Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shifting Goalposts

Remember when Hillary needed to win Penn. by 20% to stay? And then remember when she needed to win it by 10% to stay in? Well, now the various networks are saying "SHE WON! THEREFORE SHE'S STILL IN!"

Look. Folks. I know you want this to keep going. I know that the second the Dem primary ends you lose all those easy stories. But come on. Unless the margin widens, she's not going to beat the percentage she was supposed to beat to stay in.

Get the fork.

Edit: Or perhaps not? She won by about 10%, and that was the expected margin. I'm still not seeing a path to victory here--I truly doubt that Hillary supporters will switch to McCain en masse were Obama the nominee--but the slugfest may continue.

Re-Edit: The Obama spin, courtesy of Kos:
To: Interested Parties

Fr: The Obama Campaign

Re: A fundamentally unchanged race

Da: 4/22/08

Tonight, Hillary Clinton lost her last, best chance to make significant inroads in the pledged delegate count.

The only surprising result from Pennsylvania is that in a state considered tailor-made for Hillary Clinton that she was expected to win, Barack Obama was able to improve his standing among key voter groups since the Ohio primary. For example, among white voters, Obama narrowed the gap with Clinton by six points. Among voters over 60, he nearly cut the gap in half, from 41 points to 24 points. And Independent voters – the group that will decide the general election and a group Obama is particularly strong with – were not able to vote in Not surprisingly, she led by as much as 25 points in the weeks leading up to the election.

As he has done in every state, Barack Obama campaigned hard to pick up as much support and as many delegates as possible and was able to stave off Clinton from achieving a significant pledged delegate gain from Pennsylvania.

The bottom line is that the Pennsylvania outcome does not change dynamic of this lengthy primary. While there were 158 delegates at stake there, there are fully 157 up for grabs in the Indiana and North Carolina primaries on May 6.

And that's it, isn't it? Network spin aside, Penn. wasn't supposed to be a win, it was supposed to be a stomping. It wasn't anything of the sort. And since I assume that the "not able to vote in Not surprisingly..." bit was SUPPOSED to say that Independents couldn't vote in the Dem primary, this really was Hillary's to win, and puts the lie to the "independent minded Hillary supporter" line popular on CNN right now. Hillary's the candidate of the machine, the machine is very much operational in Penn. and it did its job.

Nothing wrong with that, but the real story is that Hillary didn't do better.

Re-Re-Edit: Hmm...according to the Penn. election site, the spread is actually 54.3% to 45.7%. Rounding the former down and the latter up, you get a 54-46 spread, or 8%. Double digits that ain't. Networks don't care, and Hillary's going to keep on going, but it's something to consider.

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