Results in one race don't predict the other!

I had a conversation today with a friend who is a researcher, which put things in an interesting perspective.  The point he made was that just because Hillary out-performs Obama with certain constituencies when she is head to head with him, doesn't mean that she will outperform him vs. John McCain.  Indeed if there is a correlation, it is probably a relatively small one.

Look at it this way.  Let's say you take a population of people and offer them ice cream.  They have two choices - vanilla or chocolate.  Let's for the sake of argument say that more people pick vanilla.

Then, on another day, we offer the same population ice cream again, but this time the choice is vanilla or strawberry.  The fact that people chose vanilla over chocolate gives you almost zero information about whether people will pick vanilla over strawberry.

And... it will also give you no information for predicting whether the same people would pick chocolate over strawberry.

This entire effort on behalf of the Clinton campaign to show that  HRC's stronger performance in one contest is predictive of what her performance would be in another is completely illogical.  Its like saying people who choose vanilla ice cream over chocolate will also choose vanilla over strawberry.

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no to VP

Looks like the party is poised to nominate someone who has very little chance of winning.People seldom vote for the VP so I dont think HRC can help Obama get elected. I think the problem with Obama is not his past associations but that the entire underpinning of his candidacy is weak. There is no real  record of bringing people  together in private or public life. The  vitriol he has inspired in his supporters is hardly reassuring. In order to run any enterprise one needs loyal people around,unfortunately the disloyalty exhibited by some people jumping on his band wagon does not augur well for the future. From Susan Rice and Patrick Deval to robert reich the disloyalty is breath taking.The only understandable reason for their stance would have been a conviction that HRC would have been bad for the country.
  The bottom line is that there is no state that Bush won that McCain will lose. He will win NH over obama in the fall. Although HRC would win the GE there is no conceivable way she can carry Obama over the finish line especially if McCain does an "Ike" that i will go to Iraq (again) and stop the war. A run for VP in an unsuccessful bid in an atmosphere where Obama is the media darling would only result in HRC getting blamed for the loss. She should decline the VP spot and do her best to help the down ticket candidates.

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A Comparison of NC Win With VA Win

This is my first Diary, so I'll gladly take any constructive criticism. Full disclosure, I am a Hillary Clinton supporter. I strongly and fervently believe her to be the stronger candidate to beat McCain and also the stronger option for President of the US. I will, however, absolutely support and work hard and donate to Sen Obama in November if he is the nominee. Mainly I want a Democrat in the White House.

But I think we should all, as Democrats, take a calm step back from the overwhelming readiness to hand the nomination to Obama at this time. Obama is ahead, but this remains a very close race. I firmly believe that we should let the Clinton campaign set its own course and that she has every right to let the rest of the contests play out and continue to make an argument for her superior electability and candidacy to the superdelegates.

Here's why:

The Nominating Process is a SERIES of contests over an extended period of time (instead of one day of voting) for a reason. It is intended to find the strongest candidate for the GE, the candidate who can withstand a long, complex string of contests and show a solid base AND a broadening of support. We should be looking at the trajectory of each of these candidates instead of focusing only on "the math" and Obama's "inevitability".

Obama's wild popularity and momentum in January and February swept him to the current insurmountable pledged delegate lead. That "wave" seems to have subsided at the end of February with his disappointing losses in Ohio, Texas, Penn and now Indiana. Obama's victories during this same time have failed to show a decisive broadening of his established base of support. Clinton has taken more contests, more delegates and more votes than Obama in the past 2.5 months (she's won 352 delegates to his 344 since 3/4 and nearly 250,000 more votes in the same time frame).

I've been looking specifically at the numbers from last night's win for Sen. Obama in NC. Clearly, he won a decisive victory (although not at all surprising or unexpected).

In fact, Obama's showing in NC last night is CONSIDERABLY weaker than his showing in neighboring VA 3 months ago. In my opinion, we should all be asking WHY and also wondering about what this decline in numbers means in terms of the GE?

NC and VA make an excellent, nearly ideal side-by-side comparison in terms of demographics. These 2 contests clearly show a significant increase in support for Sen Clinton and a marked decrease in support for Sen Obama.

These figures are taken from the NYTimes Exit Data: de/2008/results/states/NC.html de/2008/results/states/VA.html

Final Results:
64% Obama
36% Clinton
Obama won by 28pts

Obama won 67% of White Men (27% of total)
Obama won 45% of White Women (35% of total)
Obama won 93% of Black Men (13% of total)
Obama won 85% of Black Women (17% of total)

56% Obama
42% Clinton
Obama won by 14pts

Obama won 40% of White Men (28% of total)
Obama won 33% of White Women in NC (35% of total)
Obama won 91% of Black Men in NC (13% of total)
Obama won 91% of Black Women in NC (20% of total)

Obama lost ground among:
White Men (-27)
White Women (-12)
Black Men (-2)
He gained among Black Women (+6)

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Genl. Clark STILL for Hillary

Per Ben Smith of Politico:

Clark spokesman: No Clinton call

A spokesman for General Wes Clark, Erick Mullen, this morning denied reports that the staunch Clinton supporter had called her last night and pushed her to drop out.

"General Clark has been on business travel and certainly did not make any such call to Senator Clinton," Mullen said. 508/Clark_spokesman_No_Clinton_call.html

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What if African-American Turnout Dropped in the General?

There has been much discussion in the blogosphere regarding electability.  Kos has some analysis up regarding HRC's appeal (or lack thereof)to independents, in essence an electability argument.

But in today's world.  The political strategy seems to focus on energizing the base.  And of course the base of the Democratic Party starts with its most loyal constituents, African-Americans.

If the Super Delegates break for HRC, and she becomes the nominee, it is quite possible that some percentage of African-Americans, who would have voted, might instead stay home.  Not vote for McCain, but just choose not to vote at all.

What impact would a decline in African-American turnout have? I did a little math.  My question was, what if 1 in 5 African American voters stayed home, fed up by a process that gave them Hillary as the standard bearer rather than Barack?

I took the totals from the 2004 election, and split them out based on the exit poll data (still available on!)

Nationally, Kerry would have had over 2.3 million fewer votes.   This impact is greater or less state by state.  I looked at NJ and PA, and the results are striking.  20% fewer African American voters would translate into a loss of 82,000 votes in NJ and 126,000 votes in PA.  In NJ, Kerry still wins by about 158,000 votes, but in PA the election is essentially tied, with only 18,000 votes separating the two - Kerry still ahead.  

This assumes that McCain does no better than Bush.  

If he actually does better than Bush (perhaps because the right hates HRC more than McCain and so comes out to vote, and he does better with Independents than Bush 2004 did), and HRC does as well as Kerry with non-African American voters, but loses 1 in 5 African American voters to indifference, then both states could tip.  Other states, such as Michigan look the same, though I haven't the time to do the math.

But that isn't the end of it.  Think about how this plays out further downstream in close Congressional districts or State Assembly/Senate districts where the percentage of total Democratic votes cast by African Americans can be much higher than on state wide basis.  

If I am a Super Delegate, this has to weigh on my mind.

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