Election Analysis – D. Hamilton

My take on what lies ahead.
By David Hamilton / April 26, 2008 / The Rag Blog

The remaining Democratic primaries.

The remaining Democratic primaries are Guam (5/3), North Carolina and Indiana (5-6), West Virginia (5/13). Oregon and Kentucky (5/20), Puerto Rico (6/1), South Dakota and Montana (6/3). The delegates at stake are: Guam (4), North Carolina (115), Indiana (72), West Virginia (28), Oregon (52), Kentucky (51), Puerto Rico (55),Montana (15) and South Dakota (16).

Current polls project a big win (15%) for Obama in North Carolina, the largest remaining chunk of delegates. (estimated delegate advantage – Obama +9). Indiana is very close with most recent polls showing a very narrow Obama victory. (Obama +2). Clinton is way ahead in West Virginia (Clinton +8) and Kentucy. (Clinton +11). Obama is significantly ahead in Oregon. (Obama +8). There are no polls for Guam, Puerto Rico, Montana or South Dakota, but the biggest by far (55 of a collective of 90 delegates) is Puerto Rico, which should be very good territory for Obama. (Obama + 8) And he’ll at least break even in the rest.

Total. Obama gains an estimated minimum of 8 more delegates in the remaining primaries to pad his current 150 lead among elected delegates. Factor in that Obama has been running slightly behind his polls lately and the whole enterprise looks like it may be a wash. Hence, the Obama delegate lead will stay the same through the rest of the primaries or get slightly better. But not enough to win without super delegates.

There are roughly 300 super-delegates still uncommitted. Clinton has about a 30 delegate lead among committed super delegates, but that lead has been shrinking for months and has continued to erode even after her win in Pennsylvaniz. It was about 70-80 at one point. How will the remaining undecided super-delegates decide? The objective criteria all support Obama. He will win the most states, the most delegates and the most popular votes. Hence, Clinton tries to make an argument based on more subjective criteria – she won the big blue states, etc. Obama can counter that he’ll carry most of them in November anyway and bring others (Colorado, Virginia) into play. Basically, her arguments are weak compared to his.

What are the bookies saying? There are numerous sites that post odds and take bets on the election. They show Clinton as a 1 in 5 shot or worse to be the next president. Obama and McCain each have slightly less than even odds. A couple of these sites have quit offering book on the general election because it is too close and too unpredictable. But their clear conclusion is that Obama will win the nomination.

When? Prediction – After the 5/6 primaries in North Carolina and Indiana, where he probably pads his delegate lead by at least ten and especially if he wins outright in Indiana. At that point, with the party elders pushing for a decision, the slippage of super-delegates to Obama becomes irresistible and Clinton is forced to quit. She might hang on longer, but Puerto Rico would likely be the 15th round knock out. By the end of the primaries, Obama will have enough combined delegates and super-delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot at the Denver convention.

The General Election.

If Obama runs with someone besides Clinton (Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, Gov. Richardson of New Mexico, Sen. Webb of Virginia) against McCain with someone like Mitt Romney, it will be very, very close and unpredictable. In this situation, Clinton gives little more than lip service to the Obama campaign, holding out for his defeat and a run against an aged McCain in 2012. The Democratic Party would be dispirited and divided. Many Clinton voters will out sit the election or even vote for McCain. Count on the bedrock of American racism to give the Republicans the edge.

On the other hand, if Obama runs with Clinton as his VP, she vigorously campaigns for the ticket, brings along all her supporters and the Demos win in a landslide. So, the BIGGEST question is – Will Hillary Clinton accept the VP job from Obama? He almost desperately needs her and should very likely beg for her to join him while on his knees offering highly desirable roles for her in his administration while the party elders twist both her arms. If she turns them all down, she will risk being blamed for a defeat and suffer a backlash within the party that screws her chances for 2012 anyway. Another risk for her is that Obama will win without her, thus screwing her chances until 2016, perhaps forever. Or, she may be principally motivated by blind personal ambition, turn them all down, and hope for her good buddy McCain to win so she has another shot in 2012 and run the risks.

Hillary Clinton will lose the nomination, but she’ll be the king-maker. If she joins the Obama ticket, the Democrats win 40 states plus a 50 seat majority in the House and a 10 seat majority in the Senate. Otherwise, it’s a crap shoot.

It is indeed a crap shoot.

I do not anticipate Obama offering the VP slot to Clinton unless the Dem honchos ask him to.

Harry Reid better hope that happens, because if she is not on the national ticket she’s a sure thing for majority leader. AND she would be a helluva lot better than Reid.

Another spot where she might do some good would be the Supreme Court.

Hillary Clinton is a smart lady who used to have values but has been totally corrupted by the system.

I personally, as much as I despise some of the shit she has pulled, would like to see her have a niche in history. I’m just not into selling the country down the sewer to see that happen.

Steve Russell

Whew – you put alot of thought into this, David, and I am with you until you get to the part about Obama desperately needing her. I think it would be hard for the country to get past the acrimony that is going on now — I find it also hard to believe that he could trust her. As for Hillary, I think she would hate being VP as much as Lyndon did. There is something a little scary to me about Obama and HRC following that same path… maybe I am superstitious.

I’d rather see an equally popular VP (without negatives) maybe Richardson.

Fontaine Maverick

Unless McCain offers the VP spot to Hillary as a “unifying” gesture, an offer that she could hardly refuse, and one which would simultaneously set her up to succeed McCain and screw Obama.

David N. Smith

(Last updated April 27, 2008)
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