Opposite result, same effect: Super Tuesday 2 post mortem

I may not have been very brave in my predictions yesterday, but they have been fairly well vindicated. This Super Tuesday to follow the Super Duper Tuesday of February 4 has failed to produce a knock-out blow for the favorite, this time Senator Barack Obama (Illinois). Instead it is Senator Hillary Clinton (New York) who is relatively better off after last night's efforts.

Here's how it ended up:
1) Vermont called first, giving Obama a 12th win on the trot. Some people in Ohio and texas may still have been voting when the news came out, which is naughty.
Obama: 91,829 votes; 59%; 9 delegates
Clinton: 59,854 votes; 39%; 6 delegates

2) Then came Rhode Island. Clinton's first win in a month.
Clinton: 106,471 votes; 58%; 13 delegates
Obama: 73,609 votes; 40%; 8 delegates

N.B. At this stage Clinton is narrowing the gap: 166,325 to 165,438 or by less than 1,000, but it is a start. Two net delegate gains are handy too.

3) Ohio. Zogby tried to make it look close. For a variety of reasons, it wasn't.
Clinton: 1,212,077 votes; 54%; 75 delegates
Obama: 982,172 votes; 44%; 52 delegates

N.B. At this stage Texas is no longer crucial: as long as it's close and with the strange bias in the caucuses held immediately after the primary, Clinton has broken the losing streak and can narrow the gap.

4) Texas. The primary was a Clinton victory, as in Ohio, Obama spent a lot more. This time, with negative advertising, she spent smarter.
Clinton: 1,453,139 votes; 51%; 65 delegates
Obama: 1,354,672 votes; 47%; 61 delegates

N.B. If it stopped here, all would be sweetness and light for Clinton. But now the caucuses kick in, with the sort of racial gerrymandering that old time Democrats in the Deep South would do. I'm surprised they didn't do "literacy tests" for Latinos at the caucuses. I guess they didn't have to.

Kos, who wishes Clinton would quit gracefully, sums up his version of events here:
Based on the Obama math, Clinton netted a gain of four delegates Tuesday. My own count based on official sources and projections based on the early TX caucus results peg the number at nine delegates. This cycle, Obama's numbers have been solid (and have matched up with the Clinton numbers), so my count is likely to shrink as the official results catch up with the campaign's projections.

A four-delegate gain is far less than what the Clinton campaign needed.

This is a sure recipe for lawyers. That'll be cheap!

Overall, the Green Papers has Clinton ahead in both popular vote (but this includes Florida and Michigan) and in some caluclations of delegates. Real Clear Politics gives Obama a lead of 97 or 136, depending on definition. The latter estimate is close enough to discourage quitting but big enough to make overtaking hard to do, if at all likely.

One of the definitions of a Zugzwang in chess, is that the player who has in fact lost, may not realise it for a while. Each move is making the position inexorably weaker. But the defeated player may persist in the delusion of salvaging something. I still think we're at this stage.

With a stronger Republican candidate (15-20 years younger, better at fundraising, better at motivating conservatives), this election would now be a formality.

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