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“Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government.”     Milton Friedman

March 4, 2008

TexOhio Primary Predictions And Tuesday Open Thread

by Doug Mataconis

At least one, and possibly both, parties’ Presidential nominating contests could be over tomorrow, so this could very well be the last prediction thread until after Labor Day.

So let’s get this one right.

Republicans

Let’s get the easy one out of the way.

John McCain is going win today and he’s going to win big enough to get the remaining 100+ delegates he needs to clinch the Republican nomination. He has double digit leads over Mike Huckabee in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island. The smart thing for Huckabee to do tonight would be to congratulate McCain and drop out of the race.

Once again, Ron Paul won’t win any delegates but it looks like he will win re-election to Congress.

Democrats

If nothing else, I think we’ll see the end of Barack Obama’s consecutive win streak. Hillary Clinton has a double digit lead in Rhode Island and, barring a complete disaster for her, it looks like she’ll at least win that one.

Obama, on the other hand, looks to be headed to an easy victory in Vermont.

But that’s just the warm-up show. The big showdown will be in Texas and Ohio, and the race is tight in both states.

Let’s take Texas first. The trend has been clearly in Obama’s favor for the past two weeks and I think that will be enough for him to coast to a victory. His victory in the primary itself is likely to be narrow, but he will do well in the caucus part of the process and will come out of the day with the majority of the Lone Star State’s delegates.

As for the Buckeye State, this one really ought to be put in a too-close-to-call category, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that Clinton manages to pull off a victory here, albeit an incredibly slim one. Even if I’m wrong and Obama wins, I think the margin of victory will be under 5 percentage points, which will be important when it comes to allocating delegates.

It’s the delegate count that matters, of course, and here’s where we stand right now:

Pledged Delegates

  1. Barack Obama — 1193 delegates
  2. Hillary Clinton — 1038 delegates

Obama + 155

Total Delegates (w/ Super Delegates)

  1. Barack Obama — 1389 delegates
  2. Hillary Clinton — 1279 delegates

Obama + 110

As with past primaries, all of the Democratic primaries award delegates on a proportional basis, and Texas awards part of it’s delegates based on the results of the Tuesday evening caucuses. Barack Obama will get the majority of Vermont’s 15 delegates, and Hillary will get the majority of Rhode Island’s 21 delegates. In Texas and Ohio though, they’ll split the delegates much more evenly and any advantage that Hillary gets from winning Ohio could very easily be wiped out by the net gain Obama gets out of Texas.

By the time the dust settles later this week, I think we’ll see that Obama is still ahead in pledged delegates by at least 150 and leading in total pledged delegates by at least 105.

After this there are only two races — Wyoming on March 8th and Mississippi on March 11th — between March 4th and the Pennsylvania primary on April 22nd. I have no idea what will happen in Wyoming — if it is, as I suspect, a caucus, then Obama will probably win — but I think it’s fairly clear that Obama will win Mississippi. Unless Clinton can pull off something truly convincing and surprising, which seems unlikely, the logic of her remaining in the race seems to be less and less tenable.

Originally posted at Below The Beltway

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2 Comments

  1. Hillary voiced her opposition to President Bush’s pardoning of Mr. Libby, she failed to voice her opposition to her husband as he handed out 140 Presidential Pardons on their last days in the White House. Is this the first-hand experience she garnered while she was in the White House?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton_pardons_controversy

    This list of Pardons include individuals charged with cocaine possession, cocaine distribution, bank fraud, medicaid fraud, tax evasion, wire fraud, tax evasion, securities fraud, armed robbery, etc etc..

    http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pardonchartlst.htm

    According to Wikipedia, “In March 2000, Bill Clinton pardoned Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory, owners of the carnival company United Shows International, for charges of bank fraud from a 1982 conviction (the couple were already out of jail, but the prior conviction prevented them from doing business transactions in certain states). First Lady Hillary Clinton’s youngest brother, Tony Rodham, was an acquaintance of the Gregorys, and had lobbied Clinton on their behalf.[11] In October 2006, the group Judicial Watch filed a request with the U.S. Justice Department for an investigation, alleging that Rodham had received $107,000 from the Gregorys for the pardons, in the form of loans that were never repaid, as part of a quid pro quo scheme.[12]”

    How can we forget the substantial donations to the Clinton Library and Hillary’s senate Campaign by fugitive Mark Rich, who was pardoned by the Clintons.

    Susan McDougal was pardoned for her role in the Whitewater scandal.

    Roger Clinton, Bill’s half-brother was pardoned on drug charges.

    The clemency of the FALN extremists. A political motivation to assist his wife’s senate bid?

    http://license.icopyright.net/user/viewFreeUse.act?fuid=ODA1MDMx

    Does the Pardon process work or is it shamefully abused? What are Obama’s thoughts on this topic?

    Comment by James Miller — March 4, 2008 @ 6:05 am
  2. A lot of people point to the “math problem” Hillary has but seem to forget how quickly the winds can change in politics. If she adds Texas to her apparent wins in Ohio and R.I. the race could shift considerably. She is winning the important general election swing states (Ohio, Tennessee, likley Pennsylvania) and if she makes this tight all the way Democracts are crazy not to pay attention to that. There are 3 more months of this for Obama to face some serious scrutiny…

    Comment by A Running Commentary — March 4, 2008 @ 9:36 pm

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