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Clinton about to take popular lead?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, May 23, 2008

If so, it would be truly ironic:
Lost in the excitement of Barack Obama's coronation this week was an inconvenient fact of Tuesday's results: Hillary Clinton netted approximately 150,000 votes and is now poised to finish the primary season as the popular-vote leader. In some quaint circles, presumably, these things still matter.

Real Clear Politics keeps track of six versions of the popular-vote total. They are, in ascending order of inclusivity: (1) the popular vote of sanctioned contests; (2) the total of sanctioned contests, plus estimated votes from the Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington caucuses; (3) the popular vote plus Florida; (4) popular vote plus Florida and the caucuses; (5) the popular vote plus Florida and Michigan; (6) popular vote plus Florida, Michigan, and the caucus estimates. After Tuesday, Clinton now leads in two of these six counts.

If you believe that the most important precept in democratic politics is to "count every vote," then the sixth category is the most inclusive, and here Clinton leads Obama by 71,301 votes. Of course, this includes the Michigan result, where Sen. Obama had removed his name from the ballot. So while it may be the most inclusive, it may not be the most fair.
However, here comes Puerto Rico, MT and SD:
The third and fourth counts - the ones which include Florida - seem more fair. Here, Obama is clinging to a slight lead of 146,786 votes (257,008, with the caucus estimates). However, with Puerto Rico, Montana, and South Dakota remaining, he will almost certainly finish behind her in these counts, likely by a few hundred thousand votes.
And if she is ahead by the popular vote when Puerto Rico ends? That's where the absolutely delicious irony will come in if Obama is then declared the nominee.

Why?

Because we can legitimately say, "Obama - selected, not elected".

Heh ...
 
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