HELLUVA WIN, BARACK….I’m not real good at the whole narrative thing, so I’m not sure what tonight’s caucus results “mean.” But based on the entrance polls, I have to say that Barack Obama’s victory was mighty impressive. Not only did he win by a pretty solid margin, 38% vs. 30% for both Clinton and Edwards, but he won in virtually every subcategory. He won among both men and women; he won among Democrats, independents, and Republicans; he won among every income group; and he won among people most concerned with the economy, the war, and healthcare.
So was there any good news for Clinton or Edwards? Not much. Clinton won (barely) among married people; among rural voters; and among the elderly. Edwards won among conservatives (!) and the middle-aged. I think Edwards is doomed now, since he just doesn’t have the money to overcome this loss. Clinton isn’t, but I don’t know if you can say much more than that. Obviously she has a tougher road now against a well-funded Obama campaign with lots of momentum, but I wouldn’t be willing to say much more than that.
Among Republicans, the picture is obviously a lot muddier. Huckabee’s victory was also impressive, winning among both men and women; among evangelicals; among Bush lovers; among every income group except the well off; among all issue groups; and among all age groups. Romney won only among moderates; the well off; and urban voters. The rest of the field was nowhere.
But I just don’t believe that Huckabee is going to be able to sustain this. Iowa’s Republican turnout was 60% evangelical, and I don’t see him being able to broaden his appeal in less God-soaked states. But we’ll see.