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Superdelegates moving?

February 28, 2008 pm29 4:07 pm

Not yet.

John Lewis flipped. And the mayor of Cincinnati declared for Obama. Chris Dodd endorsed him. And a few more.

But, sense of scale here. Hillary Clinton’s lead in superdelegates shrank from 60 last week to 54 this week. That there was any shift at all is news. But this is barely a trickle.

I know 2 superdelegates. The UFT President has been for Hillary forever. If you weren’t sure a decade ago, you had to be when Clinton blew off our June 2005 Madison Square Garden rally, and our leaders didn’t say a negative word. (What were we, 20,000 teachers gathered together, and we didn’t even get an audio hook up?) The other superdelegate I know, Mr. X, the day after Super Tuesday he was undeclared, but he and some others from his state have since declared for Obama (might have even happened a day or two before I wrote that he was still undeclared).

Some writers have painted a scenario where Obama is declared victorious before next Tuesday. I don’t believe it. See all those superdelegates not moving? They don’t believe it either.

Is it over? Not necessarily. Those battleground numbers that had been all going against Clinton? They stopped getting worse. And if Clinton manages to squeak through with wins next week in Texas and Ohio (polls have her up in Ohio, down by less than margin of error in Texas), the delegate numbers will remain close to even, and I can’t see her bowing out so fast. (I don’t think this is the most likely scenario, just that it can’t be written off)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. andy permalink
    February 29, 2008 am29 6:00 am 6:00 am

    Hillary’s got a really big math problem at this point. Barring an epic collapse in which Obama loses basically every remaining primary by double digits, she can’t catch up to him in pledged delegates. And unless she wins the remaining big states by significant margins, she’s not going to catch him in the total popular vote, either. So her only remaining path to the nomination, in all likelihood, is to argue that she should be the nominee despite winning fewer states, pledged delegates, and votes than her opponent. I don’t think that’s a wise course for her or for the party. And let’s face it, it’s only because she’s Hillary Clinton that she’s even being taken seriously after getting blown out 11 times in a row.

    I think she has to win both of the big March 4 states by significant margins in order to stay alive. If she squeaks by in both she could probably fight on if she wanted to. If she loses even one of them I think she won’t be able to withstand the pressure to bow out.

  2. February 29, 2008 am29 8:15 am 8:15 am

    Hillary can’t take a lead. And Obama barely has one. This is, she can claim, a dead heat. And that in case of a tie, she has, through years of service, earned the right to lead.

    Do I think that will happen? No. But a real possibility? Yes.

  3. andy permalink
    February 29, 2008 am29 8:44 am 8:44 am

    I agree with you that it could happen, because the rules are the rules. I just don’t think it would be in anyone’s best interest, including hers. There would be months of simmering discontent in the Democratic party about whether Hillary stole an election. And in the end, she simply wouldn’t get a huge chunk of Obama’s votes in November. His younger supporters will just stay home. His independent supporters will stay home or go to McCain (who’s quite appealing to independents already).

    So the end result is the same either way – Hillary isn’t the president. It’s just a question of whether she takes the party down with her.

  4. February 29, 2008 pm29 4:16 pm 4:16 pm

    here’s what Jay Cost at Real Clear Politics posted an hour or so ago:

    “If the RCP average is any metric – it is an argument that neither side has won. And yet, lots of worried Democrats want it over.”

    What’s so bad about super-delegates?

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