The third wave (final) exit polls show Clinton winning women 56-44 and Obama winning men 53-47. Women account for 58% of the turnout.
If that’s right, the totals would be Clinton 52.2 – Obama 47.8. Keeping Clinton’s edge under 5 points would count as a huge success for Obama. Obviously, not as good as a win, but plenty good enough. Whether that’s how it actually comes out remains to be seen.
But if, as has been reported, Obama’s strategy was to make Clinton spend money she didn’t have and still keep it close, David Plouffe might be entitled to say “Mission Accomplished.”
Even if the margin tonight is ten points instead of five, Obama’s delegate gains in North Carolina two weeks from now will more than compensate for Clinton’s pickup tonight. (Indiana looks to be roughly even.) After that (or perhaps starting tomorrow) we get the long-awaited superdelegate stampede.
Footnote Turnout in the black areas of Philadelphia was so-so. Obama’s refusal to pay “street money” seems to have cost him something.
Update Looks like four-and-a-half was overoptimistic. Ambinder projects a 7- or 8-point edge for Clinton, about in the middle of the range of expectations. Certainly nothing like the 15-point or 20-point blowout that seemed plausible as little as a month ago.
Second update Now it looks like somewhere between 9 and 10. About a 200,000 vote edge for Clinton. Delegate gain certainly under 20, probably smaller.