• Hillary Clinton Faces Off Against Math

    With a ~150 pledged delegate deficit and precious few states yet to cast their primary votes, Hillary Clinton is finding that basic math — in addition to the press — is showing an unfair bias against her

    After more than 40 Democratic primaries and caucuses, Obama, the Illinois senator, leads Clinton by more than 800,000 votes. Even if the New York senator wins by more than 20 percentage points tomorrow — a landslide few experts expect — she would still have a hard time catching him.

    Clinton needs "blowout numbers," says Peter Fenn, a Democratic consultant who isn't affiliated with either campaign. "The wheels would have to come off the Obama bus, and the engine would have to blow."

    Clinton supporters are saying that — if she wants a viable chance at winning superdelegate support — she needs to lead in either pledged delegates or the popular vote when the music stops and all the states (except Michigan and Florida, of course) have found a chair in June.

    To earn that split decision, though, Clinton would need a 25-point victory in Pennsylvania, plus 20-point wins in later contests in West Virginia, Kentucky and Puerto Rico. Even that scenario assumes Clinton, 60, would break even in Indiana, North Carolina, South Dakota, Montana and Oregon — a prospect that's not at all certain.

    "The analogy I would put out there is she has to have a near-perfect game in baseball," says [Chris Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion in Allentown]. "If she squeaks out a couple-point win, the math goes from bad to awful."

    Not so, says the Clinton campaign

    Pennsylvania is not about finishing close, Communications Director Howard Wolfson said. "It's about winning."

    Somehow, I had a feeling they were going to say that.

    Wolfson added that Obama is doing everything he can to win the race, outspending Clinton three to one (overall: $11.2 million to $4.8 million).

    "He has gone sharply negative, and he is doing this to knock us out of the race," Wolfson said. "And if he does not win it will again raise very serious questions among voters and superdelegates… that he can win big swing states like Pennsylvania." He added, "If Sen. Obama can't win a big swing state with that enormous spending advantage, just what will it take for him to win a large swing state?"

    Flawless, flawless logic indeed.


    Tags: Barack Obama, Florida, Hillary Clinton, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, West Virginia

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