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Pyrrhic victories for Clinton

Hillary Clinton won 3 of 4 states last night in the Democratic Primary. However, it appears she didn’t win big enough to make any serious dent into Obama’s lead in delegates. In fact, if Obama wins the Texas Democratic caucus, as predicted by many, the delegate pickups from last night could very well be a wash. Even if it isn’t and Hillary has picked up several delegates to 20 delegates on Obama, it still leaves Clinton with troubling numbers – troubling enough that Time Magazine says “It appears numerically impossible for her to overtake his lead among elected delegates”.

So, Hillary has bragging rights from last night, but I don’t think it did anything to change the dynamic, and I think you’ll see Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee – despite the Clinton “wins” and despite the Conservative government’s efforts to screw around and meddle with the primary race.

[email protected]:26AM: MSNBC’s count of delegates – actual and presumed ones coming from the Texas caucus – shows that Hillary barely made a dent into Obama’s delegate lead.

4 comments to Pyrrhic victories for Clinton

  • Ted

    I think the race will get nastier. Hillary has a lifeline and will use it.

  • Joseph

    Scott,Thanks for making it more readable . . .I think that how Time presents it is LIKELY how it will play out.  But I would argue that in some ways, that very article points out why I expect her campaign may go right for the an all-court aggressive press.  When the expectation is "this is all but over no matter what happens . . . we’ve even got a calculator here to show us," she has nothing to lose.  And if she could change the dynamic of the race so that some of those states – like Oregon – DON’T go overwhelmingly for Obama – because he suddenly is "defending his belief in democracy" (much less his defense of trade discussion which threw him off, unfairly, last week), she has quite possibly created the only chance her campaign may have.But it could be the only chance she needs.  If by the end of the day, pledged delegates are less than 100, I think this race is not over – no matter how much hypothetical math is printed.Don’t get me wrong . . . I trust math.  But these numbers remain too close to extrapolate all the way to the end.  If the dynamic changes, the outcome could change.  And it could change dramatically if suddenly one article or group comes out and says, "not so fast."  Based on x, y, and z, Hillary could win.  Then it becomes an entirely different dynamic yet again.

  • Joseph – According to the Time article, the dynamics of the remaining contests means that Florida and Michigan may not matter much:

    Some of the upcoming states to vote — including Wyoming on Saturday and Mississippi on March 11 — are likely to swing strongly for Obama, and certainly show no signs of being Clinton blowouts. The same goes for North Carolina on May 6, and Oregon on May 20.

    Other contests might be more favorable for Clinton (Pennsylvania, Indiana, Guam, West Virginia, Montana, and South Dakota), but even decisive wins in those states — say, in the 60-40 range—would still leave her behind in both elected delegates and the overall count. That remains true even if Clinton somehow succeeds in getting the disputed delegates from Florida and Michigan seated at the convention.

    (and I’ve edited your post Joseph into paragraphs, so its easier to read).

  • Joseph

    I think if Hillary is smart and a fighter (and she is) by the end of the week if not the end of the day, she will be challenging that Michigan and Florida must re-vote. NOT have their delegates counted now, but re-Vote.She’ll challenge Obama to support it. And if there is ANY hesitation, she’ll go after him for not wanting voters to have their say in choosing the nomination.That is not a position he would want to be in . . . seen as wanting to "coast" into the nomination from his point of relatively small pledged delegate lead and without enough pledged delegates to win outright. She has nothing to lose from it and my very well re-win those states, particularly Florida where Obama is not polling well against McCain (Clinton polls better in the hypotheticals). She might also win Michigan again, though I think that would be closer.

    When you look at those populations and delegate counts, it could change the pledged delegate amount and give her a final win in another critical swing state.I really expect we’ll see a move like this once they are able to ride the wave of winning these states for a day or two. I don’t know if it will work, but any talk of her bowing out gracefully, for the good of the party, etc, etc, ended last night and could quite possibly play into her campaign. It instantly begs a, "you win by winning and letting people have their say, not by coasting" counter argument. And Obama does not want to find himself on the losing side of that argument.

    Personally, I’m rather neutral on who wins this nomination, but I would say that trying to argue it out on paper will NOT help the democrats come November – whether it is Clinton arguing that super-delegates should decide (a non-starter) OR Obama arguing that everyone should just fold now and embrace him, Florida and Michigan voters be damned, and let’s all just be happy. He needs to win by winning it. Until then, all of this angst about when the Clinton campaign will "fold" (or how to convince her to do so) is way premature.Ask John McCain who now has the benefit of actually saying he WON his nomination.

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