Monday, March 3, 2008

Can Hillary Pull This Off?

Some have said this campaign was over, some have called for Senator Hillary Clinton to do the "honorable" thing and drop out, and some (myself) have said that she can do whatever she wants but once she gets beaten in Texas and Ohio she needs to go. Well well well we need to hold on just a minute. Last week I wrote about Senator Barack Obama catching up to Hillary in the polls in Texas and closing the gap considerably in Ohio. Once I saw Obama catching up I figured he would just blow right past her but it appears that Hillary is hangin tough, the last 3 polls in Ohio have it played out like this: Obama by 2, Clinton by 12, Clinton by 6. So after Obama closed the gap to 4 or 5 and even took the lead in one poll Clinton appears to be surviving in Ohio. In Texas it looks like we will have a toss-up. Here are the last 5 polls from Texas: Clinton by 4, Obama by 4, Obama by 3, Obama by 1, TIED, Obama by 3. So Obama has the slightest of leads but when a poll is within 3 or 4 points it is usually inside the margin of error basically making it a coin flip. If you had a gun to my head I would tell you that Clinton will hold on in Ohio and beat Obama 52-48 or something like that, as for Texas it gets a little bit more complicated for a multitude of reasons.

1) Early Voting: As of the day of the Wisconsin Primary, February 19th, the voters in Texas have been able to in vote early instead of voting on their specific day, they were allowed to do this until the 29th. Most experts think that the early voters will be leaning towards Obama because they also saw a lot of new voter registration indicating younger people were the ones going to the polls.

2) Texas-Two Step: Texas has a wacky system of allocating delegates, they have both a primary and a caucus on the same day, the primary runs from 7-7 during the day then everyone goes to caucus later in the evening, here’s a little piece from the New York Daily News explaining the intricacies

Texas begins its voting with a normal primary to determine who wins slightly more than half of the state's 228 delegates. Then it follows with a caucus to allot the remaining delegates.
Only people who voted in the primary are allowed to participate in the caucus.

Now we know that Barack has taken every caucus state, aside from Nevada, most of them he won very easily so you would assume that Obama might do well there but, Hillary has stayed close to Obama in Texas once he took a slight lead in the polls so that could still fall either way. If I had to make a prediction about Texas I would say that Obama wins, just slightly but he wins which would mean they two split the big states that vote tomorrow, what is interesting is that it looks like they will split the other two that vote on March 4th, Vermont and Rhode Island. Obama looks like he will take Vermont in a landslide, last poll there had Obama with a 24-point lead, the same is true in Rhode Island for Hillary, she has a 9-point lead in that state.

So here is the question the Clinton camp will be asking themselves tomorrow and into Wednesday: Can we stay in the race if we only win of the big ones? Can we stay in the race if we only win one big one by 4 points and basically gain 0 delegates on Obama, who is up by around 100-150 depending on whose math you use. After seeing those fundraising numbers from February where Hillary made $35 Million, she would have the money to carry-on to Pennsylvania on April 22nd.

The problem for the Clinton camp is that they will be under a lot of pressure to drop out if they do not win BOTH Texas and Ohio. That pressure will come from the public and possibly the DNC who will not want to drag their race on longer than it has to, especially because it is possible for Senator John McCain to officially wrap up his nomination tomorrow. Aside from the DNC it will be hard for Clinton to fight all the momentum Obama has, because even if she wins Ohio by 4 you have to remember that 2 or 3 weeks ago Clinton was up 21! And Obama only had 3 weeks to campaign there; in Pennsylvania he will have 6 or 7 weeks. And on top of that Hillary has had a net Super delegate loss of something like 5 or 6 since Super Tuesday compared to Obama who has had a net gain of almost 30. So the Super delegates are also riding Obama's momentum.

Hillary's one shot is to surprise everyone in Texas and do very well in the caucus and steal it from Obama, if she can do that I believe she will already have Ohio and then we will travel on.


joel said...

you got yourself a good thing going here man, if i didn't already say that like 20 times... enjoyed that analysis thoroughly

Anonymous said...

someone with an actually calm and deliberative analysis. Refreshing after all th spin from the B.O. supporters

The Talented Mr. Know it All said...

well thank you, its good to find out i'm accomplishing what i'm attempting to do.