How Clinton Won West Virginia by Appealing to Edwards Voters
On Super Tuesday, over 14% of voters in the Oklahoma Democratic Primary voted for neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama, despite their being the only two major Democratic candidates left in the race. This was nearly twice the percentage of "someone else" votes as the next highest state (Arizona, with 7.2% of "neither" votes), and four times greater than Super Tuesday primary states over all (3.74% "neither" votes).
John Edwards received the lion' share (10.14% of the overall vote) of the `neither" vote, and his supporters represented a significant opportunity for both Clinton and Obama. By examining where Edwards did well, both candidates could try and appeal to these "neither Clinton nor Obama" voters.
A review of exit polling from West Virginia shows that Hillary Clinton took advantage of the opportunity to appeal to Edward's voters, and it was her success among those voters that made the difference between her 24 point win over Obama in Oklahoma, and her 41 point margin over Obama in West Virginia. Obama not merely failed to attract the support of Edwards voters, he actually lost support in the demographic categories where Edwards did best.
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