Tuesday, March 4, 2008
By Steven L. Taylor

Well, today’s the day that we may know the fate of the Democratic Party in terms of their nominee for November. There hasn’t been time for a new Toast-o-Meter, but I will say that Obama’s has clearly been on the rise, and Clinton has been getting toastier, despite the fact that some of the polling numbers seem to at least be in her favor.

My inclination at this point is that Obama will emerge from tonight sufficiently victorious that the process will essentially be over, even if it takes Clinton a few days to figure it out. 1

One of the reasons that I am inclined to think that Obama will pull it out is that he has mostly out-performed the polls this year (see here) and most of the polling shows tight races.

Further, given that Texas has this odd primary+caucus, and Obama has out-performed Clinton is caucuses, one would think that would give Obama the edge in Texas. More importantly, and despite the fact that the latest Zogby poll has Texas as a statistical tie, not all the districts2 in Texas equal in terms of available delegates, but rather delegates are allocated based on the vote in the 2004 presidential elections and the 2006 gubernatorial contests. As such, heavily urban centers (that also have higher percentages of African-American voters) will have more delegates. Obama will almost certainly do better in those districts than Clinton. So, even if they split the state 50-50, Obama will win more delegates.

As such, it is difficult to see Clinton winning Texas, despite all the talk about her network with hispanic voters in the southern part of the state. 3

Hillary’s hope is twofold: that the polls that show her with an edge in Ohio are correct, and b) that Obama does not outperform those numbers. She has to win Ohio to have a legitimate claim to stay in the race, as I don’t think she will win enough delegates in Texas to use that state’s contest as a rationale for continuing should she come in second in Ohio. And even if she wins both, Obama still will win a healthy number of delegates, and as I understand it, will still emerge from the night with a mathematical edge going forward. Clinton can’t actually win tonight, the best she can hope to do is live on to fight another day. Obama, however, can win outright (for all practical purposes), and is guaranteed to live to fight on no matter what.
It should be an interesting night.

  1. Of course, if this was a movie, she would call Obama tonight at 3am to concede. []
  2. In this case, Texas state senate districts []
  3. Further, the hispanic population in Texas does not necessarily behave the same as the California hispanic population, so I am not convinced that extrapolations based on her performance in California is a good predictor for today’s contest. Further, the fact that she helped register hispanic voters in the McGovern campaign hardly seems all that relevant to today’s vote []
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3 Responses to “The Buckeyes of Texas are Upon You”

  1. MSS Says:

    All very bold of you.

    (And I think you have it about right.)

  2. Fruits and Votes Says:

    We will know soon

    There is only one state where Clinton had a much better showing than her final poll trend and in which Obama underperformed his. That was New Hampshire, Clinton’s early “firewall.” Will Texas turn out like New Hampshire, thereby keepi…

  3. RandyB Says:

    If the Zogby prognosticates a dead heat, I believe it likely to be a landslide. (Seems to be a nice guy though)

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