Hillary Coalition Collapses as Barack Lures Working Class

He wins white men 3-2 in Wisconsin
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2008 5:48 AM CST
Hillary Coalition Collapses as Barack Lures Working Class
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., speaks at a rally Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008, in Youngstown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Mark A. Stahl)   (Associated Press)

Barack Obama's 17-point victory in Wisconsin contains a major warning for Hillary Clinton: not only did the Illinois senator win among his usual coalition of well-educated, young and black voters, but he also captured the vote of the working class, particularly men. The "durable coalition" that Clinton strategist Mark Penn thought would sweep her to victory doesn't seem so impregnable after all, writes Slate.

Obama won white men by 3 to 2 in Wisconsin, and union members split evenly between him and the New York senator. "He's making a real assault on the Clinton coalition for the first time," a pollster told the Washington Post. Clinton will now make her last stand in Texas and Ohio, where demographics might seem to favor her. But Obama has one more trump card: independents, who overwhelmingly support him, are allowed to vote in both states. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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