I can’t help myself

By my calculations, even after tonights wins, Clinton has to get 61% of the vote in the remaining primaries to win the nomination. Tonight is being narrated as a big win for Clinton and she only got 51-52% of the votes.

The next big primary is Pennsylvania on April 22. If you don’t have a calendar in front of you, that’s 7 weeks from now. Then the next (and last) big state to hold a primary will be North Carolina two weeks later. If those elections were held today (and by pollsters), they’d split those two states by about the same margins (about 14%). To win the nomination, she’d have to win by even more in Penn and do a complete 180 down in Carolina.

Granted, Pennsylvania comes first so Clinton could win big there and then use the momentum to turn her fate in North Carolina. I don’t know about you, but it seems unlikely that she’d be able to swing so many voters especially given the demographics. Also, for her to win she’d have to get about 2/3rds of the vote in the smaller States. She’s only won one State (*ahem* Arkansas *ahem*) by this margin.

In what universe does it make sense for Mrs. Clinton to stay in this race? If she does, she’ll spend the next 7-9 weeks softening up Obama for the general election. In what way can this help Obama or the democrats?

UPDATE: If Clinton only wins 45% of the caucus vote, Obama will actually win more delegates in Texas (despite losing the primary vote)… weird.

5 thoughts on “I can’t help myself”

  1. Hubris, methinks.

    My take on it: if Obama gets the nomination, most of the Clintonites will still vote for him in the general election. If Clinton is nominated, a good number of Obamacans will vote for McCain instead. No data on this, just a hunch. It’s kind of irrational, really; the Democrats’ stated platforms are very similar.

  2. I dunno. Maybe her staying in will harden Obama, not soften him up. Besides, Clinton has nothing to lose. Her chances of beating the delegate math are slim, but then there is the issue of Florida. What if they re-run that primary there? She could take the lead in the popular vote, and that might give super delegates the political cover to vote for her. I’d keep running, too.

  3. swong, exit polls, for what they’re worth, do suggest there’s quite a few Rebulicans and independents voting for Obama relative to Clinton.

    Its not clear those independents would vote for Clinton, but its very likely those Republicans would vote for McCain given he’s seen as a liberal Republican (or non-conservative).

  4. Here’s the *real* question: would an Obama/Clinton ’08 ticket give the Democrats a better or worse chance among independents and Obama Republicans?

    Semi-plausible conspiracy theory: the Clinton/Obama feud makes great media. The longer they brawl, the more free press their platforms get compared to McCain. Is it possible that the Democrats are banking on the “Bad publicity is better than no publicity” adage?

    Hm, the notion of media-savvy Democrats scares me as much as the notion of media-savvy Republicans.

  5. I’m sympathetic to your conspiracy idea, but I think you have consider only about 3 people are really paying attention this early (and after most people have had their primary).

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