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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Which tie did Hillary Clinton break last night? 
Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 | 12:09 pm [barack obama, commentary, news, politics]
From Hillary Clinton’s victory speech in Indiana last night:
Not too long ago, my opponent made a prediction. He said I would probably win Pennsylvania. He would win North Carolina, and Indiana would be the tie-breaker. Well, tonight we've come from behind, we've broken the tie, and thanks to you, it's full speed on to the White House.
She refers to an off-hand prediction made by Barack Obama before the Pennsylvania primary. It turns out Barack was right about who would win what — Hillary took Pennsylvania and he won North Carolina — but there was never a tie to break. What tie is Hillary talking about?
Was she referring to the tie between she and Barack for the popular vote? That’s not possible; they weren’t tied prior to Indiana and North Carolina. Obama has led her in popular votes for months. Following his blow-out victory in North Carolina yesterday, he’s even ahead when the disqualified votes of Michigan and Florida are counted.
Did Hillary mean the tie in the delegate count? Impossible, since Barack’s had the lead there for awhile, too. Hillary’s narrow victory in Indiana only earned her four more of that state’s delegates than Barack, while Barack’s win in N.C. allowed him to widen his pre-existing lead. Barack now holds 1,845 pledged delegates, to Hillary’s 1,693.
Did she mean the tie between she and Barack in the total number of state primaries and caucuses won? That one’s not even close — of the forty-six contests held to this point, Barack has won 28 to Hillary’s 18. More than a few of those have been bloodbaths — Barack beat Hillary in Hawaii by 52%, in Idaho by 62%, in Alaska by 50%, in Kansas by 48%, in the District of Columbia by 51%. The closest Hillary has come to such a landslide win, other than in the uncontested Michigan primary, was in her old home state of Arkansas, where she won by 43%.
The 2008 Democratic primary race was not a tie prior to yesterday. It has not been a tie since it began; it has played out consistently as Barack Obama kicking Hillary Clinton’s ass, then Hillary struggling to fight her way out of her corner. Statistically, the race has been over for some time. Barring an increasingly unlikely super delegate coup, Obama is the inevitable nominee. The fact that Hillary did not bow out gracefully weeks ago should give you some insight into her priorities.
“This has always been your campaign and this is your victory,” Hillary told her supporters in Indiana last night. Even from a woman as dependably and flagrantly disingenuous as her, that’s a shocking bit of bullshit. 
Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 | 05:05 pm (UTC)
Just to clarify, the votes in Michigan and Florida were not disqualified. The delegates -- both pledged and non -pledged (superdelegates)-- from both states were what was disqualified.

It does like like Obama will be the Democratic nominee. I just wish he had a better chance at beating McCain in November.
Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 | 07:26 pm (UTC)
That's an important distinction, thanks for pointing it out. The delegates from those two states will (barring some sort of accomodation from the DNC) not be seated at the convention.

It's a long road yet to November. I wouldn't count Barack out yet. Once the primary is (finally) officially over and the general campaigns can really get going, it'll be a whole new ballgame, and I don't think McCain will be able to stand against the tide of history.

How's that for melodramatic political analysis?
Thursday, May 8th, 2008 | 11:46 pm (UTC)
One of the things the Hillary camp has been pushing which is total bullshit (one of the many things, actually) is the idea that Obama "can't win big states." No, he didn't win some of them in the primary, but he didn't get his ass kicked in any of them, and in most states Democratic turnout has been far higher than Republican turnout. These voters are not going to say, "If I can't vote for Hillary I'm voting for McCain." If Democrats are turning out in twice the numbers that Republicans are, he's going to win the big states. Not to mention that he's actually getting huge support in the Deep South, where black men are not renowned for their general popularity. I think that, short of more vote fraud, Obama will win handily against McCain (and I say that bearing in mind that the media has not truly opened fire on him yet).
Thursday, May 8th, 2008 | 11:48 pm (UTC)
And I gotta remember to sign these things "Varjak," until I figure out how to stop posting as anonymous.

Monday, May 12th, 2008 | 06:38 pm (UTC)
Don't assume that anyone who voted for Hillary will vote for Obama in the general election. Though I voted for Obama in the Maryland primary, I have since realized a President Obama would be a mistake. That fact doesn't all of a sudden change for me the minute he locks up the nomination.
Tuesday, May 13th, 2008 | 04:16 pm (UTC)
The reverse of that is true, too; don't assume that Obama supporters would all jump over to Hillary should she somehow manage to grab the nomination. In fact, I'd call it much more unlikely for Hillary to convert an Obama voter than the other way around.

Many of those who voted for Barack Obama in these primaries are people who had never voted in a presidential election before in their lives. Many registered to vote for the first time, just to support Obama. Those people won't be too thrilled about voting for Hillary Clinton.

Also, it's worth reiterating what Varjak said up there: Obama has been winning (and winning huge, in some cases) in states where Democratic turnout isn't typically very high, in states where the party often isn't even competitive. Hillary's big wins have all been in places that go historically to the Democrats.

Isn't it more important for November to nominate someone whose proven he can garner votes in more than just the safe blue states? That ain't Hillary. That's Barack.
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