Let the extrapolations begin. Barack Obama absolutely destroyed Hillary Clinton in Georgia, according to
. We offer our usual disclaimer about exit polls—that they aren’t actual votes—but these numbers are pretty juicy.
First of all, slightly more than half of voters were African-American, with 42 percent of voters saying they were white. The number that should set Obama hearts aflutter: Thirty-nine percent of White voters favored Obama (compared to Clinton’s 57 percent support). That’s a huge boost from his mid-20s support among whites in South Carolina. Moreover, he won nearly 36 percent of white women—unheard of two weeks ago.
His black support was as high as it was in the Palmetto state, which should come as no surprise. Most intriguingly, half of voters said the Kennedy endorsement was important to them (those voters favored Obama over Clinton 4-to-1.)
This could mean a hell of a lot or nothing at all. Georgia is a perfect storm for Obama—high African-American population, an open primary (independents can vote), and regional momentum from his South Carolina win. But his numbers among white voters are promising—so promising that he won't need such a major win among Latinos out West (if the white support holds nationwide). Plus, if the endorsement from Massachusetts-legend Kennedy is playing well down South, then it’s reasonable to think it will play well out West, as well.
It does seem safe to say that this wraps up Alabama for Obama, where polls close at 8 p.m. This could also be good news in Tennessee, where he was trailing badly in the polls. But, outside of that, we still don't know what to expect. This, after all, is just a drop in the electoral pond.
UPDATE, 7:35 p.m.: The Clinton machine responds immediately by releasing its surrogate talking points to the press. Let the spintasms continue! We direct quote below because its just that juicy.
Unlike the Obama campaign, the Clinton campaign never dedicated significant resources to Georgia.
Sen. Obama spent over $500,000 dollars on ads on television and radio; we never went up on TV
The Obama campaign has 9 offices in Georgia. The Clinton campaign only has 2.
Sen. Obama has had staff and significant campaign operation across the state for 8 months. Sen. Clinton only deployed staff to the state in the last couple of weeks.
Polls have consistently showed Sen. Obama with wide lead over Sen Clinton. That lead has only widened over time.