03/28/2008 10:22 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What is Obama Afraid Of? Clinton's Popular Vote Landslide?

22% of Democratic voters say Obama should withdraw; 22% want Clinton to drop out.

What's going on?

Interestingly, Republicans are more eager to see Clinton drop out rather than Obama. Forty-one percent (41%) of GOP voters say the former First Lady should withdraw, while just 24% say the same about the Senator from Illinois, according to Rasmussen.

Are Republicans more afraid of Clinton than of Obama?

Among unaffiliated voters, 30% say Clinton should drop out, while 25% say the same about Obama.

The pundits have been touting the sudden rush by Obama supporters -- Pat Leahy, Chris Dodd, and others -- for Clinton to drop out of the presidential race --- no surprise here --- but most voters want to see how it will play out.

A solid majority of Democrats, 62%, aren't ready for either candidate to leave the race. Nationally, Clinton and Obama are running essentially even, according to likely Democratic Primary Voters in the Rasmussen Report's daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Obama supporters are trying to sell the line that the race is over -- and create a self-fulfilling prophecy, with Clinton monies and support drying up. It's a good strategy if you are scared that something will come up and sabatoge Obama's campaign.

No question Clinton is a long shot, maybe 20% according to the political trading markets, but the possibility is there.

Hey, the New York Giants were a much bigger underdog to win the Superbowl just a few months ago.

It's likely that Clinton might win the popular vote in various scenarios, according to predictions in Jay Cost's realistic spreadsheet at RealClearPolitics.

The spreadsheet is based on the popular vote and polls right now.

If Clinton runs the table, wins Pennsylvania by 60%, and wins (or comes real close) in North Carolina and Indiana -- and with voters in Florida and Michigan counted -- her large popular vote majorities will be hard to ignore, which is what Obama fears.

Bottom line, if the Democrats stand to lose Florida and Ohio and Arkansas because Obama is at the top of the ticket, the Superdelegates will have hard thinking to do if they want a Democrat in the White House next year.

Also troubling are the polls that show that more Clinton supporters 28% will bolt the party for McCain if Obama heads the ticket, versus Obama voters 19% who will bolt, if Clinton wins the nomination. (Gallup Poll) These are the Reagan, blue collar, Catholic Republicans, whom every Presidential candidate needs to win to gain the Presidency.

This fear that Clinton might surpass him in the popular vote is why Obama is so desperately trying to disenfranchise voters in these two populous states; and why Obama is trying so hard to get Hillary to drop out of, what most observers see, is still an open race.

Let the voters decide and then we can all feel comfortable backing the popular vote leader.

Relax, it will be over soon enough.

As Cost says, "Here's the broader point. We have a large number of unknown factors. For many of them, we have very little idea what values they will ultimately take. What we do know is that small changes in several of them could induce large changes in the vote count. This makes it extremely difficult to be as precise as many commentators have been. We need to be wary of all the uncertainty we face here.

"It is for this reason that I offer for public consumption the following Excel spreadsheet. It is set up to enable you to plug turnout and vote margins in, and see what effect the changes will have on the different vote counts. It seems to me that, rather than have Politico, the Times, or the Post outline which outcomes are possible, all of us should just take a look for ourselves."

"If Sen. Obama wins the popular vote then the choice will be easier.

"But if Hillary wins the popular vote but can't quite catch up with the delegate votes, then you have to just ask yourself, 'Which is more important, and who is more likely to win in November?" former President Bill Clinton told ABC earlier this week.

If Obama really is so far ahead, what does he have to lose? Let Florida and Michigan be counted. Let all the other votes be counted.

Obama would still be the favorite. And such a bold move would show a real courage and confidence that would unite Democrats and the rest of the country.

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