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The Uptake

The Uptake

Posted: April 21, 2008 06:26 PM

Clinton Rally: "We Gotta Win Big"


From The UpTake

While chasing Senator Hillary Clinton through central Pennsylvania I asked her supporters about their motivations. Committed supporters in town after town said they were ready to take the fight to the convention.

In the video above, Rob Reiner impresses on the crowd that Hillary needs to "win big" in Pennsylvania just to stay in contention. He's absolutely right and is more honest about her chances than Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, for example, who says that "If we win by 6 to 7, points it's a great victory. If we were to win by 10 or more, that would be astounding." Pennsylvania can only be considered a "win" for Clinton if it allows her to overtake Obama in either pledged delegates or the popular vote. The proportional allocation of delegates ensures that Obama will retain the delegate lead for the next three primaries.

As to the popular vote, here's a quick back of the envelope calculation. If we count all the votes already cast, including those cast in Florida and Michigan and the estimated popular votes in the caucus states of Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington, Obama has a 0.6 percent (204,227) lead in the popular vote. This is the math the Clinton campaign is using in campaign emails to supporters.

Under this scenario the following would need to occur for Clinton to overtake Obama in the popular vote today: turnout would need to double (1.6 million voting in the primary) and Clinton would need to win by with at least 56 percent of the vote which would be a 12 percent margin. Therefore, Clinton needs to win a little more than 900,000 votes in PA to break even with Obama.

Clinton needs to do more than just break even to maintain a popular vote lead over Obama post-North Carolina.

Report and video by Noah Kunin