Anecdote Alert: This is not scientific nor is it a particularly accurate indicator of what is happening here in Texas, but I thought that I'd relay the conversation I had at the deli counter while grocery shopping today.
So, I'm ambling around the obscenely crowded store, pushing the blue race car grocery cart and looking mighty hip doing it while my son was "driving" and screeching out demands--cereal, Mama!, Cereal!--when I park it in front of the deli counter. Once again, and this is an aside, the snotty high school kid "gets" me. The last time I faced this little gnome and asked for a dill pickle, he proceeded to give me the smallest, skimpiest pickle there was and he was waiting, just waiting, for me to say, "Don't you have a bigger pickle?" Pickle size is important as they are all 69¢--so as in most things, bigger is definitely better. Oh, I wanted to say, "I want a bigger pickle". But I refrained. He is my deli nemesis and he served me again today. No pickle today, just sliced turkey.
But that is not my point. While waiting for the gnome to get the turkey, I talked Texas primaries with a dashing, white-haired gentleman of about 60. He asked me if I had voted yet and I responded in the negative. Gasp! I know. I know. I've been doing stuff. Anyway, he had voted for Huckabee. He was a staunch conservative and I told him I was a blogger. I told him that Huckabee gave me the willies and he plead his case: Huckabee changed his stance on the border. He'll be a good conservative. I, of course, disagreed. Here's where it got interesting, though. His daughter voted for Hillary. She figures McCain has the best chance against Hillary and so cast her vote that way.
What I'm wondering is how many people have done the same. Now, Karl Rove just said on Fox that for every one Republican going over for Obama, there are two Democrats going over for McCain. I've talked about this before and I think in the general election, either Clinton or Obama would have trouble against McCain.
I'll update later tonight. In the meantime, Stephen Green (may his liver rest in peace) is drunk blogging the whole thing again.
UPDATE: Texas called for McCain. McCain clinches nomination. Big surprise.
UPDATE II: Texas called for Clinton. Here's an email from Austin via the Corner:
I noted the cross-over yesterday from my anecdote in the grocery store and today, Glenn Reynolds and others are noting it, too. What does this all mean? Well, Hillary should thank the Right Wing Conspiracy, for one. When those rubes vote as a block, they can be powerful! Stupid (from her perspective), but powerful.
K-Lo, writing here from Austin, Texas.
Not sure why the networks haven’t picked up on this, but there is definitely a sizable portion of the vote in Texas tonight comprised of Republican voters looking to “game” the Democratic primary. I spoke with numerous friends today, who claim to be Republican, who said they voted for Sen Clinton with the thought that it will prolong the Dem in-fighting and therefore benefit Republicans. I won’t debate the merits of their argument here, but the phenomenon (Republicans voting for Sen Clinton to gain the system) is real and I think material to the results. I’m surprised I haven’t seen anyone reporting it and just how large the impact might be. I’m sure it is contributing to the number of voters deciding in the final three days to support Sen. Clinton. Would be curious to hear your contributors comment on this dynamic. The VRWC conspires to save the Clinton campaign?
For me, this continues to be the strangest election. None of the candidates are bring-home-to-your-mother great. They all seem average. They seem unoriginal ideologically, inexperienced (except for McCain), and they are all statists--that is, they all view the all-mighty government as the solution to everyone's problems. This year is a year of picking the best of the worst.
So these factors seem to be making the electorate to take the candidates as seriously as they really are--which is to say, not too serious. Democrats are crossing for Republicans. Republicans are crossing for Democrats. Besides the Obamasseiah true believers, most younger than 30, or a more than a few cents short of decent pocket change, the electorate feels rather blah about the rest of them.
I'm not sure things will settle down in the general election, either. This year, more than any other, I think the Veep choices will be paramount to all the candidates. I advise them, if anyone gives a flip what I think, to choose wisely. This year, the Vice President will swing voters, I believe. No one feels that great about the candidates. They'll need to feel great about the Vice President.