Saturday, May 10, 2008

'Hillary's Take on the Electoral Map'

Post is here.

From tomorrow's Christian Science Monitor: Hillary Campaign Advisors Wolfson and Garin say it's not that Obama can't win in November, it's that the data shows Hillary has a better chance:

At the top of the ballot, current state polling data show that Clinton would defeat Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, by 42 electoral votes, while the same polls show Obama losing to Senator McCain by 8 electoral votes, they said.

The Clinton strategists also came armed with charts looking at 20 House districts where freshmen Democrats won but which also voted for George Bush in 2004. Clinton defeated Obama in 16 of those 20 districts. Their argument: Clinton would help vulnerable House members more than Obama. Asked about the breakdown of endorsements from those 16 freshmen, Wolfson said that five had so far backed her and four, Obama.

As for how long she's staying in:

"We do not believe a nominee will be chosen unless or until somebody gets to 2,209 [delegates], which is the number including Florida and Michigan. So if that has happened by June 3, then someone will be the nominee. If that hasn't, then the nomination fight continues," Howard Wolfson, Senator Clinton's communications director, told a Monitor-sponsored breakfast on Friday.

We are not oblivious to the environment in which we are operating. But this is very much like a tennis match," Clinton's chief strategist, Geoff Garin, told reporters at the breakfast. "Sometimes, even when people are down two sets to love and down a couple of games in the third set, they end up winning by the fifth set. So Senator Clinton goes on with the same energy and commitment."

Since the race is ongoing, and superdelegates can change their mind up until they vote at the convention in August, here are the voter registration numbers (pdf)for West Virgina.

Seems to me the critical thing now for Hillary is voter turnout. Obama is brushing off W.Va. and KY and hoping people won't turn out, thinking their vote doesn't matter. Their votes may matter. They matter in the popular vote total and because we don't have a nominee yet, no matter how many pundits, pollsters and journalists think we do.

It's over when one candidate drops out or delegates are counted at the convention in August: pledged, unpledged, add-on and superdelegates.

As for the current state of electoral votes, from my earlier post, with Obama winning N.C. but losing W.Va., I don't think he gets past 265 votes in November. He needs 270. With Hillary winning W.Va. but not N.C., her total is 317.

Remember, as to this latest month of primaries, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana and South Dakota will go Republican in November no matter who the nominee is. Only W. Va. and N. Carolina are battleground states. Oregon will go Democratic whoever wins.

The real question is who has a better chance of taking Ohio, PA and Florida? Together those three states have 68 electoral votes. N.C. has 15, W. Va has 5. Together, Colorado and N.M.have 14.

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