Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Picking Through the Wreckage

The aftermath of Super Tuesday.

Super-Duper-Mega-Ultra-Tsunami-Loopy-Cloverfield-Giga-Katrina-Tuesday-of-Destiny has now come and gone. Now that I've had some time to sleep and reflect on last night's results, here's what I think.

This thing is going to the convention. And not in that "someone will clinch it with a week to spare" sort of way. More like that smoke filled room, brokered convention sort of way.

Last night was insane. Why don't we have a national primary? Could you imagine doing this with seven candidates per side? No one knows how many delegates Obama and Clinton won yet. We don't even know who won New Mexico.

Of course both candidates are claiming a win, but I think Obama has a stronger hold to that claim. The Clinton camp says that a) they "upset" Obama in Massachusetts and b) won decisively in California. The Obama camp says a) more states, b) more delegates, and c) more money. Let's look at the claims.

An upset in Massachusetts? I don't really think that one has legs. Clinton had a 20+% lead two weeks ago. This seems more like a ploy to try and divert attention from the fact that she couldn't hold on to Connecticut, which is in her back yard. The California win has more legs, but because of delegate allocation rules, isn't the blowout that 10 points suggests it would be.

Obama says more states and more delegates, which are both true and impressive, but I think the big thing is this. He has more money. Hillary has already loaned her campaign $5 million just to play in Super Tuesday, and she's considering loaning more. Her donors are maxed out. Why is this a big deal? Obama wins people as he they get to know him, and he has money to get some media out there. The calendar for the rest of the month is already favorable for him, and Clinton can't seriously compete without reaching for the piggy bank Mitt Romney style.

But before anyone gets too excited, consider that more than half of the delegates have been awarded at this point. For someone to win a majority with the allocation rules the way they are would require a constant super-majority from here on out. The only candidate would could possibly do that is Obama, but that seems highly unlikely. The Clinton strategy was to put this one away last night, and it didn't happen. Obama's wins have been huge at times, but that kind of momentum is hard to sustain across the board without a single slip up.

So, it looks like Democrats will go to Denver without a nominee. Brokered convention, here we come.

No comments:

free webstats