Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hillary's Latest: She Leads the Popular Vote if You Count the Ballot Obama Wasn't On

Received from Team Hillary last night:

    I owe our 35-point win in Kentucky yesterday to your incredible support. So let me ask you -- do you think we should let the TV talking heads have the final say in this race? Or should we do what we have always done, and fight together for what you and I believe in?

    * * *
    I've won more votes than anyone running for the Democratic nomination in the history of our party. I've won states that will total 308 electoral votes in November -- more than enough to carry the general election. And it is critical that we make certain the more than 2 million voters in Florida and Michigan are heard.[emphasis added]
Well, has she? The statement she made is true, just misleading. Here's a vote breakdown from ABC's poll guy:
            With        Without      With FL,
MI and FL MI and FL Without MI
Obama 18,176,329 17,600,115 18,176,329
Clinton 18,214,506 17,015,211 17,886,197

Cl +38,177 Ob +584,904 Ob +290,132
So it's technically true that she has "won more votes" than any other candidate. But given that Obama wasn't on the Michigan ballot, it's a hollow statement. If he hadn't agreed to DNC rules and taken his name off, he would have gotten some share of Michigan -- certainly enough to tip the popular vote back to him. In fact, if you give him just one-fifth of the 238-odd thousand votes for "uncommitted" (a.k.a. NotHillary), he moves ahead in the popular vote again.

This is why it's "crucial" for Hillary to count Michigan and Florida. Not because it actually puts Hillary ahead by any responsible measure, but because it makes the result look close enough that she hopes the supers will entertain arguments in favor of overturning the popular will.

Hillary is for respecting the democratic process, until she is against it.


Ben said...

If she can win popular vote with Florida and not Michigan, I think she has a case.

Anonymous said...

What case? That she won by a metric that doesn't determine the nomination? (And does she include the four caucuses that she is presently excluding) We don't decide the primary on overall popular vote. Do you think that Obama would have gone into General Election mode if that is how we were going to decide it? Why bother with caucuses and primaries in individual states at all? Why not just have one national primary?