Finding Closure

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 13:14


I agree with Markos that the outcome of the nomination campaign is no longer in doubt. It is a position I articulated two weeks ago in an article entitled "Delegate Math Myth and Fact.". Here is a quick summary of the argument:

  1. Obama currently leads by 161 pledged delegates, 1415-1254, with 566 remaining.

  2. In the remaining states, current polling averages and analogous states project a pledged delegate split of Clinton 299-267 Obama. Clinton only gains 32 delegates, and that projection continues to drop as Obama presses his resource advantage. (Note: polling averages in the link are slightly out of date. 299-267 reflects current averages due to Obama improvement in Pennsylvania).

  3. Clinton currently leads among superdelegates by a count of 245-221. However, when one looks into more detail on those numbers, her superdelegate lead is actually erased, and the count is 268-268. So, she doesn't gain any ground among superdelegates. (Note: superdelegate details in the link are slightly out of date. 268-268 represents current totals, due to endorsements over the past week.)

  4. Facing, at best, a deficit of 129 delegates, the only remaining path for Clinton to make up the deficit comes from undecided superdelegates (about 250-260 remain), Edwards delegates (either 18 or 31 remain), Florida and Michigan. However, the Obama campaign holds veto power over Florida and Michigan through the credentials committee, and so the only way for Clinton to make up enough ground in Florida and Michigan is for the Obama campaign to let her do so. Not bloody likely.

  5. Thus, the Clinton campaign will need to make up at least 90 delegates entirely from the remaining superdelegates and Edwards delegates. This will require winning at least two-thirds of the remaining superdelegates, which seems extraordinarily unlikely given the long-term superdelegate endorsement trend.

So yes, the outcome of the campaign is not really in doubt. However, what is in doubt is when the nomination campaign will end in the mind of the electorate and the media. At what point does it become common wisdom that Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee? To phrase it a slightly different way: even though the outcome is not in doubt, at what point can we reach closure for the nomination campaign? In the extended entry, I provide the key elements to reaching closure, and an approximate date for when it will all be achieved.

Chris Bowers :: Finding Closure
First, two key elements are needed to end the nomination campaign in a way that brings closure:

  • The campaign cannot end after a Clinton victory. At least on an intuitive or emotional level, it should be obvious to all but the most Kool-aid addicted Obama supporters that Clinton cannot drop out immediately following a primary state victory. Granted, anyone can actually drop out anytime s/he wishes, but we are talking about achieving closure here, not about technicalities. On an emotional level, it is far more difficult to accept your favorite candidate withdrawing from the campaign after s/he wins an election than after s/he loses an election. As such, if we want to achieve closure, we cannot expect, or really even ask, for Clinton to drop out of the campaign following a primary state victory.

    According to these parameters, there are only three realistic dates for Clinton to drop out: after a defeat in the Pennsylvania primary (not likely, but the margin is down to 6%), after the Indiana and North Carolina primaries (Clinton leads in Indiana, but only by 6-7%), or June 3rd following the South Dakota and Montana primaries (both of which seem likely). On the other three primary dates, May 13th (West Virginia), May 20th (Kentucky and Oregon) and June 1st (Puerto Rico), at least one large Clinton victory appears imminent.

  • The campaign can end when Obama reaches a delegate milestone. If Obama fails to achieve either the April 22nd victory in Pennsylvania or the May 6th sweep, either of which would functionally act as knockout blows according to common wisdom, closure can also be achieved if Obama is able to reach one of the three major delegate milestones. The three milestones are 1,627 pledged delegates (which Obama is guaranteed to achieve on or before May 20th), 2,024 total delegates outside of Florida and Michigan (which will allow Obama to dictate the terms of Michigan and Florida, and which Obama is on pace to achieve sometime in early June) or 2,208 delegates (which no one is on pace to achieve until some sort of deal is reached on Florida and Michigan). The Obama campaign can also credibly claim victory if a popular vote victory is assured, but given the different ways that popular votes are counted, that might be difficult to ever achieve. Even if Clinton is able to win the popular vote in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and one of South Dakota and Montana, closure can alternatively be achieved by Obama locking up the nomination in the popular mindset by reaching one of these three milestones.

Now, given that this is the most hotly contested nomination contest since the 1912 Republican presidential nomination, it is more than likely that both of these conditions need to be met in order to achieve real closure for the party. It will take quite a bit to convince even the majority of Clinton supporters that the nomination campaign is over. However, since an Obama win in Pennsylvania is unlikely, since Clinton can still look forward to West Virginia, Kentucky and Puerto Rico even if she is swept on May 6th, and since Obama will not reach the first milestone until (probably) May 20th, it actually seems unlikely that we can meet both conditions before June 3rd.  Still, if, in the first week of June, Obama can win both South Dakota and Montana (probable), and if he can reach 2,024 by June 7th (again, probable), that might just do the trick. At that point, Clinton could conceivably leave the campaign on Monday, June 9th, with even her closest supporters feeling as though all chances are lost. Obama will have the requisite delegates, be coming off a victory, and no more voting will be left. Not many options to turn to at that point.

It may not be popular to say this, but not only does it seem likely that Clinton will not drop out before June 3rd, but it also doesn't seem like a good idea for her to do so. Achieving the sort of closure necessary for a healed, unified party for the general election will require Clinton supporters feeling as though they were allowed to fight until there were no more realistic options remaining. I firmly believe that healing and unifying the party will be quicker and easier if the campaign comes to a slow, gradual conclusion rather than a quick knockout on either April 22nd or May 6th, or a massive superdelegate swing sometime later in May. To use an analogy, the pain will be less with a gradual withdrawal via the patch as Obama slowly builds on his advantage, then if we attempt to abruptly cold turkey on an unannounced date. In fact, it strikes me as quite possible that the party will be almost instantly unified following a mid-June Clinton withdrawal if events between now and then slowly, rather than rapidly, build the case that Clinton cannot win the nomination. In order to achieve the closure necessary for unity, Clinton supporters need to become convinced that there is no way she can win the nomination, and that will not happen all at once. Build slowly over time, and by mid-June we will be ready to unify behind Obama and beat McCain in the general election.  


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Finding Closure | 52 comments
Sad Fact (0.00 / 0)
The campaign will end when the media has extracted all they can out of the story. Conflict sells.

i agree (4.00 / 1)
Not to dump on Chris' analysis, which is really awesome. But I think an important component here is when the media will start treating Hil the way they treated Dean "post-scream".

My guess is that "Hillary is a crazy party-suiciding monster and we're going to our latest pundit to hear some more adjectives..." is a better-selling meme than "Hillary is trying hard but it's not going to happen, now in other news..."

In other words, the media are going to push things towards June, along with the other more quantitative factors Chris notes.


[ Parent ]
great analysis (4.00 / 2)
And I agree, there's really no way Clinton drops out before all of the contests are finished. Since she clearly believes it's acceptable to try and flip pledged delegates, the big lead Obama has in this category doesn't mean much to her.

However, I do hope for a miracle Obama victory in PA, even if it doesn't force her to drop out. At least it would kill the "Obama can't win big states" meme.  


You knew it was coming... (0.00 / 0)
<snark>
To use an analogy, the pain will be less with a gradual withdrawal via the patch as Obama slowly builds on his advantage, then if we attempt to abruptly cold turkey on an unannounced date.
I thought you were against residual troops. </snark>

Another factor.... (3.33 / 6)
A factor you didn't mention is money.  Sen. Clinton's fundraising in March was pretty anemic (approx. $20 million, most available for primaries) compared to Sen. Obama's.  Clinton's failures to meet benchmarks in her path to the nomination (blowout in PA, win in IN, close loss in NC, etc.), will be enhanced by her increasing difficulty in maintaining a viable campaign (paid staff, media buys, GOTV efforts, superdelegate "encouragement", etc.)

I can easily see a "phase change" in this campaign if:
1) Obama loses PA by < 8-10% AND
2) Obama loses IN by < 5% AND
3) Obama wins NC by 12-15% or more
This triple failure against expectations for the Clinton campaign could precipitate a large swing in uncommitted SDs to Obama (eg., the 7 NC Dem Reps rumored ready to commit to Obama) and simultaneously an evaporation of funding for Clinton's campaign.  Ouch.

IMO, Clinton could exit gracefully in a scenario like the one I outlined -- she could suspend her campaign and negotiate a large presence at the Denver convention.  The 45%+ Clinton delegates there plus a graceful cessation of hostilities could guarantee Clinton an important role in the future of the Democratic party.  I'm not sure she would withdraw so gracefully, but it would be almost impossible for her to present a viable winning strategy at that point.


money? (4.00 / 2)
By the time North Carolina is over she won't need very much money for the remaining contests --and she'll also have expected big victories in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico on the horizon.

Barring a string of unexpected losses, I don't see any reason for Hillary to drop out before the convention.  Heck, even when Jimmy Carter had a strong majority of the delegates, Ted Kennedy went all the way to the convention to try to get people to change their mind.  You have to admit that Hillary's odds now are a lot better than Kennedy's odds were then!



[ Parent ]
Kennedy wanted to avoid a Senate bloodbath (0.00 / 0)
Kennedy started the race in 1979 and stayed in it in 1980 in significant part to try to avoid the loss of large numbers of Senate seats in an overwhelming defeat of Carter.  His concerns were justified; Reagan's win swept in beaucoup new Republican Senators.

If Clinton has really persuaded herself that the Rust Belt and the Midwest are so racist that Obama cannot win, her motive for staying in the hunt may parallel Kennedy's motive - in her case, trying to save the presidency from a third Dubya term or worse.


[ Parent ]
I see her suspending as well (0.00 / 0)
which would allow her to wait (most likely in vain but you never know) for the Obama campaign implosion.

[ Parent ]
Money not a factor (0.00 / 0)
She can easily raise enough money to run some ads in the upcoming states. She will lag way behind in field and organization...and she'll be outspent 4 or 5 to one, but she can certainly go on the air.

Also - the Clinton campaign has two surrogates (Bill and Hillary) to Obama's one surrogate. That's a big advantage in free media.

Finally - if they launch a controversial ad, then they can gobble up free media with a very limited ad buy.


[ Parent ]
almost three to one (0.00 / 0)
Agree on surrogate point, and then some.

Chelsea's recent visit to W.Va. got plenty of press coverage. Hillary, then Bill, then Chelsea all visited the state recently. Obama came once, as well.

But, that's a 3 to 1 advantage for her campaign. He's got no high profile surrogate generating Obama headlines like Bill and Chelsea's visits generated Clinton headlines.

They call me Clem, Clem Guttata. Come visit wild, wonderful West Virginia Blue


[ Parent ]
why did this get troll rated??? (0.00 / 0)
0 is NOT for if you disagree with a theory.  

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
It's very simple. (4.00 / 1)
It ends when she ends it.  I would think that even an avid Clinton supporter would accept the ending when Hillary tells them it is over and time to unite.  Without that statement by her, it will not be accepted by many, no matter what the math, no matter how slowly or rapidly the obvious appears.  It is up to her, which is why it may become necessary to make it very clear to her at some point that there will be political consequences for her in the future if she persists.  

political consequences? (4.00 / 1)
She is Senator of New York.  Do you think the people of New York are going to vote her out of office because of some threat from party bigwigs?   Did party bigwigs threaten Ted Kennedy with political consequences when he took his fight all the way to the convention, in spite of the fact that Carter had a majority of the delegates?

[ Parent ]
Her standing in the Senate (0.00 / 0)
could be bartered.  And of course a strong challenge in the next Primary backed by a national movement (though more unlikely because it is so far away).

[ Parent ]
I don't think so (0.00 / 0)
Things would have to get a lot worse before the party establishment would turn on her like that.

The truth about Saxby Chambliss

[ Parent ]
The Dem process is faulty and will cost us the GE (4.00 / 1)
The democratic nominating process, makes no sense. 60,000 democrats are registered in WY, yet only 6,000 voted in the Dem caucus. Winner take all primaries prepeare the candidate for the GE. There are no caucus and all 50 states vote. How can this be considered a fair election if MI and FL dont take part?? How can Mr. Change Obama not care about FL and MI??? Does anyone not see this??

I see it (4.00 / 3)
... just differently.

I'm an Obama supporter by default at this point, because he's going to be the nominee (as Chris explained above) and because Hillary Clinton has never really excited me as a candidate. Honestly, when I voted "Uncommitted" in Michigan, I wasn't thinking of Edwards or Obama. I was thinking of Russ Feingold.

All that's just to explain that I'm not a rabid supporter of either candidate.

The nominating process doesn't make a lot of sense, no. I would argue that we benefit from that. If you want a national primary identical to the GE, with winner-take-all states, then that'll be great practice for the candidates. They'll have very pretty TV ads and do lots of debates.

And if all you care about is getting a president elected with a narrow plurality, that's just fine. But I want more. The long primary season and the caucuses in it force the candidates to spend a lot of time in states they would otherwise ignore, one by one, investing in the states, building voter lists, and building the Democratic brand. That could be the difference we need to elect half-a-dozen more Democrats to the Senate and pick up another 30 House seats. That could help in state legislatures and county commissions and city councils. Having two incredibly popular Democrats camping out in every state one by one helps the party.

You say that in Wyoming, 60,000 Democrats are registered and only 6,000 voted. I say that Obama and Clinton motivated 6,000 activists in WYOMING to come out for them, and those 6,000 people will all knock on at least 100 doors in October. They're excited because for once, national Democrats cared about them. Will it be enough to win Wyoming? Maybe not. But that kind of affect could be enough to win Missouri, Virginia, West Virginia, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Iowa, maybe one CD in Nebraska, Ohio, Colorado... If we picked up half of these purple states, John Kerry would be president now.

And, if I might be so bold, I'll say that if John Kerry and Howard Dean had to fight it out until June in every primary contest in the country, Kerry would be president today. Instead, the bare minimum number of states were won to become nominee, and the bare minimum number of states were contested in the GE. And we lost.

A long, perhaps undemocratic process is good for building the party, and really does reflect the choice of most Democrats, if polling and attempts at popular vote counts are accurate. If you've got a more democratic idea that brings the same party-building benefits, please, let us all know.

Now, as my never-ending comment continues, you talked about Michigan and Florida. Living in Michigan, I know that my state took a big gamble, and one that I opposed. It was a big gamble, and we lost. It's not fair, no, but that doesn't make the process and the nominee selected any less legitimate. There are lots of unfair and undemocratic institutions in America, and those are the rules you work under and try to change them. But Michigan and Florida knew the rules and they broke them, and to change the rules now is also unfair to the states that did what they were supposed to do.

Obama cares about those states, and I'll bet that he visits Detroit and Miami 40 times each in September and October. As a disenfranchised voter, I'm definitely not voting for McCain in the general over this, and the Clinton supporters I know aren't either. It sucks for us, but in my short life, I've dealt with bigger injustices than this in my country.


[ Parent ]
Practice (0.00 / 0)
If you want a national primary identical to the GE, with winner-take-all states, then that'll be great practice for the candidates.

It might be practice, but I don't think it would be useful for picking a candidate who's more likely to win the general. In a winner-take-all primary, there would be immense focus on states like California, New York, and Texas that are essentially irrelevant in the general because they're thoroughly Republican or thoroughly Democratic and aren't going to change unless there's a landslide, in which case they still don't affect the outcome.


[ Parent ]
Right (0.00 / 0)
And I didn't mean to imply otherwise if I did. I mean, if winning in the primary were any indication of how a state would go in the GE, then John Kerry should have had a 46-state landslide. It's a completely different game.

[ Parent ]
You go to war with the system and party you have (0.00 / 0)
Not the one you want.

The Clinton camp signed on to the rules.  They knew what they were.  They just didn't think Obama could out think and out organize and out fundraise them.  They were arrogant, in a word, and they let down their supporters, you included.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.


[ Parent ]
Excellent tracking Chris (0.00 / 0)
Thanks for digging into the numbers and keeping things honest.

Meanwhile Obama grabs another super delegate (0.00 / 0)
Not exactly (0.00 / 0)
She's endorsing Obama, which is good, but says her convention vote will probably go to the winner of the Montana primary, so we can't count her as an Obama superdelegate yet.

[ Parent ]
Michigan / Florida (0.00 / 0)
Hillary and her supporters are clinging fiercely to the delusion that Michigan and Florida are going to get sorted out in some way that benefits her campaign.  Check out the rabid Hillary sites and you'll see that they are now flying a flag that has only 48 stars, as a way of expressing their anger over the 'disenfranchisement' of those two states.  As long as they have some hope that they can pull off a coup at the convention and seat those delegates, she will stay in the race.

Funny (0.00 / 0)
She doesn't seem to have any problem disenfranchising voters in states that have already voted:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics...

The Clintons trying to have it both ways? Say it ain't so!


[ Parent ]
You must have missed Obama Delegate Training (0.00 / 0)
From Obama's Delegate FAQ:

"Would it be inappropriate to lobby a Clinton delegate to change?  

Not at all! Again, this is pat of the process and part of increasing the Obama Delegate allocation going into the next round. Be prepared to lobby other's to join the Obama Team, and our Movement for Change."

http://obama-literature.google...


[ Parent ]
Delusions (0.00 / 0)
We were deluded:

We thought that the Democratic party was a party of ideas, fairness, and inclusion.

We thought that even if the party leadership strayed from the path of counting every vote, the rank and file wouldn't fall into line against principle, like so many spineless Republican house members.

We thought that we would never see someone touting the notion of popular will and simultaneously continuing to suppress the voices of two large states - at least not in the Democratic party.

We thought that the Democratic party was a big tent, that included conservative Democrats, and that there was a "reality based community" in the Democratic web, rather than a bunch of Limbaugh and Coulter style propagandists.

And so we were deluded.


[ Parent ]
Let's leave aside Florida and Michigan (0.00 / 0)
We all know the arguments for and against counting FL and MI in whichever variation is popular this week. Let's not discuss that - there hasn't really been anything new added to the discussion in the past six weeks there.

Instead, I'd like to hear how conservative Democrats have been shut out. 'Shut out' is pretty emotive language. It implies that they've been disenfranchised. I've seen no evidence of that.

Sure, maybe the conservatives who voted for Clinton won't get the candidate they want, but neither will the liberals who voted for Clinton, or the moderates who voted for Edwards.

That doesn't constitute disenfranchisement, unless you count 'not getting your way all the time' as disenfranchisement. If the numbers aren't there, your candidate doesn't win. That's how elections work.

And I would add that Clinton hasn't run significantly ahead of Obama amongst conservatives everywhere. In many of the early contests their scores amongst conservatives matched the picture in the state as a whole, and it's a fair bet that Obama cleaned up amongst conservatives in the West.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog


[ Parent ]
Shut out? (0.00 / 0)
I said:

"We thought that the Democratic party was a big tent, that included conservative Democrats, and that there was a "reality based community" in the Democratic web, rather than a bunch of Limbaugh and Coulter style propagandists."

By this I mean that I see a wedge being driven in the party, through certain prominent internet bloggers, Air America hosts, etc., in which conservative democrats (eg, Blue Dogs, Clinton supporters) are demonized by self-styled "progressives."  Like Michigan and Florida, this topic has been debated perhaps to death, and I'm not sure that we can get any further with it.  I personally am disappointed that the promise of a vital Democratic community developing through the net and radio will not materialize, but rather that some self-styled progressive self-promoting "leaders" are purveyors of hatred and demagogery against other Democrats.


[ Parent ]
Let's leave aside Florida and Michigan (0.00 / 0)
We all know the arguments for and against counting FL and MI in whichever variation is popular this week. Let's not discuss that - there hasn't really been anything new added to the discussion in the past six weeks there.

Instead, I'd like to hear how conservative Democrats have been shut out. 'Shut out' is pretty emotive language. It implies that they've been disenfranchised. I've seen no evidence of that.

Sure, maybe the conservatives who voted for Clinton won't get the candidate they want, but neither will the liberals who voted for Clinton, or the moderates who voted for Edwards.

That doesn't constitute disenfranchisement, unless you count 'not getting your way all the time' as disenfranchisement. If the numbers aren't there, your candidate doesn't win. That's how elections work.

And I would add that Clinton hasn't run significantly ahead of Obama amongst conservatives everywhere. In many of the early contests their scores amongst conservatives matched the picture in the state as a whole, and it's a fair bet that Obama cleaned up amongst conservatives in the West.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog


[ Parent ]
Oops. (0.00 / 0)
Is there any way to delete this?

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog

[ Parent ]
heheh, you said "suppress the votes" (0.00 / 0)
tell it to Harold Ickes and Hillary "read the pledged delegate fine print" Clinton. really, i mean, if you want to talk reality.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
So we have to destroy our chances to win (0.00 / 0)
so we can loose fully healed? It reminds me of the attitude we had towards villages in Vietnam. We had to destroy them to save them from the VC. If Obama was for some reason NOT chosen as our candidate my desperate need to take back the White house from these Repiglican lunatics will far out weigh any resentment I may feel over any perceived injustice as to how Hillary won it. I will no matter what devote every bone in my body to defeat McSame. I think this kind of thinking is to "Logical". Do I have to remind everyone here that REAL people, Men Woman and Children are being killed and maimed every day while we debate who's feelings are gonna be hurt in a primary!

I think he's practicing (0.00 / 0)
For the big moment.

Or trying to send Hillary a message.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.


[ Parent ]
Instead of finding closure, (4.00 / 1)
how about finding courage to let democracy happen? It's okay, and it doesn't hurt to allow voters to have their say. Unless the game has changed, nobody wins unless someone reaches the magic number.

Not everyone can suck it up and accept democratic results. (0.00 / 0)
Especially supporters of the loser.

[ Parent ]
win Pennsylvania for closure (0.00 / 0)
Obama is already within the margin of error with Clinton in Pennsylvania in a number of polls. The best way to bring this to closure is for him to go all in and try to win Pennsylvania outright. This would seem to be quite possible if he would go negative in a factual way and flood the airwaves with ads about Clinton's lies about Bosnia, Northern Ireland, the family leave act, S-chip, and trade. Combine those attacks with ads about his own policy positions and ads linking McCain to Bush on Iraq and the economy. It could be enough to win the state and all but force Clinton out of the race. Now in reality she would declare that Pennsylvania is another state that doesn't matter but the media would start treating her like Huckabee at that point and the superdelegates would have no reason not to declare their support for Obama.

McCain will beat Obama with ease in the general election (2.00 / 2)
Far too many first lines Journalist, across the spectrum have admitted that all those "fly over states" and those Red States that have never voted Democrat will not vote for Obama in the general election. Obama's lead is technical, not real, explained a little more next, and moreover can change at the Convention. MSNBC, CNN, FOX, all are on a rant that is biased for Obama in terms of time and issues. The reason Hillary is bashed in a continuous basis reflects the reality that Hillary is the front runner and has the best potential to be an extraordinary president. Particularly one the Media and the Neo-Con's don't want.  

The Mainstream Media has gone charting and pole crazy, anyone with the sense of challenge and ethics can see through every suggested pole number and suggested delegate endorsement. Especially, any endorsements can change dramatically at the convention. Many out there understand the huge cross over support that not only is in terms of Republican instant cross overs that likely will not vote for Obama,  is very thrilling right now. Especially all those that are derivatives from Republican supporters from non-profit institutions, Conservative Think Tanks, and very special interest groups, and yes those much gerrymandered demographics that have been structured over the decades...

All not only crossing over but writing checks to aid Obama to defeat Hillary in the nomination. It's all very fascinating and here, Mainstream Media refereeing the voting game, along with Obama and his can't wait rant. Interesting enough Obama is waiting for the bottom to fall out for his campaign. But so far the Media is truly avoiding the Reverend Wright thing. If that was Hillary's situation she would be driven of the air wave's quick time dead in the voting sea, no chance there. But, Barack Hussein Obama seems to have weathered the storm. Amazing, no expected. The Media loves this guy Obama is easy to lose in the general election. McCain knows it and McCain has the audacity of hope and trusts the American Democratic electorate to believe in a true smuck that shouldn't even be in the running but here he is folks Barack Hussein Obama loved by our Media for now. Wait just wait till the general election, the media will switch on Obama to preserve the system along with Bush and Company.          


Sounds right to me (4.00 / 2)
PA is looking closer and closer, but I don't think Obama has a chance to win it. It's gonna be like Ohio, which seemed tantalizing but wasn't in the cards.  And remember that Obama doesn't always close strong - in Texas his small lead evaporated in the wake of the 3AM/Nafta nonsense.

I agree (0.00 / 0)
This is more likely.  Obama may, in polling, seem to get within the Margin Of Error (MOE), but once the vote comes, will still probably be around 10-12 behind.

[ Parent ]
national polls may have impact (4.00 / 1)
as long as they are close it doesn't much matter and SDs and momentum frame the story but with Rass up 10; Gallup up 8 and RCP up 7; if he should pull away in the national polls it will take a toil on the clintons and their prospects and the media back story.

Great analysis, but you're wrong on one thing...... (0.00 / 0)
I think your one wrong argument is contained here:  "...not only does it seem likely that Clinton will not drop out before June 3rd, but it also doesn't seem like a good idea for her to do so."

If Hillary were to drop out before your predicted date, that's going to give her supporters closure no less than if she waits.  A candidate's supporters always hate it when their candidate drops out, but they accept it and move on pretty quickly because THEY HAVE TO.

For the best recent example, see John Edwards:  when he dropped out, his supporters on the whole weren't remotely close to throwing in the towel, and they certainly were emotionally further from doing so than Hillary's supporters, on the whole, are now.  But after a brief grieving period, or even DURING that period, they very quietly and methodically went about the business of deciding who to support between Obama and Clinton.  Those in states that already voted were forced to decide by their respective states' primaries/caucuses taking place.  Those in the 10 jurisdictions yet to vote still have time to decide.  And a few never did pick one between Obama and Hillary and will simply support with the nominee after the fight is over.  But they all accepted quickly their candidate dropping out, because there was no other option.


Why do I have this feeling that.... (2.00 / 2)
...if the tables were turned and Obama was this close to Clinton no one would ask him to drop out so we can start the general election. Why? Because most bloggers don't like Clinton and they do like Obama.

Clinton in '08. Or give Carter a 2nd term. Vote for Obama!

Turning tables (4.00 / 4)
If the tables were turned and Obama was this far behind Clinton, then the media would have been treating him like Huckabee for some time now. They wouldn't have put up with the silly, inconsistent, and increasingly desperate arguments the Clinton campaign has been making if they had been coming from any candidate other than Her Inevitability.

[ Parent ]
One State that (4.00 / 1)
isn't getting much attention is Oregon.  Probably because the polls are so old.  Clinton seems to think it's in play as she and Bill are working it, but I think when more recent polls come out we will see Obama with a rather large lead in Oregon.  Big wins in NC and Oregon will negate anything that happens in Indiana, Kentucky, and W. Virginia.  But please, Pennsylvania, vote for Obama and help speed the process along!!!

It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners -- Albert Camus


Doesn't really matter (0.00 / 0)
Hillary and Obama are too close on the issues for this to really matter.

The die hard angry clinton supporters are also the most die hard democrats.  They vote for clinton and democrats for professional reasons rather than social ones.  Thus this "divide" does not really exist.  

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Forgotten possibility: (0.00 / 0)
She could drop out right now.  She lost Mississippi in the last major primary.

Of course, that won't happen.  Nor would it happen after a Hawaii or North Carolina loss, since the idea is still that, being forgone conclusions, those states don't matter.  The only loss that would prompt a drop-out would be a huge upset, like Pennsylvania.  I don't even think losing Indiana and NC would be enough.

I don't think we've figured out the end-game yet.


Be gentle with me, Chris! (0.00 / 0)
Or, better idea:

Re-enfranchise FL and MI. Then we can talk. You want Obama's nomination to appear legitimate, right?

I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD.  


More Sexist Drivel (1.33 / 3)
Achieving the sort of closure necessary for a healed, unified party for the general election will require Clinton supporters feeling as though they were allowed to fight until there were no more realistic options remaining.

Let's let the little girls think they have a win, then they'll feel better when we kick them out.

TRANSLATION: They're so stupid they won't know and won't care what hit them, then we can have our secret (so-called progressive club back.

You all remind me of every grade school boy I ever competed against - and won. And you are so transparently afraid that HRC will win, you can't stand it.


You're joking, right Chris? (0.00 / 0)
These ridiculous speculative scenarios are getting longer than the campaign.  Why can't you just let people vote? It's still legal.  

Finding Closure | 52 comments
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