I’ve had it with media trying to kick Hillary Clinton out of this race. It is not over. And Barack Obama has not won, not by a long shot.
Obama, just like Clinton, will depend on the super delegates to get the nomination. Obama, just like Clinton, stands virtually no chance of getting to the convention the winner from elected delegates.
Obama and his camp are speaking out of both sides of their mouth about the party’s nominating system. On the one hand, we have Nancy Pelosi and others arguing that Obama should get the lion’s share of the super delegates because he’s ahead in the popular vote — though he has just over 50 percent of it. (And here are big Clinton and Democratic donors protesting Pelosi’s early call of the election before it is over.) But the voting isn’t over yet. And that’s not how the system was designed. If we land at the convention with no clear winner, then the point of the super delegates — the legacy of the smoke-filled back room, the party’s safety valve to prevent another George McGovern — is to do what’s best for the party and to try to get a winner in November. That is the system. Not fair, you whine?
Well, there is nothing fair about disenfranchising the voters of Florida and Michigan. There is nothing fair about Obama himself arguing that, hey, that’s the system and so they shouldn’t come to the convention. There’s nothing smart about this, either, because this will surely alienate voters in two key swing states. But we have Howard (the loser) Dean to thank for that as well as Obama himself.
Go to the CNN delegate calculator and run some scenarios. If Clinton took 60 percent of the remaining vote, she’d come to the convention with 1827 delegates, Obama with 1846. With 60 percent of the super delegates, she’d get 2032, enough to win. Not possible? No, it’s not. So let’s say that Obama gets 60 percent of the votes left — also not possible; he’d get to the convention with 1961 delegates, still not a winner. Let’s be more reasonable. Let’s say Obama gets 55 percent of the remaining vote and 50 percent of the super delegates, which is about his fair share given his current votes; he still lands with 2105 delegates, not enough.
So why do I hear that it’s unfair for Clinton to rely on super delegates when Obama relies on them as well? Because there’s nothing fair in love and war, especially media love.
Why should anyone be calling for Clinton to drop out of the race? Obama hasn’t won. Indeed, the latest Rasmussen poll says equal numbers of voters — 22 percent in each case — say that Clinton and Obama should drop out. And, of course, we have today’s Gallup Poll saying that 28 percent of Clinton voters will switch to McCain if she does not win vs. 19 percent of Obama voters. You could say that’s not fair or it’s sour grapes — or it’s democracy.
It’s an election. Let the voters vote, all of them. It ain’t over till it’s over.
: LATER: I just got scolded in the comments for not disclosing my Clinton affiliation, though I ve done it a score of times and it should be neon-obvious in this post. But fine: I voted for Clinton and hope to have the chance to do so again. There.