Barack Obama has won the Wisconsin primary with a 57% to 42% margin over Clinton, with over 3/4 of precincts reporting.
He beat Clinton among white male voters, split women voters in a near-tie, won among Independents, and gained among white, working-class voters, according to MSNBC. He also led on electability (63% to 37% for Hillary).
According to the New York Times,
"Almost two-thirds said Mr. Obama would be more likely to unite the country and about 55 percent considered him more likely to improve foreign relations."
Although the Clintons can never be counted out, and there are some big states yet to vote, the momentum is continuing to propel Obama forward. The Associated Press characterized the win in a way that does not bode well for Hillary Clinton's chances:
"Barack Obama cruised past a fading Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Wisconsin primary Tuesday night, gaining the upper hand in a Democratic presidential race for the ages. It was Obama's ninth straight victory over the past three weeks, and left the former first lady in desperate need of a comeback in a race she long commanded as front-runner."
The win came after controversy generated by the Clinton campaign regarding his using certain phrases that had previously been used by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. The two men are friends and Obama had credited him with one of the phrases in a previous speech. According to the CNN Political Ticker, the whole thing was old news:
"A Boston Globe article in the spring of 2007 titled 'Patrick, Obama campaigns share language of "hope"' noted many similarities between their stump speeches, and said that the two men shared a 'symbiotic friendship.'"
Another controversy arose when Michelle Obama was quoted as having said that for the first time in her adult life, she was proud of her country.
The statement was taken somewhat out of context, as Ms. Obama added, "Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change." She went on to say:
"'I have seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues and it has made me proud,' she told supporters."
The statement immediately generated all kinds of commentary in the media, and no doubt will be used against Obama by his opponents. But when you take into consideration the fact that Michelle Obama, at 44, has had an adult life that really only began in the middle of Reagan's presidency, she may have a point there.
Let's see...we've had policies that made the rich richer and the poor, poorer. We've had a president who was impeached for having sex in the Oval Office and lying about it. We've had a president who invaded another country without provocation, killing perhaps as many as a million of its citizens, including women and children, with no end in sight. We've seen our country's image tarnished throughout the world as a result. We've seen political partisanship poison our government to the point that nothing can be accomplished.
I'm not saying that there aren't plenty of reasons to be proud of our country despite all this. But I am saying that Michelle could have her reasons for feeling more positive toward this country than ever before.
Obviously neither controversy bothered the voters in Wisconsin, since Obama's margin of victory was decisive.