Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's all about the delegates, baby

Last night, both Clinton and Obama vied for momentum and maybe even some kind of inevitability. It didn't happen for either of them.

Under the last post, someone made a smart comment about the way the calendar shakes out from here. The rest of February's primaries favor Obama: Virginia, Washington DC, Washington state and others. He could win five in a row. Then, in March, Ohio and Texas vote, which carry huge numbers of delegates, and figure to be Clinton strongholds.

The commenter, an Obama supporter, hoped that Hillary would bow out under the momentum of a string of Obama victories. Make no mistake, Bill and Hill are in it to the convention. So, we'll see a push for Obama in the coming weeks, but Hillary will pick up a solid amount of delegates (they're are apportioned) headed into March. The bottom line: Forget about momentum and spin and focus on the delegate count. More than half of Democrats have voted, but neither candidate has more than half the delegates needed for the nomination.

That means there is a very real possibility that this heads to a brokered convention, which favors three people- Hillary Clinton, John McCain and me. Hillary Clinton because she has the party establishment behind her, who could anoint her the nominee in a backroom (and make her pick Obama as her running-mate). John McCain because he'll have sewn up his party's nomination have a head start raising money campaigning for the fall. And me because a brokered convention would make Chris Matthews head explode, and I've always wanted to see that.

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