West Virginia minus one week

After yesterday’s North Carolina landslide and Indiana cliffhanger, most commentators have upgraded Barack Obama’s chances of securing the Democratic nomination from likely to (almost) certain. The next stage in the contest, assuming it gets that far, is next week’s primary for West Virginia, at which 28 delegates will be elected through a “modified” primary open to independents and registered Democrats.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,481 comments on “West Virginia minus one week”

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  1. DCW has updated Obama with 1 super – DNC Jerry Meek (NC), one of the three mentioned above has already been included in the tally yesterday and the DCW are digging for further documentation from the third super Inola Henry.

    Running total is now back to yesterday’s 15 advantage Clinton (or 6.5 after application of the Pelosi factor).

    Obama: 263 (256+7)
    Clinton: 269.5 (270-1)

  2. News is trickling in about a defection from Camp Clinton.

    Virginia’s Jennifer McClellan, who used to support Clinton, has apparently endorsed Obama but like the case for Inola Henry, there are no direct quotes from either supporting the press statements (at this time). Once verification is complete it would bump Obama up one, Clinton down one, leaving us with 13 advantage Clinton (or 4.5 after the Pelosi factor).

  3. This might have been mentioned already, but is seems that Billary is staying in until she gets her $6million she lent to her campaign back from her supporters. Then she doesn’t have to leave the campaign in the red.

    Maybe the Kid should offer to pay her debt for her from his campaign if she pulls out, and maybe save himself some cash by not having to continue to campaign against her.

  4. DCW have confirmed the endorcement of Inola Henry (CA) for Obama.
    Running total is now 14 advantage Clinton (5.5 with the Pelosi factor).

    Obama: 264 (257+7)
    Clinton: 269.5 (270.5-1)

  5. DCW is reporting that the Obama campaign have confirmed the defection of DNC Jennifer McClellan (VA) from Clinton to Obama. This brings us to a Clinton lead of 11.5 (3.5 with Pelosi).

    Obama: 265 (258+7)
    Clinton: 268.5 (269.5-1)

  6. The handover from the white McGovern to the black McGovern, the torch is passed from one generation to the next ……..

  7. 5
    The Finnigans

    So what are you doing with your other hand? (OK, don’t tell us, we’ve known for a very long time!)

    Edward StJohn

    McGovern dropped his support for the ‘electable’ Clinton actually.

    When was the last time you ever backed a winner ESJ? You have an appalling bad record on this blog.

  8. Morning All,

    Quite right about McGovern, Catrina at 8.
    McGovern’s “defection” will be seen by many older Dem liberals and progressives as most significant. It will mean zip to Family Six-Pak, but for folk over 50, especially Rock Choppers for whom the sermon on the mount still has resonance and who have been rooting for HRC thus far, Big George’s move will help The Kid persuade them, and similar voters that have been difficult for Obi to crack until now.

    “Of all the men that have run for president in the twentieth century, only George McGovern truly understood what a monument America could be to the human race.”
    Hunter S. Thompson, 1972.

    Yes, Catrina, for those who lived through the ’72 campaign and who are still inclined to vote, George McGovern’s call carries plenty of clout.

  9. Morning all.

    NYT says it all: “Pundits Declare the Race Over ”


    “The moment came shortly after midnight Eastern time, captured in a devastatingly declarative statement from Tim Russert of NBC News: “We now know who the Democratic nominee’s going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it,” he said on MSNBC. “Those closest to her will give her a hard-headed analysis, and if they lay it all out, they’ll say: ‘What is the rationale? What do we say to the undeclared super delegates tomorrow? Why do we tell them you’re staying in the race?’ And tonight, there’s no good answer for that.”

  10. And on the downside, Obama’s lead in the national RCP averages has been halved today – from 0.2 to 0.1.

    The only way is up!

  11. GP and DCW has:

    Obama: 1589.5 delegates, 258 SDs, total of 1847 (with 177 needed to win)
    Clinton: 1427.5 delegates, 269.5 SDs, total of 1697 (with 327.5 to win)

    There are a further 217 delegates in the final races, and 267.5 SDs to be awarded.

  12. FG – that’s all still post PA and narrative stuff. I’m willing to bet we’ll be out toward Obama +10 in a week after these wins and the supers that will now fall.

  13. This about sums it up:

    “So while the design of the system technically allows superdelegates to do what they think is best for the party (or for themselves and their constituents), the realities of life in a mass democracy make “overturning” even a narrow margin in votes and delegates well-nigh unthinkable. Which is why Hillary needed a chance at some sort of popular-vote lead (with Florida thrown in, if nothing else) to justify continuing her campaign. And it’s why, after last night’s results extinguished even that thin hope, her campaign is finally finished, whether she’s ready to admit it or not.”


  14. So Pancho at 18, Hillary now needs 327.5 out of remaining 484.5 delegates to win or 68%. And the reason that she is still in the race is???

  15. FG – Just realistically looking at the numbers @18, if we skip forward to Oregon, Obama needs about one-third of the remaining delegates to get to 2024.5 (on top of his delegate gains to there which will be about 50). Getting to this mark by May 20, or just after, is not entirely out of the question.

    On the other hand, if we give Clinton 60 delegates to Oregon, she then needs 100% of the remaining SDs to win. Time to go, oh tenacious one.

  16. And as for the idea that somehow Clinton’s continuance is noble or brave – BOLLOCKS!! (And I say this with the greatest respect – BOLLOCKS AGAIN!!)

    It’s one thing to pursue a noble cause to the valiant end, but the cause in this case is purely Hillary. This is about Hillary and nothing else. To continue now is nothing short of pathological self-indulgence which continues to sap funds from the main game (and the other candidates for the legislature), and deprives the Party of the chance to fall in behind the obvious presumptive nominee and focus on McCain. There is no longer any rational argument for continuing. It’s over and her advisers need to say so – loudly!

    This isn’t brave; it’s pathetic.

  17. Hillary is trying to create a new ideotype in American culture – the vainglorious, delusional loser. I wonder if it will catch on.

  18. Why can’t Limbaugh’s audience see that he’s playing them for spineless, mindless chumps who will blindly believe and do anything he says??

  19. Pancho, so you think she is hpong to gain some donations, yet run a cheap campaign, stashing the difference in the bank, in the hope of breaking even financially?

    Could be – but to do so would amount to misleading her donors.

  20. David Plouffe hasn’t slowed, calling for donations:

    ‘We need to show that the voices of more than 1.5 million ordinary people donating whatever they can afford are more powerful than one person giving more than $11 million to their own campaign.’

    taking swipes:

    ‘With the Clinton path to the nomination getting even narrower, we expect new and wildly creative scenarios to emerge in the coming days.

    While those scenarios may be entertaining, they are not legitimate and will not be considered legitimate by this campaign or its millions of supporters, volunteers, and donors.’

    And reststing goals and the endpoint:

    ‘We want to be clear — we believe that the winner of a majority of pledged delegates will be and should be the nominee of our party.

    And we estimate that after the Oregon and Kentucky primaries on May 20th, we will have won a majority of the overall pledged delegates.’

  21. FG – well she is trailing terribly, and yet has about one-third the amount of offices in the field that Obama has. For hard headed politicians who can obviously see what everyone else can, money must be a consideration in continuing. And continuing in the way they are suggests to me a bit of book balancing wouldn’t be discouraged. I’m pretty sure some big donors will have raised eyebrows about that, and will be pulling up stumps.

  22. The financial angle is interesting – perhaps under US electoral donation/expenditure laws using donations to repay money “loaned” to a campaign is a legitimate use of such donations, and the HRC campaign has a debt of $11 million to one very special lender…

  23. Apparently Senator Diane Feinstein of California is rethinking her support for Hillary and might cross over to the Obama camp – new rumour!
    I’m amazed Senator Clinton is still campaigning, with a frigging huge debt and next to no chance of winning the nomination.Perhaps the lady is truly deluded, or the Clintons are desperately hoping for some last minute miracle or another Rev Wright to damage Obama?

  24. Thank God Clinton is burnt toast. She has exposed herself to be a truly unsuitable candidate for POTUS. I can’t believe, as reported in today’s Aussie press of a possible joint Obama/Clinton “dream” ticket. It would seriously undermine his image of breaking away from the old Washington insider mindset as well his slogan of “real change”.

    If Clinton is staying in the race to recoup some of her $11 mil, then she is a fraud and a thief. Again underlining her unsuitability as a candidate for POTUS.

  25. Cbet;
    OBAMA, Barack 1.90 (in 40c from 36 hours ago)
    MCCAIN, John 2.65 (steady)
    CLINTON, Hillary 5.00 (drifting………)

    Ferny sez: “Why can’t Limbaugh’s audience see that he’s playing them for spineless, mindless chumps who will blindly believe and do anything he says??”

    Guess former racecaller Ken “London to a brick-on*” Howard probably said it best, Ferny:

    “You can’t educate a bad mug!!”

    * Brilliant dry-witted Aussie hyperbole usually delivered deadpan, (the bloke was as flamboyant as Henry Lawson or a Sep-side Howard “I’m just telling it like it is” Cossel) meaning that a favourite in a horse race was considered by “experts” to be such a “good thing”, a punter could wager the City of London with the prospect of winning a house brick should the “good thing” actually “get up”.

  26. Smile, I’m sure it’s legitimate legally. But I wonder how many donations she’d receive if she said,

    “Look, I really need your donations to repay my loans – and by the way, if funds allow, we’ll use some of it to run a campaign in West Virginia.”

  27. #38
    I don’t know about Obama/Clinton for the election, but I can’t imagine that Obama would want Hillary as VP. By comparison they could make Bartlet and Hoynes look like the best of pals.

  28. Hillary as VP would be a big mistake. She simply wouldn’t fit in with the “new politics” theme.

    Just reading some of the U.S. blogs, it seems a lot of Obama supporters would not be happy with Obama paying off Hillary’s debts. In fact, there has been a call by supporters to email the Obama camp saying as much.

  29. What’s with this meme of Brutusina being some kind of Brahminian charity?
    Oh….. so now her devotees are expected to throw good money after bad to sooth her wounded ego and help the struggling millionaire out with her campaign debts.

    Get real! Surely this fat could be used for the greater good of The Party in combatting Johnny Bomb-Bomb, or am I missing something in the big picture here?

  30. >>Smile, I’m sure it’s legitimate legally. But I wonder how many donations she’d receive if she said,

    >>“Look, I really need your donations to repay my loans – and by the way, if funds allow, we’ll use some of it to run a campaign in West Virginia.”

    I guess that could we one reason to say “we’re fighting TO THE END!!!” – at least then you can ask donors for money on the pretext of running a campaign (even if you end up dramatically underspending what you would have spent in a ‘real’ attempt to win).

  31. I wonder what reason Hillary could possibly give the unpledged supers she’s meeting with today to gain their support?

    “Look, Obama’s a nice guy, but he just can’t win the lunch bucket crowd like I can. That makes me more electable”.

    “But Hillary, he may be weaker than you with the low-income set, but you’re weaker than him where it counts most – in overall votes and pledged delegates.”

    End of conversation.

  32. FG – yeah but then Carville runs through the room yelling ‘I’m bald and angry!!!!’ and Rendell starts talking about balls. Then Ferraro can point out Obama is black, and Bill can just tell everyone to ‘CHILL THE F$% OUT!’. And don’t forget the Mark Penn document stating that rich soccer moms that are whiter than a certain shade with or without a lunchbucket are never going to vote for Obama. All of this focus on ‘the result’ is a little narrow minded.

  33. Superdelegates: “Please pull out for the good of the party”.

    Bill: “Did someone say PARTY?!?!?! There’s a party in my pants!”

  34. From John Heilemann:

    “And, who knows, maybe she is completely deluded. Maybe she still thinks she can win. But whatever else can be said of Hillary Clinton, she is no fool. What my gut tells me is that although she may not quit until June, everything that happens from this point on is sheer choreography, the orchestration of her exit — on her terms. Her good-bye may be long or it may be short, but a good-bye it will be. She hasn’t left the building yet, but we soon may see her taking up residence in the departure lounge.” —John Heilemann


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