Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hillary's trouble today

NBC reports correctly why I believe Hillary Clinton is going to have trouble in Texas tonight:

Clinton needs to win by sizable margins in Ohio and Texas to cut into Obama's lead in the delegate count because they are awarded proportionally. And even if Clinton wins the popular vote in Texas, she could wind up with fewer delegates than Obama because of the state's unique same-day primary and caucus system.

Even if Clinton manages to win the popular vote in the Texas Democratic Primary, the Texas Democratic Caucuses, which decide 1/3 of Democratic delegates, start at 8pm tonight-and Barack Obama has managed to wipe the floor with Hillary Clinton in every caucus the two have been matched up in except Nevada-and Obama still managed to win more delegates than Clinton in Nevada (13-12) because of that State's unique delegate allocation rules. Democratic delegates are awarded proportionally, and that means that it would be quite possible for Barack Obama to lose the Primary in Texas and still walk away with more delegates than Hillary Clinton. If you win the most delegates, you have effectively won the State.

One State Hillary is all but certain to win tonight is Ohio, but what is interesting is the strategy she is using to carry that State. She is counting on a series of counties in rural and socially conservative Southeast Ohio (Muskingum, Perry, Morgan, Guernsey, Noble, Hocking, Vinton, Jackson, Gallia, Lawrence, Washington, Ross, Pike, Scioto etc.) to carry her over the top, as opposed to Northern Ohio around Cleveland and Toledo-which means that she is effectively ceding the heavily African-American vote in those areas to Obama. The counties that Hillary Clinton is expecting to vote heavily in her favor and help her carry the State are counties that are just as likely to go Republican in the presidential election in the fall. Southeast Ohio is an area that is known to vote Republican for President and often vote Democratic in the downticket races, largely because Ohio Democrats are smart enough to know that they cannot win in Southeast Ohio without nominating moderate-to-conservative Democrats in key races.

The short translation of all of this is that Hillary seems likely to win Ohio with counties that she can't depend on in the fall.

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At Wednesday, March 05, 2008 1:06:00 AM, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

My head hurts.


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