Obama's "Math" Finally Catches Team Clinton

by: tremayne

Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 09:52

After February Sen. Obama led Sen. Clinton by almost 150 pledged delegates. Given the states remaining, various "best case scenarios" offered by Chris Bowers and others had Clinton narrowing that to about 100 by June 3. She didn't do that but did pretty well. As of now, DCW has Sen. Obama holding a 126 pledged delegate lead over Sen. Clinton. Here's a quick recap:

January (-MI/FL): Obama  63,  Clinton  48

Super Tuesday:   Obama 847, Clinton 834

Rest of Feb.:    Obama 287.5, Clinton 166.5

March:               Obama 210,  Clinton 205

April-June:         Obama 262,  Clinton 304

Clinton finished strong which most of the aforementioned scenarios predicted given pro-Clinton states such as Penn., WV, Kentucky and Puerto Rico. She came up short in March (OH, RI, TX, etc.) but even larger margins there would only have narrowed the final deficit to about 100.

Delegate-wise, Sen. Obama won the race by essentially tying Sen. Clinton on Super Duper Tuesday (can we go back to just regular-sized Super Tuesdays or smaller?) and then going on his "rest of Feb. run." 121 of his 126 pledged delegate margin occured in this period. And incidentally, only 4 of those 11 contests were caucuses which benefitted Obama by a margin of +48. The other +73 pledged delegates in this period came from primary states.

For those of us following the math, this long March-June period has been tough because the final result was (almost) preordained by Jan-Feb. results. But now it is over.

tremayne :: Obama's "Math" Finally Catches Team Clinton

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Exellent presentation of the information! (0.00 / 0)
Clear, succinct and to the point ...

I was saying to a friend yesterday... (4.00 / 2)
That to an extent, I think Obama only won the race because of a serendipitous calendar.  If the April/June states were in late February, Clinton probably would have ended up the nominee.  That's not to discount the masterful campaign run by Obama, but to an extent blindsiding Hillary in so many caucus states early was the most tactically brilliant thing his campaign did.  After that he had the good luck to have a string of states that all favored him.  

I'd actually say that post IN/NC he's been a flaccid primary campaigner, and really left some delegates on the table.  That said, he'd probably only have been able to win another 5 or so if he had tried harder.  

Don't you think .. (4.00 / 1)
he would have tried harder in SD .. if the nomination was in doubt? ..  

[ Parent ]
yes (0.00 / 0)

If SD was anything close to a swing state against McCain then he probably would have spent more time there. See this map by kos

It shows that Montana is a possibility for Obama vs. McCain but not SD. They went into general election mode some time ago as far as allocating ad dollars and Obama time goes.

[ Parent ]
Of course... (4.00 / 1)
I think if Indiana was where Wisconsin turned out to be in the primary calendar he'd have won it as well.  Texas too, for that matter.  I think those are the only three states after super Tuesday that the outcome of was ever really in serious doubt though.  

Still, if post super-Tuesday looked like this:

West Virginia
Puerto Rico

This would have been a very, very different race.  

[ Parent ]
Obama plays chess to McCain's checkers (4.00 / 1)
I was at the Troy,MI rally on Monday.  I pondered why Obama was here in MI and not in SD securing a win for tomorrow night.  But I watched a very articulate and savvy President speak on Monday.   Why was Obama here in MI instead of avoiding a loss in SD?  Because nailing down MI in November is way more important than getting 2 more delegates out of SD.  Obama is playing chess, McCain keeps playing checkers and from the looks of McCain's speech last night, extremely bad checkers.  Once again, Obama proves his superior judgement and organizing skills in deftly choosing how to deploy his limited resources.  This judgement will serve America well when he is President.  

We now have but one job, help Obama get the votes to become the next president of the United States.  

[ Parent ]
then again (0.00 / 0)
Maybe Edwards would have stayed in it and won WV, KY.  

New Jersey politics at Blue Jersey.

[ Parent ]
I just saw the QH's ... (0.00 / 0)
dear God .. no Sam Nunn on the ticket .. that would be the worst ... I don't care that it would make Russert and Broder giggly like Ralphie with his Red Ryder BB gun

Overall, the contested primary served the Democratic party well (4.00 / 2)
Organizing in all 50 states, testing, honing, refining, countering, adjusting, all of it helped not only Obama, but Clinton and the Democratic party.  Clinton lost the nomination because of her Iraq war vote.  Had she taken the principled stand and voted against IWR, Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee for President.  Instead, she took the calculated position and this immediatedly gave an opponent like Obama an opening.  If Clinton would have sewn up the nomination on Super Tuesday, I believe she would have been an incredibly weak nominee.  She may have prevailed in November but the Democratic party would have probably fared very poorly down ticket.  Clinton did help Obama become a much, much better candidate and it appears that we are well positioned for November.  Had Clinton gotten the nomination, I also believe she benefitted from the challenging and grueling primary campaign.  
However, hopefully two major reforms will come out of the primary process.  1.  the primary doesn't start until March and 2.  Keep the proportional delegate method but add a bonus to the winner, instead of this 8/7 crap, we apportion 10/5 or some like that.

exactly (4.00 / 2)
live by triangulation die by triangulation.

[ Parent ]
It's not over... (0.00 / 0)
...Hillary is still throwing her tantrums and trying to hold the party hostage...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

We must form Pick Edwards ! (0.00 / 0)
We have until July to drive a pick Edwards campaign. Open Left can start it, that would please me, or we could get carter or Gore to start it, a large group to kick it off. Chris why don't you start the ball rolling.

Edwards could drive this win into a generational change.

Dont let Obama be left alone with this decision. This is OUR fight. We helped choose Obama, now lets get behind him. We didnt get into the for for the primary, this is for changing America.

Sign on NOW.

lets see the Diaries, lets see22


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

Changing planes sorry for the half post (0.00 / 0)
lets see diary discussion and recomndations.
Someone want ask the members about endorsing Edwards? or running a poll to endorse?

Lets get active on this, and not let pressure build on Obama to do what we dont need.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
priorities (0.00 / 0)
It seems to me Obama's number one priority is to bring back the highest percentage of Hillary supporters possible (and to make sure they vote in Nov.). I'm not saying he should pick Hillary (maybe, but while bringing in her supporters she may help Republicans).

If he can solve the problem of ardent Hillary Clinton supporters without giving the VP to Clinton or someone ardent Hillary supporters would be enthusiastic about then I'm all for considering others, including Edwards.

[ Parent ]
An interesting hypothetical (4.00 / 2)
Looking back on the race, its interesting to think what might have happened if Clinton had fared better on Super Tuesday and where we might be now were that the case.  Even one week before ST, it looked like Clinton would perform much, much better than she eventually did.  Obama closed that gap and ended up amassing a large enough pledged delegate lead to be considered a clear winner, despite the closest race we have ever seen.  But if Clinton had done better on ST, we really might have ended up with a situation in which Obama's lead in pledged delegates was only around 40-50 and she had a clear lead in the popular vote.  We may think things are problematic now, but that scenario would have been truly disastrous for the unity of the party, and we really only narrowly escaped it.

John McCain: Health insurance for low income children represents an "unfunded liability."

Maybe the Clinton plan B was based on a potentially favorable ending... (0.00 / 0)
The calendar over the last month or so really did favor her and maybe she felt if she could just outperform expectations and maybe win in an Oregon or an NC or an SD she might just be able to sway enough superdelegates to get the nomination.

I am just grasping at straws at this point as to why she would do so much damage to the party with the math so entirely stacked against her, especially after early March.  I suppose a couple of upset wins in April, May, and June might have been enough to make the superdelegates sit on their hands even longer.  It seems unlikely and other than Clinton not dropping out when Chris and co. said she would, they got it close to right each primary and the end results played out much as it appeared it would back in March.

In the end perhaps from the outside the appearance of defeat was more obvious than within the campaign.  You would think they would be more on top of the likely scenarios than the bloggers here, but then again the campaign has been so tone deaf and incompetent in their strategy that may be they really are sitting around waiting for Obama to be assassinated.

NM on Super Tuesday (4.00 / 1)
NM held its Democratic presidential primary preference early this year because Bill Richardson thought he could make it to at least that date and win here at home. That didn't happen, so look for NM Democrats to move the Presidential preference vote back to coincide with the remaining primary races.

Had NM (actually, Bill Richardson) left its original date in place we would have been part of last nights finale. It would have driven voting through the roof for all the Democratic candidates. Instead we got a small turnout and that may have hurt McCamley down south in CD-02, but we will never know.

I thinks its very important for Democrats to begin the process of updating the nomination process. Unless a few of the larger states move back primary dates I rather doubt any meaningful change can be made to the process.

Recall that today marks the 40th anniversary of Bobby Kennedy's assassination AFTER winning the California primary. That win, had Kennedy lived, would have changed the entire dynamic of the nomination process. It would not have been possible if South Dakota and Montana were the only states up for grabs.

Each state wanting to have its say so early in the process makes it difficult for any state after Mega Super Duper Tuesday to have an effect on the outcome.  

Going into Super Tuesday (0.00 / 0)
I remember on the run-up to Feb 5, the "smart money" qestion was if Obama could lose by less than 100 delegates.  If he could, he could tie it up in the rest of February and then we'd be off to the races.

When he came out of Super Tuesday with a narrow win, those of us who could handicap the rest of it saw that he'd pull 120-150 ahead, and Hillary would probably never be able to erase that lead (unless there really was some bombshell piece of dirt for her Opposition Research to dig up).

When Reverend Wright failed to stick, it was over right there.  And everything after was viewed with increasing frustration as we saw Hillary's campaign explicitly working to drive up Obama's negatives with Democrats.  She wasn't going to win, but she was going to do a lot of damage on the way out.

The biggest surprise, after Super Tuesday, was that there really weren't any surprises.  Everything went down pretty much as could have been predicted on Feb 6.  In fact, the leaked Obama spreadsheet stayed dead accurate until West Virginia.


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