Well, I didn’t see that coming.
Looking at the exit polls for the Democratic side, one thing stands out fairly immediately: youth turnout was considerably lower–had the young (18-29) demographic turned out at the same rate as Michigan and voted at the same rate as those did show up did, Sanders would have picked up about 4%, more or less: the resulting 46-53 outcome, roughly, is probably something more consistent with what I’d have been expecting, perhaps. Sanders really had to have a few more votes than that, though, and that was not going to materialize. I’ve been told that most of big Ohio universities were on spring break–but then, so was MSU last week. On the whole, this is a reminder that, if you rely on low propensity voters, they are liable to surprise both pleasantly and unpleasantly. Being an insurgent candidate, drawing only on the voters abandoned by the mainstream, is a risky proposition.
On the Republican side, an interesting dynamic is developing: Kasich makes no sense as a “serious” candidate. He has no real chance of winning the nomination. His mission is just one thing: deny both Trump and Cruz the outright nomination and force a brokered convention where the Republican insiders can choose someone unexpected. This is a most dangerous game that the Republican insiders are playing: deny both of their top two primary vote-getters the nomination by skulduggery. I wonder if that sort of lawyer trick will fly–between Trump and Cruz, they command support from between 2/3 to 3/4 voters, probably. They already distrust the Washington establishment and its dirty tricks. Could the Republican Party possibly survive this sort of trickery? Ironically, they will return to the scene where their “crime” will have been given legs for the convention. This is going to be too “fun” for its own good (in the worst way possible.)
PS. The Democratic tally got closer as more votes got counted. Higher youth turnout might have boosted Sanders votes to perhaps 48%, which would be closer to what I expected. All in all, the actual numbers are not too far off of expected figures, although he fell a few percents off what he did in Michigan–and more in Ohio.
Clinton deserves much credit for bringing out her supporters efficaciously, but exit polls show her weaknesses persist: inability to expand beyond the Democrats. How this will translate should she face Trump in November is unclear, given the latter’s own obvious issues. Still, her coalition seems dangerously vulnerable to precisely a candidate like Trump.