What Really Counts

It’s a nail-biter today in Texas and Ohio.  The general consensus is that Hillary should win Ohio, but Obama may pick up Texas.  All in all, not a bad climb for a guy who was down by double digits in both states just a couple of weeks ago.

But this dynamic has produced a swirl of narratives that have largely distorted the dynamics of the primaries.  Some of those narratives have lowered the bar for the Clinton campaign to the point where she could easily shuffle over it, while others have established a scenario where she should dropout unless she pulls in incredible blowouts in both states.

The New Republic brings everything crashing back down to reality.

We’ve known the math for some time.  Hillary has to pull in at least 55% of the rest of the delegates just to get caught up.  %57 if she wants to lead in pledged delegates by the time this contest makes it to convention.  As TNR points out, that means that she has to make a net gain of 52 delegates tonight just to keep her situation from worsening.

This is why there has been so much talk lately that it is not likely for the Clinton campaign to get back into this thing.  Given the Ohio race is close, and the Texas race is just barely in Obama’s favor, Rhode Island is close and Vermont is strongly in Obama’s favor, it’s a big question mark if Hillary can make a net gain of delegates at all.

She would have to have a very good night.

Meanwhile, picking up those 52 delegates, an already herculean task, only means that the road ahead does not get more difficult than it already is.  In all actuality, this isn’t even exactly true because she will still have to maintain the same margins of victory, with less states and time to produce them.  A blowout here and there might help her along, but that would also have to discount the possibility of Obama having a couple of blowouts of his own.

Failure to make up those 52 delegates means that Hillary will likely have to blow out the rest of the states in play just to catch up to Obama in pledged delegates.

Still, let’s be honest here because I fully expect Hillary to spin victories in both of these states as incredible and miraculous come from behind wins.  That’s not the case.  She was leading by strong margins as recently as a couple of weeks ago, and the narrowness of the voting margins are not necessarily a testament to her resilience as they would be to Obama’s ability to garner support in a short amount of time.

So keep your eyes on the delegate math.  That’s what really counts.

One Response to “What Really Counts”

  1. Bostondreams says:

    Everything about the Clintons is spin. The new one I have seen is that Clinton was always an underdog in this race, and that she has overcome such horrible bias from the media and sexism and racism (!) from the Obama campaign.

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