Simple Math

Mathematically speaking, Sen. Hillary Clinton cannot win the Democratic party nomination.  The math is simple: Sen. Barack Obama leads Clinton by 142 pledged delegates.  Although about 500 more delegates are to be selected, the gap is unlikely to be bridged given the closeness of the primary races.

True, there are so-called superdelegates whose votes both candidates are feverishly courting.  Here, Clinton still holds a slight edge, 249-213, but as reported by the New York Times, recently, Obama has been winning over more superdelegates than Clinton has.  It’s therefore unlikely, again, that the superdelegate vote will tilt the total balance toward Clinton.  Besides, there is a growing understanding within the Democratic party that in order to preserve party unity in the run up to the general election, the superdelegates should support the winner of the popular vote.  That is, Barack Obama.

Why, then, is Clinton still in the race?  Not only has she promised to fight until the end of the nomination process, but the Clinton camp has come up with a ridiculous and even offensive idea of a joint ticket in which Obama would assume the second place.

It’s the math again, stupid!  Electing Obama the next president of the United States will effectively end Hillary’s political career.  In 2012, the Democrats will have no meaningful primaries as they will back Obama for the second term — regardless of his successes or failures as president.  But in 2016, she’ll be 69, almost as old as Sen. McCain today.  And should Obama be re-elected in 2012, Hillary will be facing a voter fatigue with 8 years of the Democratic presidency, not something that helps win elections.

Hillary’s only chance to become president is to make sure that Obama does not.  Then, in 4 years, she’ll have a second chance to run — this time against McCain.  The protracted primary battle is exactly what Hillary needs to disunite the party, to bloody Obama and to ensure that he loses to McCain in November.  By campaigning against Obama today, Hillary is campaigning for McCain-2008 and Clinton-2012.      

About Eugene Ivanov

Eugene Ivanov is a PMI-certified Innovation Management Consultant who helps organizations increase the efficiency of their internal and external innovation programs.
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2 Responses to Simple Math

  1. You're forgetting one thing says:

    Obama can’t win the nomination either under your inaccurate analysis of Democratic nominating rules. The nomination is not given to who leads in pledged delegates, it’s given to who wins a majority of the entire pool of available delegates.
    When all states have held nominating contests who will be leading in the popular vote? The most prominent news agencies differ in their opinions as to who leads in popular vote now and it’s likely that Clinton will lead when it’s all said and done.

  2. Jesse says:

    Re: previous comment
    Actually, you are the one who is wrong. Obama leads in delegates, states won, AND the popular vote (by 700,000 votes). He even leads in the popular vote if you include FL, where he didn’t even campaign. The ‘prominent news agencies’ actually do not differ on this fact. Also, the post argued not that the ‘rules’ give the nomination to the candidate with the most pledged delegates, but rather that Obama is not only consistently maintaining/increasing his pledged delegate lead, but is also picking up more superdelegates. Finally, when all is said and done, the supers are unlikely to back the candidate who is losing by 100 pledged delegates, etc.

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