Wednesday, May 21, 2008

THE NEW MATH FOR CLINTON, AN OLD HORSE RACE FOR OBAMA

Barack Obama gave a speech last night which is typical of Obama and the twisted view of reality he likes to put forward. The essence of his speech is that he is now less than 100 delegates shy of the 2026 he needs for the nomination and therefore the nomination was now "in reach".

People like to refer to certain aspects of the nominating process as "a horse race". I don't know how many races Senator Obama has seen but every day at tracks all across the country, there are horses leading in the stretch, the finish line within reach, and they lose. Sometimes convincingly by open lengths, sometimes closer. But they lose. And they lose because they weren't the best horse. It happens every day. Sometimes the race is close because the best horse is given a handicap and carries a lot more weight than the other horse -- enough to slow it down but not enough to stop it.

Clinton has had to fight through a number of handicaps in this race. She has had to carry more weight, placed on her back by the news media, Obama's bullying tactics and party elders who seem more worried about damaging the "brand", and blowing their chances in the fall than who is the best candidate. And when Obama's lead was growing they were more worried about exposing the cracks in the Obama kewpie doll, than whether those cracks were so damaging they made him unelectable in November. The result is that every time Obama has attacked Clinton and she has hit back, she was criticized from all sides.

The news media who has been in the tank for Obama in probably the most dishonest and biased coverage of an electoral process in history, accuses her of low tactics if she defends herself. Party elders who, if nothing else, have shown since 1996 they haven't a clue how to win a Presidential election, admonish her not to do anything that would damage the Democrats chances in the fall. Howard Dean, more afraid of not losing than making sure the Democrats win by sending out the most electable and qualified candidate, keeps talking about putting an end to race before its over. And Obama seeing that Clinton has one hand tied behind her back, has taken full advantage, taking his swings when he can, then playing victim if Clinton hits back.

This is a race where Clinton is running with 150 lbs on her back and Obama 110. And even with all that she is now in position to win.

With yesterday's primaries Hillary Clinton leads in the popular vote by 179,704 votes with 12% of the precincts yet to report in Oregon. It also includes the Florida and Michigan vote totals where I allocated 149,010 votes to Barack Obama for his share of the "uncommitted" line in Michigan.

As anyone familiar with what really went on in Michigan knows, Obama arranged with the state Democratic committee to have his name represented by a line that read "Uncommitted" and every voter in Michigan knew it. John Edwards agreed to be part of the "uncommitted" line so the only issue was apportioning the 40.7% of the uncommitted vote. I gave Edwards the 14% of the vote average he had gotten everywhere else and Obama a little over 25%. When Florida and Michigan are factored in, Clinton has the popular vote lead. With regards to delegates, Obama's lead is now by 94 delegates and that will get smaller after Puerto Rico where 55 delegates up for grabs. Clinton is expected to do even better in Puerto Rico than she did in Kentucky.

Clinton is virtually assured that she will end the primary season with the popular vote lead. And the only clear and reliable indicator of the true will of the people is the popular vote, not the delegate count given the Democrats bizarre way of apportioning delegates.

Obama will have won close to 630 delegates in states where he was landslided by Clinton. These are delegates he would never have if the Democrats used the system that is used by the Republicans and in the general election. In that system Clinton would have close to a 500 delegate lead and would have wrapped up the nomination long ago.

Nancy Pelosi in her ill advised remarks about what super delegates should do, essentially said they have to ratify the will of the people, not use their own judgement. She was talking about the delegate count, aptly displaying how she led the Democratic congress to a lower job approval rating than George Bush. But the true and only measure of the will of the people is the popular vote.

Super delegates need to be pressured to take note of this. They respond to both political pressure and to undeniable facts. They need to know that their job is now is to deliver their vote based on the will of the people and the undeniable facts, not a set of false expectations created by the Obama campaign and the news media.

Obama's speech last night about the nomination being within reach while Clinton dismantled him by 35 pts in Kentucky might have been especially fitting. In the 1957 Kentucky Derby, Bill Shoemaker misjudged the finish line aboard the favorite Gallant Man and stood up in the saddle too soon thinking the race was over. Iron Leige closing like a freight train caught him, passed him and won the 1957 Kentucky Derby.

Last night we may have seen Barack Obama stand up in the saddle too soon.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent Analysis.

Anonymous said...

And if Nancy's edict were truly followed, the superdelegate count would be far different, too. Clinton would be very close, if not ahead. But it seems that what Nancy really meant was that they should only follow the will of the people if they were for Obama. If the will of the people in a superdelegate's state was for Clinton, then it is ok to take an exception, and pledge for Obama anyway.
Just do a count as to what the superdelegate pledge numbers would be if each and every one followed the will of the people in their own states!
And remember, that's all they are... pledges. Subject to change without notice. In fact, obligated to change, if the situation changes. Otherwise, why have them?

Anonymous said...

Bullshit. You wanna cite where and how you get those popular vote numbers, bub? Check realclearpolitics.com.

Clinton is only leading in the popular vote if you don't count the caucuses in Iowa, Nevada, Maine, and Washington. You claim to worry about disenfranchising the voters in the illegitimate contests in FL and MI and then you want to toss out FOUR other states who held LEGITIMATE elections?

WTF.

By any rational metric (i.e. EVERY OTHER popular vote estimate--even including FL and MI - awarding Obama a portion of the uncommitted vote) Obama is leading...

That is--if the popular vote even mattered! This is a race about _delegates_. Unlike the general election, there is no valid "popular vote" in this primary because every state does their elections differently.

You insult our intelligence.

MDR said...

"WTF.

By any rational metric (i.e. EVERY OTHER popular vote estimate--even including FL and MI - awarding Obama a portion of the uncommitted vote) Obama is leading...

That is--if the popular vote even mattered"

Another reply from one of those more highly educated Obama supporters. the numbers ARE from realclearpolitics but yes they dont include ALL the final numbers from those moronic caucuses left over from 1850 where 11,000 people show up to vote who can afford to stand there and argue with someone from 8pm to midnight in a state the Democrats havent won in 40 years. That is real electoral strength. When all the votes from those caucuses finally come in ( they havent been released yet) the final number is going to change by a number in the tens of thousands, (maybe). Its not going to change the fact that when ALL the votes are counted more people in the Democratic party will have voted for HER to be the Democratic nominee than voted for Obama. Leave it to an Obama supporter to think that who gets the most votes doesnt count.

Dont you think you are a little desperate? Go to www.electoral-vote.com and tell me about the metrics and match ups where McCain slaughters Obama in the electoral college and Clinton beats McCain easily.

I know.The electoral college doesnt count either.

MDR said...

"WTF.

By any rational metric (i.e. EVERY OTHER popular vote estimate--even including FL and MI - awarding Obama a portion of the uncommitted vote) Obama is leading...

That is--if the popular vote even mattered"

Another reply from one of those more highly educated Obama supporters. the numbers ARE from realclearpolitics but yes they dont include ALL the final numbers from those moronic caucuses left over from 1850 where 11,000 people show up to vote who can afford to stand there and argue with someone from 8pm to midnight in a state the Democrats havent won in 40 years. That is real electoral strength. When all the votes from those caucuses finally come in ( they havent been released yet) the final number is going to change by a number in the tens of thousands, (maybe). Its not going to change the fact that when ALL the votes are counted more people in the Democratic party will have voted for HER to be the Democratic nominee than voted for Obama. Leave it to an Obama supporter to think that who gets the most votes doesnt count.

Dont you think you are a little desperate? Go to www.electoral-vote.com and tell me about the metrics and match ups where McCain slaughters Obama in the electoral college and Clinton beats McCain easily.

I know.The electoral college doesnt count either.

MDR said...

"You insult our intelligence."

That is not hard to do even when I try not to, given what I have to work with from Obama supporters.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Get over yourself. I'm so sick of the "Obama voters are all mindless sheep" B.S.

"the numbers ARE from realclearpolitics but yes they dont include ALL the final numbers from those moronic caucuses"

So you admit its a dishonest number you provided?

"Leave it to an Obama supporter to think that who gets the most votes doesnt count"

Way to contradict yourself. If you count those caucuses, OBAMA HAS, and WILL HAVE MORE VOTES. Just because a state chooses a caucus doesn't mean their vote isn't worth counting.

And sorry, hypothetical GE matchups don't hold much weight when we're bogged down in a democratic primary in which both sides seem to hate eachother. The map is shifting constantly from week to week.

Don't you think YOU are a little desperate? Obama has a majority of pleged delegates and is ~60 away from locking up the nomination. So you twist the rules, throw out caucus states, count elections that everyone agreed would not count and make these convoluted arguments that make it look like Hillary is winning.

Fortunately for Obama, most people, especially the superdelegates, understand the real math.

rapchat said...

Please she started the campaign with every possible advantage and then lost due to nothing but her own inept management and hubris. If she wants to keep campaigning, thats her right, but to pretend she was somehow cheated or robbed is just a distortion and a lie. She knew the primary rules as well as anyone, agreed to them, and lost.

MDR said...

"Please she started the campaign with every possible advantage and then lost due to nothing but her own inept management"

First she hasnt lost. In the Obama world where reality doesnt count, baseball games end in the 8th inning and Obama would no sooner disown Wright then his own grandmother, she has lost. she has lost when he gets the delegates that gives him the nomination, not before.

As for her inept campaign managment you could not be more right about that.

MDR said...

"Wow. Get over yourself. I'm so sick of the "Obama voters are all mindless sheep" B.S."

Then send me someone intelligent so I can see for myself.

"the numbers ARE from realclearpolitics but yes they dont include ALL the final numbers from those moronic caucuses"

"So you admit its a dishonest number you provided?"

Only truth challenged Obama followers would try to claim that the fact that the final caucus numbers havent even been released by the states and are not available would be "dishonest".

These are the real clear politics numbers including Florida and Michgian. RCP gives NO votes to Obama which distorts her lead. I gave Obama 149,000 votes and added it to the RCP total vote count including Fla and Mich. If you have a problem with their vote totals tell them not me.Maybe they are being "dishonest."

the bottom line is that after Puerto Rico her popular vote total is going to beat him by a few hundred thousand votes. Super delegates have an obligation to choose the will of the people AND the candidate who can win. Obama cant win. NO Hillary supporter will vote for him. Mr. Unity who said he knew how to bring people together has been the most polarizing force in the history of Democratic poltics. Half the party will not vote for him. half the party cant stand him.Period. Its just a fact. Its either Hillary or if its Obama the Dems lose again.

Anonymous said...

Your ad hominem attacks do nothing to bolster your argument, and actually make what you say less credible. But I guess I'm unintelligent so I could be wrong.

Real Clear Politics has perfectly reasonable estimates of the popular vote in those four states. Just because you ignore them doesn't mean those states didn't vote. So it IS very dishonest to say something like "Clinton wins the popular vote" without listing caveats like (discounting four states that Obama won) to that argument. You know, like RCP does.

"Obama cant win. NO Hillary supporter will vote for him. Mr. Unity who said he knew how to bring people together has been the most polarizing force in the history of Democratic poltics. Half the party will not vote for him. half the party cant stand him.Period. Its just a fact."

Hahaha. Really? Not a single Hillary supporter will vote for him? They will all just abandon the democrats for 4 more years of McBush, Iraq war, loss of civil liberties... because the candidate they wanted lost the primary? And I love the argument that she is more electable than Obama when she is ... uh ... losing to Obama.

Oh and you might want to be more selective with what you call "facts"... "Obama holds a double-digit lead over Clinton for a fourth consecutive day in national Democratic voters' nomination preferences, 53% to 42%" and he's been ahead of her since the beginning of the month. --Gallup.com

I think the real issue here, is YOU can't stand him. That's fine, you are allowed to make your own judgments of him, based on whatever metric you choose. Makes me wonder how you can hate so deeply someone I find inspiring. Apparently you think it's because I am an idiot, and you have it all figured out and, judging by the content of this blog, know all of Obama's and his supporters' thinking, motivations and personal ethics.

But that's your call. And if you really think John McCain would be a better president than Obama that's your prerogative. But can we please not distort the facts?

Obama has run an excellent campaign, built an enormous grassroots movement and taken on a candidate named Clinton, former first lady, party favorite, media darling, and "inevitable" nominee. He played by the rules everyone agreed to and (has nearly) won by those rules.

You can hardly be surprised that when you try to change the rules and the metrics so that it looks like Clinton wins, Obama supporters call it unfair.

But hey, let it all play out. I'm not one to push Clinton out of the race. We'll soon have a nominee. I think its pretty obvious who it should and will be, but then again, I suppose that's just me being unintelligent.

MDR said...

"Your ad hominem attacks do nothing to bolster your argument"

My argument speaks for itself.

"Real Clear Politics has perfectly reasonable estimates of the popular vote in those four states"

Thank you for blowing your whole argument out of the water. Yes that's what those numbers with the two asterisks around them are: Their estimates. As I accurately pointed out the vote totals from those caucuses has not been released and until they are estimates are not results they are estimates (as an Obama supporter Im sure you know the difference).

Given that they are caucuses and not actual primaries where the number of people who participate is in the tens of thousands not millions or even hundreds of thousands, the actual figures whenever they are released are not going to change the main point and they are not going to substantially change the final figures. Clinton is going to finish with the popular vote lead.

you sound very worried for someone who says the actual vote total doesnt matter. Because it does matter. And if you think those caucus votes are that important then it must be because you acknowledge that the popular vote winner is really the choice of the majority of the people.And thats because it is.

If super delegates vote that way Obama will be going home.

Anonymous said...

A tally that excludes the results of four states and doesn't bother to mention that fact is much less accurate than one that includes professional estimates of those four states. Be reasonable. We likely won't ever have final vote totals from some of those states because thats not how their elections are run... so will you just never count them? Their votes are meaningless?

"Given that they are caucuses and not actual primaries where the number of people who participate is in the tens of thousands not millions or even hundreds of thousands, the actual figures whenever they are released are not going to change the main point and they are not going to substantially change the final figures."

You say it won't change the final total, but according to RCP's estimates, it's more than 110,000 votes in Obama's favor. That's quite a lot of votes.

Finally, you've actually proved why the popular vote is such an inaccurate metric. Yes, fewer people vote in caucuses. Therefore, the popular vote out of that state is much less representative, quantitatively, of a state's support for a candidate. It massively undercuts caucus states' influence in the overall total. That is why we have delegates, which are awarded proportionally.

All this was known before the primary started. No one complained when Bill Clinton or Kerry won caucuses. Hillary, however, did not run an effective campaign in caucus states, and so she pushes the "popular vote" argument which punishes Obama, and punishes caucus states, for Clinton's miscalculation.

If this were a general election, where every state votes the same way, and every vote is counted, I agree the popular vote argument holds sway. But this primary is not like that--some states held primaries, some held caucuses, hell--some had both, some states counted popular votes some states didn't. That makes it a VERY tough call.

So, for the very inaccuracy of the popular vote, no, I don't think it should hold much weight, especially in comparison to delegates, the only metric for which the system is designed.

"you sound very worried"

Please. I'm not worried at all, because the "but if you count the vote THIS way..." nature of the Clinton campaign's only remaining argument is obvious. I am simply trying to argue this on your terms.

Obamafraud said...

Obama may be able to game the Democratic nominating system, but you cannot cheat the electoral college. Proportioning delegates the same for a win of 10,000 votes vs a win for Hillary of 100,000 votes is preposterous! People will not vote for Obama as the more they know about him, the greater their resolve to work AGAINST him. The media bias won't last long once the Republicans start on him. Mark my words - Rezko, Odinga, Auchi, Ayers, and Wright will be household names. Corruptions, scandals, dirty-money, patriotism questions, as well as terrorist connections, will destroy Obama, and rightly so. You can't fool people forever. The media might pick a Black man over a woman because of the misogyny inherent in America that makes sexism more tolerable publicly than racism, but I don't think I have to tell anyone that racism still exists and they will always choose the old white man over Obama, especially when they start revealing the stories they know about his accepting dirty former lobbyists money as well as known decades-long relationships with domestic and foreign terrorists. The tape of Michelle Obama ranting against "whitey" in Wright-fashion won't help either. I predict a Dukakis style loss, if not McGovern as Obama has pissed off so many demographic voting groups it's unbelievable! His "bitter" comments, his campaign's writing off Latinos as less important than Black voters, his sexist campaign and remarks at Hillary and her supporters have all already created coalitions working to defeat Obama via voting for McCain - of whom they view as patriotic (unlike Obama), and who won't sell out our country to terrorists or domestic radicals. These groups include Clinton Supporters Count Too (a group dedicated to ruining Obama's chances in OH, PA, MI, and FL (important swing states) - not that they will have to work very hard as all polls show Obama will lose these by big margins to McCain, and this is before McCain has even ran any negative ads against Obama). Even Hillary on the ticket will not change their minds. They will not vote for such a highly unqualified and inexperienced candidate with no significant accomplishments or leadership experience. They put country before party every time and feel much safer with McCain, a former veteran whom they view as a moderate (whether that's true or not is beside the point as perception is reality). Obama may win the nomination by gaming the system, but he cannot win the general election. In the midst of battle, people too often fail to see the forest from the trees. It is not winning the nomination that is the ultimate goal, it is winning the white house in Nov. Remember that and vote accordingly superdelegates.

gerard nedich said...

Obama made history by stealing votes in the presidential primary...

Stealing votes doesn't look very presidential...

not in Zimbabwe... not in the United States...

Americans will fight Obama every step of the way...

Nobody is going to sabotage, destroy or taint our democratic process...

We are united under the true democratic principles of our great country...

Change is coming, this time our votes are going to count!