Monday, March 03, 2008

An Interesting Tomorrow


"Alas, poor Hillary! I knew her Horatio..."

So the political stories of the day pronounce. It is certainly true that even if Clinton holds to win Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania tomorrow, because of the rules of the Democratic Party nomination process she has an uphill fight on her hands. It is also true, that even if she sweeps tomorrow the spin will be against her. "Oh, she barely held on to big leads! Obama's the real winner in spirit if not in fact. Obama won 10, 11 in a row, how can three measly wins for Clinton be considered a real set back? Besides, they really mostly split the delegates at stake evenly." etc.

Let's play a game of make believe. Let's say the world contained nothing but Democrats, and instead of a convoluted mish-mash of proportional representation and caucuses, we ran by Electoral College rules. Let us further say that in this fantasy disputed Michigan, egged on by "patriot" Michael Moore, has left the Union and joined Canada so the Electoral College had only 521 votes with 261 needed for victory. In such a land how would Clinton and Obama be doing?

Obama would have 154 EV's after winning 18 contests.
Clinton would have 193 EV's after winning 12 contests.

Were Clinton to sweep Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas she would have 268 EV's and the win. Were Obama to take Texas and Clinton the other two, Clinton would still lead 234 to 188. In such a scenario she would need 27 EV's out of the remaining 99 (or 27.27%) in order to sew things up.

In other words, if the Democratic nomination system looked anything like our actual presidential election procedure, Obama's campaign would be on life support.

If one is a Democrat the question arises, is it good to have a system that results in the less electable candidate winning?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I'm Hillary, there is no way I drop out. Assuming Hillary keeps grabbing close to half the vote, I don't think that it's mathematically possible for Obama to get the magic number without the superdelegates, so she should keep it going at least until the convention. Unless of course he offered something too juicy to pass up, like an appointment to the SC.

BTW Hillary takes both OH and TX.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see her win both OH and TX, and I also don't see her dropping out shy of losing OH, TX and PA badly. I don't see her support falling off a cliff just yet.