Nomination Math—On Tuesday Barack Obama fully erased the impact of Clinton’s victory in PA. She won 12 more delegates than him in PA, and 4 more in Indiana, but he won 16 more in North Carolina, and so he has the same margin of 166 more pledged-delegates than Hillary as he had in mid-March, and there are less than four weeks left of primaries.
There are six primaries left—the three big ones (more than 50 delegates each) are Oregon, where Obama should have a big win, Puerto Rico where Hillary should have a big win, and Kentucky, where Hillary should have a modest win. Of the smaller three, the largest is West Virginia where Hillary is very strong, and Montana and South Dakota, where Obama should rock. Bottom line—the pledged delegate gap is unlikely to change by more than 8 by the time the last voter has been cast on June 3rd—Barack Obama should end the primaries with 155 more pledged delegates than Hillary, or even more.
The ‘superdelegate’ math continues to work against Hillary. Months ago she had 100 more supers than Barack. Today that gap is down to 11, and that gap should completely close within a week, two at the most. After June 3rd, the remaining uncommitted supers will jump onto the Obama wagon (reinforcing the voice of the states and voters), and the party can finally move to the business of kicking McCain’s rear. The strategy of pointing out how a McCain administration will be equivalent to a 3rd term for W will likely have the most traction this fall. McCain has two impossible tasks. He feels the need to pander to the right wingers (the base) while also pitching that he is a maverick who bucks the base. The second impossible task is that he has to do this with no money (compared with the incredible grass-roots financial support that backs Barack Obama).
There are two important dates remaining in the nomination process. On May 31st, the rules committee meets and discusses the fate of delegates from Michigan and Florida. The most likely outcome is the seating of 50% to 100% of the normal number of delegates, with a split between 60/40 (Hillary/Barack) and 50/50. This may slightly narrow, but has no chance to change, the outcome. The second date is the date that Hillary concedes. We don’t know the date, but my guess is June 2nd, after a victory from Puerto Rico, but also 48 hours after the rules committee dashes her incredible dream of getting 100% of the Michigan delegates.
Hillary Clinton—Please remember that Hillary is a great Democrat, as are each of her supporters. We need Hillary, and each supporter to help our party take the White House, and gain as many seats in Congress as possible this fall. Please keep all of your statements positive—going negative only helps our foes, and could keep Hillary supporters home from the polls in November. Hillary and her supporters have waged an incredible campaign, and deserve our support on determining on their own when to call it quits. We each have our personal views, but we respect Hillary’s right to decide the timing for herself.
Helping Make it Happen—If you have some time on Saturday, you can help bring this to an end. One factor considered by superdelegates, including DE Democratic Party Chair John Daniello, is how each candidate can help their state’s candidates in November. Obama has the clear advantage in the western states, states that the old guard, including Hillary, have ceded to the Republicans, but progressives such as Howard Dean refuse to neglect. This is why Montana, Oregon, and South Dakota will go to Obama.
For several reasons, the Obama campaign is holding a National Voter Registration Project this Saturday, nationwide. If you can pitch in a few hours (generally 10am to 2pm), email Rob Carver at firstname.lastname@example.org TODAY. The New Castle County drive will have Rodney Square as its hub. Remember that our work this Saturday will help superdelegates better understand that Obama is the best candidate for President this fall, the one who can get the most voters out to help candidates ‘up and down the ballot’. Help Barack Obama get the nomination, volunteer on Saturday.
State Candidates—The Progressive Democrats of Delaware endorsed the candidacy of Jack Markell for DE Governor, Matt Denn for DE Lieutenant Governor. I sit on the endorsement committee and am proud of our process and these results. There are other important Democratic primary races, including for insurance commissioner, New Castle County executive, and US Representative.
There are also going to be several critical races in Delaware in November. I expect dynamic and well-financed Jack Markell to trounce whatever Republican wins their primary. However I worry about the race for Lieutenant Governor (in DE, it is possible to have one party win the race for governor and the other party to win the race for Lt. Gov. The Republicans have the incredibly-well-financed DuPont-heir Republican Charles Copeland running for Lt. Governor. This is going to be a very difficult to beat, and requires our strongest candidate, and for the entire party to stand behind the primary winner. I endorse Matt Denn, and will be giving time and money to his campaign to become DE’s next Lieutenant Governor.
I am also currently focused on the race for my State Senate district 6 (even split of registered Dems and Republicans) with Democrat Mike Terranova against Republican incumbent Liane Sorenson, Senate district 10 (many more registered Democrats) with Democrat Bethany Hall-Long and no Republican yet as Steve Amick is retiring, and Senate district 17 with Democrat Brian Bushweller and no Republican yet as arch-conservative John Still is retiring (YEAH!). In the state House, Democrat Rebecca Walker is running in the 9th (many more Democrats) against incumbent Republican Richard Cathcart, Democrat Michael Barbieri is running against incumbent Republican Terry Spence in the 18th (where there are loads more Democrats), and Democrat Earl Jacques is running incumbent Republican Vincent Lofink in the 27th (where there are also loads more Democrats).
2008 promises to be an incredibly great year for Democrats, at both the national and state level. The Republicans are lacking for both money and candidates, but most notably, they are lacking for votes. In Delaware, we can select a liberal, visionary Governor and Lt. Governor, which will be a breath of fresh air compared with the past eight years. We can reshape our state Senate, replacing a conservative Senator Pro Tempore, desk drawer vetoes, and closed meetings, and we can also transform the state House, getting a Democratic majority so that we can get health care reform and other important legislation passed, bills that have been held hostage for years by the Republican majority.
After depressing results in 2000 and 2004, this is the year to step up, pitch in, be heard, identify your candidates, and help them win. Get fired up!