Hillbillys Vote Obama

While the focus in the Democratic race lays on the delegate count, the geographic distribution of last night’s wins by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama caught my eye.

So far Obama mostly won red states like Idaho, Georgia, Utah, South Carolina or Alabama. Clinton on the other hand was successful in swing states like Arkansas, Tennessee, New Mexico, Florida, and Arizona – as well as in big blue states like California, Massachusetts, New York, and Michigan.

What does it mean for the general election in November? Obama has very strong support in hillbilly states that don’t really matter for the Democrats. Republican strong holds like Utah, Georgia, South Carolina or Alabama will go to the Republican nominee. Missouri is the one exception. Had Obama not won the “Show Me State” last night his run for the White House might as well be over.

Clinton has strong support where it matters, in populous states that deliver delegates, and in swing states that will be crucial in November.

Upcoming primaries in working class states like Pennsylvania, and Ohio or in Latino strong hold Texas clearly favor her. But the closeness of the horse race suggests a Clinton/Obama ticket. Both Democratic candidates are able to rally many more supporters than the Republicans. Together they’d be hard to beat.