Posted: February 5, 2008 10:39 PM
Clinton Sweeps Northeast with Wins in N.Y., N.J. and Mass.
Sen. Hillary Clinton won her adopted state of New York in the state’s Democratic primary, with exit polls showing that three out of four Hispanic and Jewish voters supported Clinton, according to Associated Press exit polls.
But, as expected, Obama had a strong backing among New York’s black voters. When asked for the most important factor influencing their vote, half of Democrats cited the need for change and most of these cast their ballots for Obama. One in four cited experience, and almost all of them voted for Clinton.
The results from the Northeast gave Clinton a major boost as the night rolled on, although Obama was able to stave off a sweep of the region by picking up Connecticut and Delaware.
But Clinton pulled off major wins in New York as well as in neighboring New Jersey and in Massachusetts. In New Jersey, where it would have been a big sting had Obama pulled off a win, Clinton had dispatched an “intensive GOTV blitz that included over 100,000 calls to voters,” her campaign said. The state’s exit polls showed a large turnout in favor of Clinton among Latino voters, a trend that reinforces earlier poll numbers.
Obama had picked up the endorsement of Newark’s mayor Cory A. Booker and did well in urban areas but Clinton reigned in the suburbs and had the support of New Jersey Gov. John Corzine.
In Massachusetts, Clinton’s campaign also built a strong get out the vote network in with the support of Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi. Her campaign called the victory the “upset of the night” after Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama was expected to threaten her lead.
“This is a strong victory and shows that Hillary Clinton has strength in places where Barack Obama was expected to win,” a campaign statement read.
The impact of these wins, while a defeat would question Clinton’s viability in her own region, may or may not propel her to the nomination.
“What we’re seeing tonight is that Hillary Clinton does win New Jersey, she does win Massachusetts, those are impressive victories but she won’t walk away in all likelihood with any more delegates out of those two victories,” said NewsHour analyst Mark Shields. “She gets a psychological boost and it helps her campaign, but as far as the delegates, heading towards that magic number of 1,681 it looks like right now it’s going to be 800 each.”
Obama’s Connecticut win was crucial because “it was considered part of the Clinton firewall,” explained Shields. “It gives at least a sense that he wasn’t shut out by Clinton in that entire media market.”