Kentucky, Oregon Preview: One Step Closer

Pretty soon I won’t be able to do this anymore, but while we still have primary contests, it does warrant spending at least a little time on how the day is going to play out.

There should be few surprises today. In Kentucky, Clinton’s margin of victory will be huge; anywhere from the twenties to fifties, meanwhile, Obama is looking to finish in Oregon with anywhere from a respectable single digit win to a margin of victory in the teens.

All things considered, if Clinton has a good day, she could wind up with possibly a dozen net delegates gained on the day.

At this point, what is more significant than the vote totals and delegate hauls is the media narrative once the tallies are in.

If the stars are truly aligned in Clinton’s favor, we may see the newscycle driven by Obama’s continuing demographic problem with white voters. But in order for that to occur, it would have to do so in spite of the fact that Oregon is incredibly white.

In fact, that may be a part of the governing narrative that after all the criticism that Obama has faced about pulling white voters; he manages to win a white state.

But of course, there are two things that are going to drive the media. The first is that in many cases they have already declared Obama the winner, and thus Clinton would have to pull something truly extraordinary in order to force the media to go back on itself.

And the second is that Obama supposedly will have clinched a majority of pledged delegates in the nominating contest.

While pledged delegates will not be enough to secure the nomination, there is a very real significance to such a milestone; voting beyond this point becomes far less significant. I am not claiming that this means the primary is over, but with Clinton now physically unable to make up the deficit that Obama has opened up, the Super Delegates, already important, now become the sole gatekeepers to the nomination.

Beyond that, I honestly don’t know what will happen. We know that Obama will point to the majority of pledged delegates as a milestone, but the campaign will not claim victory. It has been made clear from Obama on down; Hillary Clinton stays in the race until Hillary Clinton chooses to retire from the race.

How Hillary Clinton spends tonight and the next few days, though, is something of a mystery to me. We do know that as a candidate Hillary Clinton has gone hands off in regards to Obama, and the two campaigns in general have shifted towards unifying the party and going after McCain.

A case can be made for Hillary one of two ways. Either she takes today as an opportunity leave the race on a high note with a major victory in Kentucky, or she continues on. At this point, I want to point out that I do not see her continuing on as an attempt to sabotage Obama’s general election campaign.

Indeed, with only three contests left and both candidates being notably reconciliatory, allowing the contest to finish out could prove to be beneficial to Obama or Hillary Clinton, should she manage to find a way to the nomination.

After all, though Puerto Rico doesn’t have any electoral votes, and Montana and South Dakota have slim yields, everyone else got a piece of the Democratic primary that is guaranteed to have a place in American history, why not let them in on the fun as well.

(edited by DrGail)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook