Posts Tagged ‘Indiana’

Thoughts on Clinton v. Obama: Indiana and North Carolina

May 6, 2008

Even if Hillary Clinton wins both North Carolina and Indiana today, which is highly unlikely, all relevant metrics still point to his nomination. This could be a shock for some people, including white blue collar voters, who will have seen Clinton surge over the last two months, while Obama has flagged.

The often unsaid reality of the 2008 campaign is that the deck is stacked against white, working class voters due to the Democratic Party’s distribution of delegates. In Pennsylvania, Clinton rode the support of these voters to a victory by a margin of 214,224 voters. Despite her win there, she gained only 10 more delegates than Obama.

Obama, by contrast, won by a sounder margin in the Idaho caucuses. He defeated Clinton: 16,880 to 3,665. Thanks to this 13,000 margin, Obama garnered 12 delegates. Although Clinton won Pennsylvania by a margin that is 16 times greater than the margin Obama won by in Idaho, she received two fewer delegates.

Obama won more delegates in Idaho because of the high percentage of his victory there. It’s all the more puzzling because the state is practically irrelevant to a Democratic win in November. In Pennsylvania, Obama’s losses were mitigated because his success came in urban areas, which carry more delegates than less populated and less Democratic areas.

A similar analysis of Ohio demonstrates analogous results. In Texas, where Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote in the primary by more than 100,000 votes out of almost 2 million, she ended up losing five delegates to Obama. Again, this was due to Democratic delegate apportionment and Obama’s success in a caucus there when less than 43,000 participated.

Just because Obama has the delegate advantage, doesn’t mean it’s fair. But this is politics.

I’d watch the fallout here as the Democratic Party attempts to come together as the Democratic National Convention approaches. 

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