Latest Gallup, For What It’s Worth

It’s eleventh hour, and we have the latest Gallup Daily Tracking Poll in.  The race remains incredibly tight, with only a five point gap between Hillary and Obama across the nation, a comparably loose indicator for those states with little to no local data.

Does it really matter, though?  According to the folks at Open Left, it may not.

The reality of the situation is simply that no one expects the gap between Clinton and Obama to get too much beyond 100 delegates.  Given the nature of the Democratic contests, and the fact that for the most part they don’t adhere to a winner take all strategy, this means that without a significant delegate lead coming out of Super Tuesday, it is incredibly unlikely that either candidate will be able to build up a big enough lead in the post Super Tuesday states to clinch the nomination.

Chris Bowers does the math and figures out that this means that unless one of the two candidates really starts to break away, neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama will be able to successful net the number of delegates to seal the nomination.  Thus we head into the dreaded brokered convention so many people have feared.

I’m going to break from both Bowers and Stoller in one instance in that I don’t believe you seat the delegates of Michigan and Florida as is.  Especially not Michigan where only one of the remaining candidates was actually on the ballot.  That’s about as undemocratic as leaving them off the ballot in the first place.  You want their delegates to count, you run a primary where both candidates are allowed to compete.

In an update, Chris points out that this isn’t likely to happen, but I stand by Ezra Klein’s assertion and don’t much relish the blowback the party is likely to experience if those delegates are seated without the benefit of an actual contest.

Does all this mean Super Tuesday isn’t as big as it’s billed for Democrats?  No, it’s still huge, and there are some questions left up in the air such as how big really is Obama’s surge in California that could have a significant effect on the race.  But either way you look at it, this entire decision could very well be out of our hands (the voters’ hands), and a wrong step by the party could spell disaster in November.

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