How Divided Are the Dems?

The Obama campaign released a memo today, both pre-spinning tonight’s blowout and attempting to dispel a series of myths. The chief canard:

MYTH 1: The Primary has left Democrats divided.

FACT: Democrats are united behind Barack Obama, even more so than Republicans are united behind McCain

May 12 Washington Post poll shows that Obama wins 81% of Democrats in a matchup against John McCain.

Indeed, more Republicans crossover to vote for Obama (15%) than do Democrats for McCain (13%).

Tonight’s exit polls revealed deep rifts in the Democratic party, at least in the mainly white, less educated, and relatively poor West Virginia.  However, some are erroneously extrapolating these divisions to the general election.

For the past four presidential elections, the Democrat defection rate has been about ten or eleven percent. According to recent polls, with Obama as the nominee, the Democratic crossover to McCain ranges from eleven to fifteen percent. And, this is in the midst of a heated primary. The number of party deserters will only fall from here, and it’s already at a good level relative to history.

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