Monday, March 24, 2008

Clinton's Maddening Math Problem

Hillary Clinton indeed faces a maddening math problem, she may have managed to poke a few holes in the armour of fellow candidate Barack Obama and drive his favorability numbers down somewhat, but at the same time by injecting the race issue and other divisive issues such as questioning the patriotism of Obama into the nomination battle, has only managed to virtually ruin her own path to the White House should lightning strike and she somehow wrests the nomination away from Obama.

Historically, the Clintons have always had a very good reputation in the African American community on the race issue, however a late Rasmussen Poll now gives Clinton a mere 55% of African Americans who would even be willing to vote for her against John McCain. This is a complete disaster for any Democrat, who need to count on 80%+ support to have any chance of winning an election against a Republican candidate. And while Clinton's numbers have improved somewhat among Democratic voters as whole, it has only represented pretty much a small shift of some white voters towards Clinton away from Obama. And even worse, as a whole among all voters, Clinton now gets a dismal 55%-42% unfavorable rating in the latest Rasmussen Poll out just today, which are unelectable numbers. John McCain has benefitted from all of this Democratic Party discord, and not only leads both Clinton and Obama in possible November matchups, but gets a much stronger 55%-42% favorable rating, which are certainly crushing numbers in any possible matchup with Clinton. Further normally reliable Democratic leaning states like Minnesota could even fall to McCain in November, leaving Clinton with the prospect of a crushing loss similiar to the Reagan electoral landslide of 1980.

But with not only this maddening math for November, Clinton's problems with even capturing the nomination are a whole other problem for her. With 922 delegates still to be chosen, Clinton still lags behind Obama at 1,485 estimated delegates, which is far short of 2,024 needed by 539 delegates. Obama still stands far closer to the nomination at 1,622 delegates, just 402 short to capture the nomination, and more wins of states and a popular vote lead in the 700,000 voter range over Clinton.

In all reality, Clinton's continued efforts to capture the nomination have not really moved her that much closer to the nomination rather than merely hurt both the likely nominee, Barack Obama, and have sharply reduced the Democratic Party chances to retake the White House. The Clinton Campaign really needed to have some sort of a campaign strategy after Super Tuesday, but did not, and only allowed Obama to win 11 straight contests. Further her campaign continues to lag far behind Obama in fundraising as well. In all reality, Clinton has probably only managed to take a lost cause campaign that she fairly lost weeks ago, and fail to face reality to quit the race, and instead only managed to damage the most likely candidate, Barack Obama, and her party, rather than really move herself any closer to the nomination. That's not accomplishing very much.