Monday, March 3, 2008

Super Twosday Predictions

I'm calling this set of primaries that includes Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont "Super Tuesday II Twosday for its serious political consequences for both the Obama and Clinton campaigns. The stakes are very high all around and we could either see an effective end to the Democratic nomination or a long (I mean loooooooooooong) month and a half until Pennsylvania. I'm going to make a couple of predictions about each state and then an overall prediction about how this campaign is going to move forward.


I believe, despite narrow polls in Obama's favor, that Barack Obama will win Texas by nearly 10 percentage points. The strange primary/caucus combination will make things a bit unclear, but Obama has outperformed the polling numbers by an average of nearly 8 percentage points since the primary contests started in Iowa. He currently has a 3 or 4 point advantage by most counts. More than the impressive win here, Obama will actually score a huge majority of the delegates as a result of the Texas system of allocation that gives more delegates to the urban areas that Obama will run away with. The loss in Texas for Senator Clinton, especially in my margin of victory holds true, should be the end of her campaign, but I don't think that's going to be the case, because.....


Senator Clinton has held a good lead in Ohio, again despite narrowing poll numbers, and got a bit of a boost today when some memos surfaced showing an Obama aide hedging on the rhetoric about NAFTA in a meeting with the Canadian Consulate in Chicago. People in Ohio, already on Hillary's side, will see this as a betrayal and I can't see him surviving a death blow like this at the 11th hour. I would have predicted a very close race here with either candidate poised for a 2 or 3 percentage point victory, but I now predict a Clinton victory by 6 to 8 points (if not more). Ohio will give the Clinton campaign its needed "big win" to drag out the inevitable.

Rhode Island

RI will be the cherry on Clinton's Ohio sundae as she should win the state by nearly 10 points. Obama has shown the ability to close polls to within single digits, but I think that she's going to coast to victory in Rhode Island with a comfortable win. I'll go with 10 points here.


I expect Obama to win this small state by 15 points and grab the lion's share of the delegates in the process. This will be a very big win for Obama, as it turns out, because it will help him to keep the delegate lead for Super Tuesday II. Although Clinton will be able to boast a split of states on this day (and she will) the overall gains that Obama makes in delegates might be significant.


Despite the overall delegate gain for Obama on this day, I would consider my predicted outcome a loss. Hillary Clinton will be able to make the case for a campaign that extends to Pennsylvania on April 22nd and we'll be forced to watch an increasingly ugly campaign drag the Democratic Party into the gutter. Make no mistake, this extended campaign and its negative tone is hurting the eventual winner a great deal. If there was a more dynamic Republican on the other side, this would be a fatal disaster. McCain has issues of his own to deal with and looks a bit tired already. Still, we may end up looking back at Super Tuesday II Twosday as the day that ultimately jeopardized the general election more than any other. Terrifying prospects for Democrats.

Note: If Obama can make a last second comeback to win Ohio, I expect Clinton to end her campaign. If she loses 3 states, it will be hard for her to continue with the DNC breathing down her neck. If she ends up continuing past a set of losses that includes both Texas and Ohio, you'll see her lose PA by double digits and you'll see dozens of superdelegates endorsing Obama.

Also, I just saw a Fox promo for their "Super Tuesday II" coverage, so I had to change my little name for the day. I can't use the same corny joke that Fox has employed. My corny joke has to be above that, so I'm going with Super Twosday. Ugh.

No comments: