Friday, February 15, 2008

How Risk Adverse is Hillary?

There are many ways to spin things and read statistics but would Hillary risk going against the popular vote after the Bush-Gore 2000 election, where Gore won the popular vote and lost the election?

This is a life goal so the question may not be whether the Clinton’s would risk it, but would the party stop it? Consider these informative stats from MSNBC’s FirstRead. “

From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro
*** The statistical front-runner: No matter how one slices the election results from last night, there’s no denying that Obama is the statistical front-runner. He’s got a 100-plus pledged delegate lead and even has the lead if you factor in superdelegates. Here’s our math: The NBC News election unit hard count stands at 1078 to 969. If you factor in the unallocated pledged delegates, our estimate rises to approximately 1128 to 1009 in Obama’s favor (margin of error +/- 5 delegates). Toss in the superdelegates and Obama’s lead is 1306 to 1270 (again +/- 5 delegates). What does this mean? For Clinton to overtake Obama for the pledged delegate lead — which we think is the single most important statistic for the superdelegates to decide their vote — she’ll have to win 55% of the remaining delegates. Assuming next week goes Obama’s way in Wisconsin and Hawaii, that percentage rises to 57%. Toss in likely Obama victories in Vermont, Wyoming, Mississippi, Oregon, Montana, and South Dakota, then Clinton’s percentage need tops 60% of the remaining delegates available. And this is simply for her to regain the pledged delegate lead…

VIDEO: NBC Political Director Chuck Todd offers his first read on Barack Obama taking a clear lead in the Democratic delegate count.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/23144732#23144732

*** Staying on the statistical front: Check out these cumulative vote totals for primaries and caucuses to date:
States Awarding Delegates
Total Vote %
Obama 9,373,334 50%
Clinton 8,674,779 46%
Others 726,095 4%

With Florida
Total Vote %
Obama 9,942,375 49%
Clinton 9,531,987 46%
Others 984,236 4%

With Florida and Michigan
Total Vote %
Obama 9,942,375 47%
Clinton 9,860,138 47%
Others 1,249,922 6%

*** Follow the leader: So no matter how you slice the total popular vote, Obama is the leader. He’s at 50% in states that have awarded delegates; he’s at 49% and leads Clinton by 3 points in states where both their names were on the ballot, and his lead is big enough that he leads even when you factor in Michigan where Obama’s name wasn’t on the ballot. Why does this popular vote total matter? Because it’s yet another important talking point when wooing superdelegates. How many supers will be comfortable voting against the candidate who’s leading in the pledged delegate count and the total vote count?

*** So now what? This Democratic race has two finish lines. One could be as early as March 4. An Obama victory in either of the big states would probably put the pledged delegate count out of reach for Clinton and would allow Obama to disprove the idea that he either can’t win Latinos or blue-collar white Democrats. Should Clinton sweep those big March 4 states, the race goes on to the end and becomes a rhetorical fight over stats and polls. The stats being the ones we’ve cited above (the pledged delegate count and the national vote totals), as well as the Democratic candidates’ standing against John McCain in the national polls. But one other thing to ponder: No one ever writes off a Clinton. How do we know? If Clinton were in the position Obama’s in right now, how many folks would be writing Obama’s obit?

How many skeletons are in superdelegates closet that could sway votes? How nasty do you think the democratic primary is going to get? Would Hillary risk imploding the party to get the nomination?

Reference: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/02/13/661146.aspx

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