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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Has Hillary Clinton Turned the Corner?

(Editor's note: This long-weekend, I'll recap the week that was in presidential politics, showing why all three contenders have a reason to smile and enjoy a Good Weekend. Yesterday was Barack Obama, today is Hillary Clinton, and tomorrow will be John McCain. Happy Easter.)

Yesterday, I showed how the numbers and the math point to a nearly inevitable Barack Obama nomination. He has an insurmountable lead in states and pledged delegates, and his 800,000 vote lead in the popular vote, while not insuperable, is undeniably daunting.

Yet Hillary Clinton is very much alive in the Democratic Primary. There is a clear and realistic avenue towards victory for her.

Step 1: Win Pennsylvania big.
Step 2: Win a majority of the ten remaining primaries, overturning the popular vote lead.
Step 3: Continually remind the public, media, and superdelegates that: a) She has the momentum; b) She won the popular vote; and c) She won Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio and polls much better against McCain in those battleground states.
Step 4: Win superdelegates by a healthy margin.

This is not as tall of an order as it seems. With each step, she sets up the next one. Let's break it down.

Step 1: Win Pennsylvania big. This is likely to happen. She is dominating Pennsylvania polls (numbers found through Real Clear Politics):

Public Policy Polling (3/15 - 3/16)
HC - 56
BO - 30
Clinton +26

Franklin & Marshall (3/11 - 3/16)
HC - 51
BO - 35
Clinton +16

Quinnipiac (3/10 - 3/16)
HC - 53
BO - 41
Clinton +12

Rasmussen (3/12 - 3/12)
HC - 51
BO - 38
Clinton +13

SurveyUSA (3/08 - 3/10)
HC - 55
BO - 36
Clinton +19

Susquehanna (3/05 - 3/10)
HC - 45
BO - 31
Clinton +14

Average of the six:
HC - 52
BO - 35
Clinton +17

Clinton is not only up by an average of 17 points in Pennsylvania, but she seems to be putting distance between herself and Obama. Pennsylvania's 158 pledged delegates is the largest prize remaining in the Democratic Primary, easily out distancing North Carolina's 115 and Indiana's 72, the second and third largest remaining primaries. If she can win the Keystone State's primary by 20 points, which will translate into about 95 delegates to Obama's 63, closing the pledged delegate gap by 32 delegates, but more importantly, signaling the shift in momentum to Clinton for the nine subsequent contests.

Step 2: Win a majority of the ten remaining primaries, overturning Obama's lead in the popular vote. These are the remaining Democratic Primaries, with their pledged delegate totals:
April 22 - Pennsylvania - 158
May 3 - Guam - 4
May 6 - Indiana - 72
May 6 - North Carolina - 115
May 13 - West Virginia - 28
May 20 - Kentucky - 51
May 20 - Oregon - 52
June 1 - Puerto Rico - 55
June 3 - Montana - 16
June 3 - South Dakota - 15

Once winning the Pennsylvania Primary, she will have a lot going for her. With the exception of the nearly insignificant Guam Caucus, all of these remaining contests are primaries, good news for her as Obama has dominated the caucus format.

While Obama is expected to win North Carolina, it will not be by the margin that Clinton wins Pennsylvania. Moreover, there are infrequent but consistent reports that if North Carolina's favorite son, John Edwards, endorses someone, it seems it will be Hillary Clinton, though statistically negligible across the country, will be significant in North Carolina. An Edwards endorsement of Clinton could even give her a narrow victory, which would be enormous in her final push, potentially sewing up big wins in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oregon (how this affects the popular vote in two paragraphs).

Step 3: a) Remind voters, media, and superdelegates that she has the momentum. Heading into the general election, Clinton needs to make the argument that if she wins most of the final primaries, then she has a full head of steam built up to successfully face off against John McCain. She must ask: If Obama gets nominated despite staggering across the finish line, how could he possible stand up to the Republican Party?

b) Win the popular vote. Ohio cast 2.2 million votes in their Democratic primary. Pennsylvania is expected to eclipse that total by several hundred thousand. She won Ohio by 10 points, which translated to a margin of victory of 230,000 votes. If Pennsylvania casts 2.5 million votes, and she wins by 20 points, she would get 1.5 million to Obama's 1 million, cutting the 800,000 vote margin to 300,000. If one factors in Florida and Michigan (which she will), Clinton would actually be winning the popular vote at that point. If she goes on to win the majority of remaining primaries, including a realistic big win in Indiana, and stays close or wins in North Carolina, she will legitimately overcome Obama's lead in that category.

c) Several polls in the last week show a trend towards Clinton in the general election. In Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, Clinton polls better than Obama against John McCain.

Step 4: So, if a) she has the momentum; b) has the popular vote, and c) polls better in the swing states, won't the superdelegates push her to the nomination? If the Democratic voters and superdelegates are having a difficult time deciding which of the two support, and they see those numbers, would they not logically go to Clinton?

When superdelegates finally cast all of their ballots, even with the best of intentions, they will be truly conflicted. The argument has been that superdelegates should not overturn the pledged delegates... but what if the pledged delegates did not agree with the people as a whole? Which is the more democratic barometer - pledged delegates or the popular vote? Which number should superdelegates respect if they wish to go with the will of the people? Clinton could easily make the case that they should support the will of the popular vote.

Do not forget that superdelegates can weigh any criteria they like. It is completely up to them whether or not to include Michigan and Florida in their thought process, or momentum, or big states vs. small, or primaries vs. caucuses, or race, or gender, or personal relationships. Right or wrong, for better or worse, it is completely up to them.

It is plain to see why each candidate is willing to fight until their last breath. This simply will not be decided overnight. There has been an avenue to victory for both candidates since this campaign began. Why should either concede? Therefore, they continue to throw jabs at each other, and sometimes some hooks. They both want to win, and they both can.

Meanwhile, John McCain sits back and waits, unscathed and rested. Tomorrow, I'll take a look at him. See you then.

7 comments:

How Insane Is John McCain? said...

No. It's over.

Anonymous said...

I believe it will happen..particularly if the media would put a little focus on Rezko instead of Obamas vile re: his passport...Obama's long connection to Rezko and the 12 different versions of the story he suddenly remembers..his claim of authorship of 63 bills in his last year as a Legislator in Illinois when many, many people believe Emil Jones and his other associates worked on and hard on them, put Obama's name on the bills to 'make me a Senator'. (Please read Barak Obama & Me; HoustonPress.com;February 20, 2008; Todd Spivac) Emil Jones' comment when asked about favors from Obama for putting his name on the bills..refers to the many favors, for which the paper trail has seemingly disappeared (Barak Obama has said "they are lost", "I was to busy to keep a record", "I left them for the new guy"..the new guy says "there was nothing here when I arrived".."oh, I threw out everything") as 'steak' not pork.
David Axelrods skillful manipulation of the media..Wright on page 6 after Obama decries Bush and his 'attempt to vilify him by uncovering ammunition from his passport file. Whoa! The best yet.
Demand Condaleeza Rices resignation? Unreal..nothing like using the African American community for publicity and discing them when the Jenna 6 needed him.
Anyway, if the mainstream media ever does its job and follows the money from Rezko wife's sale of the Obama lot..back to the donation from the buyer, to Obamas campaign, an interesting trail will begin to emerge. By the way, the Obama campaign released additional donor lists the same day they set of the Wright fracas and the additional 127,000 dollars of donations to his campaign from Rezko and his associates . Which event garnered more attention? Of course the cursing minister..
This was another classic get rid of Muslim label day..what better way to do it. Announce a 'major' speech on race set for 4 days letter..let the country see Obama is not a Muslim..but a consciously aware Christian concerned with the 'race' issue and how it divides us! All the while keeping it forefront by comparing his white grandmother and Mrs Ferraro to 'stereotypical white racists'..What foolish 'folks' we all are to listen..and how far did he pull the wool over our eyes about the new revelations regarding Rezko?
I am sorry if the tone of this post seems angry. I am angry-I admit it- I am angry because Barak Obama preys on young, maleable people, it angers me that he is willing to disenfranchise 2 million 'folks' based on winning and says publicly 'Hillary Clinton will stoop to anything to win'..again another example of his verbal hypocrisy. Barak Obama campaigned in Florida with TV ads, Hillary Clinton did not. Barak Obama instructed his 'followers' to vote 'uncommitted' in Michigan-they did-now he negates his own words and actions? He never was elected in Illinois-he used his constitutional background to have in single opponent disqualified-for 5 years in Illinois before Emil Jones, no one even knew his name. Yes I am angry because he and his all white top tier campaign staff insult all of us, every way they can by using the oldest ploys in politics..say it over and over and eventually the idiots believe it.
I am not an idiot and will never vote for him or anyone associated with him as his history in the graft politics on trial in Chicago, obviously has influenced him more than his grandparents who loved him and pastor who counseled him.

Connecticut Man1 said...

Wow anonymous. Have you read the letter from TPM reader DT that sounds similar to your comment in tone? Even in content a bit... Yes! It is the letter that the ardent Hillary Clinton supporter, Josh Marshall, was mocking when he posted it.

-----

"DT'S Plan B

[ed.note: A few readers seem to have had the misimpression that we might agree with DT's email. Ummm ... not so. And in case there's any question, most of DT's claims are patently false. Actually I'm not sure there's a single claim that has any factual validity to it. But sometimes I think it's worthwhile to know what folks on the fringes are thinking, especially when the fringes are growing in toward the center.]

From TPM Reader DT ...

I won't get upset about Hillary being called a loser. Why? Because I already have plan B figured out.

I got really emotional about it before I realized that I would vote McCain and a straight top to bottom GOP lineup if Hillary isn't the nominee and leave the party if Florida isn't counted.

Its not about winning anymore. Its about whether the Democratic party and its anti democracy is worth defending or if the most liberal GOP presidential candidate in decade is a better use of my vote.

Obama has done the following

1) Sat idly by as Jessy Jackson Jr called Hillary a racist and Wright likened what Bill Clinton did to Monica to how he treated Black people.

2) Acted to avoid democracy both in caucuses and in Florida and Michigan

3) Threatened the party both in terms of his voters not voting and in terms of his supporters often threatened rioting in Colorado if the rules are followed where super delegates vote as they please or with the majority vote not as the pledged delegates which are mostly determined by caucuses.

4) Called anyone a racist who challenged his 2 years on the national scene as not being enough experience for commander in chief

5) Minimized the connections with Rezko while refusing to answer questions about what appears to be a $600,000 bribe that likely comes directly from a Saddam loyalist.

6) Claimed that his Independent and GOP voters are better than Hillary's Democrats.

In a revolution words don't matter. Actions matter. I am at peace with my voting actions come general election.



--Josh Marshall"


-----

The Democratic primary is over.

Everyone (except the media that loves the horse race storyline, and the ratings and money from the campaign ads that go with the faerie tale) is waiting patiently for the concession speech.

Pay no attention to the journalists pushing that dead horse over there...

Bold Lentil said...

You know on the whole Michigan and Florida thing, enough already. How is it fair that they get to vote twice? I want to vote twice too. I want a practice vote before anyone else votes that doesn't count but that shows some potential and then maybe once all the other states have voted once I get to vote again for real. Better yet could I have two practice votes - one before NH, one after PA and then my actual vote right before the convention.

Loki said...

Bill Richardson,,,
Is 1 delegate,,, after his interview,,, then bill oberman told him what clinton said word for word ,,, Richard tried to change what bill clinton said,, and tried to make it more about race,, Then later on the show ,, Richardson,,, He voting for Barack Obama because,,,it what the voter want,,,, That is so funny,,,for Richardson to say that,, Since Hilary clinton won his state of new mexico,, the people have spoken,,, and he saying someithing completely different,, You can bet assure,,, he not going to get re-elected,, Hope he made that back door dealing with Obama,, ,,,

Loki said...

Well MSNBC doing it again,,,I see Bill Oreilly,, “Oh I mean Keith Oberman who acting like Bill Oreilly”
OutRage, just out rage,,, about OBama Passport,,, He more up set about it than Michelle Obama..
Get a grip,, Everyone know you have this love feast with Obama,, but know as Always Billo ops I meant Keith.
Speaking out of term again,, It no just Obama Passport,, it Hilary McCain. Barack .
But Of course in your eyes , it only going to be about Obama try to make the public,,, give only him
Sympathy ,,, You’ve always wrong lately,, Your not wrong about bill OReilly maybe you should just stick with him..

LOOK at the blunder you did with your special comments on Hilary and Ferarro… how she was out of line for her comments
But when Obama Racist pastor does something or its a different story,,a man he knew for 20 year,, not only did he lie on your
Station,,, saying he never Heard those remarks or ever hearing him saying those remarks,,, then he came out a week later say yes he was in church when he said some remarks,,,and then he will not denounce Jeremiah Wright ,,, Yet he He did say last year, Imus should get fired for those remark against the woman basket ball team,,, but Jeremiah Wrights comment are alot worst,,, And still yet Billo Oberman, Now he is saying,,, talking about his grand mother, she a Typical white woman,,,, all the racism coming from Obama camp.
Obama want to unite everyone ,,, it will happen but not by Obama,,, the Obama camp been on CNN and Msnbc & Fox saying if the Super Delegate give Hilary the delegates, The obama Voters are going to vote for McCain,, Well that a big to blog out there,,, Most of us are learning from the Obama camp,,, If Obama wins the Primary,,, Hilary voter will vote for McCain, ,,,What goes around comes around,,, there many blogs on this,,,Why don’t MSNBC Just call them selfs MSNBC Barack Obama head Quarters.who who will be the main Anchor,, Billo Oberman. The Worst Person in The World,

Loki said...

Barack Obama is a liar,,,

To all
Obama speech ,,,, Not sure if you caught Not only did Obama,,, Refuses to denounce him,, but even More,, He say in his own words,,,
Barack Obama was in church when Jeremiah Wright,, was spewing Anti-American, Racist ism ,,,, Those were his own words,,, barack was there
After going on keith Oberman ,Show obama said he would denounce that if he heard that language he would leave and not tolerate it , and denounce it
After he went on MSNBC,, he went on FOX CNN ABC< all the news station saying he was never there,,, in his church when he said these things,,
But Now today during his speech,,He states flat out Say’s HE was there,,, Last week Barack Obama Lied,, went on all the news stations, and Lied,,
But your not reporting that,,,, You can rest assure,,, cnn ,,, Fox , ABC,,, Msnbc,, are getting more on this ,,, they will be reporting on this, and we will see
If you chose to report, Obama Lying on tv,,, If this was Hilary clinton lying and caught lying on all the new station,,, you can be sure,, you would talk about it every hour
people will be on your station debating this,,,, people analysing , if it is hilary clinton but it was not her it was Barack Obama, ,, it bad enought He lied, about being in church
With Jeremiah Write, when he said these anti american ,,,,,and still refuse to denounce him…all the news agency want to do is speak on how good his speech was,
Not that he lied,,, Last week on all the news agency ,, He was never there today in how own speech He say I was there,,,,should play all Obama videos from last week
stating he was not there,,, or heard any of the anti-american Jeremiah Write, said in his churc then play his speech today saying he was there and he did hear him in church and refuse to denounce Jeremiah Write,,,

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