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With your feet in the air, and your head on the ground . . .


{Friday, February 08, 2008}

Wow, it's been awhile, huh? The last time I posted was a solid five months ago. Yikes.

The big news: We're moving to San Diego!

Jess will start her neurosurgery residency there, at UCSD, in late June.

More big news, in case you missed it: We, um, got married. In October. Which, given how rapidly our lives have been moving, seems like about 10 years ago. In a good way. :-)

Anyway, that's the massively incomplete life update.

Now, on to some insightful (if I do say so myself) political analysis:

If a bevy of states hadn't decided, at a late date, to move their primaries up to February 5th, the race would arguably be all but over, now, with Clinton the presumptive nominee. Why? Because Obama ended up winning a large majority of the delegates in these states, and beat Clinton in the popular vote in all but two of them.

All of these states were originally scheduled to hold primaries well after February 5th; the delegate differential is shown beside each:

AK: Obama + 5
CO: Obama + 10
CT: Obama + 4
GA: Obama +31
IL: Obama + 47
KA: Obama + 14
MA: Clinton (-21)
MN: Obama +24
ND: Obama + 3
TN: Clinton (-11)

As it happened, Obama won 12 states to Clinton's 9 (with MO a tie), but if these states hadn't voted, it would have been Clinton 7, Obama 4. Furthermore, Obama netted +106 delegates in these states. Now, at the moment news agencies are reporting that Clinton leads in delegates (including superdelegates) by 72 (1077-1005); this would have been 178. That alone might not appear to be an insurmountable lead, but the ratio of delegates would have seemed much more definitive. These late states contributed 592 of the 2082 delegates currently tallied for the two candidates combined. Obama won 349 - 243. So if these states hadn't voted, the delegate count would be 834 - 656. Psychologically, this would have clearly cast Clinton as the front-runner. And since voters are kind of sheep-like, as a rule, this would have made it much harder for Obama to win later states. In fact, polls before February 5th would have showed Hilary with a definitive lead, which might have turned it into essentially a landslide.

Now, I've decided I'm rooting for Obama, so I'm happy things came out the way they did. I just think it's weird and interesting the way the schedule influences things so much.

posted by Miles 1:23 PM

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