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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fired Up.

These boots were made for winning.

As you've surely heard (this really isn't a "breaking news" kind of blog) Obama has swept the Potomac primary of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. This follows his weekend routs in Maine, Nebraska, Washington, and Louisiana. Of course, states don't matter at this point, delegates do. The benchmark that I've been using to evaluate whether Obama's been winning big or just winning are the delegate predictions that the Obama campaign put out (accidently, supposedly) last week.

The Obama campaigns projections had him winning some states, losing others, between Super Tuesday and the convention, and overall predicted a lead of 24 pledged delegates over Clinton by the convention. Comparing the projected totals to the actual totals tells us if the campaign is ahead or behind of its own schedule, and right now Obama is way ahead of schedule.

Here is the Obama campaign's projection of the post-super tuesday races.

So let's look at his projected numbers versus the actual results since last Tuesday. I compared vote totals rather than delegates because most of the delegates have not been awarded yet. However, the delegates will roughly follow the patterns of the votes.

Vote %
Vote %
in Spread


In every single race since last Tuesday Obama's margin of vistory was at least 11 points larger than projected, and often much bigger (I didn't even include the Virgin Islands, where he won 90% of the vote and all three delegates, compared to a projected 2:1 split). I haven't tried to compare delegate totals yet, becuase the actual totals aren't entirely determined yet. Furthermore, only 80% of the vote is in in Maryland, so those numbers may change slightly.

The pattern is clear, however. Sen. Obama has been winning these states by such wide margins that his delegate lead is becoming substantial (substantial, of course, is a relative term in this remarkable primary). CNN's delegate projection has Obama by 25 delegates even if you include super delegates, who are unpledged and amongst whom Sen. Clinton has an advantage. Sen. Obama leads the pledged delegates 1059 to 956. That 103 delegate margin has crossed the important 100 delegate threshhold, where superdelegates would be hard pressed overturn. Sen. Clinton is now in a very precarious position, where she must not only win Texas and Ohio, but with 60% or more of the vote.

You all know I'm an Obama backer, but I want to say a few words regarding my admiration for Sen. Clinton. I'm an admirer of Clinton, and if Obama had not been running, she would have had my vote; an empty pledge, but it's true. I think that she has been an excellent senator, disappointing me only in as far as she has been a cautious leader in anticipation of her presidential run. I wish Sen. Clinton well and hope that she sees Obama's succes not as a rejection of her but as an acceptance of his message. My dream ticket is Obama for President and Clinton for Senate Majority Leader, another position waiting for a female trailblazer.

Oftentimes I only know how I really feel about a decision after it's run its course. When Sen. Clinton lost Iowa I was excited with Obama's win, but I was disappointed for her, personally. However, when Obama lost New Hampshire I felt no personal sympathy for him. Instead, I felt disappointmed for me. That's when I knew I had made the right decision.

Ready to go.

Click "There's more..." to see exactly how meaningful Obama's wins have been.