As a Hillary supporter, I was aghast at the way the US press attacked every small thing about Senator Clinton. And I’m not alone: even the press has noticed anger among older feminists about the way she was treated. For those of us who read the Daily Kos and HuffPost, it’s worse: several months ago, those blogs started sounding like the anti Clinton FreeRepublic simply because Mrs. Clinton wouldn’t give up against their favorite candidate.
But nevertheless, I was under the impression that although Senator Clinton had won a few of the later primaries, that Obama had a huge popular vote showing broad support in the party.
What’s wrong with this picture?
It’s not true. The election was close, and even Obama’s clear majority of the delegates is due to a caucus take by his supporters that resembles the old fashioned ” smoke filled back room” politics where the big shots chose who we hoi polloi should be told to vote for.
Problem one: two primaries were disqualified and given only partial delegates as a punishment for rescheduling the primary votes early. By not the votes to count, or alternatively by not allowing a revote, these people lost their votes.
Why no revote?
Problem two: The caucuses went to Obama big time.
It is easy for well organized groups (in this case the “Move On” left) to win caucuses.
Here’s a few examples from Wikipedia.
Alaska caucus Obama 9; Clinton4
Colorado caucuses Obama 35; Clinton 20
Minnesota caucuses Obama 48; Clinton 24
North Dakota caucuses 8 5
The most egregious example of how caucus voters may not represent the grass roots can be found in the Texas Primary versus Texas Caucus figures.
Texas primary voters: Obama 61; Clinton 65
Texas caucuses: Â Â Â Obama38 ; Clinton29
Total delgates: Obama 99 Clinton 94.
So Hillary won the popular vote by 100 000 votes (3.5%) , but her win is not mirrored in her delegate count.
Problem three: The popular vote in the Democratic primaries was essentially tied.
popular votes Obama Clinton who won?
Vote Total 17,535,458 /48.1% 17,493,836 /48.0%
Winner: Obama +41,622 +0.1%
Vote total including caucus votes:Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA
17,869,542 /48.2% 17,717,698 47.8%
Winner: Obama +151,844 +0.4%
Popular Vote (w/MI) (i.e. including the banned MI primary votes)
17,535,458 /47.4% 17,822,145 48.1%
Winner: Clinton +286,687 +0.8%
Popular vote of all above plus estimates of Maine Washington and Iowa popular votes:
17,869,542 47.4% 18,046,007 47.9%
Winner: Clinton +176,465 +0.5%
So despite all the “OBAMA IS THE BIG WINNER” hype I was hearing in the news for the last six months, that was not quite true. It was close, very close, and even when you add the limited caucus votes as ordinary voters, the “win” is less than one percent.
So if the primaries were this close, why was the press essentially hyping Obama as a winner since Super Tuesday?
Because Obama won on SuperTuesday. What was not reported is that it was not an overwhelming win,
Total Delegates 1681
Obama delegates: 849
Clinton delegates: 832
But this may not mirror the “vote” since the number of delegates includes the caucuses in Minnesota, North Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, Idaho, and Alaska, all of which went broadly to Obama.
Problem four: The caucus voting, by being so “pro Obama” essentially allowed a disproportionate number of Obama delegates to be chosen.
But the “proportional” distribution of delegates resulted in Senator Clinton from getting all the votes of states that she carried by actual votes.
As a result, the delegate count was slanted by the caucuses, which are run by “special interest” groups who backed Obama. This bodes badly for the party,. The reforms of George McGovern were supposed to allow more input from the people rather than the elites of the party.
It has been assumed that the caucuses mirror the electorate. As I pointed out, that was not true in Texas, where the electorate and the caucuses did not agree.
To keep race out of it, I’ll compare Minnesota and Massachusetts, partly because I’ve worked in these states, but mostly because these states are liberal and have populist union Democrats as the core of their voters, and neither states are known for racism.
So what do we see?
Minnesota caucus (155 000 voters) 48 delegates for Obama, 24 for Clinton.
Obama wins by 24 votes
Massachusetts popular vote (500 000 voters): 38 delegates for Obama, 55 for Clinton:
Clinton wins by 18 votes
A lot of this research surprised me. Here in the Philippines, the local news has assumed Obama has already essentially won the election.
But an analysis of the primary votes suggests that there might be a reason beside menopausal rage to explain why the “angry women” who backed Senator Clinton may not support Obama, and if I were a Republican, I’d start touting the numbers to suggest Obama “stole” the election from feminists and from ordinary Democrats by manipulating the vote.
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is MakaipaBlog