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Posted by on May 21, 2008 in Politics | 2 comments

A Dense Mind’s Epiphany

Call me less than bright. I’m OK with that because I’ve never been the sharpest tool in the shed. Sharper than many, maybe, but not the sharpest, not by a long shot. And so it is, wallowing in my eternal density, that I finally realized this morning why Clinton decided to fight on, post-Indiana.

Yesterday, I noted and debunked her popular-vote argument. Granted, delegates are what counts; we all know that. But the pop-vote is one of the last remaining arguments she can make to the superdelegates — perhaps the strongest wedge of doubt she can drive into their hearts, as the remaining 200 or so continue to debate their allegiances.

As of yesterday, even that argument was relatively easy to dismiss. This morning, less so. After Kentucky and Oregon, she picked up nearly 155,000 net votes in the pop-vote tally, per RCP.

That net gain moved Clinton from winning in only one of six ways RCP offers for counting the pop-vote, to winning in two of six. Furthermore, after Puerto Rico — which she’s expected to win, last I checked; and which, I assume, has approximately the same voting-age population as Kentucky and Oregon (they all range in delegates between 51 and 55) — she could pick up even more net votes.

Her Puerto Rico gain will be partially but minimally offset by the final two, smaller states where Obama is favored (South Dakota and Montana) — however, with a WV/KY-like performance in Puerto Rico, plus a respectable performance in SD and Montana — she could conceivably end up ahead in three of the six RCP tallies of the popular vote; namely, in the popular vote counting Fla.; in the popular vote counting Fla. and Mich.; and in the popular vote counting Fla. and Mich. plus the estimated votes in the four caucus states (Iowa, Nevada, Washington, and Maine) that have not yet released pop-vote totals. Even with my assumptive alternative math on Michigan from yesterday, we would be hard-pressed to cancel her pop-vote lead in those three categories.

Now — is that enough to sway the remaining 200 super-D’s to her column? One would hope not, but this does appear (combined with her push to seat the Mich. and Fla. delegates in her favor) to be Clinton’s end-game.

And if we’ve learned anything this primary season, we should never, ever count out Hillary. Her reputation as a fighter is well earned.

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