Thursday, February 14, 2008

Don't Touch that Political Dial

So you think Hillary is done? Out? Kaput?
I crunched the numbers. Taking all the remaining elections I assumed:
Clinton wins TX, OH & PA 60/40 and wins PR 100/0 (Puerto Rico is winner take all)
Obama wins the remaining states 55/45
In such a case Clinton leads in the coming contests 589/489. Adding that to the total delegates currently projected by the NYT (982/1095 HRC/BHO) Clinton is only down by 13. Since thats really only -7 (because any delegate lost from Obama is a pickup for Clinton) she would only need a handful of upsets to best Obama at the pledged delegate game.

Far from over.

Update: I just put in the delegates awarded from WI & HI along with even poll numbers in TX and a closing 10 point spread in OH. Assuming a 50/50 split in TX and 45/55 split in OH for HRC we get:
1559/1657 HRC/BHO
Even including PR that is a 98 delegate lead for Obama. It's looking bleaker for HRC.


Josh M. said...

Until Super Tuesday, the only primaries in which one of the remaining two candidates has defeated the other by 50% have been SC, AR, GA, IL, and OK - of which Clinton won only the two smallest. After Super Tuesday, Obama has won all four primaries by that margin.

It's not over yet in the same way that it is for Huckabee (mathematics or no), but it would still be quite an implosion on Obama's part if these conditions were met. She might have a chance if she does well enough over the next two months to convince a majority of the superdelegates to push her over the edge, which would be additionally fun because it would cause people's brains to explode.

But as to your intended (?) point, yes, I agree that these discussions are anti-democratic.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that due to the way Dems award delegates, Hillary will probably get a smaller percentage of the delegates than she will of the popular vote. Her realistic goal, I imagine, is to finish the primary season with the most total votes and make a superdelegate push on those grounds.

Zev said...

No, I was not specifically targeting the banter as anti-democratic. I guess it stifles debate a bit, but that's how consensus often builds through deliberation. I could be convinced otherwise, though.

As to your other point, Josh, past results do not guarantee future victories. Obama has won by large margins, but a momentum swing *could* change that. You have to discount IL and AR because they are home turf, in effect, and the others could just be outliers. If she is able to come out of Mar 4 strong she might pick up the necessary momentum to chip away at Obama's blowouts. At this point I think it more likely that Obama will close the spread in TX and OH and be cast as the victor, but I would disagree that Clinton's chance of being nominated is that of Huckabee's.

Josh M. said...

The anti-democracy that I was referring to was the process of overemphasizing the challenges that a candidate will face in winning the nomination due to mathematics (which I do as much as anyone else). The electors of each contest should have the right to express their opinion of whom the best candidate is without being discouraged on mathematical bases. This is one of the arguments for a national or rotating primary.

My point wasn't that the momentum is against Clinton, but rather that the inertia that must be overcome to achieve 60/40 results even from a standing start is much greater than it sounds (look at which candidates achieve such in which states in national elections). Granted, one could have made the same argument against Obama before he achieved the feat in the recent primaries, so I suppose it is possible.

I didn't claim that Clinton's chances were the same as those of Huckabee - the opposite, actually.