As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Maybe More Than The Frontrunner

Jane Hamsher breaks down the math.

Chuck Todd on MSNBC gave a portrait of how dire the situation is after tonight for the Clinton campaign. According to his tallies, she needs 58% of the remaining pledged delegates just to get the lead. If you concede Mississippi, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, North Carolina and Vermont to Obama (which is a conservative estimate), she needs 65% of the remaining pledged delegates in order to simply get ahead of him.

Obama, on the other hand, will need 65% of the remaining pledged delegates to hit the magic number of 2025 which will give him the nomination. If you add in all the committed superdelegates, he needs less than 50% of the remaining pledged delegates to hit that total.

And polls indicate that Obama has it to within single digits already in Ohio and Texas, with two weeks to go. He's eating into her core voter bases. And we all know about the peculiar delegate favorability in Texas. And the big win in Wisconsin probably netted him superdelegates Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl.

Out in the world beyond the Internets, this has been a good race (inside the Internets it's been a different story, which has cost many their credibility). It's been largely clean; while tactically the Clinton campaign has occasionally tried to discount the role of actual voters, and to be fair so has Obama, most of the controversies were manufactured (I can't believe Hillary is still trying to use the present votes issue when she didn't show up at all for any of the FISA votes, essentially voting "present" on the issue even though she was in DC at the time). Clinton didn't go negative until the last week in Wisconsin, and it obviously didn't help, although one of her senior staffers reportedly said if we didn't she'd have lost by 25. And even the negative "attacks" were kind of patty-cake. What was far more damaging where the attacks whipped up by the Clinton-supporting liberal blogosphere that made their way into the hands of the GOP (this Michelle Obama ridiculousness is an example. Why wasn't she proud of her country!?!?!?!?). She may come out negative at the debate on Thursday night, but it doesn't seem to me that will be rewarded by voters.

Hillary Clinton ran a campaign that would have been good enough in practically any other year, including 2004. She was a compelling figure and impressive in her knowledge of issues. I think as a candidate she outshone her campaign staff by a wide margin; her best idea would have been to put everybody else but her into the background. But Obama outworked her almost everywhere, paid attention to the particular rules of the states and played by them, and used that ineffable characteristic called momentum to power through February. I said on February 6 that Ohio and Texas were likely to be decisive. If Clinton doesn't win both big, they will be.

And then we can go to the DNC and change some of these ridiculous rules so that nobody hyperventilates in future years the way they did this year.

Labels: , , , , , , ,