Yikes, is it April 22 already? Seems like just yesterday we were dissecting Iowa caucus results. Where did the time go? And more importantly, how will it shake out tonight? Prediction time!
I’m going with Clinton 54-46—a big enough margin for her to frame it as a winning night, but small enough for nobody to really believe her. The polls
have Obama pretty consistently in the low-mid 40s, and Clinton’s numbers generally 47-52ish. Assuming late breakers go more (but not completely) her way, I see her margin approaching but not quite reaching double figures.
The real prediction question, of course, is not just what happens tonight, but what happens tomorrow. How big a win tonight is a win
? The problem for Clinton is that after Pennsylvania, there are no more Pennsylvanias, which is to say no more big delegate-rich states where she has the built-in demographic edge. The remaining contests—North Carolina and Indiana in two weeks, and then Kentucky, West Virginia, Oregon, South Dakota, Puerto Rico and let’s not forget Guam—are a mixed bag: Obama figures to take NC, OR, and SD; Clinton grabs WV, KY and PR; leaving IN as a tossup. After today, it’s hard to foresee a plausible significant aggregate effect on the spread of delegates or popular votes. Unless Clinton pulls out of nowhere a whopper of a win tonight in the 15-20 point range, giving superdelegates some seriously irritated bowels, what’s her path to the nomination? It may not be over tonight, but I'm thinking it's over on May 6.
Your PA call? Closest to the pin wins an all-expense-paid spa weekend with Mark Penn.
: Just how remote is a Clinton nomination scenario by delegate count? At CNN's online delegate counter
I gave Clinton big fat 20-point margins of victory not just in PA, but also in IN, WV, KY and PR. I gave Obama understated 8-point wins in NC and OR, and scored SD, MT and Guam dead even. The tally under this highly Hillarosy scenario: Clinton still trails Obama by more than 80 delegates.
The final PA margin
came in at 54.7-45.3, a margin of just under nine and a half percent. I predicted 8 and commenter Tom predicted 11, so we’ll call it a tie; we can jointly visualize the prize…