A pop quiz from [Ohio Superdelegate] Chris Redfern: "Who won Mississippi in 1976?"
Uh, Jimmy Carter?
"You'd be one of the few who know that," Redfern said. "Why? Because most people don't pay attention to details like that. They understand the election's going to occur this November, but 90 percent of Ohioans haven't really paid as much attention."
Some factors that helped Clinton win Ohio--such as her appeal among women and working-class whites--are unpredictable in terms of how they would play out in an Obama-McCain or Clinton-McCain contest.
In his own convoluted way, Redfern was trying to make a point about last week's Ohio Democratic primary, which Hillary Clinton won by 10 percentage points over Barack Obama. Redfern was suggesting that come November, Clinton's Ohio win March 4 won't mean much more than Carter's Mississippi victory in November of '76.
"It's a long road," he said. "I wouldn't read into it whether Barack Obama won Ohio or Hillary Clinton won Ohio. It's far too early."
That's an interesting argument for him to make when you consider that Redfern is chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party--an organization for whom last week's primary was a rather big deal.
It also puts him at odds with his governor, Ted Strickland, who has said the primary offered evidence that Clinton has a better chance than Obama of carrying Ohio this November.
So it's kind of a weird thing for Redfern to say--except that he's right.
It is natural for Clinton to sell last week's result as proof that she can win Ohio against Republican nominee John McCain. She'd be foolish not to.
What's strange is that so many pundits independent of the Clinton campaign have bought into that idea.
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