Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Results

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I've been out most of the evening, and I've got an early morning adventure ahead of me (with the threat of snow to add to the drama), so although I'm playing catch up with the Super Tuesday results, I'm also going to keep it short. We'll find out more details of how the delegates shake out in the morning (here's the New York Times's wrap up of the Democratic action). Although I've been hearing some spin about how the Hillary campaign comes out ahead as a result of today's voting, it seems to me that Obama has more than held his own. He won more states, so that's good, but Hillary won more of the big states such as California and New York, so she comes out the winner. And what about delegates? Obama has done well, since delegates are awarded proportionally, so it doesn't even matter who won or lost which state, it comes down to who's getting the delegates. They seems fairly evenly split, which can only be a plus for Obama. If he's not falling behind, then he's as much or more a part of this race as he's ever been. Hillary representatives have been talking about how everything's going along as planned, but they have to be disappointed. There's still a long way to go.

Over on the Republican side (and here's The Times talking about Republicans), John McCain added further to his delegates, coming that much closer to the nomination. Mitt didn't do terribly well, but Huckabee surprised all by picking up four states! Is he now running for vice president? If he is, would that be enough to bring back Rush and Dobson to the fold?


At 10:54 AM, February 06, 2008, Blogger Jason said...

The politics junkie in my is pretty psyched by the idea of a floor vote on the convention being more than a rubber stamp. The partisan Democrat in me just wants a nominee so we can get on with the important business of taking shots at the GOP nominee.

At this point, I'm guessing my inner politics junkie is the one who's going to be satisfied. The calendar for the rest of February favors Senator Obama, but not strongly enough that he can put Senator Clinton away. In March, we have Texas and Ohio, the last two really big prizes. I haven't seen any numbers out of either state, so who knows. One thing Senator Obama will need to do if he wants to win Texas is improve his performance among Latinos (the numbers I saw indicate that Senator Clinton took the Latino vote 60/40 -- that is obviously make-or-break in Texas).

In any event, I think Ohio and Texas (and all the subsequent states as we limp through March, April, and May) will be too close to give a decisive victory to one or the other. Which means it will all come down to the superdelegates. And note that while some of the superdelegates have publicly pledged support to one candidate or the other, they are free to vote for whoever they want (albeit, in the case of those who have taken public stances, at the potential cost of some embarassment due to "flip flopping"). In terms of those votes, Senator Clinton's chief advantage is that as a party insider, she has 16+ years of relationships to draw on. Senator Obama's chief advantage is that he's perceived as an asset in the down-ticket races (particularly in relatively red districts) while Senator Clinton is perceived as a liability.

All of which is a long way of saying that either candidate could take this thing, and anybody who tells you otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.

In terms of the GOP, I was surprised the last few weeks when everybody was writing Governor Huckabee off, and I'm not at all surprised he did well last night. I expected to see Governor Romney do a little better, though. My handicap going into last night (and I know this sounds like 20/20 hindsight) was that the delegates would split roughly 50-28-22 for McCain-Romney-Huckabee. Instead, we got 60-22-18.

At 2:43 PM, February 06, 2008, Anonymous Dirk said...

Here's the thing. The states leading up to Texas and Ohio look pretty good for Obama. The kinds of caucuses where he's been killing her (70% in Kansas) on Saturday and then Maryland , DC and Virginia. Now Virginia will be a battle but DC and Maryland are not bastions of whiteness. Meaning that by this time next week Obama may have run up a score of South Carolina sized crushing victories and will have drawn even -- even counting her lead among super delegates. Things look good for him and bad for McCain. Hucks victories may earn him a VP slot that would be deadly in the hands of a Sarah Palin.


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