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Time: Clinton Wins Big, But Math is Troubling

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Heisenberg, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Pow! Pow!

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    http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1719614,00.html

    Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2008
    Clinton Wins Big, But Math is Troubling
    By Mark Halperin

    Hillary Clinton's popular vote victories in Texas and Ohio fundamentally change the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in at least one important way: she's still in the race for the nomination. Clinton's long, arduous campaign might have ended abruptly if Obama delivered a knock-out blow in either state.

    Instead, Clinton will fight on for at least the next seven weeks, until Pennsylvania votes on April 22. To get an idea of how long a period that is in political years, the Iowa caucuses — remember them? — were only eight weeks ago.

    Clinton is emboldened not just by her Tuesday wins, but by several other developments over the past few days. She has now taken the popular votes in all the major industrial states that have held contests, except for Obama's home state of Illinois. Additionally, from Clinton's point of view, Obama is only now beginning to experience the aggressive media scrutiny standard for a serious presidential candidate. And she has finally found an advertising and rhetorical strategy to highlight Obama's relative lack of national security experience — his greatest weakness with voters.

    But the March 4 results have not changed Obama's strongest talking point (and reality point) for why Clinton should exit the Democratic race: Math. It appears numerically impossible for her to overtake his lead among elected delegates.

    Neither Obama nor Clinton can win the 2,025 delegates required for nomination without some combination of elected delegates (those chosen in primaries and caucuses) and superdelegates (party and elected officials who are automatic delegates to the Democrats' Denver convention this summer). About 800 of the approximately 4,000 delegates are superdelegates and several hundred of them are still uncommitted to either candidate.

    Given the remaining contests — many with electorates favorable to Obama — Obama's existing hundred-plus delegate lead, and the rules by which Democrats apportion delegates, it is almost a political and mathematical certainty that Obama will have an elected delegate lead at the end of the process, barring dramatic, unforeseen circumstances.

    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.

    Clinton's only hope of winning a majority of the delegates is to overtake Obama's elected delegate lead by winning the bulk of the remaining superdelegates.

    This is the heart of Clinton's multi-dimensional challenge. Obama has of late signed up more superdelegates than Clinton in part because they are swayed by his lead in elected delegates. Yet unless there is a significant change in the overall dynamic — a major Obama blunder or scandal for example — he is likely to continue accruing superdelegates regardless of Clinton's big March 4 wins. Also, the act of securing the nomination with unelected convention votes could be considered by many Obama supporters as highly undemocratic, embittering and dividing the party on the eve of the general election.

    So Clinton lives to run for another seven weeks. But if you believe in the power of numbers, the candidate of inevitability is Barack Obama.
  2. ThreeSportStar80

    ThreeSportStar80 Benched

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    News flash Hilliary, exit the stage please...
  3. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Don't listen to him girl you keep fighting. You go girl. :laugh2:
  4. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    splinter that party! : )

    obama did sound pretty good last night. hilliary seems to compliment those who support her and insult those who don't in a single sentence.
  5. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    I hope this guy's analysis proves correct.

    ..........................

    [FONT=&quot]Hillary’s Math Problem[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Forget tonight. She could win 16 straight and still lose.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]By Jonathan Alter[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Newsweek Web Exclusive[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Updated: 11:23 AM ET Mar 4, 2008[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Hillary Clinton may be poised for a big night tonight, with wins in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. Clinton aides say this will be the beginning of her comeback against Barack Obama. There's only one problem with this analysis: they can't count.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]I'm no good at math either, but with the help of Slate’s Delegate Calculator I've scoped out the rest of the primaries, and even if you assume huge Hillary wins from here on out, the numbers don't look good for Clinton. In order to show how deep a hole she's in, I've given her the benefit of the doubt every week for the rest of the primaries.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]So here we go: Let's assume Hillary beats expectations and wins Ohio tonight 55-45, Rhode Island 55-45, Texas, 53-47 and (this is highly improbable), ties in Vermont, 50-50.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Then it's on to Wyoming on Saturday, where, let's say, the momentum of today helps her win 53-47. Next Tuesday in Mississippi—where African-Americans play a big role in the Democratic primary—she shocks the political world by winning 52-48. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Then on April 22, the big one, Pennsylvania—and it's a Hillary blowout, 60-40, with Clinton picking up a whopping 32 delegates. She wins both of Guam's two delegates on May 30, and Indiana's proximity to Illinois does Obama no good on May 6, with the Hoosiers going for Hillary 55-45. The same day brings another huge upset in a heavily African-American state: enough North Carolina blacks desert Obama to give the state to Hillary 52-48, netting her five more delegates. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Suppose May 13 in West Virginia is no kinder to Obama, and he loses by double digits, netting Clinton two delegates. The identical 55-45 result on May 20 in Kentucky nets her five more. The same day brings Oregon, a classic Obama state. Oops! He loses there 52-48. Hillary wins by 10 in Montana and South Dakota on June 3, and primary season ends on June 7 in Puerto Rico with another big Viva Clinton! Hillary pulls off a 60-40 landslide, giving her another 11 delegates. She has enjoyed a string of 16 victories in a row over three months.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]So at the end of regulation, Hillary's the nominee, right? Actually, this much-too-generous scenario (which doesn't even account for Texas's weird "pri-caucus" system, which favors Obama in delegate selection) still leaves the pledged-delegate score at 1,634 for Obama to 1,576 for Clinton. That's a 58-delegate lead. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Let's say the Democratic National Committee schedules do-overs in Florida and (heavily African-American) Michigan. Hillary wins big yet again. But the chances of her netting 56 delegates out of those two states would require two more huge margins. (Unfortunately the Slate calculator isn't helping me here.)[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]So no matter how you cut it, Obama will almost certainly end the primaries with a pledged-delegate lead, courtesy of all those landslides in February. Hillary would then have to convince the uncommitted superdelegates to reverse the will of the people. Even coming off a big Hillary winning streak, few if any superdelegates will be inclined to do so. For politicians to upend what the voters have decided might be a tad, well, suicidal.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]For all of those who have been trashing me for saying this thing is over, please feel free to do your own math. Give Hillary 75 percent in Kentucky and Indiana. Give her a blowout in Oregon. You will still have a hard time getting her through the process with a pledged-delegate lead.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The Clintonites can spin to their heart's content about how Obama can't carry any large states besides Illinois. How he can't close the deal. How they've got the Big Mo now. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Tell it to Slate's Delegate Calculator.[/FONT]
  6. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Pow! Pow!

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    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/3/4/162042/3056/80/468751

    Slate's delegate calculator sucks, why it's even worse for Clinton
    by PocketNines
    Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:35:14 PM PST

    (A diary from yesterday that takes a look at The Math and delegates, with slight editing in the intro. SusanG)

    The issue here is that the way this is discussed in the media narrative does not fully educate the audience how daunting the math is for Hillary Clinton. Chuck Todd is clearly the best at articulating all of this, and I am convinced he understands these numbers in detail. However, even Todd has not been terribly aggressive in stressing the difference between needing 62% or 65% of the remaining delegates and the voting margins required to make that happen.

    Jonathan Alter used Slate's delegate calculator to try and juke the numbers to get Clinton closer. But he is missing the blowout principle, where it's unclear how the numbers move very little until the #s push past certain blowout thresholds.

    Just for kicks, here is Howard Fineman on the night of the Potomac Primary talking about how Clinton has to be within 30 pledged delegates of someone he calls "Bark" Obama (h/t TPM).

    * ::
    *

    After today, there are 10 states left, plus Guam and Puerto Rico.

    Number of 3 delegate districts left: 1
    Number of 4 delegate districts left: 19 (including all 8 in Puerto Rico)
    Number of 5 delegate districts left: 21
    Number of 6 delegate districts left: 14
    Number of 7 delegate districts left: 10
    Number of 8 delegate districts left: 1
    Number of 9 delegate districts left: 3
    Number of 10 delegate districts left: 1 (Montana)

    Setting aside Guam with its 4 delegates, there are 11 delegate apportionments based on statewide popular vote totals.

    Wyoming - 5 statewide
    South Dakota - 6 statewide
    Montana - 6 statewide
    West Virginia - 10 statewide
    Mississippi - 11 statewide
    Kentucky - 17 statewide
    Oregon - 18 statewide
    Puerto Rico - 19 islandwide
    Indiana - 25 statewide
    North Carolina - 38 statewide
    Pennsylvania - 55 statewide

    In order to cross all thresholds except the initial break that give you a +2 delegate swing, you need to win by an extra 200/X%, where X = the number of total delegates at stake. Let's see how this works by easy example - West Virginia and its 10 statewide delegates. 200/10 = 20%. To go from 5-5 to 6-4 there you have to win by over 10% (55-45). But to get ANOTHER +2 you need to add 20% to your win and win by 30% (65-35).

    To work through one more example, Indiana and its 25. You start with someone winning 13-12. To get an additional +2 swing (ie, 14-11), you have to win by 200/25%, or 8% even. 54-46 + 1 vote is a 14-11 split. You can also calculate this way: 13.5/25 = .5400. 14.5/25 = .5800 (58-42 is a 16% win).

    So, let's look at if Clinton wins every statewide total by 10%:

    Wyoming +1
    South Dakota 0
    Montana 0
    West Virginia +1, giving her the +1 vote benefit of the doubt.
    Mississippi +1
    Kentucky +1
    Oregon +2
    Puerto Rico +1
    Indiana +3
    North Carolina +4
    Pennsylvania +5

    Total +19 delegates.

    Do you see how totally impossible it is, and how completely significant Obama's South Carolina and February blowouts were? Remember, Obama beat Clinton by 8% in Iowa (a huge win) and netted only 1 extra pledged delegate.

    Now, let's assume, in a very unsurgical way, that this 10% is exactly the margin in all the congressional districts.

    1 3-delegate district: +1
    19 4-delegate districts: 0
    21 5-delegate districts: +21
    14 6-delegate districts: 0
    10 7-delegate districts: +10
    1 8-delegate district: 0
    3 9-delegate districts: +3
    1 10-delegate district: +1, let's give her the 1 extra vote benefit of the doubt.

    Total +36 delegates

    Overall total +55 delegates.

    And it probably is +58, see below.

    Obama currently leads by 160 pledged delegates.

    Update [2008-3-4 18:22:15 by PocketNines]:: Let me throw in another wrinkle. Let's assume Clinton wins every single remaining district and statewide vote by 16.5% exactly. How does this help her in the districts?

    1 3-delegate district: +1
    19 4-delegate districts: 0
    21 5-delegate districts: +21
    14 6-delegate districts: 0
    10 7-delegate districts: +10
    1 8-delegate district: +1
    3 9-delegate districts: +3
    1 10-delegate district: +1

    Total +37 delegates

    ONE EXTRA DELEGATE from going 10% to 16.5%!

    Statewide, 16.5%:

    Wyoming +1
    South Dakota 0
    Montana 0
    West Virginia +1
    Mississippi +1
    Kentucky +3
    Oregon +2
    Puerto Rico +3
    Indiana +5
    North Carolina +6
    Pennsylvania +9

    Total +31 delegates.

    TWELVE (maybe six, see below) EXTRA DELEGATES from going 10% to 16.5%!

    So the overall total with 16.5% is a mere +68 delegates.

    And it probably is only +64, see below.

    So with all due respect to Jonathan Alter and wmtriallawyer and all the people who are playing with these numbers, everyone seems to be failing to grasp that it's the BLOWOUTS that matter.

    It's blowouts, people.

    All but 6 remaining congressional districts are either 4, 5, 6, or 7 delegate districts. There are 64 total districts in this range. Here are the magic numbers:

    4 delegates - 25%+ to get from 2-2 to 3-1
    5 delegates - 40%+ to get from 3-2 to 4-1
    6 delegates - 16.7%+ to get from 3-3 to 4-2
    7 delegates - 28.6%+ to get from 4-3 to 5-2

    THOSE are the relevant numbers to break out of the incredibly rosy +55 delegate pickup if we absurdly assume that Clinton wins every remaining contest by 55-45 margins.

    And I humbly submit that if Clinton IS breaching those numbers and blowing out Obama in states where he will have ample opportunity to campaign, then he has been caught with a live boy or dead girl.

    It is over.

    [UPDATED] Here's another fun one, just to truly show how impossible this catching up notion is. I ran the numbers for winning all 82 races (70 CDs + Guam + the 11 statewide splits) by a whopping 24.9%. Her gain? Only 110 delegates. Obama still leads by 50.

    Update [2008-3-5 2:2:37 by PocketNines]: John DE points out in the comments below the split of statewide popular votes between at-large delegates and PLEOs (pledged elected officials). I confess I am not 100% sure whether the statewide total is applied separately to each of these two categories, but just for the sake of more number crunching, here's the math. And SLKRR in the comments says this process of separate calculations is correct.

    Each state is broken down like this for at-large, PLEO:
    Wyoming - 5 (3, 2)
    Mississippi - 11 (7, 4)
    Pennsylvania - 55 (35, 20)
    Indiana - 25 (16, 9)
    North Carolina - 38 (26, 12)
    West Virginia - 10 (7, 3)
    Kentucky - 17 (11, 6)
    Oregon -18 (12, 6)
    Montana -6 (4, 2)
    South Dakota - 6 (4, 2)
    Puerto Rico -19 (12, 7)

    Applying the 10% standard to each separate number:
    Wyoming +1 no change
    Mississippi +1 no change
    Pennsylvania +5 no change
    Indiana +3 no change
    North Carolina +4 no change
    West Virginia +2 change of +1
    Kentucky +1 no change
    Oregon +2 no change
    Montana 0 no change
    South Dakota 0 no change
    Puerto Rico +3 change of +2

    Total change +3 for Clinton, i.e., +22 instead of +19

    BUT

    Applying the 16.5% standard to each separate number:
    Wyoming +1 no change
    Mississippi +1 no change
    Pennsylvania +9 no change
    Indiana +3 change of -2
    North Carolina +6 no change
    West Virginia +1 no change
    Kentucky +1 change of -2
    Oregon +2 no change
    Montana 0 no change
    South Dakota 0 no change
    Puerto Rico +3 no change

    Total change -4 for for Clinton, i.e., +27 instead of +31
  7. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Pow! Pow!

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    She does not have a chance. They say they want to get it close and then hope for Superdelegates to overturn the deficit she'll have to Obama.

    She won't be able to get it close. It's not possible.
  8. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    One thing to also keep in mind - While it is extremely unlikely that Clinton will be able to take the delegate lead by the convention, but it is even MORE unlikely that Obama will be able to clinch the nomination by the convention.

    Why shouldn't she stick with it if the nomination is still in doubt, when she has so many delegates to use as leverage for a VP position or something else?
  9. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Right now Obama can't get enough delegates to close the deal same as Hillary. This will all be determined behind closed doors at the convention.
  10. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    It's her right. I just hope that she leaves the House of Clinton in ruins in the process.
  11. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    Unless Obama wins the nomination but loses the presidential race, this is Hillary's lone shot at the presidency. I would be surprised to see the Clinton political machine throw in the towel at this juncture.

    But there seems to be a changing of the guard in the Democratic party, so your hope may be founded.
  12. WiPatfan

    WiPatfan New Member

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    I see your point, but I disagree.

    There is a possibility that the remaining Super Delegates and those currently pledged to Hillary throw their hats to Obama IF things get out of hand.

    I assume this is why Obama is in Washington this week. He wants to make the argument to those sitting on the fence to step in and push Hillary out. He will have the most elected delegates, for sure, he will tell them, and ask, "Do you want the Democrats to go to war with each other?" If ten, then twenty and then fifty SDs join Obama, then this is over before Pennsylvania.

    I aslo think that WY and MS have a disproportionate role to play this week. If they go big, big to Obama (70%+), then that SD trickle may become a flood.

    Unlike the general population, SDs know that Tuesday was not a HUGE win for Hillary as portrayed by the Media. She lost Vermont and Texas (when you factor in Caucus) and only won Ohio by going negative against a fellow democrat. These are things that concern SDs.

    If the SDs decline Obama's plea, he will unleash a ****-storm on the Clintons that will truly show that she has not been "vetted." (e.g Tax forms, Library payments, Senatorial election gaffs, her claims that she brough peace to Ireland...I could go on and on.) Clinton will fire back, driving both candidates' negatives to near Bush level.

    The Clintons and their allies do not think in terms of what is best for the party or the country, it seems clear. They will want to fight Obama until McCain puts his hand on the Bible next January.
  13. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Let me guess you voted for Obama? :lmao2: Obama can't come up with the delgates he needs either and the overall vote differance through out the primaries is a little 3,000 votes between the two.
  14. WiPatfan

    WiPatfan New Member

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    I think the VP issue is just smoke and mirrors.

    Obama wants Hillary and Bill on his ticket and in his administration about as much as he wants herpes, probably less so.

    Hillary represents everything that he has campaigned against -- all the sleeze, all the lies and politics of personal destruction. Imagine Bill Clinton hanging around the White House? Imagine an independent voter in Wisconsin just about to pull the lever for Obama, and his hand trembles toward McCain when he sees Hillary's name beside Obama?

    Hillary KNOWS that Obama will not select her as his running mate, eventhough I think she'd gladly except that role in order to be first in line for the democrats in the next non-incumbent primary.

    Hillary might accept Obama as her running mate if it would help her get elected, but for no other reason. But I'm sure she would not want a more charismatic running mate drawing the attention away from her "historic" nomination. (What's "history" about the wife of a popular president winning an election based on celebrity? This has been done before; in fact, there is a musical about such an occurance called "Evita.")

    So why does Hillary float such a notion that there should be a joint ticket?

    Because after bashing him with negative ads for the past week telling voters how currupt (Rezco), two-faced (Canada and NAFTA) and light-weight ("Only one speech") a fellow democrat is, she want show everyone how gracious and unifying she can be. Cake and eat it.

    If Obama turned around a told her to "<bleep> off", he would look like the bad guy. Instead his smiles and says that it is too early to make any statements in that regard.

    The VP issue is only rhetoric. The "Dream" Ticket would be a nightmare for the democrats.
  15. WiPatfan

    WiPatfan New Member

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    First question: Yes. :lmao2: Funny, huh? Will you laugh when I vote McCain in the general?

    Second point: Not sure what you wrote. Could you rephase or edit somehow?
  16. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    1st off I'm supporting McCain as well.
    The other point I made was the overall vote totals throughout these primaries is only a difference of about 3,000 votes so basically they are running neck and neck with Obama with a slight lead thus Hillary is not going to leave this race. In the end this process will go on until the Dem. convention where the party heads will do some arm twisting to come up with their candidate for the General election
  17. WiPatfan

    WiPatfan New Member

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    Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification.

    The votes are tight if you include Florida and Michigan, which technically do not count in the overall vote. Otherwise, Obama is farther ahead.

    If I were a staunch Republican, I would be pushing for this battle to go on past the convention.

    As an independent who wants to see the two best candidates in the GE, I want Obama to win sooner than later.

    As somebody who dislikes the Clinton stench, I am torn between seeing this thing end now and seeing Obama destroy her completely and utterly over the next couple months so that she will never ever return for another "conversation."
  18. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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  19. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    This 3,000 vote difference I keep hearing, and I have heard it from multiple places so I am not just talking about you.

    Is it really 3,000 votes or less because Obama was not on one of the primary tickets (fla or michigan). So I don't know if that changes anything or not or if the 3,000 votes difference is using or not using the Florida and michigan votes.
  20. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:

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