Wednesday 14 May 2008

Hillary's latest win is another reminder why this isn't over yet

A 67-26 victory in West Virginia by the woman whom the media has been declaring a lame duck is a reminder why this contest is not over yet. The maths of the Democratic race may dictate that Obama is the likely candidate, but the maths of the Presidential election are rather more complicated, and suggest Hillary is more likely to beat McCain. For the presumptive president only to score a quarter of Democratic votes in a vital state at a time when the media has anointed him as the candidate tells you all you need to know about why his party - and its superdelegates - need to think carefully about whether they want to win in November or exercise their liberal consciences in August.
UPDATE: John Edwards's endorsement of Barack Obama is obviously an important boost for his campaign, and a blow the Hillary. It is, of course, probable that Obama will win the nomination (though it would be very odd for Hillary to step down before the rules committee decides what happens to Florida and Michigan delegates). But it is hardly bizarre as Stephen Pollard suggests to point out that Obama is not good at winning in crucial swing states. His victory owes as much to the odd weighting that the Democrats give to liberal caucuses in unwinnable states as it does to his overall strength. Hillary has won far more Democrat-voting and swing states than he has. And that may make it much harder for Obama to beat McCain in November. Which is something even his most dedicated supporters recognise.

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