February 10, 2008

Every reason to feel good, if you are an Obama supporter.

Things look good for Obama. Slowly, but surely, the mighty Clinton machine looks like it will beaten for once. While the delegate count can be tricky and confusing, there seems to be more or less unanimous belief that Obama leads Clinton in pledged delegates. Even with superdelegates he is not that far behind. According to Associated Press, the count stands at 1095 - 1070 in favor of Clinton (this includes superdelegates). NY Times does not count caucus delegates because they are not yet officially determined. That is the reason for the larger lead that Clinton has in their count. According to RealClearPolitics, the gap is even narrower, with Clinton leading by only 3.

Furthermore, superdelegates can change their minds. In fact, several of them are still undecided. If Obama widens his pledged delegates lead this month, there is every likelihood that he will get the support of more superdelegates.

Given that Obama is likely to do well in contests this month, Clinton campaign seems to be focusing mainly on Ohio, Texas in March and Pennsylvania in April. Well, that might not be enough. As explained here, Clinton needs to win by huge margins in these three states to offset the advantage that Obama would have built by the time we get to March. But Clinton has not shown that she could win big. A very important feature of the campaign so far is:

Hillary received more than 60% of the vote in one state, Arkansas, whereas Obama received more than 60% of the vote in eight states, and more than 70% of the vote in three states. I'm assuming that if Hillary cannot get greater than 60% of the vote in New York where she is senator, she cannot get greater than 60% of the vote anywhere.

So as I said, things look good for Obama. But it is dangerous to discount the Clinton machine. As Frank Rich writes today in the NYT, they will fight dirty.


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