That Pesky Exit Poll Result

In a conference call this afternoon, Hillary addressed the Michigan exit poll result that showed “Uncommitted” beating her among African-Americans, nearly 70 percent to 26 percent.

Asked whether this could hurt her in South Carolina and beyond, she replied, “No, I’m committed to running a broad-based campaign,” and said she’s “thrilled that we have people contesting for the nomination of the Democratic Party that represent the historical progress that America has been so noted for.” The campaign’s official response points out that Obama supporters organized on behalf of “Uncommitted,” despite his pledge not to campaign in Michigan.

All fair and true. But neither answer addresses the disparity between the overall results—Hillary beat Uncommitted handily, 55 percent to 40 percent—and the results among blacks. No matter how much behind-the-scenes, pro-Uncommitted antics were going on, it’s clear that that campaign penetrated among African-Americans much more than it did among the rest of the population.

The Obama campaign likewise played down the results in a memo: “[T] he results of the primary tonight have no bearing on the Democratic nomination contest.” Which is, of course, the right move given that Hillary beat Obama in head-to-head match-ups, 46 percent to 35 percent. But no doubt some people on Team Obama saw the exit poll results and smiled.