Everybody made the difference

Wow, I’m beset by claims of how a gazillion different constituencies played pivotal roles in the vote last night.

The 80-20 Initiative — a PAC seeking equal opportunity for Asian Americans by trying to unite them into a voting bloc candidates can’t ignore, ideally directing 80 percent of the community’s votes and money to a single presidential contender (in this race, Hillary Clinton) — are calling attention to a New York Times story which says exit polls showed Asian-Americans went 3-1 for Hillary Clinton in California. (OK, so it was 75-25, not 80-20.)

EMILY’s List — the nation’s largest PAC, focused on electing pro-choice Democratic women including Clinton — sent out an e-mail claiming that women continue to dominate the electorate, and that Clinton’s victories to date (including in California) have been built on significant support from women.

Rock The Vote issued a news release claiming, “In more than 20 states across the nation, young voters turned out in record-breaking numbers at primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday. Young voters have proven they are the driving force behind the 2008 Presidential election and are setting the stage for November 2008 to be the historic third election in a row with increased young voter turnout.” In California, they noted, “more than 850,000 voters under 30 cast ballots, far surpassing 2000 and 2004 levels.”

Obama’s California spokeswoman, Debbie Mesloh, sent out a daily memo claiming, “Barack Obama won the support of Americans of every race and gender in every region of the country. From Hillary Clinton’s backyard in Connecticut to Georgia, where Obama won nearly 40% of the white vote and eliminated the gender gap by winning 64% of the women’s vote, Obama demonstrated that he’s the one candidate who can transform the electoral map.”

And, as NPR says, “New York Sen. Hillary Clinton won the Latino vote on Super Tuesday by a 2-to-1 margin in key states such as New York, California and New Jersey. That gave her a decisive win with the fastest-growing demographic in the country, possibly setting the stage for the general election when Latinos could make a huge difference in swing states.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.