Critical Mass: Time to End this Primary Now

Marc Ambinder is looking at some specific data in the exit polls, and what he sees is not pretty.

Essentially, the numbers of Democrats who would be dissatisfied if the candidate opposing the one they voted for won the nomination have finally reached an unacceptable level.  Now, I have long perceived these numbers as irrelevant because, as long as they stayed relatively low (20’s and 30’s), then it would be reasonable to assume that most of those people would, over the course of the summer, be able to come to their senses and get back to supporting the Democratic nominee.

But the numbers that Ambinder are posting shows a party at critical mass.  While it’s safe to assume that most people will eventually return to the fold, there are two underlying factors that should be taken into account.

The first is that the more time that is spent in the primary as opposed to healing, the smaller the number you can expect to get over their grievances and back the eventual nominee.  The second is that the higher the percentage of Democrats who promise to defect becomes, the higher the number of voters who will follow through on that promise becomes.

When six in ten Obama voters would be dissatisfied with Hillary, that’s a problem because even if most of them eventually do support Hillary, what is left could prove to be crippling.  Same goes for the two thirds of Hillary supporters in North Carolina who say the same about Obama.

This is the highest these numbers have ever been thus far, and that means that we have entered into a phase of the Democratic primary where there can be no question about it; we are now shooting ourselves in both feet, and smiling our way through it.

More at Memeorandum: The New Republic, Weekly Standard Blog, Democracy in America, Salon, The Strata-Sphere, TPM Election Central and Spin Cycle

5 Responses to “Critical Mass: Time to End this Primary Now”

  1. Michelle says:

    (new lurker — first time to comment)

    I’m one of those people who originally supported Edwards and made the then difficult choice in the Texas primaries to support Obama. Even after that, I defended Hillary against unfair attacks, but at this point, I am completely in the Obama camp.

    However, I’m never ever going to go over to McCain. It just won’t happen.

    My hope is that when (and hopefully it will be very very soon) Dems have their nomination locked up, that what McCain has been prattling on about for the past few months will be re-examined and even the Indies who have come into the Dem process will get it — McCain is one senior moment away from saying something really dangerous.


    We love first time commentors (I think… hey, guys, what’s our official stance on first time commentors? I feel like we should get a bell or something).

    And I agree with you, I could never vote for McCain, and really, all Clinton has to do is not get so odeous that I can’t vote for her to get my vote. Problem is, she likes to flirt with that line an awful lot, so it’s a toss up.

    Also, I share your hopes that McCain will start getting some of the scrutinous media treatment as well, but I’m not overly optimistic on this front. The media has a huge giant mancrush on him, and not a whole lot of people foresee that going away.

  3. KathyKathy says:

    First-time commenters are the bomb.

    Speaking of bombs, I would never vote for McCain. No power on earth could make me do that.

    But unless something radically changes in Hillary Clinton’s presentation, I am not voting for her if, god forbid, she’s the nominee. As far as I’m concerned, she is McCain with more polish.

  4. DrGail says:

    Hey Michelle. Don’t let Kyle bother you. . .of COURSE we love first time commentors! (In fact, I started out the very same way, and just look at me now!) I extend to you a most gracious welcome.

    I was also a big Edwards supporter — little known fact around here — but swung over to Obama when he dropped out. I absolutely could not understand the pundits suggesting that Clinton would scoop up most of the Edwards supporters, because that surely didn’t describe me or anyone else I knew. I’ve since learned that the pundits are just fucked up.

    Like you and Kyle, I’d be willing to support Hillary Clinton if she wins the nomination, but I surely worry that I won’t be as full-throated as I will in my support of Barack Obama. I voted for the first time in 1972 (sad, but true) and have rarely seen my chosen candidate prevail. Truth be known, in most cases I was voting for the lesser of two evils, as they say.

    This time — in 2008 — I will proudly cast my vote for a candidate I believe in and I must admit it feels GOOD. (Now, if the Cubs could just win the World Series, my life would be complete!)

  5. Michelle says:

    Why thanks, you all 🙂 I’m not shy, but your welcome has made me wish I had commented earlier.

    Oh, well.

    I’m watching the vote on cnn’s web site. With every reboot, it’s closer, but I feel good about what I will wake up to tomorrow.

    I got here via memeorandum — surprising as that might be. I’ve come to understand what it represents.

    I like it here. I have a little blog, but I mostly write about local topics and Africa and pups — my three passions. I will fill it in on the comment thingy if anyone is interested, but if not, I’m ok.

    Thanks for the warm welcome. Really.


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