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Hillary May Have The Edge In Maine

A lot of us in the press, including me, have looked at Maine on the primary calendar, noticed it was a caucus state, and basically put it in the Obama column as a result.

Now it's true that caucus states tend to reward the extensive organization that Obama excels at. On the other hand, there are a lot of white working-class people in Maine--and, judging from the results of New Hampshire and Massachusetts (look at "high school graduates" and voters making under $50,000), Obama seems to have problems with the New England version of this demographic. (Even in Connecticut, which Obama won, Hillary killed him among "high school graduates"--55-41--though he returned the favor among college graduates.) Whether or not Barry Bonds's diagnosis of the situtation is apt, I can't say. But what's clear is that the terrain isn't super-favorable for him tomorrow.

This piece in today's Washington Post kind of underscores that point. The piece notes that "Clinton is expected to be competitive tomorrow in Maine--the winner of the New Hampshire primary almost always is," and notes that the Obama campaign itself isn't so high on its prospects there:

An internal analysis by the campaign lays out one scenario for the next phase of the battle, in which Clinton would win Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, both in popular votes and delegates, along with five other places: Maine, Kentucky, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico

It could be an exercise in expectations-setting, of course. But it wouldn't shock me if this turned out to be right.

Update: Yeah, Maine looks pretty good for Hillary. In the 2004 general election, about 60 percent of Maine voters made less than $50,000 per year. By comparison, only about one-third of New Hampshire voters made less than $50,000. In both cases, Bush won 44 percent of that group, so we're looking at a lot more (almost twice the proportion of) working class Dems in Maine...

--Noam Scheiber