Wednesday, May 07, 2008

An Even Split on May 6th? No, Look Again.

So here we are, approaching midnight on the West Coast and the votes are pretty much counted in North Carolina and Indiana. Obama won in N.C. and Hillary in Indiana. So it's a split decision, right? They both won one, so they are even.

Wrong.

Barack Obama won 56% to 42% over Hillary in North Carolina. But the picture on the top of Yahoo's political news page? Right, the former first lady, with a story about her winning Indiana. And that is all some people will see it as... that she won. But lets look at the numbers.

According to the Associated Press, with 99% of the vote counted in Indiana, Hillary won 51% to 49%. A margin of slightly more than 22,000 votes out of 1.2 million. So, if you think your vote doesn't count, the clear message here is to move to Indiana. However, what's not clear is why this eked out win should propel Mrs. Clinton to say, "Thanks to you, it's full speed to the White House!"

Really? Because North Carolina is the tenth largest state in the nation. There were 115 delegates at stake. And Obama, not to be too mean about it, kicked your ass. He wiped the floor with you. Meanwhile, you barely achieve a victory in a state that was always being counted on by your own campaign, and you do it by trumpeting a "gas tax holiday" that some observers have analyzed as meaning approximately $28 to the average American family. Hey, at least when W tries to buy me off he has the cojones to offer me $600 bucks. I mean, that will at least buy me a Playstation 3. Your deal won't even buy me a game to play on it.

Also, the gas tax holiday was already tried. In Illinois, and one of its supporters was Barack Obama. The 5% reduction in taxes there resulted in a 3% drop in the price. In other words, the reduction of income to the state and to public good created a 2% increase in the profits of the oil companies. And at the end of the tax holiday, gas prices went up 4%.

Gee... no wonder the guys from Shell praised the plan.

So at the end of the day, the latest projections are that Obama has gained at least 94 delegates and Clinton at least 75. With 18 more to still be decided. Do the math. Even if Hillary gets all 18 she ends up with 93. (And she won't... if the current ratios hold, Obama will get at least 10 or 11.)

That's not an even split... that's Barack Obama pulling away as we enter the homestretch.

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