Saturday, March 29, 2008

Obama PWNS Hillary

Much has been made about observing the will of the people in this neck and neck Democratic primary race. Obama has cited the number of states won, while Clinton has stressed her capture of several big states. This made me curious about the margins of the victories achieved by each candidate. How many of the victories were what we would call "quality" wins if we were talking about college football - the big blow-outs where complete dominance was achieved?

Looking at the margins of victories in the contests at the New York Times' web page on primary contest victories makes it plain that many more of Clinton's victories were narrow ones, while Obama's was much more likely to have blown out the contest. Consider the following:

Victories = 15
Average Margin of Victory = 13.1 points
Median Margin of Victory = 10.0 points
Contests won by less than 10 points = 6
Contests won by 20 or more points = 2

Victories = 30
Average Margin of Victory = 29.5 points
Median Margin of Victory = 26.0 points
Contests won by less than 10 points = 3
Contests won by 20 or more points = 21

By these comparisons, Obama is completely dominating the race.

Consider Clinton's most heralded victories:

New Hampshire = 3 point win
Texas (primaries only) = 4 point win
Ohio = 10 point win

Two of them are hard fought, close victories - with Obama expected to actually have won the most delegates in Texas once Hillary's obstructionists can no longer prevent the caucus process from moving forward.

In comparison, Obama has only had three victories so narrow as to be under 10 points. Much more typical has been extremely strong victories like Wisconsin (17 points), Maryland (23 points), Georgia (35 points), Kansas (48 points) and Idaho (63 points). These are the kind of victories Hillary would have to achieve to have any prayer of pulling ahead in the delegate count, but that no one believes is possible for her to achieve. Yet Obama has won big consistently, not by exception.

This graph shows that Barack Obama has dominated in the margins.

It is undeniable that the people of the remaining 10 states have a right to be heard, however their voices must be considered within the context of what everyone else has already said. Hillary Clinton wants us to believe that the last voices will somehow carry more weight than the ones that came before, and that is simply not the case.

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