Saturday, April 5, 2008
I hope I don't get any negative flack for writing this. I support both Clinton and Obama, and no matter who gets the nomination I will support and vote for him or her. Either candidate will be better than McCain, and either will be infinitely and unarguably better than Bush. It's just that, in the name of procrastination, I started reading a bunch of articles and found some interesting things that I think people should be aware of.
Obama claims superdelegates should lend him their votes because he has won more states and has more pledged delegates than Hillary. I agree on the second point, it's kind of undeniable that he has managed to amass more delegates, which, ultimately, is what the nomination comes down to. However, I found it interesting that Obama claims he should win based on the number of states he has been victorious in. It seemed to me that Clinton won the bigger, more important, states, but I wasn't sure so I explored further.
I wrote down all the states, as of today, that Obama has won, and I wrote down all the states that Clinton has won. Obama did indeed have almost twice as many, 27, to Clinton's 16. But which states are the important ones? I grouped them by size: Clinton won most of the larger ones, Obama most of the smaller ones. In order to quantify the relative importance / size of the states, I wrote down the number of electoral votes each candidate would receive from winning each state in the upcoming election. I know electoral votes have no bearing on the primaries, but whoever the eventual victor is, (s)he will have to compete in the actual election when electoral votes are notoriously important. It's definitely fair to consider them in a race this close. Anyways:
Clinton 263, Obama 202
(I counted Texas as a win for Clinton even though Obama won the caucuses. The primary is definitely more representative of the state as a whole...)
So then the thought occurred to me that no matter the number of electoral votes a candidate amassed, that some of these wins, in the actual election, would never even happen. Some states are red states, some are blue states, and some are swing states. It's likely that no matter who the candidate is, the blue states will go to the Democrats and the red states will go to the GOP. So I looked at swing states.
Clinton 95, Obama 60
Clinton appears to be more capable of winning the all-too-important swing states. Ohio and Florida, arguably the two states that gave Bush the white house in the last elections, Clinton won. (Both Obama and Clinton's names were on the ballot in Florida, neither campaigned there... it seems like a fair contest). Should not superdelegates, in a race so, so close, look at which candidate can better deliver these crucial swing states in the general election?
I also looked at the number of red states each candidate has won.
Obama 76, Clinton 51
A large portion of Obama's delegates thus come from states he (nor Clinton) would never be able to win in the general election. Less of Clinton's wins come from these GOP dominated red states.
In order to try and encompass all aspects of this analysis, I took the electoral votes from all the contests thus far, and added up all the blue state votes to give them to each candidate. In the general election, both will be able to win these votes. I then added the swing state votes each candidate received to that candidate's total. Finally, I subtracted the red state votes each candidate received from that candidate's total.
In finality: Clinton 227, Obama 167
If the general election were occurring right now, it seems Clinton would have the upper hand based on this information.
I know superdelegates are supposed to take a lot of factors into account when they make their choices, but I think one of the most important factors is electability. It seems as if Clinton is better prepared to deliver the important swing states and that a greater percentage of Obama's votes thus far have come from red states that he would never win in the general election. Should not the superdelegates support Clinton based on these factors?
Should not superdelegates support Clinton based on the disenfranchised voters in Michigan and Florida (granted Obama wasn't on the ballot in Michigan)?
A recent poll in Mississippi, the place of today's primary, suggested that Obama backers are more inclined to support Clinton backers than vice versa. 42% of voters who chose Obama said they would not mind if Clinton was the nominee, whereas only 10% of Clinton backers said the same for Obama. Moreover, 6 in 10 said that Obama should choose Clinton for his running mate if he wins, whereas only 4 in 10 said Clinton should choose Obama.
If Clinton can better deliver crucial states, and Obama backers are happy to support her, then should not superdelegates deliver the nomination to her?
Obama still has more delegates than Clinton does, however a large portion of these delegates come from caucus votes. Caucus attendants aren't representative of the voting populace as a whole, generally only strong supporters of a candidate take the time to attend a caucus. If one thing in this election is certain, Obama's supporters are clearly more vocal and active than Clinton supporters. I have never in my life seen such excitement for a candidate. It's a great thing for politics. However, should these fewer, more fervent supporters be given greater weight than the quieter, equally numerous (perhaps more so), supporters of Clinton?
As I said before, I support both candidates. The whole change vs. experience debate has no effect on me. Both candidates are qualified for the job, perhaps Clinton a little more, however I'm sure Obama would do just fine. Both would be able to effect change, perhaps Obama a little more, but again, it will be difficult even for him to unify a country so split on partisan lines. Rhetoric can only go so far, both candidates will find it difficult to make sweeping changes in Washington next January.
After looking at the statistics and trends, it seems as if Clinton may be the smarter choice for superdelegates. People say she's not as electable, but the facts beg to differ with that assumption. With a race so close, it's obvious that superdelegates will play a large role in the nominating process. Some say that they should bank on the side of the candidate with the most delegates after the primaries, but if the difference in delegates is less than 5%, shouldn't the superdelegates (the supposedly knowledgeable party insiders) be able to consider factors that the general voting public may have overlooked?
Thanks for reading! If you disagree with me that's fine, but note that I tried to present everything as objectively as possible.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton walked somberly into a press conference Tuesday and stood before microphones. Reporters tensed, sensing something big might be afoot.
"This has been a very hard-fought race," she said. "We clearly need to do something so that our party and our people can make the right decision. So, I have a proposal."
The tension grew. Reporters shifted in their seats. Was she dropping out of the race? Offering to join rival Barack Obama as his running mate?
"Today, I am challenging Senator Obama to a bowl-off," Clinton said, provoking relieved laughs from the assembled scribes.
Clinton carried on, making reference to Obama's disastrous outing at a Pennsylvania bowling alley Saturday.
"A bowling night. Right here in Pennsylvania. The winner take all," she went on. "I'll even spot him two frames."
"It is time for his campaign to get out of the gutter and allow all the pins to be counted. I'm prepared to play this game all the way to the 10th frame. When this game is over, the American people will know that when that phone rings at 3 a.m., they'll have a president ready to bowl on day one." ...
There is more amongst the article. Clinton fills her speech with puns and small jokes to humor her audience. I just wanted to get a reaction from my adolescent peers about this "humorous" speech and how they feel about it. N-j-o-y!
Monday, March 31, 2008
"Eco Creatures," a flabby but somewhat child-cute game for the Nintendo DS, caught my attention just as it was intended to: It's "an eco-friendly adventure," said the press release from publisher Majesco Entertainment. And how is that? Well, it "promotes awareness of the perils of over-industrialization, deforestation, pollution, extinction and global warming, as well as their effects on various life forms." The age rating is Everyone, which means the game is recommended for anyone 6 or older. The controls are poor. You find out early, for instance, that you can't fight effectively without making yourself stupidly vulnerable to attack. Even little kids know that makes the game a dubious value at $30, regardless of any environmental merit. You're supposed to nurture your creatures, but it's hard to get in the mood when the clunky game play is making you crazy.
This little bit comes from a Mercury Review of the game. I think that it is a great idea to incorporate the idea of saving the environment into a game, but does it seriously have to be so lame? It's an interesting topic and what's your take on it?
Senator Barack Obama has won over the current president's state. Is this a turning point for the Obama campaign or is this just a stepping stone?
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Baghdad. This announcement came as a suprise becuase the issue of the War in Iraq was expected to take a backseat to many pressing economic issues in the upcoming elections. The nation's attitude towards our continued occupation of Iraq is continually souring and it seems that we are closer than ever to a possible end to the conflict. It has yet to be seen if these politicians will actually follow through on their promises, if they even get elected. Should the War in Iraq be the primary issue in the upcoming elections, or should we concentrate on other threats to our country, such as economic recessions and social issues? Also, many people point out that the intense controversy over the war causes disunity among Americans, and makes it even harder for us to triumph in Iraq. Is it wrong for these candidates to so openly oppose the actions of this nation, or are they right in what they are doing?