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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Florida & Michigan Decision; Puerto Rico Polls

Hillary Clinton can win Puerto Rico. She can win Montana. She can win South Dakota.

And by Tuesday night, she will still have lost the Democratic Primary.

Yesterday's decision from the Democratic National Committee rules and bylaws committee reinstated all of the delegates from Michigan and Florida, but awarded them only half their weight at the convention. This decision yielded 87 extra delegate votes for Senator Clinton and 63 extra delegate votes for Senator Obama. Significantly, both Michigan and Florida now get to send their entire delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Denver this August.

The compromise seemed reasonable, though, predictably, Clinton backers seemed to want nothing less than 100% of Michigan delegates fully awarded to their candidate, despite Michigan ignoring the rules laid down by the national committee and despite all major Democratic candidates withdrawing their names from the Michigan ballot except Hillary Clinton.

Rather than analyzing the merit of the decision made by the rules and bylaws committee (a decision which I predicted with nearly perfect accuracy yesterday), I'd like to look at the ruling's impact on the Democratic Primary.

Which is nothing.

Time for some numbers:

Clinton's 24 delegate dent in Obama's lead is negligible. His 161 pledged delegate lead was cut to 137, with 86 pledged delegates remaining. His overall delegate lead was cut from about 200 to approximately 175. With 291 remaining pledged and superdelegates, she would need to win about 80% of them. If she wins each of the remaining states with 60% of their delegates, she would need to convince 88% of the remaining undecided superdelegates (181 out of 205) to overturn the pledged delegate results in order to win the nomination by one delegate.

A tall order. Some would say impossible. Include me in that some.

Simply, Clinton cannot come back. I still fully expect her to withdraw from the race on June 4th, with some version of, "I just wanted all of the states to have a chance to vote" as the crux of her argument concerning her late withdrawal.

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Here are some polls for today's El Primario de Puerto Rico. There is not much polling data coming out of the principality island, but here it is. (Note that the third one was taken back in the first week of April.)

Vocero/Univision Puerto Rico (5/8-5/20)
Clinton 59
Obama 40
Clinton +19

El Vocero/Univision/Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner (5/8-5/20)
Clinton 51
Obama 38
Clinton + 13
Research & Research (3/31-4/5)
Clinton 50
Obama 37
Clinton +13

Look for Clinton to still win big (58-42ish) and put an 8-10 delegate dent in Obama's insurmountable lead. However, do not expect the Clinton camp to care about the delegate spread. She will hammer home the idea that the Puerto Rican votes should count in the overall popular vote (they do not, only votes from the states do), and should thusly strengthen her popular vote case. She can then continue to declare that more people have voted for her in this primary than have voted for any candidate in any primary in our country's history (when one counts Florida, Michigan, and Puerto Rico). In this regard, she would be correct.

It will be a great line during her concession speech.

I'll take a look at the Puerto Rico results tomorrow as we amp up for (finally) the South Dakota and Montana primaries on Tuesday. At the end of the week, I'll finish the Barack Obama VP nomination countdown.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If HRD doesn't pull out this week and doesn't subsequently spend a LOT of time in Florida urging Democrats to vote for Obama in November, she will have my eternal scorn. She won't quit equal the scorn I have for George W. Bush, but she'll be right down there in the neighborhood of politicians who have no respect for their country. I think Dante described a special nook for people like them. I wish I could remember what their particular punishment was. I think they were up to their chins in excrement and trying very hard not to make waves.

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