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Monday, June 2, 2008

My Math Beats Up Clinton Math.

(Promoted from the diaries by kos)

I'm sorry. I simply can't take some of what I'm hearing on cable news as they cover the Clinton win in Puerto Rico and continue to repeat Clinton campaign talking points in her "rationale" to secure the Democratic Presidential nomination.

In the past three or four hours I have heard Harold Ickes, Terry McAuliffe, and Bill Schneider (CNN political analyst) repeatedly assert that Clinton is winning the popular vote. I have further heard each refer to the 1972 Democratic nominating process, where Humphrey won the popular vote yet McGovern won the delegates, and McGovern was resoundingly shellacked by Nixon (what that has to do with anything, I don't know, but they're saying it). Yet there was only one caution, from Anderson Cooper, that Clinton's popular vote "lead" over Obama comes with substantial caveats on the part of the Clinton campaign. So I've done my own math.
Up-Front Disclosures

First, it's important that I clearly spell out what I am and am NOT counting in the math I've done. I've based my calculations on two basic arguments the Clinton campaign is making:

  1. That she is more electable in November;
  1. That the popular vote she claims to lead is indicative of electability.

So here is what I have excluded from MY math:

Democrats Abroad
Puerto Rico
American Samoa
Virgin Islands

None of these groups/Commonwealths/territories are afforded electors in a general Presidential election. So going with Clinton argument #1 above, they are excluded as electors are not assigned.

The Clinton Math

Here's what the Clinton camp is basing their assertion on. With the exception of PR, all vote totals were taken from CNN's Election Center. Use the drop-down box to scroll through each state's primary to confirm totals.

NOTE: The Puerto Rico estimate is precisely that right now - an estimate. I heard on both CNN and MSNBC that the highest estimated level of turnout was 435,000. I've been VERY generous in this assessment and have given Clinton a 70%-30% victory. This is what the vote totals in PR are based on.

CNN reported as well that Clinton is waiting, after the PR vote totals are finalized, to release two new ads touting having gone over 17,000,000 total votes. Her surrogates will continue to push the "Clinton Math", which is now clearly outlined above.

Just for giggles, here's what is excluded from the Clinton Math:

North Dakota
Texas (Caucus only)

ANY popular votes for Obama in Michigan

MY Math

Again - my math is based on the two core assertions of the Clinton campaign (electability and popular vote lead). First the primary states:

You'll note that I gave "Uncommitted's" popular vote back to Obama because it's ludicrous to assume that NO ONE showed up to vote for Obama (eye roll). Yesterday's ruling regarding Michigan in the Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee backs me up on this.

Under MY primary math, Obama is still slightly behind Clinton in popular votes. But remember - there are FOURTEEN states that held caucuses which are NOT included in any of the math so far. So I went out and did some estimating. Democratic caucus turnout estimates for Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, and Wyoming were found here. I had to stretch on estimates for the remaining three caucus states. I used this mention for Hawaii's turnout estimate, this mention for Texas' caucus turnout, and this mention for Washington's turnout estimate. I recognize that this is imperfect on my part - but at least I'm WAY ahead of Clinton's campaign in that at least I'm trying to base my estimate on some objective, fair fact.

So here's my chart:

The key thing to look at on this chart is the percentage won by each of Clinton and Obama (pulled from CNN's Election Center) and the estimate of turnout. The "popular votes" (e.g., people who showed up) assigned to each candidate is simply the total turnout estimate multiplied by the percentage won in each caucus state.

So you can see, in MY math, the totals for the primary contests and then the totals for the caucus contests. So pulling it ALL together (drumroll please):

When you use Clinton's own criteria and apply that criteria fairly, Obama clearly wins the so-called "popular vote".

A Closing Note

Of course, there's only ONE math that matters:

But as long as her campaign wants to distribute misleading (and frankly dishonest), cherry-picked "popular vote" figures, I wanted to set the record straight.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Original here

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