Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hillary Can't Lock Up The Nomination. The Math Says No.

The media insists it's impossible for Bernie Sanders to get enough pledged delegates to get the nomination. They absolutely never question that Hillary will have a majority of pledged delegates going into the convention.

But she won't!

Get this! No less a numbers man than economist Robert Reich says Hillary Clinton can't get enough pledged delegates to go into the convention with a majority. He asserts she would have to win 62% on average in each of the remaining primaries to get enough pledged delegates for a majority.

And that is an impossibility, per Reich:
"The only way Hillary could claim she's locked up the convention is by winning 2,383 pledged delegates during the primaries. She can't include super delegates, who are officially "unpledged" and could, at least in theory, decide at the convention to vote for Bernie. But to win 2,383 pledged delegates she'd have to win about 62 percent of the remaining not-yet-pledged delegates going forward. That's unlikely, given that even in the South she never cracked 60 percent." 

Reich also has a solid rebuttal to a numbers man of a different type, Nate Silver the sports prognosticator who was virtually the only observor to predict Obama's win in 2008. This time around Silver has bent over backward to argue Hillary's "inevitability" as the Democratic nominee, including his piece this week: Clinton Is Winning The States That Look Like The Democratic Party. He thinks Hillary has proven herself a better candidate because of where she has been winning.

This is a silly piece, showing that Nate should stay with numbers rather than playing with the demography of the Democratic party. He thinks he's a politico, but he's not. Since he formerly relied on the polls and since they and he have been wrong this year, he has announced that he will look at people-politics instead of polls. He'd do better to leave the politics, i.e. people analysis, to us politicos and just do sports. Silvers basic error is that he thinks people are what their race says they should be.
Reich takes Nate Silver on and knocks the silliness and the stuffing right out of him. Reich doesn't do it on his own, however, but relies on this missive from  "...a friend of mine who’s both a political junkie and a numbers wonk". Says the wonky junkie:

"Silvers’s analysis [that Clinton beats Sanders in "Democratic" states] is totally wrong. First, look at the 26 states plus D.C. that Obama carried in 2012 (332 electoral votes): 16 of these have already held primaries or caucuses. Clinton has won 7 of these, representing 103 electoral votes -- and has been awarded 449 delegates to Sanders's 322 in these states. Sanders has won 9 of these contests, representing 72 electoral votes, and has been awarded 337 delegates to Clinton's 213. 
So, to date, the total delegate count in the states Obama carried in 2012: Clinton 662, Sanders 659. It’s a virtual tie. 
Clinton’s biggest gains have been in Red States that are the Republican base, which will go Republican in November...." 

Listen up, Nate Silver! The South DOES NOT look like the Democratic Party.  It's a racist mess, dominated by whites who have voted Republican ever since Nixon adopted the "Southern strategy", telegraphing that the GOP would thereafter oppose racial integration. Reagan built on that message. And ever since then the GOP has played the "race card" to keep the South in a sort of Dark Ages of American politics. So far from "looking like the Democratic party", the South perfectly illustrates  the policies of the Republican Party in action. It is far more conservative in religion and on social issues. It is low-wage and anti-union "right to work". It is at the bottom of government spending for schools, health and highways because of its GOP fiscal policy. It is also at the bottom of household income and life expectancy. It is principally run by oligarchies to benefit the few who hold all the power. 
Note also that even the black population in the South, just like the white population, is more conservative than in the North and West, more rigid on social issues and too frightened of change to have picked up and left the land of lynching in Jim Crow days when so many blacks did escape North and West.

Hillary Clinton and the GOP are welcome to have the South.  But only the GOP wll get it in the fall.
Nate Silver's serious error is that he looks at blacks as a one-dimensional voting bloc. Same re Latinos. That's racist. It's stereotyping. Yes, blacks and Latinos strongly tend to be Democrats. That's because Democrats do right by them on issues they care about. But there are other factors in their lives. Age is one. Thus young blacks tend to support Bernie Sanders. Another factor is gender. Men in general don't like Hillary Clinton, so a goodly chunk of male black voters vote for Sanders. Same is true of socio-economic levels. The Latinos of Las Vegas who live in more upscale neighborhoods tended to support Sanders. That led Hillary to say that there was a mistake in exit polling, that Latinos couldn't possibly have gone for Sanders because she won the traditionally Latino neightbohoods. Yes, the ones where the older, poorer Latinos live. But Sanders did in fact beat her in winning Latino votes.   
Hillary Clinton and the GOP are welcome to have the South.  But only the GOP wll get it in the fall.

So what's the use of having Hillary as a candidate? Bernie does as well as she does in the states Democrats can hope to win. He will likely do even better than she would in getting good turnout, given the fever that grips his followers.

There is no solid reason to have Clinton as the Democratic candidate in the fall. She talks like a loser. She appeals to states where Democrats will lose. And she looks like a loser. If it talks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's a duck. Hillary Clinton is a loser.

At some point the super delegates are going to have to confront that reality and deny her the votes that she will need for a majority at the convention. This is exactly what happened in 2008. And this year the super delegates have an additional reason to want powerful turnout numbers: the possibility of winning back the Senate!

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