The last round of primaries had the effect of crowning Barack Obama the Democratic party nominee. The Clinton camp (and her supporters) are trying against all reality (forget odds) to overcome his lead with only a small handful of primaries left. Her only hope at this point is to convince most of the superdelegates to switch to her side.
To do this she must convince them that Barack Obama cannot beat McCain; she must convince them that only she can. She can cite polls, she can use racist language, she can evoke shadowy issues hiding under the bed that could turn ugly when the harsh spotlight is finally shone beneath the dust ruffle. What she CAN'T do, however, is change the reality of the popular vote.
In the race for the Democratic party nomination, everyone has been focusing on the magic number of delegates. The Clinton campaign has also tried to bring the popular vote into the equation citing Michigan (where Obama was not on the ballot) and FL. After several months of watching the primary returns, one thing that struck me is the number of people voting in the Democratic primaries compared to those voting in the Republican primaries. So I decided to tally them up.
The results - too big to post in their entirety on this blog page - can be found HERE
Take a look at the bottom line for the Primary states:
McCain: 8.7 million votes
Obama: 15.6 million votes
The Caucus states show a similar pattern, although I'm not sure if they calculate those differently between the two parties. The bottom line is: nearly twice as many people have voted in this primary for Obama as have voted for McCain, despite McCain being the far-ahead front runner in the Republican race, and Obama essentially splitting the votes with Clinton in the Democratic race.
Making the assumption that EVERYONE that voted for Clinton stayed home for the General, and at the EVERYONE that voted for McCain voted in the General, Obama would win in a landslide.
That's not a very realistic assumption of course. There are a lot of variables here:
- The majority of Clinton supporters would likely end up voting for Obama
- A certain small minority of Clinton supporters would vote for McCain as a protest
- A certain small minority of Clinton supporters would vote for a 3rd party candidate as a protest
- A certain small minority of Clinton supporters wouldn't vote at all as a protest
- Republicans that voted in the Democratic primaries would vote for McCain in the General
- There is a sizeable chunk of independents and middle-of-the-roaders that didn't vote in the primaries that would vote in the General, but realistically, they would approximately split the vote.
The bottom line is: None of those things are going to erase the 7-8 million vote difference between McCain and Obama. The polls may say otherwise, but the only poll that matters is the one taken on Nov 04. Of course - the other side is also true as well, that Clinton could just as easily win it for the same reasons. However, she is not ahead in the delegate count, and is not likely to get ahead.
The numbers paint a very convincing portrait, one of Barack Obama being sworn into the Office of the Presidency on Jan 20, 2009.