Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Parsing the Super Tuesday Results

Since I posted on this earlier today, the numbers have changed. I think it's worth another look.

The GOP is the same -- McCain took a solid lead last night, although nothing is decided yet. Huckabee was the big surprise in winning 5 very conservative states (not sure why this was a surprise, but the media seems to think it was).

On the Democratic side, it seems now that Obama actually won when everything was finally tallied.

In a surprise twist after a chaotic Super Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) passed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in network tallies of the number of delegates the candidates racked up last night.

The Obama camp now projects topping Clinton by 13 delegates, 847 to 834.

NBC News, which is projecting delegates based on the Democratic Party's complex formula, figures Obama will wind up with 840 to 849 delegates, versus 829 to 838 for Clinton.

Clinton was portrayed in many news accounts as the night’s big winner, but Obama’s campaign says he wound up with a higher total where it really counts — the delegates who will choose the party’s nominee at this summer’s Democratic convention.

With the delegate count still under way, NBC News said Obama appears to have won around 840 delegates in yesterday’s contests, while Clinton earned about 830 — “give or take a few,” Tim Russert, the network’s Washington bureau chief, said on the “Today” show.

The running totals for the two, which includes previous contests and the party officials known as “superdelegates,” are only about 70 delegates apart, Russert said.

The bottom line is that the two are virtually tied.

While the totals are virtually even now, it's worth looking at who won what.

Clinton won the liberal stronghold states of New York and California, which also awarded the most delegates. She also won the typically Red States of Arizona, Tennessee, and her home state of Arkansas. But Obama won more Red states, including Alaska, Idaho, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Colorado, and Utah.

Looking ahead to the general election, yesterday's results suggest that Obama might have a better chance of winning traditionally Red States than might Clinton. Of course, if McCain is the nominee, the battle for independent voters will be the single most important element of the campaign. Both candidates appeal to those disaffected with the extreme portions of their respective parties.

I find this interesting. McCain has a more conservative voting record than either of his two remaining competitors, and Obama has a more liberal position on many issues than does Clinton. Somehow, each has created the perception of being more centrist, which will be the key to winning this year (as far as I can see, but I am no expert), because I am convinced that this will be the year that independent voters will decide the outcome.

Aside from the details from last night's results, the biggest take-away point is that Obama now has the momentum to win the whole thing. In last night's reports of the results, the pundits were talking about their perception that Obama's people wished they had had a few more days before Super Tuesday to consolidate the momentum that was building in the last week or so. Turns out they didn't need it. Obama won the night, and he now has some serious Big Mo going into this weekend's primaries.


Anonymous said...

look again, bro ;)

see UPDATE section

this primary is just crazy! the news sites are inconsistent with their tallies and both camps are spinning the story.

but as of this writing, looks like Clinton had the slight edge during Super Tuesday. if the super delegates are factored in, Clinton is still ahead.

but i agree with you. the momentum and budget are in favor of Barack Obama. i'm confident that he's gonna take Washington state easily. but the Democratic primary will have a showdown in Texas ;)


william harryman said...


OK . . .

There were some primaries.
Some people voted.
Someone may or may not have won.

The system the Dems created back in the Sixties to ensure that every voice is heard is just about too damn complicated to be useful.