This has essentially been the developing narrative after Super Tuesday; Obama’s going to sweep through the rest of February, but Hillary Clinton is setting up Texas and Ohio to be her firewall against Obama in the race for the Democratic nomination.
Kinda sorta how California was supposed to be Obama’s firewall…
Of course, though Hillary did win California despite more erroneous last minute polls putting California neck and neck, it could hardly have been considered a firewall at all, and instead just a slight bump in the road for Obama who continues to build moment as well as collect delegates.
After what is looking to be a clean sweep through the rest of February, Texas and Ohio don’t appear to be so much a firewall, though, as they do a last ditch effort to derail Obama with enough time left for Hillary to build up a strong enough lead in pledged delegates such that super delegates putting her over the top won’t result in the development of a fatal rift within the party.
MattTX, however, has something to say about that. Actually, he has an awful lot to say, as he goes through an incredibly in depth and detailed analysis of the vote break down on a district by district basis.
Granted, on the surface it may be a little difficult to take the analysis seriously given it is published under the header of “Texans For Obama”, giving it perhaps the slightest tinge of bias, however; after running through the entire analysis, I’ve found the methodology reasonable and sound, with a brutally honest approach to demographics, and an appreciable willingness to adhere to assumptions for the integrity of the analysis as opposed to manipulating the data to paint a pretty picture.
The final result? Delegates meted out in the Texas primary/caucus could reasonably end up with Obama collecting 98 delegates, and Hillary Clinton picking up 95. Maybe this is why she’s heading straight to Texas as opposed to stopping by Wisconsin first?
The interesting thing about Matt’s analysis is he’s basing most of his assumptions on Super Tuesday parameters which, in my way of thinking, is actually a conservative foundation if you are looking at things from Obama’s perspective. It in no way takes into account the way demographics may have shifted between the Super Tuesday contests, and when Texas actually goes to select a nominee, nor does it account for any momentum that Obama may accrue in this vital month long period.
For instance, Obama has three weeks to make headway in the Latino vote, court rural voters (which he seems to have some success with as shown in Nebrask, Idaho, Iowa, etc.), as well as attract more women voters to his campaign. All of these things are very doable.
Further, to my knowledge, Obama has yet to campaign in Texas, and has been generally observed thus far in the nomination fight, the more voters actually get to see of Obama, the more they seem to like him. Even if Obama stays out of Texas completely between now and when Wisconsin and Hawaii go to vote, that still gives him two weeks to grip and grin forth between Ohio and Texas, which should have a visible impact on overall polling numbers in his favor.
It is still very possible that Matt’s analysis is an exercise in well disguised wishful thinking and that Hillary will still win the state, but in order for Texas to be the firewall she’s hoping for, the analysis put forth would not only have to be wrong, but wrong on an astronomical level.
And I just don’t think that’s likely to be the case.