Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Don't call it a comeback...

(With apologies to LL Cool J).

Hillary Clinton's Primary wins in Texas and Ohio yesterday were (I suppose) impressive, but I'm not sure they deserve quite the accolades that all the "comeback" news would suggest. It tells me just how badly Mrs. Clinton was doing in this race that these wins are being touted so highly.

It wasn't long ago that Mrs. Clinton had a 20 point lead over Obama in Texas. The primary last night was so close that they hadn't called it yet before I went to bed. And the caucuses are closer still, with every possibility that Obama could end up winning them (67 Texas delegates are apportioned by the caucuses). Not long ago, Texas and Ohio were absolute locks for Clinton, and even her husband said she needed to win both to win the nomination. This morning, it's as though this is some unexpected miracle.

Most importantly, just where does the delegate race stand after Mrs. Clinton's remarkable "comeback"?

Obama: 1541
Clinton: 1438

And that's without the Texas caucus delegates.

Now, clearly these are big wins for Mrs. Clinton. After losing 12 primaries in a row, she could hardly afford to lose either Texas or Ohio. But she's still losing, and the margin between her and Obama in the delegate count is still skewed in her favour due to the number of "super delegates" who are supporting her despite their constituents voting to support Obama. If all we were counting was the voters, Obama's lead would be more substantial.

This is how I see this comeback (if you'll forgive the baseball analogy). Mrs. Clinton's home team was losing 12-0 in the bottom of the 7th inning. They staged a rally that some even called "a comeback" and now, it's the top of the 8th inning, and her team is losing 12-11.

Don't call it a comeback, until she comes back.

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