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Campaign 2008: Pundits Versus Reality

Peter Daou sent this to me today and I am posting it here with his Permission

Campaign 2008: Pundits Versus Reality

Please feel free to post in full or to send your feedback. Thanks!
Campaign 2008: Pundits Versus Reality

Hillary Clinton will lose New Hampshire and the race will be over

Hillary Clinton wins New Hampshire, defying the predictions and the polls

Hillary Clinton will lose the big states on Super Tuesday and the race will be over

Hillary Clinton wins the big states on Super Tuesday – and wins them by double digits

Hillary Clinton will lose Texas and possibly Ohio on March 4th and the race will be over

Hillary Clinton wins both Texas and Ohio on March 4th – and she wins Ohio by double digits

Despite Hillary Clinton’s big victories on March 4th, “the math” works decisively against her and the race is essentially over

The math is simple: neither candidate has reached the number of delegates required to secure the nomination and either candidate can win

Barack Obama is substantially ahead in the pledged delegate count; pledged delegates are the only measure of success; therefore the race is essentially over

The candidates are within fractions of one another on delegates; Barack Obama needs super delegates to win; and a marginal pledged delegate lead does not determine the outcome

Barack Obama is substantially ahead in the popular vote; Florida and Michigan don’t count; therefore the race is essentially over

The popular vote is virtually tied; half of Barack Obama’s narrow vote advantage is from his home state; and his lead excludes Florida and Michigan

Once the remaining states vote, Barack Obama will be substantially ahead in delegates and votes and the race will be over

The race is a dead heat now and no one knows where things will end up after millions of remaining voters in the upcoming states make their choice

Hillary Clinton’s situation is dire; her campaign is struggling; her supporters are disillusioned and desperate

Hillary Clinton and her supporters are calm, confident, and focused heading into the key state of PA, where she is running strong

Hillary Clinton’s campaign lacks significant grassroots energy; only one candidate has mobilized supporters to take action for the campaign

Hillary Clinton’s supporters across America have written letters, blogged, donated tens of millions of dollars, volunteered millions of hours and made millions of calls

There is a loud and growing chorus of voices asking Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the race

Precisely the same number of voters (22%) think Barack Obama should drop out of the race as Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is the candidate running a negative, divisive campaign; she is throwing the “kitchen sink” at Barack Obama

Barack Obama has been throwing the sink, the stove, the plates and the garbage can at Hillary Clinton, attacking her integrity and character every day

For Hillary to win the nomination, super delegates will have to “overturn the will of the people”

The will of the people is split and both candidates need – and are making their case to – super delegates

Hillary Clinton is threatening to poach pledged delegates from Barack Obama

Barack Obama is reportedly already trying to poach pledged delegates from Hillary Clinton

Florida and Michigan’s voters won’t be heard and their delegates won’t be seated all because of complicated procedural roadblocks

Barack Obama is intentionally disenfranchising voters in two critical states for purely political reasons, namely, that he’ll lose his small advantage if they count

Every single word or action from Hillary Clinton, her campaign, her surrogates and her supporters is part of a calculated and cynical political strategy

Hillary Clinton is a loyal Democrat, a lifelong public servant, a tireless and tenacious candidate, and is fighting hard – and fair – to win with the help of millions of dedicated supporters


Followup from Peter:

All – as a follow up to my post on the pundits versus reality, here’s a very interesting analysis from Marc Ambinder…

How To Count The Popular Vote
28 Mar 2008 02:50 pm

The hyperintelligent Jay Cost at RearClearPolitics has produced for us a most helpful spreadsheet computing the various popular vote scenarios.

But this paragraph, is, to me, a very crucial point that both Clinton and Obama campaigns would rather ignore:

We have a large number of unknown factors. For many of them, we have very little idea what values they will ultimately take. What we do know is that small changes in several of them could induce large changes in the vote count. This makes it extremely difficult to be as precise as many commentators have been. We need to be wary of all the uncertainty we face here.
So — my fairly conservative calculation has Clinton netting about 446,000 votes between now and June 3. Under all scenarios that exclude Florida and Michigan votes — and count the votes of Washington’s primary — Obama still retains a popular vote lead of not more than 330,000 — or an advantage of less than one and a half percent.

Under a scenario that includes the Florida and Michigan votes for Clinton, gives Obama all of the uncommitted Michigan votes, estimates the votes for all the caucus states and includes the Washington primary, Clinton wins by about 16,000 votes — or about a tenth of one percent.

Which scenario is “right?” Under DNC rules, until the credentials committee figures out which delegations to seat, Florida and Michigan do not exist. But the voters in those states certainly do in the existential sense — and if we’re answering the question by figuring out how many Democrats voted for Obama versus how many Democrats voted for Clinton.

Obama supporters will anchor their estimates in the worldview most hospitable to Obama’s nomination, and Clinton’s supporters will similarly find ways to justify including Florida and Michigan before it is DNC-legal to do so.

The media may be called upon to take a stand — especially since the superdelegates tend to listen to the media more than other entities — and the most reasonable answer may well be — well, it depends on who you talk to.

Are there historical precedents? Well, Democrats like to count every vote. So — advantage Hillary? But there has to be some tempering factor to account for Obama’s name not being on the Michigan ballot. Ok, but then there has to be some tempering factor to account for the fact that Obama’s campaign made the decision to stay off the Michigan ballot as least as much because they feared losing the state to Clinton as they wanted to make a statement to Iowans about the integrity of the calendar process. Obama’s campaign also made the strategic decision to contest caucuses; the Clinton campaign dumbly decided to avoid them. If they had spent a comparable amount of money and resources in the caucus states, Obama’s margin of victory would have been lower and he certainly would have less of a delegate lead.

These are all arguments… all persuasive in their own way… and they don’t get me any clearer towards the answering the question about which votes to count and which votes to ignore.

Marc Ambinder’s post in the Atlantic.

14 Responses

  1. it’s good news for Obama. Since 2005, his PAC has donated $710,900 to superdelegates, more than three times as much as Clinton’s PAC has. Her PAC distributed $236,100 to superdelegates during the three-year period. The study found that the presidential candidate who gave more money to the superdelegates received their endorsements 82 percent of the time. That’s based on a review of elected officials who are serving as superdelegates and who’d endorsed a candidate as of Feb. 25.

    And I thought it was all about his crappy speeches.

  2. somewhat related to the topic. Krugman has another fantastic article on the race. I love Krugman. This is an actual quote from the article:

    Mrs. Clinton, we’re assured by sources right and left, tortures puppies and eats babies. But her policy proposals continue to be surprisingly bold and progressive.


    Did I mention I love Krugman?

  3. And I thought it was all about his crappy speeches.

    (giggle) — Me too.

  4. The intense competition in the American elections is a tough lesson in democracy for everyone concerned (ie. the world). The vaste amounts of resources and media attention devoted to the on going drama makes one wonder about a lot of things. However it is entertaining and in the midst of all the in-fighting amongst the Democrats, a lot of serious policy issues have been highlighted which can only be a good thing.

  5. Sorry guys. Brains on vacation on the view:

    This dialogue is really embarrassing for The View.

  6. Oh, Bob! You shouldn’t have! You make me feel brand new …


  7. hlr: you are funnee.

  8. ghost2: Just the way to win an election in the United States: shove race around 24/7. Good grief. This is a conversation for off year; it’s no way to win an election.

  9. Let’s remember that after Super Tuesday Obama was behind much more than the 6 percent Hillary is now, and Hillary didn’t send any surrogates to scream at him, or insult him.
    But then she doesn’t play dirty.
    Living near Chicago doesn’t seem to have had the same effect as….

  10. Here’s more reality–Obama’s inexcusable faux pas over the Bataan Death March! ! The timing couldn’t have been better (sarcasm) as the Bataan Memorial Death March is this Sunday in Las Cruces, NM! Last year, over 4,000 people participated!

    Stop by my post which gives some of the history of Bataan and how New Mexico was affected.

    You can bet this won’t be going over real big here in NM!

    Shame on Obama!

    Bill Richardson Should Have Told Obama About the Bataan Death March

  11. the last straw….

    We all have our issues when it comes to speed-writing and spell-check, but on the day that your candidate begins a six-day bus tour across the Keystone State to allow voters to get to know him, well, maybe you should be careful with your spelling of Pennyslvania’s bigger cities. The old lore was that there’s only one burg in the nation that ends with an H. And that’s Pittsburgh, the first stop on Senator Barack Obama’s travels across the state, west to east.

    Maybe Senator Bob Casey should’ve told the campaign that. Instead, it put out this release just a little bit ago with the misspelling twice, one in the subject header and in the caption for photographs:

    “Today, on the first leg of a six-day bus tour through parts of Pennsylvania, Sen. Obama visited with workers at a U.S. Steel plant in Pittsburg.” Now we’d understand it if someone had trouble spelling Monongahela. (Or pronouncing it.)

  12. This post is pretty funny, but it ignores the way that pundits have the power to shape reality… Those pundits saying Hillary would lose a certain state could potentially cause many of her supporters to stay home with a feeling that their votes don’t count.

  13. “Sorry guys. Brains on vacation on the view:

    This dialogue is really embarrassing for The View.”

    I must say that the only thing The View has ever been good for is providing ammo to sexists who think women are stupid. People should just stop watching that drivel. They argued about whether the Earth was flat, for Democritus’ sake.

  14. Good to know you are censoring posts now. Not even those evil baddies at DailyKos and Huffington Post tell Hillary supporters they can’t reply. Pathetic.

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