Saturday, March 22, 2008

Why the Clinton/Obama Race Needs to and Will Continue

Ok, out of appreciation and respect to my readers who clearly disagree with my position on the battle between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clionton, I will attempt once more to demonstrate the only things that matter right now in this race: facts. After this, I will no longer engage in the back and forth debating over Hillary's right to stay in the race and her supporters' right to see this through until the end. I will continue to blog about what I see on the campaign trail, and readers are free to debate amongst themselves on the message board. I've clearly demonstrated my objectivty here, and have stated my position repeatedly. So, while I know the following indesputable facts might mess with the fantasy, here they are again to ponder nonetheless...

Fact #1: The party requires 2025 delegates to win the nomination, not 2000, 1900, 1800 or 1700. That number exists for a reason. If neither candidate achieves that level, neither candidate wins. The party does not have a "whoever has the most delegates wins" system.

Fact #2: The party instituted the super-delegate system over 25 years ago to serve as the decision-making body in the event no one reaches the minimum, or "wins." The super D system exists to handle contested situations exactly like the one we have now

Fact #3: Obama and Hillary are separated by just about 2% in popular vote

Fact #4: Obama and Hillary are separated by just about 10% in delegates

Fact #5: Hillary has won most of the big Democratic must-win states for the general election. Obama has not.

Fact #6: the latest polls show that Obama has lost appreciable ground among independents. Neither candidate will win anything without a majority of independents

Fact #7: a new Franklin & Marshall College poll in Pennsylvania shows that among voters in that state (whose very significant primary is April 22), Obama's unfavorability rating has increased from 16% to 25% from mid-February

Fact #8: a new USA Today/Gallup poll has Clinton with a 49%-42% lead over Obama. Just over a week ago Obama led 50%-44%.

Again, these are inarguable facts. One can choose to ignore them, spin them or wish them away. But what you can't do is refute them. That's the beauty of facts. And it is precisely these facts that keep Clinton in the race.

And now for little closing editorial, although it essentially is fact as well: As harsh as this may be for Obama's supporters to hear and grasp, he will not reach the 2025 minimum because he will not have convinced enough Democratic voters to vote for him. Because he clearly has not "united" the party. Because he really only has roughtly half of the party behind him. Certainly no mandate, and no justification whatsoever to expect Clinton to back out at this point. The battle between him and Hillary rages on--much to the chagrin of him and his supporters--because the race is so close. If it weren't, none of us would be wasting any time on it, and Hillary would have dropped out long ago. What we have is a heated race. Some claim that Hillary's dividing the party by staying in the contest. I call it Democracy in action. She has a right to run, and voters have a right to support her without being vilified by the opposition for being divisive, un-American, un-patriotic and racist. This kind of bullying is not what the Democratic Party stands for.

I think it's pretty presumptuous and arrogant (not to mention incredibly naive and unrealistic) to feel someone's breath on your neck as you dash to the finish line and then turn around and demand that they exit the race so you can "win."

A final thought to the Obama supporters: you are certain of his inevitability. You feel it's a slam-dunk that his lead is convincing the super D's to support him. You repeatedly claim that "it's over." If so, then why not let it play out till the end? Why are you so against letting the process--the one laid out by the party over 25 years ago--run its course? Why are you repeatedly calling for an early end? Perhaps it's because you're not that confident after all? That you worry that somehow the process may result with Hillary as the victor? In sports, one team could be down by a zillion runs/points and the game still plays until the end. As Yogi Berra aptly said, "It ain't over till it's over." It's time to accept that.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. The facts you list are irrefutable. Hillary is, I hope, setting an example to all the other Democrats in power to stop the 'caving' they have done so much of lately. It is my opinion Gore and Kerry caved too soon. Not only that, it's pretty clear that Hillary will be the nominee. The Wright outrage has raised too many questions about him and also proved he cannot unite the party or the country.

I wish you would get in touch with CNN journalists and remind them of the facts.

Thank you so much for your blog. I don't always agree but I am always appreciative.

Anonymous said...

The reason the Obama people are pushing for Clinton to leave is a certain trail is about to play itself out in the chicago area. That will not be too flattering for a certain senator from the area,not that he played political favors per se,but dealings that will bring more of said senator's perfect judgement into play,with clinton out of the way they can claim it's the right-wing media twisting the facts against said senator,so to make sure the right wing or the courts can not give us a gary hart or gov. dicaucus moment.So the lady needs to stay in the race intill the convention

Anonymous said...

Fact 1 and 2 - if Obama has the most delegates and popular vote, the superdelagates will support him. Forget the 2025, it is no longer relevant. It's interesting in theory, but that's about it.

Fact 3 and 4 - Obama is winning both.

Fact 5 - winning a state among Democratic faithful has nothing to do with winning over independents and Repubs. That goes both ways for Hill and Obama.

Facts 6, 7 and 8 - polls are a snapshot and often wrong. Stop being so wedded to them. The indepenedants have not come close to making up their mind yet, but they've had years and years to dislike the Clintons, right or wrong.

Inarguable? Irrefutable? None of this is. Keep suporting Hillary if you like, but at the end of the day, a Hillary nomination would be divisive and polarizing.


Sidney Condorcet said...

Hey Andy, if you really think you're bright and an ardent Democrat, why don't you lay out a path where Hillary get's the nomination where she doesn't say f*ck you to 50+% of the Democratic voters and 50+% of the pledged delegates? Give me any viable scenario and you can count me placated. I'd appreciate it. I'm sure Hillary's own campaign would appreciate it. Money wise, she's in the red. Momentum wise, she's in the red. You're a sore loser, and you'd clearly prefer a McCain victory in the fall b/c you are committed to ensuring that Obama doesn't become the nominee until the convention in August, which would give him little time to rally Democrats around him. You and your ilk are so myopic, it's ridiculous. You'd cut off your nose to spite your face, all in the name of a candidate who is imperfect in her own right. Please, pass me whatever it is your smoking, because it seems an awfully potent hallucinogen. Praise President McCain, who would never have been elected if the Democrats knew how to get their shit straight.

Sidney Condorcet said...

I kid you not, if this year was 1968 Ostroy would be an ardent Humphrey supporter trashing Robert Kennedy...

Anonymous said...

The Obama followers, much like Obama himself, deny facts. Obama's brand of "hope" seems to be the hallucinogen for Obama and his devotees.

Anon 9:44 simply doesn't understamd the purpose of the super delegates and, I guess. believes his prediction to be a fact. And, as for Sidney -- the attorney???? Please.

Sidney Condorcet said...

Anon at 11:30pm, we appreciate you adding absolutely nothing to the proceedings. What facts are we denying exactly? Andy's constant posts on this matter grow wearying. The media and the superdelegates are slowly awakening to the fact that this is over. To all those who have criticized the comments I've made on this blog, you can rejoice in the fact that I will no longer be visiting this site until the (clearly inevitable) moment Clinton withdraws from the race so as to avoid these enervating, intellectually dishonest, tendentious posts.
To steal from the Stones, time is on our side, yes it is....

Anonymous said...

Just like in a basketball game, Obama's team is ahead by 20 points with just 3 minutes remaning. As the saying goes, it's all over but the shouting.

It is quite obvious that there is already a clear winner at this time.



Anonymous said...

Sir, I beleive you have an excellent point. Who knows, Hillary might have a big comeback and at the end of the buzzer, she might just lose by 10 points.

What you have said surely make a lot of sense.

Have a great day!


Anonymous said...

To start with Andy, calling yourself objective about all this is a joke. You are NOT objective about this.

Fact #1 - Your last 3 "facts" are not facts at all. They are polling results and are completely disputable because they are unreliable. Polls are like a tennis match: back and forth back and forth back and forth up and down up and down. If you're going to spew polling data, why not at least use which averages many polls together. Unless of course you just want to cherry-pick for the results that support your subjective reality.

Fact #2 - Hillary's BIG STATE wins are traditionally BLUE STATES. They will remain blue no matter who the Democratic nominee is. Making a big deal about those states is stupid. Don't forget that there is currently an investigation underway about all those Republicans who crossed over "for one day" in Ohio to vote for Clinton like their good buddy Rush told 'em to. How much did she really win Ohio? 16,000 Republicans in one county alone (there are 88 counties in Ohio) sure could put a dent in that 220K margin. But who cares about facts?

Fact #3 - Obama won Texas.
The delegate results are:
Obama - 99
Clinton - 94

I'm personally quite confident that even with the race going all the way to Denver, that Obama will have the most delegates, the most states and the most popular votes.

What I'm also confident about is that if the race goes all the way to Denver is that Clinton will continue to run her scorched earth campaign against Obama which I'm also confident will result in plenty of pull-quotes for the GOP in the general election. Nothing quite like having the last major Dem president quoted about "fairy tales", "mugging" and "rolling the dice".

Oh and how about all that sniper fire Clinton had to duck in Bosnia?

How is it that telling lies to the American people about foreign policy experience is supposed to generate confidence?

These are some of the reasons why people want Hillary to drop out or at the very least just campaign on her strengths and stop the shitstorm against Obama. If this was an honest, sincere campaign on the issues and credentials, I'd bet everyone would be fine with it going on and on. But it's not. It's divisive and offensive and rife with fear mongering. Carville just called Richardson a Judas and Camp Clinton dissed all the states Obama has won as "boutique". This is how she treats Democrats; ones she would ostensibly need in a general election battle. This process you so lovingly adore is shredding the party. Read your own blog and its comments. Wake up.

Caro said...

Sidney Condorcet:

Why don't you lay out a path where Obama gets the nomination where he doesn't say f*ck you to almost 50% of the Democratic voters and almost 50% of the pledged delegates?

Carolyn Kay

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:30 -

Anon 9:44 simply doesn't understand the purpose of the super delegates


the point is, since I apparently need to spoon feed you, that the supers will not move to Hillary if Obama has the lead in pledged delegates, popular delegates and states won. Have you noticed how few supers have moved to Hillary in the past 6 weeks and how many more have moved to Obama? As a practical matter, they will not move to Hillary under the current circumstances because they are politicians who value their own careers also. You can say it is their job to pick the most electable candidate as many times as you want, but they will not go out on a limb and contradict all three matrixes (sp?). Her only argument for the supers is if she wins the popular vote and that won't happen without Florida and Michigan.

Their "purpose" is nice and tidy in theory. But you can't look at it in a vacuum. Sometimes the real world impacts theory, no?

Anonymous said...

by the way, of course that should read "pledged delegates, popular VOTES and states won" but you get the point.


Anonymous said...

Gallup: Obama Retakes Lead Over Hillary
By Eric Kleefeld - March 22, 2008, 5:12PM
Today's Gallup tracking poll shows Barack Obama retaking the national lead over Hillary Clinton, after the Jeremiah Wright scandal had badly damaged his numbers and put him behind for nearly a week. Here are today's numbers, compared to yesterday:

Obama 48% (+3)
Clinton 45% (-2)
It would appear that Obama's big speech on Tuesday, combined with the Bill Richardson endorsement, have gone a long way in fixing his poll numbers for now. But he still has yet to fully recover the six-point lead he had in Gallup a little over a week ago.

Uh, oh. I guess that takes care of "Fact 6, 7 and 8"

Anonymous said...

It's revealing that "Sidney" uses the royal "we" to bid his fairwell to this site. Would it were so. Now he'll revisit under "Anonymous" as did/does his predecessor "Larry" Remember him?

Anonymous said...

Obama fled the country this Easter Sunday, holy of holy holidays so he wouldn't have to decide or explain his attendance (or not) at his beloved church of Jeremiah Wright.

Anonymous said...

the new obama tool their going to try and use is remember when bill clinton said if hillary didn't take texas and ohio,she should get out of the race,Obama people are already trying to say hillary didn't take texas because of the caucus after the working people voted,you know where the elite get to over-rule the poor mans vote,hillary won the most individual vote,but the obama people will steal texas,mark my word,by them stopping the revote in michigan and florida they have stole those votes,wasn't it the dems. who hollered about ever vote counting.I guess it depends on whose vote it is,and the right-wing media is really backing Obama,every 24 hr news chanel will tell you hillary can't get to 2025 delegates,as if Obama can,people are being PLAYED and once again the blue collar worker will pay

Caro said...

>>Gallup: Obama Retakes Lead Over Hillary

Rasmussen doesn't agree: "Nationally, Hillary Clinton now holds a very slight advantage over Barack Obama, 45% to 44%."

One day's polling does not a decision make.

Carolyn Kay

Anonymous said...

Fact #1 - Your last 3 "facts" are not facts at all. They are polling results and are completely disputable because they are unreliable.

hey BKLN you are doing exactly what ostroy predicted, whch is to spin. You are choosing to ignore the FACT that these polls came out and their results are EXACTLY as ostroy showed them. now you are free to spin them any way you wnat, like you did above, and say that the RESULTS they show are not valid, or however you wish to discount them. But ostroy's point is that no one can deny that those polls came out and showed the numbers he quoted. thats a fact and whether you believe them or not is something else.

Anonymous said...

Laughing at Anon 8:24

You're right. Those polls DID come out. But what they COLLECTIVELY point to (which is why I mentioned the poll averaging service of comes to a different conclusion than what Andy is inferring - ie, that Obama has fallen behind. To the contrary, averaging the polls had him UP by 3.5%

Glad you spent so much time with the real meat of my post.