Top 10 Myths Keeping Hillary In The Race

March 31, 2008

Chip Collis gives an excellent analysis…

I have noted a number of myths amongst the comments here as to why Hillary should stay in the race. Here are ten enduring, kudzu-like myths, with the debunking they sorely need.

Myth: This race is tied.

No, actually, it’s not. Obama has the lead in number of states won, in pledged delegates and in overall delegates. Nothing will happen in the remaining primaries to substantially change that. As to the one thing Hillary does lead in, superdelegates, her quickly shrinking margin is among DNC personnel only. When you look at the elected superdelegates, Congressman, Senators and Governors (i.e. people who actually work with both Obama and Clinton) Obama leads there, too.

Myth: Okay, the popular vote is tied.

There are people who claim that because of the 3% separation, that Obama’s lead in the popular vote is a “statistical tie.” This is a myth because, when you can actually count things, there’s no need of statistics and no such thing as a margin of error. The popular vote is not an estimate based on a sampling, like a poll. Like the general election, there are winners and losers and, so far, Obama is the winner.

Myth: Fine, but what if we count electoral votes? NOW Hillary is ahead!

Not so much. The proportions of electoral votes to population versus delegates to population are pretty comparable. So if you allocated electors proportionally in the same manner that you allocate delegates, Obama is still ahead. If you allocate them on a winner-take-all basis, then that would be the same as allocating the delegates on a winner-take-all basis, so why bring electors into it?

Myth: But if we did do it like the Electoral College, that proves Hillary is more electable than Obama, because of states like California.

This is perhaps the saddest little myth of all. It’s ridiculous to suggest that Obama will lose New York and California to McCain because Clinton won them in the primaries. No, come November, those states will join with Obama’s Illinois to provide 40% of the electors necessary for him to win.

Myth: Very well, then, Mr. Smarty-Math. But if we counted Michigan and Florida, THEN Hillary would be winning!

Nooo, she wouldn’t. The margin would depend on how you allocate the delegates, but Obama would still be ahead. And he’d still be about 100,000 ahead in the popular vote, too, despite not even being on the ballot in Michigan. However, it would enhance Hillary’s chances of catching up in the remaining races.

Myth: Ah HA! So Dean is keeping them out just to help Obama! And Obama is keeping them out.

That’s two myths, but I’ll treat it like one. The only people who can come up with a solution to this problem are the states themselves, to be presented to the Rules and Regulations Committee of the DNC for ratification. It was Rules and Regs, not Howard Dean, who ruled that Florida and Michigan were breaking the rules when they presented their original primary plans. If the two states cannot come up with a plan to reselect delegates, they can try to seat whatever delegates were chosen in the discounted primaries by appealing to the Democratic Convention’s Credentialing Committee, which includes many members from Rules and Bylaws.

Myth: If they don’t get seated until the convention but a nominee is selected before these poor people get counted then these states are disenfranchised.

There are two ways to debunk this myth: semantically and practically. The first is based on the word “disenfranchised:” these people have not been deprived of their right to vote. Through the actions of their states, their votes don’t impact the outcome. Now, you may say that that is specious semantics (Myth: I do say that!) but practically speaking, this is the usual effect of the nominating process, anyway. All of the Republican primaries since McCain clinched the nomination have been meaningless, but those voters are not disenfranchised.

Florida and Michigan tried to become more relevant in the process by breaking the rules. They risked becoming irrelevant instead.

Myth: Well, I say they are disenfranchised, and Hillary Clinton is their champion.

Only when it suits her. Last fall, when the decision was first made to flush 100% of Michigan and Florida delegates, Clinton firmly ratified it. That was because the typical punishment of only 50% representation also kept the candidates from raising money in those states. Figuring that she would wrap up the nomination handily anyway, the clear front-runner agreed with all the other candidates – including Obama – to completely “disenfranchise” those two states.

Myth: Well, never mind 2007. She’s doing more now to bring them in.

Not really. Recent stories in the St. Petersburg Times political blog said that 1) the Obama camp has reached out to the Florida Democratic party about a compromise and that 2) the Clinton camp will discuss nothing else but re-votes, which are legally, practically and politically dead.

Myth: Whatever! Hillary can still win! I know she can! She and her 37% positive rating will sweep through the remaining primaries and Michigan and Florida, winning 70% of everything and superdelegates will flock to her banner and Barack Obama will personally nominate her at the Convention and John McCain will give up and George Bush will even quit early so she can take over and… and… and… can I have a glass of water?

Yes, and you should lie down, too.

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there’s gotta be a way…

March 29, 2008

And Only Count the Votes of Left-Handed People! And Only Count People Who Lettered in a Sport in High School! And…

Bill Clinton on a call yesterday with supporters of his wife’s in Texas.

“Right now, among all the primary states, believe it or not, Hillary’s only 16 votes behind in pledged delegates,” said the former president, “and she’s gonna wind up with the lead in the popular vote in the primary states. She’s gonna wind up with the lead in the delegates [from primary states].”

There are 40 primary states and territories; 18 caucuses.

“It’s the caucuses that have been killing us,” Bill Clinton said. “We can still win this thing. We’re gonna have a big victory in Pennsylvania. It’s gonna change the psychology even further, but we need your help.”

Other ways Sen. Hillary Clinton could be the nominee through creative math:

* Only count Arkansas and the states that border it (except for Mississippi, Louisiana and Missouri);
* Only count the votes of people who have heard Chelsea speak in person;
* Ballots en espanol only;
* Nomination determined by who does better in NCAA pool.


the math doesn’t add up for Hillary

March 15, 2008

A funny thing is happening. While Hillary and Bill Clinton appeal to superdelegates to override the will of the voters and back Hillary, the superdelegates are doing just the opposite.

The latest delegate count posted on realclearpolitics.com shows that Hillary’s lead among superdelegates, once a comfortable 60 votes, has now been cut almost in half, to 36 delegates. The latest tally has Hillary leading among superdelegates by 247 to 211. So, with 57 percent of the superdelegates decided, Hillary’s lead is shrinking.

In fact, Barack Obama’s total delegate lead has swelled to 163 votes among elected delegates and 127 among all delegates. With 1,614 votes, he isn’t far from the 2,025 he would need, without Florida or Michigan, to win the nomination.

Of the remaining 566 delegates to be selected, Hillary should enjoy a slight edge. She’ll probably win Pennsylvania (158 delegates), Indiana (72), Kentucky (51), West Virginia (28), and Puerto Rico (55). Obama will likely win North Carolina (115), Oregon (52), Montana (16), South Dakota (15) and Guam (4). If this turns out to be so, Hillary would lead in states with 364 delegates, while Obama would prevail in states with 202. But even if we assume 10-point wins for each candidate in each state (and the margin will likely be much tighter), all Hillary would get from her states is 36 more delegates while Obama would get 20 from his — still leaving Obama with a lead of 147 in elected delegates.

At that point, Obama would have about 1,900 votes, within spitting distance of the 2,025 he’d need to win. Hillary would have to win the remaining superdelegates by a top-heavy margin of 2:1 in order to win (steal) the nomination from Obama, who will have won the most elected delegates.

Even if we factor in possible do-over primaries in Florida and Michigan, the nature of the proportional representation process is not likely to change this outcome significantly. Hillary might get an extra 20 delegates if she wins both states, but she’s not likely to get more.

Can Hillary carry the remaining super delegates by 2:1 when she is carrying the ones who have committed by only 247 to 211? Not very likely. The pressure on these delegates to vote as their states voted will be very intense and few are likely to stand up to it.

Remember that these superdelegates are either elected officials in their own right, which means that they need to get re-elected, or party officials in the various states whose ears are very close to the ground. Particularly in caucus states that Obama carried heavily, they are not about to antagonize the party activists who backed Obama by undercutting their will and switching to Hillary.

In fact, the track record of the super delegates so far indicates that they are abandoning Hillary and signing up with Obama as his delegate lead mounts.

So even if the Clintons try as hard as they can (and they will) to steal his election, their chances of doing so are getting increasingly remote.


Hillary: The New Comeback Kid… or rather, not

March 12, 2008

A little more than a week ago front pages across the country joined 24-hour news networks and the World Wide Web in declaring that Sen. Hillary Clinton had forged a dramatic comeback against Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic nomination.

I contend that’s not what happened.

But how could that be? Didn’t Clinton take three of the four states voting for nominees on March 4, including the two biggies, Texas and Ohio? Well, yes and no.

Clinton did win Ohio by a significant margin and as a result received 74 delegates to Obama’s 65. But in Texas, while Clinton did indeed win the primary, Obama handily won the caucuses which that state also uses to determine allocation of delegates. They finally ended up counting the caucus votes on Tuesday. When all was said and done, Obama had captured 99 delegates in Texas to Clinton’s 95. And, as the political analysts keep telling us, it’s all about the delegates.

In the other March 4 contests the pair split the small states, Obama taking Vermont. while Clinton won in Rhode Island. Add up all the delegates from the four races and Clinton walked away with 187 to Obama’s 181. That’s right, for all the hoopla and breathless talk of a Clinton revival, she gained only six delegates, according to figures compiled by CNN.

Since then Obama has won two more states — Wyoming and Mississippi — capturing 17 of the 28 delegates up for grabs. Put it all together and you find that since Clinton began her “comeback,” Obama has increased his committed delegate lead by two. There was no comeback.


Hillary urges Obama to help her screw him

March 12, 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton today called on Barack Obama to “join me” in ensuring that Michigan and Florida delegates are seated.

“If you are a voter from Florida or Michigan, you know that we should count your vote,” Clinton said during a speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

“The nearly 2.5 million Americans in those two states who participated in the primary elections are in danger of being excluded from our democratic process — and I think that’s wrong.”

Clinton repeated her campaign’s proposed solution: Either honor the votes as cast in the two states’ primaries, or hold new primaries.

Obama’s spokesperson was not immediately available to respond to Clinton’s remarks.

Clinton won the Michigan and Florida primaries, but the Democratic National Committee is not honoring the results because the states broke party rules and held their contests early. Neither candidate campaigned in the states and Obama took his name off the Michigan ballot.

Obama’s campaign has said that the states’ delegates should be evenly divided between the candidates because the states broke the rules.


life is full of trials

March 6, 2008

While Obama has seen a dip in his popularity due to the recent news surrounding the Tony Rezko scandal, let’s not forget about Hillbilly and Peter Paul.

While Hillary Clinton battles Barack Obama on the campaign trail, a judge in Los Angeles is quietly preparing to set a trial date in a $17 million fraud suit that aims to expose an alleged culture of widespread corruption by the Clintons and the Democratic Party.

At the conclusion of a hearing tomorrow morning before California Superior Court Judge Aurelio N. Munoz, lawyers for Hollywood mogul Peter F. Paul will begin seeking sworn testimony from all three Clintons – Bill, Hillary and Chelsea – along with top Democratic Party leaders and A-list celebrities, including Barbra Streisand, John Travolta, Brad Pitt and Cher.

Paul’s team hopes for a trial in October. The Clintons’ longtime lawyer David Kendall, who will attend the hearing, has declined comment on the suit.

The Clintons have tried to dismiss the case, but the California Supreme Court, in 2004, upheld a lower-court decision to deny the motion.

Bill Clinton, according to the complaint, promised to promote Paul’s Internet entertainment company, Stan Lee Media, in exchange for stock, cash options and massive contributions to his wife’s 2000 Senate campaign. Paul contends he was directed by the Clintons and Democratic Party leaders to produce, pay for and then join them in lying about footing the bill for a Hollywood gala and fundraiser.

The Clintons’ legal counsel has denied the former president made any deal with Paul. But Paul attorney Colette Wilson told WND there are witnesses who say it was common knowledge at Stan Lee Media that Bill Clinton was preparing to be a rainmaker for the company after he left office.

Paul claims former Vice President Al Gore, former Democratic Party chairman Ed Rendell and Clinton presidential campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe also are among the people who can confirm Paul engaged in the deal.


Clinton Wins, Obama’s Still Ahead; What’s Next?

March 5, 2008

On the heels of three victories in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., turned back a surging Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who came into Tuesday with 11 straight victories and picked up another win in Vermont.

So, what’s next?

1. If Clinton and Obama basically tie in the remaining 12 contests, Obama would need 164 superdelegates to come his way to put him over the magic number of 2,024

2. Assuming no currently committed superdelegates switched and no uncommitted superdelegates jumped off the fence. . .

Clinton would need to win 59% of the delegates in the remaining 12 contests in order to overtake Sen. Obama’s delegate lede.

If the upcoming 611 delegates at stake split 59/41 for Clinton — 360 would go to Clinton and 251 would go to Obama — netting Sen. Clinton 109 delegates. . . which would be enough to overcome Obama’s current 106 delegate lead.

3. There are 611 delegates up for grabs in the remaining 12 contests.

ABC News’ current delegate estimate has Obama at 1,555.

That means he would need to win 77% of all the remaining pledged delegates to hit the magic number of 2,024 to secure the nomination. That is highly unlikely due to the proportional delegate allocation rules in the Democratic Party.

Clinton would need to win 94% of all the remaining pledged delegates to hit the magic number of 2,024. (ABC News currently has her at 1449.)

So, clearly they both are going to be relying on superdelegates to secure the nomination.

Stay tuned…