It's been very frustrating over the past few weeks listening to the smug media (and liberal talk radio personalities and Obama bloggers) writing off the Clinton campaign and suggesting that it's time for her to drop out.
Lots more after the jump...
There is no doubt that Obama has run an impressive campaign, especially given his lack of experience in presidential politics and national policy issues. And there's no doubt that the Clinton campaign has fumbled on more than one occasion. But to suggest that the primary is already over is premature and not fair to Clinton or to Democrats who have not yet voted. While Obama has pulled ahead and is gaining momentum (thanks in part to the media), it's still a relatively close race.
|Est. Pledged Delegates (CNN)||1184 (53%)||1031 (47%)||153|
|Est. Pledged Delegates (MSNBC)||1194 (54%)||1037 (46%)||97|
|Est. Pledged Delegates (NYT)||1303.5 (52%)||1212 (48%)||93.5|
|Est. Pledged Delegates (RCP)||1193 (53%)||1038 (47%)||155|
|Est. Pledged Delegates (Green Papers)||1127.5 (53%)||1007.5 (47%)||120|
|Hard Delegates (Green Papers)||646.5 (51%)||629.5 (49%)||17|
The numbers vary, and at this point show a clear but not unsurmountable lead for Obama. But there are still seventeen states to go, including some large states such as Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, and other states representing a substantial number of delegates such as Indiana, Kentucky, and Oregon. Perhaps the media should back off picking a winner until we've heard from some of those states. Then there are the "superdelegates," and the question of Democratic voters in Michigan and Florida who have been disenfranchised by the DNC.
Regardless of how you look at it, Clinton has put up some respectable numbers. While the delegate math isn't looking good for her at this point, she is still a serious candidate and deserves better than she's getting from the media.
Popular vote so far:
|Popular Vote (Green Papers)||10,868,966 (51%)||10,554,494 (49%)|
|Popular Vote (RCP, minus FL/MI)||10,305,403 (52%)||9,379,822 (48%)|
Again we see that Obama is ahead, but also that a substantial number (almost half) of Democratic voters support Clinton. (And regardless of who you support, Democrats everywhere should be thrilled with this turnout.) Looking at these numbers, it's not clear why Clinton should drop out. Would a candidate polling at 48% or 49% two weeks before a general election concede? And Obama bloggers who like to insult Clinton supporters should keep in mind that they are insulting ten million fellow Democrats.
Hypothetical electoral votes in states won to date:
|Blue states (2004)||85||117|
Here's where Democrats need to stop and think a minute. Blue states are voting for Clinton. These states will be safe for Obama in the general, but Democrats should be asking themselves, what do these reliably Democratic states see in Clinton? It's nice that Obama is winning all those red states, but does anyone seriously think Obama will win them in the general?
March 4 primaries:
|Ohio Polls (2/22-2/28 RCP avg., 141 delegates at stake)||42.3%||47.3%|
|Texas Polls (2/22-2/28 RCP avg., 193 delegates at stake)||47.4%||45.4%|
Any way you cut it, March 4th will be a close primary. It's very unlikely that Clinton can pull ahead mathematically, but neither can Obama gain the delegates he needs for an outright win. The split will likely remain about where it is today. Which means Democrats will remain divided with no clear winner.
Finally, it's frustrating how the news media, liberal talk radio pundits, and Obama bloggers continuously refer to Clinton supporters as "uneducated" (or "hillbillies," "knuckledraggers," etc.). Here are some "uneducated hillbillies" who have endorsed or said they support Clinton:
Former Cabinet officials: President Bill Clinton, Vice President Walter Mondale, Sec. of State Warren Christopher, Sec. of State Madeline Albright, Sec. of Defense William Perry, Sec. of Education Richard Riley, Sec. of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, Sec. of Commerce Mickey Kantor, Sec. of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke
Retired Military: General Wesley Clark, Former Supreme Allied Commander NATO, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John M. Shalikashvili, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William Owens, Assistant Sec, of Homeland Security Rear Admiral David Stone, Sec. of the Army Louis Caldera, Sec. of the Navy John H. Dalton, Sec. of the Air Force Sheila Widnall, Major General Antonio M. Taguba
U.S. Senators: Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Governors: Governor John Baldacci (D-ME), Governor Mike Beebe (D-AR), Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Governor Ted Kulongoski (D-OR), Governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD), Governor Ruth Ann Minner (D-DE), Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA), Governor Eliot Spitzer (D-NY), Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH)
The media and Obama bloggers should stop insulting Clinton voters and start showing the candidate and her voters a little respect. Looking at this list of supporters, it's obvious that plenty of educated, experienced people support Clinton. It's also clear that people with serious foreign policy, national security, and federal government credentials are confident that Clinton is qualified to lead. That's experience talking. It's too bad so many people aren't listening, and instead are letting MSNBC and CNN pick the Democratic nominee.
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