The Michigan Democratic primary was on the surface a non-event. The national party has ruled the state's delegation will not be seated. Of the major candidates, only Hillary Clinton was on the ballot, pitted against "uncommitted" in a seemingly meaningless race (she won by 15 percent).
Yet the exit poll results from this strange contest reveal some troubling trends for the New York Senator.
Among men, for example, the battle was neck and neck. Clinton got 47 percent and the anonymous/non-existent opposition got 43 percent. (Clinton did substantially better among women, winning 58-37.)
The opposition was not, however, altogether ethereal. For the most part, voting "uncommitted" was a substitute for casting a ballot for Barack Obama, or for some voters, John Edwards.
Among black voters, Clinton was crushed by "uncommitted," 26-70. If that kind of margin among African Americans continues into future primaries, she faces major problems in the heavily black January 26 South Carolina primary and in the states with large black populations going to the polls on February 5 -- so-called Tsunami Tuesday. Clinton carried whites in Michigan by a 61-30.
Clinton ran poorly among young voters of all races, losing those under the age of 30 by 39-48 percent; splitting voters from 30 to 44 by 46-48 percent; solidly carrying the 45 to 56 age group by 54-34 percent; and winning voters 60 and older by a landslide 67-31 percent.
The pundits never seem to learn: Watching Andrea Mitchell talking about John McCain's candidacy on MSNBC she says his candidacy was over because of the Michigan results tonight. Of course, his candidacy was over even before the first primary. And Clinton was toast after Iowa... you get the idea..