Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Clinton dodges another deathblow

Clinton deserves kudos for her Pennsylvania victory, but at best it's a victory for her fundraising to keep going, rather than to realistically overtake Obama in the delegate race.

If she had lost, or had won by a small margin, then her fundraising efforts would have had some serious issues... and that would have been bad for a candidate who is currently ten million dollars in the red.

As for the delegate count, she scored better than I predicted (by four points), and that translates into 80 more delegates... but Obama just scored 66 delegates. That means she started to cut down Obama's lead by 14 whole delegates. By the time all the results are in and all the delegates are sorted, I'm expecting her lead in PA to be about 16.

Unfortunately, that means Obama is only ahead by 152 delegates, as compared to 168 before Pennsylvania. Including super delegates, she would only be down 128 rather than by 144.

To put this into context, I've maintained an excel spreadsheet since right before Super Tuesday (way back on February 5th), mainly to track how well Clinton was doing in the race, compared to my candidate. Back then she was up 82 delegates, a seemingly insurmountable lead. Below is a chart I've kept that tracks her delegate lead over Obama... which peaked for her on Feburary 6th (after the last votes were counted and delegates assigned) and then has been in a freefall until the Ohio/Texas/Vermont/Rhode Island election. That gave her a slight bump of about thirty odd delegates... but the Texas caucus results erased her lead and let Obama essentially net more delegates in Texas and still have enough to cut into her lead in Ohio.

Clinton's Delegate Lead - with PA Highlighted

Given that there aren't many delegates left to divy out, and they are still being divded proportionally and not "winner take all" states, we are back to where we were before Pennsylvania.

She needs to win big (as in 16% or more) to even begin to cut into Obama's lead, but as long as she can win, she'll have dodged another deathblow and can keep raising raising money to maintain the fiction that she can win the race.

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