The Hillary Clinton campaign has always* known that the month between Super Tuesday and the big primaries on March 4 in Texas and Ohio were going to be tough going for her. They include a number of caucuses, where Barack Obama’s better-funded organization has proven itself superior, and contests in states where he has an edge demographically.
Still, the size of those lopsided victories yesterday in Nebraska, Louisiana and Washington (and especially the better-than-two-thirds he got in Washington and Nebraska) is impressive. The news is not expected to be much better for Clinton in Tuesday’s so-called Potomac Primary in D.C., Virginia and Maryland.
And once again, Democratic turnout is as interesting a story as the results themselves. This, for instance, from the New York Times:
In Nebraska, The Omaha World-Herald reported that organizers at two caucus sites had been so overrun by crowds that they abandoned traditional caucusing and asked voters to drop makeshift scrap-paper ballots into a box instead. In Sarpy County, in suburban Omaha, traffic backed up on Highway 370 when thousands of voters showed up at a precinct where organizers had planned for hundreds.
In Washington, the Democratic party reported record-breaking numbers of caucusgoers, with early totals suggesting turnout would be nearly be nearly double what it was in 2004 — itself a record year — when 100,000 Democrats caucused.
As for me, I’m going to spend this Sunday afternoon dragging the Swampkids to rallies. This is something rarer than a solar eclipse, something that Villager children have never experienced and may never again–a presidential primary where the Beltway’s votes will actually matter.
UPDATE: Swampkids came away from an Obama rally this afternoon massively impressed by the fact that they were interviewed by Chinese and Ethiopian-American media. Message: Hey, anyone can be a pundit.
*Commenters correctly upbraid me for saying this was “always” the case. They are absolutely right. This is only true if you are a political writer who has fallen victim to the incredible compression of the time-space continuum that has been the last six weeks. Indeed, the Clinton campaign had no clue that March was going to be a cruel month until the dawning of that paleolithic era that began in Iowa, as we political reporters were all learning to work with stone tools and painting our stories onto the walls of our caves. But by the days leading into Super Tuesday (was that really less than a week ago?), they were indeed very aware that this was not going to be an easy time for her.