Monday, March 10, 2008

Numerical holes in the "big states" argument...

On last Sunday's "Meet the Press", PA Governor Ed Rendell rehashed the Clinton camp's ridiculous argument that despite the fact that Obama has won more contests, votes, and pledged delegates, Clinton somehow deserves the nomination because she won the "big states"...

I'm not giving that ludicrous line of thinking a shred of credibility, but for the sake of argument, lets take a look at a factor the Clinton camp conveniently ignores... Vote margins...

First up, Clinton's wins. All numbers are from CNN, except where otherwise noted:

Arizona: 51-42, 9 point difference

*California: 52-43, 9 point difference

*New Hampshire: 39-37, 2 point difference

New Mexico: 49-48, 1 point difference

Oklahoma: 55-31, 24 point difference

Primary: 65-61, 4 point difference
Caucus: Obama wins 56-44 (source Daily KOS) 12 point difference
Delegates: Obama 98, Clinton 95
I would argue that these numbers give Obama the win in Texas, but I'll go with the "conventional wisdom" and give it to Clinton.

Arkansas: 70-26, 44 point difference

*Massachusetts: 56-41, 15 point difference

Nevada: 51-45, 6 point difference
Delegates: Obama 13-Clinton 12

*New Jersey: 54-44, 10 point difference

*New York: 57-40, 17 point difference

*Ohio: 71-59, 12 point difference

Rhode Island: 58-40, 18 point difference

Tennessee: 54-41, 13 point difference

Total number of contests won: 14
Total number of contests won by more than 10 points: 7
Total number of contests won by more than 20 points: 2
Total number of contests won by less than 10 points: 6
Total "big states" won by more than 10 points: 3
Total "big states" won by 10 points or less: 4

Now for Obama's wins:

Alabama: 56-42 (primary), 14 point difference

Connecticut: 51-47 (primary), 4 point difference

D.C.: 75-24 (Primary), 51 point difference

Georgia: 67-31 (primary), 36 point difference

Idaho: 79-17, 62 point difference

Iowa: 38-29, 9 point difference

Louisiana: 57-36 (primary), 21 point difference

Maryland: 60-37 (primary), 23 point difference

Nebraska: 68-32, 36 point difference

North Dakota: 61-37, 24 point difference

South Carolina: 55-27 (primary), 28 point difference

Utah: 57-39 (primary), 18 point difference

Virginia: 64-35 (primary), 29 point difference

Wisconsin: 58-41 (primary), 17 point difference

Alaska: 75-25, 50 point difference

Colorado: 67-32, 35 point difference

Delaware: 53-43 (primary), 10 point difference

Hawaii: 76-24, 52 point difference

Illinois: 65-33 (primary), 32 point difference

Kansas: 74-26, 48 point difference

Maine: 59-40, 19 point difference

Minnesota: 66-32, 34 point difference

Missouri: 49-48 (primary), 1 point difference

Vermont: 59-39 (primary), 20 point difference

Washington: 68-31, 37 point difference

Wyoming: 61-38, 23 point difference

U.S. Virgin Islands: 90-8 (Primary) Source: politico, 82 point difference

U.S. Democrats abroad: 65-32 (Primary) Source: Huffington Post, 33 point difference

Total number of contests won: 29
Total number of contests won by more than 10 points: 23
Total number of contests won by more than 20 points: 20
Total number of primaries won: 16
Total number of primaries won by more than 10 points: 13
Total number of primaries won by more than 20 points: 9
Total number of contests won by less than 10 points: 3

What do we make of this?...

Obama has won more contests by landslide margins (higher than 20 points) than Clinton's total contests.

Of those, 9 were primaries (I mention this because Clinton's camp tries to claim that Obama only gets big wins in caucuses).

In fact, Obama has won more primaries than Clinton's total contests.

Most of Clinton's "big state" wins were by very close (lower than 10 points) margins, indicating that there was essentially a split decision among democrats there.

One of those "big states" (Texas) is technically in Obama's column.

Twice as many of Clinton's wins were by very narrow (lower than 10 points) margins as Obama's.

So much for a "big state" argument.
The people have spoken.
Obama is the clear winner.

My friend Elf Sternberg (a conservative Republican who supports Obama, incidentally) made the point that Clinton has to win 63% of every contest from here on in order to beat Obama's pledged delegate lead.

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