THE BLOG
04/28/2008 08:50 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Memo to the Superdelegates: If You Want to Win

Howard Dean has announced that it's okay for you to cast your votes for the candidate you think most likely to beat the Republicans. In light of that announcement take a look below:

Hillary Clinton has won the primaries in 15 states with 240 electoral votes. Barack Obama has won primaries/caucuses in 26 states and the District of Columbia with a total of 201 electoral votes. But nobody notices.

For weeks now, we've heard that Obama has a hundred and fifty more convention delegates than Hillary does, or that he's gotten a half million more popular votes than she has, and therefore the superdelegates must, therefore, cast their votes for him at the convention.

I suggest that superdelegates consider the number of electoral votes cast by the states each candidate has won. When it comes to the general election, electoral votes are the only ones that count, and, as I write this, Hillary is 20% ahead in that critical category.

Delegates from Michigan and Florida (who between them have 44 electoral votes) have yet to be seated at the convention, but Hillary won the primaries in both states. If Hillary's victories in those states were counted she would already have won primaries in states with a majority of the Electoral College -- 288 votes out of a total of 537. Fifty-two more electors will come from seven states with upcoming primaries, and Hillary will almost certainly pick up a state or two there.

Barack Obama won primaries in a half dozen states (Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Alaska, Nebraska and Utah) with about 40 electoral votes that haven't gone Democratic in 20 years. Georgia is another a tough state for Obama. In the general election, Hillary's not going to carry Arizona, McCain's home state, and Texas is going to be very tough, but she's got a chance in every other state on her list.

So, if I were a Democratic superdelegate and I wanted to win the presidency next November, I'd take a hard look at the electoral college before I made any decisions.