Super Tuesday Speculation: As the dust settles

I’ve been wanting to blog an update on Super Tuesday since this morning
but this turned out to be a wilder ride than I’ve anticipated.
I’m following parallel stories like crazy. Here are my bookmarks:

http://coolmel.gaia.com/bookmarks/tagged/super+tuesday

Previously, I speculated that Hillary Clinton would win most of the delegates on Super Tuesday. Clinton did win the prized state of California,
but Obama won more states. However, just this morning, it still wasn’t clear who
won the most number of delegates, though Clinton was ahead most of the
day.

Both Clinton and Obama camps claim victory and spin the story.
News sites give different tallies. But as the dust settles, a
surprising twist is starting to emerge. MSNBC’s Super Dashboard is now reporting that Obama is ahead in total delegates (838 – 834 as of this writing).

Here’s the latest update from Politico:

"In a surprise twist after a chaotic Super Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama
(D-Ill.) passed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in network tallies
of the number of delegates the candidates racked up last night.

"The Obama camp now projects topping Clinton by 13 delegates, 847 to 834.

"NBC News, which is projecting delegates based on the Democratic Party’s
complex formula, figures Obama will wind up with 840 to 849 delegates,
versus 829 to 838 for Clinton.

"Clinton was portrayed in many news accounts as the night’s big
winner, but Obama’s campaign says he wound up with a higher total where
it really counts — the delegates who will choose the party’s nominee at
this summer’s Democratic convention.

"With the delegate count still under way, NBC News said Obama appears to
have won around 840 delegates in yesterday’s contests, while Clinton
earned about 830 — “give or take a few,” Tim Russert, the network’s
Washington bureau chief, said on the “Today” show."

Read more
.

The delegate count is still underway so the final results are not yet
in. But as of this writing it looks like my speculation is starting to
suck
. I’ll update this post once the final results have been officially tabulated.
(see UPDATE below).

The uber-tight race between Clinton and Obama reflects my own personal indecision. It looks like the state of Washington (my place of residence) would play a crucial role on Feb. 9.
My hunch is that Washington would go for Obama, thus adding to his
seemingly unstoppable momentum. Too bad I won’t be there to partake in
the excitement.

In the meantime, the world is watching, and some are even speculating
that the tighter the Democratic race gets the more the likelihood of
McCain winning. Gaaaah!

"Here’s Gabor Steingart in his "West Wing" column on Spiegel Online:
"The duel between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama may be
fascinating for the party’s supporters, but it’s jeopardizing a
Democratic election victory in November. When two people quarrel, the
third often wins—which is why John McCain could end up as president."

         

"In London’s Guardian newspaper, columnist Jonathan Freedland
warned that, despite fairly widespread impressions the three front
runners are like-minded moderates, they differ importantly on major
issues. "The battle so far may seem to have been about identity politics,
résumés and political style," writes Freedland. "But don’t be misled:
the ultimate battle will be about two entirely different conceptions of
the U.S. and its place in the world." On Iraq, for example, Obama was
against the invasion—"a dumb war, a rash war"—from the beginning.
Clinton voted to go to war, but turned strongly against its
mismanagement in the aftermath and now calls for a phased withdrawal.
McCain, who within months of the war’s inception was saying America
needed more troops on the ground, remains a hawk, and proud of it. On
climate change, the three candidates are closer together but McCain,
says Freedland, "would have little support in his party for taking any
action.""

Read more.

*************************

UPDATE: After all the votes and delegates were tallied, Clinton did have a very very slight edge over Obama on the Super Tuesday delegates count (580 vs. 571 as reported by CNN). The are still differences in the total delegates tallies from news sites (see NYTimes, WSJ, MSNBC, CNN, FOX). But the consensus right now is that Clinton still has the overall lead, especially when the super delegates are factored in. So it turned out that my speculation was right. But the Democratic Primary just got more exciting. Here’s what The Wall Street Journal said:

"After campaigning for more than a year, spending more
than $180 million between them, and facing voters in more than half the
states, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are essentially tied in their
battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Super Tuesday did nothing to break the deadlock. With
the dust still settling, the New York senator as of yesterday afternoon
claimed 1,000 delegates out of the 2,025 needed. Her Illinois colleague
had 902."

In the meantime, Clinton may still be in the lead but Obama has the momentum and the budget (on track to raise another $30M). The debates and mud slinging continues. Ah well, that’s politics.

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