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The Chances


Jerome Armstrong seems to think that even if Clinton doesn’t have the advantage right now, she’s still in pretty solid shape. Kos disagrees. By my own analysis, she looks to be in terrible trouble. When I made this analysis, based on some very simple assumptions about delegate distribution (55% to the winner, 45% to the loser), the race came to a dead heat. What’s taken place since then is that Obama won Maine, and won considerably higher than 55% of the delegates in all of the other races. Consequently, I have Clinton winning Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, and Wisconsin, plus a few other states, and still being down by eighty pledged delegates at the end of the day.

And it’s actually a bit worse than that for Clinton, because it seems to me that, even assuming all of the states go the way I predict, Obama stands a better chance of getting more than 55% in the races he’s likely to win than she does in the races she’ll win. Now maybe I’m wrong about this, and she’ll blow Obama out of the water in Texas and Ohio, but the problem is that she needs to blow him out of the water; narrow wins aren’t going to cut it. Also, while I think a good case can be made that Clinton can contend in both Wisconsin and Hawaii, it’s notable that the campaign doesn’t seem to think that this is the case. There’s a difference between lowering expectations in these states and ensuring defeat, and the apparent indifference of the campaign to next Tuesday’s primaries goes a long way towards the latter.

Anyway, it looks to me as if Clinton is going to have to do very, very well across the rest of the calendar, and get the delegates from Florida and Michigan on the most favorable terms, and win the superdelegates in order to be competitive. This isn’t impossible, but it doesn’t seem very likely.

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