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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mississippi Racism and Where This Is Going

Barack Obama's win in the Mississippi Primary was decidedly unsurprising. Mississippi is the state with the highest percentage of African-Americans with 36%, and 91% of those voted for Obama. (A number that shocked me: 70% of registered Democrats in Mississippi are black.) He rode the massive support of African Americans and the limited support (21%) from the white community to a resounding 61-37 victory, a 24-point margin.

The margin of victory produced a net delegate gain of 6 for Obama, winning Mississippi's delegates 17 to 11. Combined with Saturday's Wyoming victory and Obama's victory in the Texas Caucus, Obama has net enough delegates in the last week to overcome Hillary Clinton's win on March 4th.

Now we get to the updated delegate count.
Pledged delegates: 1,404 - 1,243 (Obama +161)
Superdelegates: 237-207 (Clinton +30)
Total delegates: 1,611 - 1,480 (Obama + 131)

As the weeks have passed since February 5th, Barack Obama has slowly but surely padded his pledged and overall delegate lead. Moreover, as he continues to extend his lead in total delegates, popular vote, and pledge delegates, he is getting an influx of commitments from superdelegates, while Clinton's number has remained stagnant. This compounds the damage towards the Clinton campaign every time Obama wins a state.

Even a 10-point win in Pennsylvania will not be enough and Camp Clinton knows that. Therefore, a huge shakeup is necessary. The tone and timbre must be drastically altered without it seeming as if the Clinton campaign is panicked. They continue to steadily sink in the quicksand of politics, but to struggle could speed the process.

In order to win, they need to reach out to an enormous base. They need to ensure the turnout of that enormous base. Through this, they need to win nearly every remaining state, not just Pennsylvania. If successful, they hope that the shift in momentum back to Clinton is in time for the superdelegates to reasonably commit to Clinton, which will keep her in the ballgame until they figure out what to do with Florida and Michigan. Importantly, to avoid the quicksand effect, they must do all of this through subterfuge and misdirection.

Enter Geraldine Ferraro.

Explanation Friday. (Yes, Friday.) See you then.


The Dude said...

And exit Geraldine Ferraro....

Jonathan said...

Looking forward to tomorrow's post.

Scott McLean said...

Yes, you are right. Hillary's campaign is in trouble at this point. Waving her hands in the air, and telling audiences that her opponent is all talk (she's wrong about that) is showing she is desperate. I also don't care about her argument that she has more experience. Nor is she the more electable candidate against McCain just because she's won some "big" states. I think that Obama is more electable because he's getting new voters excited to vote for him, and he's got good ideas. She's not making a case for why she ought to be the nominee, but rather just spending to much time saying why he shouldn't be the nominee.

I really like your blog. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

And enter Ralph Nader.

I see a close election coming up. So here's a bigger question than who's most likely to defeat McCain or who has the most experience or who isn't a woman or isn't black or who gets to claim Michigan and Florida.

That bigger question is: Who is most capable of leaning to the right to grab votes from the McCain field of thought while simultaneously leaning to the left to grab votes from Nader. I wonder if a month of news out of Pennsylvania will answer that question.

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