Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The math
CBS's delegate counters score the delegate count as follows, after PA:

Obama - 1,710
Clinton - 1.584

With Hillary picking up 82 delegates last night to Barack's 69. (The NYT and AP score it 1,661 to 1,511.) Is that enough for her to win the nomination? No. Is her 200,000 popular vote pick-up enough to overtake Barack there? No. His popvote lead is now down to about 500,000, and with 9 smaller contests left, the math still doesn't work for HRC. Every analyst working right now agrees that Hillary's only shot at the nomination is to draw the calendar out, and hope Barack implodes, either on his own, or by her doing (or because white voters simply stage a rebellion and refuse to move him forward to the nomination, handing her something like 70-30 wins in the next nine contests.)

That's the ballgame, Hillary fans. It's all over but the screaming and dragging out of the room. Still, there are real perils for Barack, who will have to endure more nastiness from Camp Clinton, and more backlash from a press corps desperate to appease her operatives, and to not appear to be favoring him (they have no similar desperation as regards their clear love for John McCain.) And the race has exposed -- or more accurately, ginned up, real racial divisions that could haunt Barack into November, as WaPo's Dan Balz points out:

In Pennsylvania, Clinton won white voters who did not go to college by about 40 points. In Ohio, it was 44 points. Nor did Obama increase his vote among white college graduates, losing them to Clinton in Pennsylvania by six percentage points after losing them in Ohio by seven.

Clinton won the late-deciders in Pennsylvania handily, an apparent sign again that Obama has had trouble closing the most competitive primaries. In Pennsylvania, in contrast to Ohio, Obama threw everything he could into the final days, airing three negative commercials on television, hammering Clinton with a closing argument that cast the choice as one between a practitioner of special-interest politics as usual versus a reformer who would change the way Washington works.

One clear bright spot for Obama was the nearly one in 10 voters in the Democratic primary who had recently registered with the party. Pennsylvania experienced a huge shift in voter registration over the past year, with Democratic registration rising by more than 300,000 and Republican registration shrinking by about 70,000.

Among newly registered Democrats voting yesterday, Obama won them by about 20 percentage points. His advisers will point to that as evidence that he can draw support from former independents or even disaffected Republicans in a general-election race against McCain.

And so we go on, and on, and on ... to the detriment of the Democrats' chances in November.

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posted by JReid @ 11:01 AM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
Listen now:


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