Primary Update

Clinton won the primaries in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, while Obama won in Vermont. This is unquestionably good news for her.

However, it’s limited good news, since several weeks ago, the thought was that Clinton was obviously going to win Texas and Ohio. That gap narrowed drastically in the following weeks, making her two wins a lot more uncertain. Of course Clinton did better in Ohio than people were saying she would two or three days ago. Summary: the expectations game is a crap-shoot. More importantly, the narrowness of the wins may not have given her enough delegates–before Tuesday, the gap was roughly 100 delegates. [ED: removed because I am so fucking confused.  I have read 22 delegates, 6 delegates total, 4 delegates from Texas primaries alone]. Gathering a similar proportion of delegates in the coming primaries would still leave her behind in delegates once the voting is over (as Hilzoy notes in that link, almost everyone has done the same math). Marc Ambinder posts a memo from the Clinton campaign, and notes that it says nothing about how they expect to make up the gap.

There are other complications. For an example of how insane it might get, try Noah Millman’s Clinton-Obama dialogue (which I couldn’t finish, through no fault of Noah’s). The current speculation is what will happen to Michigan and Florida–if Hillary can get some delegates out of those states (possibly through a revote), that will alter the above delegate count.

Still, it looks like the Clinton campaign would continue on, which is a reasonable thing to do after picking up three states and declaring Ohio “a state that knows how to elect a president.” Several states are very Obama friendly, including my native North Carolina, but Pennsylvania is similar to Ohio in many ways, so it may be a good place for Clinton to rest her hopes. I’d made a conscious decision not to post on the primaries until I knew whether Pennsylvania would matter, but now that it’s the next big state, I’m going to try and lay out my case for voting for Obama to try and persuade people I know around here.

Also trying to figure out what is going on makes my head hurt–here’s speculation about an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket.

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2 responses to “Primary Update

  1. I was disappointed by the Ohio and Texas results. Initially, I’d planned on not voting (or caucasing or whatever) because a. the process seems complicated and b. I was hoping Obama had it in the bag, so Pennsylvania wouldn’t matter. Now that Pennsylvania will matter, I think I’ll have to get off my butt for Obama. Maybe in addition to making the case for Obama, you could give step-by-step instructions for how to vot/caucas??? Instructions not quite step-by-step would be good too.

  2. I’m almost certainly the wrong person to ask. My participation so far has involved saying “why yes, I do need to register” to someone on the bus and then filling out forms that he gave me. I do know that March 24th is the deadline to register.

    Pennsylvania is a primary state, so it’s probably a lot less complicated to vote. I’d assume you’d need nothing but registration and ID. My polling place is less than two blocks from my house, so I’m set…

    I’ll post anything noteworthy that I find out, but it seems hard to find local information, at least with minimal google-fu.