Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Democratic primaries’ results since February 20th (final)

June 4, 2008

Since February 20th, there have been 16 Democratic Primary contests. Hillary has won 9, Obama 7. So Hillary has won more Democratic Primaries since February 20th than Obama.

In the 16 contests since February 20th, Hillary has won 507 pledged delegates; Obama 470. So since February 20th Hillary has won more pledged delegates than Obama.

In the 16 contests since February 20th, Hillary has gathered 6,929,767 votes, Obama 6,313,396. So since February 20th Hillary has won more votes than Obama.

Summing up, since February 20th Hillary has won more states, pledged delegates, and votes than Obama. Are the democrats going into the Presidential Election not only with the weaker candidate of the two, but with a candidate that stopped being viable more than 3 months ago?

Rove’s maps: is Obama really gonna bring even New York back into play?

May 23, 2008

One striking feature of Rove’s electoral maps – which I hadn’t noticed the first time I looked at them the other day – is that with Obama as the Democratic candidate even the state of New York (N-E-W Y-O-R-K!!!) is in play! Obama has only a 4% advantage, just enough to paint the state blue on Rove’s maps (3% advantages count as toss-ups).

I don’t know which polls Rove used for New York, but here there is a pretty comprehensive list, which appears to suggest that maybe Rove is underestimating Obama in New York: have a look at the list and you will also see, though, that there is at least one scary poll for Dems…

Democratic Primaries results since February 20th (update)

May 23, 2008

Since February 20th, there have been 13 democratic primary contests: Obama has won 439 pledged delegates; Clinton has won 456 pledged delegates.

So since February 20th Obama has gathered fewer pledged delegates than Hillary Clinton.

In the same last 13 contests Obama has received 6,085,465 votes; Clinton has received 6,569,504 votes.

So since February 20th Clinton has received 484,039 votes more than Obama.

Hillary’s dilemma

May 22, 2008

While we wait for the final numbers from Oregon to establish what kind of win Hillary needs in Puerto Rico to overtake Obama in the popular vote count even without Michigan, just a wee thought: many agree that, with the kind of numbers she has, Hillary will be hard to stop if she really wants to become VP. Let us suppose that to be true.

Conventional wisdom also has it that, the way in which Obama and Hillary have over the last few months brought to the polls such diverse elements in the electorate – and in such substantial numbers – their ticket could not be stopped: Hillary would campaign in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, New Hampshire, West Virginia; and Obama in Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan. And they would win. Let us suppose this also to be true.

Finally, conventional wisdom also has it that Hillary is convinced that Obama cannot win in November (not alone, anyway). Let us also suppose that Hillary thinks that, independently from the merits of such view.

Now, suppose you are Hillary Clinton. Given the above, you have a clear path to become VP – neither Democrats nor Republicans, we have supposed, can stop you. But also, given the above, you are convinced that if you don’t push yourself onto the VP seat, Obama will lose, and you will very likely pick up the shuttered pieces of the Democratic Party in 2012, and probably defeat old John McCain – after all, there would be no need to remind everyone that you did warn them against Obama: even unborn babies know that much. So what do you do, Hillary?

Is Obama finished?

May 20, 2008

In the last three months – since February 20th – there have been eleven democratic primary contests (two more, Oregon and Kentucky, take place today).

In these eleven contests, Obama has obtained a total of 394 pledged delegates, while Clinton has taken 398.

So in the last three months Obama has gathered fewer pledged delegates than Hillary Clinton.

In the same last eleven contests Obama has received 5,515,438 votes; while Clinton has received 5,858,938.

So in the last three months Clinton has received 345,500 votes more than Obama.

Hillary’s last supers

May 16, 2008

Primary Folk will unquestionably remember the last few weeks as the time when Obama overtook Clinton in her last desperate stand: the number of super-delegates.

I am rather surprised, on the other hand, by the fact that Hillary got around twenty super-delegates endorsements of late. Why would a super-delegate who has been courted by both candidates for months come out and endorse the candidate that, according to everyone, has already lost? Why wouldn’t you stay on the fence a while longer and then endorse the next President of the United States? Isn’t it peculiar?

Three possible explanations:

1) principles: those super-delegates have finally realized that they identify with Hillary and her politics. Not a chance in the all bloody universe…

2) short-term personal gain: the Clintons are still able to guarantee significant political gains for people that, let’s remember it, are nobodies. But can it be that Obama was not able to outbid them?

3) those superdelegates know something that we don’t, and that’d have to do with Hillary’s prospects…

1 is out of the question and 2 isn’t very convincing. Can it really be 3 is on to something?

Hillary’s electability argument

March 13, 2008

Obama supporters are misrepresenting Hillary’s electability argument. The argument isn’t that Hillary has more chances in November because she has won the bigger prizes such as New York, California, and Texas; while Obama’s victories are mostly in small Republican states. The point about Hillary’s big-state wins against Obama’s small-state wins is that even though Obama has more pledged delegates, Hillary’s fewer delegates come from more significant battlegrounds (even though obviously Hillary’s camp can’t make the point as plainly as that, otherwise they are going to offend an awful lot of folk).

Hillary’s electability argument is, rather, that she has better chances in those states that will decide the November general election against McCain. And there is plenty of evidence that Hillary has better chances in four such major swing states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New Jersey.

There are two main ways to compare two candidates’ November chances in a particular state: how the candidates did in that state’s primary election; and what the general elections’ polls for that state say. Hillary has won the Ohio primary; she has won the New Jersey primary; she has won the Florida primary (even though it didn’t count); and she is predicted to win the Pennsylvania primary on April 22nd.

Furthermore, according to the RCP poll averages, Hillary has a better chance than Obama of beating McCain in each of those four states come November:

Ohio, Hillary vs. McCain & Obama vs. McCain;

Pennsylvania, Hillary vs. McCain & Obama vs. McCain;

Florida, Hillary vs. McCain & Obama vs. McCain;

New Jersey, Hillary vs. McCain & Obama vs. McCain.

So Hillary’s electability argument looks pretty strong.

Obama ads on Politico.com

February 18, 2008

obamaonpolitico21.jpg

obamaonpolitico31.jpg

I’m not sure this should be allowed: both Obama ads are displayed alongside pieces on Sen. Obama himself and his opponent, Sen. Clinton.

The Superdelegates Argument

February 14, 2008

Whatever happens between now and April 22nd, the Democratic Presidential Primaries will be decided by superdelegates. There is no plausible scenario in which either candidate can get 2,025 pledged delegates, apart from the one in which one of them drops out pretty soon. Therefore the question of what are the grounds on which a superdelegate should choose which candidate to support is paramount.

Obama and Hillary have different answers to that question: according to Obama’s camp, superdelegates should not overturn ‘the will of the people’; and since the ‘will of the people’ is supposed to be expressed by the number of pledged delegates, Obama’s camp has it that superdelegates should support the candidate who’s got more pledged delegates (this argument is put forward in detail in a new website, Obama Is Winning).

Hillary’s camp argues, on the other hand, that superdelegates can choose according to criteria other than just who’s got the more pledged delegates: things like who they consider the better candidates, who better represents their own views, who they consider to have better chances against the Republican nominee, and so on.

The striking difference between Obama’s argument and Hillary’s is that, according to Obama, superdelegates shouldn’t be there in the first place. If they ought to vote for the candidate with the most pledged delegates because they mustn’t overturn ‘the will of the people’, then quite obviously they would best achieve that by not being at the convention in the first place. Indeed, if there is any point in distinguishing between pledged delegates and unpledged delegates (superdelegates), and in seating them both at the convention, then superdelegates must be able to vote on grounds other than those proposed by Obama’s camp. Their argument, then, is pretty simple: the whole selection system must be changed, superdelegates are a bad idea – let the nominee be chosen only by people who actually vote at primaries and caucuses across the country.

It is quite obvious why this is a troublesome argument: Obama’s camp is saying that the electoral rules – by including superdelegates – don’t fairly represent ‘the will of the people’. But this is the same electoral rules that Obama accepted when joining the Presidential race. So the basic problem for Obama, apart from the merits of the electoral system, is that he is now wanting to change the rules halfway through the game.

But what about the merits of such mixed system? It is difficult to argue, as Obama’s people are trying to do, that it is undemocratic. I cannot think of any liberal democracy that has a purely proportional system: I am thinking of Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, to mention but a few. The US Senate itself, of which Senator Obama is a member, isn’t purely proportional – Rhode Island and California having the same number of representatives. And almost no one, in Britain, wishes for a completely elected House of Lords.

So one need not even appeal to the otherwise important fact that most unpledged delegates are nonetheless elected representatives to argue for the need to balance proportional representation: every liberal democracy I can think of – including the US – already accepts that.  There are, then, plenty of good reasons to think that unpledged delegates should continue to participate in the election of the nominee. But those reasons aren’t even necessary: it is sufficient that those were the rules when Obama joined the race.

I have a dream (ticket). Do I? I do, don’t I? I think I do, anyway…

February 1, 2008

What if Hillary and Obama made the following deal: whoever ends up with more delegates come February the 6th will be the Presidential nominee. The other one gets to run as their VP.

Not bad, eh? Here’s a few advantages:

– both would get to run for the White House no matter what;

– the Democratic Party’s unity would be preserved and recent tensions, which are threatening the party’s chances to win in November, would be soon forgotten;

– we would get possibly the most revolutionary presidential ticket, at least from a symbolic point of view, in modern times (and than would probably scare Nader off)

One issue would be that while Obama can easily be imagined as HRC’s VP, the opposite is hard to think of (maybe ’cause of Bill?). But then again the most likely scenario’s still Hillary getting the nomination, and she could do much, much worse than choosing Obama as VP.

On the other hand, this arrangement would probably penalize the candidate who has the best chances in the states that vote after SuperTuesday, since however things go then, neither candidate will probably end up with a sufficient number of delegates already on the morning of the 6th.