Saturday, January 21, 2012

South Carolina Primary Results in One Picture

This is my takeaway from the Republican primary. The voters who voted tonight aren't interested in Newt's proposal for 21 hours of debate with Barack Obama. They just want someone who's going to kick people in the balls. Which is how Newt has made his bones since the early Clinton Administration.

He kicked Bill Clinton in the balls as long as he was in the House of Representatives, beginning with attempts to detonate any sort of compromise health care bill and ending with impeaching Clinton even after the impeachment message had lost his party seats in the house. He kicked Juan Williams in the balls when he dared to suggested that referring to Obama as a "food stamp presidency" might offend African Americans. He kicked John in the balls when he had the temerity to suggest that someone who is a total jackass to both his first and second wives while sanctimoniously going on and on about Bill Clinton's moral turpitude might be the kind of person that some voters might not want as President. Essentially, Newt's campaign was telling voters that a vote for me is a vote to kick some other in the balls. It might be Barack Obama. It might be "the liberal media" or "the elite". It might be African-Americans. But basically, you could vote for Newt, and Newt would find whoever the closest person was who's different from you in some way, and then kick them in the balls.

The exit polls are a little odd. In certain respects, Newt fared better among voters that are closer to the median voter than the typical Republican; he did better downscale voters both in terms of income and education. But/ Romney did better in other respects; he lost by smaller margins among women, among people who identify as moderate, and urban voters (although none of the metro areas in South Carolina are particularly large). I'll have some observations about the exits and the county-level results tomorrow.
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