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Thread: Hillary's math problem

  1. #1
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    Hillary's math problem

    all the math, broken down. Not looking good for Hillary, even with PA...

    [quote]
    [B]Hillary’s New Math Problem[/B]
    Tuesday's big wins? The delegate calculus just got [I]worse[/I].

    Jonathan Alter
    Newsweek Web Exclusive

    Updated: 6:48 PM ET Mar 5, 2008

    Hillary Clinton won big victories Tuesday night in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. But she's now even further behind in the race for the Democratic nomination. How could that be? Math. It's relentless.

    To beat Barack Obama among pledged delegates, Clinton now needs even bigger margins in the 12 remaining primaries than she needed when I ran the numbers on Monday--an average of 23 points, which is more than double what she received in Ohio.

    Superdelegates won't help Clinton if she cannot erase Obama's lead among pledged delegates, which now stands at roughly 134. Caucus results from Texas aren't complete, but Clinton will probably net about 10 delegates out of March 4. That's 10 down, 134 to go. Good luck.

    I've asked several prominent uncommitted superdelegates if there's any chance they would reverse the will of Democratic voters. They all say no. It would shatter young people and destroy the party.

    Hillary's only hope lies in the popular vote-a yardstick on which she now trails Obama by about 600,000 votes. Should she end the primary season in June with a lead in popular votes, she could get a hearing from uncommitted superdelegates for all the other arguments that she would make a stronger nominee. (Wins the big states, etc.). If she loses both the pledged delegate count and the popular vote, no argument will cause the superdelegates to disenfranchise millions of Democratic voters. It will be over.

    Projecting popular votes precisely is impossible because there's no way to calculate turnout. But Clinton would likely need do-overs in Michigan and Florida (whose January primaries didn't count because they broke Democratic Party rules). But even this probably wouldn't give her the necessary popular vote margins.

    Remember, Obama's name wasn't even on the Michigan ballot when voters there went to the polls. Even if he's trounced there (and Michigan, won by Jesse Jackson in 1988, has a large African-American vote in its primary), Obama would still win hundreds of thousands of popular votes. This is also an argument for why Obama may end up preferring a primary to a caucus in Michigan. (Obama has done better in caucuses).

    Florida, with its heavy population of elderly and Jewish voters, might be a better place for Hillary to close the popular vote gap. But even if you assume she does five points better than her double-digit win there in the meaningless February primary (where no one campaigned), she would still fall short.

    I'm no good at math, but with the help of "Slate’s Delegate Calculator" I've once again scoped out the rest of the primaries. In order to show how deep a hole she's in, I've given her the benefit of the doubt every week. That's 12 victories in a row, bigger in total than Obama's run of 11 straight. And this time I've assigned her even larger margins than I did before in Wyoming, North Carolina, Indiana and Kentucky.

    So here we go again:

    Let's assume that on Saturday in Wyoming, Hillary's March 4 momentum gives her an Ohio-style 10-point win, confounding every expectation. Next Tuesday in Mississippi, where African-Americans play a big role in the Democratic primary, she shocks the political world by again winning 55-45.

    Then on April 22, the big one-Pennsylvania-and it's a Hillary blow-out: 60-40, with Clinton picking up a whopping 32 delegates. She wins both of Guam's two delegates on May 3 and Indiana's proximity to Illinois does Obama no good on May 6. The Hoosiers go for Hillary 55-45 and the same day brings another huge upset in a heavily African-American state. Enough blacks desert Obama to give North Carolina to Hillary in another big win, 55-45, netting her seven more delegates.

    May 13 in West Virginia is no kinder to Obama, and he loses by double digits, netting Clinton two delegates. Another 60-40 landslide on May 20 in Kentucky nets her 11 more. The same day brings Oregon, a classic Obama state. Ooops! He loses there 52-48. Hillary wins by 10 in Montana and South Dakota on June 3 and the scheduled primary season ends on June 7 in Puerto Rico with another big Viva Clinton! Hillary pulls off a 60-40 landslide, giving her another 11 delegates.

    [B]Given that I've put not a thumb but my whole fist on the scale, this fanciful calculation gives Hillary the lead, right? Actually, it makes the score 1,625 to 1,584 for Obama.[/B] A margin of 39 pledged delegates may not seem like much, but remember, the chances of Obama losing state after state by 20-point margins are slim to none.
    [B]
    So no matter how you cut it, Obama will almost certainly end the primaries with a pledged delegate lead, courtesy of all those landslides in February. [/B]What happens then? Will Democrats come together before the Denver Convention opens in late August?

    We know that Hillary is unlikely to quit. This will leave it up to the superdelegates to figure out how to settle on a nominee. With 205 already committed to Obama, he would need another 200 uncommitted superdelegates to get to the magic number of 2025 delegates needed to nominate. But that's only under my crazy pro-Hillary projections. More likely, Obama would need about 50-100 of the approximately 500 uncommitted superdelegates, which shouldn't be too difficult.

    But let's say all the weeks of negative feeling have taken a toll. Let's say that Clinton supporters are feeling embittered and inclined to sit on their hands. It's not too hard to imagine prominent superdelegates asking Obama to consider putting Hillary on the ticket.

    This might be the wrong move for him. A national security choice like Sen. Jim Webb, former Sen. Sam Nunn or retired Gen. Anthony Zinni could make more sense. But if Obama did ask Clinton, don't assume she would say no just because she has, well, already served as de facto vice president for eight years under her husband. (Sorry, Al).

    In fact, she would probably say yes. When there's a good chance to win, almost no one has ever said no. (Colin Powell is the exception). In 1960, when the vice-presidency was worth a lot less, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson gave up his powerful position to run with John F. Kennedy.

    How about Clinton-Obama? Nope. The Clintonites can spin to their heart's content about how big March 4 was for them. How close the race is. How they've got the Big Mo now.

    Tell it to Slate's Delegate Calculator. Again.

    URL: [url]http://www.newsweek.com/id/119010[/url]
    [/quote]

  2. #2
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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2416454]I've asked several prominent uncommitted superdelegates if there's any chance they would reverse the will of Democratic voters. They all say no. It would shatter young people and destroy the party.[/QUOTE]

    Sure Hillary will lose the pledged delegate count, but I think this article is too quick to assume the above quote.

    Her campaign knows about the numbers, and she wouldn't be campaigning so hard if she thought that superdelagates wouldn't matter. She'll win Pennsylvania and use that momentum going forward to justify the choice of superdelagates to make her the nominee.

    "Shatter young people and destroy the party"!?! From what I understand, historically the nominee has usually been chosen through much more underhanded methods, in smoke-filled rooms of the national committees. There was never much uproar. It wasn't until fairly recently that the primaries are even getting this much attention. Hillary will use the Clinton political clout, win the nomination, and Barrack will a forgotten well before November.

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    Agreed jf1983..

    Obama needs a huge bounce back, his polling in Penn has already dropped from around 6 to around 12 down..

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    [QUOTE=CTM;2417051]Agreed jf1983..

    Obama needs a huge bounce back, his polling in Penn has already dropped from around 6 to around 12 down..[/QUOTE]

    Yup, but seven weeks is a long time, and the initial buzz of her victories the other night will fade. The question is what replaces it.

    A few promising hints thus far for him:

    1) He has indicated he will challenge her claim of being experienced and tested. A lot of what this is based on is dubious at best. (I think he pivoted to face McCain too quickly when he should have been finishing her off with this argument.)

    2) The sticks she used to attack him with in Ohio --Rezko and Nafta-- aren't going to remain wholly viable. Rezko will fade as voters realize Obama isn't accused of any wrongdoing (unless an allegation against him surfaces). If there are no allegations of wrongdoing against Obama, the media won't have any new angles to run with.

    The NAFTA story is about to boomerang right back into Hillary's face, as Canada's leading paper reported today that it was actually her campaign --and not Obama's-- that told Canadian officials to take its rhetoric with a grain of salt.

    More on that here:

    [QUOTE][url]http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/06/738264.aspx[/url]

    Per the Toronto Globe and Mail, in a story that was the lead on the paper’s front page today, that call to the Canadian embassy was actually from the Clinton campaign, not Obama’s:

    “Mr. [Ian] Brodie, [PM Harper’s chief of staff], during the media lockup for the Feb. 26 budget, stopped to chat with several journalists, and was surrounded by a group from CTV. The conversation turned to the pledges to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement made by the two Democratic contenders, Mr. Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

    “Mr. Brodie, apparently seeking to play down the potential impact on Canada, told the reporters the threat was not serious, and that someone from Ms. Clinton's campaign had even contacted Canadian diplomats to tell them not to worry because the NAFTA threats were mostly political posturing. The Canadian Press cited an unnamed source last night as saying that several people overheard the remark.

    “The news agency quoted that source as saying that Mr. Brodie said that someone from Ms. Clinton's campaign called and was ‘telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt.’

    “The story was followed by CTV's Washington bureau chief, Tom Clark, who reported that the Obama campaign, not the Clinton's, had reassured Canadian diplomats.

    “Mr. Clark cited unnamed Canadian sources in his initial report. There was no explanation last night for why Mr. Brodie was said to have referred to the Clinton campaign but the news report was about the Obama campaign.”[/QUOTE]

    3) Obama is going to post wins in Mississippi and Wyoming this weekend. These are by no means on the scale of Ohio and Texas, but they will be enough to (1) blunt the "Hillmentum" talk and (2) completely erase the delegate gains she made Tuesday.

    That aside, I do agree with the above post that, if Hillary can win the popular vote, she can make a reasonable argument for the nomination even if she trails in delegates.

    But I think Obama can render this all moot if he beats her in Pennsylvania, and I think he has the right strategy to do that now.

  5. #5
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    Obama would like to focus on Hillary's math problem because he has the same problem. Between PA, PR, FL and Mich which will be worked there is still a long way to go before this is decided. Now that Obama has had his teflon melted and has pledged to go negative, we can have a real campaign and a fight on the convention floor. Politics as it should be partisan and bare knuckled.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2417198]Yup, but seven weeks is a long time, and the initial buzz of her victories the other night will fade. The question is what replaces it.

    A few promising hints thus far for him:

    1) He has indicated he will challenge her claim of being experienced and tested. A lot of what this is based on is dubious at best. (I think he pivoted to face McCain too quickly when he should have been finishing her off with this argument.)

    2) The sticks she used to attack him with in Ohio --Rezko and Nafta-- aren't going to remain wholly viable. Rezko will fade as voters realize Obama isn't accused of any wrongdoing (unless an allegation against him surfaces). If there are no allegations of wrongdoing against Obama, the media won't have any new angles to run with.

    The NAFTA story is about to boomerang right back into Hillary's face, as Canada's leading paper reported today that it was actually her campaign --and not Obama's-- that told Canadian officials to take its rhetoric with a grain of salt.

    More on that here:



    3) Obama is going to post wins in Mississippi and Wyoming this weekend. These are by no means on the scale of Ohio and Texas, but they will be enough to (1) blunt the "Hillmentum" talk and (2) completely erase the delegate gains she made Tuesday.

    That aside, I do agree with the above post that, if Hillary can win the popular vote, she can make a reasonable argument for the nomination even if she trails in delegates.

    But I think Obama can render this all moot if he beats her in Pennsylvania, and I think he has the right strategy to do that now.[/QUOTE]

    Yea, I've been following he NAFTA thing, hope it gets a lot of play

    Good news on going after the experience, I wonder if he'll get any backlash for resorting to old politics..

    Big win in Wyoming caucus should help as well..

    God, I'm not even a dem and I'm following this more closely then I'll likely follow the GE. I don't know, the thought of her getting what she wants is just sickening..

    I still feel it's inevitable as Obama's going to have a tough time winning PA, especially since it's a closed primary

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    [QUOTE=CTM;2417269]Yea, I've been following he NAFTA thing, hope it gets a lot of play

    Good news on going after the experience, I wonder if he'll get any backlash for resorting to old politics..

    Big win in Wyoming caucus should help as well..

    God, I'm not even a dem and I'm following this more closely then I'll likely follow the GE. I don't know, the thought of her getting what she wants is just sickening..

    I still feel it's inevitable as Obama's going to have a tough time winning PA, especially since it's a closed primary[/QUOTE]


    However much I wish it was over, I am riveted by it, as well.

    I think Obama can avoid the "old politics" trap if he presents it as self defense. "She has been making experience a big issue, so what's hers, exactly? When was she tested in an international crisis, exactly?"

    Obama's campaign can also raise some of her past dubious claims: She's boasted of a big role in Northern Ireland, but George Mitchell --the guy who ran the diplomatic effort-- says otherwise, that sort of thing.

    All they really have to do is sort of politely raise it in their own defense, and, presumably, reporters will find their way to George Mitchell and report what he tells them

    It is a fine line to walk, but he's been pretty good at it thus far.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2417293]However much I wish it was over, I am riveted by it, as well.

    I think Obama can avoid the "old politics" trap if he presents it as self defense. "She has been making experience a big issue, so what's hers, exactly? When was she tested in an international crisis, exactly?"

    Obama's campaign can also raise some of her past dubious claims: She's boasted of a big role in Northern Ireland, but George Mitchell --the guy who ran the diplomatic effort-- says otherwise, that sort of thing.

    All they really have to do is sort of politely raise it in their own defense, and, presumably, reporters will find their way to George Mitchell and report what he tells them

    It is a fine line to walk, but he's been pretty good at it thus far.[/QUOTE]
    Did you see the Clinton camp compared him to Kenneth Starr?

    She's good at playing the victim, and has no compunction about doing so...

    If I had to guess, she'll go all the way to the convention and lean on some people to get the nod..As long as she's in reasonable percentage of both the popular and delegate counts

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    the Hillary supporters in Michigan and Florida are acting like victims, but really their states violated the rules - were warned and did it anyway - in Michigan Obama wasn't even on the ballot? these should count? no way. saying they should count over and over doesn't make it so...

    And further more if they want to have a re-do they will have to pay for it, not the DNC. So chances are slim.

    the GOP really really wants Hillary that's reason 1 out of 1000 why the DNC is not going to let it happen. a bob schrum DNC would but not a Howard dean DNC.

    at the end of the day neither get to the magic number but also Hillary doesn't ever overtake Obama's lead. Hes got a 600,000 voter lead. to have so many young people involved in this race and then say, no sorry we are giving the old people what they want, electorate can go to hell - that would be a slap in the face to the future base.

    oh and one more point they haven't even finished counting Texas caucuses, obama could actually win Texas!
    Last edited by bitonti; 03-06-2008 at 05:31 PM.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2417293]However much I wish it was over, I am riveted by it, as well.

    I think Obama can avoid the "old politics" trap if he presents it as self defense. [B]"She has been making experience a big issue, so what's hers, exactly? When was she tested in an international crisis, exactly?"[/B]
    Obama's campaign can also raise some of her past dubious claims: She's boasted of a big role in Northern Ireland, but George Mitchell --the guy who ran the diplomatic effort-- says otherwise, that sort of thing.

    All they really have to do is sort of politely raise it in their own defense, and, presumably, reporters will find their way to George Mitchell and report what he tells them

    It is a fine line to walk, but he's been pretty good at it thus far.[/QUOTE]

    When the phone rings at 3:00AM Bill will be there to answer it.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2417347]the Hillary supporters in Michigan and Florida are acting like victims, but really their states violated the rules - were warned and did it anyway - in Michigan Obama wasn't even on the ballot? these should count? no way. saying they should count over and over doesn't make it so...

    And further more if they want to have a re-do they will have to pay for it, not the DNC. So chances are slim.

    the GOP really really wants Hillary that's reason 1 out of 1000 why the DNC is not going to let it happen. a bob schrum DNC would but not a Howard dean DNC.

    at the end of the day neither get to the magic number but also Hillary doesn't ever overtake Obama's lead. Hes got a 600,000 voter lead. to have so many young people involved in this race and then say, no sorry we are giving the old people what they want, electorate can go to hell - that would be a slap in the face to the future base.

    oh and one more point they haven't even finished counting Texas caucuses, obama could actually win Texas![/QUOTE]
    If they run MI and FL again, does the total number of delegates need to win increase?

  12. #12
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    Interesting. HIllary aligning herself with McCain against Obama. I've never followed a primary this closely. Is it normal for a democrat to attack another democrat (whose currently in the lead) while complimenting a Repub?

    Seems like she's trying to sink Obama so much so that she'll have a chance to run again in 2012 if Obama beats her here..

    [url]http://weblogs.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/blog/2008/03/clinton_ive_crossed_commanderi.html[/url]
    [QUOTE]
    <snip>
    “I think that since we now know Sen. (John) McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And[B] I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” [/B]the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.

    [B]“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.[/B]

    Calling McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee a good friend and a “distinguished man with a great history of service to our country,” Clinton said, “Both of us will be on that stage having crossed that threshold. That is a critical criterion for the next Democratic nominee to deal with.”
    <snip>
    [/QUOTE]

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=Winstonbiggs;2417349]When the phone rings at 3:00AM Bill will be there to answer it.[/QUOTE]

    Assuming they're sleeping together. Seems unlikely.

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    There is basically no difference between them, they want higher taxes and they want to spend our money. Please leave Bush out of this he isn't running for office.

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    Here it is..

    Of course this comes to late to overturn what happened in Ohio and will be forgotten by the time PA happens

    [url]http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080306/pl_afp/canadausdemocratsvotediplomacy[/url]

    [QUOTE] Both Clinton and Obama reassured Canada on trade: reports

    by Michel ComteThu Mar 6, 6:19 PM ET

    US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's campaign, while rapping rival Barack Obama for telling US voters he is anti-NAFTA and saying otherwise to Canada, tried to reassure Canada too, local media said Thursday.

    A top aide of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper meanwhile was identified as the likely source of an alleged leak that provoked a diplomatic fiasco involving both US Democratic presidential contenders.

    Last month, Harper's chief of staff, Ian Brodie, purportedly made impromptu remarks to journalists about Clinton's US presidential bid, said Canadian reports.

    The offhand comments apparently sought to downplay the potential impact on Canada of Clinton and Obama's attacks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during stops in the US state of Ohio.

    [B]Brodie told reporters that the Clinton campaign had called the Canadian embassy in Washington to tell officials to take her anti-NAFTA rhetoric "with a grain of salt," said local media.[/B]

    Around the same time, a news agency reported that a Canadian government memo detailed a meeting between Obama's chief economic advisor Austan Goolsbee and officials from the Canadian consulate in Chicago.

    The memo reportedly said Goolsbee noted Obama's attacks on NAFTA should not be taken out of context, citing fiercely protectionist sentiment in Ohio about the pact and political positioning as a motivation.

    Thursday, US Ambassador David Wilkins told public broadcaster CBC this amounted to Canadian political interference in the US political process. "It certainly shouldn't have happened; it was interference," he said.

    [B]The affair has certainly embarrassed Canada's diplomatic corps and may have cost Obama votes in the crucial Ohio primaries earlier this week.
    [/B]
    The 1994 trade pact created the largest trading bloc in the world by eliminating import tariffs on goods circulating among partners Canada, the United States and Mexico.

    In a televised debate last month in Ohio, both Obama and Clinton said if the next US president is a Democrat, Mexico and Canada would be pressured to renegotiate NAFTA.

    But free trade and NAFTA in particular is a fiercely contentious issue in Ohio, which has been badly hit by the flight of blue collar jobs abroad, and increased global economic competition.
    [B]
    As the scandal unfolded, Clinton accused Obama's campaign of giving the Canadian government "the old wink-wink" while Republican nominee John McCain said it showed Obama was not a straight shooter.[/B]

    Obama countered: "Nobody reached out to the Canadians to try to assure them of anything."

    Goolsbee's meeting with Canadian Consul General Georges Rioux was later confirmed, but Goolsbee said his remarks were misrepresented.

    [B]The Clinton camp has not yet commented on the latest allegations, but acknowledged Canada's Obama smudge gave her campaign a "significant" boost during the recent US primaries.[/B]

    The Canadian prime minister's office has said Brodie "does not recall" making the statements to reporters said to have set off the scandal, and Harper himself denied that Brodie leaked any information.

    [B]On Wednesday, Harper announced a probe into the "blatantly unfair" and possibly "illegal" leaking of the government memo assailing Obama.[/B]

    But Canada's opposition New Democrats urged Harper to fire Brodie for his alleged Clinton slip and called for a federal police investigation of the whole case.
    [/QUOTE]

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=CTM;2417529]If they run MI and FL again, does the total number of delegates need to win increase?[/QUOTE]

    who is gonna pay for the re-do? not the DNC and rightfully so. Howard Dean has said the DNC needs all the money it has to try to win the general election not to subsidize do-over primaries in rogue states.

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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2418474]who is gonna pay for the re-do? not the DNC and rightfully so. Howard Dean has said the DNC needs all the money it has to try to win the general election not to subsidize do-over primaries in rogue states.[/QUOTE]

    Hey man, if the delegates need to win do not increase, Obama should be in favor of a rerun..

    Hillary still won't catch him in pledged delegates, and while she might grab him in the popular vote, seating those extra 313 delegates, even if you assume Hillary nets 31, would still land Obama 141 delegates closer to 2025, and thereby lessening the burden of the number of super delegates he'd need to carry.

    Something has to be done, but that friggen cow is making me sick. She said the other day she will not accept a caucus in Florida and keeps talking about disenfranchisement of a state they need to carry in the GE. yet not a word of this before she needed it?

    Also read that there was an important bill to seniors (part of her base) being voted on that day, which is one reason why she trounced. The kids didn't bother to come out for Obama..

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    [QUOTE=CTM;2418490]Something has to be done, but that friggen cow is making me sick.
    [/QUOTE]


    She's frigging obnoxious, isn't she? I'm tired of seeing her wraith-face on the TV...give it up, lady.

    You're a freaking relic. Go away.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2418507]She's frigging obnoxious, isn't she? I'm tired of seeing her wraith-face on the TV...give it up, lady.

    You're a freaking relic. Go away.[/QUOTE]

    I can't for the life of me understand how anyone would cast a single vote for her.

    I almost can't believe that I am so out of touch with with my fellow countrymen and am about ready to put on the tinfoil hat. Seriously, is there some kind of conspiracy here to keep Wash insiders (namely Bush and Clintons) in office?

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    If this nomination is close, the Clinton's will use every loophole at their disposal, including back room deals, super delegates and "do overs" in Michigan and Florida. My fear is that this could lead to real violence at the convention; violence that would make 1968 look like a walk in the park. Be interesting to see what the "Bush stole the 2000 election " crowd will have to say about genuine political theivery.

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