Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We Get Letters ...

Image credit: Pollster.com

Actually, I get e-mails from the Democratic Presidential candidates on a regular basis. It's not that I'm special, it's the same e-mails everyone gets who might conceivably give them money. Tonight, of course, they're talking about the Pennsylvania primary. Clinton's campaign writes:

Thanks to you, we won a critically important victory tonight in Pennsylvania. It's a giant step forward that will transform the landscape of the presidential race. And it couldn't have happened without you.

I'll just point out that it really wasn't thanks to me. I'm just on a list. Obama's campaign writes:

Votes are still being counted in Pennsylvania, but one thing is already clear.

In a state where we trailed by more than 25 points just a couple weeks ago, you helped close the gap to a slimmer margin than most thought possible.

Once again, whatever happened here, it wasn't my doing.

Let's just say that I'm loving this contrast in realities here and leave it at that.

Meanwhile, the margin of victory looks to be roughly 10 percent:

CNN: 95% in, 206K lead by Clinton, 10% gap.

State:92.5% in, 203K lead, 9.8% gap.

Looks very very close to double digits, but the CNN official delegate count is still just 52-46 with 60 outstanding still.

VERY close to double digits

To me, there's nothing magical about ten percent. It's a number. It just happens to be the threshold some folks have decided is the difference between Clinton actually winning and just coasting. My opinion is that she's won, but the opinions that really matter are those of the superdelegates, who must decide who looks more electable based on this and other races.

As the Obama campaign has observed, they came from 25 points down. The chart at the top of this article, courtesy of Pollster.com, shows that clearly. It includes polls results through yesterday. What it also shows is that the margin looked closer to many of the polls. This wasn't a light turnout, either. Quite the contrary, according to the New York Times:

Pennsylvania is on its way to the record turnout that election officials have been predicting for weeks, according to poll workers from across the state.

Election officials were reporting extremely heavy voter activity in many of the state’s 67 counties throughout the morning, starting with long lines reported even before the polls opened at 7 a.m.

The Caucus: Heavy Turnout In Pa.

Obama also spent a tremendous amount of money:

Flush with cash, Obama reported spending $11.2 million on television in the state, more than any place else. That compared with $4.8 million for Clinton.

AP: Clinton Grinds Out Victory Over Obama In Pennsylvania

So Clinton beat the expectations, it seems to me.

With primaries left in Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oregon, this thing isn't over. Nor should it be.

UPDATE: As of 11:45 PDT, it's looking like the unofficial count at Pennsylvania Dept. of State elections page has Clinton ahead 54.3 - 45.7, an 8.6 percent margin. This is a bit closer to the expected result - Pollster's prediction was a 6.6 percent margin. It probably means that the delegate count will not heavily favor Clinton. (h/t cinnamonape at Firedoglake for the link).

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