Monday, June 02, 2008

Endgame: Hillary Flogs Popular Vote Deception

The Hillary Campaign's post-Puerto Rico email continues the deceptive bait/switch talk about her supposed popular vote victory. This part is technically true:

    When all the votes in Puerto Rico are counted, our popular vote lead will be even bigger. More than 17 million people have cast their ballots for our campaign, more votes than any candidate has received in the history of the Democratic Party.
But the balance of the paragraph is fundamentally dishonest:
    Now there can be no doubt: the people have spoken and you have chosen your candidate. We are winning the popular vote.
It's technically true that more people cast ballots for Hillary because she counts the results in Michigan where they couldn't cast votes for Obama because he followed the rules. It's dishonest to say that this perverse reading of the vote totals yields an argument that "the people have spoken." In Michigan they absolutely did not speak on the question of Hillary vs. Obama. They spoke on Hillary vs. NotHillary and she posted a fair-to-middling win.

The turnout in Puerto Rico guarantees that Hillary will not win a popular vote absent the Michigan inclusion fraud. From Bloomberg (h/t Taegan Goddard.)

    Clinton's supporters argue that she is winning the popular vote. Yet going into Puerto Rico, she trailed Obama by more than 275,000 votes. Those figures include the votes in Florida, where the candidates agreed not to campaign. They don't include the results from Michigan, where the candidates didn't campaign and Obama took his name off the ballot.

    In Puerto Rico, Clinton scored a net gain of fewer than 150,000 votes, leaving Obama with an overall lead of 125,000, more than enough to offset any gains she may make in South Dakota or Montana.

    Clinton yesterday continued to predict she would win the most popular votes, though such assertions aren't likely to carry much weight after this weekend.

    ``I will lead in the popular vote; he will maintain a slight lead in the delegates,'' she said at a rally in San Juan, Puerto Rico, adding that the race would come down to the superdelegates.

    While vowing to fight on, she hinted that could change. ``I'm sort of a day-at-a-time person,'' she told reporters aboard her campaign plane after the Puerto Rico primary. ``We'll see when Tuesday and the day after Tuesday comes.''

So, yes, if Obama was losing the squeaker instead of winning, his supporters would be upset. But if he was using these kinds of fundamentally dishonest arguments to justify prolonging the agony, at least this supporter would have turned on him by now.