Thursday, May 1, 2008

This election has been over since February

Map of the county-by-county primary and caucus results by dreaminonempty

There's the media's view of the current election:

Victory gives Clinton fresh momentum

Barack Obama faced renewed questions yesterday about his ability to deliver a Democratic victory in November after his failure to knock out Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary.

With the protracted campaign entering its final phase, Clinton won the primary with 55% of the vote against 45% for Obama, a majority achieved by decisive wins among white voters, Catholics and low-income households.

The result did not significantly dent Obama's lead in delegates, popular vote or fundraising, neither did it fundamentally alter his status as the Democratic frontrunner. But Clinton cast it as a turning point. "The tide is turning," she said in an email to supporters yesterday morning.
And then there's reality.

This election has been over since February, even if we didn't realize it at the time. Clinton has won all the states that she was expected to win the day after Super Tuesday (and by similar margins). Obama has won all the states he was expected to win. The Reverend Wright, NAFTA, Tuzla and "bitter" controversies haven't affected the race at all.

Take a look at the map above and you'll see that Hillary's greatest support follows the Appalachian mountains from northern New York state down through Tennessee then slides into Arkansas and Texas. Obama's strength has been in the south and northwest. A bright 7 year-old could tell you where the next blue and green pieces of that puzzle will go.

What looks like momentum is simply a fluke of the primary calendar. Despite reports of voters who haven't made up their minds - they basically have.

Barack will win in North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Montana. Hillary will win in Kentucky, Puerto Rico and West Virginia. Indiana is a tossup. He'll end up with about a 150 pledged delegate lead.

And the superdelegates aren't going to overturn that result.

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