on the policy front, than McCain(/Bush) ever could. Party, schmarty! How about being a loyal American (and no, flag lapel pins are no reasonable measure of that!)?? If you SERIOUSLY think McCain's policies are better, then vote for him. But if you're simply bummed out that Hillary has lost the nomination, if you're annoyed at the behavior of some of Obama's supporters (you may have some grounds there, but the "Clintonistas" have hardly been above reproach, either), please, PLEASE, for the good of the entire nation, get over it. Think about who you want making decisions about the war, Supreme Court nominations, foreign or domestic policy, finding solutions to the long and lamentable list problems Dubya and his incompetent bunch have gotten us into. When I think about those things, my rational self finds Obama is vastly superior to McCain, just as Clinton would have been.

Can we now restore THOUGHT to our political discourse?

Posted by: old white male democrat in WV | June 5, 2008 3:22 PM

Is the difference between Hillary and Obama that big and that important to make such a big bruhah over? Is what these individuals stand for that different that we have to fight over who is right and who is wrong? Come on, we have all won and lost many times in our lives. Its time to be a little bit gracious about it, and keep our eyes on the prize... making changes that will help those of us struggling in the middle class, get a tiny bit of relief and security. I think unity is a small price to pay to help out each other.

Posted by: Alan W. | June 5, 2008 1:54 PM

Goose, it is clear we know more than you!

Obama '08

Posted by: Wise and Involved | June 5, 2008 1:12 PM

Michael, it seems obvious that you do not speak the truth or you are uninformed. If you voted against Bush the last two times and now imply you will vote for McCain (i.e. you will vote against Obama this time)then you do not follow the candidates.

McCain is clearly Bush revisited when you realize McCain has voted with Bush 95% of the time, McCain supports Bush's position on remaining in Iraq while our valiant soldiers die and the Iraqi politicians continue to refuse to reconcile with each other, McCain supports Bush's tax cuts, etc, etc..

Any vote for McSame is a vote for Bush and you can bet your life you will continue to be BUSHED with McSame in the White House!

Posted by: No more Bushies | June 5, 2008 1:10 PM

It hurts my sense of decency to read all the very nasty comments made by other commentators. I'm almost 90 years old and a woman. And I wonder why people can't confine themselves to facts? Why do they have to sling mud at each other?

An African-American won the contest to represent the Democratic Party in part because he wants to bring people together who don't think alike and don't agree on issues. His eye is on the future of our democracy and he expects young people to work with him in trying to achieve this difficult and elusive goal. Soon he'll begin to talk about the specifics of what I hope will be his Presidency, should he beat McCain in November. I hope that all Democrats, including Hillary R. Clinton, will contribute to this dialogue.

Posted by: BabsW | June 5, 2008 12:33 PM

For those that don't know Montana is a Blue State.

Posted by: ryan | June 4, 2008 2:37 PM

"Good spin. He wins the white vote in a Republican state that he'll never win in November but loses the white vote in every state for months, in states that Democrats have a shot at and must win in November."

Actually, states Democrats might have had a shot at, where McCain is now going to win.

Posted by: BJWL | June 4, 2008 1:14 PM

Good spin. He wins the white vote in a Republican state that he'll never win in November but loses the white vote in every state for months, in states that Democrats have a shot at and must win in November.

Posted by: BJWL | June 4, 2008 1:13 PM

what thomas owens: are you trying to ask how many superdelegates were black? Answer: A resounding minority.

Its been clear from day one that neither of these candidates could get enough delegates without superdelegates - so, the idea that this somehow makes his candidacy less impressive or representative of the people's will is just plain wrong.

Likewise, it's been the intention of the Democratic Party since the McGovern Commission that superdelegates would be instrumental in creating a nominee.

So yes IF the rules were different, the victory would be less sweet - but those are the rules. Even though clinton has had the goal posts mounted on wheels for the past three months, she finally hit the edge of the stadium.

Touchdown OBAMA!

Posted by: jd | June 4, 2008 12:25 PM

the next pres will make 2, maybe 3, nominations to the supreme court. if Hillary fails to bring her 18M supporters to Barak, she will be responsible for overturning Roe V Wade.

Posted by: andymarrin | June 4, 2008 11:36 AM

Character, Leadership, and Sound Judgement all brought Barak Obama to to the fore. The election of a president is all about the future, not a prize for past events, not a popularity contest (American Idol), and not about scoring points for gender or race (historical statistics).
I've followed presidential races from Stevenson vs. Eisenhower. The opportunity we now have to elect a person of character, leadership, and judgement is unexcelled.
The candidate is not surrounded by lobbyists and political insiders, but motivated by the ideals of the Constitution and the unfulfilled promises of liberty and democracy.
My grandkids will be better off because of a tall, relatively unknown, thoughtful lawyer from Illinois (again!) - just when the nation is divided by partisanship, negative economic change, and is disrespected globally.
The future always brings change and will never reproduce yesterday. We have nothing to fear but but ignorance and the status quo.

Posted by: 63 year old WASP | June 4, 2008 10:57 AM

BO only came out in deligates because he got last minute superdeligates. He didn't win enough on his own to take it. He also won all the blacks because (but we can't say that). How many of the superdeligates were "you know the thing we can't say.

Posted by: Thomas Owens | June 4, 2008 10:54 AM

God Bless America and all Americans. May he who is selected to lead the greatest country in the world have a mind of peace,justice equality: Most of all God bless our leader to be color blind when it comes to being a President of the People .

What we do,say and believe in this world will be our legacy?

Michael,it is amazing that people like you still exist. I agree with you,I am glad you don't have kids.

Posted by: ElShaddi | June 4, 2008 10:07 AM

Way to go, Montana!

Posted by: Jean | June 4, 2008 9:45 AM

Make Hillary Ambassador to Bosnia. She can corkscrew in on a regular basis, dodging sniper fire as she runs to the limo. Let it be Groundhog Day for the Hill-bot, forever.

Yes, Obama beat the Clinton Machine at its own game. And now all the Clintonista loyalists are livid. Tough luck, folks. You LOST.

No more Clinton slime in the White House. Ever.

Posted by: Chuckamok | June 4, 2008 8:04 AM

What Hillary wants is more money. I tried to send an email as she told as to do (in her speech) to keep in touch - but you can't send the email without filling out the form and donating to her now defunct campaign

Posted by: | June 4, 2008 4:15 AM

Oh Please,

That's irrelevant--he beat the biggest machine in politics--the Clintons. That in itself is an unbelievable feat. spoken like a typical American--close minded and ignorant.

Posted by: Borat | June 4, 2008 2:59 AM

I voted against Bush twice. I'll vote against Obama this time around. He is much like Bush, charismatic to some but divisive and with precious few good ideals. If you look at most of his plans they are vague or at outright giveback to his funders, mostly lawyers working for Wall Street investment houses and energy companies. He's a Daley machine politician too but you folks are far too stupid to see it. You get the government you deserve and you dumb fools deserve Obama. You all make me want to puke. You poor stupid fools. I'm glad I don't have kids but that's the only people I feel sorry for.

Check this out:

I could go on forever about this guy but you fools deserve this dumb ass just like you deserved the last dumb ass.

Posted by: Michael | June 4, 2008 2:38 AM

How much did he spend per vote? And what effect did that little fake AP news story have on the turnout?

Love the lack of analysis. It's like living in the old USSR, where there was no PRAVDA in ISVESTIA, and no ISVESTIA in PRAVDA.

Sorry, I'm not buying this sales job. The guy is neither inspiring or uplifting. He's a sleazy pol who knows his way around a teleprompter. Take it away and he's a stammering nitwit--a lot like the guy we have running the joint now.

Posted by: Oh Please | June 4, 2008 1:54 AM

What a graceless lady she is; very ugly in defeat...
She doesn't give a crap about our party winning in Nov.

Posted by: bluebabe | June 4, 2008 1:52 AM

The West is on the rise. Yippee-yiyo-kiyay mofo! Good work, Montana. It will be a different campaign map this year.

Posted by: Chuck | June 4, 2008 1:39 AM

tell you what, goose ,,, we'll vote for the guy who came out of nowhere and beat the greatest machine in Democratic politics, and you vote for the guy who humped Jerry Falwell's leg to suck up the the "base."


Posted by: Chris Fox | June 4, 2008 1:34 AM

omigod...u poor things. Wish you knew a little about politics. obama doesn't have a clue and neither does anyone who votes for him.

Posted by: goose | June 4, 2008 1:10 AM

Well Done Obama ... the end of the Bush nightmare is finally in sight.

He should definitely reject pressure to have Ms Clinton as his running mate. We want a complete break with the beltway horsetrading.

Maybe she could get Secretary of State or something

Posted by: Pete | June 4, 2008 1:09 AM

Oh, how sweet it is for us here in Montana to be the ones who helped put Senator Obama over the top even though Hillary Clinton didn't have the courtesy to acknowledge us while she thanked South Dakota voters for "having the last word." Hillary destroyed her political career tonight be failing to concede defeat graciously. In so doing, she reminds us all what political reptiles she and her husband really are. The Clinton family is no different than the Bush family. Happily, they will all soon fade away into the obscurity they so richly deserve.

Posted by: David S. Robins | June 4, 2008 1:06 AM

"Why didnt you mention who won south dakota...the state where obama was heavily favoured to win....screw the liberal media"

Posted by: x
Haha, You do realize that Hilary Clinton is a liberal right?

Maybe in the 1990s but not these days. These days she's not sure what she is, and the rednecks think she's one of them


Posted by: Pete | June 4, 2008 1:05 AM

I can't ** wait ** for McCain and Obama to go mano a mano in a debate. Let's have the old kind of debate with the back and forth, not this prepared-statement scripted crap.

Let's watch McCain forget what decade it is and which side is the Shiite and which side is Sunni and who's fighting whom over there.

"the .. the bridge to nowhere .."

oh yes bring it OWN

Posted by: Chris Fox | June 4, 2008 1:01 AM

"Why didnt you mention who won south dakota...the state where obama was heavily favoured to win....screw the liberal media"

Haha, You do realize that Hilary Clinton is a liberal right?

Posted by: x | June 4, 2008 1:00 AM

Posted by: tomabrahams | June 4, 2008 12:59 AM

Hillary/Bill have a choice - play spoiler by discouraging their supporters from backing Obama or be gracious in defeat and play the roll of really active supporters and campaign hard for him.

If Obama wins he'll owe her and she'll be a partner in drafting the legislation they both want. That will keep her options open for a high cabinet post, e g Atty General or head of HHS, or just in line to succeed him.

Potentially she could join him on the ticket for a 2nd term, displacing whoever is chosen now (I don't think she'll be the one now), giving her a leg up on 2016, if she won't be too old for that run.

Or she could guarantee Obama goes down in flames in November by how she plays her cards now and during the Sept-Nov period.

But that would make her a pariah in the annals of the Democratic party. She and Bill could find themselves despised by both parties in that event. What a legacy that would make.

Posted by: David | June 4, 2008 12:57 AM

Barack Obama picking BILLARY Clinton as vice president will be like me picking a spitting Cobra as a room mate!

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | June 4, 2008 12:50 AM

> What is losing all the swing states? Echoes of Kerry?

That's really insulting to Hillary. Obama will be running against McCain in the general, and McCain isn't half as good as Hillary!

Posted by: Joe | June 4, 2008 12:43 AM

Why didnt you mention who won south dakota...the state where obama was heavily favoured to win....screw the liberal media

Posted by: RSV | June 4, 2008 12:42 AM

"Obama Montana Win, Echoes of Iowa?" What is losing all the swing states? Echoes of Kerry? If it were an electoral race, he would've been old news!

Posted by: Bob Ruskowski | June 4, 2008 12:25 AM

Is Hillary Clinton mean spirited? It seems that "What she wants" has not changed--to be president. Is it mean spirited of her to ignore her defeat and carry on a charade that somehow the will of the people has been "hi-jacked?" Her refusal to transform into a graceful loser is more than disturbing, it is dismissive of all who do not support her and support Barack Obama.

Posted by: edward | June 4, 2008 12:16 AM

Rooting for you! YES you can!

Posted by: Denise Groves | June 4, 2008 12:04 AM

Rooting for you! YES you can!

Posted by: Denise Groves | June 4, 2008 12:04 AM

Good news.
Good news.
get things done in the Fall,Barack

Posted by: jeff shawn | June 3, 2008 11:39 PM

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