Sunday, March 9, 2008

I Hate Math

But I bet Sen. Clinton hates it more right about now. I know there's this narrative out there about Clinton's comeback last Tuesday-you know, how she now has the wind in her sails. I thought so, too. At first. Now, I think, not so much.

Her three victories were impressive, but it turns out not to have helped her much in the all-important delegate count, where Obama still leads by more than 100 delegates. She didn't cut much into Obama's lead (about 20 delegates), and the ground she did make up is looking more like quicksand and could disappear entirely by the time the votes are counted in the Texas caucus and the Mississippi primary. And, remember, there were no surprises on Tuesday-two weeks out she was polling well ahead of her final numbers in all three contests.

Based on the CNN totals, Clinton seems to have netted a total of 20 delegates on Tuesday. Then, in Wyoming, Obama netted 5. That leaves Clinton netting 15 delegates total in the last week, and that's if you don't count the two super delegates who declared for Obama last week, plus the brand new congressman and brand new Illinois super delegate who was elected last week. That drops her net gain to 12.

Add to that the fact that Texas caucuses are still being counted, and Obama is ahead. When that counting is done, he may well have erased her seven delegate lead in Texas, or even passed her. But let's say he only cuts her lead in Texas by three. That reduces her net gain for last week to 9 delegates, and leaves me saying, "So, what's the big deal?"

The Mississippi primary is Tuesday, and Obama is favored. If he wins, he may completely erase any delegate ground she gained last Tuesday. As I watched the Sunday shows today, I heard Clinton surrogates argue: 1) that Florida and Michigan should be allowed to seat their delegations; 2) that big states are more important than other states; 3) that swing states and blue states are more significant than "red" states; 4) that it is the role of super delegates to supersede the will of the voters if in their super-wisdom they think it's the super-right thing to do; 5) "Caucuses are undemocratic." Funny, I don't remember her talking about undemocratic caucuses in Iowa. In fact, this was her campaign's statement when she signed the four state pledge in September of 2007:

Sep 1, 2007 4:02 PM Clinton Campaign Statement

The following is a statement by Clinton Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle.
"We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process. And we believe the DNC’s rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role.
Thus, we will be signing the pledge to adhere to the DNC approved nominating calendar."

Changed our mind, have we?

But, it's really not about math, is it? It's about the integrity of the process and the will of the voters. The integrity of the process means following the rules and making sure the will of the voters is reflected in the choice of nominee. There may be a way to give voters in Florida and Michigan a chance to vote again, but as Howard Dean said today, the measure of success will be whether the loser feels the process was fair. That, my friends, is going to be a tough row to hoe.


Open+Transparent said...

"It's about the integrity of the process and the will of the voters."

With that in mind, this "superdelegate" mularkey needs to go!!!

Tina said...

Wouldn't it be interestung if the elections in FL and MI were done over and Obama won.....?

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