Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Closer Democratic and Demographic Race

The U.S. 2008 Democratic race is a dramatic movie in the making. There's no violence, no sex, yet (who knows what Bill is up to?), but it has historical drama, an underdog, make that two now, impressive contestants, a continually changing voter dynamic, and a see-saw popularity contest that is evident by the numbers.

With Obama's three state win last evening, he is on a hot roll, with eight straight state wins. Hillary's lead is now Obama's lead. While he leads her by 25 delegates, 1215 to 1190 (according to CNN at this time), she still has more superdelegates in the overall number. This could change as well. Superdelegates are those that are directly involved in party politics, Governors, Congressmen, ex-Presidents, Senators, and right on down the line. There are 796 superdelegates, and the whole contest may come down to their votes to finally determine who the successful nominee is.

This could get messy. Currently Obama has more pledged delegates from primaries and caucases than Clinton. If this remains true, then what would happen if super delegates decide to favor Clinton over him? There could be a lot of political and public outcry. Super delegates do not have to say publicly who they will vote for. They are up for grabs, and are being courted by Obama and Hillary.

Last night's election results was another big win for Obama, but was also bad news in another way for Clinton. This is not just a Democratic race but also a demographic race. In Maryland and Virginia, Obama got more votes from women, 60%, than Hillary. This was mainly Hillary's edge. He also beat her in the Latino vote.

This campaign is most exciting. Clinton could very well make up her latest lost ground in March with big States Texas and Ohio having a sizable chunk of the delegates. On the other hand, if the demographic trend continues for Obama, these states could be her final upset, and like Rudy Giuliani depending on Florida delegates, this could deliver a stinging upset for her. She is banking very much on those wins.

It's close and an amazing race to witness. There are two bright, very capable people campaigning for the same job, and both have likable ways. Ultimately, it would be sad to see Hillary lose, and it would also be a pity if Obama did not. Either way, they both have made history by running, and either will be quite a refreshing change from G.W. Bush.

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