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Hillary and the numbers

I rarely talk about political things here on the blog. But I have been following the Democratic nomination race very closely and have become perplexed by one thing: the apparent fact that Hillary Clinton is going to push through all the way to the bitter end.

Barack Obama has been the overall leader for almost all of the race. Hillary has had her victories (mainly in California, Texas, Florida, and New York), but Obama has commanded most of the rest of the primaries, (all of the South and the Midwest). But what matters now is the number of delegates that it is likely for each to get among the remaining six primaries and the number of remaining unpledged superdelegates.

So, let's reason this out, using a nice little tool developed by CNN - the Democratic delegate calculator. Before we do anything else, let's look at what may be an extreme and unlikely scenario - Hillary Clinton wins the remaining six primaries by a 20% margin in each. If we set the overall slider to reflect this in each of the elections, we see that Clinton builds her delegates to 1,811 and Obama to 1,923. Even with commanding wins in each election, Obama is still ahead! Now, we sill have the remaining superdelegates to add. So, let's give Clinton a 20% lead there, too. That brings her total to 1,977. Obama still gets 111 for a total of 2,036! It takes 2,025 votes for the nomination.

Now, what is the reality likely to be? Let's look here for what has already taken place. Three of the remaining primaries are Oregon, Montana, and South Dakota, all of which are in the Northwest and Midwest, which has been overwhelmingly dominated by Obama (80%-17% in Idaho, 61%-38% in Wyoming, 68%-32% in Nebraska, and so on). I'm going to take a risk and say that any kind of win for Clinton here is unrealistic. So, that leaves Kentucky, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico. Kentucky and West Virginia sit on what seems to be a dividing line in the eastern half of the country between Clinton and Obama, so these states may go either way. My guess is that it will be close, whatever the results are. I have no idea which way Puerto Rico will go.

So, what do I think realistic numbers will be?
Here's my very conservative guesses:
Oregon: 48%-52% Obama
South Dakota: 60%-40% Obama
Montana: 60%-40% Obama
West Virginia: 55%-45% Clinton
Kentucky: 55%-45% Clinton
Puerto Rico: 49%-51% Obama

I'll leave the superdelegates evenly divided. These numbers give a lot of leeway towards Clinton. We see that even in what I consider to be a best-case scenario for her, she still can't get the nomination. With more realistic numbers, the outlook is even worse.

I'm not anti-Hillary. I just can't figure out why she is still going. She doesn't even have any more money. She spent $6.5 million out of her own pocket in the last month alone. No money, no realistic chance at the nomination, no presidency!


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Blogger Ruth Erin - 11:21 AM

I like Hillary. I'd like to see a female president sometime in my lifetime. BUT, politically I'm an Obama girl. I think you make a good point. I am reminded of a political cartoon I recently saw in Newsweek and, thanks to technology, I am able to share it with you: http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/hillaryclinton/ig/Hillary-Clinton-Cartoons/Hillary-at-Obama-Inauguration.-2fg.htm    



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