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Monday, March 03, 2008

Two Days from a Hillary Clinton Concession?

Mulling over the five possible scenarios with which we go to sleep on Tuesday night...

Scenario 1: Hillary Clinton wins both Ohio and Texas by large margins.

Scenario 2: Clinton wins both by small margins

Scenario 3: Clinton wins one state, Barack Obama the other, likely by small margins

Scenario 4: Obama wins both by small margins

Scenario 5: Obama wins both by large margins

In Scenario 1, Hillary Clinton is still very much in the ballgame. While she is down about 150 in pledged delegates, to win both Ohio and Texas by 10-15 points would get her back to double digits, but more importantly, shift the momentum severely in her favor. It would then be a seven week campaign in Clinton's neighborly Pennsylvania, which she probably wins with the Ohio-Texas momentum. If she wins the troika of states, she argues to the superdelegates that she wins big states and has the momentum as the primaries wind down, and they have their excuse to join her.

In Scenario 2, Hillary Clinton is still in the ballgame, though she would still be down by over 100 delegates. The path to victory is similar to Scenario 1, just less likely.

In Scenario 3, Hillary Clinton should concede but does not. There is no avenue for victory, barring a Pennsylvania blowout, and Puerto Rico adopting a winner-take-all vote on the final primary in June, then voting for Clinton. Neither would happen, because Obama never let Clinton get momentum on March 4th.

In Scenario 4, Clinton should concede and might wait a few days to gather the troops first.

In Scenario 5, Clinton concedes Tuesday night or Wednesday.

With the polls steadily slipping towards Obama, Scenario 1 seems impossible. The most likely case is Scenario 3, which drags out the election far too long. Here is the likelihood and longterm result of each scenario.

Scenario 1: Likelihood: 5%; Longterm result - Clinton nomination
Scenario 2: Likelihood: 20%; Longterm result - Unpredictable
Scenario 3: Likelihood: 40%; Longterm result - Obama nomination
Scenario 4: Likelihood: 30%; Longterm result - Obama nomination
Scenario 5: Likelihood: 5%; Longterm result - Obama nomination

As if it had to be said, Obama is clearly in the driver's seat.

Tomorrow, the latest polling data for Mini-Super-Tuesday.


Charles M. said...

I like your thoughts, IC, but jut because Hilary should concede does not mean she WILL.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, except a 5% chance that Clinton blows out both states? No way. Try 1.

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