|Author||Rating: 0 Topic: Even When She's Winning, She's Losing (Read 428 times)|
It was a few weeks ago that Hillary Clinton really started losing it. Piece by piece, bit by bit, Barack Obama had pulled out every bit of electoral victory ground upon which Hillary Clinton stands. First it was the pledged delegate total. Then it was superdelegates. By that point, the popular vote was long gone.
So when she needed a reason to continue her campaign, an alternate ruler by which to measure her flailing bid, it was one of her own superdelegates, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana who gave it to her. "Who carried the states with the most electoral votes is an important factor to consider," Bayh told Wolf Blitzer in a CNN interview, "because ultimately that's how we choose the President of the United States."
In other words, when the statistics don't suit you, make your own numbers with your own parameters.
Now, Clinton supporters love to point to that number, the last little bit of hope that she has to convince her party that she's the better equipped candidate to take on John McCain come November. And it's true! When you add up the electoral votes (which have no official meaning in a primary election), the states Clinton won constitute a higher aggregate total than those won by Obama. But when you take a closer look at it, even the electoral vote justification doesn't quite hold water for the former First Lady.
In fact, the very premise of Bayh's offering is preposterous, because it factors in states that are essentially no-contest battles. True, electoral votes are the ultimate quantifiable basis by which we elect a president. But in tabulating the most competitive Democratic candidate, can you really attribute the electoral votes of Texas to a Democrat, a state neither Clinton nor Obama stands a chance of winning? Or California, a state that neither candidate has the slightest chance of losing?
Bayh's assertion is misleading by his inclusion of factors that deceivingly (and intentionally, of course) skew the numbers in favor of Clinton.
When you retool the parameters to paint a more accurate picture of the Democrats' general election prospects, it becomes readily apparent that the electoral vote argument doesn't favor Clinton at all. Let's take a look:
In 2004, there were sixteen states that were decided by margins of victory of 9% or less (there were actually 19, but I've subtracted those states whose primaries have either not been held or certified). Of those, the 16 most competitive states of the most recent election, Obama has won the primaries in 10 of them, as compared to just 6 for Clinton.
And if you tabulate the number of electoral votes attributable to each of those states, it's more good news for Obama. His 10 primary victories count for 82 electoral votes. Clinton's count for 70. Mind you, this is including Hillary's "big-state wins" in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
But it doesn't stop there. Look at Clinton's margins of victory on the states that she did win: 3 points in New Hampshire. 6 points in Nevada. 1 point in New Mexico. Even in the states she won, she never did it by a whole lot. Compare that to Obama, who's won more than a few blowouts. On average, Clinton's average margin of victory in those most competitive of states was 6.7%. Obama's total is more than triple that, at 20.7%. Remember his 29-point victory in Virginia? Or his 34% wins in Minnesota and Colorado?
Even if you do it Bayh's way and add up the electoral votes from every state (even the most uncompetitive of them), Clinton's lead in that department will ultimately be minimal. If Obama manages to snatch Indiana (and according to the latest opinion polls, that's very possible), and still wins the states in which he's already favored- like North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana- he'll likely pull within two or three delegates by the time the last state has voted. If he can make a clean sweep of it and take Kentucky, too (which by most calculations is Clinton country), he'll have erased every last vestige of her lead, even this most ludicrous one crafted by one of her most vociferous supporters.
But in the end, none of it matters. Google the word "democracy," and tell me if you can find something that says something to the effect of, "an institution in which the power elite overrule the majority of the people in the selection of candidates." In every meaning of the word, from total delegates, to just pledged delegates, to the popular vote, Barack Obama has already won...no matter how hard you twist the numbers to get you there.
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Have you read what Sen. Bayh has done to US Reps in Indiana? Bayh has told the Reps that have not commited that they are to hold off with any endorsements until after the IN primary. I found that a bit odd since Bayh did not wait with his endorsement (of course then I believe that Bayh is sucking up with hopes of being the VP). I have sent an email to 3 of the Reps asking them to consider endorsing now.
Dennis Miller says Hillary's new slogan should be, "The Hope of Audacity."
I say her new slogan should be, "She Puts the Pathetic In Hypothetical."
Either way, it's clear... The only reason she wants to be president is that she wants to be president.
the pathetic in hypothetical! ha!