Early voting started in Texas Monday, which means I’m way behind on covering state and local races. Oh well, maybe later this week…
Sanders’s margin of victory — 60 percent to 39 percent — was the largest ever by a Democrat who wasn’t a sitting president. It was a come-from-behind win: Eight months ago, Sanders was at 9 percent and Clinton held a 46-point advantage. And Sanders overperformed the polls. Only 1 of the last 15 polls had him above 60 percent; the Real Clear Politics average in New Hampshire had him at 54.5 percent going into the vote.
Then there are the crosstabs. The exit polling for Clinton was brutal. Sanders won men by 35 points; he won women by 11. He won voters under the age of 30 by 67 points. People expect that of Sanders and his children’s crusade. Clinton took home senior citizens, 54 percent to 45 percent. People expect that of Clinton’s boomers. But in the big band of middle-aged Democrats, ages 45 to 64 (who made up 42 percent of the electorate), Sanders beat Clinton 54 percent to 45 percent. He beat her among Democrats with a high school diploma or less; he beat her among Democrats with postgraduate degrees. Among people who’d voted in a Democratic primary before, Sanders won by 16 points; among first-time voters, he won by 57. He won self-identified “moderate” voters by 20 points.
Clinton made gun control a substantial part of her pitch in New Hampshire. Sanders won voters who own guns by 40 points. But he won voters who don’t own guns by 14. He even won voters who said that terrorism was their number one concern.
The biggest problem for Clinton, however, came in the candidate-perception categories. The second-most important quality voters said they wanted in a candidate was someone who “cares.” Sanders won these voters by 65 points. The most important quality people said they wanted was “honesty.” Sanders took those people home 92 to 6. Look at that again. When asked “Is Clinton honest and trustworthy?” 53 percent of all voters — not just Sanders voters, but everyone casting a Democratic ballot — said “no.”