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FIRST THOUGHTS: A DEM SPLIT DECISION
7 years ago

From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro
*** A split decision: The Clinton and Obama campaigns engaged in a furious game of spin before Super Tuesday, but Obama might have put it best when he said on TODAY and Morning Joe yesterday that it would end up being a split decision. In fact, after they traded state after state last night, it reminded us of “Rocky I” -- lots of drama, lots of punches landed and received, and ultimately a draw. And just like with that movie, we’re now headed to a sequel to find a true winner. It looks like Obama, by the narrowest of margins, won last night’s delegate hunt. By our estimates, he picked up 840 to 849 delegates versus 829-838 for Clinton; the Obama camp projects winning by nine delegates (845-836). He also won more states (13 to Clinton’s eight; New Mexico is still outstanding), although she won the most populous ones (California and New York). And Obama’s argument that he might be the most electable Democrat in a general election was bolstered by the fact that he won nine red states versus four for Clinton. Yet with Clinton’s overall superdelegate lead (259-170, based on the lists they've released to us), and when you toss in the 63-48 lead Obama had among pledged delegates going into Super Tuesday, it appears Clinton has about 70 more overall delegates than Obama does (1140-1150 for Clinton versus 1070 to 1080 for Obama). It’s that close, folks…

*** Obama’s opportunity and challenge: The calendar for the next couple of weeks favors Obama, as we head into February 9 (Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington State); February 10 (Maine); February 12 (DC, Maryland, Virginia); and February 19 (Hawaii and Wisconsin). In fact, in a conference call it held with reporters on Monday, the Clinton campaign seemed like it was conceding those states when it didn’t mention those states, but said it was looking ahead toward March 4 (Ohio and Texas; don't forget Rhode Island and Vermont) after Super Tuesday. Obama can certainly feel good about last night: He went toe-to-toe with Clinton in a Super Tuesday contest that once seemed to favor her. And he’s on pace to have a significant financial advantage over Clinton. But as the AP’s Ron Fournier writes, “Obama still has much to prove. The potential for setbacks and mistakes is high.” At some point, the question will have to be asked: When or how can he put her away? Of course, last night proves that Clinton faces that very same question regarding Obama.

*** How nasty will it get? Now that a majority of the country has voted and the delegate battle is THISCLOSE, the likelihood that both campaigns will decide it's ok to go negative is high. Someone needs a knockout, particularly Clinton since she appears to have the bigger resource problem. The good news for Clinton is that the burden of expectations is on Obama; any victory between now and March 4 for Clinton will be deemed an upset and Clinton has fed off of hyped-up Obama expectations. Clinton's camp needs to peel away white men from Obama; Obama needs to peel away downscale women from Clinton. Appealing to both key demographic groups could easily lead the campaigns down the low road. By the way, what will have a greater effect on the media regarding what happened last night? The results from this weekend's events or the first wave of national polls? If Clinton is ahead in the national primary (which, by the way, should that include states that already voted? What say you pollsters?), does that mean Clinton won Super Tuesday? If Obama continues to be stronger than Clinton against McCain, does that tip things to Obama? Bottom line, as important as the delegate fight is, the national polls and the C.W. they create will be very influential, particularly with superdelegates, who are finger-in-the-wind deciders at this point.

7 years ago

She's resorting to all out LIEs now, low blows.

But I think he knocked her down in his speech last night.

7 years ago

Obama will keep going.  look  how far he has come at  beating the Clinton machine and he will win

 Last night was a great night for Obama and the American people

Clinton can be as nasty as she wants Obama has got her/his number and don't stand a chance

GO OBAMA GO  WE CAN DO IT 

7 years ago
And they said he couldn't do it! Look how far he's come.
7 years ago

WK  yes  everyone said he couldn't do it and Clinton got all this money  because she thought it would be easy to beat everyone and got so wraped in thinking she was gonna be the frist woman President didn't even see Obama coming and now Clinton has fund to her own run for President

And they are so worried that the money gonna run out and play dirty tricks to get Obama  (you were right) 

Just thinking about herself and not the country  serves her right

 Shame on the Clintons



This post was modified from its original form on 06 Feb, 18:05
7 years ago

It was a good night.  The two candidates basically drew.  Clinton picked up the states with cachet, but Obama won the "Red States" handily, where his message of civility and a true unity were welcome.  The thing is, California and New York are solid blue, but Idaho would probly not vote for Clinton.  Just a hunch.  The thing is, it just might go for Obama.  That is the power of his candidacy. 

Let's not underestimate the Clinton campaign's influence or tactics.  There is a long way to go yet.

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