Primary results can be misleading


From Daily Kos

A full 15% of voters who said they will be unsatisfied if she gets the nomination voted for Hillary Clinton. In contrast, only 4% of Obama voters say the same about their candidate.

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and Jeff Greenfield of Slate also warn against using primary results to estimate electability in the general election.

Clinton-Obama battle over who will be a better general-election candidate based on the primary results. The Clinton campaign says she’d be the better fall candidate because she’s stronger with her party’s core of white working- and middle-class voters in Democratic states. The Obama campaign argues that he’d be better in the fall because he can attract independents, bring new younger voters to the polls, and compete in traditionally red states.

Who’s right? Neither side. Why? Because they are both arguing from the false assumption that primary contests can provide a guide to the fall campaign. Look back across recent political history and you’ll be hard-pressed to find such a link.

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