Clinton and Obama in the states
In response to my earlier post about the peculiar pattern of state-by-state results on the Democratic side, Joe Shipman, an experienced national pollster, sends along the following thoughts:
What is going on, roughly, is that Obama is winning in states that have a “dominant party” and are not going to be close in the general election — states which are so solidly Democratic, or so solidly Republican, that the two parties have grown far apart from each other, in particular pushing the Democrats further to the left. This suggests Clinton would do much better than Obama in the general election because she would have a better chance to make a difference in the “swing states”.
New Mexico and Missouri are interesting exceptions because they are close in Presidential elections but Obama and Clinton are even — in the case of Missouri it is because that state suffers from severe enmity and polarization between the Democrats and Republicans; this reduces the “pull toward the center” that you normally see in “purple states”, though the two parties are still closer together than they are in states with a dominant party.
I’m not sure exactly what is going on in NM, but it may have to do with the immigration issue and the fact that New Mexicans were already comfortable opposing Hillary because of Richardson’s earlier presence in the race.